Crow’s Pedagogical Turn: The CUES project

Image: Concordance lines embedded from Crow’s corpus, used in a Literacy Narrative activity

As the spring season brings about renewal, Crow is excited to share our efforts in working closely with instructors to develop pedagogical materials. Dr. Shelley Staples’ CUES (Center for University Educational Scholarship) project began in Fall 2019 as a series of focus groups designed to create a conversation around what sorts of materials second language writing instructors would find useful, and how Crow could incorporate samples of student writing from our corpus into those materials.

Image: Frequency information on transition phrases in Literacy Narratives from the Crow corpus

We then used that feedback to create materials using data from our corpus. In later focus groups, our team (Nina Conrad, Emily Palese, Aleks Novikov, Kevin Sanchez, and Alantis Houpt) presented instructors with the materials we designed for their feedback and eventual implementation in their classes. Working alongside the instructors gave us insight into their needs and allowed them to have input on the types of activities they would be using. The second language writing instructors were given a variety of activities related to major assignments, which they could choose from accordingly and incorporate into their instruction. Researcher Nina Conrad attended classes to observe as instructors implemented the Crow-based materials in their classrooms.

Image: List of most frequent words used in Genre Analysis papers

Now that instructors have implemented two sets of the materials Crow has crafted, we are surveying students and instructors to ask for their feedback. We have been learning a lot from observing how participating instructors incorporate corpus-based materials into their existing curriculum. Moving forward, we plan on implementing the feedback we receive from students and instructors into our future focus groups, during which we will continue to test and improve on the corpus-based pedagogical materials we create. Some of the materials we have created can be found on our Crow for Teachers site, alongside workshops from past conferences such as AZTESOL

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