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2011 Innovative Writing in Teaching Recipient

Rose M. Lange, Department of Nursing

SVSU has shown a very long history in valuing writing. Students need to develop effective writing skills as a matter of course during their college careers. Over the past ten years, my thoughts on writing in my nursing courses have changed from a fairly “traditional” approach to using technology that encourages a students’ development by enhancing their editing and writing abilities. In the nursing program, collaboration is a key aspect of the program. One way in which I accomplish this goal is through the development of a wiki writing assignment.

Nursing 460 is a didactic nursing course that explores health issues as they relate to communities. Students typically write a paper exploring community health issues. As I evaluated the student outcomes of the assignment, my thoughts on writing in this course changed to foster in-depth thought and reflection on the writing topics. I decided to move to a wiki format. Each student creates weekly or biweekly writing about different aspects of the topic, and the group is charged with the task of combining and editing the writing to create the group wiki document.

The wiki format has been a great success. This innovative technology has opened many avenues to create new perspectives on writing for the students. Students have a more positive attitude about this approach to writing—even when this process requires a larger time commitment. This innovative assignment integrates writing that is consistent with university and department goals and enhances learning of community health nursing course content.

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