First-Year Writing Faculty Workshops and Events

The first-year writing program meets for faculty-led development workshops the second Wednesday of every month during the semester.

Spring 2024

Phoenix Rhetorix 2022-23 Edition: Launch Celebration

Monday, February 12, 2024 / 12:30-1:15, LaRose 200

Come celebrate the latest edition of Phoenix Rhetorix. Authors whose work is published in the new 2022-23 issue will share their projects and discuss their writing processes. After a short program, there will be time for casual conversation with winning authors, colleagues, and members of the editorial team. Lunch hors d’oeuvres will be served.

RSVP for Phoenix Rhetorix event here


Podcasting in ENG1100

Wednesday, February 21, 2024 (*note 3rd Wednesday) / 12:30-1:30pm, LaRose 200

Podcasts have the potential to put words to life: they can tell complex stories, prompt critical thinking, represent “writing-as-conversation,” raise challenging questions, and portray emotion via tone, music, and audio effects. This workshop will offer resources for teaching podcasting in your ENG1100 classes, including teaching strategies, technologies, timelines, and student samples. No experience with podcasting? No problem. We will work in small groups with podcasting software to experiment as a part of our process. This workshop is appropriate for beginners and those with prior experience. With Greg Hlavaty and Travis Maynard.

RSVP for February workshop here


The Stories that Data Can Tell

Wednesday, March 13 / 12:30-1:30pm, LaRose 200

Data is everywhere. Data is the language and information of the digital age and all of us have to learn to communicate with it in meaningful and ethical ways. Many people use data to tell a story, but sometimes the way the story is presented can be biased or misleading. This workshop will focus on how to teach students to analyze and critique the data that they uncover as a part of their research processes. When a company reports “average” salaries, for instance, could that be misleading? Some topics of conversation will include misleading with measures of center (median versus mean), parameters (data about an entire population) versus statistics (data in a sample), and data visualization (such as misleading with different bin widths in a bar graph). We will also discuss ways students can effectively and ethically represent data in their writing. The workshop will be co-led by members of the library, Data Nexus group, and the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

RSVP for March workshop here


Revisiting AI: Critical Thinking and Adaptation

Wednesday, April 10 / 12:30-1:30pm, LaRose 200

When we first discussed AI in ENG1100, in February 2023, our focus was on leveraging AI as a teaching tool, and many of us were not sure how AI would be used by students. Over a year later, a lot has changed: AI use has become ubiquitous among undergrads, and we seem divided in our approaches to engaging it in classroom spaces.

Writing remains a vital way to connect with others, stimulate critical thinking, and communicate complex ideas. How do we teach students to use AI ethically and critically as they practice those functions as writers and readers? This workshop will have two parts: first, small groups will experiment with AI tools, generating and refining prompts that help produce a variety of texts; and second, we’ll discuss the relative use-value of the texts created, and for what purposes, including as tools for learning. We’ll then share ways we have experimented with new approaches to teaching writing, and how we might continue refining our pedagogies to respond to AI innovations and changing student habits.

RSVP for April workshop here


Fall 2023

What Role Might Oral Assessment Play in Writing Classes?

Wednesday, September 13, 2023 / 12:30-1:30pm, LSTC 200 (LaRose Student Commons)

In If It was Good Enough for Socrates, It’s Good Enough for Sophomores (2022), Molly Worthen argues for the value of oral exams in university contexts. Higher education in the US has largely avoided oral assessments for a variety of reasons, including concerns related to standardization, efficiency, perceptions of fairness, and student anxiety. As writing—and the critical thinking we’ve used it to represent—has become increasingly mediated by technology and artificial intelligence, in what ways might oral assessment support student learning and the development of critical thought? What types of oral assessment formats, including discussions, one-on-one conversations, debates, presentations, and reflections, might prove useful in writing classes? How might we structure these oral activities to help students practice and demonstrate the outcomes of ENG1100? This workshop will provide a short overview of recent research on oral assessments (Hazen 2020, Theobold 2021) and will provide time for faculty to brainstorm approaches for their own courses.

“You Can Take the Student Out of Zoom, but You Can’t Take the Zoom Out of the Student”: Strategies for Managing Digital Distraction in ENG1100

Wednesday, October 11, 2023 / 12:30-1:30pm, LSTC 200 (LaRose Student Commons)

The title of this workshop is taken from a 2023 student focus group where participants discussed challenges related to learning in “post”-Covid times. Our 2022-23 program assessment focused on two related questions: (1) How does students’ engagement with technologies impact their writing processes? and (2) How can students more effectively navigate both intrusive and assistive technologies when they write? During this workshop we report preliminary findings from our study, which include visual representations of first-year students’ writing processes and student discussions of how they write, in- and outside of class time. We share students’ suggestions for how we, as faculty, can support them in negotiating technological supports and distractions. We also will work together to brainstorm approaches to teaching writing that support focus and minimize unproductive distractions.

Creativity in First-Year Writing

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 / 12:30-1:30pm, LSTC 200 (LaRose Student Commons)

Creative writing, even for those not “good at it,” can provide a way to play with language, reach others, and practice thinking outside the box. In this workshop, we’ll offer a range of small-scale creative writing exercises and larger-scale creative writing projects that you can use to can enhance or even restructure your first-year writing courses. ENG1100 faculty who teach creative projects will share assignments and exercises they’ve taught, and we will all have a chance to practice some low-stakes creative writing exercises together.


Spring 2023

ChatGPT in Writing Classes: Adapting our Pedagogies for Artificial Intelligence

Wednesday, February 8, 2023 / 12:30-1:30pm, LaRose Commons 200

Don’t Ban ChatGPT in Schools: Teach with It argues for the value of artificial intelligence as a pedagogical tool. The question we take on in this workshop is not how to prohibit students from using ChatGPT and similar machine-based writing platforms, but how to teach them to use such AI strategically and critically. What can ChatGPT do well and what does it do poorly? How might students misuse AI and how might we leverage it as a teaching tool? Given the rapid developments in AI, what might change about how we teach writing, going forward?

Phoenix Rhetorix 2021-22 Edition: Launch Celebration

Thursday, February 23, 2023 / 9:45-10:15am, LaRose Commons 200

Come celebrate the latest edition of Phoenix Rhetorix. Authors whose work is published in the new 2021-22 issue will share excerpts of their writing. There will be time after for casual conversation with colleagues, members of the editorial team, and student writers. Refreshments will be served.

Writing with Quantitative and Qualitative Data: A Library-ENG1100 Collaboration

Wednesday, March 8, 2023 / 12:30-1:30pm, LaRose Commons 200

How can we teach students to analyze, evaluate, and deploy both quantitative and qualitative data effectively in their writing? The workshop, co-led by Chrissy Stein, Patrick Rudd, and Shannon Tennant, will share the story of how Chrissy and the librarian team worked in collaboration with students over multiple class sessions to help them analyze the origins and bias of data and use data to craft persuasive arguments.

Teaching Online Research and Evaluations: Supporting Students to Develop Effective and Efficient Practices

A Workshop with Professor Sarah McGrew

Friday, April 28, 2023 (*note this is a Friday workshop) / 12:20-1:50pm, KNBG 127

Students increasingly rely on online sources for both school and out-of-school needs. How can first-year writing classes support them to develop skills to effectively and efficiently decide what to trust online? In this workshop, we will investigate approaches to teaching students to evaluate online information informed by the practices of professional fact checkers. We will discuss the possibilities and challenges of teaching these strategies and will explore how students might leverage a range of online sources effectively in their writing.


Fall 2022

Infographics: What, Why, and How

Wednesday, September 21, 2022 (*note this is the third Wednesday) / 12:30-1:30pm, Belk Pavilion 208

What is an infographic, what makes an infographic effective, and how can we teach our students to design infographics that are compelling and clear? This workshop will introduce approaches to teaching infographics, offer examples of infographic assignment sequences, and provide samples from other ENG1100 courses. We especially encourage faculty who teach infographics to attend so you can share your ideas and approaches. With Travis Maynard and Michael Smith.

Personal Writing in Class: Minefields, and How to Navigate Them

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 / 12:30-1:30pm, Belk Pavilion 208

Do you teach personal narratives or reflective writing in ENG1100? Asking students to reflect on their own life experiences and to share personal stories is both valuable and risky. In this workshop, members of our Creative Writing faculty as well as ENG1100 faculty who assign personal writing will share ideas for how to teach genres that can make students (and readers) feel vulnerable. Approaches to responding to students’ writing will be discussed as well.

Research Pedagogies Workshop: What We’ve Tried, What’s Next

Wednesday, November 9, 2022 / 12:30-1:30pm, Belk Pavilion 208

In this workshop, the CATL Grant group studying Information Literacy & Privilege in ENG1100 will report on findings from the fall semester and will share pedagogical approaches to teaching research in ENG1100. Presenters will lead a group discussion about approaches to teaching misinformation, the influence of data algorithms on our research processes, how to account for missing perspectives in scholarly research, and the issue of unequal information access. With Lina Kuhn, Michael Smith, Patrick Rudd, and Shannon Tennant.

Faculty Engagement

First-year writing faculty at Elon can get involved in several ongoing projects and initiatives.

Phoenix Rhetorix Editorial Board

The Phoenix Rhetorix Editorial Board meets during the summer to judge our program’s writing contest and to select entries for publication in our online journal. During the fall semester, editors work one-on-one with student winners to revise their work and prepare it for publication.

Program Assessment Committee

The Program Assessment Committee members help develop our annual assessment theme and protocol. We meet together to review the data we collect, analyze findings, and create a report of what we learn.

Community Engagement: ENG1100 Community of Practice

With support from the Kernodle Center and Core Curriculum, the ENG1100 program encourages faculty to develop community-engaged writing courses and assignments. The original Community Engagement CoP formed during Fall 2022 and community engagement continues to be a priority of the program.