book cover: Writing Across Contexts: Transfer, Composition, and Sites of Writing

Writing and the Question of Transfer: Content Matters

by Jessie L. Moore The 2011-2013 Elon University Research Seminar on Critical Transitions: Writing and the Question of Transfer supported multi-institutional research by 45 scholars and resulted in an impressive (and still growing) list of conference presentations and publications. Writing across Contexts: …


Students writing collaboratively in a computer classroom

Digital Literacies in Writing-Intensive Courses

by Jessie L. Moore Writing-Intensive Courses – one of the high-impact practices identified by George Kuh (2008; see also AAC&U’s High-Impact Educational Practices) – can and should be attentive to the evolving nature of writing. Writing in the 21st Century …



2011-2013 Elon Research Seminar Participants

Elon Statement on Writing Transfer

Download a Printer-Friendly Copy of the Elon Statement on Writing Transfer Developed by 45 writing researchers participating in the 2011-2013 Elon University Research Seminar (ERS) on Critical Transitions: Writing and the Question of Transfer, this statement summarizes and synthesizes the …




Writing-Intensive Courses and Insights from Writing Transfer Research

George Kuh (2008) identifies Writing-Intensive Courses as a high-impact educational practice – a practice that facilitates both student retention and engagement. The Association of American Colleges and Universities describes Writing-Intensive Courses as “emphasiz[ing] writing at all levels of instruction and across the curriculum, including final-year projects. Students are encouraged to produce and revise various forms of writing for different audiences in different disciplines.”

Yet what do higher education stakeholders know about supporting student writing across the curriculum? How can universities best prepare students to write “for different audiences in different disciplines”? How can general education courses equip students with knowledge and strategies for writing in their majors and beyond? Writing transfer research tackles these questions.


Classroom Ecology, the New Voc-Ed, and Academic Writing at the Edge

What happens when you ask three scholars to explore learning spaces from their unique individual and institutional perspectives? Audience members are challenged to reconsider their understandings of physical, program-level, and online learning spaces, along with their expectations for conference plenaries. The Friday, October 4, 2013, Plenary at ISSOTL 2013 featured TED-style talks by Thomas Horejes (Gallaudet University), anthony lising antonio (Stanford University), and Siân Bayne (University of Edinburgh). More information about the speakers and their talks is provided below the video.


New Research Expands What We Know about How To Use Writing To Enhance Student Learning

Educators have long appreciated the power of writing to enhance learning. In the United States and Canada, this knowledge has underwritten the forty-year growth of writing-across-the-curriculum (WAC) and writing-in-the-discipline (WID) programs. More recently, it has supported the expansion of writing-for-academic-purposes programs in Europe and elsewhere.

Results of a new study will reorient the focus of these programs and inspire new ways of using writing to advance the goals of higher education.


Critical Transitions: Writing and the Question of Transfer – Research Highlights (Part 2)

Last month, we featured a few highlights from the Center for Engaged Learning’s research seminar on Critical Transitions: Writing and the Question of Transfer. Multi-institutional research by seminar participants suggests that:

  • In first-year writing courses, content matters;
  • Students need reiterative opportunities for reflection throughout their education;
  • When considering students’ ability to transfer or adapt writing strategies, personal identities matter; and
  • Across the university, expectations for student writing often are misaligned.

The first three findings offer hope that it is possible to teach in support of transfer, reaffirming an underlying assumption in university curricula that students can transfer what they learn in one course to future university, workplace, and community contexts. The fourth finding reminds faculty and administrators not to take that underlying assumption for granted; as last month’s preview hinted, writing transfer is not guaranteed for every student at every critical transition point.