Designing and Using Writing-to-Learn Assignments
Posted on April 26, 2020 by Dan Melzer
The AWAC Mentoring Committee is offering the second workshop in our series on WAC pedagogy, “Designing and Using Writing-to-Learn Assignments.” The workshop is presented by Marty Townsend, Professor of Emerita of English of University of Missouri, and Chris Anson, Distinguished University Professor and Director of the Campus Writing and Speaking Program at North Carolina State University. The workshop will take place virtually via Zoom on Thursday, May 7th, 2:00-3:30 Eastern Time.
The relationship between writing and learning has been a fundamental part of the WAC movement from its beginnings. When students write frequently and informally about the material of their courses, they experience deeper learning—stronger analysis, synthesis, and integration of ideas—and enhanced reading processes (Graham & Hebert, 2010). And when this low-stakes writing is woven into the fabric of their courses, class sessions can be more engaging and socially dynamic.
In this interactive workshop, Marty Townsend and Chris Anson will explain the theoretical orientation of writing to learn, including distinctions between writing to learn and more formal, higher-stakes writing, and then engage participants in methods for designing and evaluating effective, learning-based writing assignments and integrating them into their courses to enhance student engagement.
Marty Townsend is Professor Emerita of English at the University of Missouri (MU) and former Director of MU’s award-winning Campus Writing Program (from 1991-2006). Marty has spoken, consulted, and led faculty workshops at over 100 colleges and universities in the U.S. and in dozens of international settings. She has taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses on writing. Her research interests include WAC, WID, writing assessment, and writing program administration. She is a passionate advocate for teaching writing in all disciplines.
Chris Anson is Distinguished University Professor, Alumni Association Distinguished Graduate Professor, and Director of the Campus Writing and Speaking Program at North Carolina State University, where he works with faculty across the disciplines to enhance writing and speaking instruction. He has published 19 books and 140 articles and book chapters relating to writing, WAC, and WID, and has spoken and led faculty workshops across the U.S. and in 33 other countries. He is Past Chair of the Conference on College Composition and Communication and Past President of the Council of Writing Program Administrators, and is co-chair of AWAC’s International Collaborations Committee. He is currently co-editing a new collection on the writing-enriched (WEC) approach to writing across the curriculum. His full c.v. is at www.ansonica.net
The workshop is free to AWAC members with advanced registration. The workshop will be archived for members on the AWAC website. The deadline to register is 5:00pm on May 5th. You will be sent an access link the day before the workshop.
To register, follow the link to the event at