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Lindsey Writes - A Quality Enhancement Program at Lindsey Wilson College

Frequently Asked Questions

 

What is Lindsey Writes all about?  Lindsey Writes is a five-year Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) that focuses on improvement of student writing for undergraduate students on Lindsey Wilson College's A.P. White campus in Columbia, KY.  Students use writing to explore ideas, clarify thoughts, develop and communicate knowledge, and engage themselves as global citizens. The college launched this high-impact educational program in January 2013.

What is a QEP? A QEP is a Quality Enhancement Plan. A QEP is required of colleges accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).  Lindsey Wilson is accredited by SACSCOC. A QEP focuses on improving some aspect of the educational component of the institution that enhances the quality of student learning. It represents a commitment on the part of the institution to identify an area for improvement, to develop a plan to meet specific, measurable goals, and to engage in ongoing assessment of progress toward completion of the plan. The university must submit an impact report five years following the initiation of the QEP in which it demonstrates the impact of the QEP on student learning, as defined in the plan.

What does Writing Across the Curriculum mean? Lindsey Writes is a Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program. According to the WAC Clearinghouse, WAC programs are based on the beliefs that:

  • Writing is the responsibility of all academic disciplines.
  • Writing must be integrated across departmental boundaries.
  • Writing instruction should be offered during all four years of undergraduate education.
  • Writing promotes learning.
  • It takes practice in the conventions of a specific discipline for students to begin to communicate effectively within that discipline.

Who decided writing would be the focus of our QEP? Faculty, staff, and students identified areas that would be beneficial for a campus quality enhancement program. Several topics were proposed, and the faculty voted to pursue the writing QEP. Writing was determined to be a necessary skill for students as they function in communication, community and career.

Why is learning to write important? Writing is a tool students can use throughout their lives for both learning as well as for communication. Students who learn the major writing "rules" of their specific chosen areas of focus (e.g., business, math, history, etc.), will be able to communicate more effectively with others in that same discipline. Also, they increase their likelihood of success as they pursue their professions.  In short, learning to write helps students with both personal learning as well as professional success.

 

What are the four expected student learning outcomes? Through Lindsey Writes, Lindsey Wilson students will learn to:

  • Use writing to acquire, organize and present information and ideas in a variety of contexts.
  • Increase their level of perceived self-efficacy for writing.
  • Write effectively using the conventions, style, and vocabulary of their major disciplines. 
  • Articulate and understand the elements of successful written communication in their major disciplines.

 

What are the core components of Lindsey Writes?   Lindsey Writes includes three components:

  • The Writing in the Core Initiative, which focuses on writing-to-learn in core general education courses.
    • The Writing in the Disciplines Initiative, which focuses on developing writing skills specific to the student's major discipline.
    • The Writing for Life Initiative, which incorporates writing-focused activities and skills in the co-curriculum. 

What does writing to learn mean? Writing to learn is, generally, informal writing used as a tool for thinking. E.M. Forster said, "How can I tell what I think till I see what I say?" We write to learn when we think things through on paper (or onscreen) in order to generate or refine our ideas. We might use this kind of writing to ponder an experience, mull over the implications of a solution, write our thoughts for three minutes about a reading assignment, develop a list of research questions that truly matter to us, scribble notes on our reading, or write multiple drafts of a paper. The audience for this writing is either ourselves or an interested reader who will, at least for the moment, work with us to induce ideas without criticizing the way they come out. 

What are writing intensive courses? Writing intensive (WI) courses are classes taught by WI-trained faculty using writing assignments in class and on take-home assignments to provide students with the practice and repetition needed to become skilled writers in their disciplines

Who are Writing Fellows? Writing Fellows are students who have experience reading and writing in a discipline and who are attached to a writing-intensive course in that discipline to give students feedback. Writing Fellows meet one to one with writers to discuss their writing in process. They may also collect drafts to read and write comments beforehand. Fellows represent a preliminary audience trained to vocalize their reactions, draw out the writer's ideas, discuss disciplinary conventions, point to patterns, and explain principles. As agreed upon with the WI course instructor, fellows also facilitate in-class peer reviews, lead workshops, and meet regularly with the instructor to assist in designing assignments and guiding students through the writing process.

Who are Writing Advocates?  Writing Advocates are students who have volunteered to serve as advocates for writing. Their names were suggested by their instructors as being enthusiastic supporters of and role models for the importance of writing in a student's life.

How do writers at Lindsey get feedback on their writing? Writers at Lindsey Wilson College seek feedback not only from professors but also from each other. The Writing Center and the Writing Fellows program both offer one-to-one feedback from interested peer readers, using conversation and Socratic methods to draw out new ideas, uncover wrinkles, and apply principles. The Writing Center offers a creative environment, trained writing consultants, and a collection of resources for writers across campus to use in improving their writing. Writing Fellows are trained to offer feedback to students in writing-intensive courses in the disciplines and can meet when and where it's convenient for these writers.

What other resources are available to help students with their writing?  In addition to the Writing Center and the Writing Fellows program, Lindsey Wilson's Katie Murrell Library and its library staff offer the resources necessary for students to gather information needed to complete their writing assignments.  

How do we assess the program? There are two components to assessing the effectiveness of Lindsey Writes. The first component is assessment of the student learning outcomes (SLO). SLOs are assessed using the Written Communication and Elements of Writing rubrics, as well as a Writing Self-Efficacy Survey and selected results from the National Survey of Student Engagement's "Experiences with Writing" module. The second component is assessment of the Lindsey Writes program through a combination of surveys, such as the Campus Events Survey and Workshop Evaluation Survey, as well as the collection of inter-rater reliability data from external reviewers on the Written Communication rubric.

 

 

 

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