Students at Forestville are taking an online Creative Writing class in Moodle through CA BOCES and are honing their skills as readers and writers with the use of Mahara’s journal feature. Students share their journals with one another and comment on the work their fellow writers are doing.
1. Each student has an individual journal that they are asked to write in five times per week. Those journals are then shared with each other.
2. The students’ teacher can then access all of their work from one page. This allows for comments from both the teacher and other students.
3. Mahara journals enhance student engagement and collaboration, bringing their work to the forefront of the class. Students have a place to play with language, syntax, genres, and various writing techniques without feeling pressured to be perfect since the assignments aren’t graded individually. Yet, students still strive to do their best since they know that their work is shared with their peers. This becomes an excellent formative assessment where teachers can constantly review the strengths and weaknesses of students and adjust the focus of lessons accordingly.
4. In this example of a creative writing journal, students are asked to find a literary device in a work of literature they are reading each week and write about it, so students are regularly exploring the way that writers use metaphor, imagery, symbolism, and other techniques and applying in their own work.
5. Mahara journals are an excellent summative tool, allowing teachers and students to see an arc of student development over the entirety of the course. At the end of the course, both teachers and students can see how students have grown as writers and have a digital portfolio to showcase their work.
Enjoy this translitic poem by Kessiah:
By: Christina McGee, CA BOCES Learning Resources
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