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ERIC Number: EJ1055101
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 4
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2368-4526
The Writing Development Initiative: A Pilot Project to Help Students Become Proficient Writers
Fukuzawa, Sherry; Boyd, Cleo
Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, v1 p123-126 2008
In 2005, the undergraduate advisory committee at the University of Toronto Mississauga found that across all disciplines, writing proficiency was the skill weakness that generated the greatest concern. Students reported that they often found writing tasks intimidating, and suggested that effective feedback and guidance would improve their writing. In response to these findings, the Dean's office created the writing development initiative. Thirteen departments participated with a wide range of strategies to improve student writing. One successful participant was a first-year undergraduate course in biological anthropology (n = 255 students and 7 teaching assistants). We created a writing improvement model that involved defined objectives for teaching assistants and additional contact hours between teaching assistants and students. These measures significantly improved the students' writing skills. In addition, the intensive training and monitoring of teaching assistants' grading by the instructor and director of the Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre contributed to a reduction in grading disputes. The success of the pilot project led to an extension of the writing development initiative for the 2006-2007 academic year.
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. 1280 Main Street West, Mills Library Room 504, Hamilton, Ontario L8S 4L6, Canada. Tel: 905-525-9140; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada (Toronto)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A