WID Spring Institute 2019 – Connect & Collaborate: Dawson Faculty Initiatives

May 21, 1.30-3.30pm – CoLab 3F.43

This year’s WID Spring Institute will be devoted to an afternoon of brainstorming and planning with WID’s sister Dawson initiatives DALC, SALTISE, UDL and E-Learning.  2019-20 will mark WID’s tenth year of activities, and this year’s Institute offers an opportunity to pause, reflect and innovate:  Collectively, what progress have we made in offering Dawson teachers evidence-based approaches to improving teaching and learning?  What new directions and collaborative projects would we like to pursue over the next ten?  If you’ve been a Fellow in any one of these initiatives, join us on May 21 for a interactive afternoon of ideas and possibilities.  RSVP to Ian MacKenzie by May 17.

Insitute Agenda

a. Brainstorming: What have we accomplished? Where are we going next?

b. Inkshedding: Refining insights, identifying priorities

c. Prototyping: Innovating new structures and strategies

Jeff Gandell – Writing Fellows Facilitator Fall 2019

Jeffrey Gandell will take over facilitation of the Faculty Writing Fellows from Ian MacKenzie for Fall 2019.  Jeff is a WID Writing Fellow (2012), has co-directed a WID department project (2016), and has facilitated at WID Spring Institutes and workshops on several occasions over the years.  Along with his work as a DALC and UDL Fellow, Jeff is currently the faculty coordinator of the Dawson Theatre Collective.  Outside Dawson, Jeff is a playwright and actor, with multiple Fringe productions to his credit.

“I am thrilled to be facilitating the Fall 2019 Writing Fellows. Participating in the Fellows program in 2012 started me on a journey that has completely revolutionized the way I think about education, writing, and the role of the college teacher. I can’t wait to revisit the material, and work closely with the new cohort to dream up new and exciting ways to make a difference in our students’ lives.

Check out the details on how to apply for the F19-W20 Writing Fellows.

Call for Participants: F2019-W2020 Faculty Writing Fellows

Are you interested in exploring the contemporary literature on writing instruction, critical thinking in disciplinary contexts, and active learning?  In developing new strategies and materials in the supportive environment of a faculty learning community of teachers from across the college?

The Call for Participants for the F2019-W2020 Faculty Writing Fellows is now open.    The deadline for applications is Monday, March 11, 2019.  Interested teachers should review the program objectives, application process and selection criteria.

The facilitator of the F19 Writing Fellows will be Jeff Gandell (English).

Application Process and Selection Criteria

Applicants for the Writing Fellows should respond by the deadline with a one-page letter to WID Director Ian MacKenzie that touches on the following:

  • Reasons for interest in learning about evidence-based approaches to writing, critical thinking and active learning
  • Some specific challenges in current teaching practices related to writing
  • Commitment to producing artifacts that can be shared within and across departments
  • Willingness to learn and produce in a cross-disciplinary, collaborative initiative with other Writing Fellows

Applicants letters are read by the WID Working Group, which consists of several former Writing Fellows, the WID Director and at least one Dean.  Candidates are selected on the basis of three criteria: 1) their degree of interest in innovative pedagogies for writing, critical thinking and active learning; 2) their capacity for leadership on behalf of WID within their departments and programs, including the production of a discipline-specific teaching portfolio.  The WID Working Group also considers 3) the participation within the Fellows of a variety of departments and programs across the college.

—————-

To view examples of the work of the Writing Fellows, browse the Teaching Portfolios page.   There are now 82 Writing Fellows in 29 different departments & programs, and we welcome applications from both new and experienced teachers.  Before applying, please verify with your department chair that you will have a full teaching load for the Fall 2019 semester.  Contact Ian MacKenzie with any questions.

Browse some of the feedback from the F2016-W2017 Writing Fellows:

How would you characterize the experience of working alongside teachers from other departments in the Writing Fellows?

– Very good! I really liked having courses in common, like IS, to talk about and anchor new topics.

– It was wonderful to learn from and work with colleagues for other disciplines. We are too often siloed off from one another.

– It was great! Lots of interdisciplinary exchanges.

– C’est très intéressant et enrichissant. Pour la première fois depuis j’enseigne au collège Dawson, j’ai pu avoir des échanges à la fois éclairants et utiles avec mes colleagues, d’autres départements, la communication et l’échange entre les différents départements sont, selon moi, essentiels pour une démarche pédagogique cohérente et efficace.

Really wonderful to see how common lessons and frameworks can apply to different disciplines – I was surprised to what degree some of their applications also could be adjusted for my classes.

Has the experience informed, advanced or changed the way you think about and practice the teaching of writing in your discipline?

Gave me many more ways to think about how to incorporate writing, and appreciate low stakes writing activities in particular.  Helped me recognize the importance of student reflection on process, which is applicable in all courses, not just writing courses.

– Yes, I now pay more attention to audience and genre, and clarifying student expectations.

– Yes, I’ve incorporated some of these great ideas already into my courses.

– WID m’a ouvert les yeux surs les plusieurs aspects: l’importance d’une bonne planifaction des cours, la necessite de varier les exercises d’écriture, les bienfaits d’une bonne grille d’évaluation, etc. et surtout m’a aidé à acquérir plus d’assurance, plus de confiance dans ma démarche.

Yes, especially the utility of freewriting, and my ability to step away from copy-editing every piece of work that is submitted for assessment.  Also, I am thinking much more about audience.

Do you foresee these changes having an impact on student engagement and learning in your courses?

As I become better at incorporating writing, I see engagement increasing.  Asking students to do even brief  writing tasks keeps them involved actively in the class.

– I think – and already know from introducing new assignments – that my WID expertise will help students become more engaged.

– Hopefully an increase in engagement, learning!

– Je pense que tous les changements que je suis en train de faire en ce moment dans mes cours vont aider à concevoir des activites d’apprentissage plus motivantes et plus connectées à la vie réelle.

– I think when you show students “process,” and focus on praxis, they become aware that there can be a point to their writing, and especially when you talk of process & praxis that lead to persuasive, authoritative texts for different real-world audiences.