We are moving ahead rapidly in this first year of QEP implementation. Below is but a sampling of the many things underway to help ECU’s student writers as part of our Quality Enhancement Plan:
• The “Writing Mentors Program” was introduced in a selection of writing-intensive courses in Chemistry, Library Science, Interior Design, Merchandising, and History. This program embeds university writing consultants, drawn from majors across the university, in selected discipline-specific, writing-intensive courses. These embedded consultants—the Writing Mentors—learn peer-consulting theory and practice through either the completion of a semester-long course (for undergraduate Writing Mentors) or through a full semester of consulting work and professional development in the University Writing Center (for graduate Writing Mentors). Mentors are prepared to assist in writing-intensive courses by reading students’ writing, offering constructive comments, holding individual writing conferences with students, and providing additional writing assistance in a variety of ways. For more information about the Writing Mentors Program, contact Dr. Nikki Caswell, Director of the University Writing Center, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• The University Writing Program and the Office for Faculty Excellence partnered to offer a three-part workshop series on “Metacognition in the Writing Intensive Course.” These workshops, attended by 15-20 faculty from across the disciplines, provided information about fostering students’ abilities to monitor, evaluate, and adjust their own writing strategies. The series will be repeated in spring 2014: check the Office for Faculty Excellence schedule for updates (http://www.ecu.edu/ofe/).
• QEP Writing and Learning Communities were established. WLCs are comprised of 4-5 faculty members from across the university who identify and then, over the course of the academic year, investigate a common challenge or set of challenges encountered in the teaching of writing. Based on the knowledge generated by this collaborative exploration, members of the WLC plan and complete a project (the form and format of which will vary depending on the focus of the WLC’s inquiry) that aims to help students work toward the QEP student learning outcomes. If you are interested in participating in future Writing and Learning Communities, contact Wendy Sharer, QEP Director, at email@example.com.
• The Writing@ECU website was launched. From this central location, students and faculty can find information about the University Writing Program, the University Writing Center, the Writing Foundations program (ENGL 1100 and 1200/2201), the QEP, and the Tar River Writing Project. Also accessible through this site are various resources for instructors and students, including a collection of short videos featuring ECU students and faculty talking about common writing challenges and the unique demands of writing in different disciplinary contexts. Those videos, filmed in the new University Writing Center space this past summer, can be found here: http://www.ecu.edu/cs-acad/writing/wac/resources-wac.cfm
• A grand opening ceremony for the new University Writing Center space, including a drawing for two i-Pad Minis, was held on September 23rd.
In addition to these various initiatives, work continues on establishing assessment mechanisms for the QEP. WI instructors have again been asked this semester to have students submit writing samples to provide baseline data for post-implementation assessment. Plans are progressing as well for the fall 2014-spring 2015 implementation of the University Writing Portfolio, an electronic collection of writing samples that students will submit from WI courses. In spring 2014, workshops will be run to familiarize WI faculty with the University Writing Portfolio.
Dr. Wendy Sharer, Director of the QEP