The Faculty Writing Fellows is a faculty learning community in which teachers from different disciplines work together on innovative approaches to writing instruction, critical thinking and active learning. Consulting and discussing current research in these areas, the Fellows collaborate on refining assignment design, clarifying learning objectives, developing effective evaluation tools and feedback techniques – and more. The Fellows use John Bean’s Engaging Ideas: The Professor’s Guide to Integrating Writing, Critical Thinking and Active Learning in the Classroom as a primary resource for discussion and activities.
Course release for Writing Fellows occurs in the Winter semester of each academic year, when the Fellows read, write online and meet bi-weekly. In the Fall term, as Fellows return to their usual course load, they remain involved via individual check-ins and monthly brief group meetings. The Fellowship culminates in the fellows leading WID’s Big Winter Workshop, which happens in January before classes start up again. The year-long experience permits a full cycle of learning, implementation, and evaluation.
What have past participants said about their Writing Fellows experiences?
- “There is a huge shift for me since I participated in WID. It feels like I cleaned off many windows in my house of teaching and a lot more sunlight is streaming in. The axis of John Bean’s book, Engaging Ideas, and especially his suggestions on defining audience, purpose and genre for assignments, cemented something for me: real writing for real reasons is a natural motivator for students.”
- “Wonderful! The WID Fellows project presented a rare opportunity to get to know my colleagues, their interests and expertise, and to learn about the travails and techniques of teaching writing from teachers in other disciplines in a supportive, challenging and edifying situation.”
- “I found this experience very enriching. It is quite hard to build friendships sometimes across disciplines, and WID gave me an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with colleagues whom I would normally have harder access to. I also found it humbling to witness how different faculties really engage with similar pedagogical values and principles, as well remind me of other ones that I maybe take for granted… I think the CEGEP teaching culture can have us sometimes looking at the teaching in our courses in a bubble, and WID reminds us of, as well as celebrates, the ways our courses and teaching approaches really can/do complement each other.”
- Introduce teachers to evidence-based writing-in-the-disciplines theory and practice: Writing as a mode of learning; the role of genres in the construction of knowledge within disciplines; the novice-expert insider continuum of learning to write in a discipline.
- Give teachers the support and resources needed to implement changes in their current courses: more effective integration of writing to promote critical thinking / clarification of writing objectives / use of low stakes exploratory writing activities / effective assignment design for formal assignments / effective feedback and assessment practices.
- Facilitate the diffusion of ideas and best practices: discuss WID in home depts. / develop resources available to others through on-line teaching portfolio / workshops and presentations.
- Leading WID’s Big Winter Workshop.
Application Process and Selection Criteria
Applicants for the Writing Fellows should respond to the February Call for Applicants with a one-page letter touching 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 collegial collaborative 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.
F2020-W2021 Writing Fellows
Catherine Braithwaite (History), Elliot Kerr (Sociology), Eliza Wood (Humanities), Gisela Frias (Geography), Natalie Olanick (Fine Arts/Photography)
F2019-W2020 Writing Fellows
Jesse Klein (Cinema and Communication), Joelle Dayan (Psychology), Joseph Rosen (Humanities), Ursula Misztal (English)
F2018-W2019 Writing Fellows
Madeleine Cote (Psychology), Rachel Echenberg (Fine Arts), Kate Hall (English), Nadia Lebza (French), Brian Redekopp (Humanities/Philosophy)
F2017-W2018 Writing Fellows
Laetitia Desanti (French), Michael Duckett (History), Vanessa Gordon (Political Science), Paul Hawkins (English), Johanne Rabbatt (Religion)
F2016-W2017 Writing Fellows
Melanie Doyle (Psychology), Julian Nemeth (Humanities/History), Mari Heywood (Humanities), Carmen-Silvia Cristea (French), Sonia Zylberberg (Religious Studies)
Gregory Polakoff (Humanities), Jennifer Smith (Anthropology), Marie-Pierre Gosselin (Psychology), David Weeks (Industrial Design), Will Aitken (Cinema and Communication)
Jean Duclos Alegue (Economics), Karla Gruodis (English), Dipti Gupta (Cinema-Communications), Geoffery Pearce (Geography), Carl Saucier-Bouffard (Humanities), Eric Van der Wee (Humanities)
Nejla El Sohl (French), Mathilde Hitier (Mathematics), Mark Beauchamp (History), Susan Briscoe (English), and Jon Sumner (Physics). Also participating are Diana Tremblay (Student AccessAbility) and Robert Cassidy (OID / Psychology).
Sarah Allen (Philosphy), Anna-Liisa Aunio (Sociology), Jessica Lim (Philosophy), Elizabeth Linn (Anthrology), Tavish Mcdonell (English), and Emmanuelle Simoney (History).
Winter 2013 Writing Fellows
- Anna De Aguayo, Anthropology
- Veronique Millet, French
- Kate Payne, English
- Robert Stephens, Humanities
- John Veroutsos, Electrical Technology
Fall 2012 Writing Fellows
- Jean-Francois Briere, Physics
- Joanna Farmer, Physical Education
- Lyane Henrichon, French
- Cory Legassic, Sociology / Humanities
- Diane Shea, History
- Valerie Simmons, Professional Photography
- Martine Wizman, Social Services
Winter 2012 Writing Fellows
- Jeffrey Gandell, English
- Hannah Heath-Engel, Biomedical Laboratory Technology
- Christian Pare, French
- Cheryl Simon, Cinema and Communications
- Yoon-Seo Uh, Analytical Laboratory Technology
Fall 2011 Writing Fellows
- Anthony Berkers, Physical Education
- Jesse Hunter, Cinema and Communications
- Susan Elmslie, English
- Joel Rubin, Biology
- Laura Shea, Sociology
- Andreas Tsatoumas, Engineering
Winter 2011 Writing Fellows
- Kurt Holfeld, Interior Design
- Ben Lander, History
- George Mack, Computer Science
- Charles-Albert Ramsay, Economics
- Cheryl Stewart, Nursing
- Anne Thorpe, Humanities
Fall 2010 Writing Fellows
- Melanie Beck, Mathematics
- Heather Bradley, Physical Education
- Susan-Judith Hoffmann, Humanities
- Boris Lorkovic, Electrical Engineering
- Davina Mill, Psychology
- Jocelyn Parr, History
- Mary Puddington, Nursing
Winter 2010 Writing Fellows
- Denise Brend, Social Services
- Fiona Hanley, Nursing
- Emilie Richer, Mathematics
- Cindy Starzenski, Physical Education
- Lisa Steffen, History
- Francesca Theriault (Biology)