Following Dr. David Concepción’s advice from the Mellon workshop in May, I decided to stop grading large-group discussion—and to not replace those points with other forms of oral performance like graded small-group discussion or speeches. I faced a problem, however, as my students’ grades were now almost completely determined by their writing ability. And if it is true that American students of color (ASOC), first-generation college students, ESL students, and those from other disadvantaged backgrounds more often struggle with writing than do their privileged peers, then my class was less fair than before the change. With (a lot of) help from Media Services, I decided to include a video essay production unit in my class. More specifically, students (in groups of three) had to create a video that tried to convince an undecided student to choose a common liberal arts major. The video needed to include a clear thesis, an engaging introduction, at least one interview, and effective secondary source material. Ultimately, things went well. Many students genuinely seemed to enjoy learning to use the equipment and editing software. Most groups worked very well together to create interesting and engaging videos. Some of those students who struggled on more traditional essays thrived during this unit. Of course, there were also some challenges, but I am already looking forward to this unit next year.
"Using Video in the Writing Classroom: An Inclusive Pedagogical Approach to Making Good Arguments,"
Vol. 30, 153-161.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/headwaters/vol30/iss1/15