Monday, March 5, 2012

Writing in the Disciplines Teaching Awards Announced

The selection committee for the WID teaching award has just announced its 2012 Teaching Award winners. Awards are given for Distinguished Teaching and Best Assignment Design.

The selection committee for the WID teaching award has just announced its 2012 Teaching Award winners. Awards are given for Distinguished Teaching and Best Assignment Design. Prof. Randi Kristensen, Deputy Director of WID observed:

"We had a remarkably strong pool of nominees for the award, from across the university. However, the following dossiers stood out, even among so many other excellent candidates, as manifesting all that we could have hoped to find in the teaching materials and practices being employed in WID classes."

Prof. Joseph P. Dymond, WID Distinguished Teaching Award 2012
Prof. Dymond’s Cultural Geography class creatively and explicitly addresses the disciplinary expectations of writing in the field of geography. As his “Culture Map” assignment notes, “One of the key ways we communicate in ‘writing’ in Geography is with maps and corresponding map discussion.” Students in Prof. Dymond’s class work in groups to create spatial and cultural maps, and use them to examine emerging geographies in contested areas. His students and colleagues rate him highly for his extensive feedback and critiques that enable student writers to see the intrinsic connections between effective critical thinking and effective communication. From a WID perspective, Prof. Dymond’s connection of the theoretical and empirical aspects of the field to projects that engage discipline-specific forms of writing with multiple audiences – professional, peer, and community – demonstrates the best of what writing in a discipline, as an approach to teaching and learning, can achieve.

Prof. Shelley B. Brundage, WID Best Assignment Design Award 2012
Prof. Brundage’s rich Evidence-Based Practice Reviews provide an excellent way for students in the Speech and Hearing Senior Seminar to both consolidate their undergraduate learning and create a platform for their upcoming work in graduate school and as speech-language pathologists. In teams, students evaluate treatments for particular disorders in order to produce two evidence-based practice reviews: one written for a professional audience, the other for non-professionals, such as families, with whom practicing speech-language pathologists will also need to communicate effectively. This assignment is a stellar example of writing to learn in a discipline. It is clear, yet concise, in its purpose, audience, resources, and expectations. The formative activities – peer review and professor’s comments – are models of clarity, challenge, and encouragement to student writers. When the students then present their findings, in teams, to the rest of the class, they have also become teachers in the process, a significant achievement to crown their undergraduate careers.

The Philip J. Amsterdam Graduate Teaching Award 2012 was also awarded to Scott Larson. This teaching award is given to GW Graduate Teaching Assistants who have had at least two years of GTA experience and are nominated by their department. The Teaching and Learning Collaborative selection committee considers evaluations from students and supervising professors, as well as the quality of the GTA’s academic work. Scott's work as a WID GTA in American Studies stood out for his "[i]nnovative use of written materials he’s created to steer students through the process of critical reading, as well as visual formats to chart complex arguments alongside his students," and he was commended for "[h]is clear pedagogical style [which] shows willingness to engage student learning, but also directs attention to helping students work through difficult material."

Scott is an outstanding teacher, and graciously notes, "I've been truly fortunate to have had the guidance and support of both faculty and students in American Studies, and excellent training with GWU's Writing in the Disciplines program."

The University holds its award ceremony for all teaching awards on March 26th from 4-6pm. This will also be an occasion where we hope you can meet and congratulate the award recipients in person.

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