WRTG596: Teaching Composition on the College Level
Fall 2014 | Section 000 (116745 | August Workshop| Workshop Materials | Eastern Michigan University

Enrollment: 8 (Seven new GAs and one part-time lecturer attended the two-week workshop.)
Forms Completed: 8 (100%)

1. Evaluate the following aspects of the workshop (A: Always, B: Frequently, C: Sometimes, D: Rarely, E: Never)

  N/% N/% N/% N/% N/% N
The activities and assignments in the workshop met my needs as I prepare to teach in the upcoming semester. 2/25 6/75 0/0 0/0 0/0 8
The instructor communicated instructions and expectations in a manner appropriate for a graduate-level workshop. 7/88 1/13 0/0 0/0 0/0 8
Guest presenters were well-prepared and addressed issues relevant to my preparation for the upcoming semester. 6/75 2/25 0/0 0/0 0/0 8
The instructor was available for consultation or assistance and allowed sufficient time during the workshop to answer my questions. 8/100 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0 8
The assigned readings accorded with my preparations for teaching in the First-year Writing Program. 4/50 4/50 0/0 0/0 0/0 8
I felt appropriately challenged and supported throughout the workshop. 4/50 4/50 0/0 0/0 0/0 8
Throughout the workshop, I was treated like a respected colleague who was being welcomed into a vibrant community of practice. 8/100 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0 8

2. Would you describe your instructor as __________________?

  Yes No RESP
  N/% N/% N
a. Knowledgeable about teaching? 8/100 0/0 8
b. Able to communicate ideas clearly? 8/100 0/0 8
c. Knowledgeable about composition studies? 8/100 0/0 8
d. Prepared for the workshop? 8/100 0/0 8
e. Skilled at leading and moderating discussion? 8/100 0/0 8
f. Open to the views of workshop participants? 8/100 0/0 8
g. Enthusiastic about workshop assignments and activities? 8/100 0/0 8
h. Intellectually engaging? 8/100 0/0 8
i. Fair? 8/100 0/0 8
j. Professional? 8/100 0/0 8

3. Please provide written comments to explain one or two of your answers to the previous question.

  1. I really felt that all of the above objectives were met during the days we met. I cannot elaborate because I felt the meetings sufficiently prepared me.
  2. Derek and Kate were both very helpful and supportive. I never felt like I didn't want to go to the workshop or that it was a waste of my time. It was very structured and there was never a time where I felt that they were fumbling around to fill time.
  3. Derek was very knowledgeable about composition studies. He readily provides information about 1) the field as a whole, and 2) specific essays and authors in the field as well.
  4. E. My instructor was always willing to let us take discussions towards whatever direction we wanted to go, but always managed to work it back to the original point of the discussion. He was also very good about making sure everyone was able to speak. H. My instructor was often bringing in readings that were thought provoking and relevant. He listened to our ideas, and then challenged us to expand them or further develop them. He gave us interesting questions to consider without expecting us to have an immediate answer.
  5. I thought that Derek did an excellent job. He was prepared and covered everything that was necessary to cover.
  6. d. Derek was prepared daily for the workshop, but was flexible enough to allow discussions to be generative when the group was engaged and wanting to discuss something further.
  7. D. Prepared for the workshop: Derek and Kate had answers ready for questions and were able to have valuable conversations to help us recognize why. A. Knowledgeable about teaching: Derek and Kate were ready to give strategies for teaching techniques and gave us their opinions on our own strategies.

4. Please rate the quality of the following workshop activities and readings on a scale from 1-5. (A: Excellent, B: Very Good, C: Good, D: Fair, E: Poor)

  N/% N/% N/% N/% N/% N
a. Mapping activity 2/25 4/50 0/0 2/25 0/0 8
b. Responding and grading 3/38 4/50 1/13 0/0 0/0 8
c. Peer response 1/13 6/75 1/13 0/0 0/0 8
d. Music in my head 2/25 2/25 2/25 2/25 0/0 8

N.b. The workshop evaluation form included additional questions about specific readings and guests. While these responses were extremely helpful for planning future iterations of the workshop, I have decided not to circulate them publicly online. -DM

5. Please provide written comments to explain one or two of your answers to the previous question.

  1. i. Guest Panels with Returning GAs: It was great getting opinions and thoughts from people who were in our exact situation last year.
  2. I think mapping and "music in my head" were the only two activities that I didn't necessarily find useful. Maybe if we mapped milestones on our "literary journey" then it would have been more applicable. The same goes for the music exercise. I think I could use both of those activities, but I just need to think about how to make them clearly applicable to the projects.
  3. M. The presentation by Liz Losh was absolutely fascinating. I enjoyed that she encouraged so much participation from her audience, and went into great detail about what considerations went into the book, instead of just what the book said. D. The music in my head activity was wonderful. It was relaxing and engaging while demonstrating excellent examples of crafting an activity in relation to a reading assignment. It was also well timed, giving us a bit of a break when we were at a particularly stressful point.
  4. The conversation with Liz Losh was great. I felt like I wasn't prepared to really participate in a lot of the interaction with the projects because I haven't planned them out, but she was very informative and opened my eyes to what Rhetoric could be. The speakers were great. You didn't have Megan's presentation on here but she was also great. The website and syllabus were very helpful.
  5. While Liz Losh's presentation on UR itself was informative and helpful, I felt that her workshop on how to teach with the book was lacking.
  6. I would have rated a. a bit higher than fair, but I felt that there was a big focus on drawing when we discussed multimodality. The activities certainly were multimodal, but I think we could have explored more than the creation of drawings in trying out multimodal activities (not that we never did ­ I just feel the emphasis was on drawing).
  7. i. Panel of returning GAs: This discussion was very helpful and encouraging, as they had experienced much of what we were going through and were able to warn us of potential pitfalls.
  8. I thought that the discussion­based activities were the most useful. Some of the readings felt like topics I'd already learned about elsewhere. Other times they felt impractical and too theoretical.

6. What changes would you recommend to the workshop?

  1. I would like to see an archive of assignment sheets for these projects to give us a good understanding of the range of each assignment. I know that they are new and there aren't a lot of assignment sheets out there, but maybe next year we can compile a bunch for the next cohort.
  2. Allow for more time to workshop syllabi, lesson plans, and assignment sheets.
  3. During the first week, have breaks be ten minutes, instead of five, or give an extra one in the afternoon.
  4. If I have to make a suggestion, I would say that there could be a little more work time. Working on the syllabus and course schedule with the rest of the cohort in the room was really helpful. However, I don't feel like we were shorted on work time.
  5. I think we could have accomplished as much in 1/2 days, perhaps with afternoon work sessions to plan and collaborate with each other. Maybe all of the days couldn't be 1/2 days, but I think some days had lag time that could be eliminated by scheduling afternoon "workshop" time where we applied something we learned in the morning to the creation of a planned activity for our own class. Requiring us to have it completed before we left we ensure that everyone collaborated and worked on it. It would also ensure everyone left each day with a completed, concrete plan of something to use in his or her class.
  6. Since EMU Online will be replaced by next year's workshop, focus on getting workshop attendees up to date with the nuances of the new system.
  7. Not much. For the most part it was pretty solid.
  8. I thought the workshop was great and extremely useful. I don't think I'd change anything except maybe having more challenging readings.

7. What do you consider to be the strongest feature(s) of the workshop?

  1. There were a lot of features I liked, particularly the comfortable atmosphere created by the instructor and the opportunity to share and hear ideas from our classmates. I also really appreciated the guest speakers who shared their own experiences.
  2. The schedule was flexible when it needed to be and everything we spent our time on was directly applicable to our preparation for the beginning of the semester. Hearing from former GAs was definitely helpful.
  3. Creating an open space for dialogue, forming a strong sense of community, and giving set times for us to work on preparation together. Being able to bounce ideas off of one another was invaluable. Examples and Derek/Kate's willing to help. I was very nervous the first day. I didn't see how I could be prepared to teach a class in two weeks but after day two, I felt really well supported.
  4. Over the last week I have been pouring over many different examples and notes and have been able to create a syllabus and agenda I am proud of.
  5. The amount of time spent spent with others preparing to do the same thing, while being supported by Derek and Kate.
  6. The openness of discussion.
  7. I consider the strongest feature of the workshop to be the time we spent brainstorming for our Unit 1 schedule and our Unit assignment sheet.
  8. I thought that the activities and discussions were very useful. I loved the class, overall.

8. Please rate the overall quality of the August ENGL596 Workshop. (A: Excellent, B: Very Good, C: Good, D: Fair, E: Poor)

  N/% N/% N/% N/% N/% N
Workshop Overall 4/50 4/50 0/0 0/0 0/0 8

9. Please rate the overall quality of the instructor leading the August ENGL596 Workshop. (A: Excellent, B: Very Good, C: Good, D: Fair, E: Poor)

  N/% N/% N/% N/% N/% N
Instructor Overall 6/75 2/25 0/0 0/0 0/0 8

10. Use the this space to provide any additional comments you want to share about the instructor or the workshop.

  1. Thank you for everything these last two weeks Derek. I like all the activities you had us do as well as the great selection of readings. We didn't spend a lot of time on readings we could use for our classes. Even though they were listed there, I would have liked to have gone through the unit one readings and either see them or at least have an abstract of them. I felt that when we were picking readings for unit one, many of us were just using the Malcolm X or Alexi piece because those were the two that were brought up.
  2. The class was very useful and definitely necessary to prepare us for teaching.
  3. I'd just like to say that the workshop, while being very intense and time consuming, was enjoyable overall.
  4. Personally, I feel in I'm in a much better place mentally to offer my best to the department and the students.