I co-taught this seminar twice during the 2020-2021 academic year to faculty members in a range of disciplines, from education to fine arts. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the seminar took place fully online. The seminar is designed for faculty members who elected to teach courses with the “Writing Intensive” designation at LaGuardia—each student takes a few of these courses during their degree program.
Over six session, this seminar introduces faculty members to a range of techniques and best practices for making the most out of writing in their curricula. This starts with a close consideration of assignment design for both high-stakes research papers and low-stakes, in-class writing. Instructors are asked to think carefully about how they can use writing as part of—rather than merely an assessment of—disciplinary learning. We discuss how to introduce students to scholarly debates and critical analysis through active reading. We also examine best practices for evaluation and assessment. Since most faculty members in these seminars are part-timers, all of the techniques discussed are designed with an eye toward helping instructors make most efficient use of their course preparation time without overworking.
In addition to these discussions, my WID seminars leave space for open-ended pedagogy discussion. I believe that, as university faculty, we do not often have access to spaces for discussing our teaching—whether its best practices we’ve discovered, problems we’re running into, or just a space to vent when the semester is stressful. The WID seminar, more than anything else, is meant to offer this space, and I have found that faculty participants learn as much from each other as they do from me or the reading, because of this collegial atmosphere.