Events & Workshops

Each quarter, the WAC+WID program hosts a selection of interactive workshops, lunchtime presentations, reading discussions, and other professional development opportunities. All events are free, but may be limited in enrollment due to location and capacity. Pre-registration helps the WAC+WID team prepare resources for each event and is required. The Winter Quarter 2024 Events Series is now open for registration.

If there is a particular workshop topic you would like to see on the calendar, please reach out to Matt Luskey (mluskey@uci.edu)to schedule a workshop.

Lunchtime Presentations

During lunch hours throughout the quarter (11:45am–1:00pm), instructors, graduate students, teaching assistants, and academic staff are invited to present and discuss teaching practices related to writing pedagogy. 2 or 3 brief presentations (about 10 minutes each) from UCI colleagues are centered around a specific theme and include time for a lively and collegial exchange of ideas over a lunch hosted by the WAC+WID program.

Readings and Discussions

Throughout the academic year, the WAC+WID program hosts several discussion groups, focused on works—books or a collection of articles—relevant to educational research, writing pedagogy, and teaching and learning. The pace of the reading discussion is relaxed and is not meant to exert too much time on the participants. All participants will receive hard or digital copies of the readings. We welcome recommendations for texts that participants would like to discuss with UCI colleagues.

Workshops

WAC+WID workshops address timely and recurring issues related to teaching with writing. Workshops are typically 75-90 minutes and are conducted in person or online. In-person events include light snacks. After each workshop, participants receive a digital copy of workshop materials. Workshops may also be requested by departments. 

We offer these workshops on a rotating basis for the campus community and by request from departments. WAC+WID workshops can also be used to support the development of materials for the Writing Pedagogy Certificate Program. To request a workshop, please contact Matthew Luskey (mluskey@uci.edu), Coordinator, Writing Across the Curriculum + Writing in the Disciplines. To see the list of current and upcoming workshops, visit our current events page.

Writing Assignments: Designing and Implementing

Designing Writing Assignments

Well-designed and scaffolded writing assignments provide a strong opportunity to support and assess student learning. This workshop identifies principles of effective writing assignment design, includes sample assignments for discussion, and provides participants opportunities to draft, revise, and discuss course-specific writing prompts.

Writing to Learn Activities

Writing-to-learn (WTL) activities, sometimes referred to as “low stakes” writing, can quickly engage students and often require minimal feedback from instructors. These brief, in-class or online writing activities provide students with opportunities to develop conceptual knowledge and to practice core writing abilities such as summary, synthesis, analysis, and data visualization. In this workshop, we will review examples of WTL activities from a variety of disciplinary contexts, identify timely places to integrate WTL into courses, and design at least one WTL activity.

Writing as Data Visualization

In many disciplines with quantitative methodologies, data visualization is a critical component of effective writing. At the same time, students may be unfamiliar with the expectations of data visualization in the field and the ways that charts, figures, tables, and other forms of graphic communication can communicate data. Working with disciplinary examples, this workshop will focus on strategies to support students on presenting data and statistical information in ways that demonstrate data analysis and synthesis.

Writing with Sources

Many academic fields value the integration and citation of sources, yet many students struggle to do so in ways that meet faculty and disciplinary expectations. In this workshop, we will begin by considering some of the ways that students from various backgrounds might use sources and approach synthesis and source-supported assignments. We will then consider productive ways to support students by developing and scaffolding assignments and in-class activities that promote deep engagement with sources and encourage meaningful evaluation of their credibility. Participants are encouraged to bring current assignments requiring the use of sources and/or ideas for an upcoming assignment.

Using Reflective Writing to Support Student Learning

Incorporating reflective writing in classes helps to cement student understanding and can support learning transfer. This workshop provides strategies and examples for soliciting descriptive reflection from students on class activities and assessments.

Multimodal Writing Assignments

When writing is flexibly defined as an articulation of thinking that takes many forms—textual, visual, aural, spatial, and gestural—instructors can often design authentic tasks that enable students to compose for varied audiences and purposes. This workshop, facilitated in partnership with colleagues in instructional design and multimedia services, will provide participants with opportunities to develop and assess multimodal assignments (e.g., digital stories, podcasts, websites, Storymaps, Public Service Announcements), and to identify the campus-based resources that can support students.

Collaborative and Team-Based Writing

Given their academic and real-world importance, team-based writing projects are excellent opportunities to develop group writing and collaborative editing skills. This workshop provides participants with several activities for designing and supporting collaborative writing and editing tasks that make effective use of in-class exercises and technology-based resources.

Supporting Student Reading and Writing with Social Annotation Tools

This workshop is designed for instructors interested in using digital tools to develop collaborative reading and writing activities in their classes. Working with Google Docs and Perusall, participants will have the opportunity to craft activities that (1) align reading and writing with disciplinary thinking; (2) support students through the writing process; and (3) develop rhetorical awareness and familiarity with disciplinary conventions.

Writing Activities to Promote Synthesis

While instructors often note that synthesizing information is a target skill for effective writing, it can be challenging to design assignments and activities that help students practice and understand what synthesis looks like. This workshop begins by asking instructors to draw out the features of effective synthesis in disciplinary writing and communicate those expectations to students. It then considers assignment design features, assessment strategies, instructional activities, and feedback mechanisms that move students toward synthesis.

Commenting On & Grading Student Writing

Responding to Student Drafts

Commenting on in-progress writing is some of the most direct and influential teaching instructors can do. But how can we ensure that the comments we provide (in written, audio, or video formats) help student writers revise their work between drafts? In this workshop, participants will have an opportunity to diagnose comment-worthy aspects of student drafts, to practice writing comment strategies, and to share their approaches with colleagues.

Grading Student Writing

For many instructors, grading student writing is a challenging aspect of teaching. While we want to support and motivate student writers, we also want to articulate where student work does and does not meet expectations laid out in assignments. In this workshop, we will discuss a variety of approaches for evaluating student writing and communicating those evaluations in ways that support and encourage students’ ongoing learning.

Developing and Teaching with Rubrics

Well-designed rubrics can help students learn and help instructors teach. They can also produce ethical assessments and increase efficiency. Unfortunately, poorly designed rubrics can produce formulaic writing, reductive thinking, and impersonal feedback. This workshop will provide an overview of grading rubric designs (holistic, analytic, gridded, non-gridded) and offer principles for effective rubric development. Participants will have opportunities to develop, adapt, and/or refine rubrics for their writing assignments.

Grade Norming

For instructors who teach large classes with many discussions or labs, or teams of instructors who teach multiple sections of a single course, grade norming workshops are beneficial for promoting consistency and fairness. Working with departmental assignments and grading criteria, participants will read and grade student writing and then discuss their responses. These discussions often clarify instructors’ understanding of grading criteria and the textual features that might indicate success or concern. Teaching Assistants who have engaged in a grade norming exercise note that they are often able to score student work more quickly and more effectively after a norming session.

Designing Peer Response Activities

How can peer response strategies be implemented in ways that generate meaningful feedback without tremendous time and resource commitments? This workshop focuses on the development of effective peer response activities, including the design of instructions, peer review rubrics, and supplemental documents like revision memos.

Managing the Paper Load

Faculty consistently recognize that writing provides students with unique and powerful opportunities for learning. However, the time commitment required for assessing and grading writing is often a barrier to using writing in class. This workshop addresses strategies for simplifying and streamlining the process of assigning, assessing, and grading writing. Many of these strategies are appropriate to large classes and courses in technical fields where writing activities may be less common.

Writing & The Classroom Community

Supporting Multilingual Writers

Working with student writing samples from a variety of disciplines, this workshop discusses and practices feedback strategies for promoting revision and effective error feedback for multilingual writers.

The Power of Talk: Using Conferences to Support Student Writing

In this workshop we discuss and practice proven conferencing strategies and review digital tools (Zoom, etc.) that allow instructors and teaching assistants to make effective use of office hours, paper conferences, and online consultations.

Artificial Intelligence Tools and Teaching with Writing

AI (Artificial Intelligence) tools and technologies, such as Chat GPT, are raising questions for instructors and students about their use in the writing process. In addition to informing instructors of the potentials and limits of AI text generators, this workshop examines how AI tools perform with the writing tasks and genres within various academic and professional disciplines. Participants will devise strategies for directing students to use AI-generated content to help familiarize themselves with features of course-relevant writing and to assist them in generating their own content. Instructors concerned about how AI tools might negatively influence student writing and instructors who are interested in their pedagogical potential are encouraged to participate and share their experiences and concerns.

Using Writing to Foster Academic Belonging

Students are more likely to experience a sense of academic belonging when they believe they can engage authentically and actively in the intellectual, professional, and social work in the classroom. In this workshop, we will consider writing activities that can promote belonging as well as ways instructors can use their own writing on the course syllabus, assignment prompts, and assessments to create a learning environment that supports every student.