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Designing a Writing-Enhanced Course

Workshop by Dr. Brad Peters

Department of English, Northern Illinois University
Thursday, May 21, 2009 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm, Heritage Room, HSC

Designing a Writing-Enhanced Course

In this daylong, interactive workshop, participants will focus on a course that they currently teach. They will engage in activities that help them decide what kinds of writing activities might best enhance the critical thinking they want their students to do.

The program will start at 8:30 am with check-in and refreshments and the workshop will begin at 9:00 am. The schedule will include lunch from 12 to 1 pm and mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. Tentative list of topics in the workshop schedule include the following:

  • How to motivate students’ critical thinking through writing
  • How to use writing technologies to the best advantage
  • How to design effective writing assignments
  • How to give feedback to students that balances content and correctness
  • How to manage the paper load efficiently
  • How to create rubrics that enable students to grasp what you want them to do   

Writing Class

Brad Peters is Associate Professor of English and the Coordinator of the Writing Across the Curriculum program at NIU. He designed and directed the NIU Writing Center. He presents yearly workshops on using writing to think critically and has trained faculty in universities across the country. He teaches advanced writing courses where students get their work ready for conferences and into print. His research focuses on effective writing strategies and pedagogies.

Please prepare written answers to the following questions and bring four copies to the workshop:

  1. What is the course you want to transform into a writing-enhanced course—and what kinds of writing do you currently include in the course?
  2. What are the main units or modules in your course?
  3. What are your main learning objectives (or chief concepts and principles) for the course?
  4. What thinking skills are especially important in your course, which are also crucial to your academic discipline?
  5. What are the most difficult aspects of the course, based on previous students’ experience?
  6. What kinds of writing assignments or activities do you usually require—and what problems do students have with them?
  7. What difference do you want your course to make in your students’ lives?

Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center
Writing Across the Curriculum

Registration Information:

The workshop is open only to NIU faculty and staff. Registered participants will receive workshop materials, lunch and refreshments, and a certificate of participation. Seating is limited to 25 participants and advanced registration is required. Faculty and staff can register online by completing and returning the form below. Include your name (as it should appear on the certificate), title, department, phone, email, and special accommodations needed. If you do not wish to receive a certificate, please inform the center while registering for the workshop.

Due to the expensive nature of the program and the advance notice needed for arranging food and materials, please register by the deadline and plan to attend the entire workshop, if you register. Registration Deadline: May 8, 2009. After you register, if you are unable to attend, please inform the center by May 19, 2009 so that those on the waiting list could be given the opportunity to attend the workshop or program costs could be reduced. After submitting the registration form, if you do not receive a response within 2 working days, please contact the center at

Registration Deadline: Friday May 8, 2009

Registration is closed for this program.

Last Updated: 07/09/2014