NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1125974
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1554-8244
"Freeing Students to Do Their Best": Examining Writing in First-Year Seminars
Thaiss, Chris; Moloney, Kara; Chaozon-Bauer, Pearl
Across the Disciplines, v13 n4 Dec 2016
First-Year Seminars (FYS) are among the high-impact practices described by AAC&U. We studied the long-standing First-Year Seminar Program at our public research university for the ways in which writing assignments--individualized for each seminar--help faculty and students achieve program objectives in critical and analytical thinking, the building of classroom community, and application of course themes to wider contexts. Data for our study came from existing survey results concerning student and faculty satisfaction and recommendations, analysis of all course proposals and assignments for the Spring 2015 term, and interviews with FYS faculty from eleven departments across the humanities, social sciences, life sciences, and health professions. Significant findings included (1) the power of group writing-and-presentation projects in the seminar environment to build community and to shift the focus of writing (and speaking) from individual development to group and larger community goals; and (2) the "freeing" of students in the language-rich seminars from traditional academic pressures so that students were motivated to achieve for the community. The study findings led us to merge the typical WAC theory binary of "learning to write" and "writing to learn" into an interwoven objective of "learning to write to learn for the benefit of the many."
WAC Clearinghouse. Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523. Tel: 970-491-3132; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A