- Michelle Maher
- Associate Professor,
Educational Leadership and Policies
- Sarah Gassman
- Associate Professor,
Civil and Environmental Engineering
- JAN 30
- Wed 10:10am - 11:00am
- Center for Teaching Excellence
Thomas Cooper Library, Room L511
This event is sponsored by the Center for Teaching Excellence.
Teaching students to write for their discipline is an important but at times difficult pedagogical activity. Participation in disciplinary writing, whether for a class assignment or a manuscript submission, immerses students in their chosen discipline. However, students often find it difficult to contextualize their writing within the broader disciplinary landscape and to understand the often tacit disciplinary knowledge-making practices. This session introduces participants to the idea that most disciplinary writing is presented as a 'story', a concept that may be initially foreign to students. As a USC physics professor has observed, 'Students need to ...make a convincing story about what needs to be known, what was produced, convince people that the result is solvent and discuss what impact we have through those measurements.' To help students and their instructors shape this story, this session introduces the use of a one-page writing outline that can coherently frame various disciplinary writing components. One-page outlines can be used across disciplines.
About the Facilitators
Michelle Maher serves as an Associate Professor of Higher Education Administration. Her research explores doctoral student development during the transformation from student to scholar, with a focus on how students learn to write for their discipline. Dr. Maher has recently completed a NSF-funded study undertaken to investigate the development of graduate student teaching and research skills.
Sarah Gassman serves as an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She specializes in geotechnical engineering and has served as the Department's Graduate Director. Recently, she and Dr. Maher developed and co-instructed a graduate level disciplinary writing class for Civil and Environmental Engineering graduate students and have collaborated on disciplinary writing research.