Seminars, Workshops and Research


Spring 2023 Workshops

Using AI Writing to Teach Writing 
With Sara West, Department of English
Slides, Video, and Examples From the Workshop

saraWith the recent release of ChatGPT to the public, there’s no doubt that conversational artificial intelligence is changing the ways that we write and teach writing. Now that students can enter prompts into a chatbot and allow the AI to write essays, discussion boards, and other writing assignments for them, what can writing teachers do? Though many conversations are centered on ways that we can discourage or ban such tools, this workshop considers ways that writing instructors can work alongside AI writing tools to teach aspects of writing. 

In this workshop, participants will spend some time discussing AI writing tools, ChatGPT in particular, and understanding how they work. Then, workshop participants will learn about and discuss ways that ChatGPT could be used in the classroom.  While this workshop will focus on working with AI rather than working against it, we’ll keep an open dialogue and will likely still discuss concerns and issues. At the end of the workshop session, the goal will be for each participant to have an understanding of what ChatGPT is and at least one activity or exercise integrating the tool for use for their specific course.

Workshop Dates:
Tuesday, March 21, 3:00PM-4:15PM (via Zoom)

Register for Workshop Here

Using Meditation to Enhance Mindfulness in the Writing Classroom
With Rebecca Kling, Department of Humanities
Slides From The Workshop Available Here [pptx]

beckyWriting is often referred to as an act of meditation, but especially in an academic setting, this does not always hold true. By reframing the practice of writing as a version of the larger practice of meditation, we can help our students overcome many of their barriers and find more satisfaction in the writing process.

The strategies I will teach in this workshop can be adopted in writing classrooms across all disciplines. We already teach students to be highly attentive to their subject matter, but by expanding this attentiveness to include their physical and emotional responses to writing, they can engage more fully in their own act of composition and recognize the role their minds and bodies play in the meaning-making process. This will foster a more dynamic classroom and serve students not only in their writing but in their approach to learning and life.

Workshop Dates:
Thursday, March 2, 10:30AM-11:45AM (via Zoom)
Friday, March 17, 12:00PM-1:15PM (via Zoom)

Register for Workshop Here

So a Choose Your Own Adventure Walks Into a Class...
With Anne F. Walker, Department of English and Comparative Literature
Handouts From the Workshop Available Here

anneThe Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) series of assignments gives students freedom to try on and refine multimedia approaches—such as scripts, infographics, fan fiction, collage, real or imagined interviews, opinion pieces, podcasts, videos, poetic response, genre mimicking, infomercials, and short essays—to find their own best methods to engage with texts. This flexible approach can work across departments and divisions.

The workshop first outlines how CYOAs worked in English 1A, and then explores potential in courses represented by participants. We will work as a cohort, learning from one another. Questions include: what activities might you put on your CYOA list? how might this focus course learning outcomes and goals for your class and discipline? what kind of fun can you and your students have with this? how would it work in the arts or sciences, humanities or social sciences?

The workshop will be enriched, and ideas developed, by attending faculty.

Workshop Dates:
Tuesday, March 21, 12:00NOON-2:00PM (via Zoom)

Register for Workshop Here

Providing Feedback on Student Writing
With Sara Cook, Department of English
Slides From the Workshop Available Here [pptx]

saraCome learn how to make grading faster and more effective.  This workshop will feature best practices for responding to student writers.  We will cover this process from start to finish, from developing effective materials to in-text comments to culminating feedback.  Faculty will walk away with concrete examples and resources to help ease the grading burden while providing feedback that can help students improve.

As instructors, we all want to make a positive impact on our students’ success. Come discover, or re-discover, the ways in which our feedback can be transformative.

Workshop Dates:
No More Dates Available

Register for Workshop Here

SpeedGrader: Ideas for Providing Feedback on Student Writing
With Sara Cook, Department of English
Slides From The Workshop [pptx]

saraWhether we wanted to or not, the pandemic has forced us to provide feedback on student writing online.  In March of 2020, many of us took to SpeedGrader to accomplish this, and we had to adapt quickly.  As such, many faculty have a basic knowledge of SpeedGrader, but might not describe themselves as proficient users.

This workshop will cover some tips for using Speedgrader – like shortcut keys – but we will spend most of our time discussing the ways in which the annotation tools can be leveraged to provide meaningful feedback on student writing.  The goal of this workshop is for faculty to feel more confident using Speedgrader, and to walk away knowing which of the Speedgrader ingredients will work best for their specific pedagogy.  

Workshop Dates:
Thursday, March 9, 12:00PM-1:15PM (via Zoom)
Wednesday, March 15, 1:30PM-2:45PM (via Zoom)

Register for Workshop Here

Plagiarism-Proofing Your Writing Assignments
With Cristin Boyd, Department of Computer Science
Checklist for Designing Plagiarism-Proof Assignments [pdf]

cristinWould you like to make that favorite writing assignment more plagiarism-proof? Bring your favorite prompt (or prompts) to this interactive workshop where we will discuss options for proofing and spend some time revising our favorite prompts. This workshop is geared towards writing-intensive courses through proofing can apply to many major writing assignments.


Workshop Dates:
Thursday, March 23, 4:30PM-5:45PM (via Zoom)

Register for Workshop Here

Spring 2023 Research Projects

Close Writing: Pairing Creative Writing With Close Reading to Increase Engagement and Analytic Skill
With Scott Jarvie, Department of English, and Michael Lockett, Michigan State University

scottThis semester, we are developing a literature review of extant studies on coupling post-secondary creative writing practices with analytic learning outcomes.

In Fall 2023, findings from this review will be used to build a one-day, 90-minute participatory seminar in which SJSU faculty will encounter new perspectives on writing pedagogy and experiment with the practices. In this workshop, we will share a variety of creative practices which ask students to attend closely to-–and play with–-language in their writing, an approach we call ‘close writing’.

michaelWe will begin by detailing the theoretical and scholarly basis behind this approach, focusing particularly on close writing’s capacity to support students’ development of both writing skill and reading/analysis. Participants in the workshop will then have the opportunity to experiment and share similar practices from their own classrooms. We’ll end by discussing together some possibilities for bringing this work into higher education classrooms.