According to the 2012 U.S. News and World Report “America’s Best Colleges,” Colorado State University is “one of the top 20 [universities] that makes writing a priority as a critical element of student success.” Read the rest of this front page Rocky Mountain Collegian article, published on September 20, 2011.
Prepared by the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project, February 2011, the “Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing describes the rhetorical and 21st century skills as well as habits of mind and experiences that are critical for college success. Based in current research in writing and writing pedagogy, the Framework was written and reviewed by two- and four-year college and high school writing faculty nationwide and is endorsed by the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project.”
The Framework first describes the eight Habits of Mind “essential for success in college writing”: curiosity, openness, engagement, persistence, responsibility, flexibility, and metacognition. The Framework explains that these habits are “ways of approaching learning that are both intellectual and practical and that will support students’ success in a variety of fields and disciplines” and goes on to suggest “how teachers can foster these habits of mind through writing, reading, and critical analysis.” This document supports what we do and why we do it, and is a good reminder of our overall goals as teachers of postsecondary writing.
Debora Weber-Wulff at the University of Applied Sciences in Berlin recently published the English translation of her 2010 test of 26 plagiarism detection services. “Prof. Dr. Debora Weber-Wulff, professor for media and computing at the University of Applied Sciences HTW Berlin has tested plagiarism detection systems in 2004, 2007, and 2008 and has published widely on the topic. In this fourth test series that was just completed at the end of 2010, 26 systems out of 47 available systems were closely examined. Particular focus was given to seeing how well the systems detect a known amount of plagiarism, and how they react when offered original material.”
“A test of 26 plagiarism detection systems has the top scorers detecting only 70% of the plagiarism for a grade of C-.” See the results at http://plagiat.htw-berlin.de/software-en/2010-2/
From the article: “The two-year project, called H-OWL, is funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The project involves creating and testing an interactive extension of Purdue’s Online Writing Lab, which is an online resource that provides information on many aspects of writing, including grammar and mechanics, writer’s block, style guides, and punctuation. The site…received more than 180 million visits last year.”
” ‘The goal is to create an online tool to help high school juniors and seniors meet national writing requirements and to help them make the transition to college-level writing,’ said Linda Bergmann, director of the project and of Purdue’s Online Writing Lab. ‘By making the already popular OWL more interactive, we are creating a resource that students can use to help them write across all disciplines – from language arts to science. We want to incorporate new media and social networking features, as well as aspects of gaming, to engage this young audience and reach the next generation of learners. What we create could help others in education design additional learning tools.’ ”
Read the full article: http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/outreach/2011/110110BergmannOWL.html