Posted in CBW2019, CCCC2019, Professional Developmwnt, Scholarship of Basic Writing, Teaching, What's New in Basic Writing

Updated Schedule for the CBW Workshop at CCCC 2019 (3/13/2019)

Please join us for an exciting day discussing Basic Writing and composition. We look forward to this annual gathering to network, share ideas, and explore Basic Writing pedagogy & theory.

This year, CBW is featured as a strand in the all-day TYCA conference. So, if you have registered for the TYCA conference (or just for the TYCA lunch), you can attend CBW sessions or—better yet—join us for the whole day!

If you prefer, you can also register for CBW all day long, just like you have in the past!

Posted in CBW 2016, CCCC 2016, Professional Developmwnt, Scholarship of Basic Writing, Sense of the House Motion, Teaching

TSIG Updates

We had a rowdy TSIG meeting discussing basic writing!

The TSIG began with a celebration of the University of New Mexico, who won this year’s INNY award for their Stretch and Studio program!

Then, we moved into small groups to explore possible areas for policy areas that CBW should explore. Small groups brainstormed some of the following policy & focus or inquiry areas:

  • A statement on ethical textbook selection: instructor-generated, no workbooks, costs, peer reviewed, derived from BW and comp Rhet pedagogy, ethical selection,
    themes like: education, freedom, community-building, social justice, non-cognitive;
  • How do we talk with instructors about how and why they use different texts?
  • A survey on student access to technology (what do our students actually have access to?)
  • Faculty preparation & qualifications necessary to teach basic writing (maybe a certification as an add on to an MA or PH.D. program).
  • State and Federal mandates on curriculum without research;
  • Transferring courses from one college to another;
  • Different ALP models;
  • Recommendations on effective preparation for teachers of basic writing (this would put the onus on programs and not serve as a mandate);
  • A sense of the house motion (or other legislation before CCCC) on M.A. and Ph.D. programs including basic writing as course that graduate students teach (there are a lot of issues here: mandating versus an elective– we need to explore this in more depth);
  • A sense of the house motion (or other legislation before CCCC) that M.A. and Ph.D. programs include a course on the teaching of basic writing  (The teaching of basic writing. See notes above about exploring this in more depth);
  • If graduate students don’t get a chance to put theory and practice together, this perpetuates ideas about basic writing that doesn’t really match the reality of the basic writing classroom;
  • We should look at the C’s statement on preparing faculty for college-level writing;
  • Could we think about asking people to integrate basic writing into different classes (upside: doesn’t segregate basic writing from the rest of comp; downside: doesn’t allow you to dig into basic writing);

We wrapped up after sharing from our brainstorm. The group was really excited about these issues!

Are you interested in working on these issues? If so, please reach out via the CBW-listserv to continue the discussion! We look forward to hearing from you!


Posted in CBW 2013, CCCC 2013, Professional Developmwnt, What's New in Basic Writing, Who is Basic Writing?

Live Streaming from CCCC 2013 and More!

Just a reminder that we will be streaming 2 CCCC sessions live! (Technology Gods willing!!!):

Victor Villanueva’s keynote at CBW 2013, Wednesday, 13 March 2013 @ 9:15 am Pacific Time


“There’s Nothing Basic About Basic Writing” session: Thursday, 14 March 2013 @ 10:30 am Pacific Time

For BOTH sessions (technology gods willing!) we will post the URL to the YouTube/Google streaming link.

For BOTH sessions you will be able to leave comments on the YouTube page and/or on the CBW Facebook Page. We will be monitoring both and will bring your questions into the q & a sessions. We’ve never tried this before, so we ask for your patience. We’ll keep you updated before and during the sessions.

Look on the CBW Facebook Page, on the CBW-Listserv and here, on the CBW Blog, for the link the day of the session.

Also, remember that Sheri Rysdam, Sara Webb-Sunderhaus, Anthony Warnke and J. Elizabeth Clark will be live blogging many of the Basic Writing sessions at CCCC! Keep up at throughout the week for posts, pictures, and more!

Posted in Basic Writing Projects & Initiatives, CCCC 2013, Politics of Remediation, Professional Developmwnt, Publishing, Resources, Scholarship of Basic Writing, Social Media, Tech, 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 (

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.


Facilitated by Elaine Jolayemi, Ivy Tech and & Leigh Jonaitis, Bergen Community College

Facilitated by Ilene Rubenstein, College of the Desert

Facilitated by J. Elizabeth Clark, LaGuardia Community College–CUNY

Co-Facilitated by Debra Berry, College of Southern Nevada & Marisa Klages, LaGuardia Community College–CUNY

Facilitated by Carla Maroudas, Mt. San Jacinto Community College

Facilitated by Amy Edwards Patterson, Moraine Park Technical College

Hope to see you online or in person!

There’s Nothing Basic About Basic Writing!

Posted in CBW 2012, Professional Developmwnt

Professional Development: How Do You Know You Are a Good Teacher?

We started off this morning with a great presentation by Robin Ozz, Jason Evans, and Rosemary Arca. They presented on their participation in a two year long professional development program focused on basic writing pedagogy. Full disclosure: they were presenting on a project I which I was also a participant and it was one of the best things I’ve done since graduate school (just wanted to fully reveal my bias).

They explained the Global Skills for College Completion project. It’s an on-line project that brings basic skills faculty from around the country together to examine pedagogical practices with the aim of teaching better.

So, here’s the elephant in the room: what do you spend most of your professional day doing? If, like me, you teach basic skills at a two-year or four-year college, you probably spend most of your time on teaching or teaching-related activities. Now, how much training did you receive in graduate school to do that? I don’t mean here being thrust into teaching as a TA–although an apprenticeship model is certainly important and instructive–but really studying pedagogy and effective teaching. Few graduate programs have an emphasis on producing effective college-level teachers. As Jason Evans said, we all have our home grown pedagogues that we’ve developed based on trial and error. What the project allowed us to do was develop a shared, common vocabulary about our best practices.

Enter GSCC. The project took faculty from around the country and brought them together to think about their teaching. What resulted was a two-year, intensive experience of examining our teaching in many different ways.

Rosemary Arca began by explaining the project and the tools we used. This project was primarily on-line. She provided an overview of the on-line forums, the ePortfolios, the reflective practices, and the large and small group work and explained how the group was able to work virtually.

A participant in the audience raised the issue of the on-going nature of the project of how doing professional development more than once (a one time event) allows people to raise questions, interact, and really learn (just as we ask students to do in our own classes).

Jason Evans provided a thoughtful overview of coaching and it’s role in the project, Through on-line forums, analysis of videos, and weekly entries in ePortfolios, project participants provided feedback and coaching to one another to help improve teaching in targeted areas. Part of the project revolved around the development of themes in teaching like the role of affective issues in teaching or group activities or organization in instruction. Participants then examined one another’s work for effectiveness in addressing these themes. Rather than receiving a list of “best practices,” these themes developed from the group over time as a practice of inquiry and critique.

Evans, Ozz, and Arca discussed how they analyzed their practices using the themes and regular data reports provided by a group of outside researchers (participants in the project were studied by the Stanford Research Institute–SRI). They showed the audience examples of analyses that were conducted on their teaching by SRI. They discussed the importance of developing greater awareness in their teaching and developing a sense of who they were in the classroom.

The group also discussed the importance of investing in faculty development for all faculty, both full-time and contingent faculty.

Robin Ozz rounded out the presentation by showing her ePortfolio and explaining how we documented our teaching in the project. Each week, faculty documented a lesson by providing a narrative description of the lesson, objectives for the lesson, examples of student work from the lesson, and an analysis of the student work and what it demonstrates about the lesson objectives.

ePortfolios also included mid- and end-of-term reflections and videos 3 times a semester. All of these artifacts were digitally available to the community through ePortfolios.

You can read more about the project here: GSCC
GSCC is also recruiting a second cohort of faculty for the project. You can apply on-line at GSCC.