Latin America: A Writing-Intensive Course for Undergraduates

Authors: Don Zeigler*, Old Dominion University
Topics: Geography Education, Latin America, Landscape
Keywords: Latin America, geographic education, online courses
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download


Many universities are now requiring that all undergraduates enroll in at least one writing-intensive course as a requirement for graduation. This poster presents the upper-division Latin American course (televised and online format) as a case study in how one professor has structured an experience that uses writing to develop visual literacy, to improve analytical and presentation skills, and to express what has been learned in a course. Under 'visual literacy,' students write their way through a 6-step protocol that asks them to analyze a series of photographs. Under 'analytical and presentation skills,' students write a research paper that emphasizes a compare-and-contrast methodology and the importance of a pridefully-presented final product. Under 'using writing to express learnings,' students respond to exam questions that test not only their understanding of physical and human geography, but also visual literacy and the research process. What's new about this presentation? (1) It includes a list of 60 potential research paper titles that have been formulated to develop comparative analytical thinking skills. (2) It criticizes the standard "typewritten-double-space-one-inch-margin" format, which hasn't changed for a century, in favor of presentations that mimic professional journals. (3) It offers a 6-step protocol for photographic landscape analysis that instructors can use in their own Discussion Forums.

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