QUWAC hosts 10th annual summer training workshop

John Goepfrich
John Goepfrich, academic support specialist, presents a WTL scaffolding sequence for QU 101.

Aug. 26, 2014 - Quinnipiac's Writing Across the Curriculum hosted its 10th annual summer training workshop on Aug. 11-14. Faculty participants from departments and programs across the University - engineering, management, accounting, biology, first year writing, QU Seminars, psychology, game design, marketing, biomedical sciences, physical therapy, and nursing - collaborated on assignment design, outcomes assessment, and other critical thinking and writing tasks. The workshop was facilitated by Bill Jellison, associate professor of psychology, and Lauren Sardi assistant professor of sociology. Christopher Hakala, the new Director of University Teaching and Learning, was on hand to meet with faculty and share his thoughts on the office's emerging mission. A follow-up workshop focusing on assignment design and pedagogical research is planned for January 2015.  

Here's what some faculty members had to say about this year's workshop: 

"I really liked the second day morning session where we discussed different ideas for WTL. Super helpful. I now have great ideas from completely different disciplines." 

"My major takeaways were the inventory of WTLs and the discussion on how to create grading rubrics. I think knowing the range of available WTLs that I can use will help me incorporate writing into my teaching on a greater scale." 

"I found the first assignment and triangulation most impactful. Comparing and contrasting the different perspectives on the same topic, thinking/viewing each of those perspectives from your personal view and from the author's were all thought-provoking discussions. Overall, it was just great to kick start my thought process to teaching before the semester."

"Major takeaways include knowing about a diversity of WTLs, examples of different types of rubrics, concept of triangulation and using multiple texts to demonstrate a complex topic. Actually practicing developing WTLs to scaffold my students in preparation for an assignment was particularly helpful, and I will likely use a version of those I presented in my class this fall. I also am happy to have the Bean resources to work from in the future as well."

"One of the major takeaways is that I need to do a better job scaffolding students to do complex assignments. Things might seem clear to me but not to students, and getting early feedback from students and doing mini-assignments can help me gauge how well they understand what they are supposed to do. I guess the other major takeaway for me is using more informal writing assignments, rather than viewing the writing components of my class as being big essays. I've always believed in providing low-stakes opportunities for students, but haven't been able to figure out how to implement that into my class. I think this workshop helped." 

Faculty are encouraged to consult with this year's participants: