Presentation Details

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The Eleventh International Literacy and Education Research Network Conference on Learning

Starting a Writing Fellows Program: Learning to Cross Disciplines and Pedagogies

Carol Severino, Mary Trachsel.

The presenters describe the processes and problems of implementing a Writing Fellows program--a peer tutoring/writing-across the-curriculum (WAC) initiative to promote collaborative learning and revision at the University of Iowa. From examining the WAC literature, these program co-directors expected their main challenges to be crossing disciplines--the differing expectations, genres, and conventions in fields as diverse as History, Religion, Anthropology, Political Science, English, and Dance--the courses that peer tutors "Fellowed" their first semester. However, the different professors' writing pedagogies--namely their ideas about 1) the Fellow's role in the revision process and 2)what type and style of feedback was the most valuable (how much praise vs. critique, how much attention to sentence level concerns vs. organization and development) was hardly discipline based, but instead based on their own individual perspectives. These individual, varied perspectives on "Fellowing" and feedback were a challenge for the directors and peer tutors to predict and then accommodate—until they learned to expect diverse writing pedagogies that were not discipline-based.


Carol Severino  (United States)
Professor in Rhetoric
Rhetoric Department
University of Iowa

Carol Severino is an associate professor of Rhetoric and the writing center director at the University of Iowa. Severino is interested in the relationships between culture, writing, and writing pedagogy.

Mary Trachsel  (United States)

Rhetoric Department
University of Iowa

  • Writing Fellows Program
  • Writing Across the Curriculum
  • Feedback
  • Revision

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)