Doug Brent wrote:
> A reply by 2:30 Thursday MST would be nice (that's when I have to defend
> this proposal before General Faculties Council).
I'll try to give you a quick summary of how we "do" links here at U.of
W. (I'm hoping that Judith Kearns will go into more detail in her
We started offering links several years ago in collaboration with the
History department. (I believe they approached us as a result of a WAC
subcommittee discussion.) At the beginning, all those registered in a
linked section of History were also registerd in the same section of
Academic Writing. Instructors collaborated in a limited way-- deciding
on shared readings, for example, but the two courses were
administratively independant. (That is still the case now.) That way, a
student could fail or drop one course without affecting the other.
Since these initial courses (about five years ago?), we have created
links in many areas, mostly following the writing instructor's
interests. Barry Nolan, for example, teaches Biology links, and just
completed a sabbatical where he studied the rhetoric of science. Another
person teaches Environmental Studies links because of a dissertation
based on the works of environmental writers. Another teaches Women's
Studies links for a similar reason.
I think the reason these kinds of links are working out is because they
were not mandated in any way. Individuals who had particular interests
sought out a suitable course to link with. Differing levels of
collaboration have occurred, from basic agreement on reading lists to
true team teaching. Perhaps this kind of casual arrangement works on a
small campus where people know each other. More formal arrangements may
have to be made at big ole U.of C.
BTW, we still have many more "Multidisciplinary" sections of Academic
Witing than links. We're in the midst of surveying students to discover
if their needs are being met with the current course offerings. I
haven't taught "links", although I was one of the original people on the
committee that dreamed up the History links, because I teach most of of
my courses in the Computer Writing Lab. I find I have enough to do
keeping up with technology and bugging tech support without throwing in
an additional complication.... I believe Amanda has taught a few;
perhaps she'll chime in from Vancouver.
Hope this is helpful. This whole discussion is helpful to me from the
poit of view of the Inkshed newsletter. Keep those comments coming! I
don't want formal articles; I simply want to know what's going on on
Centre for Academic Writing
University of Winnipeg