17 Matching Annotations
  1. Oct 2020
    1. I’ve written for 15 years, 569 essays, and 2.9 million words and counting. You can read a quick intro or my best work, which I curate below.
  2. Mar 2020
    1. Reason and imagination, combined together, lead to something even more incredible. Without imagination, animals have a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that animals other than themselves are full, living creatures who experience life just like they do. They can’t put themselves in another animal’s shoes. Without reason, animals can’t follow the logic that concludes that the lives of others are just as valuable as their own, and their pain and pleasure just as real. These two superpowers produced a third superpower—one that, above all, makes humans human: empathy.
  3. May 2019
  4. Jan 2018
  5. Sep 2017
    1. And most people genetically need adults, because, again, this is cultural learning. You learn from other people, so it’s odd to learn by reading. Once you start interacting with a computer, you start wondering, what kind of initiative could the computer actually take? What kinds of the equivalent of knowledge could the computer actually deal with? [Computer scientist John] McCarthy got off on this before anybody. Papert was working with [Marvin] Minsky at MIT, so they had been already thinking about this when I started thinking about the Dynabook. My thought was, “Man, we have to have an AI inside of it,” because it’s the next logical step after a well-written essay.
    1. And most people genetically need adults, because, again,this is cultural learning. You learn from other people, so it’s odd to learn byreading.Once you start interacting with a computer, you start wondering, what kind ofinitiative could the computer actually take? What kinds of the equivalent ofknowledge could the computer actually deal with? [Computer scientist John]McCarthy got off on this before anybody. Papert was working with [Marvin]Minsky at MIT, so they had been already thinking about this when I startedthinking about the Dynabook. My thought was, “Man, we have to have an AIinside of it,” because it’s the next logical step after a well-written essay.



    1. The results were less clear, however, concerning the relative importance in writingof fact and interpretation. By this point in the course both ‘arts’ and ‘science’ studentsseemed to be aware that essays in the history of science involved the evaluation ofdifferent views. ‘Arts’ students, however, more often indicated that they had expecteda more factual course, preferred writing about facts than opinions and considered‘getting the facts down’ as the most important criterion. This orientation towardsfacts in the ‘arts’ students’ questionnaire responses appears surprising, given that intheir writing they were more likely than ‘science’ students to represent ideas as provi-sional and mediated rather than factual.This apparent discrepancy may perhaps be resolved by distinguishing betweenstudents’ perception of an issue as problematic and their actual performance withrespect to that issue. ‘Arts’ students’ views of the role of fact and interpretation mayindicate an awareness that the representation of reality is not straightforward and thatessays require a sophisticated discussion and evaluation of different points of view.They may deal more effectively with these issues precisely because they realise thatthey are problematic. Interviews with ‘science’ students suggested that they were notalways conscious of the significance of this type of discussion and might perceive it as‘waffle’ or ‘padding’.

      very interesting. I don't find her account of the counter-intuitive part of the arts students interviews and surveys convincing though as there's no evidence (it sounds like an attempt to make the data fit hypothesis, frankly). But I do wonder if it isn't the fact that it is a History of Science course that we're talking about here. Maybe that makes them more focussed on facts?

    2. Seven of the ‘arts’ students described a process of this sort, compared with only twoof the ‘science’ students. There was, however, another approach to revision, involvingonly one revision cycle. This was mentioned by five interviewees, four of whom werefrom ‘science’ backgrounds. Um ... rewriting? No. I can probably, once I’ve got the, I’ve got the feel of it, it probablytakes me a couple of hours to write, and then, shuffling stuff around, ... it’ll probably takeme, I don’t know, a morning or something to do a fair draft of it. (Ewan, 2002, science)Only one ‘arts’ student mentioned using a single revision cycle, and he had originallygraduated in science before starting his OU arts study

      science vs arts revision cycles: science students one draft; arts multiple moving things around.

    3. Although some ‘science’ students reported similar problems, it was only ‘science’students who talked in terms of ‘padding out’ their answers in order to reach therequired length: I’m more this, get all the facts down, yes it’s only three hundred words, but that’s it in anutshell. And it’s a lot harder then to flower it up to say either five hundred words or athousand words. (Larry, 2002, science)I’m not used to waffling I think that’s the problem. A lot of the art students say oh I’vewritten too much, ... and I have the opposite problem I kind of write down what Ithink the answer’s and I’ve only got like 200 words and I have to pad it out. (Ruth,2003, science)The tendency for some ‘science’ students to write relatively short essays may berelated to their conceptions of knowledge. If it is seen as factual, then once the factshave been stated, the student might see the task as complete; as Larry said, ‘that’s itin a nutshell’. If knowledge is relativistic, however, then competing views are equallyworthy of consideration and greater elaboration is needed to make a case

      how science students see "waffling"

    4. While the ‘arts’ students frequently described a strug-gle to make their essay ‘flow’, the ‘science’ students did not talk about textual struc-ture as problematic

      science students don't see structure as an issue; arts students do.

    5. North, Sarah. 2005. “Different Values, Different Skills? A Comparison of Essay Writing by Students from Arts and Science Backgrounds.” Studies in Higher Education 30 (5): 517–33. doi:10.1080/03075070500249153.

    6. ‘However’ is a textual theme with the function of indicating the relationship of theclause to the preceding text; ‘it is apparent’ is an interpersonal theme with the func-tion of indicating the writer’s stance towards the proposition that follows; ‘during thesecond half of the sixteenth century’ is an experiential theme providing informationabout circumstances surrounding the event or situation. In the discussion that followsI refer to these three types of non-subject theme as orienting themes. Unlike thesubject, none of them is grammatically compulsory and their use reflects a choicemade by the writer about how to frame the proposition presented within the clausecomplex.These orienting themes were consistently more common in the ‘arts’ students’essays, and the difference between the two groups was highly significant (t= 2.865,p < 0.006). ‘Arts’ students used on average 31.50 textual and 15.14 interpersonalelements in every 100 clause complexes, compared to 24.28 textual and 9.75 inter-personal elements for the ‘science’ group. They also tended to use more clausecomplexes containing an experiential orienting theme, although this difference wasnot significant. Since essays which used more orienting themes were also significantlymore likely to receive a higher mark (t= 2.336, p< 0.023), it is clearly worth investi-gating further the differing ways in which these were deployed by ‘arts’ and ‘science’students.

      Very interesting. This agrees with my experience that Science students have a lot of trouble with signposting!

    7. Such tutor comments suggest that ‘science’ students are less ready to criticallyevaluate source material, a feature that can be related to the tendency already notedin their writing to downplay the role of human interpretation in the construction ofknowledge

      This whole section so agrees with my read on this! What an amazing bit of research to show specifically what the hunch was.

  6. Apr 2017
    1. Srigley explores a couple of points that I touched on in my article, but didn’t fully understand. This first is what I’ve referred to as the “bullshit factor,” or the ability that my English major friends and I believed we possessed to “bamboozle” our professors with our sparkling prose and strikingly original analysis. It took me into my fourth year to realize that, in my arrogance, I hadn’t realized who was playing who. The professors saw right through our bullshit, but for various reasons were unwilling to call us on it. Instead they coddled us, encouraged us, praised us – and awarded us grades we didn’t deserve.

      The Bullshit factor! Interesting argument that the faculty realise but don't call the students on it. But I wonder. It can also be a question of effort: if you want to bullshit your way through college, who am I to stop you? As a rule, I'm generally not interested in those students, as opposed to either the ones who are doing great work or poor work but are not BSers.

  7. Mar 2017
  8. Jun 2016
    1. n addition, we examined whether there were differences in reactions to grades for papers versus exams. The two-way interactions between goals and type of feedback and the three-way interactions among goals, types of feedback, and grades were tested. Neither the main effects nor the interaction terms were significant, and including these terms did not alter the results for goals and goal interaction term

      Motivation issues do not vary whether you are talking about exams or papers.

  9. Feb 2014
    1. Alternatively, Daphne Koller and Andrew Ng who are the founders of Coursera, a Stanford MOOC startup, have decided to use peer evaluation to assess writing. Koller and Ng (2012) specifically used the term “calibrated peer review” to refer to a method of peer review distinct from an application developed by UCLA with National Science Foundation funding called Calibrated Peer Review™ (CPR). For Koller and Ng, “calibrated peer review” is a specific form of peer review in which students are trained on a particular scoring rubric for an assignment using practice essays before they begin the peer review process.