Archive – Writing on the Edge 2019

Archive – Writing on the Edge 2019

Writing on the Edge

Teaching the 21st Century Student

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Our fifth annual Writing on the Edge conference was held on September 21, 2019, at College of DuPage. The theme, “Teaching the 21st Century Student,” focused on how the current generation – known as iGen or Gen Z – has turned teaching on its head and how we as educators must adapt to the new normal of students attached to and distracted by their cell phones and tablets.

Our Keynote speaker was Dr. Jean Twenge.  Dr. Twenge is a nationally known generational researcher and author of the book, iGen: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids are Growing up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy – and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood . . .  and What That Means for the Rest of Us

iGen Book Cover

Breakout Sessions

Stress-Reducing Strategies

Optimizing Tech for Classroom Engagement and Student Mental Health
Emily A. Phillips (Saint Louis University)

Although technology is increasingly used as part of the in-class experience, I contend that the opposite might be more helpful to student academic growth and mental health as we use Blackboard or Canvas to foster discussion and limit laptop or tablet use while in the classroom. Doing so promotes participation for all students while limiting anxiety-inducing distractions. Learn how to promote mindfulness and a sense of presence in your students that they can use in other areas of life.

The Anxiety Epidemic: Five Tactics for Addressing Students’ Stress
Jen Wilson (Roosevelt University)

Due to a variety of factors including addiction to technology and student debt dread, college students experience chronic and episodic stress at alarming rates. This presentation seeks to understand college student stress and provide five suggestions to help students manage their coursework and stress levels.


Why Should I Care About This Course? Imparting a Sense of Ownership in iGen Learners

 Adam Darlage (Oakton Community College)

In this presentation, I explore some of the primary social, emotional, and pedagogical reasons that many iGen learners often fail to take ownership of their college courses. I then share teaching strategies and creative assignment types that have helped me build resilience among my iGen students and impart course content to them with success.

Motivating iGen: The Classroom-Career Connection

Pierre Michiels and Rebecca Rivers (College of DuPage)

Motivation can be considered the first step to success, but how do we motivate our students to learn? Knowledge has value in itself and motivates some, but what motivates the new generation of learners? Dr. Jean Twenge has said “iGen is more likely than previous generations to go to college to get a good job and less likely to go to get an education.” Join COD’s Career Services for a discussion of how the skills we naturally teach relate to the jobs our students want. Discover how to connect knowledge to opportunities.


Asynchronous Coaching in Writing Centers

Glynis Benbow-Niemier (College of DuPage) and Margaret Hernandez (College of DuPage)

Writing, Reading, Speech Assistance has its home in College of DuPage’s Learning Commons, and over the years we have noticed that the number of students taking advantage of online face-to-face coaching has always been low compared to the growing number of students taking online classes. As a result, we have piloted and rolled out asynchronous coaching. We would like to present what we have learned from our pilot studies, the questions we still have, and what we are offering this fall to reach our ever busier and often underprepared online students.


Instilling Academic Integrity and Engagement

Writing as Engagement: Edgy Approaches to Connect with iGen Students
Patti Tylka (College of DuPage)

Lecturing is efficient, but students typically listen passively and then begin to lose focus after about 15 minutes. Through interactive lectures, we can we help students resist distractions and maintain concentration on the information we are presenting. This session will model a variety of easy ways instructors can intellectually engage students through writing activities using both paper and pencil and technology.

Self-Plagiarism, Cheat Codes, and Snitches Get Stitches: Three Years of Student Perceptions of Academic Integrity
Jennifer Kelley (College of DuPage, Syracuse University)

Since the spring semester of 2016, I’ve been conducting an ongoing survey of COD’s Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) English students’ perceptions of cheating behaviors as part of a larger discussion of academic integrity, plagiarism, and academic writing. This presentation will review the data collected from students over the years and review how the academic integrity presentation has changed. Additionally, I will provide instructor best practices for supporting students’ academic integrity in the classroom.


#Frankenstein’s Facebook: iGen Students and Tech-Focused Analysis

Aleisha Balestri (College of DuPage, Wilbur Wright Community College), Kelly Kristof (College of DuPage), and Cathy Oswald (Oakton Community College, Wilbur Wright Community College)

Don’t put those phones away! In this breakout session, we will focus on how the academic landscape of technology creates the opportunity for blended learning, bringing together modern media with any text. We will discuss, present, and workshop different ways to interweave modern technology with classical texts, showing how the tools of past and present can be combined to help reach a new generation of students.


21st Century Career Readiness Tools for Student Success

Matthew Englert (Pearson Publishing)

When it comes to preparing for their future, students often don’t know where to start. This presentation will showcase an online career preparation platform, Career Success, that provides access to a roadmap that helps students explore and understand where they want to go, how they’re going to get there, and what they need to do to stand out from the crowd. This technology will help students make the connection between experiences in the classroom and the skills needed to obtain a job post-college, and beyond!


On Place(lessness) in Academic Writing and Tutoring

Vainis Aleksa (UIC) and Hannah Green (UIC)

Mobile composing has become increasingly popular with, if not necessary for, the iGeneration, but this new place(lessness) of writing has disrupted the physical classroom space as a site of learning. This presentation will examine and initiate a discussion about the friction between the digital and physical learning spaces we ask our students to inhabit and explore the role that writing centers play in the space between.


Supporting iGen Students with Mental Health Challenges

Erin Fabrizio, Danice McGrath, and Wendy Thorup-Pavlick (College of DuPage)

Today’s students are entering our classrooms with an increasing number of mental health issues which impact their learning. This presentation will cover some factors responsible for the increase in mental health issues, common types of mental health issues seen in today’s classroom environment, and practical methods faculty can utilize to support students while improving learning outcomes.


What Next Gen Students Need to Know about Writing and Research

John Hayward (Waubonsee Community College)

If the next generation believes they have writing and researching all figured out, then why are teachers still complaining about the quality of student work? Come discover seven approaches to writing instruction that have been proven to reduce student anxiety and improve skill, and learn thirteen skills students need to conduct in-depth, responsible research based on a college-prep curriculum.

Through the Lens of . . .

Teaching iGen Sstudents with The New York Times: Accomplishing More with Digital Learners
Monica Harabasz (College of DuPage, DePaul University) and Marta Shcherbakova (College of DuPage, DePaul University)

See how teaching with The New York Times can engage iGen students in the classroom and help address the objectives of any course while allowing them to make meaningful and critical gains in thinking, reading, and writing. If attendees are looking to implement new genres of writing or multimodal projects for their curriculum, a versatile text supplementation, or a foundation for supporting iGen students, The New York Times serves as a great platform for reaching classroom goals. This session encourages all writing instructors to partake in the discussion. Student work will be showcased.

Promoting Commitment to Truth and Goodness Among iGen Students
Johnson Lawrence (College of DuPage)

Growing indifference to truth and values in this internet age is not a viable option. This session focuses on the resources found in our intellectual history (philosophy) to address this problem. We look into how Kant’s view of human beings, three theories of truth, and foundational principles of moral life can be incorporated into our teaching.


The Chromebook Project: Current Successes and Future Possibilities

Jill Salas (College of DuPage) and Jason Snart (College of DuPage)

The 1:1 Chromebook Model is gaining popularity in primary and secondary settings. Learn how faculty across disciplines are fundamentally redesigning their curriculum in college classrooms and brainstorm ways to implement it as a potentially high impact practice to strengthen pathways to success for vulnerable student populations.


Interactive Content

 iGen as Content Creators in a Foreign Language Classroom
Raekyong Kang (College of DuPage)

Come explore some of the instructional methods and learning programs I employ in the beginner-level language classes. I will introduce both digital and non-digital in-class activities and games and a final project where individual students create their own content for oral presentations. The primary goal of this presentation is not necessarily to introduce new instructional or pedagogical methods but to explorer possible ideas that can be incorporated into foreign language learning and teaching to capture and pique interests in the highly creative and diverse new generation of today’s students on campus.

Framing the Field: From Phone to Farm and Back Again
Aerie Bernard (College of DuPage)

Transform iGen students from isolated learners into a community of artists by embracing the camera phone, online resources and experiential learning. Come see a lesson that combines art composition and critique with an introduction to and smartphone photography. It culminates with experiential learning at a local farm and critical analysis of student work. Applying tech tools and skills to experiences in the natural world and engaging in critical analysis of the results is both a benefit to humanities students and an approach that can be adapted across disciplines.