Overview of the activity: Instructors designed an online workshop (research mixer) between freshmen composition students at Stanford University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. The session lasts for 60 minutes including the introduction, peer-reviewing, and closing remarks. During the session, students will get the opportunity to introduce their research projects and provide and receive feedback on their drafts.
Activity title: Online Research Mixer.
Author(s): Dr. Samah Elbelazi (Stanford University) and Lama Alharbi (Indiana University of Pennsylvania).
Course: PWR 1, PWR2
Activity length and schedule: 60 minutes, Week 8-9 (RBA).
- Provide an outside audience for students at both universities.
- Practice cultural rhetoric by sharing thoughts from two different states and institutions.
- Provide students with feedback from students who are not in their class.
- Empower students through facilitating their voices and make their research visible at other institutions.
- Engage students in a socializing practice of writing.
- Reserve a video-conferencing room if possible.
- Install Zoom and get a microphone to insure good sound quality.
- Feedback form handout.
PREPARATION BEFORE THE ONLINE MIXER SESSION
- Explain the session prior to the mixer and ask students to prepare and practice a 2-minutes introduction about who they are and what research project they are working on.
- Ask students to give their consent to share their drafts and recording with other students, with the option to remove their names before sharing their drafts.
- Collect the first 2 pages of students’ drafts, which usually include the introduction, thesis statement, and research question(s).
- Create a sharing folder in Google Drive, that has mini-folders for each pair with their drafts.
- Remove students’ names and upload the anonymous drafts to the Google Drive folder.
- Give students numbers according to the folder number where their drafts are.
- Share the folder link via D2L/Canvas.
Introduction (15 minutes):
- Instructors welcome students on the other side of the screen.
- Students on both sides introduce themselves and their research projects.
- Students will find their names paired with other students from Stanford. They will also find emails to exchange their two-page drafts from their research projects.
Online Feedback Session (20 minutes):
- Once the students find their group folder, instructors share the feedback handout with their students.
- By using the instructions on the handout, students will respond to each other’s drafts by using the comment feature in Google Doc.
- Instructors move around and facilitate students’ work.
Class Discussion (15 minutes):
- Put students in small groups.
- Students in each group share what they liked about the other students’ drafts and what suggestions they may have.
- What are the major takeaways from this experience?
- Instructors thank students for their willingness to participate and give feedback to the other students.
- All students who participated in this session write a 1-page reflection about the experience. This page may later be shared with the other students.