Implementing Writing Across the Curriculum in Support of Student Learning and Achievement

Registration Fee: $425.00

Implementing Writing Across the Curriculum
in Support of Student Learning and Achievement

Available On-Demand

Each participant will receive a link to the recording which is good for one year and can be distributed to your
entire faculty and staff via email for viewing anytime, anywhere!

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“Successful Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) programs offer compelling evidence of the role writing plays in students’ acquisition and demonstration of knowledge studied. Well-crafted writing activities, like those examined in this presentation, enable students to organize and grasp information in a given discipline and thus understand what they know well and what they need to study further. Writing has the tremendous potential, therefore, to inform teaching and learning processes. Confusion about the integration of writing into the curriculum exists, however, and there is the need to understand the difference between a course that utilizes writing to support student learning and a course that teaches writing.”
~ Dr. Linda Best
Webinar Presenter

Drawing from policies and practices at institutions throughout the country as well as research on writing, this presentation will focus on what WAC is and how to implement it in the classroom and across the institution. The session will offer a variety of examples of WAC activities, both those specific to particular disciplines and those that can be utilized in all disciplines, discussing how they enhance learning. The underlying purpose of the session is to show how writing enables students to reflect on, acquire, absorb, organize, and utilize content studied. The material covered is relevant to faculty, professional staff, academic support staff, and administrators.

The session’s content will include commentary on the Writing Across the Curriculum Movement, reviewing both its history and its long-time success; discussion about program policy, structure, delivery, and assessment, as exemplified by best practices at different institutions; the examination of misconceptions about WAC and implications for instruction; a review of the relationship between WAC and Writing to Learn (WTL) and Writing in the Discipline (WID) pedagogies; and explanation about the difference between a course that utilizes writing for the study of content and a course that teaches writing. The body of the presentation will offer an extensive review of successful writing activities across levels and disciplines with commentary how to adapt or develop as well as incorporate these into a given course. The session will also focus on practical concerns that faculty and academic support staff typically raise in discussions about WAC: syllabi design, how to manage and respond to the writing students generate, and issues about ensuring the integrity of course content when placing emphasis on and giving time to writing.

Participants will:
  1. Review basic concepts about Writing Across the Curriculum, the pedagogical movement that began in the 1980s.
  2. Consider WAC policy by examining a number of institutional examples.
  3. Examine WAC course structures for insights on workable ideas and activities that can be infused into the curriculum.
  4. Understand related topics: WTL (Writing to Learn) and WID (Writing in the Discipline)
  5. Review the differences between a course that utilizes writing for the study of content and a course that teaches writing.
  6. Study how to integrate writing into the curriculum, with references to students’ active roles in learning.
  7. View statistics on students’ performance and achievement at institutions with strong WAC Programs.
  8. Review myths, misconceptions, and testimonials about WAC.
  9. Study specific WAC activities, such as quick writes, mentor texts, logs, briefs, thinking maps, inquiry, double-entry explorations, and ways these are used in a variety of disciplines.
  10. Sketch ideas for their own WAC activities.
  11. Consider implementation issues, from course design to grading or responding to students’ writing.
  12. Consider ways to apply WAC principles and activities in tutoring and other academic support mechanisms.

Who should attend?
Faculty, Deans, Academic Support Staff, Administrators, Staff for Retention and Assessment, First-Year Seminar Faculty and Staff

Who is the speaker?
Dr. Linda Best  is Professor and Chair of the Department of English at Kean University in Union, NJ. She earned her Ed.D. from the University of Rochester (NY) in the area of cognition and instruction. She also directs the Kean University Writing Project, an approved site of the federally-funded National Writing Project, the largest and most successful professional development program for teachers in the United States.

Dr. Nilson has also published many articles and book chapters and has presented conference sessions and faculty workshops at colleges and universities both nationally and internationally on dozens of topics related to teaching effectiveness, assessment, scholarly productivity, and academic career matters. She has been a regular presenter at the Lilly Conferences on College Teaching for years. Most of her faculty experience was at UCLA as a sociology professor.

Dr. Best’s teaching experiences include developmental writing, ESL, composition, and advanced writing through the graduate level. She has researched and written about the writing process extensively, publishing over 60 articles on the topic. Her studies capture data at nature of writing – how writers compose and how writing activity exposes and lays out information, allowing writers to organize what they know, demonstrate what they know, and advance learning. Through these findings like these, Dr. Best has come to understand the underpinnings of the Writing Across the Curriculum movement and has delivered professional development on the topic to faculty across the disciplines at a number of colleges and universities in the United States and Canada.

Dr. Best is most widely known for her critical studies on the nature of developmental writing, which support her work to develop materials that facilitate students’ progress, elevate their learning and esteem in all subjects they study, engage them in the deep suprocesses of writing (e.g., planning, monitoring, questioning, reviewing, and so on), integrate grammar into writing practice, lend themselves to active learning, and support the retention and application of writing skills for use in other academic situations.

Dr. Best has served as an external evaluator at a number of institutions and has delivered well over 100 professional development sessions. Her work has transformed both students’ and instructors’ views on writing in thoughtful, critically-informed, and affirming ways.

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