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Information About Consulting and Campus Visits

CONTACT

Please find information at the contact page.

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EXTERNAL REVIEWS AND PROGRAM CONSULTING

I often visit campuses to provide advice on program-building, faculty-development efforts, curriculum design, writing assessment, and similar needs, and also have conducted a number of formal, external reviews of existing departments and programs. You can find a list of this work at the Service page under Other Professional Reviewing.

PREVIOUS WORKSHOPS

You can find faculty workshops that I have conducted nationally and internationally at the Papers/Workshops page; workshop titles are those in red font.

You can also see a list of faculty workshops I have conducted on my own campuses over the past twenty years by going to the Service page and scrolling down to University Service section, and within that to the section on University Lectures, Publications, and Workshops.

WORKSHOP PLANNING

SOME TYPES OF POSSIBLE SESSIONS

  • One-Hour Presentations: Designed to focus on specific aspects of writing, these mini-sessions are structured around short presentations that can be punctuated by brief breakouts and/or group discussion.

  • Two-Hour Workshops: Designed to involve participants more fully in various issues related to the use or teaching of writing, these brief workshops typically include more small-group discussion and short writing episodes and than one-hour presentations. Brief workshops with two sessions on different days may also invite participants to create a short piece of writing (usually a description of an assignment, response to a paper, etc.) which is then used in the second of the two sessions.

  • Half-Day Workshops: Lasting from three to four hours (usually a full morning or afternoon, with or without lunch), half-day workshops are a blend of brief presentations and hands-on work. Topics are usually focused on one area of WAC or writing, such as assignment design, responding to or evaluating student writing, using peer groups effectively, or incorporating writing-to-learn activities into courses.

  • All-Day Workshops: All-day workshops are designed to provide a range of strategies for integrating writing into coursework. Participants are often asked to bring something with them to the workshop, such as a draft of a writing assignment. Using active learning techniques, I involve the group in case discussions, writing activities, small-group discussion, group presentations, and large-group discussion. Typical days will run from 9:00-12:00 and 1:15-3:30 or 4:00. All-day workshops can also be expanded into two-day workshops or split between two days (e.g., an afternoon session on one day and a morning session the following day, two morning sessions, etc.).

  • Multiple-Day Workshops and Retreats: Designed for extensive faculty development, multiple-day workshops are usually driven by outcomes relating to the redesign of a course or intensive work on assignments, assessment tools, methods of response, and other aspects of writing use and instruction in the classroom. Such workshops are best coordinated off campus at a time when there may be fewer distractions from work routines.

POSSIBLE TOPICS AND GOALS FOR SESSIONS

Workshops are always designed to cover topics based on the needs of a particular institution or program; no workshop comes "out of a can." It may be helpful for your planning, however, to consider some of the more common, broad areas that institutions have asked me to cover in previous workshops.

  • Introduction to writing across the curriculum: Designed for faculty relatively new to using writing in their courses, these workshops provide a basic theoretical rationale for WAC, hands-on work applying the principles of WAC to faculty members' own courses, and plentiful examples from courses similar to those offered at the particular institution. Faculty leave the workshop with new perspectives and lots of concrete, usable information for their own work. The workshop often begins with a focus on writing to learn (see below) and, depending on the time allowed, moves into issues of more formal writing assignments, assessment, etc.

  • Writing to learn: Integrating short, low-stakes writing assignments into a course in order to help students to learn more actively and thoroughly without placing additional burdens on the teacher.

  • Writing and speaking across the curriculum: Covers most of the WAC topics above but includes attention to oral communication as well, usually in a range of speaking activities, from informal to more presentationa.

  • Responding to writing: Methods for providing students with useful feedback on their writing in draft stage (while not placing additional burdens on the teacher); methods for evaluating and grading writing in final form; methods for reaching consensus among several teachers when grading essay exams or papers from a single course; and discussion/presentation of various modes and media for response and evaluation (especially using new technologies).

  • Designing effective assignments: Techniques for creating lively, innovative, and theoretically principled assignments, both low-stakes and high-stakes, and linking these to specific assessment criteria.

  • Teaching the writing process: Refocusing students' attention on the processes of writing instead of its product; includes strategies for helping students to come up with ideas, develop structure, draft, revise, and edit their writing, and to be sensitive to issues of audience, purpose, genre or conventions, and style.

  • Writing with peer groups: Ways to use peer-group conferences and small group work to help students improve their writing.

  • Constructive ways to deal with grammar and correctness: New methods for helping students to work with these old problems.

  • One-on-one: Ways to work with students individually on their writing.

  • Student writing portfolios: Theory and method of using student portfolios and e-folios in the classroom or as a larger-scale curricular innovation or assessment tool. Workshop focuses on issues of design, contents, support for writing, and methods of assessment. Assignment design criteria (see above under designing effective assignments) often are covered here as well.

  • Developing a teaching portfolio: An introduction to the concept of the teaching portfolio or e-folio and methods for creating and maintaining one; focus is on both the formative and summative uses of the portfolio. Depending on the length of the workshop, participants can work on specific portfolio entries and develop criteria for them.

  • Administrative workshops: These have included workshops on creating an effective WAC program; motivating faculty to buy into WAC; incorporating writing-intensive principles at the departmental level; creating a linked-course program.
  • Assessment: Strategies for designing effective assessment processes within programs and courses; focus may include developing outcomes, articulating clear criteria or establishing scoring guides and rubrics, and setting up local assessment protocols.
  • Plagiarism: Strategies for creating courses and assignments that are principled in their own right but also help to avert plagiarism and get students invested in their own writing and areas for reflection or research.

TYPICAL WORKSHOP FORMAT AND PLANNING

Workshops involve a mix of presentation, discussion, hands-on application (usually in individual and small-group work), activities, and discussion. Sessions are interactive. Agendas are designed to provide variety in activities so that participants are engaged throughout the workshop. I often use short cases to give faculty a problem to discuss within a realistic educational setting.

Within these general principles, every workshop is tailored to a particular institution. Before I plan a workshop for your campus, you may find it helpful to consult with me about your institutional or departmental needs. Here are the kinds of questions we could discuss:

  • What is the context for the workshop? Who initiated it and why?
  • Is the workshop part of a larger initiative? If so, what are the goals of this initiative?
  • Who will attend the workshop? Why? (Strongly recommended: a sign-up list.)
  • What are the participants' expectations, if any?
  • How would you characterize the sophistication of the participants' knowledge about teaching?
  • Are the participants attending voluntarily (strongly advised) or are they being compelled to attend? If the latter, by whom?
  • Are incentives (a stipend, for example) being provided for attendance?
  • What programs or systems are already in place at your institution (writing-intensive, e.g.)?
  • What faculty-development efforts, especially in writing, recently precede this planned workshop?
  • What is the relationship between existing support units, such as first-year composition programs or writing centers, and the rest of the faculty?
  • How receptive do faculty seem to the idea of increasing attention to writing and/or speaking? Is there any history of resistance or failed attempts?
  • Are there any particularly eager groups or departments on campus? Any strongly resistant groups or departments? What is the institutional history of WAC on your campus?

SAMPLE AGENDA FOR TWO-HOUR WORKSHOP ON ASSIGNMENT DESIGN

1:00 Introductions and remarks; workshop plan
1:15 Case or vignette (small groups; large-group follow-up)
1:50 General discussion of issues; working toward criteria for assignments
2:15 Presentation: Theory and practice of developing learning goals for successful assignments and supporting development
2:30 Application (pairs)
2:50 Reactions, brief discussion
3:05 Assessment loop: developing criteria from goals; sample criteria based on learning goals
3:15 Discussion, wrap-up, and evaluation

WORKSHOP NEEDS

Successful workshops should be planned carefully and offered in a comfortable setting conducive to learning and interaction, ideally at some remove from faculty offices, phones, etc.

Below is a general list of suggestions (not requirements) for planning a successful faculty workshop, along with some details about arrangements.

  • The room should be comfortable, well-lit (ideally with dimmable lights), with round tables or tables around which small groups of faculty can cluster.
  • There should be a large white screen for projection and a digital projector for a laptop, or a computer; it's increasingly important to have a live Internet connection and sound projection, though this is not absolutely necessary.
  • There should be a work/projection table at the front of the room.
  • Typically I use my own laptop and a projector is provided on site, but I can also arrange to bring a small projector if necessary. If the computer equipment and projector are not installed in the room and portable equipment is required, two power outlets are needed within a few feet of the presentation table; usually a power strip with grounded outlets works well if a plug is not near.
  • It's helpful to me (and often to the group) if participants have name tags with first names in large enough font to be readable from the front of the room. If low-quality tags are used, new tags should be available each day for multiple-day workshops.
  • It's important that participants have refreshments for workshops longer than two hours in duration: coffee, tea, and juices in the morning, perhaps with fruits and breads/muffins/bagels; soft drinks, coffee, and perhaps snacks in the afternoon; and plenty of bottled water.
  • Copies of materials are prepared in advance. The most convenient way is for the workshop coordinator to retrieve PDF files electronically from my password-protected Web space and then print and copy them on site (I'll send instructions). I can provide all PowerPoint slides in reduced form to be copied for participants or to save paper, I can make them available at a password-protected site for downloading.
  • Some longer workshops involve other supplies, such as butcher paper and tape, 3X5 cards, etc. We'll need to work out who will be responsible for providing these materials.
  • Workshop participants should have an opportunity to evaluate the workshop. Sometimes evaluations are designed and provided by the institution, but I also have several types of evaluations that an institution can choose and/or modify. Details about copies, etc., need to be worked out in advance.

FINANCIAL DETAILS

  • Before the workshop, I'll need a brief memorandum of agreement stipulating obligations, arrangements, payments, etc. A simple agreement is available as a document file at this link.
  • The responsibility for arranging travel, local transportation, accommodations, etc., needs to be worked out in advance, along with the details of payment and reimbursement. I prefer to purchase flights myself (subject to cost approval by the sponsoring institution) and get reimbursed after the workshop. I have a preferred airline that I use almost exclusively.
  • Honoraria are arranged on a case-by-case basis; in general, the amount is similar to what we provide guest speakers and workshop leaders in the program I direct.
  • I retain copyright of all materials prepared for the workshops. Materials may be made available to others on campus but not placed on public servers or disseminated beyond the institution.







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