Supporting university staff to develop student writing: collaborative writing as a method of inquiry

Authors

  • Sandra Abegglen University of Calgary
  • Tom Burns London Metropolitan University
  • Sandra Sinfield London Metropolitan University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.47408/jldhe.vi23.839

Keywords:

collaborative writing, writing as inquiry, writing workshop, mark making, exploratory process, writing in the curriculum

Abstract

There is a feeling in the Learning Development community – and in academia more generally – that discipline staff see the academic writing of students as a problem better ‘fixed’ by others. However, staff at a writing workshop held within a learning and teaching conference revealed positions that were more nuanced, inflected, compassionate and ‘responsible’ than this. Writing collaboratively around the words produced by staff at our workshop, led to new insights into ways that staff could support student writing as an emergent practice. We decided to collect and share the many ways that discipline staff might be encouraged to harness writing in their own curriculum spaces: a staff guide on supporting writing and other forms of learning and assessment emerged. In this paper we discuss collaborative writing as a method of inquiry as we explore the contested terrain of academic writing, challenge the notion of ‘writing skills’, and model a more emergent form of exploratory writing.

Author Biographies

Sandra Abegglen, University of Calgary

Sandra Abegglen is a Researcher in the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at the University of Calgary where she explores learning and teaching in the design disciplines as the project lead of TALON. Sandra has an MSc in Social Research and a MA in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education. She has over eight years’ experience as a Senior Lecturer in Education Studies. Her research interests are in online education, creative learning and teaching, mentoring, visual narratives, identity and qualitative research methods. She has published widely on emancipatory learning and teaching practice, and playful pedagogy.

Tom Burns, London Metropolitan University

Tom Burns is a Senior Lecturer in Education and Learning Development in the Centre for Professional and Educational Development at London Metropolitan University, developing innovations with a special focus on praxes that ignite student curiosity, and develop power and voice. Tom is a member of the #creativeHE community and is always interested in theatre and the arts and their capacity for holistic practice. Tom is co-author of Teaching, learning and study skills: a guide for tutors, and Essential study skills: the complete guide to success at university (5th edition, forthcoming 2022).

Sandra Sinfield, London Metropolitan University

Sandra Sinfield is a Senior Lecturer in the Centre for Professional and Educational Development at London Metropolitan University. She is the co-author of Teaching, learning and study skills: a guide for tutors, and Essential study skills: the complete guide to success at university (5th edition, forthcoming 2022). Sandra is a member of the #creativeHE community and one of the co-founders of the ALDinHE. Sandra is interested in creativity as emancipatory practice in higher education, has integrated creative practice into the curriculum and has designed and led a variety of creative learning events for both students and academic staff.

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Published

16-03-2022

How to Cite

Abegglen, S., Burns, T. and Sinfield, S. (2022) “Supporting university staff to develop student writing: collaborative writing as a method of inquiry”, Journal of Learning Development in Higher Education, (23). doi: 10.47408/jldhe.vi23.839.

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Section

Case Studies

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