Instructional Design and eTeaching Services - Boston College

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First-Year Writing Seminar Teachers' Lounge

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Funded by a Faculty Summer Workshop Grant, Lad Tobin and Ricco Siasoco collaborated with IDeS to create an online teaching resource repository to support faculty who teach the First-Year Writing Seminar. This site is designed to offer faculty a collaborative space where they can share teaching resources such as syllabi, readings, and assignments and where they can discuss the challenging teaching issues they face.

The First-Year Writing Seminar (FWS) is a required course in the BC core curriculum and, with 2000 students enrolled each year, is one of the university’s largest and most important programs. FWS is a particularly difficult course to teach since the range of student ability and interest in this field is so great and since the majority of the faculty have relatively little training and background in Composition and Rhetoric. It is also a difficult program to direct since about half of the FWS faculty each year are MA and PhD students who are new not only to FWS teaching but to teaching in general. Since these grad students teach for only one year and since there is also significant turnover each year in the adjunct faculty, the program has a tremendous need to provide extensive training and support for faculty.

The FWS Faculty Lounge is a site that aims to enhance the program's existing faculty development efforts by providing an additional layer of online resources and interaction for faculty, whether they are just beginning to teach or are looking for new material to improve their existing lesson plans. The site provides basic information on the program, a repository of teaching materials with user commentary, and a discussion forum for ongoing conversations around teaching-related issues. The site is not designed to replace face-to-face interactions among faculty, but rather it offers other ways to create connections among instructors and continuity within the program from year to year.


Content Development

  • Lad Tobin Director of First-Year Writing Program Dept. of English (A&S)
  • Ricco Siasoco First-Year Writing Program Faculty Dept. of English (A&S)

Project Managers

  • Tim Lindgren Instructional Designer IDeS

Web Design

  • Bill Porter Instructional Web Producer IDeS

Web Programing

  • Jamie Walker Instructional Web Developer IDeS