Dekstrus Inc.

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I am a Teacher:

See the process, not just the product.

We spend too much time simply on looking at the end product e.g. the essay, paper or final exam result. It is far more useful to understand the thought processes and the knowledge artifacts people assemble in the process of learning something than it is to see only the final, polished piece of work. When assign a research paper with DNEMaps, I can provide my students with a map of where I want them to go with the assignment.
I can make sure my students do all the steps that a good paper requires (have clear thesis statement, take notes, write a rough draft), because they submit all that stuff on the map. I probably won't read it all, but if a student's paper goes horribly wrong, we can go back and I can show them exactly where they need to improve. All the steps are there in front of us, on the map, so it's easy to find where the wrong one was taken. And I can even have students submit maps at a certain stages in the process, so that I can make sure they're on the right track.
I hate to bring it up, but DNEMaps is a good tool against cheating, too. When you have to show your work, buying the final product off the internet isn't going to be enough. My students submit their research map with their paper, so anybody who buys a paper has to reverse-engineer a map that supports it, complete with (stylistically consistent) rough drafts, research notes, etc. It's not going stop all cheating - nothing will - but it does make it that much harder to get away with.
Finally, I have the whole course laid out as a map, so my students can see where they are, how that links to what we've done before, and where we're going. My students are more eager to learn when they can see the impact a lesson is going to have down the line - not just in terms of knowledge but also in terms of tests, assignments and grades.
If you take a look in the maps section of the web site you can find a "How to write a research essay" map. You might find it too detailed or not detailed enough for what you want, but you can modify it in the DNE to make it meet your needs exactly. Or, if you think it's good enough, please feel free to use it as is.
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