Writing Across the Curriculum hosts workshops for faculty in order to facilitate its mission to improve student writing and critical thinking skills.
Each August, QUWAC and the Research and Writing Institute host an annual critical thinking and writing workshop, open to all new and existing faculty who have not previously participated in the training. Under the direction of a WAC-trained facilitator, faculty participants collaborate on designing critical thinking and writing tasks for students that promote learning and the achievement of outcomes appropriate to the disciplines and courses they teach. The workshop serves as a way to network and collaborate with colleagues from the University's schools, college and departments. Faculty participants leave the workshop with new and improved assignments to introduce to their students in the fall semester.
In January, QUWAC and the RWI host a follow-up workshop to summer training. Working in interdisciplinary teams, faculty review their assignments and student outcomes from the fall semester. Under the direction of a WAC-trained facilitator, they collaborate on ways to improve both in future courses. Assessment strategies are emphasized, along with designing for the achievement of University Essential Learning Outcomes (ELO). Participants also explore ways to develop teaching and learning strategies into research and writing projects.
Feedback from faculty on the workshops
"When students reach graduation and begin working at a company, things are not always presented in a pretty package. Students need to be able to assess a situation and work through it. I believe the activities in the workshop have helped me to find ways to bring this needed critical writing to the class."
"[The workshop] was such a great opportunity to network with peers. Sharing my frustration towards writing assignments relieved my stress, and I was offered much insight on handling various issues dealing with writing assignments."
"I can say with certainty that I will be more effective in the classroom as a result of this 3-day workshop. I had thought little of the value of writing (and its relation to critical thinking) in my field of engineering. I feel differently now and will be incorporating the learnings from this workshop."
"One of my goals was to explore strategies as to how to help students better understand the reading materials, and I have definitely walked away with several strategies I am enthusiastic to implement. Being a part of this conference far exceeded my expectations, and all goals were met. I would highly recommend this conference to any faculty member. I only wish I had been encouraged to take it during my first year here, as I believe I would have better served my students."
"I was pleasantly surprised as the days of the workshop progressed because I learned more about the breadth of writing assignments used in other disciplines and am looking forward to incorporating them in my classes. I really appreciated the tools (that were new to me) on writing my assignments more clearly and with the students' needs and learning objectives in mind."
"The workshop undoubtedly inspired me to think more seriously about publishing. It provided me with a wealth of resources that I am eager to review in my continued exploration of the teaching and learning scholarship."
Other Faculty Support:
Over the years, QUWAC has supported faculty across the disciplines who are engaged in pedagogical research and innovation. We sponsor presentations at the biannual NEFDC conference (New England Faculty Development Consortium), as well as other regional, national, and international events. We also facilitate and provide opportunities for faculty to publish their pedagogical research.