Using a writing practices inventory to predict faculty willingness to adopt writing across the curriculum teaching techniques
Smith, Billy L.
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The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to develop the Faculty Writing Practices Inventory using the theoretical underpinning of Astin's Input- Environment-Outcome Model, and 2) to create an archetype of ideal faculty for Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) training from which administrators could create more efficient Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) training efforts. Furthermore, this research provided insight into the dynamics of faculty involvement in Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) programs in United States' colleges and universities. Of particular interest was whether writing program administrators can use a modified form of Astin's lEO model to assess faculty for possible inclusion in Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) training. The Faculty Writing Practices Inventory could help writing program administrators more efficiently identify potential faculty for inclusion in such a program. An area of additional interest was whether writing program administrators can profile faculty to predict their likelihood of implementing Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) teaching techniques and the consequential administrative policy decisions about what incentives motivated faculty to use Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) teaching techniques. The study examined further the relationship between Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) faculty training that is often provided by the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) administrator and how faculty actually chose to use the information. In September. 1998, 16 U.S. universities uere identified through their respective Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) program administrators. Faculty were identified at each institution by virtue of their involvement in Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) training. This research supported Astin's (1991) lEO model as it was adapted to explain faculty involvement in WAC. In doing so, it suggests that there were particular input and environmental variables that writing program administrators can analyze when selecting faculty for WAC training. It further supports the engagement of faculty into the teaching-change process through involvement in myriad Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) efforts, much as Astin (1991) asserts about student involvement. This research should not be construed as a means by which to exclude faculty from WAC training, but, rather, a method by which to identify those faculty for whom WAC training is most likely to find a suitably enthusiastic audience.
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