It began over homemade Kale Caesar Salad and cafeteria-purchased Beef Barley Soup. Conversations about communication often do begin over lunch which, when you share an office suite with other professors teaching the same subject, is hardly surprising.
We are near the end of the semester, and have been reading, reviewing, commenting on, and grading student papers for about a month now. We have seen excellent results from our revised communication curriculum in terms of the writing and the process, but there is still room for improvement. We got talking about how to fine tune what we have been doing for next semester (I am teaching it to two sections starting in January), and that led into a discussion on what we want to see students achieve in their writing.
The Communications Manifesto (original draft)
We want Students to write with enthusiasm about subjects they are hungry to explore.
We want to encourage writing because there is something powerful Students want to say.
We want to hear passionate, professional Student voice, and have it explode off the page with deliberation and depth.
We want Students ready to take risks with their writing, not just play it safe with formulaic 5-para essays.
We want Students to develop their writing to include synthesis and analysis, and to move away from mere regurgitation of ideas.
We want Students to collaborate with peers, engage in meaningful feedback with work-in-progress, and strive for excellence.
We want Students to write with pride for multiple authentic audiences and encourage them to publish with confidence.
There is more to say about each of these points. This just touches the surface of our discussion, but I love the direction we are going as a team, as a campus.