It has been an eventful spring semester. I had the privilege of teaching three different writing classes, and they were all rewarding and fun in their own way.
My first class, Writing for Engineers, was the class that I was most familiar with although it did present some challenges. Students learned how to write the following:
- research reports,
- failure analysis reports
- and correspondence writing
For these courses, I really tried to focus on document design for reading efficiency and conciseness in writing. I’m sure my students were tired of me saying, “get to the point,” but to me, science writing should be readable and accessible.
In any case, I believe that students learned a lot here, and their feedback has been very positive.
My other class, Strategic Communications was a blast. Strat Comm is a writing class for students in advertising, marketing, and telecommunications. It focuses on teaching students how to create content for businesses and consumers.
I completed a lot of the work in this course, and students learned how to write,
- Placed-based advertising campaigns
- Native advertisements,
- Long and short form product placements
We even worked on creating a complete content marketing strategy campaigns for local businesses. This class was new to me, but I worked to emphasize reader/consumer-based writing. In the truest sense of the word, this is writing for your audience. Check out our blog.
Finally, I taught a more traditional first-year writing course. These are always a challenge because students, for the most part, would rather be somewhere else. Nevertheless, it worked out great.
Now, the semester is done. I am reflecting on what I did well and what I need to improve. I need to prep more practice activities for the Strat Comms class. Also, I liked that I gave class-time to writing and revising, but I found that students, in some cases, didn’t really write or revise during those periods. I will need to make some adjustments there.
I need to be much tougher on attendance and tardiness, which is a pet-peeve of mine anyway. Finally, I want to be able to help students more with the document design aspect of writing.
However, it’s time for finals, so here is to a great semester, and good luck on finals and the end-of-the-semester scramble.