09/06/16 – Conference Attended & Presentation.
This was the first conference of its kind that Bradford has run with research providing the backbone of all that was running on the day. The keynote speaker – Dilly Fung – was thought-provoking and the session that Lucy Scott and I ran had a small but willing group of attendees (8 staff). Our presentation was called: ‘The Writing Room’: creating space for student academic writing in a shared environment, and the abstract is below.
“Based on research conducted by the University of Plymouth (2014), Academic Skills Advice established the Writing Room. This session introduces our research-informed, student-centred learning space to participants. Established with minimal resource, this has led to the creation of a space dedicated to writing skills development, allowing students to focus on their own writing work whilst receiving tips and advice on preparation, research and drafting techniques.
The facilitated space can be mapped in three ways, each representing a level of engagement:
- Students simply have time and space to engage in writing, working in a methodical way towards deadlines for coursework.
- Students can get help for real pieces of writing at a time when advice can have the most impact on their transferable writing skills, rather than waiting until a draft is ‘finished’.
- Students peer-support one another with helpful tips and support during the writing process. Often this leads to cross-discipline discussions about the nature and expectations of writing (Heift and Caws, 2000).
The aim of this session is to explore what academics and support staff want out of student coursework compared with transferable skills employers want. It offers a space for reflection on how a space committed to writing can help to achieve this. Using pictorial evidence of the space in action, the participants can reflect on student learning environments and a ‘team dash’ activity captures what staff believe are the essential ingredients of interactive writing development.”