Time required: Short
Grading: Not required (but may be helpful)
Why: Effective instructional design scaffolds from the simple to the more complex; but what are simple writing tasks?
- Design writing tasks that are supported versions of more complex work to prepare students for assessment, practice, or a larger project
- Explain to students how this early task will support future work.
- Examples of simplified writing tasks:
- Explain a concept or process before applying or performing it. An example might be science experiment or lab.
- Write about one reading before comparing or synthesizing multiple readings.
- Summarize a reading before analyzing, interpreting, or criticizing it. This approach can be applied from literature to science.
- Explain an argument before developing one’s own. Any type of argument can be used.
- Provide individual or whole group feedback depending on the situation.
- If the writing will be the foundation for a large project, individual feedback may be appropriate.
- Whole group feedback is fine for other purposes.
- Use small groups or discussion boards to provide peer feedback.
- Ask students to reflect on how they will use the simpler writing for more complex work.
Adapted from The Elements of Teaching Writing by Katherine Gottschalk and Keith Hjortshoj, p 40.