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Writing in the Disciplines Program

UVM WID: School and Departmental Partnerships

Department Projects

WID collaborates with faculty in departments across campus to explore the relationships among teaching practices, writing, and disciplinary and professional expectations. These partnerships encourage faculty to identify the ways writing already functions in the discipline and to build on those experiences to strengthen attention to writing across courses in the unit.

Because the scope and direction for these projects are shaped by local goals connected to work already underway in the department, each WID partnership is different. The following examples of our work with departments demonstrate the variety of forms a project might take.

If your unit is interested in working with WID, contact WID Director Susanmarie Harrington, Susan.Harrington@uvm.edu, 802.656.0878, to discuss how the Writing in the Disciplines Program can be a resource for your department.

Department of Medical Laboratory and Radiation Sciences (MLRS)

The MLRS faculty asked WID to consult about how to teach writing more effectively given the changing nature of their students' writing experiences and faculty concerns about teaching English language learners. Faculty also had questions about how writing assignments are currently coordinated across courses.

What we accomplished:
  • Produced a department profile mapping the MLRS writing curriculum, giving greater awareness of the writing expectations that already exist
  • Synthesized faculty views about writing, identifying their priorities and where they would like additional resources
What's ongoing:
  • Department and WID review of the profile and planning for MLRS-specific workshops.
  • Development of resources to support teaching writing in MLRS
Department of History

In 2009, the History Department revised its curriculum to require History Methods (HST 101) of all majors. The department asked WID to facilitate conversations about how writing instruction might be integrated into the course.

What we accomplished:
  • Facilitated faculty retreats on teaching Methods that resulted in the identification of shared goals and two general models for the course
  • Surveyed seminar students about their experiences with writing The results suggest non-majors have less confidence and clarity about writing in history while both graduate and undergraduate history students are articulate about their writing development and experience a wide range of genres through the curriculum.
  • Analyzed writing assignments across department syllabi and prepared a report identifying areas of strength as well as areas that might be addressed to create a more intentional approach to writing across courses
What's ongoing:
  • Development of resources for the Writing Center that identify key intellectual moves in history writing for student reference
  • Collaboration with faculty to develop resources for teaching writing
Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

The Rubenstein faculty, long interested in the role of writing in students' experiences, asked for WID's help in identifying writing priorities.

What we accomplished:
  • Co-facilitated conversations at two Rubenstein faculty retreats about aspects of writing in the curriculum
  • Led a department steering committee in drafting writing outcomes for the Rubenstein curriculum.
What's ongoing:
  • Writing outcomes have been submitted to the committee working on curriculum withn the Engaged Department Initiative
Writing in the Disciplines Program • 302 Bailey/Howe Library • Burlington, VT 05405

Last modified April 09 2014 02:07 PM

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