The AWAC Mentoring Committee is offering a virtual workshop in our WAC pedagogy series, “Responding to Writing.” The workshop will be presented by Chris Thaiss, Professor Emeritus of Writing Studies (UC-Davis) and AWAC Consultant; Pam Childers, Caldwell Chair of Composition Emerita (The McCallie School) and AWAC Consultant; and Kelli Cargile Cook, Professor and Chair, Professional Communication Department (Texas Tech).
The workshop will take place virtually via Zoom on Thursday, September 17, 2:00-2:30 PM Eastern Time.
Response to writing is an essential part of the process of writing in all disciplines for all writers, from students to professionals. From scientists to creative writers, historians to mathematicians, all of us and our students need response (AKA “feedback”) to what we have written in order to help us develop our ideas and make our writing effective in reaching our readers.
Questions the workshop will consider:
As teachers and mentors, how can we make our responses most timely and most meaningful to our students toward achieving their writing goals?
As writers, how can we get the feedback most useful to meeting our own writing goals?
How can we help writers maintain ownership of their writing, while also helping them improve the quality of what they write?
How can we help our students become effective responders themselves to the writing of peers and other writers?
How can we as responders become more aware of and respectful of cultural and linguistic diversity?
How can technological tools, especially in online instruction, improve response while also helping to build a community of learners and writers?
How can we adapt response to the increasing variety of genres, purposes, styles, and media in communication?
In this interactive workshop, Pam, Kelli, and Chris will give short presentations to address the above questions—with focus on sequenced response and peer review, response to the expressed needs of writers, connections between purpose and audience for both writer and respondent, and features of responding to writing in online environments.
Participants will then engage in breakout groups to help each person develop response strategies pertinent to their own teaching and writing.
Chris Thaiss served as Clark Kerr Presidential Chair and Director of the UC Davis University Writing Program and directed Davis’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (until 2015). A teacher of writing for four decades, he is the author or editor of 14 books, including his most recent, Writing Science in the Twenty-First Century (Broadview, 2019) and the 4th edition of A Short History of Writing Instruction: From Ancient Greece to the Modern United States (with James J. Murphy; Routledge, 2020).
Pam Childers directed the WAC-based writing center at McCallie School (TN) as Caldwell Chair of Composition and currently serves as Executive Editor of The Clearing House. Her decades of teaching writing at all academic levels and directing wac-based writing centers have inspired her collaborative work on four books, including WAC Partnerships Between Secondary and Postsecondary Institutions (with Jacob Blumner, 2016), and hundreds of chapters, columns, and articles. Her current research focuses on the pedagogy of former writing center directors.
Kelli Cargile Cook is a Professor and Founding Chair of the Professional Communication Department at Texas Tech University. She co-edited two collections on online education in technical communication: Online Education 2.0: Evolving, Adapting, and Reinventing Online Technical Communication (2013) and Online Education: Global Questions, Local Answers (2005). Her online education scholarship has also appeared in Technical Communication Quarterly and Business Communication Quarterly.
The deadline to register for the workshop is 5pm on Tuesday, September 15th. Registrants will be sent a Zoom link the day before the workshop. Register at