Faculty Webinars


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The Writing Center's faculty webinars assist instructors with providing effective composition feedback to student writers. These sessions are packed with concrete, practical advice about best practices, Writing Center resources, and job aids for providing efficient feedback on a variety of writing issues.

  • For recordings of previous faculty webinars, visit the faculty webinar archive.
  • We also offer a student webinar series to which you can refer your students. View the schedule to learn more. These sessions are delivered with students in mind, but instructors are welcome to attend.


2014 Writing Center Faculty Webinar Series

What Students Say Behind Your (Feed)back (with Amber Cook)

I Didn’t Sign Up to Teach Writing: Supporting Struggling Writers in Content-Based Courses (with Sarah Prince, Matthew Sharkey-Smith, and Hillary Wentworth)

Best-Kept Support Secrets: Practical and Time Saving Resources for Faculty (with Rachel Grammer, Emily Dahlen, Katie Kvam, and Lisa Raymond)

Session Descriptions

Activating Student Writing Skills Through AWE: A Toolkit for CUGS Instructors
In this webinar, CUGS Academic Coordinator Dr. Laurel Walsh will discuss the new Academic Writing Expectations (AWE) documents that are being rolled out in Walden's undergraduate courses. Participants will learn how best to apply these expectations and how they will impact grading and instruction. Writing Center representative Amber Cook will also be on hand with advice for providing writing feedback and Writing Center referrals at each of the AWE levels.

APA Citation Part 1: In-Text Citation and Reference Basics
In the first of two APA sessions this month, Writing Center staff members will provide an overview of APA citation principles, including standard formats for reference lists and in-text citation. We will also cover Writing Center resources on APA and best practices for providing APA direction for students. This session is intended for instructors who are relatively new to APA or want to solidify their foundational APA knowledge.

APA Citation Part 2: Nontraditional Citations and References
In this second of two APA sessions this month, Writing Center staff members will discuss nontraditional APA citations and references, with an emphasis on those that are common to Walden assignments. We will provide guidance on citing discussion posts, course videos, and other sources that are required at Walden but not explored thoroughly in the APA manual. Participants will receive links and other tools for helping students master these formats. Although this session builds on the content in Part 1, Part 1 is not a prerequisite for attending Part 2.

APA Refresher for Faculty
This session highlights the basic guidelines of APA format for citing in text, creating a reference list, and adhering to editorial style preferences. The Writing Center staff will also cover the errors most frequently noted in student drafts, with a focus on how to quickly identify and help students correct those problems.

APA Style: Beyond Citation
In the third part of our APA series, Writing Center staff members will discuss the elements of APA style that do not concern citations and references. Topics will include punctuation, numerals, paper layout, headings, and other style details. The presenters will also cover those APA elements needed in dissertation-level work, including table of contents and tables/figures. This session is intended to assist faculty in their evaluation and teaching of APA in student writing.

Appropriate Use of First Person and Avoiding Bias
This webinar will provide advice for coaching students toward objective language and judicious use of personal pronouns, including a guide to Walden's resources and policies on these issues.

"But I'm Not a Writing Instructor!": Composition Instruction Survival Guide for Non-Composition Faculty
Online instructors quickly discover that asynchronous instruction involves providing feedback to students on composition.  Faculty members, most of whom have no formal training in teaching composition, are often placed in the position of helping students develop basic writing competencies while helping them with content mastery. In this session, longtime composition instructor and CUGS faculty Laurel Walsh will join members of the Writing Center to offer guidance and tools to help faculty identify, describe, and remediate common writing skill deficits of Walden students.

Coaching Developing Writers Toward Cohesive Papers
Many Walden instructors report that their students struggle with creating cohesive written products. In this webinar, members of the Writing Center will outline strategies for improving organization and cohesion in student writing. Topics will include tips for talking about topic sentences, development of a clear thesis, paragraph organization, and introductions/conclusions. Attendees will also learn about Writing Center resources that deal with these issues.

Faculty Favorites: The Writing Center Resources You Swear By
Walden faculty and Writing Center staff often find themselves with "go-to" writing resources, those tutorials, services, or links that they find especially useful for supporting student writers. The Writing Center recently surveyed faculty members to learn more about these favorites, helping us to understand what is most helpful and why. In this session, Writing Center staff members will present themes from this survey, introducing participants to the resources most often cited.

Form and Style Review, Part 2
As a follow-up to the Walden Form and Style Review faculty webinar, we look more closely into the form and style review, using sample writing and editing to show you what to expect from a completed review and how to coach your students prior to the review to achieve the best result, post form and style, for a publishable study.

Grade A Tools: Prioritizing Instruction and Minimizing Ranting
Faculty members may often feel that some of their students have “selective hearing.” This selective hearing may cause frustration because students seemingly resist faculty members’ instruction and written commentary, yet there is hope. In this session, representatives from the faculty and the Writing Center present their perspectives on written commentary. Presenters will provide faculty members with the best practices for responding to the emotional strains of grading student work as well as some tools and strategies for varying written commentary. Faculty members will discuss plans of action, actively engage in differing strategies for written commentary, and discover multiple tools available to assist them in providing professional and constructive instructional commentary.

Impact of Form and Style Review on Published Dissertation Quality
In this session, you will be introduced to the findings from an internal research study in the Writing Center in which we examined the impact of a prepublication review on the quality of doctoral students' capstone projects. Findings provide insight on ways to increase students' compliance with APA guidelines and maintain engagement in their writing, even at the final stages of their doctoral work. The scholarship is part of a larger endeavor to establish best practices in writing feedback and to improve dissertation quality at Walden University.

Improving Your Feedback for Student Growth
In this session, we will cover Writing Center techniques that you, as faculty members, could incorporate into your own teaching practices to help students develop academic writing skills. We will focus on the importance of tone and specificity in feedback, as well as prioritizing comments and considering their visual impact. We will also discuss alternative methods of giving feedback on writing, including video and audio comments. This session will include opportunities for discussion and practice using real-world examples of student writing.

Introduction to the Center for Student Success
This webinar provides faculty members with an introduction to the four centers within Walden's Center for Student Success: the Library, Academic Skills Center, Career Services Center, and Writing Center. Staff members in each center will describe their group's goals, services, student and faculty resources, and contact information.

Introduction to the Walden University Writing Center
This presentation provides an introduction to the Writing Center's many services for students and faculty. Writing Center staff members will give a tour through the Writing Center's website, tutoring services, and courses; explore software options (e.g., Turnitin and Grammarly); discuss best practices for making referrals to the Writing Center; illustrate the use of paper templates; and highlight faculty resources.

The Impact of Writing Feedback on Doctoral Students' Capstone Projects: An Assessment of Editorial Content and Delivery
In this webinar, we present the findings from a Writing Center research study that examined the impact of a prepublication review on the quality of doctoral students' capstone projects. Findings provide insight to faculty on ways to increase students' APA compliance and maintain engagement in their writing, even at the final stages of their doctoral work. Findings from this study may be surprising, as they contest some often-held assumptions about effective feedback.

Not All Plagiarism is Created Equal: Strategies Toward Appropriate Academic Integrity Remediation
Having increased their use of Turnitin (TII), Walden faculty members have sought Writing Center guidance on interpreting TII originality reports and suggesting remediation. Because many academic integrity violations are committed by students masking underlying writing deficiencies, the Office of Student Affairs and Academic Integrity is now permitting violators to take an alternative writing course to Skills for Academic Integrity if deemed appropriate by program leadership.  In this seminar, we will examine and interpret sample originality reports and consider specific criteria to help faculty and leadership diagnose deficiencies and recommend appropriate remediation.

Organization and Identifying a Research Problem
In the dissertation and in other writing assignments, students must learn to identify a research problem and organize their document around it. This presentation will assist faculty members with guiding students through these issues, particularly in the first chapter of the dissertation.

A Spectrum of Support: Using Walden’s Writing Center to Encourage Stronger Student Writing
In their attempts to support students in developing their writing, many faculty members are (a) unaware of the wide variety of resources the Writing Center offers and (b) unsure how to track a student’s progress through these supports. In this session, Writing Center Director Brian Timmerman and Manager of Faculty Writing Support Amber Cook will offer a guided tour through the center’s most useful resources, with specific advice on selecting the right tool for each student and ensuring follow-through. Participants will also get a behind-the-scenes look at what the students see and will get practice making effective referrals.

Strategies for Reducing Feedback Fatigue
Helping students develop composition skills can put a strain on instructors, whose primary focus is on communicating content. In this session, we will review strategies for quickly but effectively providing feedback to students on issues such as voice, grammar, and flow of thought.

Synthesis and Thesis Development
Writers often struggle with the challenges of engaging in academic argument. This webinar will provide advice for coaching students through the two scholarly writing essentials of synthesis and thesis development.

Teaching APA Citation Practices
Although many APA citation guidelines are straightforward and intuitive, some consistently cause problems for students at all levels. At best, these problems can be distracting; at worst, they can lead to serious issues of academic integrity. In this webinar, Writing Center staff members will offer instructors strategies to effectively address common citation and reference list challenges of Walden students.

Tools for Critical Reading and Scholarly Writing
Strong reading and efficient note-taking skills can lead to strong scholarly writing. In this seminar, we will demonstrate time-saving tools that you, as faculty members, can use to diagnose and develop students' skills in critical reading, paraphrasing, synthesizing, and preventing plagiarism. In particular, we will model effective responses to student challenges in reading and writing by inviting you to skim a short article and practice applying the literature-review matrix and the plagiarism-prevention checklist for critical analysis. By using these tools, you will learn strategies to help students improve their skills and self-efficacy in critical-reading, efficient note-taking, and scholarly-writing skills.

Troubleshooting KAM Writing: Guiding Students Through Common Pitfalls
The KAM is a unique written product, and with it comes unique writing challenges. In this session, we will discuss common KAM writing errors, as reported in Writing Center data from students' KAM submissions. The presenters will also note resources and teaching techniques to help faculty mentors and assessors address these problems in student drafts.

What Form and Style Editors Would Like Committee Members To Know
The presenters will review the purpose of the form and style review and where it occurs in the approval process as well as outline student, committee, and editor responsibilities in finalizing manuscript drafts to prepare for ProQuest publication. We will cover how to prepare for the review, what to expect from the review, and how to use editor feedback to revise and improve a manuscript.  During the session, we will show examples of editorial feedback and provide sample pages to review as a group activity.

Working with the ELL Writer
International and multilingual students face unique academic writing challenges, and so do the instructors who teach them. In this session, we will identify the characteristics and needs of English language learner (ELL) students as well as common concerns in ELL writing, including academic integrity and grammar. We will also discuss effective feedback strategies and ethical issues in assessing ELL writing. Finally, we will offer practical tips on instructing ELL students.

Working with the Undergraduate Writer: Tips and Tricks for Effective Feedback
Undergraduates are new to academic writing and therefore often require more in-depth writing instruction, which can become overwhelming for faculty. In this presentation, we will explore Walden undergraduates’ unique characteristics, review common writing challenges, and suggest ways to give efficacious feedback to these students.

Writing Center Resources for Undergraduate Students and Faculty
In this session, Hillary Wentworth, Writing Center Coordinator of Undergraduate Services, will discuss resources and strategies for working with undergraduate writers. Audience: Faculty teaching undergraduate courses.

Writing Center Services for Doctoral Capstones
In this session, Writing Center Editors Kevin Schwandt and Tobias Ball will discuss two new resources for students writing their proposals or capstones: developmental editing and the capstone writing community. Participants will get to know the services and the best ways to encourage students to take advantage of them. The presenters will also provide other information useful to dissertation, project study, and doctoral study committees. Audience: Doctoral Faculty and Research Committees.

Writing Center staff members are available to speak at faculty meetings or to present on requested writing topics for groups of faculty. The sessions above may be tailored for a specific program or group of faculty members, or new sessions can be created to accommodate faculty requests. Contact amber.cook@waldenu.eduto schedule a session for your group.

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