AWAC Virtual Workshop: WAC Pedagogy, Equity, and Anti-Racism

WAC Pedagogy, Equity, and Anti-Racism

AWAC members are invited to attend a virtual workshop on WAC pedagogy, equity, and anti-racism on Thursday, April 1st, 3:30-5:00 ET on Zoom. Register for the event here. Please register by 5:00 ET on March 30th.


Workshop Description


Conformity or Equity?: Designing WAC Assignments to Promote Equity in the Curriculum

Presenter:  Teresa Redd, former director of Writing Across the Curriculum and the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Assessment at Howard University

Description: Drawing upon Critical Language Pedagogy, the presenter will examine how WAC assignments can promote conformity or equity in the curriculum. First, she will demonstrate how WAC privileges the canons and conventions of the dominant group in a discipline.  Then she will expose the consequences: how WAC assignments marginalize people of color by requiring students to conform to canons and conventions that often do not include their perspectives or address their needs. Finally, by sharing excerpts from WAC assignments from Howard University, she will illustrate how some Howard faculty have designed WAC assignments to create an equitable curriculum that can benefit all students.

Presenter Bio: Teresa Redd directed Howard University’s Writing Across the Curriculum Program for 24 years as well as the Center for Excellence in Teaching, Learning & Assessment for nearly 13.  She also served on the Board of Consultants of the International Network of Writing-Across-the-Curriculum Programs for 19 years.  She is best known for co-authoring A Teacher’s Introduction to African American English: What a Writing Teacher Should Know, published by the National Council of Teachers of English (2005).  Since retiring, she has served as a WAC consultant and published “Breaking Out of the Box: Expanding the WAC Program at Howard University” in Shirley Logan and Wayne Slater’s volume Academic and Professional Writing in an Age of Accountability (Southern Illinois University Press, 2018).


Autoethnography as a Site of Negotiation for Linguistic Justice


Presenter:  Zhaozhe Wang, doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Purdue University

Description: This presentation will draw our attention to international multilingual students who are victims of tacit or explicit linguistic racism on campus. The presenter will begin with a call for meaningful advocacy work in the disciplines, then introduce an autoethnography assignment designed to cultivate linguistic equity and combat linguistic racism. The description of the assignment will be illustrated with a student case. The presenter will conclude by offering suggestions on how to appropriate the assignment for WAC/WID contexts.

Presenter Bio: Zhaozhe Wang is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Purdue University, where he teaches writing and communication. His work, broadly exploring multilingual literacy and transnational digital/public rhetorics, has appeared in journals such as College Composition and Communication, Composition Forum, and Rhetoric Society Quarterly. He is also co-editor of Reconciling Translingualism and Second Language Writing.

What the Written Communication ‘Landscape of Learning’ Reveals about Equity in Undergraduate Learning

Presenter: Kate Drezek McConnell, Assistant Vice President for Research & Assessment and Director of the VALUE Institute, AAC&U

Description: AAC&U’s inaugural Landscape of Learning report spans five years (2014-2019) of findings on student learning outcomes gathered from samples of student work submitted by campuses and evaluated by national panels of scorers using the VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education) rubrics. For written communication, the most frequently subscribed outcome, results are based on over 20,000 scored pieces of student work. This presentation will share aggregate results for Written Communication focused on equity, diversity across higher education sectors, and quality of learning within the undergraduate curriculum.

Presenter Bio: Kate Drezek McConnell, PhD, is Assistant Vice President for Research & Assessment and Director of the VALUE Institute, AAC&U’s nationwide assessment system that enables any higher education provider (institution, PCE program, academic department, state, consortium, etc.) to collect and upload samples of student work to a digital repository and have the work scored by certified VALUE Institute scorers for external validation of institutional learning assessment. An educational psychologist by training, Dr. McConnell has written extensively on the reliability and validity of the VALUE approach to assessment. Her other research and campus consultations focus on using course-embedded assessment to improve teaching and learning while also addressing accountability and accreditation requirements; course-embedded assessment; aligning pedagogy with assessment efforts; faculty development; and leveraging the learning sciences in teaching, assessment, and evaluation. Before joining AAC&U, Dr. McConnell spent ten years at Virginia Tech working in assessment and evaluation as well as serving as affiliate faculty in Virginia Tech’s graduate program in educational psychology, teaching courses on cognitive processes and effective college teaching. She received a BA from the University of Virginia, an MA in history from Providence College (Rhode Island), and a PhD in educational psychology from Virginia Tech.