Writing for Teaching and Learning

Program Overview

This workshop series is a professional development opportunity based on Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) initiatives in higher education. With a focus on integrating writing, critical thinking, and active learning into UWM undergraduate and graduate coursework, these sessions are designed for teachers from any disciplinary background. Each workshop is accompanied by a hands-on, self-paced “studio session” where participants can develop artifacts such as assignment prompts and rubrics, and receive feedback.

Instructors who complete the workshop series will further their understanding of how to integrate and assess engaging writing projects in their courses.

Registration is open to all UWM instructors — faculty, academic staff, graduate TAs, and adjuncts — in all disciplines.

Session Descriptions

Introductory Series

Session 1: Designing Writing Assignments that Your Students Actually Want to Write (and You Want to Read!), Part 1

This workshop concentrates on designing engaging, authentic formal writing assignments by focusing first on course learning goals. Using scholarship in teaching in learning on effective writing assignment design, a process for creating assignment prompts will be shared, including examples from a variety of different courses.

Session 2: Designing Writing Assignments that Your Students Actually Want to Write (and You Want to Read!), Part 2

Intended as a follow-up to Part 1 which emphasized finished-product writing, this workshop focuses on the importance and design of unfinished, exploratory, “low-stakes” or informal writing to present students with higher-order critical thinking problems. This session highlights 20 ideas for incorporating exploratory writing into a course.

Session 3: Beyond the First Draft: Teaching Thinking through Teaching Revision

This session, with a focus on writing as a means of discovery, development, and modification of ideas, highlights revision as an activity that contributes significantly to deep learning. Participants will learn 15 strategies for promoting revision through building interactive elements (such as in-class brainstorming, peer review, or writing center visits) into an assignment or course.

Session 4: Get Your Weekends Back: 10 Practical Strategies for Handling the Paper Load

Because instructors have only limited time to spend on student writing, the goal of this session is to explore how to use that time as efficiently as possible. We will share ten time-saving strategies for coaching students as they work on writing assignments, enabling students to produce their best work, while keeping the grading load manageable.

Currently, Writing for Teaching and Learning is offered as online synchronous workshops. An accompanying Canvas course site provides preparatory materials, online studio activities, and further resources to supplement each workshop session and permit attendees to earn a digital badge of completion if they choose.

Register Here

Frequently Asked Questions

If I register for one session, am I automatically registered for the other sessions?
No. Each session has its own registration form. When you register, you’ll also need to choose whether to attend the in-person or the virtual session.
Do I need to attend all four sessions?
Not necessarily; since each session has its own registration, you may choose to attend only one or two that are of interest to you. However, the four sessions are designed to build on and complement each other, so you’ll receive the most benefit from attending them all. In addition, participants who attend all four sessions (in either format) and complete the studio activity can earn a digital badge of completion.
What if I have a last-minute emergency and can’t attend?
The virtual meetings will be recorded, so if you miss a week altogether, you will be able to watch the recording — although note that breakout-room activities will be missing from that, and watching a recording isn’t nearly as rich an experience as participating in discussions.
Will I receive resources, handouts, or other takeaways?
Absolutely! When you register for one or more of the sessions, you’ll be sent a link to enroll in a Canvas site containing additional resources and readings, as well as your studio activities. The digital badge of completion will be administered through this site. Earning that badge requires attending all four sessions and completing each of the accompanying studio projects.