Call for Participants: 2018-2019 Faculty Writing Fellows


Across the Disciplines

Deep Roots

Writing – Critical thinking – Active Learning


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 F2018-W2019 Faculty Writing Fellows is now open.  Letters of application should be sent to Ian MacKenzie.   The deadline for applications is Monday, March 5, 2018.  Interested teachers should review the program objectives, application process and selection criteria. 

For examples of the work of the Writing Fellows, browse the Teaching Portfolios page.   There are now 77 Writing Fellows in 28 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 2018 semester.  Contact WID Director 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.

Critical Thinking and Writing for New and Interactive Media

Cinema and Communications WID Project W2018

Cinema and Communications and WID are collaborating on a Winter 2018 WID Department Project under the leadership of Cheryl Simon and Myriam Rafla.  Cheryl and Myriam responded to the annual Call for Proposals with a detailed project plan to develop resources to support effective teaching strategies for new and interactive media.  Read an excerpt from their proposal below, and watch here for updates on the project.

“Working with new and expanding media content and platforms (on-line, interactive and 3D storytelling) requires the rethinking of traditional storytelling and writing practices, and also needs take into consideration the ethical, political and social implications of expanded and adapted media applications. This is still a relatively new media environment so teaching in this area is limited by the availability of curricular models and documentary resources.

The proposed project aims to redress the absence of resources by developing evaluative tools and gathering relevant documentary materials to be used in teaching about writing, creation and critical thinking in new and interactive media. The project will unfold through the review of relevant literature on new media (practices, ethics, social and political implications), as well as a survey of available materials and resources, and the testing and application of instructional approaches for teaching.

The project brings together two teachers in the Cinema and Communication department, Cheryl Simon and Myriam Rafla, to develop and gather these new curricular and documentary materials. The collaborators pool expertise from a range of media and communication fields, including scriptwriting for traditional and new media, experimental documentary practices, new media and installation art, art criticism, linguistics, languages, technology and Writing in the Disciplines.”

Call for Proposals: Department and Program WID Projects Winter 2018

Writing in the Disciplines at Dawson invites faculty members to submit proposals for department and program-based projects focused on writing, critical thinking and active learning in the disciplines.  Building on the college-wide presence of WID Writing Fellows and Spring Institute participants, these projects provide WID support for innovations in instructional and curricular design.  One or two projects will be selected for the W2018 semester.

Proposals should be submitted to Ian MacKenzie, WID Director, by Monday October 30, 2017.   If you would like to discuss a potential application, don’t hesitate to contact Ian.Continue reading