June is a month for gratitude. I want to express my thanks to all faculty who attended WIC events and seminars this year. Special thanks to those who shared their ideas and experience about writing in presentations at WIC events: Liz Delf (English), John Parmigiani (MIME), Janet Tate (Physics), Claudia Ingham (ANSCI), Barb Lachenbruch (Wood Science and Engineering), Travis Margoni (WIC/English), and Mike Shum (WIC/English).
What are the effects of collaboration on writing, thinking, and teaching? What are the best ways to incorporate collaboration in the college classroom? As teamwork has become an increasingly valued way to accomplish tasks in the professional world, practicing these skills of communication, problem-solving, and independence has taken on a new centrality in classrooms. Students need to be prepared to meet the demands of their future careers and employers. However, simply throwing students into a group and asking them to write something may not build the skills necessary to learn and succeed in future scenarios; this practice must be based in theory and purpose. Collaborative writing is a valuable approach when it is informed, purposeful, and thoughtful, because it not only challenges and informs student writing, but also better prepares them for writing in the “real world.”
Responding to writing online is becoming more and more common for instructors teaching onsite courses, and it’s a practice that deserves consideration for pedagogical and environmental reasons. Furthermore, students are entering a workforce that involves online collaboration more than ever.
For instructors, responding to student writing electronically for the first time can be an invigorating experience, a frustrating experience, or—more likely—something in between. Understanding that responding and receiving feedback online is a different process and experience can help instructors and students to be more productive and effective.
The Writing Intensive Curriculum Program, in coordination with the following departments, is happy to announce Culture of Writing Award winners in the disciplines for the 2010-2011 academic year. Congratulations to each of the winners, and thank you to the departments for supporting student writing.
The Introductory WIC Faculty Seminar is offered each fall term and meets five sessions of two hours each. Faculty from across the university come together to discuss pedagogical issues such as using minimally graded writing to improve learning and critical thinking, designing effective writing assignments, giving effective feedback on student writing, teaching students to revise, and employing effective grading practices. The seminar gives faculty an opportunity to meet colleagues from across the university and discuss issues of writing in the disciplines. Faculty complete the course with concrete plans for their own teaching and receive a modest honorarium for completion of the seminar.
The Writing Intensive Curriculum Program is excited to announce that the program’s website, www.wic.oregonstate.edu, has undergone a dramatic overhaul in recent months. On May 25, the site was officially launched after successful redesign and migration into Drupal 6. Working with WIC Assistant Director Travis Margoni, Naveen Nanja, a junior computer science major, completed the site relocation this spring.