Moving WAC to the Web: Using GSOLE OLI to Create Resources for Online Writing Across Disciplines

This workshop explored how GSOLE’s “Online Literacy Instruction Principles and Tenets” can frame online literacy instruction across disciplinary contexts. By focusing especially on the first principle—accessibility—the webinar leaders engaged administrators and instructors in a process of linking principle to practice. More specifically, the webinar leaders described their own experiences with developing accessible online course materials, which involved using Blackboard Ally. Then, participants were invited to share their experiences and to collaboratively respond to a course design scenario. This webinar thus responded to a gap between national documents and local practice and focuses on how to develop local practices to support the first principle, accessibility.

Filling Your WAC Backpack: Starting Your WAC Program Prepared

This online workshop was designed for anyone who is starting, or thinking of starting, a WAC program at their institution. The panelists began with a discussion of the relationships and distinctions among WAC pedagogy, WAC initiatives, and WAC programs. They then provided brief overviews of the WAC programs they’ve led, after which they described the essential contents of a “WAC Backpack”: the characteristics and habits new WAC administrators need when initiating conversations about WAC and building sustainable programs. Throughout and at the end, the panelists responded to questions posed by participants about challenges of developing WAC programs in specific contexts. The video (see link below) includes the chat, in which participants crowdsourced responses to questions about favorite resources to share with disciplinary faculty, approaches to dealing with challenges, and the moments of joy that make WAC program leadership worthwhile.

Closing the Assessment Loop: WAC Assessment Options and Strategies

This virtual workshop offers descriptions of several WAC assessment practices that have been used successfully by two well-established WAC programs to “close the loop” for writing assessment. The presenters will speak for 30 minutes and leave 30 minutes for discussions and questions. Over the course of the discussion, other assessment models will be identified and pros and cons of each introduced.

Strategies for Online WAC Faculty Development

This virtual workshop was offered on April 17th, 2020 by the AWAC Mentoring Committee and the CCCC WAC Standing Group and was led by Christopher Basgier (Auburn University), Amy Cicchino (Auburn University), and Susanmarie Harrington (University of Vermont). Many WAC administrators are moving faculty development experiences online during the COVID-19 pandemic. This virtual workshop focused on strategies for supporting faculty remotely, with a particular emphasis on extended faculty development experiences such as WAC workshop series.

Designing and Using Writing-to-Learn Assignments

This virtual workshop was offered on May 7th, 2020 by the AWAC Mentoring Committee and was led by Marty Townsend (University of Missouri Emerita) and Chris Anson (North Carolina State University). The relationship between writing and learning has been a fundamental part of the WAC movement from its beginnings. When students write frequently and informally about the material of their courses, they experience deeper learning—stronger analysis, synthesis, and integration of ideas—and enhanced reading processes (Graham & Hebert, 2010). And when this low-stakes writing is woven into the fabric of their courses, class sessions can be more engaging and socially dynamic. In this interactive workshop, Marty Townsend and Chris Anson explained the theoretical orientation of writing to learn, including distinctions between writing to learn and more formal, higher-stakes writing, and then engaged participants in methods for designing and evaluating effective, learning-based writing assignments and integrating them into their courses to enhance student engagement.

Responding to Writing

This virtual workshop was offered on September 17, 2020 by the AWAC Mentoring Committee and was led by Pam Childers (McCallie School), Kelli Cargile Cook (Texas Tech University), and Chris Thaiss (University of California, Davis). In this workshop, Pam, Kelli, and Chris focused on sequenced response and peer review, response to the expressed needs of writers, connections between purpose and audience for both writer and respondent, and features of responding to writing in online environments.

Keeping WAC Programs Afloat

As Chris Thaiss and Tara Porter wrote a decade ago, more than half of the 418 WAC programs that they studied either failed or were significantly reconstituted (2010, p. 558). Recent pressures due to budget cuts, the effects of Covid-19, and rapidly shifting priorities in higher education have further threatened the sustainability of WAC programs at the same time as these challenges have highlighted their importance. This workshop will examine ways to keep WAC programs thriving, including the formulation of strategic plans with stakeholder input, aligning program goals with campus priorities, using SWOT analyses to mitigate external threats with internal strengths, and the ability to be flexible in order to meet changing campus needs.

Virtual Workshop on WAC Pedagogy, Equity, and Antiracism

AWAC members are invited to attend the next virtual workshop in the WAC pedagogy series. Please register for the event here. Register by 5:00 ET on March 30th. (Zoom link will be sent to participants before the event.) Questions? Please contact AWAC Mentoring Committee member Joanna Johnson ude.imaim@nosnhojsj ta. Workshop Session Descriptions 1. Conformity or Equity?: […]