Category Archives: Basic Writing Projects & Initiatives

Open Business Meeting

Michael Hill, CBW Co-Chair, opened the business meeting by welcoming everyone! The open business meeting is focused on making sure that we get lots of input from our basic writing community!

Agenda: 

1. WELCOME & INTRODUCTIONS

We had the opportunity to hear from colleagues around the country and hear some of the exciting research and scholarship faculty are working on!

Also in introductions, we heard about basic writing issues concerning faculty across the country such as placement, second language learners in basic writing, syllabi, etc. We discussed the importance of networking and the basic writing community coalition building.

2. MEMBER SURVEY:

Michael Hill and Lynn Reid, Co-Chairs, summarized the results of a member survey conducted by Marisa Klages-Bombich.

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CBW Membership Survey Responses

(for a Word Version, click here: SURVEYCBW2015)

Institutions with participants in survey:

2 year schools:  28

4-year schools: 26

Community College of Baltimore County
Helena College University of Montana
Bronx Community College, CUNY
Bishop State Community College
University of Wisconsin Madison
Kingsborough CC, CUNY
University of Wisconsin Colleges
Nassau Community College, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Lehman College
Johnson
McMurry University
Shawnee State University
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Hawkeye Community College
North Shore Community College
Central Virginia Community College
Prairie State College
City College at MSUB
Arizona State University
LaGuardia CC (2)
College of Lake County
Southwestern Illinois College
College of Southern Idaho
Housatonic Community College
Heartland Community College (Normal IL)
Boise State University
Community College of Allegheny County
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
Lincoln University
Ivy Tech Central Indiana
West Chester University of PA
Texas Woman’s University
Bergen Community College
Bristol Community College, Quinsigamond Community College, Roger Williams University
The Art Institute of New York City
Ivy Tech Community College
Northeastern Illinois University
Frostburg State University
Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University
California Lutheran University
Bishop State Community College (2)
Metropolitan Community College, Omaha Nebraska
Green River College
Westchester Community College
Salina Area Technical College
University of Dubuque
Whatcom Community College
Joliet Junior College
Heartland Community College
UMass Lowell
Lake Michigan College
The City College of New York
Kingsborough Community College

Titles  of respondents:

Assistant Professor: 11

Associate Professor: 11

Professor: 11

Part-time Faculty: 2

Instructor: 12

Lecturer: 1

Graduate Teaching Assistant: 1

Senior Lead Instructor: 1

Developmental Program Coordinator: 1

WPA only: 2

WPA in addition to above title:  5

Do you consider yourself a member of  CBW?

N= 52

Nearly 63% of respondents consider themselves members of CBW.

(Yes: 34, No:  5, Don’t Know: 11, No answer: :2)

The Council on Basic Writing participates in or produces a number of different resources for its members and for the world of Basic Writing. Which of the following do you use?

A majority of respondents use a combination of CBW resources. Six respondents used only the listserv (3) or facebook (3).  The other 52 repondents used some combination of all the tools:

Screenshot 2016-04-07 14.12.22

How should people become members?

We offered three pathways to membership:

  • Participation at C’s or on listserve (n=29)
  • Online Sign-up or at a CBW function (n=30)
  • Recruiting members through social media (n=30)

Nearly everyone believed that all three pathways to membership are acceptable and no one method was strides ahead of the other, most people voted for all three pathways.

What should the duties of membership include?

We asked what the duties of membership should include and offered the following options, respondents could choose more than one option:

Participation at C’s and on the listserv  (n=47)

Voting on organization policy and board membership (n=37)

Voting on public policy and pedagogy statements (n=36)

Participation on CBW committees (n=30)

Commitment to regional action on Basic Writing issues (n=38)

Overwhelmingly, respondents found that participation at C’s and on the listserv should constitute member responsibilities.

However, a number of people also believed that voting on organization issues or public policy issues are also important, as is a commitment to regional basic writing issues. The lowest number of people selected participating in CBW committees.

Which of the following information would you be interested in?

 We asked members what information they’d be interested in having related to CBW. (n=52)

Screenshot 2016-04-07 14.12.37

Most people are interested in Official CBW literature and an Official Website.

On which of the following committees would you be interested in serving?

We asked people which committees they would be interested in serving on. People could select more than one committee.  There is interest in serving on CBW committees, though the interest is not entirely robust.

Professional Development (29)

Affiliations and Outreach (18)

Awards (9)

Social Media (17)

Conference (17)

Elections to Executive Board/Steering Committee (6)

Executive Board/Steering Committee (16)

Policy Task Force (17)

Would you be willing to pay CBW membership dues to help the organization grow? If so what would be reasonable? (people could select more than one option)

Screenshot 2016-04-07 14.19.03

 

The majority of respondents favor a sliding scale dues schedule; however, $15-$25.00 was the most popular dollar amount.  If we consider the 24 respondents who consider themselves members and set a $20.00 membership fee, that would have given us an annual operating budget of $680.00.

Other comments-see below.

Any other comments, questions or suggestions/and or concerns regarding the CBW?

  • All of this is a fantastic idea, and I can’t wait to see what you guys do!
  • I would really love to see CBW grow as an organization and offer a rich set of professional resources and policy statements. There is a tremendous need for national leadership to ensure that teaching, program administration, and state policies draw from scholarship and evidence-based disciplinary practices.
  • I’m extremely busy and just like to have access to the listserv–it gives me a quick and informal idea of what is of interest and/or concern to others involved in basic writing.
  • Although I indicated above that I consider myself a “member” of the CBW, I’ve never really felt like it’s been like a traditional academic organization. I am pleased to see this survey because I am hoping to become more involved (since before I wasn’t sure how to even go about doing that!).
  • I’m relatively new to my position and Basic Writing, but I have learned a great deal from the listserv and online resources. I appreciate the materials and all the work that has gone into creating them. Thank you!
  • I think this is a great idea! We need to develop a CBW presence in a variety of ways, and I am more than happy to be a part of the growth of this organization!
  • The question about dues is a challenging one, but to develop and maintain a more robust presence, it does seem like CBW will need resources. I nonetheless do think that part-time faculty should be asked to commit less than full-time faculty. Another option might be to suggest a donation, but to also offer prospective members the opportunity to “opt out” of a financial commitment without penalty. Even the high end of your suggested dues–$30 to $40–is significantly less than what I see some other professional organizations, including some of those involved with developmental education, charge their membership.
  • I am new to the listserv and greatly appreciate its existence. My professional obligations and limited funds usually prohibit my attending major conferences, but I would be willing to work behind the scenes as the organization grows. Thank you for doing this survey (along with everything else).
  • MAIN CONCERN: Opportunities for active participation throughout the year would offer more meaningful visibility than paid membership.

    Since most of the people that would benefit from a more active CBW are probably NOT tenure-track faculty, charging for membership at this time seems inappropriate. Once we build a more visible and more participatory organization that works THROUGHOUT THE YEAR on Basic Writing issues, then paid membership could be reconsidered.

    Indeed, participation seems more crucial than “membership.” Building committees and other opportunities for participation could be crucial for helping to create the main issue that CBW has now: participation outside of CCCC. Committees that stay active throughout the year would help to increase CBW visibility. Membership– especially PAID membership– with not much to offer in return other than CCCC-related pursuits — would not have as much impact.

  • This survey is a great idea! 🙂
  • I would love to see a CBW presence at regional TYCAs. Some of us cannot afford to get to CCCCs or will not choose to leave our classrooms in order to attend it, but we’re able to attend TYCA more easily. I would be willing to serve as a CBW representative at my TYCA region. I only attend CCCCs when it coincides with Spring Break so I miss out on many CBW opportunities.

    Please plug BWe more. I intend to check it out but forget. Including TOC in an email instead of attachment is recommended because then I see why I need to leave email-land right now and check out X article.

    P.S. I’d also like to help with the pedagogy statement that was started at CCCCs, and, um, while I’m suggesting things…what are the possibilities the CBW workshop could be a half day instead of the marathon 9 to 5 session? I sort of get burned out 2 days into CCCCs when I start it with such a lengthy day right after traveling and then try to hit the SIGs and otherwise do all the things. This might just be me though.

  • Thank you for the work you have done and continue doing to create and sustain the CBW community.

    I might consider serving on a committee, but it would depend on the time commitment involved as my role on campus and my system-wide committee work leaves me with limited time for meaningful work serving my professional organizations.

  • Collecting dues, maintaining records, establishing a bank account, cashing checks in a timely manner, etc.–all can be a huge challenge. When I was Chair in the early 80s, we did have a low membership fee of $5 or $10 or so. Members were to receive mailed newsletters for the fee. It was extremely difficult to keep track of and handle money and get the newsletter out in a timely fashion to the right addresses. Often the newsletter was done just days before the CCCC, and of course, some people’s addresses had changed. Sometimes people complained if they had not received a newsletter and naturally enough wanted their money back. So I would proceed with caution where money comes into play. If you go this route, I recommend getting someone else to handle it–would the CCCC handle money for CBW maybe?
  • Thanks for this!! Let me know what else I can do. We need more presence between other groups such as NAADE, etc. they are so elitist and get so bogged down in local issues, not realizing we all need to work together.
  • I am a basic writing specialist and would love to be better connected to people, conversations, research, etc. I feel like I’m having a hard time finding that community and hope that changes!
  • Establish standards for faculty who teach Basic Writing.
  • This is a great group, and I loved the workshop. I wonder how we can encourage more two-year college faculty to join the group and find it relevant to the work they do.
  • I think the list serve does qualify me as a member, but I’m really not sure. But I think making the membership and organization of CBW more parallel to CCCC/NCTE would legitimize it more. Thanks for the survey–good idea!
  • I’m not quite sure on the CBW relationship to other organizations: CCCC, NCTE, etc. I know TYCA has an unusual relationship; CBW?
  • Don’t make it complicated or exclusive. Invite and include everyone who may be interested. Emphasize what we do in terms of social justice.
  • Thank you for this thoughtful survey. I agree that more systematically reaching into the BW community for CBW is a good idea. Regarding the drafting of policy statements, I’m concerned that making the participation too far-reaching too soon, things might become unwieldy. Perhaps there could be policy forums online and the voting/ crafting of policies could find its major shaping influence at CBW or within its committees.

Notes:

The survey was created from the desire to learn more about how CBW could serve the Basic Writing Community. This survey was released on March 21, 2015, shortly after CCCC 2015. It was open for over 1 month and the link was posted in multiple online venues.  We received 54 responses. Forty-eight responses were NOT from current executive board membership. Most questions had 52-53 respondents.

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3. Discussion of the Survey: 

There was general agreement that the survey was very useful! This is a summary of the group discussion in response to the member survey:

How do we adapt to changing notions of basic writers? How do we support them? How do we support the work of supporting those students?

How many people do we have in the CBW?

Susan Naomi Bernstein raised the issue that categorizing students as “basic writers” essentializes the students.

How might we identify the populations that we serve? How might we identify the work we are doing in the world? The work our students are doing?

We need to make sure that people know what resources are out there (and to provide a central place for those resources–like an expanded resource share). Because of language: “basic” writers, “developmental” writing, “remedial” writing, etc. it’s hard to know where to start.

It would also be helpful to have a library of resource and position statements (e.g. course caps, budgets, etc.).

How do we talk about our work so that other people can find it without being reductive? (again, how do we talk about our work)?

We need keywords in Basic Writing (and something like an Amazon recommendation: if you like this… you’ll like this…).

We need more ways for people to participate actively and feel an important part of the CBW. We would like to create opportunities for people to consider themselves members of CBW by doing.

We also discussed ideas for next year’s workshop.

4. What is the work of CBW when we are not at CCCC?

How might we think about committee work and the work of CCCC?

We recently lost funding for our travel award. This was one way that we were able to help participants.

We discussed ways to support the scholarship of graduate students; contingent faculty, etc.

 

Should we find ways to connect to NADE? How do we participate in NADE discussions about basic writing? A connection point might be some of the larger politics around developmental education.

Also, we need to continue the TYCA connections. These were useful to promote the work of CBW and a gathering of figuring out who is interested & who wants to be connected to this work. If we are strategic about it, it’s a starting point to build panels together and to take  concerns and translate them into action in a particular geographic area.

Also, we discussed how we are defining ourselves and how we represent ourselves in our outreach.

There was a discussion about funding and how to get funding (to be continued).

We discussed several new possible committees to continue the work of CBW outside of CCCC:

  • A committee to support the work of scholars in the form of an annual award for the best graduate student work in basic writing.
  • An issues committee to work on policy issues.
  • A promotion committee/outreach for people who don’t get to come to CCCC to make our work more visible.

We’ll continue this discussion in the SIG tonight at 6:30 p.m. Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Many thanks to everyone who attended!

We look forward to seeing you at the other CBW events at CCCC this week!

  • Thursday, 4/7  4:45-6:00 
    • E.06  CBW Sponsored Session  Hilton Ballroom of the Americas, Salon E, Level 2
  • Thursday, 4/7  6:30-7:30
    • TSIG.02  CBW Sig  GRB Room 351C, Level 3

 

 

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Filed under Basic Writing Projects & Initiatives, CBW 2016, CCCC 2016, Politics of Remediation, Scholarship of Basic Writing, What's New in Basic Writing, Who is Basic Writing?

Join Us In A Conversation About Basic Writing

Hi, everyone!

You are invited to join us in a conversation about Basic Writing! We’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas, experiences, and pedagogical approaches in teaching Basic Writing!

We hope you will join us to share resources, best practices, and to engage as a national community helping members respond to local issues.

This discussion follows up on last year’s roundtable at CCCC. As we did last year, we invite you to join both the asynchronous and synchronous conversations.

Join the conversation online: February 12, 2013 to March 13, 2013. Online conversations will be held on the Council on Basic Writing Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/groups/50538806660/).

Then, join us in person to continue the conversation at CCCC 2013: Session A.17, Thursday 3/14 10:30 AM – 11:45 a.m. There will also be an online option to join this session if you are not attending CCCC 2013.

THERE’S NOTHING BASIC ABOUT BASIC WRITING ONLINE TOPICS (CBW FACEBOOK PAGE): Everyone is invited to join in the conversation!

WHO ARE BASIC WRITERS?
Facilitated by Elaine Jolayemi, Ivy Tech and & Leigh Jonaitis, Bergen Community College
2/12/13-2/16/13

ACADEMIC SKILLS/WRITING CENTERS
Facilitated by Ilene Rubenstein, College of the Desert
2/17/13-2/21/13

TEACHING WITH TECHNOLOGY
Facilitated by J. Elizabeth Clark, LaGuardia Community College–CUNY
2/22/13-2/26/13

TEACHER PREPARATION & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Co-Facilitated by Debra Berry, College of Southern Nevada & Marisa Klages, LaGuardia Community College–CUNY
2/27/13-3/3/13

STUDENT PLACEMENT
Facilitated by Carla Maroudas, Mt. San Jacinto Community College
3/4/13-3/8/13

DAY-TO-DAY LIFE IN THE CLASSROOM
Facilitated by Amy Edwards Patterson, Moraine Park Technical College
3/9/13-3/13/13

Hope to see you online or in person!

There’s Nothing Basic About Basic Writing!

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W7 The Accelerated Learning Program as an Evidence-Based Success Model

Peter Adams, Community College of Baltimore County; Heidi Johnsen, LaGuardia Community College; Michelle Zollars, Patrick Henry Community College; Jan Allen, Community College of Baltimore County

Jan Allen discussed some context for Developmental Education, including disappointing outcomes for students enrolled in developmental courses. There is significant pressure for students to earn degrees, and the overall financial crisis of our time. This is leading to threats to providing developmental education classes, reductions in the numbers of seats available.

Why do so many students drop out of developmental courses or fail to progress? Survey data at CCBC shows that the problem is NOT learning, but rather that “life happens” – legal, financial, transportation, health issues – and that students lose confidence because of these life issues.

At CCBC, the ALP gives students a choice at placement. Either they can take developmental writing separately, or they can take an “ALP section” in which they take developmental and 101 at the same time. They are in a 101 section of 20 students – 8 are  developmental, the rest are not. The 8 students take the developmental course with the same instructor in the period immediately following. In the second period, they have a workshop that supports the 101 class – answering questions, reviewing drafts, scaffolding the assignments. In addition, affective issues are addressed – how to succeed as a college student, solve problems that interfere with their progress. Because of the combination of classes, there is more time to address these additional issues and more ability to address individual needs.

Students have a much better attitude about being in ALP than in the regular developmental course. They are in a supportive community, they are getting credit for their 101 course and are engaging with students at the next higher level, their “pipeline” is shorter, and they are more likely to try the same model in their math classes if they succeed in the writing course.

Peter Adams mentioned that ALP is a combination of several other approaches including “stretch,” the studio model, and learning communities. Adams presented data showing that ALP has doubled pass rates in English 101, from 27% to over 60%. In English 102, pass rates increased even more. In credits earned after two years, twice as many ALP students had accumulated 30 credits. Adams commented that he does not think ALP creates better writers, but keeps them in college.

There has been a deliberate effort to scale up the size of ALP. It has grown dramatically at CCBC and also been instigated at 46 other campuses.

Michelle Zollars represents one of those other campuses. At Patrick Henry College in Virginia, she had to “tweak” ALP to get the program to fit the campus culture and gain acceptance from administrators, including alterations in class size and room arrangements, as well as credit hours. Several faculty attended the ALP Institute in order to allow ALP to scale up. Data show significant improvements in pass rates and retention. It’s cost-effective for the college even offering the small ALP section since students don’t drop out.

Zollars also described how ALP will be the model across the state of Virginia in the redesign of developmental English, in which reading and writing will be combined statewide.

Heidi Johnsen described implementation at LaGuardia, a large urban campus, where ALP students are also showing impressive gains in a context driven by placement and exit testing on CATW.

Peter Adams listed what seems to really make the difference with ALP – no matter what type of campus:

  1. Students are mainstreamed into comp – rather than being held back and demoralized by the stigma of developmental placement.
  2. Pipeline is shortened by one semester.
  3. Exposure to stronger students.
  4. Cohort spends more hours per week together.
  5. Meaningful context for the developmental course, since it’s concurrent.
  6. Small class size – should not be more than half of the 101 class.
  7. Attention to affective and life issues.
  8. Same instructor teaches ALP and comp.

Adams also commented on pedagogy for an accelerated classroom, advocating a “backward design” for curriculum development. In other words, what is the target course, and what happens there? This is what should happen in developmental writing. If developmental writing course looks like the fourth grade, it’s demoralizing. He also advocated for active learning and thinking skills in the developmental classroom. Adams commented about the integration of reading and writing as another significant goal he hopes to see taking more shape in ALP.

Faculty development is key to the success of ALP. Elements include workshops each semester, a 20-hour institute for new faculty, and ALPIN, the ALP Inquiry Network. ALPIN is an online community that supports conversations among faculty (using Drupal), structured around weekly posts by instructors, with comments following.

(Note: I put this presentation in the Fun! category, along with all the usual ones, because it was fun to hear these enthusiastic presenters talking about these magnificent successes. Plus, Michelle was hilarious.)

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W7 Poster Session: Challenging the Standard

K. Hyoejin Yoon, Devon Kehler, Ilknur Sancak-­‐Marusa, West Chester University

College as a “gated community” – BW students need alternate points of entry.

West Chester has writing placement through SAT scores. Students may elect to take a “challenge” exam, which has a 50% pass rate. The students who passed the challenge exam fared just fine in passing their regular fycomp class.

Summer bridge program – residential program with academic and social components. Very diverse students, have a lot of baggage, focus on validating the knowledge they bring, writing in academic style. Outcomes for these students are strong; they retain/succeed at higher rates than the general student population.

Tutors are a key element of the summer bridge program. Tutor works in a dual role, as peer and partner to students, but also connecting back to instructor.

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W7 Poster Session: Academic Literacies Through the Looking Glass

Hope Parisi, Kingsborough CC/CUNY

Developing a tutorial/studio model with TRIO, a federally funded DOE program to serve disadvantaged students. Dialogue between two models of student development – one based on skills/transfer, and the other based on a more rhetorical concept of academic literacy. This program has not yet been implemented but is being constructed.

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Invitation to Join a Basic Skills Initiative!

Do you want more students to pass your developmental class?
Are you frustrated by student failure?
Do you want to invigorate your teaching and classroom practice?

Apply to be part of GSCC 2.0 (https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GSCC2)

Global Skills for College Completion invites you to experience your classroom in a whole new way- for improved student outcomes and better recognition of your work.

At GSCC we:

Understand the challenges associated with remedial courses
Help you to custom design a teaching approach that best suits your challenges, personality and skill set.
Empower you to connect with and learn from other developmental faculty.

More about GSCC here:
http://www.globalskillscc.org/

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