Entry-level writing courses are foundational courses for students’ subsequent academic success, yet too often such courses present a barrier to student success with an outsized impact on students from minoritized backgrounds. That’s why APLU and Every Learner Everywhere teamed up with the University System of Georgia to facilitate adoption of digital-forward instruction design for entry-level writing courses to address inequities and advance student success. The groups conducted two workshops around digital-forward writing instruction design and have issued new reports sharing out lessons from the work. Register now for a May 19 virtual panel on the reports and digital-forward design for higher education.
Digital-forward writing teaching places instructors at the heart of the learning process while using technology to connect students for most learning interactions as they progress through the course. APLU, Every Learner Everywhere, and the University System of Georgia have released a report, Rewriting Writing: Establishing Pedagogical and Evidentiary Paradigms for Digital-Forward Instructional Design in Postsecondary Writing Courses, outlining the differences between conventional courses and instructor-supported adaptive courses. Additionally, the report offers recommendations for institutions aiming to re-imagine introductory writing courses centering them around digital-forward, equity-first approaches.
The groups also released a report, Strategic Staffing for a Digital Future: Emerging Skills and Roles for Digital -Forward Design, which: identifies current and emerging skills sets for digital forward instructional design and pedagogies, describes the value of digital-forward skills to institutions, and outlines strategies institutions can use to assess whether their faculty, staff, and administrators have digital-forward skills and how individuals can acquire such skills.
The workshops also examined how digital-forward courses can contribute to inequities, due to differing access to necessary learning devices, broadband, or a complete understanding of the courseware. During the workshops, instructors described the benefit of carving out space within conventional course designs for students to productively practice writing. The conversation, findings, and recommendations shared in the reports are guides to transform ideas into action by applying the learned practices.