When sharing writing is not giving to get feedback

When is sharing writing not giving to get feedback?  How—in what ways can this happen?  Why? These questions arose for me after a discussion among graduate students at the early stage of a research and writing process.  To initiate the discussion I had read the quote below from Peter Elbow on sharing and giving. Clearer framing was needed, however, given that the subsequent discussion mostly centered on bad and good experiences or attitudes in getting and receiving feedback on writing. Read more of this post


Critical thinking as a journey ( a youtube)

This 44-minute youtube is a practice run of an interactive lecture, designed to explore the implications of defining critical thinking as understanding ideas and practices better by holding them in tension with alternatives and of viewing each student’s development as a journey. Audience members will leave with their own short checklist of tools and processes to put into practice, including ways of assessing their professional development as teachers of critical thinking. (Sources and extensions)

Scaffolding versus externally imposed internalised rules

I am beginning the see the idea of “scaffolding” as providing an alternative to the idea of externally imposed rules that are internalised by participants in a workshop or learning experience. Read more of this post

Learning from a 4-day workshop about scaffolding scientific and social change

Although the term “scaffolding” was used often and participants had experiences of being scaffolded, there was little explicit discussion or posting of ideas about scaffolding at a recent 4-day workshop on “Scaffolding Scientific and Social Change.”  In advance of digesting the workshop evaluations, let me post on what my reflections on the workshop in relation to my own developing ideas. Read more of this post

When the Social, not the Medium, is the Message: Community-building and Research Collaboration in Virtual Spaces

On the internet, individuals, groups, and communities try to create–or to contribute to–spaces where they can communicate and build knowledge in ways beyond what is possible in the daily round of face-to-face interactions. Yet it can be difficult to navigate the changing technologies of social media, each with its own interface and device configurations. Read more of this post

disConferencing, a five-and-a-third-hour model: Session 4 & Closing

Break, 10 minutes

Organizers recreate the inner circle of 12 chairs with gaps for easy entry and exit of sitters, but otherwise as close as possible.  Organizers ask for help to move the rest of the chairs surrounding that circle.  Seats in the circle are then occupied by organizers (except the Session 4 Coordinator), the guest author, and volunteers if any seats remain.  Pens are distributed to any participant who doesn’t have one.

Hour 4.10-5.10

Session 4, Dialogue Hour (http://bit.ly/FivePhase, with modification for large group, http://wp.me/p1gwfa-kL)

Respect, Risk, and Revelation are emphasized in the listening—not only to others but also to oneself (even if silently)—that happens in a Dialogue Process.  By the end of the Dialogue Hour and Closing Circle, participants should be clear about at least some issues that have (Re)engaged you through the experience of the dis/Conference.

Session 4 Coordinator explains that the topic of the Dialogue Hour is “Review the dis/Conference insights and experience and think about how each of us can extend the insights and experience.”  The Hour involves 5 phases, as described on page 2 of the handout.  Asks everyone to read the instructions for the first, freewriting phase and then start.  Anyone needing more explanation should quietly attract the Coordinator’s attention.

1.     5 minutes Freewriting to begin to consider the topic of the session.

2.     Check-in: Short account to a neighbor of one’s concern or question about the topic of the session.

3.     Dialogue process, i.e., listening with structured turn taking, that begins with each of the inner circle saying one thing that is on top for them as the dialogue starts.  Then, through inquiry more than advocacy (or rehearsal of previously formulated ideas), including inquiry of one’s own thinking, themes usually emerge.  So that what participants say builds on what has been said by previous speakers (as against rehearsing a position established well before the session). The session 4 Coordinator circulates, giving a card to anyone (including those in the inner circle of 12) who raises their finger (as in an auction) to indicate that they would like a turn.  When the turn comes up for a person out of the circle, a member of the inner circle who does not have a card gracefully relinquishes their seat to that person, who can remain in the circle after speaking until asked to relinquish their seat.

4.     10 minutes before the session ends each participant spends a few minutes writing to gather and share thoughts that have emerged as they are meaningful for them. Session 4 Coordinator explains that it’ll reduce work if people can use their smartphones to gather thoughts.

5.     Last 5 minutes: In groups of 3-4, each participant shares something they plan to address/get done/think more about based on the session.  (Having this aired in the group–having it witnessed–makes it more likely to happen.)

(Page 2 of handout has instructions for Sessions 2-4, including guidelines for dialogue and prompts or web address for gathering thoughts in phase 4 of Session 4.  Page 2 also states the Learning and Experiential goals at the bottom.)

Hour 5.10-5.20

Closing Circle

Each participant has up to 15 seconds to state one highlight or appreciation or suggestion or thing they are taking away from the dis/Conference to do more work with.  One person starts then passes the (figurative or literal) mic to a neighbor.

Follow up by organizers

  1. Get help to tidy up the space.
  2. Send out initial listserv email with guidelines, instructions about unsubscribing, encouragement to share.
  3. Transcribe the PostIts from Session 1 (commonalities and tensions); post to listserv.
  4. Transcribe & collate gathered thoughts from Session 4, phase 4; post to listserv.
  5. Transcribe audio-recording of closing; post to listserv.

disConferencing, a five-and-a-third-hour model: Session 3

Break, 15 minutes

Refreshments & sign up for “Office Hours”

Coordinator for Session 3 explains that “Each ‘I want help thinking about’ topic group meets for 18 minutes, so that each of you participates in three topic groups, one after the other.  One of these is the group that you identified when you registered.

Now you have to write your name or handle on two small PostIts and stick them to a ‘one thing I want help thinking about’ topic in two of the three columns—NOT the column in which your own ‘one thing I want help thinking about’ topic is posted.  After you do this, record on your handout the number (and thus location) of your groups for each of the three columns.”

Organizers help participants understand and complete this task, then add their own PostIts to topics that have no other participant or only one.

Organizers move chairs to the numbered positions.

Time permitting, participants encouraged to peruse the PostIts from Session 1 (Blue for commonality and Red for tension).

Hour 2.55-4.00

Session 3, “Office Hours” (http://bit.ly/Oneonone)

Respect and Risk continue to be emphasized in asking everyone to take initiative in asking for help.  You can hope to gain insights—Revelations—from what you hear yourselves ask for and from how you respond to queries and suggestions from others.  At the same time, the other topic-group members can gain insights from hearing how they respond to the request for help.

Coordinator for Session 3 reminds everyone that “Each ‘I want help thinking about’ topic group meets for 18 minutes.  After participants have moved to the numbered locations, the originator of the topic explains what help they seek and the group takes it from there.  Feel free to move chairs from a position that has some to spare.”

Session 3 Coordinator gives 3-minute warning for a group to wind up.  At each switch from one column’s topics to the next, the Coordinator helps anyone who needs it to identify their next group and find their way to it.

(continued in next post)

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