Thursday, April 05, 2012

Resources for Illinois Central College


Free Stuff for Teachers

Free Stuff From Bedford/St. Martin's


One site that gathers our best free resources, including samples of resources that require a code to access. There's lots here: videos, exercises, checklists, model documents, and more.

Your College Experience:
This companion site to John Gardner's textbook on being a successful college student offers free materials, including videos, on skills essential to doing well in writing and reading courses: time management, study habits, and more.

Research and Documentation Online:

Written by Diana Hacker and Barbara Fister, this site offers not just guidelines on how to create a works cited entry, and not only advice on how to integrate the citation, and not only annotated sample research papers, but also annotated links to recommended Web, database, and library resources for research.

The Bedford Bibliographer:

With advice and examples by Mike Palmquist, this online bibliographic tool helps students get the mechanics of citation done so they can spend more time on the rhetoric of source use. It doesn't do the work for the students, but does help them to do their work well.

Exercise Central:

For students who need a tune up addressing surface level issues when they get to the polishing/proofing stage of their writing, EC offers a collection of over 9,000 questions. It's a site that a lot of students find and use on their own; it's best used lightly in my view, with an emphasis on students applying what they practice in an exercise to their own writing. While EC lets instructors see student scores, the real thing to see is what changes appear in student writing. So when I teach, I don't bother with the gradebook.

 Stuff that Needs to be Unlocked with a Code

Re:Writing Plus:
The same site that offers links to our best free stuff, is also a gateway to some of our most useful premium stuff. The resources here, if used regularly -- say once a week -- are offered at great value and bring multimodal learning into the course. Video, games, tutorials, and more engage writers in way that go beyond the text.

CompClass or Writing Class: or
Built on Angel Learning's platform, the Classes take everything we have for a discipline and put it one place. We also layer in e-books, adaptive exercises, peer review tools, blogs, journals, discussion forums, an assignment center and more.

Coming Soon . . . and ready for Class Testing

The Bedford E-Portfolio:
For students, a tool to collect, select, and reflect in their courses, plus a second portfolio they can use however they want for sharing work beyond their courses -- to family, to prospective employers, to to transfer colleges, and more. For classroom instructors, tools for aligning student work to goals and outcomes and the ability to create rubrics for both formative feedback and summative evaluations; instructors can see what students are learning and how their teaching is going, allowing adjustments to happen more quickly and effectively. For programs, tools for faculty development, program assessment, and the compilation of both quantitative and qualitative data.

Eli Peer Review:
Invented by Bill Hart-Davidson, Jeff Grabill, and Mike McLeod of Michigan State's Center for Writing in Digital Environments. One class tester, Mike Edwards from West Point, wrote this about Eli on his teaching blog, "The ELI peer review software at gets by far the most love from our students. I'm a fan, and will say: if you're not using it, you should give it a try. It's really, really good for carefully focused early-stage substantive peer review."

Eli stems from research that shows the best indicator of student growth as a writer is the frequency of revision. Eli is designed to make students reliable and trusted reviewers so that writers can get more feedback than one teacher can ever give, and by getting more feedback, do more revision. Eli succeeds at this by providing tools for instructors to see how the writing is going, and reviewers and the instructor to see how useful review comments are, whether the comments will be used to guide revisions, and then when revisions are submitted, how the comments were used. And all at a glance.

For more on what's coming from Bedford/St. Martin's, and opportunities to review and class test, visit,