WIS Home

Building a community around writing instruction at WWU

Program Overview

The Writing Instruction Support (WIS) program provides direct assistance to faculty who are teaching writing courses or who incorporate writing into their courses. 

WIS has three main functions:  

1) Provide information about writing course requirements and the best practices for teaching and assessing writing.

2) Sponsor instructional activities such as the Integrated Research & Writing Workshop Series and the annual faculty writing instruction workshop-retreat which serves as a foundational experience for those teaching writing and the writing research fellowship opportunities for instructors and students to study writing instruction practices.

3) Offer resources on teaching writing in print, multi-media and online.




New Research-Writing Studio
The Research-Writing Studio, new home to Research Consultation and the Writing Center, is both a place and a service that offers students support with their academic work related to research and writing. Visit the Research-Writing Studio website for more information on their resources and services. 
Writing Instruction Collection
Now that WIS has its program office in Wilson Library 265, we have a collection of books and videos on display and available for circulation. Come browse our ever growing collection and let Carmen know if you have recommendations for review or purchase, carmen.werder@wwu.edu.
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Kathy Saunders, hosts "Tea & Sympathy" in the Learning Commons
The genesis for Tea and Sympathy came seven years ago from listening to students in TLA talk about their reluctance to attend office hours and to be alone, face-to-face with their professor, especially during their freshman year. It occurred to me that holding a weekly class office hour outside of my office might dispel those anxieties. I started holding Friday Tea and Sympathy hour in the Atrium around the fireplace where we had free hot water and my tea bags.
The conversation flowed rather naturally around class, campus events, and student concerns. We laughed a lot. One of my favorite conversations was about the social dynamics and the mathematics of Humans VS Zombies. About 12 to 15 students came to any given session, some were regulars and others occasional or one-time visitors, out of a GUR class of 180. Two years ago Tea and Sympathy moved to the Learning Commons which had the advantage of getting freshmen INTO the library and providing an intimate quiet space for conversation - all  in close proximity to Zoe’s! 
The benefit I did not expect from Tea and Sympathy was for me. I have no agenda for those conversations other that creating a nurturing academic community but the experience of interacting socially with my students weekly keeps me grounded in the realities of their lives, fears, struggles, and delights. It’s not a perspective I can glean from the front of a lecture hall.
If you are interested in holding office hours in the Learning Commons or hosting a "Tea & Sympathy" for you and your students, please send an email to WritingInstructionSupport@wwu.edu.


Consultation Times

Carmen Werder, WIS Director, is available for individual, small group or departmental consultations on any topic related to writing instruction and assessment as well as to consult on expectations for Writing Proficiency courses. 

To set up an appointment contact Carmen at (360) 650-7329 or at Carmen.Werder@wwu.edu.