Writing on a deadline

Consider and investigate a time when you worked with a student to create a time-related accommodation on a writing assignment. Describe this experience: What was the assignment?; What went well?; What would you alter to improve the student’s experience?; What questions remain for you going forward that we might troubleshoot in our next session?

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2 Replies to “Writing on a deadline”

  1. On numerous paper assignments now I’ve given students extensions, regardless of whether they have a recorded disability. For students with accommodation from DAS (as well as one ESL student), I’ve extended the time limit for online quizzes. Extended time for online quizzes works well since it does not stigmatize students in class.

    I’ve also offered all students the opportunity to submit drafts to me early, and then revise and re-submit for the higher grade, as I’m not sure that all students who need accommodation have requested it from DAS. I’ve found that although it is more time consuming to comment on multiple papers, the final products are much stronger and more polished than the initial drafts. (As long as they actually incorporate my feedback… That’s another story) During this term, I worked with one student tutoring in the Learning Center, and also commented on two early drafts. The student clearly worked on strengthening his argument, and although numerous minor errors remained, the paper was much improved overall. It was a positive experience to see the scaffolding process unfold (if I understand the term correctly).

    My main questions are, how do we work with students who do not approach you? How do you reach out to students that might need some extra accommodation, but don’t ask for it?

  2. I have supported students with accommodations on writing assignments a number of time, typically in response to a family emergency of some variety. I tend to notice two patterns of how this goes. The first is illustrated by a recent experience with a student in my WIC course who had a family emergency that resulted in missing deadlines for 2 assignments early in the quarter, which build a foundation for the assignments that come next. The timing was rough and the student rapidly got behind. However, with support and timely feedback and a 1-1 meeting, the student was able to catch up and is successful in the quarter overall. Other times, the opposite has happened, in which one late paper spirals into more late assignments and the student never catches up, despite my best attempts at support.

    So, I guess my question is a wondering about how we can allow for accommodations in ways that truly help the student learn and grow rather than contribute to a spiraling of getting more behind and missing additional learning opportunities. My experience tells me that each situation is so different that it is hard to come to conclusions about this. I try to approach the issues with a mix flexibility and boundaries … and also with both academic and emotional support. This feels like a good recipe, but the outcomes certainly vary.

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