Academic Writing Video

Susan Barber

Gilberto Martinez

Teresit Barbou

Grant program: Teaching and Learning Development Grant (TLDG)

Grant recipient: Susan Barber, Faculty of Education

Project team: Anne Hales, research assistant; Gilberto Martinez (Director, DP, and Editor) and Teresita Barbou (Producer and Assistant Editor), film crew

Timeframe: January to December 2014

Funding: $5,000

Courses addressed:

  • EDUC 472 – Designs for Learning: Elementary Language Arts
  • EDUC 485W – Designs for Learning: Writing
  • FAL 099 – Foundations of Academic Literacy

Video: "Academic Writing - The Basics"

Video: "Academic Writing - Advanced Research"

Description: Based on the success of the narrative writing instructional videos I made last year (See Project: Narrative Writing Instructional Videos), I will broaden the form to reach my Foundations of Academic Literacy (FAL x99) and “W” (writing intensive) course students through a new video that will explicitly support their efforts to improve their academic writing.  I will design a video where students identify with characters like themselves, are shown explicit ways to break down the complexity of writing research papers into comprehensible steps, are given a virtual tour of where to go online and in the library to get help, and are provided with examples of drafting and editing stages.  For my FAL students in particular, I believe having access to this type of instructional video will build confidence, reduce some of the stress and unfamiliarity around academic writing and encourage students to envision themselves as having control over their learning experience.  For my PDP students, this type of teaching and learning video will also be a starting point for their writing assignments.  The video could bring more consistency to teaching of writing in the FAL program, and possibly in “W” courses. 

Questions addressed:

  • Will students’ academic writing skills improve significantly over the semester?
  • How many times will students view the video?
  • How will students evaluate the video as a learning tool?
  • How will students describe their learning experience?

Knowledge sharing: Videos will be previewed with other FAL instructors during the production phase.  After the videos have been piloted in my classes, I will contact other “W” instructors in the Faculty of Education.  I will share findings in the Faculty of Education. 

Barber, S. (2014, July). Digital foundations: Video, teaching university writing and ESL/EAL students. Paper presented at the 39th Annual International Conference on Improving University Teaching (IUT), University of British Columbia,Vancouver, BC. 

Barber, S. (2014, May). The write stuff: Making the transition from high school to university writing through narratives of success and video instruction. Paper presented at the Canadian Society for the Study of Education Conference, LLRC Special Interest Group, Catharines, ON.   

Barber, S. (2013, October). Storyville: Exploring narratives of teaching and learning. Presentation at the Higher Education Academy of Arts and Humanities conference, Brighton, UK.