Faculty receive Writing Excellence Initiative grants

Lisa Rosenberg, Belle Booker, Kris Zorigian, Angela Owusu-Ansah and Victoria Shropshire will use funding to help develop innovative approaches to writing in various courses.

Elon’s Writing Excellence Initiative has awarded three $2,000 awards to teams of faculty for ongoing work toward their innovations in writing instruction in content courses.

“We are delighted by the variety and quality of these projects,” said Paul Anderson, director of the Writing Across the University initiative. “These faculty are demonstrating the high level of creativity that in the coming years will elevate the writing ability of all Elon students.”

Lisa Rosenberg in the Department of Mathematics will explore the use of tablet computers to develop the conceptual understanding of students in Elon’s General Statistics course. Using tablets, students will write, peer review and revise assignments in which they explain and illustrate central concepts of statistics.

“Using the tablets, students will simultaneously write to learn and learn to write about statistics,” Rosenberg said. Tablets are especially well suited to learning and writing the statistics concepts taught in this course, she said, because students can draw graphs and incorporate mathematical symbols that would otherwise require knowledge of statistical software that these students do not have.

Thirteen graduate students in the School of Education’s Visiting International Fellows Program will gain valuable experience teaching writing in a pilot project designed by Belle B. BookerKris Zorigian and Angela Owusu-Ansah in the School of Education. To apply and reflect on what they learn about research-based practices in M.AEd 550 (Diverse Learners), these students from Columbia and Venezuela will meet weekly with struggling elementary school children at Elon’s Village FLEX Program. At the end of the term, they will describe their experiences in research posters they submit for display at the annual conference of the North Carolina Literacy Association.

Victoria Shropshire in the Department of English will visit the Library of Congress, where she will develop assignments for English 255, “Examining Heroes,” that incorporate newly discovered letters exchanged among George Washington, Gen. Nathaneal Green and Earl Charles Cornwallis between 1775 and 1785. “Through these assignments, students will think critically and simultaneously about the heroes of the American Revolution as represented in letters of their time (and by their own hand) and about contemporary concepts of soldier heroes,” Shropshire said.

The new grant recipients join Julie Lellis and Lucinda Austin, who received an award last year to develop effective assignments and evaluation resources for the “Strategic Communications” course in the School of Communications.

The next deadline for Writing Excellence Initiative Grants is April 18. Information is available at www.elon.edu/cwe.