Past Events

First-year Writing and Canvas: New Strategies, New Possibilities

Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Presenters: Claudia Anguiano, Ashley Kehoe, and Doug Moody
Location: DCAL, 102 Baker Library

The College has made the decision to move from the Blackboard Learning Management System to the Canvas system (see Among the new features Canvas enables is the option to connect courses’ learning outcomes to specific activities and assignments. Several Institute for Writing and Rhetoric faculty are among the early adopters for Canvas. This session will offer examples from these faculty and from members of the Instructional Design team (Educational Technologies) of the kinds of uses of Canvas we have begun to adopt in first-year writing courses, and will show faculty the learning outcomes function. The session will conclude with brainstorming about how this function might support both the use and the revision of our course outcomes. Lunch will be served.

Library Research in First-Year Writing: Outcomes and Expectations

Date: Thursday, March 27, 2014
Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Presenters: Laura Braunstein and Jill Baron
Location: DCAL, 102 Baker Library

What do we want students to be able to do as a result of our library research sessions in first-year writing? This workshop, facilitated by librarians Laura Braunstein and Jill Baron, will offer examples of successful library-faculty collaborations to foster a conversation among faculty and librarians about common outcomes and expectations for library research in first-year writing courses. In this Institute for Writing and Rhetoric session, we will share and discuss effective library research assignments from Writing 2/3, Writing 5, and First-year Seminars. Lunch will be served.


Adaptable Writing Knowledge? Case Studies from Dartmouth Research on First-year Writing

Date: Thursday, January 30, 2014
Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Presenters: Jed Dobson, Christiane Donahue, Lisa Lopez Snyder, Doug Moody, and Jenn Sargent
Location: DCAL, 102 Baker Library

The Dartmouth Davis Study of First-year Student Writing collected and analyzed student essays from 2010-2013, studying patterns each year in 700 student essays across the first year courses. Results from that study have been reported on in previous Institute workshops. This past summer, Institute faculty read 25 case studies drawn from this larger study: essays from the same 25 students from the beginning to the end of their first-year sequence. We compared student strategies for introductions, conclusions, source use, and source integration from their Writing 2-3/5 to their First-year Seminar. In this session, offered by the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, writing faculty Jed Dobson, Doug Moody, Lisa Lopez Snyder, Jenn Sargent, and Christiane Donahue will share highlights of what they learned and how it can inform our efforts to teach students writing strategies and choices that can be re-used and adapted in new contexts. Lunch will be served.


Teaching and Learning Analysis in Student Writing

Date: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Time: 12:00pm - 1:30pm
Presenter: Christiane Donahue
Location: DCAL, 102 Baker Library

The heart of good academic writing is often described as strong analysis. But what exactly do we mean by analysis, and how might we teach students to analyze? Where does this ability fit in the broader set of abilities we hope students in first-year writing courses will develop, refine, and then adapt in future contexts? How might we scaffold this learning within a given writing course and across first-year courses? This session, offered by the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, will focus on planning and designing ways to teach analysis that enable adaptability across contexts. Lunch will be served.

Invitational Feedback: Creating a Transformative Classroom Environment

Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Time: 3:00 pm - 4:30pm
Location: DCAL (Room 102 Baker Library)

It can be challenging for faculty, whether teaching speech or writing, to give constructive, honest, and engaged feedback around critical discussions of topics like race, gender, or sexuality. In this Institute for Writing and Rhetoric session, Speech professor Claudia Anguiano invites dialogue about vulnerable feedback and evidence of how varying comfort levels can impact our classroom interactions and our success in communicating our feedback. The mode of communication that will be presented, based in an invitational rhetoric framework developed in the field of Speech, is characterized by a respectful response to diverse environments and offers useful considerations for communicating with our students. Refreshments will be served.

First-year Seminar Faculty Workshop

Date: Friday, October 25, 2013
Time: 12:00pm - 5:00pm
Location: DCAL (102 Baker Library)

While this small-group workshop will address issues common to all first-year seminar faculty, it will be customized to consider in particular those issues that participants have declared most relevant to their upcoming seminars. Our discussions might therefore include matters like assignment design, diagnosing and responding to student papers, designing research instruction, incorporating peer review into the writing classroom, or any other matter of interest to the participants. Although this workshop is designed for faculty new to the FYS program, experienced faculty are also welcome, in particular faculty offering a new version of a seminar, or coming back after a couple of years not teaching a seminar. Lunch will be served. Sponsored by the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric.

Student Voices on Transformative Writing Knowledge: Sharing Students’ Reflections from the Portfolio Project

Date: Tuesday, October 15
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: DCAL (102 Baker Library)

The Institute for Writing and Rhetoric invites a small sample of first-year students, each year, to keep portfolios of their work across their first-year writing course sequence, to reflect on their best writing from each course, and to talk about what they see connecting the work in Writing 2-3 or 5 to the First-year Seminar. In this Institute for Writing and Rhetoric session, colleagues Josh Compton, Michelle Cox, Asia Rowe, and Christiane Donahue will share insights from students’ voices in the portfolio project and lead a discussion about how these insights might shape our teaching. Lunch will be served.

The Art of Presidential Speechwriting - Public Talk

Date: Thursday, October 10
Time: 4 - 5 pm
Location: Room L02 Carson Hall

The Institute for Writing and Rhetoric will host  "The Art of Presidential Speechwriting" sponsored by the Year of the Arts series. Two presidential speechwriters--Don Baer (Bill Clinton) and Michael Gerson (George W. Bush)--will give a talk to the Dartmouth community in Carson L02 on Thursday, October 10th, from 4-5pm. For more information contact: Claudia Anguiano, email:

All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

“That Was a Great Discussion!” Scaffolding to Transform Discussion in a Writing Course

Date: Thursday, October 3
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: DCAL (102 Baker Library)

Last year, writing faculty worked together on understanding how to “scaffold” writing assignments in ways that optimize students’ ability to grow as writers from the beginning to the end of a course. Discussions in our writing courses, generally linked to the material we ask students to read or to related topics, are most often considered successful when they are lively, students are engaged, and new ideas and understandings emerge. But they can also be designed to scaffold growth in writing and reading. This session, offered by the Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, will introduce participants to a couple of key ideas about “scaffolding” and then turn to planning and designing class discussions for maximum effect and complexity. Lunch will be served.

Enabling Flexible Writing Knowledge: The Assignment ⇔ Grading Relationship

Date: Tuesday, October 1
Time: 12:00 – 1:30 pm
Location: DCAL (102 Baker Library)

We know generally what we value in students’ work, what serves as the basis for the grades we assign. Different assignments might enable different abilities, however; values change across contexts; grading often seems to run counter to our overall goal of helping students to improve. In this Institute for Writing and Rhetoric session, we will consider the relationships among assignments, grading criteria, grading processes, and “good writing.” How can grading support students’ ability to flexibly adapt their growing writing knowledge across assignments? What are students learning from our grading? Participants will work with assignments and grading criteria from their courses. Lunch will be served.