iComp: Your Portable Writing Workshop
I've been researching the most effective way to use podcasting to reinforce freshman composition learning. I know that merely podcasting entire lectures is not the best solution for basic writers. Moreover, as a creative writer, I know that some few tasks can be reinforced through the passive repetition of listening on a loop (e.g., memorization tasks related to writing, like that bugaboo "grammar in isolation," which is completely necessary in early stages of learning a foreign language), but that others develop slowly and incrementally (writing as a process, for example). I also know that students need to be active participants if they are to learn anything--especially in freshman composition--and that they are resistant to reading and to going to the writing center for help.
I came up with something called "iComp: Your Portable Writing Workshop." Taking into account student survey data, my own background in network news production and creative writing, and the suitability of radio for discussing literature and writing, I've developed a series of short "mini-shows" that are really like an individual tutorial (as opposed to a lecture) which can be delivered to all students at once. These cover specific readings, major concepts, in-class discussions, and--most important--writing advice. As the classes progress, I may post a couple of samples here.
The possibilities for creative writing pedagogy (as opposed to composition pedagogy) at all levels are many (and largely intuitive). Replacing the writer-as-teacher isn't one of them, but low-residency MFA programs and undergraduate intro to creative writing classes could use this model.
I'd like to hear from others who are interested in how best to target specific cognitive and processing issues that are part of the *writing* process. If you're doing similar work as it relates specifically to teaching writing, especially creative writing, please--chime in!