Monday, March 5, 2012

Writing in the Disciplines Welcomes Guest Speakers

Scott Wible, Director of Professional Writing and Associate Professor of English from the University of Maryland, recently came to GW to have lunch and conversation with first year writing faculty, and to lead a WID workshop for graduate students teaching WID in the Business School.

Scott Wible, Director of Professional Writing and Associate Professor of English from the University of Maryland, recently came to GW to have lunch and conversation with first year writing faculty, and to lead a WID workshop for graduate students teaching WID in the Business School. All of these events, sponsored by the Business School, addressed professional writing and business school curriculum with an emphasis on the genres and best practices of this curriculum. Graduate student Leigha McReynolds summed up her experience of the workshop.

“Scott Wible’s workshop for the graduate teaching assistants who work on the Analysis of Business Issues course was an excellent resource and opportunity to expand our pedagogical arsenal. On the most basic level, it was our first opportunity to be exposed to a specific business writing pedagogy that can expand and develop our collective background in the humanities and composition. While we have all been trained to teach writing, this was our first training opportunity that was business specific. Second, Professor Wible provided us with concepts that will enhance our ability to frame the class effectively in terms of how business writing is unique as a discipline. Being able to articulate this among both those teaching the class and to the students taking it can only enhance the effectiveness of our endeavors. Finally, the workshop suggested ways to expand on and approach the assignments we already have that will help emphasize the disciplinary uniqueness and relevance, create great cohesion across assignments and the semester, and more effectively challenge students to go beyond a quantitative approach to problem solving and decision-making. We will take the concepts introduced and suggestions made in that brief workshop and immediately apply them to assignments and lesson plans in the second half of the semester. They will also shape our approach when we re-evaluate our methods and assignments for next semester and will likely provide a thread that we follow throughout the class.”

University Writing Professor Mark Mullen noted:

“I found the way he talked about making the intellectual content of business writing in particular visible to students to be very useful…[B]oth the formats and the occasions for business writing often seem so different, particularly to the degree that they take on a report structure rather than the explicitly argumentative one that we tend to favor. But Scott … looked behind the report structure, as it were, talking about the different kinds of analysis and intellectual investigation that the writing was often demanding and how these mapped on to more familiar categories.”

Professor Wible’s workshop was the second led by external scholars this year. In August, WID and the UWP welcomed Nicole B. Wallack, Director of the Undergraduate Writing Program at Columbia University.

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