Summer Seminar for the Teaching of Writing

The Summer Seminar for the Teaching of Writing (SSTW) is dedicated to improving student learning by helping faculty members from across all disciplines become better teachers of academic writing. Even though writing is something that all of us assign and grade, we rarely have the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue about how to teach writing to undergraduate and graduate students. The SSTW provides faculty with just that opportunity.

In addition to learning "best practices" for writing pedagogy, during the one-week summer seminar, participants will learn how to build engaging writing assignments, respond effectively and efficiently to student work, and use writing as a tool to teach content. During the academic year, faculty will continue their participation in the SSTW by joining a learning community with colleagues to share their experiences with and reflect on the process of implementing what they learned during the summer.

Testimonials from RIC Faculty:

This was a remarkably useful experience--much more useful than I expected it to be, actually. I got a lot out of it that I think will really inform and improve my pedagogy.

I learned a lot. Clearly, what I have been doing has not been as effective as I would like. I have appreciated the process of thinking and talking about writing and how to teach it.

This workshop has changed the way I teach. Not just for writing but all assignments.

I had not used discussion boards, wikis, or blogs in a course before. I was skeptical and pleasantly surprised to learn about the unique ways each of these tools functions to facilitate student writing.

I got a ton of thinking, writing, and framing done as a result of this course!


Phase I: Foundations of Writing Pedagogy (May 18-22, 2015, 1-5pm)

During this week, participants will:

  • learn "best practices" for teaching and facilitating writing instruction;
  • examine connections between learning and writing;
  • design/revise writing assignments and establish criteria for evaluating student writing;
  • engage with colleagues to form a community of practice around teaching and learning

Phase II: Turning Theory into Practice (Fall 2015)

During the fall semester, participants will:

  • meet two times (October and November/December, exact dates TBA) to discuss progress and reflect with colleagues on issues of implementation of writing pedagogy.
  • meet one time in one-to-one conference with SSTW facilitator to discuss progress.

Phase III: Reflection and Dissemination (Winter/Spring 2016)

In January/February 2016 (date TBA), participants will come together for a final meeting to discuss, evaluate, and share their experiences from the previous semester. Participants will then:

  1. Write a report reflecting on their efforts to implement effective writing pedagogy in their courses and on the impact of the SSTW on their professional development.
  2. Participate in an FCTL-sponsored panel presentation during the 2016 spring semester (date TBA).

Professional Development Allowance:

The Professional Development Allowance for participation in the year-long seminar is $700.

Applicants should know that there will be daily outside-of-class reading and written work during the seminar week in May.

How Do You Apply?

Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. The funding for this project allows for 10 full-time faculty members per year. You will be informed by late April about your participation in the program.

To apply, please click here to fill out an online application.

Deadline: May 1, 2015.


Mike Michaud,
Mike teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in writing here at RIC. He is the Chair of the campus Writing Board and has led many workshops around campus on writing instruction.

Bonnie MacDonald,
Bonnie is the Director of the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning.


Page last updated: Feb. 17, 2015