Poster Session

R we 2 blame?

Track: Poster

Texting is causing writing professors to THINK about what is being written because students are using “text talk” in their written assignments. R we 2 blame? R we dinosaurs? Is there a “middle ground”? Or should there be? Grammar is grammar and slow to change. Professors need to be able to decipher what is written and show students how technology can HELP them be better writers, at least in class and at work! Blackboard Blogs, Journals and Discussion boards are excellent forums for posting and assessing student writing, both for peer editing and faculty-student interactions.


Melissa DuBrowa
Professor/Instructional Designer
Berkeley College

Bio / Expertise
Dr. Melissa DuBrowa is a professional educator, instructional designer and training specialist. An earned doctorate (Ed.D.) in Curriculum & Instruction from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s (M.Ed.) in Literacy and Reading (with K-12 teaching certification) from Slippery Rock University, a Bachelor’s in Therapeutic Recreation from Temple University, teaching certification in Early Childhood Education from the University of Pittsburgh, and teaching certification from the state of Florida in Language Arts, comprises the list of professional degrees and certifications for Melissa. She has taught all grades from nursery through doctoral programs as well as performed corporate training in financial services, pharmaceuticals, and other areas.  Melissa has taught at the collegiate level since 1988, supervised student teachers in public schools in Pennsylvania and Florida, and supervised Master’s theses and doctoral dissertations. She has been the program chair for a graduate school of education and the director of an undeclared program for undergraduates, serving 500+ students per semester. She currently teaches undergraduate reading, writing and critical thinking courses in New Jersey. Her expertise ranges from instruction through supervision; program implementation and review; curriculum design, implementation and assessment/analysis; adult learning theory; and, learning strategies. Her philosophy of whole-person development is specifically in tune with the theory of multiple intelligences and lifelong learning. She lives at the Jersey shore with her husband and rescue dog. She loves writing, painting watercolors, knitting, hiking, cycling and running.


Presentation Content:

Summary: The workshop will provide examples of lessons, interactions and discussions as part of college reading/writing/critical thinking coursework wherein students are challenged read, write, think and respond to articles as well as each other’s writing via Blackboard Blogs, Journals and Discussion Boards.

Description:  Berkeley College’s Foundations of Critical Reading and Foundations of Critical Writing courses have evolved as a faculty driven initiative in response to the demographics of our student population and in conjunction with current research and best practices. Our current model focuses on formative and summative performance based assessments throughout the course. We use classroom time combined with computer lab time to practice analytical reading, response writing, critical thinking, and reflective speaking.

Outcome: Berkeley formerly used a combined reading and writing course and is now back to two separate courses wherein students are first enrolled in the reading course. Upon successful completion, they are registered for the writing course in the next quarter. Using this model, students understand the rigors of college level comprehension and response activities. Use of a “capstone” project serves as a culmination of their performance in each course. It also serves to segue to the next level of performance, thus emphasizing their ongoing progression upward on Bloom’s taxonomic levels.

Importance/relevance to other institutions: As colleges struggle with students’ transition from high school to college level work, Developmental Reading and Writing courses are becoming pivotal to students’ success. Strong developmental programs that are steeped in best practices and current research develop students who are competent and confident, and that’s the goal for us all!


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