Thursday, July 31, 2008

orientation notice/schedule in your mailbox today

Notices of our orientation meeting, which is scheduled for Friday 22 August, went in in your mailboxes today. For our new instructors who haven't yet been assigned mailboxes, you can get your letter from Kim or Kari in the front office. Please keep in mind that this meeting is required for all part time English faculty.

Please plan to drop in at your earliest convenience to pick up your letter and any required texts you haven't yet gotten. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your fall 08 schedule, assignment sequences, or other matters, don't hesitate to contact me by phone or email.
If I don't hear from you before then, see you next month.

In case it takes you a while to get into the office, here's the basic plan:

Part I: Orientation Session for New Adjuncts
8:00, LA 115
Includes snacks and coffee, greetings and Q+A from WPA, department staff and administration, and brief introductions to the library and writing center.

Part II: Contact Group Breakout for All Adjuncts
8:45, LA 115
All instructors, please bring a draft of your syllabus to the meeting for questions and advice.

Part III: Concurrent Breakout Sessions (attend each once)
Gae Lyn Henderson, “WPA outcomes and UVU Writing” LA 027
Grant Moss, “How do I Respond to This?” LA 118

Gae Lyn Henderson, “WPA outcomes and UVU Writing” LA 027
John Goshert, “Integrating Research with Assignment Sequences” LA 115

Grant Moss, “How do I Respond to This?” LA 118
John Goshert, “Integrating Research with Assignment Sequences” LA 115

Part IV: Lunch and Guest Presentation
12:30-3:00, SC 206b/c
Lunch will be provided for all part- and full-time faculty, and we’ll be joined by Professor Tom Huckin of the University of Utah for a conversation on how we emphasize the teaching of critical inquiry: critical thinking, critical writing, and developing the habits of mind that will allow students to enter the academic conversation. Many of us are concerned at the tendency of beginning writers to merely re-present information. Through presentation and group work Huckin discusses the difficult task of acculturating students toward academic inquiry and involve us in learning and teaching activities to achieve that goal.

On another planning note, I'll probably send out a reminder about this when the date gets closer, but I wanted to let those of you who are interested get it on the radar. On August 25, from 1-2:30 in LA 005, our Pearson sales representative, Ryan Hatch, is bringing a technology specialist from Pearson to introduce instructors from English and Basic Writing to the newest version of My Comp Lab. Unlike in previous versions, this product is now free for students who purchase Allyn and Bacon and/or the DK Handbook.

For part time people especially, who have limited access to office space and time on campus beyond class meetings, My Comp Lab may offer new opportunities for communication and consultation between instructor and students and among student peer groups.

If you'd like to join Ryan and other interested instructors, please send Ryan an email ( a week or so in advance. I'll get a reminder out when we get closer to the date as well.

I think I've successfully made the change to the new UVU system, so in future correspondence, please email


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fall Schedule and Preparing for Class

Fall 2008 schedule notifications are now in your mailboxes. Please take a look, sign them if they're OK, and return to Brianna's mailbox. If you have any concerns or need to request changes, you can give me a heads up via email, and I'll get on it when I get back on campus--probably a week from Thursday.

One issue I forgot to include on the notifications is that we're switching handbooks from the Prentice Hall Reference Guide to the new DK Handbook by Wysocki and Lynch. Please be sure to get a copy of that, and any required texts you may not have yet, in the front office. Don't forget that the Allyn and Bacon Guide (the new 5th edition) is the approved text for 1010, and is one of the two options for 2010/2020, the other being the Norton Field Guide.

Also, please keep in mind that your 1010, 2010, and 2020 courses will be guided by general assignment sequences. Don't hesitate to make an appointment or email me with any questions as you consider ways of integrating the sequences with the good work you've been doing.

In anticipation of either general or specific questions having to do with course design this year, I'd like you to have drafts of your fall 08 syllabi and class schedules ready to share at our orientation meeting on August 22nd. If you'd like model syllabi, let me know and I'll get together with Brianna to find some of the best examples from recent semesters. Consider including the following elements on your syllabi in the meantime:
  1. Course description, including brief descriptions of assignments, course objectives, and so on;
  2. Course policies, including statements on attendance, plagiarism, and so on;
  3. Required text(s);
  4. Grade distribution;
  5. Instructor contact information, including contact hours;
  6. A disability statement (you can simply paste the boilerplate statement, which I can send those of you who don't have it);
  7. A tentative class schedule, which can take any number of shapes, from day-to-day, week-to-week, unit-to-unit, and so on.
I'll get together with Grant and Gae Lyn when I return to campus and complete a detailed agenda for our orientation day. For now, however, please plan to spend an informative (and fully compensated) day with us, which will include morning breakout sessions on important issues, and a scrumptious lunch, followed by a presentation and discussion by Tom Huckin of the University of Utah. We'll probably be going through about 3 in the afternoon.

Please email me if you need to. Otherwise, keep checking back here for updates.