Roger Powell, PhD ‘12, director of writing center and institutional tutoring at Graceland University, expanded his contributions to the educational community by publishing an open educational resource (OER) peer-reviewed article about growth mindsets.
Open educational resources can be any type of educational resources that are released under an open license that allows for users to have free and perpetual permission to retain, reuse, revise, remix and redistribute the educational material. Traditional course resources are often published under restrictive copyright laws that limit their accessibility to those who can afford those materials.
The use of OER will allow for increased access for students and professors to innovate and collaborate while also resulting in a more affordable and accessible post-secondary education experience. The process of publishing an OER peer-reviewed article that Powell went through requires sending in a proposal with the idea of the article, receiving acceptance for the concept, drafting the article, and then the article must be peer-reviewed.
Mindsets shape the way people view their intellect and skills. Individuals tend to fall along a continuum from fixed mindsets to growth mindsets. Mindsets fall along a continuum because they shift given the context or task at hand. Fixed mindset individuals believe that their skills and intellect are innate and that no amount of hard work can change the skills or intellect they were born with, while growth mindset individuals believe that skills and intellect can be developed with hard work, persistence, and learning from failure.
Powell’s article discusses an assignment that he gives to his first-year writing students, this project has students learn about growth mindsets and then conduct a revision plan where they process and apply instructor comments to their own writing. Exploring growth mindsets helps students see their revisions as an opportunity to grow and learn instead of interpreting the feedback as a sign of failure. Then, the students can apply their new perspective on revisions to their work, leaving them better more confident writers.
During Roger Powell’s nine years of experience in teaching college students, he has discovered that students often feel they are bad writers and believe those who are good at writing are innately talented. He was inspired to write this article to demonstrate that his prior research on mindsets, feedback, and writing has proven that everyone has the capability to develop the necessary writing skills.
Powell’s leadership in the writing center and in the classroom is an asset to Graceland students and the university.