|Information About Consulting and Campus Visits
Please find information at the contact page.
EXTERNAL REVIEWS AND PROGRAM CONSULTING
I often visit campuses to provide advice on program-building, faculty-development efforts, curriculum design, writing assessment, and similar needs, and also have conducted a number of formal, external reviews of existing departments and programs. You can find a list of this work at the Service page under Other Professional Reviewing.
You can find faculty workshops that I have conducted nationally
and internationally at the Papers/Workshops page;
workshop titles are those in red font.
You can also see a list of faculty workshops I have conducted on my own
campuses over the past thirty years by going to the Service page and scrolling down to University Service section, and within that to
the section on University Lectures, Publications, and Workshops.
SOME TYPES OF POSSIBLE SESSIONS
- One-Hour Presentations: Designed to focus on specific
aspects of writing, these mini-sessions are structured around short presentations
that can be punctuated by brief breakouts and/or group discussion. Or they can be pure presentation, but with an orientation toward engagement through lively or exemplary visuals, video demonstrations, and the like.
- Two-Hour Workshops: Designed
to involve participants more fully in various issues related to the use
or teaching of writing, these brief workshops typically include more small-group
discussion and short writing episodes than one-hour presentations.
Brief workshops with two sessions on different days may also invite participants
to create a short piece of writing (usually a description of an assignment,
response to a paper, etc.) which is then used in the second of the two
- Half-Day Workshops: Lasting from three to four hours (usually
a full morning or afternoon, with or without lunch), half-day workshops
are a blend of brief presentations and hands-on work. Topics usually focus on one
area of WAC or writing, such as assignment design, responding to or evaluating
student writing, using peer groups effectively, or incorporating writing-to-learn
activities into courses.
- All-Day Workshops: All-day workshops are designed to provide
a range of strategies for integrating writing into coursework. Participants are
often asked to bring something with them to the workshop, such as a draft
of a writing assignment. Using active
learning techniques, I involve the group in case discussions, writing
activities, small-group discussion, group presentations, and large-group
discussion. Typical days will run from 9:00-12:00 and 1:15-3:30 or 4:00.
All-day workshops can also be expanded into two-day workshops or split
between two days (e.g., an afternoon session on one day and a morning
session the following day, two morning sessions, etc.).
- Multiple-Day Workshops and Retreats: Designed for more extensive
faculty development, multiple-day workshops are usually driven by outcomes
relating to the redesign of a course or intensive work on assignments,
assessment tools, methods of response, and other aspects of writing use
and instruction in the classroom. Such workshops are best coordinated
off campus at a time when there may be fewer distractions from work routines. Some multiple-day workshops have involved sessions in the morning (9-noon); participants then spend time on their own in the afternoon and optionally meet with me one-to-one during those times.
POSSIBLE TOPICS AND GOALS FOR SESSIONS
Workshops are always designed to cover topics based on the needs of a
particular institution or program; no workshop comes "out of a can."
It may be helpful for your planning, however, to consider some of the
more common, broad areas that institutions have asked me to cover in previous
- Introduction to writing across the curriculum: Designed for faculty
relatively new to using writing in their courses, these
workshops provide a basic theoretical rationale for WAC, hands-on work
applying the principles of WAC to faculty members' own courses, and plentiful
examples from courses similar to those offered at the particular institution.
Faculty leave the workshop with new perspectives and lots of concrete,
usable information for their own work. The workshop often begins with
a focus on writing to learn (see below) and, depending on the time allowed,
moves into issues of more formal writing assignments, assessment, etc. Plentiful examples from courses across the curriculum (and at institutions across the U.S. and around the world) offer support for what's possible.
- Writing to learn: Integrating short, low-stakes writing assignments
into a course in order to help students to learn more actively and thoroughly
without placing additional burdens on the teacher.
- Writing and speaking across the curriculum: Covers most of the WAC topics above but includes attention to oral communication as well, usually in a range of speaking activities, from informal to more presentational.
- Responding to writing: Methods for providing students with useful
feedback on their writing in draft stage (while not placing additional
burdens on the teacher); methods for evaluating and grading writing in
final form; methods for reaching consensus among several teachers when
grading essay exams or papers from a single course; and discussion/presentation of various modes and media for response and evaluation (especially using new technologies such as oral screen-capture response).
- Designing effective assignments: Techniques for creating lively,
innovative, and theoretically principled assignments, both low-stakes and high-stakes, and linking these to specific assessment criteria.
- Teaching the writing process: Refocusing students' attention
on the processes of writing instead of its product; includes strategies
for helping students to come up with ideas, develop structure, draft,
revise, and edit their writing, and to be sensitive to issues of audience,
purpose, genre or conventions, and style.
- Writing with peer groups: Ways to use peer-group conferences
and small group work to help students improve their writing.
- Constructive ways to deal with grammar and correctness: New methods
for helping students to work with these old problems.
- Transfer of knowledge and ability: effective ways to help students deploy what they've learned from one context of writing, such as first-year composition, in other, unfamiliar contexts, such as general-education courses or courses in the major.
- One-to-one: Ways to work with students individually on their
- Student writing portfolios: Theory and method of using student
portfolios and e-folios in the classroom or as a larger-scale curricular innovation
or assessment tool. Workshop focuses on issues of design, contents, support
for writing, and methods of assessment. Assignment design criteria (see
above under designing effective assignments) often are covered here as
- Developing a teaching portfolio: An introduction to the concept
of the teaching portfolio or e-folio and methods for creating and maintaining one;
focus is on both the formative and summative uses of the portfolio. Depending
on the length of the workshop, participants can work on specific portfolio
entries and develop criteria for them.
- Administrative workshops: These have included workshops on creating
an effective WAC program; motivating faculty to buy into WAC; incorporating
writing-intensive principles at the departmental level; creating a linked-course
- Assessment: Strategies for designing effective assessment processes within programs and courses; focus may include developing outcomes, articulating clear criteria or establishing scoring guides and rubrics, and setting up local assessment protocols.
- Plagiarism: Strategies for creating courses and assignments that
are principled in their own right but also help to avert plagiarism and
get students invested in their own writing and areas for reflection or
TYPICAL WORKSHOP FORMAT AND PLANNING
Workshops involve a mix of presentation, discussion, hands-on application
(usually in individual and small-group work), activities, and discussion.
Sessions are interactive. Agendas are designed to provide
variety in activities so that participants are engaged throughout the
workshop. I often use short cases to give faculty a problem to discuss
within a realistic educational setting.
Within these general principles, every workshop is tailored to a particular
institution. Before I plan a workshop for your campus, you may find it helpful to consult with me about your institutional or departmental needs. Here are the kinds of questions we could discuss:
- What is the context for the workshop? Who initiated it and why?
- Is the workshop part of a larger initiative? If so, what are the goals
of this initiative?
- Who will attend the workshop? Why? (Strongly recommended: a sign-up
- What are the participants' expectations, if any?
- How would you characterize the sophistication of the participants'
knowledge about teaching?
- Are the participants attending voluntarily (strongly advised) or are
they being compelled to attend? If the latter, by whom?
- Are incentives (a stipend, for example) being provided for attendance?
- What programs or systems are already in place at your institution
- What faculty-development efforts, especially in writing, recently
precede this planned workshop?
- What is the relationship between existing support units, such as first-year
composition programs or writing centers, and the rest of the faculty?
- How receptive do faculty seem to the idea of increasing attention
to writing and/or speaking? Is there any history of resistance or failed attempts?
- Are there any particularly eager groups or departments on campus?
Any strongly resistant groups or departments? What is the institutional
history of WAC on your campus?
SAMPLE AGENDA FOR TWO-HOUR WORKSHOP ON ASSIGNMENT DESIGN
1:00 Introductions and remarks; workshop plan
1:15 Case or vignette (small groups; large-group follow-up)
1:50 General discussion of issues; working toward criteria for assignments
2:15 Presentation: Theory and practice of developing learning goals for successful assignments and supporting development
2:30 Application (pairs)
2:50 Reactions, brief discussion
3:05 Assessment loop: developing criteria from goals; sample criteria based on learning goals
3:15 Discussion, wrap-up, and evaluation
Successful workshops should be planned carefully and offered in a comfortable
setting conducive to learning and interaction, ideally at some remove
from faculty offices, phones, etc.
Below is a general list of suggestions (not requirements) for planning a successful faculty workshop, along with some details about arrangements.
- The room should be comfortable, well-lit (ideally with dimmable lights),
with round tables or tables around which small groups of faculty can
- There should be a large white screen for projection and a digital projector for a laptop, or a computer; it's increasingly important to have a live Internet connection and sound projection, though this is not absolutely necessary.
- There should be a work/projection table at the front of the room.
- Typically I use my own laptop and a projector is provided on site, but I can also arrange to bring a small projector if necessary. If the computer equipment and projector are not installed in the room and portable equipment is required, two power outlets are needed within a few feet of the presentation table; usually a power strip with grounded
outlets works well if a plug is not near.
- It's helpful to me (and often to the group) if participants have name tags with first names in large
enough font to be readable from the front of the room. If low-quality tags are used, new tags should be available
each day for multiple-day workshops.
- It's important that participants have refreshments for workshops
longer than two hours in duration: coffee, tea, and juices in the morning,
perhaps with fruits and breads/muffins/bagels; soft drinks, coffee,
and perhaps snacks in the afternoon; and plenty of bottled water.
- Copies of materials are prepared in advance. The most convenient way
is for the workshop coordinator to retrieve PDF files electronically
from my password-protected Web space and then print and copy them on site (I'll send instructions). I can provide all PowerPoint slides in reduced form to be copied for participants or to save paper, I can make them available at a password-protected site for downloading.
- Some longer workshops involve other supplies, such as butcher paper and tape, 3X5 cards, etc. We'll need to work out who will be responsible for providing these materials.
- Workshop participants should have an opportunity to evaluate the workshop.
Sometimes evaluations are designed and provided by the institution, but I also have several types of evaluations that an institution can
choose and/or modify. Details about copies, etc., need to be worked
out in advance.
- Before the workshop, I'll need a brief memorandum of agreement stipulating
obligations, arrangements, payments, etc. Many institutions have their own contracts; if not, a simple agreement is available as a document file at this link.
- The responsibility for arranging travel, local transportation, accommodations,
etc., needs to be worked out in advance, along with the details of payment and reimbursement. I prefer to purchase flights myself (subject to cost approval by the sponsoring institution) and get reimbursed after the workshop. I have a preferred airline that I use almost exclusively.
- Honoraria are arranged on a case-by-case basis; in general, the amount is similar to what we provide guest speakers and workshop leaders in the program I direct.
- I retain copyright of all materials prepared for the workshops. Materials may be made available to others on campus but not placed on public servers or disseminated beyond the institution.