The Department of Chemistry

As part of the WAC Fellows program our team articulated departmental writing objectives in addition to targeting two high impact areas of the chemistry program. We concentrated on low stakes writing at the introductory level as well as high stakes writing at the senior level. As we shifted our focus on why we have students write, we better aligned our writing assignments to our learning goals. Working with Writing Across the Curriculum we designed a plan to introduce various writing-to-learn strategies to teach course content while avoiding overburdening the instructor. Our senior level students will benefit from a redesign of an upper level research assignment. The assignment will prepare them to “write like chemists” as the importance of the process of writing is emphasized. Our team is very grateful for the opportunity to participate in the WAC Fellows program. In addition to receiving valuable professional development for our individual classes, we were able to start a necessary dialogue with the department to better improve teaching and learning throughout the program.