SNL's "Teaching with Writing in Any Course" professional development online course for SNL faculty and staff begins April 13. To reserve your place, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Course Location: Online
Times/Dates: Section Five: 4/13/15 – 5/24/15 (six modules)
Faculty: Steffanie Triller Fry, Writing Instructor
This online course (six-modules) for teachers in any discipline focuses on making the most of writing as a tool for teaching and learning in undergraduate and graduate courses. In the course, teachers will explore practical ideas for in-class writing assignments that initiate discussions and provide quick input regarding student learning. Teachers will also learn strategies for developing assignments and providing feedback while maximizing efficiency and minimizing frustration. Opportunities to share ideas and receive coaching on current writing assignments and ways of giving feedback are included. This course does not have prerequisites; however, those taking it should have undergraduate or graduate courses that they wish to develop or revise and experience teaching at the college level that they can draw upon for discussions.
What Prior Participants Have Said:
“The mathematician Paul Erdös spent much of his life essentially homeless, staying with one colleague after another, arriving on a doorstep unannounced, ready to collaborate, saying, “My brain is open.” People who take this course should arrive at it with their brains open. Be prepared to be surprised by how many things you’re already doing right, how many others you’re doing that can hamper students’ progress, and best of all, how many genuinely useful ideas and techniques you will learn from the readings and from your classmates.” – Carolyn Allen
“Be honest about the fact that all of us can still learn -- even if we have been teaching for many, many years. People have to be open to new ideas and willing to share their flaws as well as their strengths.” – Jane Wagoner
“First, take it! Do plan your schedules so you can delve into the assignments--they prompt reflection and imagination. Post your assignments early enough in the week so you can get the advantage of feedback from others.” – Catherine Marienau
“Be prepared to spend a good amount of time on the course, but it is truly worth the time. If you are debating about taking the course seriously consider changing your schedule so you can. It will make teaching easier and more rewarding.” – Barbara Donnelly
“Like any online class, keep up and read a little at a time. Trying to read everyone's posts and write your own all at once is a little overwhelming and you will miss a lot of the benefit if you can't read your classmates' posts.” – Liz Leavy
“Take it! I would advise future students to have a particular course in mind that they would like to revise or improve upon and to use that course as the focus in the class.” – Cynthia Milsap
“My only advice is to keep up with the readings. Maybe, create your own Idea Log -- to list good ideas from the readings and from postings by classmates. There is so much great info each week and it goes by so fast." – Pat Szczerba
“Don’t underestimate the time it will take to complete the modules.” – Kenya Grooms
“Make a commitment to the course--the time, the sharing, the analysis of your own work.” – Rebecca Russell
“I will say, pace yourself, a lot of reading and discussion participation, and be open to changing the way you teach. I know my concern about this class was that it was going to require me to increase my time teaching and grading. However, much to my surprise, if I change a few things, I may be able to help my students improve their writing without increasing my workload.” – Lu Rocha
Learning Strategies & Learning Resources: This online class will use discussions, peer collaboration, readings, videos and a variety of forms of feedback as learners practice applying what they are learning to their teaching.
Required Text (will be provided free to participants):
Gottschlak, Katherine and Keith Hjortshoj. The Elements of Teaching Writing: A Resource for Instructors in All Disciplines. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004.
Additional selected readings will be available online.
All assignments and discussions in this course will be marked complete or incomplete at the end of each module. There are 14 discussions and 2 assignments in the course, and all must be completed to earn the course completion certificate.
About the Instructor:
Steffanie Triller Fry has taught in college writing classrooms for over ten years. She has served as Writing Instructor and Writing Program Administrator at DePaul University's School for New Learning for more than half of that time. She received her M.A. in Literature from DePaul University and will receive her M.F.A. in creative writing from Lesley University in the summer of 2015. Her writing has earned her a Vincentian Endowment Fund Grant, a Steans Community-based Research Faculty Fellowship, and a DePaul TLA Assessment of Student Learning grant. For more about her current
projects, see https://depaul.digication.com/steffanie_the_writing_instructor.