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WRITING ACROSS THE CURRICULUM WORKSHOPS

Click on any workshop title for a complete description.

WC00 WAC Mini-Workshop

WC01 Helping Students Write to Learn about a Discipline

WC03 Helping Students Learn to Write in a Discipline

WC04 Teaching the Research Paper

WC06 Handling the Paper Load

WC09 Three Principles of Editing

WC12 Discouraging Plagiarism

WC13 Marking Papers Electronically

WC14 Using Rubrics to Evaluate Writing

WC15 Achieving Grading Consistency

WC16 Stimulating Deep Learning Through Blogging


WC00 Helping  (30 min.)
Prerequisite: None

A brief hands-on introduction to a WAC strategy or tool (e.g., rubrics for evaluating writing). Topics vary.

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WC01 Helping Students Write to Learn about a Discipline (1½ hrs.)
Prerequisite: None

Most teachers assign writing to evaluate students’ knowledge of a discipline without realizing that writing is a powerful tool for creating knowledge. This workshop will show you how to design writing assignments that can improve students’ reading, listening, observing, and thinking. By the end of this workshop, you will be able to design assignments to do the following:

  1. ensure that students read, listen, and observe carefully.
  2. help students make sense of lessons, readings, and experiences.
  3. encourage students to think critically and talk thoughtfully about the subject matter.
  4. enable the teacher and students to monitor their learning.
  5. generate and collect ideas for a formal paper.

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WC03 Helping Students Learn to Write in a Discipline (1½ hrs.)
Prerequisite: None

This workshop will show you how to improve students' writing, especially their professional writing. During the workshop, you will gain insight into the composing process from recent research, become more conscious of the writing conventions of your own discipline, and discover online resources that you can share. You will learn to do the following:

  1. equip students with effective composing strategies.
  2. empower students to improve their editing skills.
  3. help students grasp the conventions of writing in your field.

As a result, you may improve your own writing as well as your students'!

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WC04 Teaching the Research Paper (1 hr.)
Prerequisite: None

Note: We recommend that you also attend the Library Research workshops at Founders.

Are you tired of receiving ill-conceived, superficial, unprofessional, incoherent, error-riddled, or plagiarized research papers? If so, try some of the strategies featured in this workshop:

  1. Break down the composing process, providing feedback along the way.
  2. Specify additional audiences for research projects, especially "real-world" audiences.
  3. Encourage students to analyze and imitate models of scholarly writing in your discipline.

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WC06 Handling the Paper Load (1½ hrs.)
Prerequisite: None

Sometimes less is more. This workshop will show you how to respond to students’ writing more easily and effectively. You will mark the same paper several different ways so that you can assess the advantages and disadvantages of each method. The workshop will cover five types of response:

  1. Traditional
  2. Holistic
  3. Focused
  4. Limited
  5. No Marking

Having taken this workshop, you will be able to choose the most appropriate ways to promote students’ learning when you mark papers for your courses.

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WC09 Three Principles of Editing (1 hr.)
Prerequisite: None

Even when students know their grammar and spelling rules, they often produce turgid, wordy, or incoherent prose that takes you hours to unravel. This workshop will help you teach your students to follow three linguistic principles that improve clarity, conciseness, and cohesion:

  1. Make sentences that effectively explain who is doing what or what is doing what.
  2. Keep the subject close to the verb.
  3. Repeat old information to introduce new information.

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WC12 Discouraging Plagiarism (1 hr.)
Prerequisite: Open to composition and WAC faculty only.

Note: We recommend that you also attend the Library Research workshops at Founders.

Click here for TURNITIN Instructions for Graduate Advisors.

While plagiarism has plagued us for centuries, the Internet—with its student paper mills and web-based resources—offers students tantalizing opportunities for plagiarizing. Must we waste precious time trying to track down a student’s stolen sources when we suspect plagiarism? No. This workshop will show you how to prevent plagiarism and, in the process, improve teaching and learning. Specifically, you will learn how to do the following:

  1. Ensure that students understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
  2. Design assignments that make plagiarizing difficult.
  3. Establish policies that place the burden of proof on the student, not you.
  4. Use Turnitin.com to deter and detect plagiarism.

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WC13 Marking Papers Electronically (2 hrs.)
Prerequisite: MS Word

Although you have used Microsoft Word for years, you may not realize that it contains a powerful Reviewing Toolbar. With this toolbar, you can easily insert comments in students' papers, highlight your additions and deletions, and return the annotated papers via the Internet. Although we strongly recommend this workshop for faculty who direct dissertations or teach Distance-Learning courses, the workshop can help all faculty who exchange papers electronically with students, co-authors, reviewers, and editors. If you participate, you will learn how to do the following:

  1. how to set up MS Word for marking documents.
  2. how to track deletions and additions.
  3. how to insert, edit, or delete a comment.
  4. how to save, print, and send an annotated document.

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WC14 Creating Rubrics to Evaluate Writing
Prerequisite: BB01 or equivalent experience

You've probably heard a lot about rubrics, especially from accrediting bodies such as the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. So you may be wondering, "What is a rubric? Why bother to use one?" This workshop will answer these questions and show you (a) how you can create rubrics to assess student writing for your courses and (b) how a whole department can create a rubric to evaluate senior comprehensive exams. By the end of this workshop, you will be able to perform the following tasks:

  1. define rubric.
  2. list the benefits of using rubrics.
  3. identify useful rubrics to borrow and modify.
  4. create your own rubric.

As Assessment Expert Edward White (1998) observes in Teaching & Assessing Writing, if your program achieves grading consistency, you should reap many benefits:  Faculty should be able to explain their course and assignment objectives clearly, evaluate students fairly within a class and across classes, decrease the frequency of student grade challenges, and develop greater confidence and authority as evaluators (p. 217).

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WC15 Achieving Grading Consistency
Prerequisite: All members of a program must first agree to use the same rubric to score a particular type of writing assignment.  See ID05 to learn how to develop a rubric.

Now that you have designed or selected a rubric, do not assume that everyone in your program will interpret the rubric the same way.  While a well-constructed rubric can improve grading consistency, you and your colleagues will need to practice using the rubric together.  Specifically, you will need to score  and discuss the same papers so that you can resolve any glaring inconsistencies.  Known as a “norming session,” this workshop will provide such practice and discussion.  However, you may require more than one session to “calibrate” all raters.   With sufficient practice, you and your colleagues should be able to do the following:

  1. Collectively define “effective writing,” given a particular type of assignment.
  2.  Achieve at least a 60% level of inter-rater agreement when calculating the total score of an essay.
  3.  Achieve at least a 60% level of inter-rater agreement when assessing the writer’s level of competency within each rubric category.
  4. Identify papers that exemplify a rubric trait or score.
  5.  Agree on ways to improve the rubric, if necessary.

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WC16 Stimulating Deep Learning Through Blogging (1 hrs.)
Prerequisite: Go to http://blogger.com and click GET STARTED so that you can set up your account before the workshop.

You have seen what a significant role blogging has played in politics, journalism, and research.  However, have you considered how blogging might help you improve and assess your students' learning?  Because blogging can stimulate reflection, it can equip students with a powerful tool for analyzing and synthesizing experiences.  Moreover, because it can create a visual record, it can also help faculty and students assess the impact of those experiences on learning.  Thus, blogging is ideal not only for stimulating deep learning of classroom lessons, but also for study abroad, service-learning, internships, co-ops, and learning communities that seek to integrate curricular and extra-curricular experiences.  Therefore, this workshop will show you how to complete the following tasks:

  1. Show students how to create a blog.
  2. Recommend settings to minimize risks and maximize benefits.
  3. Design blog assignments that can stimulate reflection, metacognition, and transformative learning.
  4. Follow and comment on a student blog.
  5. Assess a student blog with a rubric.

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