A Curation of Student Voices on Participation in the Writing Classroom

A Curation of Student Voices on Participation in the Writing Classroom

Lauren Obermark

Meet the Students

Anastasia Shamin

  • Year in School: Freshman (first-year college student; started directly after high school)
  • Course: Student in my first-year composition course (F2F)
  • Relationship to Participation: “I’m shy…and quiet.”
  • Keywords from Interview: intimidation; small groups; listening; community; comfortable
Fig. 3. Anastasia introduction video.

Anastasia Introduction Video Transcript

  • Anastasia - AS
  • Lauren Obermark - LO

AS: If I, try to say something in class it usually can be confusing [laughing] to people, yeah [laughing].

LO: I agree. I always feel like I’m able to be more, a little more natural when I, or, it’s not really more natural, but, I don’t know, I like how we, I like being able to edit.

AS: Yeah.

LO: [Referencing liking the ability to edit] Um, what I’m saying so that makes sense.

AS: Cause it might make sense to me and not somebody else.

LO: Okay.

AS: So that’s why I like the discussion posts.

LO: Do you feel like sometimes, or…so you said, like, you kind of, when you talk in class do you worry that it might be, like, confusing to other people, um, does that affect your desire, interest, in talking during class?

AS: Not necessarily, um, well sometimes it does, but, I don’t know, it depends on the topic I guess [laughing] like, I know, I guess, that I’m shy and stuff and if I don’t talk for a long time then the teacher will call on me, and she’ll ask me to say something.

LO: Okay.

AS: And usually by that time everybody has said everything to say [laughing] on the topic, so I’m just stuck there and I just, can shrug, and say I had, I don’t know [laughing] which is probably a little more embarrassing than, you know, having your own thing to say on your own.

Marche Scott

  • Year in School: Sophomore (transfer student from another four-year university)
  • Course: Student in my first-year composition course (F2F)
  • Relationship to Participation: “I like to engage”; “I’m always comfortable.”
  • Keywords from Interview: engagement; comfortable; race; online vs. traditional courses
Fig. 4. Marche introduction video.

Marche Introduction Video Transcript

  • Marche - MS
  • Lauren Obermark - LO

MS: I feel like my participation came like, when, I guess I was trying to engage more with the class, like, um [pause for thinking] asking questions or, like, giving feedback on other students’, um, projects and [shaking head] you know, just basically engaging, that’s how I feel in participation.

LO: Okay.  This idea of engaging, then you also said giving feedback [inaudible agreement from MS] on other students’ projects. Okay, when you, when you talk about the giving feedback are you thinking of, like, doing peer review?

MS: Um, peer review or like, you know, when we had to do projects, um, and they got up and talked about their projects so I’d give them like maybe feedback or ideas like, you know, we were all like, kind of like bouncing off each other in class.

Christian Fox

  • Year in School: Junior (returned to school in his late 30s)
  • Course: Student in my Advanced Writing course (online)
  • Relationship to Participation: “I’m talkative”; “I like to participate.”
  • Keywords from Interview: nontraditional student; older vs. younger; online learning; possibilities of technology
Fig. 5. Christian introduction video.

Christian Introduction Video Transcript

  • Christian - CF
  • Lauren Obermark - LO

CF: I’ve worked, I’ve worked as a professional chef like I’ve told you for almost twenty four or five years, and, you know, I went to school, I went to college originally right, community college right out of high school [pause for thinking] and had, um, had a child young, and, uh, decided that work was more important than school and, and left and continued to work and I went back to school a few times in the middle there, like, every seven years I took a class [inaudible agreement from LO] and then dropped it, well that was drawing probably (laughing) so, so I ended up amassing this terrible GPA and [inaudible agreement from LO] when I was thirty-eight-ish, thirty-seven, thirty-eight I decided that it was either then, it was like now or never [inaudible agreement from LO]. Like I really have always wanted to go back to school, always wanted to have a, um, some, some more education with, I always, I always considered myself an educated person, I used to make jokes about how in the kitchen we’d listen to NPR and it was like [laughing from LO] it was, like, continuing education for the working poor [laughing from LO and CF] you know, and like, because, you know, there’s a lot of smart people out there that don’t go back to school you know, and um [pause for thinking] for me I guess it just became more and more important.

Kris Sorsby

  • Year in School: Junior (returned to school after about 20 years “off”)
  • Course: Student in my Advanced Writing course (online)
  • Relationship to Participation: “I like learning…. I like conversation.”
  • Keywords from Interview: conversation; community; nontraditional/returning student; expectations and let downs
Fig. 6. Kris introduction video.

Kris Introduction Video Transcript

  • Kris - KS
  • Lauren Obermark - LO

LO: Okay

KS: So, I went straight from high school to college [inaudible agreement from LO] um, where I went between 1980 to ‘82 or ‘83.  Got married in 1984, um, but I, during, in that process I changed my major. Every year, I had a new major, um, I’ve spent the last forty years trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up [laughing from LO and KS] so, um, then, um, got married, had kids, um, just kind of put my, um, institutional education on hold but I’ve always been kind of a self learner, I mean, I just like learning, I like reading.

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