Building confidence in using online learning forums
Building confidence in using online learning forums

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Building confidence in using online learning forums

2 Thinking about your story of writing

You write differently for different purposes and depending on who will read your writing.

Try to recall a time when you wrote something creative or free-flowing that wasn’t for assessment or learning. You might currently write a diary or a blog which isn’t assessed, or you might have to think back to examples (possibly a long time ago) of writing poems or stories as a child. How does this type of writing differ from writing for assessment or learning activities?

In Activity 1 you will compare these different styles of writing.

Activity 1 Considering your experiences of writing

Timing: Allow about 15 minutes

Identify the differences between creative writing and assessment by completing Table 1.

Table 1 Comparison of creative and assessment writing

Question Creative or free writing Assessment writing
How do you feel when doing this type of writing?
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What sources of inspiration do you use?

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What types of language do you use?

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What helps structure your writing?

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Who are you writing for?

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Words: 0
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Discussion

You might associate creative writing with feelings of freedom, exploring and trying out. You may feel less pressure to get things ‘right’, where words just flow and it doesn’t matter. Conversely, you might associate such writing with being a struggle. You might feel anxious doing it, because you either get stuck for ideas or can’t think of something to start with.

You might have noted the content of your writing is more structured for learning or assessment activities, whereas creative writing can wander. However, some creative writing forms also structure your response.

You may have noted that in creative writing you can bring in ideas from anywhere that grabs your attention (e.g. seeing a picture, reading a blog or watching a TV show) whereas in learning and assessment writing you might focus heavily on course materials and suggested literature sources.

Reflecting on your experiences of writing is an important starting point to help you write on forums. But neither creative writing nor assessed writing is completely fitting for writing on forums. Forum writing requires a different story – one which is appropriate for its context and the purpose of learning.

In the next section, you will consider the idea of playful writing as a good story that can be used to shape how you think about writing on forums.

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