The Explainer Project grew from a casual conversation that came at the close of a freshman composition course, late in 2017. On the last day, my classes talked about the major assignments - analysis, argument, research, citation, narration - celebrating victory, and (mostly) laughing about pain and suffering. The emphasis of this closing conversation was ground covered, and progress made. Several times that day, I heard students make comments like:
I wish my high school writing classes had emphasized ...blah, blah, blah.
I never knew how much didn't know, or that I forgot!
I would have paid much more attention to --- if I had known I would use it again!
I wish I had asked more questions.
What this highlighted, was that first year composition students are uniquely qualified to help bridge the gap between high school, and college writing. The Explainer Project Is an assignment that asks first year writers to identify what they don't know about college level writing. It asks them to identify things that they worry about as they enter their first college writing course. The Explainer assignment then asks student to collaborate, reflect, research, write, and finally speak... as they answer these questions for themselves, their classmates, and here, for you.
The Explainer Project
In the spring semester of 2018, our freshman composition class published an Open Primer called, The Explainer Project. As part of that project, freshman writers worked in small groups to develop lessons that contain materials that that students think is valuable. This includes lessons, links and resources that support the different kinds of university level writing that freshman composition courses require.
The same work continued in the fall of 2018.
This semester, spring of 2019, we will continue the work of growing and developing The Explainer Project. Our web site, still in primer format, houses “chapters” designed by student groups, to teach college writers about composition, and what topics matter in a freshman writing course. This project collects and curates Open content, that has value both in, and out of our classroom. We hope you can find a use for it in yours!
This is The Explainer Project, crreated at the University of New Hampshire, by students in Krista Jackman's freshman composition courses. We hope that you find our materials useful as our collection continues to grow!!