The other day, I had the opportunity to sit down with Professor Marian Bredin and chat to her about Academic-Zone (A-Z). Professor Bredin is an Associate Professor of Communications at Brock University and a long time user of A-Z. She is one of the first professors to use Essay-Zone (E-Z) as a teaching resource and has been doing so for the past 4 years. This year, she has 380 students using the modules in her class. I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with her and see how she is using E-Z. During our discussion Professor Bredin shared three main points about her experience with E-Z.
Professor Bredin encourages her students to use Essay-Zone by relating to E-Z frequently in lecture and having an E-Z workshop. Additionally, she requires her students to get a passing grade on the E-Z post quiz to complete the course—a strong motivation for students to access the modules!
Professor Bredin said her favourite part about Essay-Zone is its functionality: “The concise text, clear examples, and relatable language of Essay-Zone give the module a very user-friendly appeal.” These features make it easy for students to work through the modules and adapt the learning experience to meet their individual needs. She went on to state that “every student enters university with different levels of skill. Essay-Zone provides a level playing field for all students to have an opportunity to excel.” This offers benefits for both students and instructors. It is easy for students to become overwhelmed and fall behind on class material right from the start. Using Academic-Zone lays the foundational skills and gives each student an equal opportunity to succeed. As an instructor, Professor Bredin finds it helpful that she receives information as to where her students are at via the pre and post assessment quizzes.
Professor Bredin says the biggest advantage of using the modules is that “Essay-Zone covers everything students need to know in terms of writing an essay. There are skills and practical tips for students of all levels of writing to learn that will help them succeed. I don’t have the time to go over these skills as I have to be teaching new concepts every class. E-Z provides my students with that extra support.”
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