Showcase Interview

Leslie Bowen talks about using the D2L quiz function in her classes.

Leslie Bowen

Faculty Profile
Email Address

Teaching Strategy Video(s)
Promoting Student Discussion
Getting Students to Think Outside the Book

Leslie Bowen began teaching in UW-Stout's English Department in Fall 2007. She currently teaches English 101 and 102; Technical Writing, including an online version; Business Writing; and Document Design. She would like to teach Advanced Rhetoric or a course on technical writing in the medical field--more upper level courses and more theoretical material. Her favorite course is Technical Writing because it is the most familiar, but she also likes the content in her freshmen courses 101 and 102. Coming here from Michigan Tech, she noted that Stout students, as a rule, are more exploratory; Stout also has more first generation students.  

To help her students “get it,” Leslie uses the quiz function in D2L, not as a test but as a way to open discussion. Students take the quiz with open book and open notes, and they can work together. The quiz is based on their reading and may, for example, ask them to identify parallel structure and then find a sentence in their essay that would be improved by using that structure. Leslie also has conferences one-on-one, and finds that eases students’ minds about the class.

Bowen likes to generate discussion and because she has three sections of 101, all in the morning, this is challenging. She tries to find material or ideas close to home. She always asks herself, “Could I do this assignment or discuss this topic?” Leslie noted that she has made some miscalculations about what students know—sometimes they know what is correct or right but not what to call it (like “use a transition here”); they will use a transition but not know that that’s what they did.

The quiz in D2L remains her favorite innovation, but she also likes the discussion board. She sets up groups and the members do peer review on the discussion board, read and critique each other’s essays. Students receive points for posting their work and for giving feedback. Sometimes students speak more freely on-line; apparently they don’t feel what they say on-line is as permanent as saying it face-to-face, which means it’s always there.