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August, 2020

tue18Aug2:00 p.m.3:00 p.m.Using Low-Stakes Assignments to Improve Student WritingZoe Speidel2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST

Session Description

In this session, participants will explore the untapped potential of writing in online courses to improve learners’ academic writing skills. The session will illustrate the opportunities for writing practice present in the types of writing-based, low-stakes learning activities that typically appear in online courses (e.g., discussion boards, blog posts).

Participants will learn strategies for integrating writing instruction and feedback into assignments, and will have the opportunity to apply this knowledge to an assignment from one of their courses.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Explain the importance of low-stakes writing practice in the development of writing skills.
  • Identify learning activities that are practice opportunities for various writing skills.
  • Revise learning activities to include writing instruction and feedback.


(Tuesday) 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. PST


Zoe Speidel, Oregon Health & Science University

Zoe Speidel supports OHSU’s School of Nursing by designing undergraduate and graduate online courses and providing faculty development opportunities. She also teaches academic foundations courses for a master’s program, Food Systems and Society. Prior to coming to OHSU, Speidel taught and tutored high school, college, and adult literacy for five years at Central New Mexico Community College and the University of New Mexico, where she received her master’s degree in rhetoric and composition. Her research interests include the literacy practices of graduate learners, writing-to-learn in the STEM classroom, and universal design for learning.