Spring Institute

Since 2010, WPI’s Spring Institute on Teaching with Writing (SITWW) has brought together small groups of faculty from across campus for a series of intensive workshops, discussion, and course planning over a two-week period. The workshops introduce principles and best practices for writing in and across the disciplines, and they help faculty develop tools for assigning, teaching, and responding to student writing in their courses.

Between workshops, faculty are encouraged to peruse recommended readings, share ideas with colleagues, schedule individual consultation appointments with writing faculty, and apply workshop strategies as they plan or revise their own syllabi and assignments. Over the ensuing year, SITWW faculty are invited to follow-up events, poster presentations, and conferences to share their work with colleagues.

SITWW Objectives

By the close of the Institute, participating faculty will:

  • identify types of writing that can be used to promote learning objectives in a course they are teaching or plan to teach
  • identify forms of writing (lab reports, critiques, proposals, etc.) that majors in their field need to master, specifying the structure, purposes and strategies required of that writing
  • develop effective assignments and classroom-based teaching materials to support student communication and learning
  • demonstrate efficient and effective strategies for responding to and evaluating writing

How to Apply

To apply to the SITWW, faculty members should fill out a SITWW application and send it to Lorraine Higgins by May 15.

Faculty who attend the Institute’s four workshops and revise course materials to develop writing-intensive courses in their departments within the next two years will receive an $800 professional development stipend from the Morgan Center for Teaching and Learning. June 2015 dates to be announced.

2014-2015 Schedule

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The Spring Institute provided ideas for how I might incorporate writing into my history courses. I realized that less formal writing can be used constructively to help students get somewhere with their thinking.

--Constance Clark
Associate Professor, History

I realized I needed to provide more direct instruction, and I do that by setting aside time to discuss drafts in class. I’ve also inserted other types of writing, like a letter to a selectman about an urban planning project and a discussion board.

--Suzanne LePage
Teaching Faculty, Civil Engineering