September 1, 2010

Math Science Faculty Institute

The Summer Writing Initiative Faculty Institute held in August was different in that all the participants are developing math or science writing intensive courses.

This two-day Institute is the first of two parts for faculty developing WI courses that will be piloted in 2011. The second 2-day Institute will be held during the January 2011 break.

The seminar style sessions address the goals and methodologies of the Initiative, the process of creating course materials and the tools and support available to students and instructors in these courses.

Professors Radha Sankaran, Fillmore Corpus and Kristina Oriente from the math department and Meg Sloan from science worked with the Initiative team on August 25 & 26 for full day (9-3 pm) sessions.

Professor Sankaran is developing Math 103 Statistics as a writing intensive course section. Professors Corpus and Oriente are co-developing Math 101 as WI. This is the first time we have had two faculty develop the initial section of a course. The hope is that while one of them will pilot the course, the other will be ready the following semester to offer a second section as WI.

Professor Sloan is redesigning Biology 101. The second half of that sequence (Bio 102) was developed this past year and is being piloted by Professor Griedanus this semester.

The following topics were covered during this first part of the Institute:

1. An introduction to the Writing Initiative and the WI Course Development Handbook
2. Defining Writing Intensive courses
3. Aligning course and department goals with WI goals
4. The WI course development process in detail
5. WI Course syllabi creation
6. Generating WI assignments - incorporating critical thinking & information literacy
7. Tools and support in brief (Writing Center use, LibGuides, eTutoring, WCOnline, media etc.)

The faculty now work during the semester to develop their syllabi and assignments and will meet twice with the team during the semester. In January, during part 2, we will all review the assignments and critique what was developed. The second part of the Institute also focuses on the technology elements of the WI courses - portfolios, LibGuides, eTutoring - and assessment of student work and of the WI course design during the pilot semester.

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