Recommendation 1: Adopt outcomes for student writing and the WAC initiative

To help students become effective communicators, the ongoing Writing Across the Curriculum initiative commits to supporting students in five areas, identified as Student Writing Outcomes using this POINT heuristic.

Since these are undergraduate school-wide educational goals, they are similar to the goals of the core curriculum. They are shared commitments to ensure that students continuously grow toward excellence in these areas and that supports are put in place to aid that ongoing growth.

 Recommendation 2: Create metrics to make the Student Writing Outcomes assessable

To assess student performance in these outcomes, the Writing Across the Curriculum task force will develop measurable benchmarks for each outcome during the 2022-2023 academic year, describing basic to advanced proficiency. With these measures, it will be possible to assess student samples of written work and track their progress during their undergraduate careers.

Recommendation 3: Use the outcomes as a shared framework to talk about writing

The Student Writing Outcomes above represent five research-identified types of writing expertise necessary for success in college and that can apply to any project.[1] As a result, the language of the outcomes provides a shared framework for talking about writing with students.

The outcomes have been organized to create the acronym POINT, which can serve as a heuristic to explain what students need to know about the types of writing they encounter in a course.

Recommendation 4: Use the outcomes to develop writing-intensive (WI) courses

Any future revisions to dedicated writing courses should consider these outcomes. Also, the task force should investigate the feasibility of writing-intensive courses at Moody. These would be smaller content-area courses that can integrate contextually appropriate writing instruction and that can partner with tutoring to provide additional feedback to students.

Recommendation 5: Provide ongoing pedagogical support for faculty

The WAC initiative should continue developing written pedagogical support for faculty, continue developing new handouts and videos for students, and make existing resources more widely available.

Implementation Schedule and Assessment

Spring 2022             Approve the plan April 2022

Fall 2022                  Go live with the WAC website

Develop metrics for the outcomes

Investigate WI courses

Spring 2023                Propose plan for WI courses

The Writing Across the Curriculum initiative can be assessed by collecting student writing samples over multiple years and analyzing growth in the Student Writing Outcomes. This could, potentially, require students to keep an e-portfolio, which is already available in Canvas.

[1]  These five types of writing expertise are adapted from Anne Beaufort’s influential College Writing and Beyond. Her study confirms and extends an earlier body of research on long-term student writing growth in Composition and Rhetoric (see, for example, Carroll’s Rehearsing New Roles and Herrington and Curtis’s Persons in Process). Her framework also largely aligns with the Writing Program Administrators’ Outcomes for First-Year Writing.

 

Writing Across the Curriculum