In the process of implementing our new requirements for Writing-Intensive
courses, the university is seeking ideas for different models of such
courses. By 'models' they mean alternative instructional configurations. In
particular, we are trying to figure out how to provide enough W-course
places for all first year students in courses across the disciplines.
Suggestions include hiring lecturers to teach courses like: writing in the
sciences or writing in business and doing this in large lecture courses
which then have tutorial sections. Alternatively, large lecture courses
like first year English novel studies or first year history can be
designated W-courses and writing integrated into the course and the teaching
and peer review etc. happen mainly in tutorials of 15 or 16 students.
My question to you folks out there is whether you have experience of or know
of any research about the relation between relatively successful teaching of
writing and size of the large lecture class + tutorial. I recall reading
somewhere that 120 students in this model was more likely to work than 250,
for instance. Given that this is a model that we are likely going to use
for all the obvious reasons and with all the obvious limitations, can anyone
tell me why 120 is better than 250?
My google searches have been fruitless so far - I guess I'm not using the
Any advice on this will be very welcome. I have to present some arguments
to our university committee next week.
Wendy Strachan PhD.
Director, Centre for Writing-Intensive Learning
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6
Office: AQ 6205
email: [log in to unmask]
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