Asking students about their writing experiences on the first day allows you to learn about them as writers, while also conveying how important writing is to you. Ideally, the conversations that emerge will set the stage for ongoing dialogues and explorations about the relationship among their reading, their writing, and their learning.
You might have students first write their responses to some of the questions below, or you might invite them to address the questions as part of their first assignment. You can respond individually, in writing, or in a conference or use the responses as a springboard into class discussion, as a whole or in groups.
- What are you really good at? (This does not have to be something that is academic.)
- What do you hope to contribute to this class?
- Which of the following do you have? For each, please indicate how often during the day you check and/or post to it: Facebook; Twitter; your own blog (please provide URL); TikTok; Snapchat; Instagram; Any other social media (list)
- If you were seeking another reader for a draft you wrote at Wheaton, where could you go? (List as many possibilities as you can think of/discover.)
- What do you read?
- What do you watch? What do you listen to?
- What do you write?
- What do you compose (e.g. videos, memes, etc.) ?
- What, for you, is the most difficult aspect of writing? What is the easiest part of writing?
- Do you enjoy writing? Why or why not?
- What kinds of responses to your writing are most helpful? Which are least helpful?
- Do you know where you can go to get help with your writing?
- What do you hope to gain from this class?