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Assessments of the WAC Program

These evaluations and findings are on the WAC website because the CSULB WAC program and its director value all WAC participants’ experiences. The ongoing data can suggest useful and effective initiatives and how they might be enhanced. Below are seven labelled categories; within each category are the open access data and charts. Because of time constraints not all workshops received evaluation, nor did one-on-one consultations

"I learned a lot from John and other WAC fellows. It is a friendly and diverse group. I learned new perspectives in integrating writing in my current and future classes. Very positive and good experience. I wish to participate in future WAC activities." WAC Fellow 2017-2018

As a professor in the School of Art I mainly teach studio classes. I was quite nervous delving into the creation of a WI class. The WAC workshop gave me concrete examples, resources and ideas to create an effective WI class. I now feel very comfortable moving forward and very much look forward to my first class this summer.”

– Aubry Mintz

 

CSULB WAC Fellows Yearly Program Evaluations 

These evaluations cover the academic year-long WAC Fellows. WAC Fellows represent all the colleges across campus from a wide range of disciplines and specialty areas. Launched for the first time in 2017-2018, nine fellows were selected from a robust pool of applicants. The 2018-2019 WAC Fellows are in session since August 2018 and will be complete in May 2019.   

WAC Fellows Evaluations 2017-2018: pdf

WAC Fellows Evaluations: 2018-2019

Workshop Evaluations: 2-Hour Workshop Series  

Workshop Evaluations: 2-Hour Workshop Series: GE Capstone Writing Intensive Class Requirements, & Introductory Suggestions for Getting Started on Creating One

 2-Hour Workshop Series Evaluations: pdf

Workshop Evaluations: 5-Hour Writing Intensive Capstone Creation Series

Workshop Evaluations: 10-Hour Writing Intensive Capstone Creation Series

Applied Pedagogy Evaluations: WAC Writing Modules in Conjunction with 16 Instructors & 18 Tutors from Aross Campus

The WAC Modules are innovative in that 1. Participating students were able to assess their writing needs the first week of classes using a CSULB WAC Program proprietary self-placement online system, 2. Students met for five weeks, one hour each week, on a specific area, such as Revising, with a small group of students (2-8), 3. Students represent all colleges across campus, and 4. Instructors from across all colleges participated and contributed to the success of the pilot project and study. The WAC Modules, it has been demonstrated, could serve as a powerful and effective approach and strategy to addressing some of the challenges that CSU EO 1100 and 1110 have posed to CSULB.

WAC Modules Pilot Study Report and Evaluations: pdf

Learning and Teaching Writing Research Study Findings at the Beach 

What Stories Do the Findings from These Three Studies of Learning and Practicing Writing Tell?

As a Writing Program Administrator for the last 25 years I have the fortunate experience of working with teachers from all disciplines committed to helping their students improve their writing. I am also in earshot of students who complain about teachers teaching writing, and teachers who complain about their students writing. Anecdotes, myths, and stories abound. Two and a half years ago it struck me that we really don’t know much about what those learning to write or those teaching writing have to say in response to focused questions about writing experiences. While one group, students, have been studied in many ways, they haven’t been treated as writers in how we address and study them; we tend to study them as “subjects.” Another important group that has been completely left out and overlooked are alumni. What can these former students tell us about their learning to write at school and how this has served them in their professional lives? The last group, but not least, are the people who teach writing across all colleges and disciplines. We know very little about their experiences as writers and, in turn, about their experiences teaching writing. Do these groups have anything in common? Where do they agree and disagree? What can they tell us about the other groups?  I sought, therefore, to learn what students, alumni, and instructors writing experiences are, what they experienced in their classrooms, and, additionally from alumni, in their workplace.

In fall 2016 I started drafting and testing questions. By fall 2017 I had IRB approval and launched the study. In June 2018 I stopped collecting responses and transferred all the data from Qualtrics to SPSS. Combined participant number of responses range from 900 to over 1,400, with alumni participating the most. Since July 2018 I have been thinking and talking about the findings with colleagues on campus, from other schools, and at a couple of conferences.  

The findings impacted me in a few ways. First, some myths were broken, and others supported. Second, totally new ways of seeing and understanding writing, learning to write, and the teaching of writing forcefully surfaced. Third, as WAC Director the findings have caused me to embark upon new ways of teaching writing to teachers in the disciplines; most prominent is for teachers to begin openly talking about their experiences as successful and struggling writers (I am one of them), while also beginning to see their students as successful and struggling writers. In other words, the story of the findings became stories of writing and the teaching of writing shared in classrooms across campus.

In the months to come I plan on continuing to unpack the findings so they will be useful and understandable for others. For now I have focused on and share findings from seven themes from the three study groups (Click links below to access findings):

  1. Mentorship and Writing
  2. Preparation and Writing Improvement
  3. Proactive Learners
  4. Writer Self-Confidence
  5. Career Writing
  6. Informed Writing Instruction
  7. Institutional Commitments to Writing Instruction
After looking at the seven categories’ findings, would you like to share your story about them?

Next Steps?

First, Phase Two of this research will launch in late August 2019 and run until June 2020. The study will have four changes. First, instead of the original three target groups, I have separated students into two groups, Undergraduates and Graduates, in order to better understand the writing experiences of graduate students across the disciplines. All four groups will have exactly the same questions but phrased/adapted for the group:

  1. Undergraduate
  2. Graduate
  3. Alumni
  4. Instructors

Second, from talks with colleagues from different schools, interest has grown in becoming a research partner with me by sharing the study with the focus groups at their campus. Participating schools will be able to use the data from their schools to see what their committed populations have experienced with writing on their campus. As it should be, it will be specific school voices united as one. 

Third, all participating schools’ data will be merged into one. From this we can begin to see what we have in common, where we differ, and learn where folklore and anecdote represent the majority or where they implode. From the shared findings we can project the heartbeat of the united students’, alumni, and instructors’ experiences and needs into a unified voice.

Fourth, if you would like to learn more about becoming involved either locally or at your school, please contact me by July 1, 2019.

Across Campus Writing Assessment of All Writing Intensive and Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement Courses

Study Underway