Writing Intensive Project

The Writing Intensive Project (WIP) which began in the Humanities Faculty in 2013 with six individual ‘start up’ academics in six different disciplines, by the beginning of 2015 has a presence in the Pharmacy Faculty and the Commerce Faculty in addition to its established presence in the Humanities Faculty. The number of lecturers now actively involved in re-visioning curricula, tutorial tasks and assessment so as to integrate more writing into the courses they have selected to make ‘writing intensive’, has grown from 6 to 25, and the departmental (rather than individual) reach of the project in 2015 is now seven (7). Based on discussions with other departments recently, there is an anticipated growth of 4-6 additional departments in the project for this year. This figure is of course is dependent on a number of factors internal to departmental dynamics and planning etc. but the interest and intentions are positive. In terms of the number of students who have experienced a writing intensive course in one or more disciplines since 2013, this figure now stands at 3317, and the number of tutors who have taught on a WI course, 120. 

As can be seen from the above, the project is expanding its influence and impact. But at one level, ‘the project’ is critically ‘the people’, the lecturers particularly, who are voluntarily engaging with new ways of thinking about their habituated practices and beliefs, in the interest of their students. The challenge is going to be to sustain ‘the project’ at the level of it being a ‘force-field’ for change in the university as a whole even if the present participants in the project are no longer members of staff. Disseminating the work that is being done presently in the project, both at Rhodes University and the wider HE community will thus be put high on the agenda for this year. Some of this can be done via the planned 2015 Writing Colloquium in collaboration with Professor Heila Lotz-Sisitka and the Post-Graduate Centre. In addition, the RU Teaching and Learning Showcase provides another opportunity to share the work academics are doing in terms of developing students' mastery of disciplined-based academic discourses and literacies.

Last Modified: Tue, 30 May 2017 11:37:32 SAST