Appendix A:  Invitation to participate

TO: Sample of Faculty Members Who Teach WRITD Courses, Fall 2010
FROM: Director of Writing Across the Curriculum, ____________________
And Members of the Writing Program Advisory Committee (WPAC)
DATE: August ____, 2010
RE: Assessment of Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC)

We Need Your Participation

Background Information

During academic year 2009-2010, the Writing Program Advisory Committee, Dean of Academic Programs, Barbara Kaiser, and I worked collaboratively to create a regularized Assessment Plan for the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program. Since its inception, formal assessment of the three-course writing requirement has never occurred although faculty have consistently supported the writing requirement. A three-phase assessment plan was created and approved by the Dean of Academic Programs with implementation of Phase One planned for Fall 2010. The focus of this assessment is on the overall impact of WRITD on improving student writing and ways to better support faculty who teach writing courses. We hope to create a meaningful, sustainable style of assessment for WAC that helps the College further improve the program.

Additionally, as the College moves forward with assessment of all elements within general education, and the Higher Learning Commission self-study, findings from the WAC assessment plan will inform that process.

Why Are We Contacting You?

Phase I of the assessment plan for WAC will involve 20-25 members of the faculty who teach a WRITD course during Fall 2010. In selecting these 20-25 individuals, the committee considered both course level (200 and 300 level WRITD courses) and inclusion of faculty from multiple departments. Your participation will help the committee begin the process of assessing student writing and the impact of the three-course writing requirement. It will also help us better plan for faculty development opportunities related to teaching and assessing student writing.

So What Would I Need To Do If I Agree to Participate in Phase I of the WAC Assessment?

Phase I of the assessment process will include the following steps and does not require a faculty member to add new assignments or change anything within the WRITD course being taught:

A. Completion of a short faculty course survey related to the WRITD course being taught during Fall 2010 (Survey posted online at the WAC web site);

B. Submit a first and final draft paper for one major assignment completed by three students within your class; a total of three first drafts and three final drafts are submitted with student permission;

C. Submit a class syllabus for the WRITD course;

D. Students within your WRITD class will be asked to complete two online surveys. One is a very short survey completed during the first week of the WRITD class that asks students to share perceptions regarding their writing strengths and weaknesses. The second student survey would be completed by students at the end of the course. This survey will focus on how the course helped improve their writing. (These surveys are posted at the WAC web site for your review.)

That’s it! Your involvement includes items A-C above. The Director of Writing Across the Curriculum will remind students in your courses to complete the two online surveys (item D).

The Writing Program Advisory Committee will also hold an open forumor schedule a Teachers Talking Writing seminar to gather additional information from all faculty who are interested in the WAC assessment process. We hope you will attend this session during Spring 2011.

Want To Know More About The WAC Assessment Process?

Phase II and III will involve collecting and examining a sample of student papers from FTS through the Senior Year. For more information about these phases of the assessment process, feel free to visit the WAC web site.

If you wish to see the Writing Program Strategic Plan, Program Goals, and Learner Outcomes you can also find these on the WAC web site. These goals and outcomes will serve as the foundation for the assessment process.

Please email Jeanne Herman, Director of WAC, regarding your willingness to participate in Phase I of the Assessment process. Should you have questions, feel free to call Jeanne at 7614 or send email.

Thank you for considering this important request!
Your participation would be much appreciated.
I hope to hear from you in the next week or so.