Co-teaching Principles, Goals, and Practice
Co-teaching is a cooperative and collaborative teaching experience, in which faculty from different departments or programs work together, sharing with one another their respective expertise, to design and to teach a Writing-Intensive Course (that earns a WIN Hub requirement). The WID Program is committed to support disciplinary faculty and to be equal partners in fostering a valuable learning environment for students.
The goal of co-teaching a WIN course is to afford faculty in the disciplines a collaborator and partner as they initiate the teaching of a Writing-Intensive Course. For those who care about student writing, but who might lack experience integrating writing into a course, the co-teaching model provides a helpful step towards teaching a WIN course independently.
In these collaborations, the Writing Program faculty member models the teaching of writing, scaffolding assignments, running writing workshops, providing feedback, and other pedagogy that integrates writing into a disciplinary course. Faculty from departments and programs contribute their disciplinary expertise, a thematic focus for the course, and a commitment to work collaboratively to implement writing pedagogy into the course. Students benefit from both faculty members’ expertise as they practice and learn to write within disciplinary contexts.
Courses co-designed and co-taught
CAS CS 115 Academic Writing in Computer Science
CAS MA 301 Writing in Math
CAS NE 370 Neuroscience
These courses have been highly successful with both faculty and students, especially for undergraduate majors who are eager to have opportunities to take WIN courses within their own majors. Read the testimonials below from both students and faculty.
Testimonials from faculty participating in co-teaching WIN courses
“It was a transformational experience!”
“I learned a tremendous amount about teaching writing. This knowledge has enhanced my professional development”
“I really appreciated about learning how to lead draft workshops. I will definitely be using things I learned from my partner in my ‘regular’ classes.”
“Co-teaching was a hugely positive experience. I learned a lot about how to teach and assess writing.”
“I learned so much from working with my partner. It was a pleasure working with them.”
“It was a great experience [as] we were both aware of our own and each others’ areas of expertise.”
“We communicated a lot to ensure each of our areas of expertise meshed in the larger goals of the course.”
“Try it! It will make you a better teacher.”
Testimonials from students in co-taught WIN courses
“The skills I learned from this course not only prepared me for the upper-level math courses but also made me a better writer and thinker.”
“I had to think about what it means to identify my audience and how to best engage with them … to take a mathematical topic and distill it down.“
“The ability to learn a new text editor, the foundations of real analysis, and how to communicate with multiple audiences in one semester will pay dividends in future coursework and careers.”
“This course completely changed my perception of writing.”
“Combining math and writing in a course helped me be more open to writing and obtain a new perspective.”
“This course has opened my eyes to the world of proof writing.”
“I learned how to make my writing brief and efficient while staying on topic.”
“Writing doesn’t come naturally for me and there are many other things I would rather do, but … I found a gem in MA 301.”
FAQs and Further Information for CAS faculty and departments
Q – Are the courses 2-credit or 4-credit?
These co-taught courses can be either 2-credit or 4-credit courses. So far, the collaborations have involved 2-credit courses, which allow only for the single Hub unit in Writing-Intensive Course. The WID program is glad to pilot a 4-credit course.
Q – Does co-teaching involve creating new courses or revising existing ones?
The co-teaching collaborations have, to date, only involved new courses. However, the WID program can collaborate with faculty who wish to revise an existing course to include a WIN Hub unit.
Q – Who determines whether it’s a 2-credit or 4-credit course?
The department or program determines whether the course will be 2-credit or 4-credit. Academic units know their curricula and their student needs best, so administrators and faculty in the unit will determine the amount of credits for each course.
Q – How is the department supported?
In previous iterations of the co-teaching, the Hub has contributed a course release for the faculty member participating in this collaboration, so that the department can hire a part-time lecturer to fulfill other teaching responsibilities of the faculty member. The CAS faculty members who participate in the co-teaching, including the Summer Workshop, will receive professional development funds from the Writing in the Disciplines Program.
Q – What is the timeline?
It depends. The Hub deadlines determine when a course with new Hub units can be taught with those Hub units. Collaborations should be arranged a year prior to when the course is to be taught.
Q – What does the Summer Workshop involve?
The Summer Workshop covers three working days in which collaborators meet regularly to plan for the upcoming co-teaching experience, to discuss course syllabi and assignments, to develop a cooperative working ethos, and to learn about writing in the disciplines pedagogy. Guest speakers will present on such topics as multilingual writers, DEI values, reflective writing, and transfer.
Further Information for Writing Program faculty
If you are interested in participating as a co-teacher, please contact David Shawn, Associate Director for Writing in the Disciplines at firstname.lastname@example.org.