Writing is central in students’ development of academic language, critical thinking, and reasoning in the disciplines. While a recent meta-analysis found that writing enhances student learning of academic content at the primary and secondary levels (Graham et al., 2020), writing assignments are also valuable tools for mastering advanced content among undergraduate students (Ellis et al., 2007; Sawyer et al., 2017). Despite its importance for student learning, teaching writing is a complex and difficult skill. Many university instructors have little training or expertise in writing instruction (Patchan et al., 2009). This lack of training may result in lack of instructional support for students’ writing development. Indeed, university instructors often emphasize content and substantive issues with limited attention to writing instruction(Patchan et al., 2009; Smith, 2003). Further, when instructors do teach writing, they use a variety of pedagogical approaches so students may be confused by conflicting messages. To support students’ writing development, it is crucial for instructors to develop strategies to address the challenges students face in their writing across the curriculum. Graham (2019) stressed the importance of having a coherent vision and concrete strategies for teaching writing in and across classrooms and content areas. Indeed, there have been ongoing efforts and research to implement Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC; Bazerman & Little, 2005; Defazio et al., 2010). The current study is an investigation of the development and piloting of a WAC program within an interdisciplinary School of Education to address the complexity of writing instruction. This project adopted a common rubric for assessing student writing; (b) digital resources integrated into the learning management system for instructors to scaffold and assess students’ writing assignments; (c) digital student resources to support writing development. We explored how instructors used the resources in their classes, and the affordances and challenges in using these resources.
Penelope Collins is an associate professor in the School of Education and a Provost Faculty Fellow. Her research examines the development of literacy skills among linguistically diverse and multilingual students from childhood through adulthood. Her research on the use of technology to support undergraduate writing instruction is supported by UCI’s Education Research Initiative. She is also a co-investigator of the nationally funded WRITE (Writing Research to Improve Teaching and Evaluation) Center, which has the mission of researching and developing interventions to improve academic writing in middle and high school.
Undarmaa Maamuujav is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Education at University of California, Irvine (UCI) with a specialization in Teaching, Learning, and Educational Improvement (TLEI). Prior to joining UCI’s School of Education, Undraa taught Critical Reading & Rhetoric and Academic English at UCI, Issues in English Language Pedagogy, Writing, and English as a Second Language at Cal State LA. In addition to teaching, Undraa served as an Academic Bridge Curriculum Coordinator and Grammar & Writing Skills Coordinator at the English Language Program at California State University, Los Angeles. Undarmaa is a 2020-2021 California State University Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program Fellow and 2021 Pedagogical Fellow in the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation. Undarmaa has received Chancellor’s Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, Summer Inclusive Excellence Grant, and Otto W. Shaler Scholarship. Undraa’s research focuses on writing development and pedagogy and incorporating effective methods, tools, and technology into L2 writing curriculum. Her work has been published in the Journal of Second Language Writing, Assessing Writing, TESOL Journal, Writing and Pedagogy, CATESOL Journal, and TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. Currently, Undarmaa works as a graduate student researcher with Dr. Penelope Collins on her WISE project funded by University of California, Irvine and with Dr. Carol Booth Olson on her Education Innovation and Research grant from the U.S. Department of Education.
Maryam Eslami is a PhD student in the School of Education at University of California, Irvine (UCI), specializing in Teaching, Learning and Educational Improvement (TLEI). She has a master’s degree in General Linguistics and another MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Cal State Long Beach. Before entering UCI’s doctoral program, Maryam worked as a lecturer for UCI’s School of Humanities teaching Academic English and Composition courses for five years. Prior to that, she was an ESL instructor at California State University, Long Beach and Long Beach City College. Maryam’s work focuses on effective and successful pedagogical practices in multilingual writing classes for first year college students, discovering the writing characteristics of multilingual students and building a bridge between writing pedagogy and theory. In addition, Maryam is currently working for UCI’s Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation (DTEI) on two projects investigating students’ sense of belonging in synchronous online classes and evaluating instructional practices in STEM courses to close achievement gaps between historically marginalized and non-marginalized students.