Overall, faculty report that attending to writing in the disciplines leads them to teach more effectively. Possible influences of writing-intensive courses on teaching include greater engagement in course issues, and increased communication with students regarding their learning/writing process.
Creating a Writing Intensive Course Environment
Teach the language and conventions that make disciplinary expectations explicit:
- teach the writing conventions that are inseparable from modes of inquiry in a discipline
- involve students in innovative writing assignments that promote course learning;
- stage and sequence assignments to encourage writing as a process to maximize opportunities for guidance, feedback, and revision.
The most effective way to improve student writing is to do so within the context of disciplinary demands and with frequent intervention, including peer feedback.
It is usually an inefficient use of time to "correct" papers, even though students (and many faculty who were taught to write this way) assume that "correcting" errors is what instructors do—and will improve student "writing."
Develop strategies to break students of the one-draft habit.
Inexperienced writers do not have a concept of revision that is separate from simply fiddling with words. Students tend to believe that writing is drafting material, most likely in the hours before an assignment is due.
Where can I go for more help?
The IWC realizes that for many faculty, teaching WI courses sounds time intensive.
Please feel free to contact UWP Director, Dr. David Martins <firstname.lastname@example.org> if you would like assistance in developing a WI environment.
The assistance of the RIT WAC Director and your IWC, especially your College representative, however, should help considerably, assisting you in designing and delivering a successful WI course to your students.
Teaching writing or giving feedback on the writing assignment allows us to teach: the questions, patterns of evidence and argument, styles and formats that are specific to making knowledge in our disciplines.