Faculty to present at writing-to-learn institute


Five speakers will enhance the Maroon Institute for Writing Excellence when they present information as part of the June workshop for Mississippi State faculty that will soon pilot writing-to-learn strategies in their courses.

In addition to reading assignments, the institute incorporates journaling, free writing, discussions, debates and idea-sharing activities, all designed to help participants bring the instruction strategies to their various classrooms.

Presenters and their topics include:

-- Engineering instructor Amy Barton, using the case-study approach to teaching technical writing.

-- Devon Brenner, curriculum, instruction and special education department head, "How Writing Can Improve Reading."

-- Psychology professor Tom Carskadon, "Things that Work."

-- Lyn Fogle, assistant professor of English, using wikis, collaborative websites that can be modified by any user, as a writing-to-learn strategy.

-- Deborah Lee, associate director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, "Information Literacy and Library Support for Teachers." Lee, also an institute participant, will introduce writing-to-learn strategies in at least one of her 2014 courses.

-- Linda Morse, counseling and educational psychology department director, cognition and learning theory.

Five MSU colleges are represented in the institute: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, and Forest Resources. The ultimate goal of the interdisciplinary effort is to help students to better process concepts and retain information by writing about them.

In addition to Lee, participants include Michael Brown, music department head; Jamie Larson, animal and dairy science assistant professor; Robert Moore, marketing professor; Rick Noffsinger, part-time human sciences instructor and senior extension associate; Rich Raymond, English department head; and Donald Shaffer, English and African American studies assistant professor.

The writing-to-learn initiative, "Maroon and Write," is part of MSU's quality enhancement plan, a strategy to improve undergraduate learning.

The QEP reflects a concerted effort by university leaders to gather input from students, teachers and other stakeholders in formulating a plan that will benefit learners, no matter what their major or focus. Learn more at www.qep.msstate.edu.

Leah Barbour | University Relations

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