Faculty-student teams to present research on writing instruction

Western Today staff

Faculty members and students participating in 2014-15 Writing Instruction Research Fellowships at Western Washington University will present their findings and the implications for enhancing teaching and learning during a special forum from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 13, in the Learning Commons, Wilson Library 270.

  • Jeremy Cushman and  Katie Teer (English): “Telling Stories In a Professional and Technical Communication Course’ -- Working from the assumption that students sometimes look to writing as a conduit for meaning made elsewhere, we studied what happens when students use Storytelling Research to frame issues and practices concerning technical writing.
  • Tara Perry and Jackie Heller (Communication Studies): Title and Description: “Co-authors: Faculty-student Collaborative Writers” – This study examines the co-authorship process between faculty and students
  • Megan Spiegel (English graduate student and research and program manager, Graduate School): “(Re)Sequencing the Research/Writing Process in the Writing Classroom” - What are the outcomes of sequencing writing assignments so that students are introduced to primary sources and allowed to browse these sources prior to selecting a research topic?

With support from Western Libraries, the Writing Instruction Support program is sponsoring the 2015-16 Writing Instruction Research Fellowships for faculty-student pairs to conduct studies investigating the effectiveness of particular instructional practices used in research-based writing classes.

Each Writing Research Fellow pair receives a $750 stipend for developing a research study, completing a Human Subjects Review application, meeting once-a-month to consult with other Fellows on their evolving studies, and sharing their resulting findings and materials in a brief write-up to be posted on the Writing Instruction Support website and in an open campus forum.

All WWU faculty teaching Writing Proficiency Courses or any writing course that includes significant research-based writing assignments are encouraged to apply.  Assignments can be based on a range of kinds of sources including primary and secondary print sources as well as virtual and multi-media sources and also on field work.  Faculty assigning primary sources are urged to apply for additional assistance in helping students conduct research that involves exploration of unique materials in Western Libraries Heritage Resources. 

For examples of past studies, see http://library.wwu.edu/wis_fellows. For questions, contact Writing Instruction Support Director Carmen Werder, carmen.werder@wwu.edu

Successful applicants will commit to:

  • Meeting once-a-month (February to June 2015 and October to January 2016)  with other Fellows to share research and report on findings
  • Doing a Human Subjects Research Exemption:   http://www.wwu.edu/rsp/pdf/HSRCExempt.pdf
  • Writing a brief closing report of research findings and implications for teaching and learning
  • Presenting findings at an open campus forum (to be arranged)

To apply for a fellowship, interested faculty members should submit the following information to WritingInstructionSupport@wwu.edu

  • Faculty and student co-researchers’ name (if known), department, and email addresses
  • A problem statement with a rationale for the project and its potential impact on learning
  • An instructional practice/technique/strategy/activity under study
  • Course(s) involved in study and quarter(s) offered

Applications welcomed until February 6th. 

Monday, February 2, 2015 - 12:59pm