2018 Writing to Think Conference Agenda

The Writing to Think: How Writing Improves Learning Conference will be held on the Las Cruces campus April 6, 2018 from 8:00 am -3:30 pm in the Pete Domenici Building. Please join the day of professional development provided by NMSU’s instructors and students discussing how writing can improve learning. Our hope is that you will take away easy-to-implement ideas and literacy strategies that will improve learning in any classroom.

Presentation sessions will be available in poster or 45 minute formats, including time for questions and answers. Topics of presentations will include accreditation, assessment, and best practices in using writing to think and learn.

Register to attend

Friday, April 6, 2018 – Agenda

 

Time Event
 7:45-8:15

Registration and Hospitality Table

Pete Domenici Hall, Stan Fulton Atrium

 8:15-8:30

Welcome

David Smith, Assessment Director

Pete Domenici Hall, Yates Auditorium

Room 109

 8:30-9:15

Keynote Speaker

Shelly Stovall, Accreditation Director

Pete Domenici Hall, Yates Auditorium

Room 109

 9:15-9:30  Transition to Session 1
 9:30-10:15  Session 1
 Domenici Room 005  Domenici Room 006 Domenici Room 018 Domenici Room 223

“I Was Wrong, So Wrong” Preliminary Findings from 5 Years of NMSU-UTEP Surveys of 1st Year Composition Students

Presenters

Kate Mangelsdorf, Professor of English-UTEP

Beth Brunk Chavez, Dean of the  Extended University-UTEP

K.T. Shaver, Instructor, Chicanx and Latinx – CSU-Long Beach

Patti Wojahn, Department Head, Interdisciplinary Studies – NMSU

Description

How can writing support students learning not just to think but ultimately to learn? Who are our students learning to write at the Mexico-U.S. border? We as writing instructors at 2 border institutions have begun to learn from and about our students in ways that can help us support their learning. For instance, we have learned from considerable scholarship in the field of composition that inclusive pedagogies and valuing students’ voices, stances, and texts can help. Less explored are experiences of “post-traditional” college students whose ethnic, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds position them as “different” from the white, monolingual English, or economically comfortable students frequently assumed to be in our classrooms (see Matsuda, 2006).

Concept Maps for Writing

Presenter

Kim O’Connell-Brock, Assistant Director, ATEP-Kinesiology and Dance

Description

Concept maps have been utilized frequently in the health care professions for helping learners link information together and promote clinical reasoning skills. This ability to organize concepts in a way that enhances chunking of information has applicability to writing skills. Providing students with a method for putting thoughts on paper in a creative way followed by organization of those thoughts into cohesive concepts enhances arousal and attentional focus. This talk will focus on methods of introducing concept maps into the classroom as preparation for writing assignments.

Using Autoethnography as an Instructional Tool to Teach Social Justice in ELA 350

Presenter

Henrietta Williams Pichon, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Administration

Description

The purpose of this session is to discuss the assessment of the use of autoethnography as an instruction tool to teach social justice in education in ELA 350v. Upon completion of this session, participants will have information about the following: 1.) the Writing-to-Learn Initiative at NMSU to increase critical thinking, 2.) ELA 350v course overview, 3.) autoethnography as an instructional tool to increase critical thinking and connected knowing, and 4.) course outcomes from fall 2014 and fall 2017 (course evaluations, reflections, and exerts from papers).

Writing to Inspire Thinking: What We Can Learn from Engaged/ing Students

Presenter

Karen Tellez Trujillo, PhD Candidate, Rhetoric and Professional Communication

Description

How can the energy of students grades 6-12 be marshaled in ways that allow them (1) to learn while writing and (2) to write while learning – and having fun throughout? How can university faculty and students learn from these middle to high school-level students? In this presentation, I share a series of videos from students engaged in summer writing camps at NMSU.

 10:15-10:30 Transition to Session 2
 10:30-11:15  Session 2
Domenici Room 005   Domenici Room 006  Domenici Room 018  Domenici Room 223

From Writing to Learn to Writing to Think – Writing in Art

Presenter

Julie Fitzsimmons, Associate College Professor of Art

Description

This presentation will explore the process from which Art 298 germinated – the need to help students explore the writing process as a means to organize their thinking process as it relates to both studio and art historical disciplines. Specific assignments, from the first unstructured writing assignment to the final portfolio critique will be introduced and evaluated for evidence of student critical thinking. Samples of student writing, before and after peer workshopping, will also be examined.

Scaffolding Writing Assignments in Junior and Senior Seminars

Presenter

Tracey Miller-Tomlinson, Associate Professor, Department of English

Description

When I began teaching 20 years ago, a typical prompt for a humanities research paper was one sentence long: “Write a 10-15 page research paper on a topic related to the course.”  Many of us assumed, as had our teachers before us, that advanced undergraduates know what a research paper is and how to write a successful one.  In this session I explore the benefits of scaffolding research assignments for advanced students and share some of the strategies I have collected and developed for helping juniors and seniors arrive at a topic, pursue responsible independent research in the internet age, refine an argument, and write a cogent and persuasive paper that advances the topic.

The Writing Center: So Much More than an Editing Service

Presenter

Gina Lawrence, Director of NMSU Writing Center

Description

The Writing Center offers free one-on-one assistance to NMSU students of all abilities. We aim to help students become more confident writers through collaboration and dialogue about their writing. This workshop will discuss what the writing center does, what instructors should expect from the writing center, and how instructors can incorporate the Writing Center into their classroom.

Implementing Writing Projects in Computer Science

Presenters

Inna Pivkina, Associate Professor, Computer Science

Description

I will present my experience in implementing writing projects in Discrete mathematics for computer science (CS278) course. Students were asked to write a research paper on the history of the solution of a problem from discrete mathematics or the history of the discovery of a concept from the course. I will discuss the instructional scaffolding and supports that were offered to students. Students’ reactions to projects will also be discussed.

 11:15-11:30 Transition to Session 3
 11:30-12:15  Session 3
Domenici Room 005  Domenici Room 006  Domenici Room 018  Domenici Room 223

Writing to Think! Is your department ready to take the challenge?

Presenter

Shelly Stovall, Director of Accreditation, Office of the Provost

Description

Three cohorts of NMSU faculty from across all colleges have participated, with positive results, in the Writing to Learn (W2L) program. Based on the outcomes of that program and other supporting data from NMSU’s initiative to improve student writing, we are scaling the program to include department-level participation, and branding it as “Writing to Think!” (W2T!). Come learn what your department stands to gain from this program, as well as what departmental participation entails.

The Magic Bean: Engaging Ideas for Teachers and Students

Presenters

Chris Burnham, Emeritus Regents Professor of English

Patti Wojahn, Associate Professor,  Department Head of Interdisciplinary Studies

Description

Our presentation will introduce how and why we will next move from (a) supporting teachers to focus on Writing to Learn in their classrooms to (b) supporting departments to foster Writing to Think. We invite you and your departments to engage with us in Engaging Ideas to help you help students learn to think critically about and beyond your discipline.

Writing to Prepare for Class

Presenter

Michaela Burkardt, College Professor of Physics

Description

Would you like your students to already have read, thought and written about content, before they come to class? Would you like to know what experiences or pre-conceptions your students have, or what ideas they find difficult to grasp? In this presentation, we will discuss how you can use pre-class time to prepare both students and you as instructor for the next class topic. By providing thoughtful writing prompts, you can formatively assess your students current understanding of a topic, note common themes in misconceptions and make class time relevant and focused on the more difficult material

Demystifying Rubrics

Presenters

Kerry Forsythe, Instructional Consultant, Instructional Innovation and Quality

Miley Grandjean, Instructional Consultant, Instructional Innovation and Quality

Description

Rubrics can be powerful tools for assessment. Yet, faculty struggles to write effective rubrics or resist using rubrics altogether. In this hands-on presentation, we will look at what is a rubric and their benefits. We will get into the nuts and bolts of writing and discuss what makes a good criterion, how to write performance levels, and how to avoid the common mistakes instructors make when writing rubrics. Throughout the presentation, attendees will be given the opportunity to apply their new knowledge on a sample course.

 

12:15 – 1:15

Lunch

Pick up your lunch in the Stan Fulton Atrium.  Proceed to video presentations concerning Writing to Learn in Pete Domenici Yates Auditorium
Room 109

 1:15-1:30 Transition to Session 4
 1:30-2:15 Session 4
Domenici Room 102  Domenici Room 006  Domenici Room 018  Domenici Room 223

Writing to Learn with Canvas

Presenter

Michelle Lebsock, Instructional Consultant, Academic Technology

Tanya Watson, Instructional Consultant, Academic Technology

Description

This presentation will demonstrate how the discussion and feedback tools in Canvas can be used to encourage critical thinking in student writing by creating an engaging and collaborative environment in online and blended courses. Presenters will provide examples of discussion boards tailored to class size and student skill level, discuss how students can learn while helping each other through peer review, and show how students can work collaboratively in real time using the collaborations tool. We will also discuss Canvas feedback options and features that can simplify the feedback process for instructors.

The Impact of “Writing to Learn” on Teaching and Learning

Presenter

Pete Mitchell, College Assistant Professor, Hotel Restaurant and Tourism

Kim O’Connell-Brock, Assistant Director, ATEP-Kinesiology and Dance

Description

This will be a panel presentation by participants in the faculty Writing to Learn program. Panel participants will share how they incorporated what they learned in the Writing to Learn program into their courses, and what impact those practices made in their courses. They will also answer questions about the Writing to Learn program, and discuss both the successes and challenges they experienced in their teaching.

Socratic Note-Taking Techniques

Presenter

David Trafimow, Professor, Psychology

Description

The notion of Socratic Note Taking (SNT) is introduced to enhance students learning from assigned readings. SNT features students asking questions and answering their own questions while doing the readings. To test the effectiveness of SNT, half the students from two sections of a philosophy course were assigned SNT on alternating weeks. Quizzes each week alternated between the two classes as either high or low stakes in a counterbalanced format. 

Writing to Learn? It’s not just for writing courses!

Presenters

Michael Hout, Assistant Professor, Psychology

Merranda Marin, Associate Professor, Family and Consumer Sciences

Description

“Writing to Learn” (W2L) is a concept that uses writing as a tool to foster discipline content learning. NMSU faculty from various disciplines who have participated in the W2L program have learned multiple techniques for incorporating writing into their courses, not necessarily to improve student writing, but rather to improve student learning of discipline subject matter. Come to this session to hear how two faculty members have implemented these techniques, and how it has impacted student learning in their classes.

 2:15-2:30 Transition to Session 5
 2:30-3:15 Session 5
 Domenici Room 006  Domenici Room 018 Domenici Room 125  Domenici Room 005

Teachers Writing – Students Learning!

Presenters

Kelly King, NMSU Borderlands Writing Project, Rio Grande Preparatory Institute, High School Teacher of English

Gail Wheeler, NMSU Borderlands Writing Project, Crossroads High School, Teacher of English

Ruleen White, NMSU Borderlands Writing Project, Rio Grande Preparatory Institute, High School Teacher of English

Description

As K-12 teachers affiliated with NMSU through the Borderlands Writing Project, we will present on informal, fun, and communal ways that teachers themselves can write and share their writing and, in turn, gain strengths and confidence in teaching writing in classes across the curriculum. In this presentation, we will also share a documentary of teachers from the southwest region of New Mexico who gained confidence as writers and teachers of writing within their classrooms – from connecting food and fables to celebrating milestones in disciplines.

 

How can I know what I think until I see what I say?

Presenter

Michael Dougherty, Writing Instructor, English, PhD StudentCurriculum & Instruction, Learning Design & Technology

Description

The act of writing has transformative potential. Experienced writers write their way into ideas, which they then develop, revise, and refine as they go. In academia, this is referred to as the writing process. The process itself, whether writing an essay, article, or research paper involves both creative and critical thinking. Editing is central to this process because it helps students grasp elements that include tone, structure, and design that, in turn, enables them as writers to effectively express ideas. Please bring paper, pen, and or a laptop to participate in this enlightening process.

 

Flipping a Viewing a Wider World Course into a Writing to Learn Course

Presenter

Cynthia Pelak, Assistant Professor

Description

In this presentation, I will share how I turned my on-line Viewing a Wider World course – Sport and Society (SOC 394v) — into a writing intensive course designed to enhance student learning and critical thinking skills. I will discuss the principles of (a) Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) approach, (b) Bloom’s taxonomy of learning, and (c) the critical pedagogical commitments that I relied upon to “flip” the course. I will start by discussing the limitations of my original design for the course and then discuss select writing assignments that form a scaffolding of opportunities for students to achieve the learning objectives of the course and develop their sense of self as a critical thinker willing to take on challenges facing themselves and humanity in the 21st century.

Using Writing to Support Course Goals

Presenter

Kelley Sharp-Hoskins, Assistant Professor

Kerry Banazek, Assistant Professor

Description

In this panel two writing studies specialists from the Department of English discuss the formal and informal writing assignments they use in non-writing focused classes. Panelist A focuses specifically on how writing can be incorporated into undergraduate and graduate classes in context of limited time and resources for explicit writing instructions. Panelist B discusses relationships between readings, writing, and data visualization. Both panelists emphasize the importance and value of assignment sequencing to use Writing to Think.

 3:15-3:30 Transition to Closing
 3:30-4:00 Closing

Dan Howard, Provost

Pete Domenici Hall, Yates Auditorium

Room 109