STARKVILLE, Miss.--During the next three weeks, a select group of 11 Mississippi State faculty members will explore how writing-to-learn strategies will help students better understand and retain course content, no matter the subject.
A wide range of university disciplines are represented in the Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence, a training workshop that began Thursday [June 5] and continues through June 26.
The participants are learning how to restructure their university courses to bolster Maroon & Write, MSU's quality enhancement plan to improve writing across colleges, curricula and class levels.
Rich Raymond, head of the English department and a veteran teacher of writing-to-learn strategies for faculty, leads the institute.
"It's a wonderful institute because it's helping faculty to utilize writing for their advancement and their students," said Mehrzad Netadj, a sociology instructor who plans to incorporate writing-to-learn this fall in four sections of the marriage and family course.
"I want my students to read and write more because it's what they're going to face in the future, so they need to learn how in my class," he said.
During the spring 2015 semester, mathematics and statistics instructor Kim Walters said her course in problem solving with real numbers for education majors will feature more writing.
"Teachers need to be able to talk and write about math, so they can be able to communicate it to their students," Walters said. "I always had my students do journals in response to their tutoring experiences, but this institute will help me do it better and model it for them, too. I'm excited to learn more about writing in general."
Other teachers incorporating writing-to-learn strategies next fall include, by department:
--Agricultural economics assistant extension professor Becky Smith, three Honors Forum sections in the Shackouls Honors College.
--Architecture visiting assistant professor Jeffery Roberson, architectural theory.
--Communication assistant professor Melanie Loehwing, rhetorical theory.
--Curriculum, instruction and special education assistant professor Stephanie Bennett, integrated language arts instruction.
--Geosciences associate professor Renee Clary, principles of paleobiology.
--Human sciences assistant professor Juyoung Lee, sociological and psychological aspects of clothing.
--Interior design associate professor Amy Crumpton, principles, processes and practices for interior design.
--Music professor Robert Damm, African-American music.
--Wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture assistant professor Peter Allen, fish physiology.
A course in the spring that will feature writing-to-learn, with Walters' mathematics course, will be landscape architecture assistant professor Elizabeth Payne's plan-design fundamentals course.
Learn more about Maroon & Write at www.qep.msstate.edu.
See www.msstate.edu to learn more about MSU.