At Alvernia, we value the process of writing and providing our students with the support they need to succeed. The training modules below are intended to introduce faculty to the basic principles of Writing Across the Curriculum. In completing these modules, we hope to improve our ability to design syllabi, course materials, and activities that promote critical thinking through writing.
Each academic year, we invite a cohort of TEN faculty members to apply for certification. You can apply by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and indicating that you a) intend to complete certification b) your chosen method of certification and c) your intended submission date for your materials. The first ten faculty members to apply will be the cohort for this year. All materials need to be received by March 15th for consideration.
There are two ways that faculty at Alvernia can become certified in Writing Across the Curriculum:
All faculty who wish to receive certification will be given a copy of John Bean's Engaging Ideas. Those who complete certification will receive a letter of support from the Dean and a two hundred dollar stipend.
For this module, we will provide an overview of WAC philosophy and delineate the key elements of a Writing Enhanced course. In this module, you will have the opportunity to 1) read some of the key theories behind this movement and 2) apply these concepts directly to your own syllabus design. You will submit a before and after copy of your syllabus with track changes denoting your efforts to incorporate WAC philosophy.
Portfolio Artifact #1:
Please submit a current syllabus. Annotate your syllabus (use track changes)to identify places where you could offer more opportunities for drafting, writing, writing pedagogy and revising.
For this module, we will address ways to encourage our students to become flexibile as writers and to think rhetorically about audience. In this module, you will have the opportunity to 1) consider the writing that is valuable to your field and 2) encourage our students to recognize the nuances of different genres. You will submit three short writing activities that will encourage writing for different audiences.
Portfolio Artifact #2
Design three short activties that will encourage writing for different audiences. You can either choose different constituents (ie explain the same medical concept to a fellow physician, to a researcher, to a child) or try the audiences mentioned on pgs. 40-45 (naive, puzzled/skeptical and hostile).
For this module, we will identify ways in which informal and/or exporatory writing can simultaneously improve the quality of thinking and the quality of writing. We will identify places in your syllabus where your students could benefit from reinforcing a concept through writing or where students could use informal writing to improve the quality of their prose on the skill-level. You will submit three informal and/or exploratory writing activities that align with your course goals.
Create three exploratory writing tasks that will encourage students to either think more deeply about the content of your course or an activity that will improve the clarity, complexity, sophistication of an essay for your course. See the model list of activities for ideas.
For this module, we will discuss the art of designing and assessing formal writing assignments. We will have the opportunity to consider how the goals and outcomes of our course are reflected in the types of activities we ask our students to complete. Furthermore, we will address the clarity of our current grading tools as they pertain to student understanding and grading efficiency. For this module, you will submit the prompt and rubric for a formal writing assignment.
Portfolio Artifact #4:
Create or revise a formal writing assignment and it's corresponding grading tool. Annotate the document to indicate how your changes reflect WAC pedagogy.
For this module, we will discuss strategies for how to efficiently comment on student papers. We consider the types of feedback that supports student growth and at what stages students require the most support. For this module, you will submit two documents 1) a student paper with comments and 2) a "fix-it" sheet that prioritizes the writing skills that are of the most importance to you.
Portfolio Artifact #5 (2 assignments):
Submit a student paper with your comments (these comments should be reflective of WAC pedagogy). Make a "fix-it" sheet. On this sheet, make a list of 5 rules that students commonly break when writing papers for you. They can be grammar rules, argument errors, organization issues, etc. Create examples for each that are incorrect. When using this document in the future, students should be asked to revise these errors.
For this module, we will consider how your course and your thinking about writing has changed while completing this certification. Revisit the syllabus you submitted for artifact 1 and revise to reflect new skills acquired during this process.
Portfolio Artifact 6
Revise your syllabus to reflect sound WAC pedagogy. Annotate this syllabus to indicate how your course has changed to better accomodate the writing process. You might consider: pacing, drafting, required revisions, required conferencing, information literacy, in-class writing, informal writing activities, peer review days, and library days.
For this module, you will distribute this survey to your course, collect responses, and write a one page, single-spaced reflection that summarizes the feedback provided in these surveys and what changes you might consider for the future.
*If you did not use a mentor, you need only to have your students complete the top portion of the survey.