Interdisciplinary Writing Programmes: Challenges and Solutions (77889)

Session Information: Curriculum Design & Development
Session Chair: Wing Sze Leung

Wednesday, 27 March 2024 17:45
Session: Session 5
Room: Room 708
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

First-year writing classes play a very important role in the development of undergraduate students’ basic academic writing and research skills. In some institutions, not only do students who take this foundational writing class major in different subjects (e.g., literature, architecture, physics), but the instructors also come from different disciplines. Therein lies the challenge. Scholars in different disciplines write their argument and teach argumentative writing differently. How should an interdisciplinary writing programme develop its classes, so that there can be sufficient commonalities between colleagues’ pedagogical practices? I teach at the honors college of the National University of Singapore. In this paper, I am going to explain the challenges that our writing programme has encountered and how we have dealt with them. Our writing programme was originally set up by the Harvard Writing Program director in 2000. Over the years, we learned that while our humanities colleagues were very comfortable with the Harvard model, our social sciences colleagues found it constraining. As a team, we decided to change our pedagogical approach, so that colleagues from different disciplines could have freedom in designing their syllabus and assignment structure. However, we also made sure that students’ learning experience in our different writing classes could be consistent. In my presentation, I would like to explain how we have strived to attain that consistency by working out the commonalities between our different writing classes. These commonalities include—but are not limited to—learning outcomes, course design principles, practices in holding paper conferences and practices in grading.

Wing Sze Leung, National University of Singapore, Singapore

About the Presenter(s)
Wing Sze Leung is a senior lecturer at the NUS College, the honours college of the National University of Singapore.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00