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Each semester, the UWP offers a variety of professional development opportunities to support faculty from across the disciplines as teachers of writing. Integrating theory and practice in an experiential environment our workshops engage faculty both as writers and as teachers to be more intentional and reflective in their pedagogical practices. By recognizing the connections between ourselves as writers and our students as ‘apprentice writers,’ we can design more engaging and effective writing projects for our classes. As important, this shift results in reimagining how we respond to student writing in order to build their confidence and abilities as thinkers and communicators.
Below is a sampling of the different types of professional development opportunities that the UWP offers each semester.
Writers benefit from spending sustained time on project, re-seeing their ideas as they develop, and revising their projects as new ideas emerge. The same is true for writing teachers! Each semester, the UWP offers one or two multi-session events in our WAC Workshops Series; these events usually involve 3 to 4 meetings around a similar topic related to the teaching of writing. Typical high-interest topics include Technologies for Teaching Writing, Using Metacognitive Writing to Support Student Learning, and Responding to Student Writing. During these multi-session events, faculty explore recent writing studies scholarship and think through innovating approaches and strategies for teaching writing in their own classrooms.
Do you really want to improve your talents as a teacher in your discipline? If you’re committed to making positive, student-focused changes to your curriculum and your teaching practices, then you’re ready for the WAC Academy. Held each spring, the WAC Academy is a 6-week institute that aims to develop a supportive community of writing instructors and to empower faculty through writing, discussion, and reflection. Modeled after the National Writing Project’s innovative Summer Institutes, the WAC Academy funds ten faculty from across campus who meet once each week to read recent writing studies scholarship, discuss topics related to writing instruction, share writing-related teaching strategies, collaborate on inquiry-based projects involving writing, and refine their approaches to teaching writing in meaningful ways. The spring WAC Academy is a rare opportunity for college teachers to meet faculty from across campus and to work together on projects that will have a lasting impact on their teaching.
So you’ve attended the WAC Academy, or maybe you’ve enjoyed several of our WAC professional development events, and you’re wondering, “What now? This WAC PD is great!” Sounds like you’re ready to do a “deep dive” on a more specific issue with writing. Our Advanced WAC Academies are week-long intensive institutes in which a small cohort of experienced faculty work together to explore a key topic about teaching writing that our other workshops and academies have only been able to touch on briefly. The advanced academies support active and deep learning with direct application to the classroom.
Currently, a 5-day Advanced WAC Academy on “Teaching for Transfer” is planned for Summer 2020 to assist faculty in identifying and examining key genres in their disciplines in order to discover how these types of writing projects encourage (or discourse) learning transfer from general education courses to major course and then on to professional/workplace contexts. More information on Advanced WAC Academy 2020 is coming soon.
Faculty time is always at a premium, so the UWP works to create a variety of activities to engage even the busiest teaching and research schedules. Stop by during the semester for one of our hour-long, interactive WAC workshops if you’re looking to be energized by some new teaching idea! Based on faculty feedback, our workshop topics include creating effective writing assignments, engaging writing processes and products, integrating metacognitive and reflective writing to improve thinking and learning, preventing and learning from plagiarism, and more.
If you are interested in designing a workshop, let us know!
Wondering what you and your peers could do to support and improve student writing in your department? Looking to add writing to your program-level assessments? Interested in scaffolding writing purposefully throughout your undergraduate and graduate curriculum? Invite the University Writing Program to one of your department meetings and we can facilitate such a discussion for you! We can offer a WAC workshop on a prepared topic, or we can organize resources on topic(s) specific to your curriculum, course(s), students, and faculty.
Do you have more questions about departmental visits? Let us know on the contact page.
For faculty who are interested in exploring new research around issues of reading and writing, particularly as these issues connect to their disciplines and their teaching, we recommend getting involved in one of our Writing and Learning Communities (WLCs). WLCs are active and collaborative groups of faculty and staff who share an interest in topics related to the teaching and practice of writing. With 4-5 of your peers from across the university, you identify an issue—this might be a common area of struggle that you face as an instructor or that your students face as developing writers—to explore further and help students become stronger writers. Over the last several years WLCs have explored issues like grammar instruction across the curriculum, responding to student writing, and the impact of digital technologies on students’ reading and writing practices. Each fall, we issue a call across various campus list-servs to see who might be interested in participating in a WLC throughout the academic year. Be on the lookout for your chance to get involved!
For additional information, please contact:
Every year, the University Writing Program hosts highly successful book groups focused on exciting new books about teaching and writing. Learn more about this semester’s current book and how to participate here.