The Writing Program offers collaborative workshops, individual consultations, and online resources for faculty and departments seeking to refine and polish their skills as writing teachers. 

Faculty Development Workshops -- Fall 2019

Facilitating Successful Peer Reviews
Wednesday, September 11 from 4:00-5:00
Althouse 207
Facilitator: Noreen Lape, Associate Provost of Academic Affairs/ Director of the Writing Program         

How do writers become revisers? We will discuss how to explain “global revision” to students, particularly how it differs from editing or proofreading. We will also learn how to set up peer review groups, monitor student performance in those groups, guide students to produce quality feedback, and assess their revisions. Take-aways will include a peer review rubric and revision guides.

What First Years Need to Know about Sustainability @ Dickinson!
Wednesday, September 18 from 4:00-5:00
Althouse 207
Facilitator: Lindsey Lyons, Assistant Director of the Center for Sustainability Education

Whether your first-year seminar connects to sustainability or not (we bet it could), FYS faculty play an important role in advising and mentoring students in opportunities for learning and experiences that support Dickinson’s institutional commitments. Find out what sustainability means at Dickinson, the basics of identifying sustainability courses across the curriculum, understanding our key living laboratory programs like The Handlebar, The Hive and Free xChange and learn about our path to carbon neutrality for 2020 (this year). This interactive Q & A session will allow you to better understand our award-winning efforts to incorporate sustainability into Dickinson’s academic curriculum, operations, student life and co-curricular happenings. Find out what’s new, innovative and on the horizon. You’ll have the opportunity to think creatively about how you, your first-year students, or your courses may connect to sustainability. We are here to help.

Working with Multilingual Writers (Part I)
Wednesday, September 25 from 4:00-5:00
Althouse 207
Facilitator: John Katunich, Associate Director of the Writing Program

How can we help international and multilingual students grow as writers? What is important to know about second language learning that would help us recognize the strengths and challenges that multilingual writers bring to their writing? This interactive workshop will orient faculty to what we know about how second language writing develops, and offer opportunity for dialogue about the multilingual and international writers whom we encounter in our classrooms.

Visual Literacy in the Classroom: Trout Support for Teaching with Images
Wednesday, October 2 from 4:00-5:00
Althouse 207
Facilitator: Heather Flaherty, Curator of Education

Teaching students to be critical consumers of visual culture provides them with an essential skill set for navigating the increasingly image-saturated world in which they live.  While most students have been taught to analyze texts from a young age, few have developed a similar skill set for working with images.  In this workshop participants will learn about the resources and programs The Trout Gallery offers in this area, and try out some tried and true close-looking exercises developed in art museums.  Information on discipline-specific art objects in The Trout Gallery permanent collection will also be available.

Responding to Student Writing
Wednesday, October 9 from 4:00-5:00
Althouse 207
Facilitator: Noreen Lape, Associate Provost of Academic Affairs/ Director of the Writing Program         

With a focus on managing the paper load, we will consider how to respond to student writing in a way that helps students grow as writers and thinkers. Examining the art of composing margin notes and endnotes, we will discuss approaches to commenting, the pitfalls of over-commenting, our purpose and sense of audience when commenting, and the amount of emphasis to place on sentence-level (grammatical) errors. We will also talk about how you can adapt the new Writing Program Rubric to your courses and use it as a tool for grading and responding to student writing.   

Working with Multilingual Writers (Part 2) – Video and Discussion
Wednesday, October 16 from 4:00-5:00
Althouse 207
Facilitator: John Katunich, Associate Director of the Writing Program

From how students organize their writing, how they cite sources, or how they respond to instructor feedback, there may be a variety of ways in which culture and educational background shape how international students write.  The documentary Writing Across Borders (produced by the Oregon State University Center for Writing and Learning) shares the experiences of international student writers learning to navigate the academic writing expectations in US higher education.  Following the film, there will be an opportunity to discuss how what was learned from the film may help us understand and support the diverse multilingual and international students at Dickinson.  Participants need not have attended Working with Multilingual Writers Part 1 to participate in Part 2.

Course Design Collaboratory

January 2020 – TBA -- in Waidner-Spahr Library

The Course Design Collaboratory offers professors a collaborative and productive environment to finalize your syllabus and assignments before the semester begins. We will meet in the Waidner-Spahr Library where you will have space to work on your course design. In addition, you will be able to sign up for consultations with various campus experts. They will be available to consult on such topics as the research process and information literacy; digital and multimedia projects; best practices for students with disabilities; designing and teaching writing; syllabi and learning goals; different pedagogies (i.e. collaborative, active learning, etc.); and diversity and inclusion in the classroom, among others. You can choose as many consultations as you wish to attend, work on your course materials between consultations, share ideas with fellow faculty, and enjoy lunch together.   

Individual Consultations

The Writing Program offers individual consultations on a variety of topics:

  • designing assignments
  • sequencing and scaffolding assignments
  • facilitating effective peer review
  • responding to student writing
  • creating rubrics
  • working with multilingual writers
  • working with a Writing Associate
  • designing a WiD course
  • incorporating writing-to-learn activities into courses
  • and more.

If you would like to set up an appointment, contact Noreen Lape at (717) 245-1904 or

Online Resources

The Moodle site houses a comprehensive library of in-house and external resources regarding the teaching of writing.  If you would like to subscribe to the Moodle, email Noreen Lape at

For a comprehensive list of faculty development workshops, click on Past Faculty Development Workshops.