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Designing a Writing-Enhanced Course

Workshop by Dr. Brad Peters
Department of English, Northern Illinois University
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm,
Sky Room, HSC


In this daylong, interactive workshop, participants will focus on a course that they currently teach. Participants 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 workshop will start at 8:30 am with check-in and refreshments and the program 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 for the workshop include the following:

  • How to motivate students’ critical thinking through writingWriting Class
  • 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   

Brad Peters is Professor of English and the Coordinator of the Writing Across the Curriculum program at NIU. He designed and directed the NIU Writing Center. Dr. Peters 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. Dr. Peters’ research focuses on effective writing strategies and pedagogies.

Participants are asked to prepare written answers to the following questions. Bring six copies to the workshop (and submit one of them to the workshop leader):

  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—and crucial to your academic discipline?
  5. What are the most difficult aspects of the course, based on previous students' experience?
  6. What problems do students typically have with the writing tasks you set?
  7. What difference do you want your course to make in your students' lives?

Writing Across the Curriculum
Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center

Registration Information:

This program is open only to NIU faculty, instructors, and teaching staff (SPS and Civil Service). Registered participants will receive workshop materials, lunch in the Blackhawk Cafeteria (for the cafeteria menu, click here) and refreshments, and a certificate of participation. Seating is limited to 25 participants and advance registration is required.

Registration Deadline: May 10, 2013. Due to the expensive nature of the program and the advance notice needed for arranging materials, please register by the deadline here and plan to attend the entire institute.

After you register, if you are unable to attend, please cancel your registration by May 13, 2013 at so that those on the waiting list may be given the opportunity to attend the institute or program costs can be reduced.

Last Updated: 07/16/2014