Doris's Space

WritingMatrix at URBE
January- May 2007 trimester
May -July 2007
September- December 2007
January- April 2008
May- july 2008
September - December 2008

Hi, there! Welcome! This a report of what we did on January- May 2007 trimester, continued doing on May -July 2007 trimester and intent to keep on doing this new September- December 2007 trimester.

When we first started blogging , students were told to get a blog and post all the work done during their classes as a final project. Also, they were supposed to present their blogs to an audience (their classmates) and explain what they were about. This final project represented 40% of their final evaluation, this 40% was divided into two activities. In Venezuela we grade students in a scale of 20. The previous 60% of their evaluations corresponded to two traditional ways of evaluation: A listening test (30%) and a written test (30%)

The project had a pre-blogging part. These were the steps they had to follow to get ready to post. I wrote those intructions at our class blog at Doris3m EFL Center and also printed and handed copies of the instructions to make sure everybody got them. Some students don't have internet access at home, besides most of them aren't used to digital means yet and prefer their traditional handout.

The project had 3 pre-blogging steps:
Step 1. Collect all your work
First thing to do is to collect all your work during the semester. When we talk about your work, we're talking about:
your compositions, maps and drawings, dialogues, interviews, short presentations, songs and videos reviews, recipes, participation in the blog Multiliterate Doris, and your work posted at your community of practice Level 1, level 2, level 3, level 4, level 5, Speaking Group and Writing Group

Step 2. Check your work with TUTORS
Now, that you have collected all your work... you have to check it with your tutor ( go to Building F, first floor and look for the ESL Center tutors at URBE).

Students were encouraged to find help when needed. Tutors were provided by the university and outside tutors (relatives, friends, other teachers, classmates, etc) were invited to help. Also, a lab was available twice a week for tutoring for regular clasess and final project work. Some students have computers and internet access at home but most of them don't. Only the most enthusiastic attended those tutoring opportunities.

Step 3. Edit your work.
After you have check your work with URBE's tutors...
  1. write them in a word document or a power point document,
  2. edit them using the check speller. To find the ckeck speller go to Herramientas - idiomas -Ingles USA and correct your mistakes.
  3. Finally, your work is ready to be posted at your new blog.

Editing was an important part of the project. Teacher tried to check on all the work but dued to the big number of students, was a difficult task to accomplish. As usual, most of my students left their work for the final minute and editing wasn't the best. Students promised to go back and edit their work.

Since my students are university students who are studying English because they have to and not because they wanted to, working in this project proved to be a hard task... the impact of having to set up a blog and handle a computer was really scary to them. Even the "good students with computer skills felt a little scared by the task... as you can read Christian's comments:
Christian at the beggining!


The face of the monkey reflects how I felt at the exact moment we were told that we would create a blog and post all of our activities and writings on it for the last activity, greatly shocked. Luckily I acquired some blogging experience and tips by being a collaborator in the site Ociotakus (big thanks to NOlo for introducing me into this world), and that served me well while writing the posts for this blog.

Christian at the end!

So what will be next? The blog apparently served its purpose, will I delete it after I get my grades? No, I plan to keep on using it for gaming and anime fandom stuff, like essays, reviews and recommendations in bilingual format (Spanish/English).

Well, Got to go now,,,, more reflexions to come....

In the next page I'll be posting what happened on our second trimester blogging... May July 2007

Here, read a transcript of an IM chat between Doris and Vance where Doris reports on progress with students in the Writingmatrix project