Micro writing in informatics

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Micro writing exercise Hani Murad

During the last 6 minutes of my seminar this week, in the “Developing IT competence in organizations” course I wanted to explore how writing to learn or “micro writing” may be applied to get our students writing and thinking more in class, thus helping them to process and scaffold, for themselves, an understanding about central concepts covered which may eventually be used to communicate that in longer more formal texts to others in future formal writings.

What I did:

• After explaining to the students my point of this exercise, I gave them the following short and informal task to explore their individual “ meaning-making” of central concepts: Write, without stop until I say so, what you mean when using the terms: developing “skills”, developing “understanding” and developing “problem solving capabilities” amongst IT users.

How it went:

• Students followed instructions and their text was mostly in the form of “numbered headings” of points rather than a fluid flow of complete sentences. Some students took short breaks throughout their writing session, indicating a lack of “flow” in their thinking. They probably were reflecting about the given concepts before note-making.

Plans for future use:

• I plan to use micro writing further, half-way during the seminar and would probably ask pairs of students to discuss these concepts amongst themselves, based on their own micro- notes. This would help them to modify and externalize their knowledge in such discussions.