Tyll Zybura

Read. Think. Write.

Category: Essays on teaching

Magic questions to ask students about their writing

Tyll Zybura – 27 Nov 2019

In my writing supervision I focus on process instead of results and on reflection instead of adherence to rules to help students experience more agency over their writing when they become aware of their own writing strategies.

Congruent self- and supervisor assessment

Tyll Zybura – 07 Aug 2019

Students often express that my responses to their writing are in consonance with their own self-assessment, which motivates them to revise their papers. The specific form of my responses facilitates this congruity, and here’s why.

Relieving stress in student writing

Tyll Zybura – 27 May 2018

I found that I can relieve the writing anxiety many of my students have by de-emphasising normative writing advice and facilitating an appreciative, non-evaluative awareness of their individual writing strategies.

On ‘embracing mediocrity’

Tyll Zybura – 06 Mar 2018

Students often have an unhealthy all-or-nothing attitude toward their work which increases stress levels. They relax a bit when they learn to prioritize their work and allow themselves to ‘embrace mediocrity’ on low-stakes tasks to save time and energy.

Downscaling course prep tasks

Tyll Zybura – 02 Mar 2018

When students don’t do my prep assignments, I teach them how to ‘downscale’ homework instead of not doing it at all. This leads to homework being done more consistently as it empowers students to consciously manage their resources and priorities.

Revision-oriented supervision of student writing

Tyll Zybura – 27 Oct 2017

Feedback that is given on late-stage draft versions of student writing instead of on finalized papers is more meaningful to students because they can immediately use it for a revision of their work. Especially if the feedback is an appreciative response.

No apologies necessary

Tyll Zybura – 05 Jul 2017

In my experience as a teacher, students apologize far too much. I think that is troubling, so I try to reframe their ‘failure’ to meet some formal expectation or other as a chance to take control of their own learning.

For strategies-based teaching

Tyll Zybura – 07 May 2017

Against the rhetoric of competency-based teaching, I set a rhetoric of teaching strategies which focuses on the resources that students already have rather than on their presumed deficiencies.

Stepping stone writing tasks

Tyll Zybura – 06 May 2017

Writing academic papers is an incredibly involved procedure which brings together many different skills. Often students achieve better results and more confidence about their work when the writing is scaffolded through a series of interconnected steps.

The benefits of writing portfolios

Tyll Zybura – 01 May 2017

My students and I have made positive experiences with writing portfolios. Here’s why.