College Composition and Communication
The premier journal in rhetoric and composition is College Composition and Communication (CCC), and the editor for CCC is FSU's Dr. Kathleen Yancey. The journal publishes research and scholarship in rhetoric and composition. Jen O'Malley serves as the CCC editorial assistant.
For each year of her appointment, Dr. Yancey is editing a special issue addressing key topics in rhetoric and composition.
- The first special issue, released in September 2010, addressed the "future of rhetoric and composition."
- The second special issue, released in September 2011, focused on indigenous and ethnic rhetorics.
- The third special issue is being released in September 2012 and is focusing on research methodologies and the ways they have, do, and might inform the field.
- The fourth special issue is in progress: its topic is The Profession.
- The fifth special issue will speak to "Locations of Writing": the CFP can be found below.
Special Issue for CCC 2014
I especially welcome two kinds of responses to this CFP.
The first is a proposal of 250 words for a full-length manuscript of addressing:
- Historical locations for writing classes
- Historical locations for other curricular writing activities (e.g. writing centers)
- Writing across different institutional locations: e.g., community college/four-year college, private/public, WAC, and WID
- Connections across sites of writing
- Historical locations for out-of-school writing events and activities
- Contemporary locations for out-of-school writing events and activities
- New locations for writing including programs and departments
- The relationship between writing locations and the profession
- The influence of location on curricular and pedagogical practices
- The role of locations in an era of mobile technology
- Student work on websites, portfolios, and other digital sites conceived of as locations
- Advantages, disadvantages, and opportunities linked to re-locating writing
- Location as metaphor: space, place, and geography as compatible and/or alternative metaphors
- Location as site of knowledge, especially regarding issues of difference
- Location and its relationship to faculty status
- Location as a metaphor for a career trajectory
This list, however, is not meant to be prescriptive—I welcome queries, ideas, and proposals.
The second response I welcome is a complete vignette or "small-scope narrative" of our lived experience in a given location in writing (limited to 1000 words). This must be complete at the time of submission and should be appropriately labeled.
Deadline for proposals and vignettes is Monday, January 7, 2013. No duplicate submissions, and please be sure to limit proposals to 250 words each and vignettes to 1000 words.
In the interim, please submit all questions and proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org
ATD Special Issue-"Writing across the Curriculum and Assessment: Activities, Programs, and Insights at the Intersection"
A Special Issue of Across the Disciplines, which was released in December http://wac.colostate.edu/atd/assessment/index.cfm, focused on Writing across the Curriculum and Assessment. The Editorial Team received more than 30 proposals. Below we have listed an annotated table of contents. In addition, the authors of the introduction idenitified five questions deriving from the individual articles:
- What is the role of the future writing tasks in motivating students? The Oregon State experience shows that when students believe that their writing efforts are connected to future writing tasks, they are more engaged and learn more, a finding consistent with other research (e.g. Hilgers, Hussey, & Stitt-Bergh, 1999; Beaufort, 2009). How else might we build connections between current and future writing tasks into classrooms, programs, and assessments, and with the same good effect?
- Speaking of the future and as recommended by the MIT experience, how else might we engage our own alumni? What can alumni share about writing outside the academy? What do they value in our programs? Are there risks of including alumni perspectives and reports, and if so, are the risks worthwhile?
- As we gather information about disciplinary expectations, as in the North Carolina State and Carleton models, what are the implications of this new knowledge for first-year composition? If we think that there are implications, should leaders of first-year composition be involved from the beginnings of such assessment exercises?
- As recommended by the University of Hawai'i experience, what is the appropriate mix of methods in assessment, and how does one combine such a mix of methodologies in an iterative fashion? What is the sequence? Does it depend on location, or is there a more generalized systematic approach?
- As recommended by all the approaches here, what is the relationship between writing assessment and research in writing? That relationship shows up nowhere more clearly than in the Oregon State example, where OSU forgoes additional research in service of assessment and learning. At the same time, it's not uncommon for us to hear that assessment is a kind of research (O'Neill, Schendel, & Huot, 2002), which in some ways is what we see in the North Carolina State model: as faculty articulate disciplinary genres and outcomes, we learn about writing in fields different than ours. What does our language suggest about the relationship btweeen assessment and research? What difference, if any, does it make when we change the way we refer to students: are their roles different if we shift them from stakeholders to native informants? How do we commodify new learning of the kind we see at OSU and NCSU as knowledge, or should we when it is collected in an assessment context? Is assessment itself research, or is it simply like research? But if the latter, how is it different? What are the differences in processes, practices, conventions, and expectations? And how do we create a program that supports both in appropriate ways?
The following proposals were selected for the issue:
"The Writer's Personal Profile: Student Self Assessment and Goal Setting at Start of Term"
Tracy Ann Robinson and Vicki Tolar Burton
Oregon State University
This article advocates an approach to WAC/WIC assessment that prioritizes student learning and encourages students in upper-division writing intensive (WI) courses to take greater responsibility for their course writing experience. At start of term, students complete a self-assessment and goal-setting survey called the Writer's Personal Profile (WPP). This survey invites students to reflect on their college writing experiences, identify their strengths and weaknesses as writers, and set personal writing goals for the forthcoming course. The authors describe the study through which the WPP was developed and validated and summarize study results that showed benefits for students, instructors, and WAC program administrators. Completion of the WPP helps students focus on their individual writing issues and goals as the course starts, and use of follow-up activities promotes students' responsibility for their writing and learning. The study revealed that faculty can use WPP results to focus writing instruction on the needs of a given set of students, and WAC administrators can use these results to enhance faculty development and strengthen program support for identified writing issues.
"Program Assessment: Processes, Propagation, and Culture Change"
Monica Stitt-Bergh and Thomas Hilgers
University of Hawai'i at Mãnoa
The authors describe their experiences assessing writing-across-the-curriculum and general education programs, paying particular attention to processes and their consequences. At the University of Hawai'i at M?noa, a relatively large research-extensive university, general education assessment activities have been designed around two goals: broadened program ownership and, through increased faculty involvement, ongoing program improvement. By keeping assessment "at home" and involving faculty members from across the campus in multiple assessment efforts, UHM continues to build its capacity for assessment and promotes an outcomes-guided culture that aims to improve student success.
"Pairing WAC and Quantitative Reasoning through Portfolio Assessment and Faculty Development"
Carol Rutz and Nathan D. Grawe
Writing across the curriculum has been a pedagogy associated with faculty development since the earliest days of the movement. Carleton College, an early adopter of WAC pedagogy and faculty development, has in the last decade added portfolio assessment to the combination with positive results. Among the unexpected consequences has been a partnership with a curricular initiative in quantitative reasoning (QR), which has taken advantage of portfolio assessment as well as joint faculty development opportunities to successfully argue for the rhetorical power of numbers in teaching argumentation. We trace the history of WAC and QR at Carleton, describe the faculty development and assessment features, and argue that the combination of WAC and QR serves goals of liberal education: precision in language and ethical argumentation.
"Profiling Programs: Formative Uses of Departmental Consultations in the Assessment of
Communication across the Curriculum"
Chris M. Anson and Deanna Dannels
North Carolina State University
Implementation of communication-across-the-curriculum initiatives has outpaced their systematic assessment, leaving many stakeholders wondering whether faculty and students are benefiting from the emphasis on writing, speaking, and other communicative media in discipline-based courses and curricula. Increasing interest in assessment, however, has generated questions about which methods can best gauge the influence of CAC programs and activities on students' performance, faculty involvement, and curricular change. This essay describes a second-stage, departmentally-based methodology for the formative assessment of CAC programs within academic disciplines. This methodology-the departmental profile-involves creating a status report of communication activities in light of identified communication outcomes. Drawing on one departmental profile to illustrate this process, we explore ways in which the method can map a department's progress toward CAC implementation and thereby reinvigorate its attention to CAC as a sustained element of its teaching mission.
"Developing a Culture of Writing at Virginia State University: A New Writing Emphasis"
Virginia State University
This essay explores Virginia State University's new and ambitious writing program, "Developing a Culture of Writing to Enhance Students' Academic and Professional Success," as it attempts to address the call that Kathleen Yancey put to educators in her 2004 CCCC Chair's Address, "Made Not Only in Words, Composition in a New Key," where she asks us to create a new curriculum for the 21st century. VSU's writing program addresses this "moment" by initiating a WAC program in assessment through electronic portfolios.
"Voices at the Table: Balancing the Needs and Wants of Program Stakeholders to Design a Value-added Writing Assessment Plan"
Terry Myers Zawacki, E. Shelley Reid, Ying Zhou, and Sarah E. Baker
George Mason University
This essay examines the authors' attempts at planning ways they might demonstrate that writing instruction itself was adding value to students' overall educational experience-while still retaining the discipline-focused and workshop-based assessment process successfully implemented at George Mason since 2002. Working together, with the different stakeholders in forming the planning process, helped the result modeled the spirit of negotiation and cooperation that has sustained the culture of writing at Mason.
"Data Driven Change Is Easy; Assessing and Maintaining It Is the Hard Part"
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT's essay, through a historical lens, examines its long history of integrating writing instruction throughout its undergraduate curriculum. This essay examines two studies-one done in 1995 when a special faculty committee was charged to evaluate the effectiveness of MIT's then current Writing requirement in teaching students to write well. The results provided data that suggested at least some of the reason why students did not prioritize writing as an essential skill during their undergraduate career. The second study, done in 1997, surveyed alumni asking respondents to rate various abilities in terms of both how they are important to them currently and MIT's contribution to their acquiring them. The data showed that while MIT prepared students well for the intellectual challenges they would face as engineers and scientists, the Institute did not prepare them to be effective communicators or leaders. After these studies, a new "Communication-Intensive" curriculum was created, which mandated that every undergraduate at MIT take one communication-intensive (CI) class in each of their four undergraduate years. There is currently a new survey out to more recent graduates (those involved in the new curriculum) to access how or if this new program has been successfully implemented.
The FSU Editorial Collective: Kathleen Yancey, Emily Baker, Scott Gage, Ruth Kistler, Rory Lee, Natalie Syzmanski, Kara Taczak, and Jill Taylor Gordon