Welcome to the Campus Writing & Speaking Program!

Archive 2007 - 2008

Brown Bag: CWSP Faculty Seminar Showcase (4/9/08)
Nancy Gustke, Visiting Assistant Professor in History, discussed a service-learning assignment in HI251Q where first-semester freshmen produce an NC State Handbook for students coming to NCSU the following year. The assignment requires students work with the College of Design, the Alumni Association, and University Archives to complete the project. Bronson P. Bullock, Assistant Professor of Forest Biometrics & Timber Management Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, discussed incorporating writing assignments and peer reviewing into a quantitative class, FOR 374, Forest Measurements, Modeling, and Inventory.

Guest Speaker: Arguing With Numbers, Dr. Carol Rutz, Director, Writing Program, Carleton College (4/8/08)

Description: This workshop, contrary to appearances, did not address the latest polling data.  However, we will be talking about the degree to which numbers inform arguments, both to persuade through data and to provide useful background for arguments that may not be based in data. Participants learned about ways to infuse quantitative reasoning (QR) into the curriculum, building on NC State's Communication Across the Curriculum (CAC) platform.  Specifically, faculty had hands-on practice with a rubric designed to measure the extent to which student work employs QR in either a central (supporting a core argument) or peripheral (contextualizing) role. Carol Rutz is the director of the writing program at Carleton College in Minnesota, where she works closely with faculty to improve the teaching of writing. The QR initiative is an increasingly prominent part of that effort.

Point/Counterpoint session: Trudy Does Comics (3/26/08)
Facilitated By: Drs. Chris Anson and Deanna Dannels, CWSP

Description: In the brief case that was the focus for this Point/Counterpoint session, Dr. Howard Pruett, professor of an introductory philosophy course, offers his students the chance to be more creative in the genres they choose for their writing assignments. But he's taken aback when Trudy, a visual arts major, turns in a set of comics in response to the first assignment on Plato's Allegory of the Cave. Undaunted by the C- Howard awards her paper on the basis of its inappropriateness, Trudy produces another, longer set of comics in response to the second assignment on a reading by Kant.

This Point/Counterpoint session will offer two divergent understandings of the situation behind the case, with different positions on where the problem lies in the conflict that develops between Howard and Trudy. Please come and help us discuss this case.

Brown Bag: CWSP Faculty Seminar Showcase (3/12/08)
Lisa Marshall, Nuclear Outreach Instructor for the Department of Nuclear Engineering, discussed communication strategies used in the “Introduction to Engineering and Problem Solving” course, highlighting what is currently done, how course material has been enhanced to challenge students to think more actively about writing and speaking, and what further changes might be made this upcoming fall. Dr. Samuel B. Pond, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology, presented changes he has made to help students think divergently about issues in PSY 201Q, "Controversial Issues in Psychology".

Brown Bag: Communication in the workplace: What can NCSU students expect? (2/6/08)
David Covington, Etta Barksdale, and Jamie Larsen presented findings from a widespread interview assignment of professionals. Students across the curriculum interviewed professionals in their fields about the writing and speaking tasks associated with their jobs. The survey data and qualitative findings about differences in communication practices between professions as well as statistically significant findings about the similarities in time spent writing and speaking on the job were presented.

Brown Bag: Strategies for Increasing Interaction and Engagement in the Classroom (12/5/07)
Dr. Bob Patterson, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Crop Science at NCSU discussed strategies to increase interaction in STS 323Q, a First Year Inquiry class. He discussed the strategies learned during the faculty seminar that benefited students in the course, including increased student engagement, reflection, and interaction. Dr. Stephanie B. Jeffries, University Writing Program Fellow, Duke University, demonstrated ways to incorporate informal writing in the classroom using student blogs, which can be used to prepare students for classroom discussion, respond to classroom lectures and discussions, and re-visit ideas throughout the semester.

Brown Bag: Incorporating Writing in the Introductory Course (11/7/07)
Dr. Barbi Honeycutt, Interim Director of FCTL and Instructor, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management discussed the role of writing in an introductory service-learning course in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management. Specifically, she discussed the adaptations she has made using the DEAL model from the Service-Learning Program and the instructional design model from CWSP to enhance the use of writing the course. Dr. Cynthia N. Cudaback, Assistant Professor, Marine Earth and Atmospheric Science discussed the implementation of a writing assignment for students in Introductory Oceanography in both large and small classes.

Point/Counterpoint: What's Writing Got to Do With Campus Terrorism? (10/31/07)
Facilitated By: Drs. Chris Anson and Deanna Dannels, CWSP

Description: In the wake of the Virginia Tech tragedy, many are asking whether college teachers can play a more proactive role in thwarting such attacks by looking for signs of danger, psychosis, or depression in their students, especially as these might appear in their writing. A more systematic effort to use writing in this way might have brought needed help to Cho before he was able to act. Yet many instructors are wary of what greater "surveillance" of writing could do to students' freedom to express and explore ideas or engage in imaginative work. Others are concerned about how it might affect teachers' perceived roles or the processes they use to read and grade students' work. And while some students might leave hints of their plans or their state of mind in their academic writing, other students equally dangerous to themselves or others might leave no hints at all. Should we change the lenses through which we look at student work? And if so, with what consequences?

In this Point/Counterpoint session, Drs. Chris Anson and Deanna Dannels will briefly enact responses from two personas, "Nothing" and "Everything," whose names betray their answer to the question, "What's Writing Got to Do With Campus Terrorism? Following their dialogue, others will be invited to add their voices to this important discussion. Please join us.

Campus wide Workshop: Using Writing, Speaking, and Communication Technologies to Promote Engaged Reading (10/25/07)
Facilitated by: Dr. Chris Anson & Dr. Deanna Dannels

Description: It's a common scenario: you walk into class filled with ideas about the reading material you have assigned to your students. You pose an engaging question to get the discussion started, or frame a problem that the reading assignment has prepared your students to solve. Silence. The seconds tick by. You try the question another way, or restate the problem. Still nothing. Why aren't they prepared? Following your course, you check the net forum discussion for new posts on the reading. Perhaps they were just anxious about speaking in class. No new posts. Hasn’t anyone done the assigned reading?

Beyond simply getting students to read, how can we also help them to read carefully, critically, and analytically? This workshop will offer a wealth of helpful strategies that use writing, speaking and communication technologies in the service of promoting deeper and more thoughtful reading. Participants will apply the strategies to their own reading assignments in ways that encourage their students to read the material more thoroughly.

Brown Bag: Innovations in Writing and Speaking (10/3/07)
Dr. David WW Jones, Assistant Professor in Agricultural and Extension Education at NCSU, discussed the use of reflective writing and questioning prompts in student journals, and their effect on student participation in the classroom regarding assigned reading. Dr. Margaret R. Heil, Associate Director of the Senior Design Center in the Computer Science Department at NCSU, discussed her Design Creation/Critique Exercise and presented results of preliminary drafts of informal writing and speaking exercises in CSC 492, Computer Science Senior Design Projects.