Modular And Student-Driven Learning Of Writing (MASLOW): An Online Platform for Facilitating International Graduate Students’ Academic Transition and Success
Dr. Ghanashyam Sharma
- Dr. Cynthia A. Davidson
Stony Brook University
Modular and Student-Driven Learning of Writing (MASLOW) is an online platform designed to help international graduate students interactively learn foundational writing skills needed for academic transition, leading to more advanced genre- and discipline-specific skills for degree completion and professional growth. Considering the dire need for graduate writing support at Stony Brook University (SBU), MASLOW is designed to let these students audit some modules and take more for credit, as they need. The half-credit modules include quiz-integrated videos about US higher education and graduate-level writing, strategic reading and literature review exercises, practice sets for effective citation, reflective essays based on interviewing mentors and advanced students, demonstrations for TAs to help their students with writing, instructor feedback on their writing for publication, and resources and discussions for learning writing skills for the job market. Using affordances of gamified learning, the modules are designed to offer formative assessment and guidance, allow non-linear and flexible completion, and let students independently explore topics beyond the tasks required for credit. After adding resources to the complementary Blackboard and Edublog platforms during the pilot phase (grant period), our department will continue to let instructors offer new modules. We plan to invite graduate and professional students at other SUNY institutions to audit modules for badges or take them for credit, eventually offering modules for international and other graduate students beyond SBU. Ultimately, MASLOW is a pedagogical lab for exploring access and scale, interactivity and engagement, competency-based and student-driven writing education at the graduate level. We will share MASLOW’s robust pedagogical principles and design with SUNY institutions through conference presentations, webinar training, publications (including blogging), and access to the resources we create.