developmental writing

How to Help Students Overcome Writer’s Block

Even when students choose to write on a topic that interests them, they may still experience the frustration of writer’s block. They may deal with the frustration by spending too much time researching and then run out of time when it comes to writing and revising their work. As instructors with advanced degrees, we’ve written more papers than we care to count. It’s easy to forget that our students are still neophytes when it comes to academic writing. What can we do to help students complete their writing assignments more effectively?

Reasons for writer’s block

Some people are procrastinators by Read More…


How to Teach Writing Style in the Developmental Classroom

Written by Lawrence Barkley and Christine Sandoval, authors of Grammar and Usage, Naturally, 1st Edition   Writing style is born from the understanding of grammatical components: words, phrases, clauses. Author and satirist Jonathan Swift defines style as “proper words in proper places.” But how do we translate Swift’s simple observation into a notion our developmental students can understand? In our previous post, “Teaching Grammatical Terminology in the Classroom,” we argued that teaching grammar terminology empowers students and allows them to participate in the conversation on writing. If we as instructors take the initiative to teach grammar and grammar terminology Read More…


Top Ten Tips: How to Craft Effective Peer Review Questions

When it comes to peer review work in the classroom, everyone stands to benefit. The owner of the paper receives another perspective and a much-needed “second pair of eyes” for catching grammatical errors. The student reviewers have the opportunity to fine-tune their editing and comprehensive reading skills. If these revisions are handed in, even the instructor may enjoy observing each student’s unique thought process via the edits and comments.

Most students will appreciate the provision of guidelines or sample questions to kick off their peer review process. Whether online or in person, this will help to ensure their revisions are insightful as well as courteous. Read More…


Virtual Workshops for Developmental Education Instructors

Start Something New! A Virtual Workshop Series for Developmental Education Instructors

Engage with instructors via interactive web-based sessions that are specifically designed for the Developmental Education classroom. Explore tools for Integrated Reading & Writing (IRW) courses, engagement strategies for today’s DE student, and best practices for course redesign that’ll entice you to start something new!

Put ’em Together and What Have You Got? “Concinnity” in Integrated Reading and Writing!

When: Thursday, October 2, 2014 | Time: 1:00-2:00PM ET (US & Canada) | Cost: FREE! Presenter: Maggi Miller
Description: The Oxford Dictionary explains that “concinnity” means the “skillful and harmonious arrangement or fitting Read More…


Aplia™ Promotes Preparedness and Streamlines Assessment in Developmental Reading and Writing

As higher education institutions seek new ways to help students move successfully through the curriculum, one trend is the integration of developmental reading and writing. Such is the case at campuses in the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), where Ulanda Forbess teaches and coordinates the developmental reading and writing program. She has been using the Aplia™ online homework and learning solution for a year to help guide her students to reading and writing proficiency. Read More…


Cengage Learning’s Write Experience Leads to Improved Writing Skills

The development of effective writing skills is widely recognized as one of the most important college outcomes, and it is widely believed that using digital learning tools to support post-secondary instruction improves student engagement and ultimately increases student learning. This study examined the effectiveness of a widely-used, post-secondary digital instructional tool, Write Experience, an online learning solution, employing automated essay scoring, dedicated to improving students’ written communication skills. Read More…


The Impact of Cengage Learning’s Aplia on Student Learning: A Focus on Developmental Writing

In this peer-reviewed white paper, you’ll review the from a comprehensive semester-long study, which show that using Aplia increased learning in developmental English courses. Compared to learners in similar courses, students using Aplia increased their learning as measured by pre- and post-tests. Additionally, students and instructors using Aplia reported very high levels of satisfaction and engagement with Aplia. Read More…


A Study of the Impact of Cengage Learning’s Aplia on Student Learning in Developmental English

This comprehensive research study examined one of the most widely used digital tools in post-secondary education, Cengage Learning’s Aplia. Aplia is an online learning solution dedicated to improving student learning in developmental English courses by increasing student effort and engagement.

According to the research study for this white paper, students in developmental reading and writing courses using Aplia learned significantly more than students using the same textbooks without Aplia. Read More…