Wednesday, July 11, 2012

2011 - 2012 SNL Writing Program Accomplishments

1. Writing Faculty Development: We completed eight course evaluations, held two writing faculty development workshops, and continue to use and refine our process for evaluating the Writing Workshop portfolios and course yearly. In addition, we have begun additional work on writing faculty development through a) participation for writing faculty in the Melissa Peet workshop and follow-up, b) review and revisions of AWA syllabi, and c) by using the AWA TLA portfolio grant to see where we have opportunities to improve teaching effectiveness.

2. Curriculum Revision: We consulted with BACA throughout the development of the curriculum and look forward to more collaboration on the implementation of the curriculum revision.

3. E-portfolios and Portfolio Assessment: We are now requiring final portfolios in both writing courses (Academic Writing for Adults and Writing Workshop). Seven writing teachers participated in Melissa Peet's workshop on ePortfolio pedagogy, helping us to lay the groundwork with first adopters for moving all of the writing faculty to e-portfolios. A TLA grant allowed us to develop our understanding of best practices for assessing portfolios in general as well as our criteria for assessing AWA in particular. We have begun incorporating what we learned from this portfolio review into our planning for faculty development, course improvement and portfolio review in 2012-2013. In addition, we contributed as members of the SNL team to DePaul’s successful application to join the International E-Portfolio Cohort. We anticipate that our work with this cohort will allow us to extend our learning on how to best use ePortfolios to support student and teacher learning and curriculum improvement.

4. Hybrids: This year, we engaged part-time faculty to learn their ideas about hybrids, developed a template for the writing course hybrids with input from SNLonline, and got buy-in for our hybrid plan from campus directors. We are scheduled to pilot these hybrids in selected classes during the 2012-2013 school year. As we pilot the hybrids, we will tweak the template as necessary and develop training materials for teachers. We anticipate that the new hybrids will improve instruction in all writing courses by providing writing faculty with a rich resource for assignments and teaching ideas. In addition, by standardizing the writing course hybrids and providing faculty development on how to teach the hybrids, we will improve the quality of the hybrid writing courses.

5. Cohort project: We have been collecting data on the cohort project through Summer 2012. We will analyze this data and report our findings in 2012-2013. However, we believe that we may have too little data to draw any firm conclusions because of the ways students moved in and out of the cohort and the challenge of getting enough responses to our surveys.

6. Writing Center and Writing Fellows: We successfully worked with the University Center for Writing-based Learning (UCWbL) to expand their Writing Fellows program to online classes. We have continued to promote the use of Writing Fellows, with at least 4 full-time faculty members using them for the first time this year. Due to ongoing communication and coordination, we also saw a much smoother integration of Writing Center initiatives (such as AP and ILP workshops) designed to support SNL students this year. Tutors now regularly provide support at quarterly Incomplete Boot Camps (which also cater to students working on ILPs and APs). In addition, SNL writing faculty, administration, and IDs met with two Writing Center tutors in Winter 2012 to design the first online writing group. It was scheduled to pilot in Spring 2012, but will pilot in Fall 2012 instead because of issues with D2L’s Blackboard Connect. We have advocated for and received additional support from the Writing Center at the Oak Forest Campus. We continue to advocate for online writing groups, online tutor training course, online fellows, and targeted support at suburban campuses.

7. Other faculty development: We led a three-day workshop on using writing for active learning at Tangaza College. We presented on writing anxiety and adult students at the Spring 2012 faculty professional development meeting. And, we began building a 6-module online professional development course for SNL faculty.

 8. Additional curriculum development: Katie Wozniak developed a Professional Writing course for the DCM program and is currently revising it to add competencies so that it will work for BA-99 students also. Katie Wozniak supported part-time faculty member Jane Wagoner in developing a six-credit Academic Writing plus literature course option. Steffanie Triller and popular educator Janise Hurtig continued to provided leadership for the six-credit Academic Writing for Adults and community-based writing course they developed. Steffanie Triller also team-taught the LifeLong Learning cohort with Pat Ryan this year to see if ongoing, direct writing instruction would help students be less anxious and more successful at SNL.

9. Placement and Admissions: We have developed a proposal to move to a directed self-placement process and are currently piloting elements of this process. We currently provide accurate placement and supportive comments to all LAS students submitting WPEs, return all WPEs within four business days and expedite communication process with instructors. We track and analyze data on the placement process to monitor and improve it. In addition, we have begun to track individual students who we believe may be at risk. We respond to AEC second reads, communicate and share data with the admissions team as necessary and work with others (i.e. LAS, Advising) to ensure a smooth process.

10. Promoting and sharing information about writing across the curriculum: Between 9/1/11 and 6/12/12, the SNL writing website had 6,782 visitors from 10 countries, with 6,394 from the US and 40 from Kenya. With the help of our administrative assistant, we have been able to make the SNL Writing News blog (for faculty and staff) and the SNL Writing blog (for students) richer sources of information about writing in general and writing at SNL in particular.

11. Completed research that both informs and raises the profile of the SNL program:

• Michelle Navarre Cleary gave one peer-reviewed conference presentation, published two articles, and had one book chapter accepted based upon her research and work on adult students and writing anxiety, the Writing Workshop course, and writing program administration at SNL.
• Under the leadership of Katie Wozniak, we completed the DePaul TLA grant on portfolio assessment for AWA course, and joined other DePaul programs in successfully applying to join the International ePortfolio Cohort.
• Katie Wozniak gave two peer-reviewed conference talks and two peer-reviewed poster presentations based on her research and work on ePortfolios and on ePortfolios and service learning at SNL.
 • Steffanie Triller gave one peer-reviewed conference talk and one peer-reviewed poster presentation based on her research and work on placed-based writing and community engagement in writing courses at SNL.

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