The Institute for Teaching with Writing

Interested in infusing more writing into your courses? Contact us at for one-on-one consultations or sign up here to be added to our email list to be notified about upcoming events and workshops. And check out the latest issue of Writing Across Campus, our biannual newsletter featuring faculty who teach with writing.

Institute for Teaching with Writing

2024 Fall Institute for Teaching with Writing

Monday, August 5th & Wednesday, August 7th.

10 AM to 12 PM in the Hanson Center for Communication.

Topics include low stakes writing, using models, developing rubrics, and incorporating AI into the writing process.

Check back for more details and registration information.



Winter Institute for Teaching with Writing

January 10, 2024 (via Zoom). (These workshops are now full)

10:00 am to 12:00 pm - Session I: Making Writing Assignments Creative Across Campus

2:00 to 4:00 pm - Session II: Working with Graduate Student Writers

10:00 am to 12:00 pm - Session I: Making Writing Assignments Creative Across Campus

Tired of the "research paper" assignment? Bored reading reflection papers? Interested in using writing to promote student learning but not sure how to make it fun? Join us for a lively discussion of how to make writing assignments more creative and engaging. See examples of innovative assignments from instructors across campus, hear from a panel of faculty who have redesigned their approaches, and workshop ideas to use in your own courses.

2:00 to 4:00 pm - Session II: Working with Graduate Student Writers

Teaching Data Visualization and Communication: Do you struggle to teach your students how to best graph and visualize their data and then present their data? Join us for a one-hour workshop focused on helping students grasp principles of graphic design, data visualization (graphing and figure preparation), and effective slides for polished, persuasive presentations. After attending this workshop, you will have a clear set of expectations to share with your students on what makes for effective data visualization and presentation slides.

Working with Multilingual Graduate Student Writers: Multilingual writers – those who speak and write in English in addition to their primary language – are an enormously valuable addition to any department or research team. Like students whose primary language is English, multilingual graduate students continue to expand their written fluency and mastery of disciplinary conventions as they move through their programs. However, advisors and instructors are sometimes unsure how to best support these students or respond to some of the language and grammar choices they make while writing for academic purposes. Join us for an overview of strategies and resources for reading and responding to writing by multilingual graduate students.

REGISTER HERE for one or both workshops.

Sponsored by the Writing Center, the Hanson Center for Communication, the Frank Business Communication Center, the Center for Teaching, the Carver College of Medicine, the Department of Rhetoric, and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.


Pamela FlashMoving from Courses to Curricula: Departmental Approaches to Relevant Writing Instruction (2023 Fall Institute Keynote Presentation - see full schedule below)
Tuesday, August 15, 11:30 AM, Hanson Center for Communication (4650 Seamans Center). 

In this talk, Pamela Flash (University of Minnesota) describes what can happen when faculty colleagues within departments talk candidly about what they see (and hope to see) in student writing. Her work with scores of undergraduate departments reveals that conflicting conceptions of “writing,” coupled with a lack of awareness about where and how writing is being addressed within departmental curricula, can exhaust individual course instructors and impede students’ ability to develop as discipline-relevant communicators. Drawing from her work developing, implementing, and assessing the faculty-driven Writing-Enriched Curriculum (WEC) model, she’ll propose methods for moving writing out of isolated courses and into networked curricula.

Sponsored by the University of Iowa Writing Center, the Hanson Center for Communication, and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies



Tuesday, August 8th, 10 am to 12:15 pm
More Writing, More Learning, Less Grading

Quick, But Not Dirty: Using Writing to Learn Without Being Overwhelmed by Grading.
Deirdre Egan, Assistant Director of the UI Writing Center.

How to Teach Structure by Analyzing Writing: From the Gettysburg Address to the Discovery of DNA.
Michelle Scherer, Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering, Director of the Hanson Center for Communication.

Teaching Students to Assess Their Own Writing So You Don't Have To.
Carol Severino, Professor of Rhetoric, Director of the UI Writing Center.

Tuesday, August 15th, 10 am to 12:15 pm
New Frontiers in Teaching with Writing

Sharing the Classroom with ChatGPT: Suggestions for Learning and Teaching
Pam Bourjaily, Assoc. Professor of Instruction, Business Communication, Frank Business Communication Center, and Tamar Bernfeld, Center for Teaching.

Assignments for a Digital World: Designing Multimodal Projects for Any Class
Anne Sands, Department of Rhetoric, Director of IDEAL.

11:30 am KEYNOTE: Moving from Courses to Curricula: Departmental Approaches to Relevant Writing Instruction 
Pamela Flash, University of Minnesota, Director of the Writing-Enriched Curriculum Program



Best Feedback Practices
Instructor, Peer and Student Commenting and Assessment.

Tuesday, January 10th and Thursday, January 12th
10:00 am to 12:00 pm by ZOOM

This series of two workshops focused on best feedback and commenting practices to help students improve their writing and their learning. Faculty from different fields led presentations and discussions on the following topics: commenting on intermediate and final stages of writing projects; teaching commenting and feedback skills to TAs; designing effective peer review sessions; and developing and implementing criteria for student self-assessment of writing. Vickie Molloy from the Office of Teaching, Learning and Technology described two online peer-feedback programs, Peer Review and Peerceptiv.


The Fall 2022 Institute for Teaching with Writing took place on Thursday, August 11th and Friday, August 12th. 


  • Core Concepts in Teaching with Writing: Using Writing to Learn and the Writing Process
    Carol Severino, Professor of Rhetoric and Writing Center Director
  • Revising an Undergraduate Writing Assignment Using a Transparency Framework
    Kristi Hendrickson, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Reading Writing Connections: Helping Students Enter Writing Conversations
    Mary Trachsel, Associate Professor, Department of Rhetoric
  • Application and Reflection through Writing in Introduction to Social Psychology,
    Kelly Danaher, Lecturer, Department of Psychology and Brain Sciences.
  • Multimodal Assignments and Activities 
    Anne Sand, Lecturer, Department of Rhetoric
  • Efficient and Effective Feedback Practices
    Tamar Bernfeld, PhD candidate in Literacy, Culture, and Language Education, College of Education. 


The 2022 Winter Institute for Teaching with Writing took place on Zoom on Tuesday, January 4th and Thursday, January 6th, 2022. The first session focused on creating meaningful writing assignments and scaffolding students through the writing process. The second workshop provided tips and strategies for responding to student writing effectively and efficiently. Twenty nine faculty attended from disciplines and colleges across the UI campus

Co-sponsored by the Writing Center, the Department of Rhetoric, the Obermann Center and the Center for Teaching.


The Fall 2021 Institute for Teaching with Writing.

This series of two virtual, interactive workshops took place from 2-5 pm on Friday, October 1st and Friday, October 8th. The first session focused on designing meaningful assignments, scaffolding them with informal writing-to-learn activities, and expanding meaning-making potential by incorporating multimodal elements. The October 8th session focused on responding to and evaluating students' formal, informal, and multimodal writing as effectively and efficiently as possible. Participants also shareed and discussed an assignment they revised based on what they learned in the first session.

Facilitators were instructors in Rhetoric, the Writing Center, English and Education and Linguistics from the Obermann Working Group on the Teaching of Writing. The Institute was by the Writing Center, the Obermann Center and the Department of Rhetoric.


Pamela FlashThe Writing-Enriched Curriculum
A faculty-driven model supporting discipline-relevant writing and writing instruction
Thursday, April 1, 2:30 PM

Sponsored by the University of Iowa Writing Center and the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies

In this discussion, Pamela Flash (University of Minnesota) will introduce the Writing-Enriched Curriculum (WEC) model and will think with local stakeholders about affordances and challenges associated with its potential implementation at the University of Iowa. WEC offers a departmental model designed to (1) support the curricular integration of relevant modes of writing and writing instruction and (2) to increase the rate at which student writing meets locally-generated faculty expectations. These ends are achieved by engaging departmental faculty members in a series of structured, data-driven discussions that result in their identifying writing abilities they expect of students graduating in their majors and by supporting them as they implement and assess faculty-authored, iterative, Undergraduate Writing Plans. Pamela Flash serves as Director of Writing Across the Curriculum, Co-Director of the Center for Writing, and Affiliate Graduate Faculty for the Literacy and Rhetorical Studies Minor at the University of Minnesota where she has taught and has administered teaching-oriented programming since 1991. Flash is founding director of both the University of Minnesota’s Writing-Enriched Curriculum Program and of its interdisciplinary Teaching with Writing Program. Her research, publications, consultations, and presentations focus on the WEC model, writing pedagogy, composition theory, discourse communities, and the use of qualitative research methods (particularly inductive consultation, collaborative action research, and ethnographic methodologies) to enable sustainable pedagogic change on individual, departmental, and institutional levels. She has consulted extensively with colleges and universities interested in adapting the WEC model to their institutional contexts. Flash serves as Co-PI in a five-year, multi-institutional NSF grant investigating the impact of brief writing prompts on conceptual learning in large-enrollment STEM courses.

The first Institute for Teaching with Writing took place during the 2020-2021 winter break. A series of four virtual two-hour workshops, it brought together fourteen faculty and two graduate students from fields as diverse as nursing, education, philosophy, international relations, and sociology to talk about how to incorporate more writing into their courses. Motivated by a collective love of language and desire to support the development of student writing skills, participants designed and workshopped formal and informal writing assignments, engaged in discussions about multimodal writing assignments, and heard about successful writing assignments from a panel of faculty from History, the College of Business, and Psychology. The Institute included a keynote talk by Brad Hughes, emeritus Director of Writing Across the Curriculum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Institute was supported by the Department of Rhetoric, the Obermann Center and the UI Center for Teaching.

Institute for the Teaching of Writing

Cosponsored by the Oberman Center, the Center for Teaching and the Department of Rhetoric