Writing skills cross professions and vocations, so Alberta post-secondary educators are coming to Red Deer to learn about teaching the craft.
Four Red Deer College faculty members will lead a colloquium on Thursday on the subject.
Educators from nine different Alberta post-secondary institutions will attend. The group crosses several disciplines, including business, communications, economics, history and English.
The informal and collegial atmosphere offered by the colloquium is exciting, said Laura Davis, English instructor and colloquium organizer.
“We’re really interested in hearing about other people’s ideas and what works in the classroom and what doesn’t. And maybe we can take a few tips from the presenters,” said Davis.
The presenters each have 60 to 90 minutes to talk about their topic. Topics include different aspects of the composition and English courses offered at Alberta post-secondary institutions.
One presenter is Nancy Batty, who is working in program development. She taught a sociology-English combined course, with another RDC instructor, to some Red Deer Rebel players. This meant tailoring the lessons to the hockey players’ schedules.
“It talks about how we can reach out to community members who have particular needs in terms of learning and learning about writing,” said Davis.
“We’re hoping to have an informal discussion after all that and look at how can we all work together here in creating some similar sort of outcomes for teaching,” said Davis.
A form of writing or English credit is required for most degree programs in post-secondary institutions.
“I really emphasize to my students there are so many careers where you’re going to use writing in some form or another,” said Davis. “Some students don’t think they’ll do a lot of writing, engineering and nursing for example, (but) there is a lot of report writing in those professions.
“The first-year writing course is key to the college experience. It is important for everybody and it is important in people’s careers.”
The hope is that the people who attend find new ideas on teaching and information on what writing skills it is important to give students.