Instructor Write-In: Designing, Delivering, and Assessing Writing Assignments

Instructor Write-In: Designing, Delivering, and Assessing Writing Assignments

Program overview:

This Instructor Write-In (what we might have more traditionally called a “retreat,” though why are we “retreating” when we could lean-into or go forward together?) is developed with the following outcomes in mind so that, individually and collectively across this Write-In, we will be able to:

  • Hold protected brainstorming and drafting time for instructors who are working on teacherly writing projects, including syllabi, assignments, low-stakes writing activities/prompts, teaching philosophy statements and teaching dossiers/portfolios, and/or grading/feedback processes
  • Collaboratively consider key concepts in instructor/learner writing project management and well-being, including writing schedules, break times, sustainable and embodied approaches to writing, and developing writing communities - all of which apply to both the design of courses and writing assignments as much as how we offer feedback to our student writers
  • Reflect on the shared experiences of writing successes, challenges, and barriers between instructors and learners
  • Share approaches to teaching and assessing writing with care, equity, and accessibility in mind
  • Introduce instructors to the programming available to U of A students through Writing Services at the Academic Success Centre

The three days of community gathering include time for instructors to brainstorm and write (here, specifically focused on writing related to our teaching roles, including grading, written feedback, course/syllabus/assignment design, and teaching dossiers) using the Pomodoro Method. We will also engage in interactive workshops that connect the writing we do as instructors with the writing that we ask our students to engage in. Collectively and individually, we will identify and track goals, ending our days with written reflection. Together, we will think about our writerly work as instructors, and we will identify sustainable and community-based approaches to writing feedback in and beyond the classroom.

Time Commitment and Format:
This program will run for three days during Fall 2022 Reading Week. Participants are not required to attend all three days. Please feel free to attend within or across days in a way that meets your goals, needs, and schedules. Each day, time is set aside for goal-setting and reflection, timed writing, and workshops.

November 7 (9 am - 4 pm Mountain Time)
November 8 (9 am - 4 pm Mountain Time)
November 9 (9 am - 2 pm Mountain Time)

This community write-in will run virtually through Zoom. Participants will receive a Zoom link in their Google Calendar invitation, along with any other relevant details and handout materials.

Facilitators: Mandy Penney (she/her), Lead Educational Developer, Digital Pedagogies and Writing Across the Curriculum, & Dr. Dalbir Sehmby, Educational Developer, Writing and Multimodal Communication Pedagogies

Capacity: 25 participants

If you would like to be notified for the next Winter Expression of Interest, please email