All posts by aolinger

Interview with a Writer (Betsy Sargent)

This assignment, developed by Betsy Sargent for WRS 101: Exploring Writing (U of Alberta), tasks students with the following:

You are going to interview an individual in that field or line of work about the writing they do every day and how they go about doing it. Interviews with individuals who have more work and writing experience than you do—or experience of a different kind—can generate rich material to help you, your colleagues, and your instructor get a better sense of the wide variety of writing that gets done in the world.

Image credit: “Job Interview” by nuggety247 on Pixabay, CC0 license.

Textbooks

Below, from newest to oldest, are some textbooks that instructors might be interested in. Please write with other suggestions!

Readers

Texts by a Single Author(s)

Essay Collections

Other

  • In 2011, Betsy Sargent created this list of possible primary and supplemental textbooks for a University of Alberta FYC course, WRS 101: Exploring Writing

Anyone want to talk about small, informal WAW pilots?

On the WAW network Ning in 2014, instructors had a conversation about pilot programs implementing WAW approaches. With the contributors’ permission, we have copied and pasted the initial post and–in the comments–the replies.

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Hi.  I’m new here.  We are heading into the fourth semester of a small, informal WAW pilot at Hunter College.  For two semesters, I was the pilot.  Now we are three teachers and next semester we will be at least four.

So far it’s been bottom-up and horizontal, run mostly below the school’s radar by a grad student and adjuncts, with support from WPAs who see us as an interesting experimental model.

We are thinking about issues like common course elements and goals, recruiting other adjuncts to do a kind of teaching that we know requires more work for no extra pay, and formulating programmatic assessments that move beyond rubric-based essay or portfolio readings so we avoid the negative washback effects and unanticipated misuses of information we generate, so that our assessment can deeply benefit our teaching.

We haven’t thought about “threshhold concepts” as such; but we agree with Liz Clark’s 2010 argument that we face a “digital imperative” so this semester we all taught paperless classes that included website portfolios and movie essays. Rhetoric feels important too: we all taught some classic rhetoric and some visual rhetoric, even as we learn it ourselves.

Wardle and Roozen’s goal of teaching to promote “rhetorical dexterity (Carter, 2008) across boundaries and in multiple contexts.” (111-12) feels like a powerful touchstone.

Anyhow, I’d love to talk here or directly at smolloy at hunter dot cuny dot edu.

-Sean Molloy

Support for Critical Reading

On the WAW network Ning in 2011, instructors had a conversation about how to help students read scholarly articles. With the contributors’ permission, we have copied and pasted the initial post and–in the comments–the replies.

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Hi, all!

I’m in the process of meeting w/ and preparing a group of 9 of our part-time faculty here to pilot WAW in spring 2012. (It will be piloted in our second semester comp course.)

The one question I’m getting consistently, that I am currently unable to answer is about supporting students with the readings. I know Barb Bird has done a good deal of work on this and I’m sure others of you have as well. I’d benefit from seeing handouts, hearing about your approach, and advice on supporting instructors in their approaches!

Thank you!

-Michelle LaFrance

(To read the replies, scroll below or click on “Comments,” above.)