Conference Workshops


Monday Workshops

(June 4, 8:15 – 11:15 a.m.)

Culturally Sustaining Engagement with Writing Learning Outcomes Across the Curriculum

Jamila Kareem, University of Central Florida

Culturally-sustaining education works under the premise that if educators want to vanquish social injustices in education, we must teach without relying on cultural hegemony of language, literacy, intelligence, and knowledge-making. This workshop helps participants gain knowledge and practice in applying culturally-sustaining education to WAC teaching and learning outcomes. Participants who complete the workshop can expect to understand and articulate principles of culturally-sustaining education practices, recognize gaps in culturally-sustaining education practices in current WAC outcomes at the institutional and/or programmatic level, and begin to develop a critical dialogue about how to introduce culturally-sustaining outcomes and curriculum in WAC. They will leave with practical tools and resources to apply culturally-sustaining teaching and learning practices to WAC at their institutions.

Digital Storytelling Workshop

Paige Normand, Becky Chen, and Marissa Scholler
James Madison University

As digital assignments become more prevalent and pragmatic in higher education, we created a tutoring program to help students translate their academic work to effective digital content. In the past three years, our center has partnered with over 60 university classes across campus to give semester-long support for digital production. Our panel will consist of our program coordinator and two digital tutors to discuss the disciplinary application of digital composition across campus and to give participants hands on experience with the tools and strategies needed for successful integration and support of digital writing across the curriculum. We only use free tools, so bring your laptop and be ready to become a digital content creator!

Enhancing the Development of Students' Disciplinary Discourse and Content Learning in Science and Engineering Through a Focus on Writing: Common Denominators in Approaches at a Swedish and a U.K. University

Magnus Gustafsson, Chalmers University of Technology

Collaboration between two European universities allowed participants to share practices and articulate approaches for how we support the development of students' disciplinary discourse in science and engineering. We arrived at seven shared dimensions that we needed to be able to negotiate and adjust in each situation. The seven dimensions are 'Developing or revising pedagogy'; 'Developing or revising instructions'; 'Developing or revising rubrics'; 'Feedback design and focus'; 'Focus and division of labor for work with texts'; 'Focus and division of labor in marking'; 'Mandate'. The workshop invites participants to explore the dimensions of the approaches and try them on for their own sites irrespective of what discipline they are in. The objective of the workshop is for participants to get a sense of a strategy and first steps toward a longitudinal WID-approach.

Gritty Teachers: Composing Compelling & Evidence-Based Teaching Reflections

Lindsay Doukopolous and Diane Boyd
Auburn University

Reflective writing is the application of metacognitive thought — a key learning skill across all disciplines. When instructors practice reflective thinking and writing, they not only become more thoughtful practitioners, they also improve their ability to teach this style of thought and writing to their students. This workshop will hone your reflective writing skills through a focus on composing more effective teaching reflections. It will introduce you to tools and strategies that will take the sting out of student evaluations and help you channel the natural fears and anxieties that all teachers experience into actionable strategies for improvement and compelling teaching reflections. Working in small groups, you will be given a range of authentic challenges that will help you hone your ability to interpret data related to teaching, including sample student evaluations and research-based instruments for self-assessment. After generating content, we will explore models and share strategies for crafting compelling teaching reflections that respond to context and purpose. You will leave with a richer understanding of how to interpret student evaluations and translate them into actionable improvements, why you should generate a course wrapper reflection at the end of every semester, and what it takes to compose dynamic and meaningful teaching reflections.

Starting, Expanding, and Sustaining a Writing Initiative on Campus

Joan Mullin, Heather Bastian, and Stephanie Norander
University of North Carolina Charlotte

This workshop invites new WPAs and seasoned directors starting or jump starting a (new) program to learn about building sustainability into a program. Since institutional locations of WAC/CxC programs vary (e.g., in departments, writing centers, Colleges, provost offices), ways in which programs can be built and sustained vary. The key to growth and longevity, though, is networking across academic borders, seeking to change not just courses and pedagogies but the institutional writing culture. Drawing on the diverse WAC and CxC experiences of the presenters, this workshop unpacks the challenges of growing sustainable, networked programs, generates solutions to the local challenges of participants and has them draw up action plans that move their programs forward.

STEM Literacy Project Connecting Learning Across the Curriculum

Amy Lannin, University of Missouri
Julie Sheerman, Marceline High School

Blending disciplines. Blending grade levels. Blending language uses. These forms of integration have become key aspects of a statewide STEM Literacy Project connecting middle, secondary, and postsecondary math, science and literacy educators. In this workshop, presenters will share the objectives, activities, and assessments from this 3-year project, including use of the Language Spectrum to analyze how language use changes through a range of discourse in content area classrooms. Participants will also look at examples of scenario and source-based assessments used throughout the three years of the project.

A System for Teaching and Validating Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines

Steve Pearlman and David Carillo
University of Saint Joseph

A recent study (Nicholas and Roth, 2016) found that faculty "unanimously expressed frustration with the level of CT in students," and were only "hopeful" that they achieved any real critical thinking outcomes. A Cengage Learning survey found that the most popular methods reported for teaching critical thinking, e.g., reading questions, are actually not effective. This workshop will share a system that produced a 230% increase in critical thinking outcomes among college sophomores in just four years. It will explain why most approaches to critical thinking fall short, and offer concrete ways to fill the gaps to ensure solid growth. It is applicable across the curriculum in high school and higher education, from first-year writing through STEM and graduate programs. Participants will leave with an actionable concept of critical thinking that students can learn, faculty can teach, and one that produces verifiable gains in critical thinking outcomes.

WAC Partnerships: Working Together Academically and Professionally

Pamela Childers, The Clearing House
Michael Lowry, The McCallie School
Trixie Smith, Michigan State University
Jacqueline Tiermini, Finger Lakes Community College

Improving both student and faculty learning and teaching is just one of the goals of WAC partnerships. Whether participants are involved in a WAC partnership or planning to start one between institutions, within institutions or through professional organizations, this workshop will introduce them to new possibilities for themselves and their institutions. Based on chapters from WAC Partnerships Between Secondary and Postsecondary Institutions (Blumner and Childers, 2016) and new innovative ideas, the workshop leaders from secondary school, community college and university institutions will share their expertise and encourage participants to consider new possibilities for academic and professional partnerships. All participants will have an opportunity to interact with WAC specialists through a series of workshop activities to create their own plans to enhance new programs or expand existing ones.

Wednesday Workshops

(June 6, 1:45 – 4:45 p.m.)

Beyond the Overlap: Creating Deep Connections Between Libraries and WAC/WID Programs

Susanmarie Harrington, Daisy Benson, and Dan DeSanto
University of Vermont

This workshop prepares participants to strengthen alliances between WAC/WID and librarians. After examining the intersections of writing and information literacy (via statements from the American Council of Research Libraries and the Council of Writing Program Administrators), participants will identify their own values and practices, and identify local opportunities for creating library/WAC-WID connections. Participants will leave with enhanced frameworks for understanding how librarians reconceptualize information literacy's role in communication; how deep connections between writing and information literacy open up opportunities for each field to build new understandings of what it means to work with students and faculty; and how to build connections between WAC/WID programs and libraries that will deepen faculty professional development. WAC/WID programs can encourage faculty in all disciplines to take ownership of information literacy (as well as disciplinary writing practices). Activities model approaches useful for dialogue, workshops, and reflection.

ePortfolios for Educators, Administrators, and Students: How to Create Your Professional Website

Heather Stuart and Megan Haskins
Auburn University

This workshop is designed to help participants begin creating their own ePortfolio. ePortfolios are a high-impact practice used in education to foster reflective thinking and integrative learning (Eynon & Gambino, 2017). ePortfolios incorporate artifacts, reflective writing, and technology to present a cohesive story to a specific audience. Educators can use ePortfolios to highlight experiences, find collaborators, and prepare materials for promotion/tenure. Students can use ePortfolios to demonstrate learning at the course level, present their experiences to employers or professional schools, and think critically about their experiences in a digital medium. Facilitators will guide participants through the process of creating an ePortfolio and provide materials for attendees to use in individual and classroom settings.

Genre-based Pedagogy and Lexico-grammatical Connections: Curricular and Pedagogical Mapping Between Discipline-specific Subjects and English-in-the-Discipline Writing Workshops

Phoebe Siu
Hong Kong Community College, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

This workshop will be divided into three sections. The first section aims at establishing workshop participants' theoretical understanding of genre-based pedagogy and raising teacher language awareness about the lexico-grammatical connections embedded in different genres (Christie & Martin, 1997; Hyland, 2004). The second section focuses on demonstrating how curricular and pedagogical mapping between discipline-specific subjects and English-in-the-discipline writing workshops can be done with reference to program and subject intended learning outcomes. Upon identifying potential curricular and pedagogical mapping, workshop participants will be guided to work collaboratively for designing a genre-based analysis table, a teaching plan and some teaching materials/activities highlighting scaffolding strategies (Hammond & Gibbons, 2001) adopted in a teaching/learning cycle (Rothery, 1994) developed for handling a discipline-specific writing genre, such as a business proposal or a science laboratory report. Finally, workshop participants will be encouraged to share their curricular and pedagogical creations for collecting peer feedback.

Representing the Disciplines in "College Readiness"

Raymond Smith and Christine Farris
Indiana University Bloomington

In this workshop, we will attempt to help secondary English teachers anticipate the types and demands of reading and writing their students will encounter, not just in their first credit-bearing course, but across the curriculum in a variety of disciplines. Our emphasis will be on low-stakes assignment design and evaluation of papers produced by those assignments. We will model juxtaposition of texts typical of college courses — contemporary, historical, fictional, and informational. We will demonstrate college-level expectations of critique via investigation of the iconicity of Abraham Lincoln and the complication of thematic approaches to representations of racism and civil rights.

WAG Shares the DOPE: Tools for Effective Writing of Course Assignments

Susan Caulfield, Paula Andrasi, and Lisa Singleterry
Western Michigan University

The Writing Assessment Group (WAG) facilitates a process to help instructors improve course assignments. The workshop is fashioned after a faculty learning community and provides a safe and welcoming environment where participants can explore what does and does not work well in the development of student writing assignments. Using a standard set of components for assignment development: directions, objectives, purpose, and evaluation (DOPE), participants will experience the utility of WAG's quality improvement process to increase the clarity of course assignments. Participants will leave the workshop having practiced using the tool and will be able to apply it to their own work.

WikiWAC: Connecting Across the Curriculum with Wikipedia Collaborative Culture

Rebecca Thorndike-Breeze and Amy Carleton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cecelia A. Musselman, Northeastern University

WAC programs work to enhance writing proficiency by exposing students to a multidisciplinary range of rhetorical situations that bolster abilities to identify and perform context-appropriate strategies. Online knowledge-sharing networks like Wikipedia provide ready-made collaborative discourse communities for student analysis and participation, and insights from Wikipedia's culture can enhance professional collaborations. As this workshop will demonstrate, WAC professionals can learn from Wikipedians to identify shared values and points of tension in the planning stage, giving collaborators concrete places to begin work and develop strategies. Through a series of activities participants will learn about Wikipedia's culture and analyze articles, both to learn what a multi-author document can achieve and to locate opportunities for making connections across disciplines. After learning Wikipedia basics, participants are invited to edit Rhetoric, Writing Studies, and WAC articles. Throughout, participants will extract Wikipedia's foundational rules and consider how this approach can inform their own teaching and collaborative projects.

Working Through Interdisciplinary Writing Support Program Infrastructures

Jenna Morton-Aiken, Brown University
Nedra Reynolds, University of Rhode Island

This workshop is designed to help participants work through the planning stages of interdisciplinary student writing support programs. Presenters will unpack the infrastructure of SciWrite@URI, an innovative science writing initiative that develops STEM graduate students as writers through rhetorical training and writing pedagogy for graduate students and their faculty. Presenters will work with workshop participants to answer important questions about their aspirations and realities when planning similar programs to support writers.

Writing for the IWAC 2018 Edited Collection

Lesley Erin Bartlett, Iowa State University
Andrea Olinger, University of Louisville
Sandra Tarabochia, University of Oklahoma

Are you interested in revising your presentation into a submission for the 25th Anniversary IWAC 2018 edited collection? Not sure where to begin? This workshop is for you. In addition to facilitating interactive segments and writing/revision time, co-editors of the collection will share their vision for the project, discuss the timeline, describe key differences between conference presentations and collection submissions, and offer advice for revision of different presentation types. All presentation types will be considered for publication in the collection, and presenters from across disciplines and institution types are encouraged to submit. The co-editors welcome collaborative submissions and encourage co-presenters/authors to attend this workshop together. Writing and revision time will be reserved for individuals and groups.