by Anita Helle, Interim Director


With this issue of “Teaching with Writing,” we launch our spring series of WIC speakers, lunches, and activities, on the theme of WIC in Transition—Continuity and Change.

Signs of change have also been on the horizon since I stepped into the Interim Director role in January. As I write, the search for a permanent WIC Director is nearing completion (look for a profile introducing the incoming WIC Director in the spring newsletter). OSU’s new curricular proposal system (CIM) offers faculty a newly streamlined digital space for submitting WIC course changes and new WIC courses.

In keeping with OSU COVID-19 protocols, we will be delivering the first WIC lunch on April 10 from 12-1 pm as a Webinar, drawing on Zoom functions such as screen share, chat, and document posting. We will evaluate our mode of delivery after the first two weeks of the term.

Updated information on digital delivery systems for planned events outlined below will be posted in advance on the WIC website and announced by e-mail a week in advance for all WIC faculty at OSU-Corvallis and OSU-Cascades.

My highest priority for spring term is to maintain our WIC activities and events as a vital (if virtual) gathering space for the day-to-day interests of faculty teaching writing in the disciplines. I will provide ongoing support and review for WIC faculty developing new courses or making course changes. The Baccalaureate Core Committee will continue to review WIC proposals through spring term.

Read on for detail on upcoming sessions:

Our WIC sessions on April 10 ”Teaching Peer Review Online: Tools, Resources, and Strategies,” and April 17, “Assessing Peer Review” respond to the future of WIC teaching in the context of “next-generation learning environments.” With apologies for the buzzword, “next generation learning environments” require fluid and flexible movement between online and face-to-face learning and deeper integration of our familiar cultures of writing with new literacies.

On May 1, the WIC Lunch Series is pleased to host a speaker, Mike Caulfield, Director of Networked and Blended Learning at Washington State University Vancouver. His research responds to the urgent challenge of teaching information literacy across writing disciplines and genres in an era when misinformation, disinformation, and accusations of “fake news” abound. As an introduction to the currency and impact of Caulfield’s work in higher ed, I highly recommend The Chronicle of Higher Education’s recent feature, “How to Teach Information Literacy in an Era of Lies.”

Our final lunch for the year on May 15 will focus on reinvigoration and renewal of writing pedagogies through examples of WIC faculty innovations including multimedia/multimodal. Special thanks to WIC faculty who responded to our recent questionnaire on this topic.

Even as we make room for change, I am convinced that the writing lessons developed and taught through WIC seminars remain enduring and resilient. You, the WIC faculty, are the backbone of this program. The ideas that have shaped the Spring program have come from you. Thank you for your ongoing participation and your dedication to WIC teaching.

Anita Helle
Interim WIC Director, Winter and Spring 2020
Professor of English/School of Writing, Literature, and Film
Pronouns: she, her, hers

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