First Friday English Department Discussions

During the departmental meetings last week, I mentioned that we’re going to start offering once-a-month sessions on a variety of topics related to technology, our classes, discipline, etc. I am happy to announce that we have a slate of four planned activities on the first Friday of each month, starting in February. Each session will be from 2- 3pm. Here is what we have planned this semester:

Feb. 2: Spinbots, Plagiarism, Turnitin, and Canvas. Maureen Fitzpatrick and Jim McWard will lead this hands-on session in which we’ll explore the world of spinbots and the extent to which Turnitin can or cannot recognize the results as plagiarism. We’ll also cover how students and instructors can view originality reports when using Turnitin through Canvas. Location: CC 217.

March 2: Before the start of the semester Beth Gulley travelled to Pakistan to give a keynote speech at The Conference on the Concept of the Community College. She also conducted a four-hour workshop on “Communicating with Students” at Sukkur IBA University. Beth will report on her trip and the college’s and department’s potential roles in working with Pakistan teachers and students. Location: TBA.

April 6: Last spring, several members of the English department met to assess our students’ understanding of diversity in our literature classes. Monica Hogan, the department’s chair of assessment, has written a detailed report of our findings that she will discuss at this meeting. She may also offer some insights into what we’ve learned thus far from our recent Composition II research assessment activity. Location: TBA.

May 4: As everyone knows by now, D2L will ride off into the sunset on June 30, which means that Canvas will be the only LMS to use at JCCC when the summer semester begins. Throughout the spring semester, the Educational Technology Center will offer many online and on-campus training opportunities for Canvas ( However, this session will focus on Canvas tools that will be most useful for English instructors. Location: TBA.

I hope that you’ll find one or more of these topics to be of interest, and if you do, please come! I’ll be sure to send out an email reminder about a week before each scheduled discussion.

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