This page provides brief descriptions of our workshops, workshop dates, and links to registration.
Slides and additional resources for all our workshops can be found on the WAC+ Resources page.
Writing Assignment and Assessment Design
- Next workshop: Thursday, July 12, 2018, 9:30 – 12:00 – Register here
This workshop introduces best practices for designing more effective science writing assignments, including the importance of context, active thinking and learning strategies, and assessment (e.g. rubrics). During the workshop, participants have the opportunity to assess the design of their own assignment and receive feedback from peers.
This workshop was last held on May 5, 2017
Strategies for Student Success with Writing
- Next workshop: Thursday, July 26, 2018, 9:30 – 11:30 – Register here
This workshop focuses on teaching and mentoring strategies for helping students develop a better writing process. Participants will consider how to structure writing assignments to help students better engage with scientific concepts, more thoughtfully plan their writing and arguments and take greater responsibility for the development of their writing skills.
This workshop was last held on February 23, 2017.
Non-traditional Communication Assignments
- Next workshop: Thursday, August 2, 2018, 9:30 – 11:30 – Register here
Science today is communicated (and miscommunicated) in a variety of digital forms, including social media, blogs and online videos, and many students leave university unable to communicate effectively and appropriately in these forms. This two-hour workshop introduces alternatives to the traditional lab reports or papers often used as the only tools to teach communication skills in science courses. Participants will engage with and explore diverse communication assignments as a means to teach how to communicate science to a variety of audiences.
This workshop was last held on February 21, 2017.
Providing Effective Feedback on Writing Assignments
- Next workshop: TBA
This three-hour workshop introduces feedback strategies that focus on using educator time efficiently and encouraging students to both use feedback and take responsibility for the quality of their science writing. The workshop benefits both new and experienced educators by providing participants the opportunity to reflect on their current feedback strategies and to practice some strategies with peers.
This workshop was last held on April 7, 2017.
Teaching Succinct and Accurate Science Writing
- Next workshop: TBA
This two-hour workshop focuses on how to teach students to write clearly for audiences within, and outside, their discipline, focusing on issues at the sentence level. The workshop introduces activities and techniques for teaching concise writing with clear sentence structure, while appropriately using technical jargon. Participants will have the opportunity to practice giving feedback on student writing and test some activities with their peers.
This workshop was last held on November 23, 2017.
Teaching Oral Communication in Science
- Next workshop: TBA
This two-hour workshop focuses on streamlining the teaching of oral presentation skills in science classes. Participants will explore evidence-based best practices for the learning environment, assignment design and assessment strategies. This workshop is suitable for any educators (TAs, Post-docs, Faculty and Staff) who are already using presentations in the classroom, or who are interested in starting to incorporate presentations in their courses.
This workshop was last held on January 18, 2017.
Previous Guest Workshops
Putting Writing to Work: Designing Authentic and Effective Assignments
- Facilitated by Dr. Anthony Paré (Department of Language and Literacy Education), last offered on June 15, 2017.
This workshop extends the WAC+ Writing Assignment and Assessment Design workshop and is suitable for all participants regardless of previous workshop experience.
School writing often requires students to simply repeat the knowledge they have gained through lectures and readings to an audience who doesn’t need it — the instructor. Rarely are they given a chance to write to different readers for a the wide range of intentions that authors can have: to propose, argue, explain, instruct, challenge, analyze, and so on. The result is that students don’t struggle with course knowledge in order to make it accessible and useful to others — a struggle that is far more likely to lead to deep learning than mere repetition. This workshop will engage participants in the design of assignments that go beyond traditional school work and create opportunities for profound learning. We will consider participants’ teaching goals, their usual assignments, and ways in which those assignments might be tailored to produce challenging and engaging writing projects aimed at various audiences for various purposes. Participants are encouraged to bring descriptions of assignments with them.
Supporting Scholarly Writing: Strategies from Systemic Functional Linguistics
- Facilitated by Dr. Alfredo Ferreira (Academic English Program, Vantage College), last offered on June 13, 2017.
This two-hour workshop introduces a Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL)-informed framework for supporting academic writing across the disciplines for users of English as an additional language in their first-year at UBC. In this approach, instructors and learners examine how writing functions simultaneously as representation (what is going on?), interaction (who is involved?), and message (how is writing organized?). After workshopping key features of the framework we will engage in various ways with a small sample of instructional materials from the foundational writing courses in the Academic English Program (AEP) at UBC Vantage College, as well as from AEP courses that are linked, respectively, to first-year UBC courses in Arts, Applied Science, and Science. While the focus of the workshop is on supporting the writing of first-year students, the framework and associated strategies are shown to be relevant for supporting scholars at various levels of apprenticeship.