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Aligning Conferences with the Assignment Sequence

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One of the complexities of our conferencing model involves determining how to schedule your conferences in relation to the assignment sequence.  This is made more complicated when you factor in the variables associated with 30 students’ different schedules and the process of providing feedback on drafts and dress rehearsals.

The most important factor to keep in mind is that each conference should line up with one of the major assignments.  While ideally you would want to have a conference with each student about a full draft, practically speaking, this might not be possible (for a variety of reasons).  You might instead find yourself with conferences at different stages of the drafting process:

  • Some might take place during the brainstorming phase;
  • Others might happen during an early draft;
  • Others might align with a full draft. 

As long as the students receive written feedback on their drafts (whether written drafts or dress rehearsals), the conference itself might take place at different points in the process. (See Written Feedback and the Conference for more details about written feedback in relation to the conference schedule.)

Given this variability, you might want to track the types of conferences that your students are signing up for.  For instance

  • If a student signs up for a brainstorming conference for assignment 1, you might want to make sure that for the second assignment they have a draft-based conference.
  • If you recognize that a student is struggling in determining or narrowing their research topic or developing their research question, you might suggest a conference earlier in the process.
  • For the RBA, you might spread your conferences over two to three weeks, ask the students to self-determine what type of conference would be of most benefit to them (early, mid-process, late-process) and sign up accordingly.

Remember you can always invite your students to your office hours if they would like to supplement their conferencing.  However, also bear in mind that, if you tutor in Hume, you should not be seeing your current students during your Hume hours.

For more about the logistics of scheduling conferences, including software options, see the Scheduling Logistics for Conferences page.