Skip to content

Composition Forum 42, Fall 2019

Activity Theory as Tool for WAC Program Development: Organizing First-Year Writing and Writing-Enriched Curriculum Systems

Crystal N. Fodrey, Meg Mikovits, Chris Hassay, and Erica Yozell

Abstract: This profile of the Writing at Moravian program discusses how an application of activity theory has facilitated a collaborative and context-responsive (re)development of the First-Year Writing, Writing Fellows, and Writing-Enriched Curriculum programs at our small liberal arts college. Activity theory is presented as a lens and flexible tool that allows us to identify and evaluate the myriad dynamic components of these interrelated programs in order to align the objectives of each program to work towards our programmatic mission built upon the fundamental ideas of transfer, reflective practice, and threshold concepts.


The Writing at Moravian (WAM) program at Moravian College in Bethlehem, PA, under the directorship of Crystal Fodrey, has in recent years been redesigned using an application of activity theory to produce a programmatic vision that guides our work. Since the redesign, most aspects of which were first piloted during the 2016-2017 academic year, WAM has implemented several expansive initiatives that were developed to exist within a dynamic, interdependent activity system in an effort to foster an improved student experience built upon the fundamental ideas of transfer, reflective practice, and threshold concepts. David Russell defines activity systems, theorized by Yrjö Engeström, as “the object(ive)-directed interactions among people where one or more of the participants could not by themselves effectively work toward the objective” and which are “historically developed, mediated by tools, dialectically structured, [and] analyzed as the relations of participants and tools” (54). The mediational means of the WAM activity system at the programmatic level—that is, the tools meant to mediate the (inter)actions of people within this overarching activity system—have been designed to feature the following:

  1. a First-Year Writing experience (FYW) taught by faculty across the disciplines in which teaching for transfer via threshold concept-informed key terms is emphasized through reflective practices;
  2. transfer pursued throughout core courses of each major, capturing genre-specific discourse and student reflection on/in disciplinary curricula developed using Writing-Enriched Curriculum (WEC) processes;
  3. faculty trained on how to effectively incorporate genre-specific and reflective writing within disciplinary contexts; and
  4. a community of undergraduate writing fellows trained in composition theory and writing tutoring pedagogy in preparation for placement in FYW and/or WEC courses.

These interrelated initiatives have been designed to encourage collaboration among stakeholders with a hope that this will instill greater cohesion in how writing is taught and assessed across campus.

This program profile, then, represents a snapshot of a work in progress. The nested activity systems that make up the Writing at Moravian program were developed through the experience of writing program administrators and are continually tested and revised through their implementation and adoption by dedicated faculty members. Before Crystal’s arrival at this small liberal arts college of approximately 1,800 undergraduates, 500 graduate students, and 145 full-time faculty, the program in place included first-year seminars with a required writing component taught by faculty across the disciplines and writing-intensive courses within each major approved by the WAC director and assessed using a set of generic writing outcomes. Crystal’s early conversations with WAC program faculty stakeholders made clear that they desired innovation to improve the teaching and scaffolding of writing already in place. At the same time, faculty knowledgeable about teaching with technology were involved in implementation of digital storytelling and other digital, multimodal composing in humanities courses as part of an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant coordinated by Erica Yozell, Associate Professor of Spanish. The digital pedagogy workshops facilitated by Erica initiated conversations with faculty across all disciplines who were interested in having their students engage in composing processes resulting in the production of digital, multimodal projects connected to student learning outcomes (see Yozell, Fodrey, and Mikovits for details). Because Crystal and Meg Mikovits, Writing Center and Writing Fellows Program Coordinator, were frequently involved with these workshops, they were able to develop a clear understanding of the ways faculty were calling for and enacting change in their attitudes about and pedagogies of writing.{2} As William Condon and Carol Rutz explain in A Taxonomy of Writing Across the Curriculum Programs, “The founding of a WAC program usually consists of a number of like-minded people pursuing the same goals and hoping that they can form a kind of critical mass, enough momentum to carry their agenda forward” (365). While the preexisting WAC program had been founded in 2001, the sentiment of the quote still holds in a moment of innovation. By April 2016, two academic years into Crystal’s time as WAC director, it seemed as though this critical mass had formed and begun to establish momentum, providing institutional buy-in to build the program as it exists today.

Activity Theory as a Tool to Develop the Writing at Moravian Program

“[P]rinciples without strategies is [sic] a mess.” That’s because if one identifies principles but doesn’t think about those in a way that is consistent and flexible, the principles really won’t matter because you won’t accomplish anything.
— Linda Adler-Kassner, What Is Principle? (465)

It made sense to design the Writing at Moravian program using activity theory as a flexible tool that could lead to a consistent way of thinking about a dynamic, highly collaborative, and organically developed program that values the voices of all stakeholders in the local context. As Mike Palmquist, Joan Mullin, and Glenn Blalock note in The Role of Activity Analysis in Writing Research, “a key feature of Engeström’s treatment of activity theory is its ability to accommodate the activities and motives of participants whose relationships to each other are not immediately obvious” (232). When we first started thinking about the application of activity theory to the design of a transfer-centric program, we oversimplified a student’s path through Writing at Moravian, illustrating it as two-dimensional (see Figure 1), with students encountering the first point of transfer after high school in an FYW course. Students in FYW would then engage with ideas in such a way that could lead to greater rhetorical flexibility, and that would be followed by an iterative improvement of their discipline-relevant writing knowledge and abilities through well-scaffolded writing projects and mindful writing instruction as they progressed through their majors.

Figure 1 is a diagram showing an imagined path of the progress student writers make from their First-Year Writing Seminar to graduation. The path begins on the left side of the image with 'high school writing,' immediately followed by 'first-year writing.' The intersection of these two points is labeled as transfer point 1. First-year writing is in turn followed by a circular loop representing the writing experience within a program or major. The loop contains the gateway course of a student’s major (labeled as transfer point 2), multiple discipline-specific writing experiences, and a capstone course experience. Students ultimately leave the loop upon graduation (labeled as transfer point 3). A departmental assessment point is noted following a department’s capstone experience within the loop.

Figure 1. Initial Linear Conception of WAM’s Activity System

When developing their own transfer-oriented vision for the future of Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, Stephanie Boone, Sara Biggs Chaney, Josh Compton, Christiane Donahue, and Karen Gocsik acknowledged the complexity of writing knowledge transfer:

Learning does not occur “in” an individual who moves it from context to context, but in the ongoing relationships between the individual and the activity systems she occupies and shapes. Writing knowledge and know-how do not simply move from one context to another; they adapt, transform, orient, are reimagined and newly applied; they change the context of the process and are changed by the process.

We came to a similar realization that the path to students being able to “adapt what they’ve learned to address a distinctly different [writing] task” (i.e., far transfer) is not so cut and dry (Felten, paraphrasing Perkins & Salomon, 50); that process exists in a much more complicated system, what Robert Birnbaum in How Colleges Work refers to as a loosely coupled, open system—meaning that “the boundaries are relatively permeable, ... interactions of many kinds are likely to occur,” and such systems are “dynamic and nonlinear” with elements that are “responsive to each other, but ... also preserve their own identities and some logical separateness” (34-38). Because developing and administering campus-wide college writing programs and facilitating writing knowledge transfer are both intricate problems that involve dynamic networks of people and ideas, we needed to figure out how we could best represent all of that in a productive, future-focused way. As Jill Gladstein and Dara Rossman Regaignon explain in Writing Program Administration at Small Liberal Arts Colleges, “[M]apping the institution and the program—and embracing the messiness of that process and the resultant picture—is necessary to understanding and therefore fostering an institution’s culture of writing” (153). We decided that a more nuanced application of activity theory via an activity system heuristic would help us understand how all the parts of the program we were developing articulated with each other. The program’s activity needed to be clearly defined, the intellectual and material tools mediating the activity needed to be carefully chosen and grounded in relevant writing studies scholarship, and the rules guiding the activity needed to be transparent and position members of the WAM community as decision-making agents at key points throughout the curriculum. The motive of the program needed to be clearly articulated to relevant stakeholders in the campus community and be connected to Success Measure #1 of Moravian’s Strategic Plan: “​By 2020​, ​embed liberal arts in 100% of programs and ensure that reflection is a central learning outcome.” To better understand those relationships in the Moravian College context, we drew an activity system diagram (see Figure 2) on a whiteboard in the Writing Center and got to work.

What you see in Figure 2 represents the end result of that messy process of visualizing our program as a system illustrating the activity of WAM—“Supporting student production of writing, broadly conceived, across all academic sites of writing at Moravian College”—with our aspirational outcome along with the subject, tools, community, division of labor, rules, object(ive), and motives of our program as of 2017.

Figure 2 integrates Moravian-specific information onto the blank activity system model. In this case, the diagram highlights the various WAC directives of the Writing at Moravian program by including text describing how various elements of the program connect to each component of activity theory. The text included in this figure is reiterated in the article.

Figure 2. Writing at Moravian Programmatic Level Activity System (Click the figure to view a larger version.)

Writing at Moravian Programmatic Level Activity System

Institutions should be integrative, with institutional systems and practices serving to maximize connections and coherence... . If you believe in an integrative paradigm for learning, then you need integrative tools, sites, and pedagogies to make an integrative education possible.
— Randall Bass, Coda: Writing Transfer and the Future of the Integrated University (151)

Taking a holistic approach to WAC program planning and implementation, we began with the 10,000 foot view of the integrative system that we hoped to develop. Therefore, the most important intellectual tool mediating the activity at the programmatic level of the Writing at Moravian activity system and all of the activity systems nested within it became the WAM mission, adopted in Fall 2016: Through a writing-enriched curriculum that emphasizes the transfer and iterative building of writing abilities across each student’s liberal arts education, the Writing at Moravian program seeks to foster rhetorically informed and reflective writing experiences within all academic units at Moravian College.

This mission is built on principles of transfer and rhetorical flexibility; Anne Beaufort in Reflection: The Metacognitive Move Towards Transfer of Learning reminds us that “Researchers have agreed that transfer from one context to another is possible, but that the move does require the ability of the learner to adapt prior knowledge and skills appropriately to the new context rather than simply apply previous knowledge and skills without alteration for the new situation” (27). To address the complex reality of writing transfer, then, we would need to prioritize the sort of “learner centered, networked, integrative, and adaptive” (147) institutional goals for writing that Bass promotes as effective design principles supporting the empowerment of learners in higher education. These principles inform the motive of the WAM activity system: For writing and writing instruction to be intentionally scaffolded throughout undergraduate and graduate curricula (i.e., they operationalize the WAM mission in a way that both privileges writing studies praxis and honors the local context). This motive leads us to make programmatic decisions with consideration for how well they contribute to the mission. As we create trainings and provide resources for faculty and resources for students, we focus on transfer through scaffolding appropriate to the level and purpose of the course. The goals for creating and maintaining a transfer-centric culture of writing are lofty ones, but we believe they are worth working towards.

Our community is why we do what we do, and our program has therefore been designed to be responsive to the specific context of our institution. The community both guides WAM in achieving its objectives and also informs them. We agree with Condon and Rutz who contend that “[s]uccessful WAC requires a complex partnership among faculty, administrators, writing centers, faculty development programs—an infrastructure that may well support general education or first-year seminar goals. That infrastructure ... assumes new dimensions as programs develop and grow” (358-59). The present WAM division of labor illustrates the complex WAC partnerships in place at Moravian:

  • The Director of Writing (Crystal) who works in the interest of students and faculty{3}

  • The Writing Center & Writing Fellows Coordinator (Meg) who trains tutors and fellows in transfer-centric writing tutoring and teaching praxis, and places fellows in FYW courses

    • Writing Center tutors who provide support to undergraduate and graduate students

    • Writing fellows who provide support to faculty and undergraduate students in all FYW and some Writing-Intensive (WI) courses and other courses within Writing-Enriched academic units{4}

  • FYW Co-Coordinators (currently Crystal and the Dean of Student Success) who recruit, train, provide feedback to, and evaluate FYW faculty and the FYW program with the assistance of the WAM Advisory Committee

    • FYW faculty who attend trainings, develop and submit course materials, and teach first-year writing courses.

  • The Writing-Enriched Curriculum team (currently Chris Hassay and Crystal) who conduct research about writing in both graduate and undergraduate academic units in order to assist unit faculty in developing unit-specific Writing Plans

    • WEC faculty liaisons in academic units and the faculty in WEC units

  • The WAM Advisory Committee, which oversees the promotion, support, and assessment of writing across Moravian College, comprised of everyone coordinating WAM programs, faculty from both schools at the college (the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences and the School of Natural and Health Sciences), a student representative, and representatives from Assessment, Student Affairs, and the Center for Global Education

  • All Moravian students who participate in the activity of writing within a WAM curricular context

Those involved in the division of labor are asked to operate under the rules which govern the WAM activity system. At the first-year writing level, the WAM Advisory Committee creates outcomes, frameworks, and assessments informed by writing studies theory and applied to our institutional context. The FYW Co-Coordinators recruit faculty to teach within the program and communicate policies via a first-year writing handbook and faculty development opportunities; FYW faculty are asked to put these rules into practice through course and assignment design appropriate for first-year college writers. Student writers (and faculty, in a different capacity) are in turn supported by writing fellows and Writing Center tutors. Beyond the teaching of first-year writing, faculty in academic units are invited to collaborate with the Writing at Moravian program via the Writing-Enriched Curriculum initiative in order for the locus of agency to shift to those units. These units then develop writing outcomes, implement scaffolded discipline-relevant writing in core courses, and assess discipline-relevant writing in their curricula.{5}

The short-term objective of WAM is to provide support to the community connected to various writing programs and initiatives and their corresponding stakeholders with the hope that these efforts enable us to realize our long-term outcome: To graduate rhetorically flexible students from undergraduate and graduate programs at Moravian.

In regards to the WAM activity system, we also recognize that by its very nature our integrative program represents an open system in which the component “parts are themselves systems [that] constantly change as they interact with themselves and with the environment” (Birnbaum 35), with the WEC system positioned to maximize connections between the first-year writing system and the outcomes of academic units. This further explains the complexity of the WAM activity system; we intentionally avoid being predeterministic. Instead, we rely on inferences based on our experience and community input that we hope in the years to come will be supported through the WAM team’s ongoing adaptability, manifested in dynamic programmatic actions and substantiated through dynamic programmatic assessments. We embrace the evolving nature of WAM activity that consistently asks us as WAC practitioners to recognize how our aspirational programmatic outcomes are also dynamic and timestamped in a way that necessitates their periodic revision in continued support of learner empowerment.

First-Year Writing Activity System

To teach a writing class informed by writing studies research, teachers must be or become familiar with relevant research in composition studies and then enact this knowledge in their classrooms.
— Elizabeth Wardle, Intractable Writing Program Problems, Kairos, and Writing about Writing: A Profile of the University of Central Florida’s First-Year Composition Program

The completion of the larger Writing at Moravian activity system served to galvanize the creation of the more specific activity systems nested within it. Prominent among these is FYW, which supports the Writing at Moravian program’s mission at the first point of writing transfer in foundational general education courses. The subject of FYW at Moravian consists of several courses which all work toward the same student learning outcomes and which are taught by faculty from across disciplines:

  • First-Year Writing Seminar (FYWS), a one-semester course taken by most students during the first semester;

  • College Reading and Writing I and II, a two-semester stretch writing sequence designed for (typically domestic) students identified as needing additional support in academic literacies;

  • College Reading and Writing for Multilingual Learners I and II, a two-semester course sequence designed for (typically international) multilingual students identified as needing additional support in reading, writing, listening, and speaking; and

  • Writing Seminar, a one-semester course taken by most non-traditional students, transfer students, and students who do not earn a passing grade in FYWS or College Reading and Writing II.

The primary tool of this first-year writing activity system is the course description shared by FYWS, College Reading and Writing II, Writing for Multilingual Learners II, and Writing Seminar:

[FYW Course] introduces students to academic literacy practices central to success in any discipline at Moravian College. The course is designed to help students transition to college expectations, generate research questions, find and evaluate sources, and make informed decisions about how best to achieve their purposes in various writing situations. The subject area focus of each section of [course] varies, but all sections are similar in their approach: students develop the skills of critical reading, research, argumentation, revision, and reflection; and students work collaboratively with classmates, the instructor, and the writing fellow to improve writing, build community, and explore available campus resources to achieve academic and personal success during their time at Moravian.

Embedded within this course description are the student learning outcomes, informed by the WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition (3.0) (CWPA), that guide curricular and pedagogical decisions for each section of FYW. Specifically, the outcomes for FYW ask students to cultivate and apply critical thinking about a given course topic in order to:

  • Develop a clear and cohesive argument with persuasive appeals using evidence from critical reading and research.

  • Implement, and subsequently reflect upon, writing strategies and conventions suited to a variety of purposes, audiences, and context-appropriate genres and media.

  • Demonstrate ability to generate and pursue lines of inquiry; search, collect, select, and evaluate sources appropriate to writing project(s); and document according to context-appropriate standards.

  • Provide substantial and useful revision suggestions to other writers, and revise writing using responses from others writers, including classmates, writing fellows, Writing Center tutors, and instructor.

  • Collaborate with faculty and writing fellows, and engage with the College community—students, faculty, and staff—to promote personal success at Moravian College.

  • Reflect on learning to make interdisciplinary connections among course topic, education in the liberal arts, and both individual and community identity.

These student learning outcomes lead, we hope, to the broader FYW programmatic outcome intended to foster the transfer of writing skills from first-year writing to other general education and upper-division writing courses. First-year writing faculty work towards achieving these student-learning outcomes via the use of intellectual tools promoted by the Writing at Moravian program; these are the fundamental ideas that writing is, in itself, a tool, a context-specific activity (reinforced by emphasis on genre and rhetorical awareness), and an object of study. To instill these ideas, first-year writing faculty are asked to introduce key terms about writing and promote their consistent use as a means by which to foster reflection about writing. At Moravian we’ve agreed on the following program-level key terms that are meant to be introduced in FYW and reiterated in upper-division writing-intensive and WEC courses: purpose, audience, genre, discourse community, rhetorical situation, writing process, multimodality, and reflection (see Appendix 1: Writing at Moravian Programmatic Key Terms for the definitions of each key term that we share with faculty).

Some of the most influential material tools available to the FYW program include syllabi and other course documents with shared outcomes, course policies, and suggested assignment sequences (see Appendix 2: Suggested FYWS Assignment Sequence for one example); one of several writing textbooks (each chosen by the WAM Advisory Committee due to its connection to FYW student learning outcomes); and ubiquitous availability of MacBook Pros and iPads that allow for easier integration of digital multimodal projects. Both intellectual and material tools are put into practice by faculty who illustrate through their myriad approaches that while the FYW activity system may have a common objective, “the objective may be envisioned differently by different participants in the activity system” (Russell 53). Participants in the first-year writing system comprise a large community including the WAM Advisory Committee that oversees the promotion, support, and assessment of FYW; recruited first-year writing faculty representing academic and student success-oriented units across most disciplines at the college; writing fellows who provide support to faculty and undergraduate students in all FYW courses; Writing Center tutors who provide support to most first-year writing students; and all students who are enrolled in FYW courses.

A large portion of this labor is carried out by faculty from across disciplines recruited to teach first-year writing courses. Throughout the recruitment process, which takes place one calendar year before faculty will teach first-year writing, we emphasize the ability of faculty to bring their disciplinary perspectives on content knowledge and writing skills to their course development process. The engaging, focused topic and types of writing assigned in each writing course are thereby determined by each faculty member, growing out of their specialties and interests. The format of FYW is based on the concept of the seminar, with relatively small groups of around eighteen students and class meetings that encourage participation and interaction between students, faculty, and writing fellows. The threads of academic literacy that connect all first-year writing courses, regardless of disciplinary perspective, are the outcomes related to critical reading and writing, and an emphasis on the development of writing abilities through rhetorical situation and genre awareness reinforced through the integration of key terms about writing.

The division of labor within the FYW activity system is assumed in part by undergraduate writing fellows, working alongside first-year writing faculty from across disciplines, who are placed in each FYW class. Writing fellows serve as interlocutors between students and faculty, supporting instructors in their efforts to realize the FYW programmatic objective and helping students achieve the outcomes that result from those benchmarks. At Moravian, the Writing Fellows program was developed in such a way that gives faculty and writing fellows agency in collaboratively constructing a place for the writing fellow in the classroom, while making sure that the program is sufficiently grounded in the theories that inform the WAM mission and FYW/WI/WEC learning outcomes. Therefore we don’t dictate precisely what the writing fellow’s role must be, but instead provide training that prepares writing fellows for the versatile range of work they might do. Writing fellows and Writing Center tutors complete a training course that is aligned with the training in which first-year writing faculty participate. In addition to tutoring praxis, this course introduces prospective fellows and tutors to the writing studies key terms used by WAM (see Appendix 1) and the scholarship surrounding those terms, the knowledge domains from which successful writers draw (Beaufort, College Writing and Beyond), genre awareness (Bawarshi and Reiff), threshold concepts of writing studies (Adler-Kassner and Wardle), mindful reading practices (Carillo), and reflection as important to transfer of writing abilities (Robertson et al.). All of this complements the work of others in the writing program by prioritizing writing as a curricular goal of FYW specifically and WAM more broadly.

Upon completing the training course, one writing fellow is assigned to each first-year writing class, which typically happens prior to the faculty workshops scheduled for the week after the Spring semester ends. As the Fall semester begins, each faculty-fellow pairing remains in regular contact. Most writing fellows attend all class sessions and offer feedback to faculty on classroom dynamics, activities, and writing prompts. As the semester progresses, writing fellows act as liaisons between students and faculty, illuminating for faculty aspects of the student experience that may benefit from a modified approach and helping the students understand faculty expectations. Beyond these productive and instructive relationships with faculty, writing fellows primarily work in ways that directly support student success in first-year writing classes; however, we are expanding the program through upper-division writing-intensive/writing-enriched classes as faculty request support from WAM. Because fellows model habits of mind of successful postsecondary writers by assisting with peer revision sessions, facilitating workshops on writing-related topics, contributing to class discussions, and sharing strategies and examples of their past writing, they are ideal in any classroom context that features these practices (see Framework for Success in Post-Secondary Writing). Perhaps most significantly, writing fellows help illustrate connections between the work students are doing in FYW and that which might be expected in writing situations across disciplines and in upper level classes—and in situations beyond those relating to any one class, such as internships, field experience sites, and job and graduate school applications.

Though faculty have a great deal of agency in creating first-year writing courses in accordance with the conventions of their disciplines, the rules of the FYW activity system guide the work of faculty and the Writing Fellows program to support student writers. These rules, through the lens of activity theory, are meant to establish “norms, conventions, and values” (Kain and Wardle 400) and are comprised of the course outcomes, frameworks, and assessments. The outcomes, shared earlier, describe the student learning goals for FYW. The frameworks include a shared syllabus template, writing key terms (see Appendix 1), and an FYW handbook for faculty. Assessment, which informs changes made to the program and pedagogical choices of instructors, includes student and faculty surveys and direct assessment of random samples of student writing from all FYW classes. Faculty learn about and engage with these programmatic “rules” through a series of annual workshops and contribute to in the form of a repository of sample course documents representing different approaches to the course.

Faculty pedagogical engagement with the intellectual tools of the FYW activity system is meant to lead students to the “mental frameworks that enable a writer to adapt or remix prior knowledge to successfully perform either a new task or a familiar task that must be adapted to a new social context” (Beaufort Reflection, paraphrasing Robertson et al., 31). Those mental frameworks come from both faculty and student understanding of writing-related threshold concepts. In Naming What We Know, Chris Anson argues that focusing on the following six threshold concepts can enhance writing on a college campus:

  • Defining writing as a disciplinary activity;

  • reconceptualizing the social and rhetorical nature of writing;

  • distinguishing between writing to learn and writing to communicate;

  • establishing shared goals and responsibilities for improvement;

  • understanding the situated nature of writing and the problem of transfer; and

  • viewing student writing developmentally. (205)

We are actively working to integrate those threshold concepts into our curriculum through both the Writing Fellow training described above and through faculty development. Accordingly, we provide support for instructors in the form of focused professional guidance in writing instruction specific for first-year students, periodic gatherings for discussion, faculty book groups (most recently we read Naming What We Know), and a monetary stipend. Our faculty trainings emphasize the programmatic key terms listed above and focus particularly on the genre knowledge faculty and students need to participate in writing grounded within specific discourse communities and responsive to specific exigencies. We know from rhetorical genre studies that genres connected to/emerging from certain disciplines and discourse communities should be learned in context, so we try to dissuade first-year writing faculty from assigning what Elizabeth Wardle refers to as “mutt genres,” that is, “genres that do not respond to rhetorical situations requiring communication in order to accomplish a purpose that is meaningful” (‘Mutt Genres’ 777). Therefore, even within the context of FYW, our hope is for faculty to develop “[w]ell-structured writing assignments [that] foster the application of disciplinary knowledge in complex contexts and the development of metacognitive awareness, challenging students to use their knowledge proactively” (Felten 51). Students not only need to have a solid foundation of content knowledge from which to draw but also a well-scaffolded writing process in place that gives them the ability to develop the reflective habits of mind connected to genre and rhetorical awareness. This has the potential to assist students in transferring their writing knowledge and abilities in order to abstract and apply it in new settings. While a tall order, we are actively designing the WAM program with the belief that this type of learning transfer, as Beaufort noted, is indeed possible. In support of these ideas, we often reiterate the following in our materials and trainings:

The transfer of writing abilities is a strategic and dynamic process that is best fostered through the combined efforts of every faculty member involved in a student’s collegiate experience. Specifically, the shared use of writing key terms, the concept of genre discussed “not just as conventions but as responses to specific discourse community values and purposes” (Beaufort, Reflection 29), and strategic reliance upon reflective practice can be used as tools of transfer to both introduce new writing scenarios and also connect the work done previously to each new project, assignment, or writing task.

In Agents of Integration, Rebecca Nowacek claims that “[first-year composition] can help students see the connection between formal conventions of written genres and disciplinary epistemologies by immersing students in the disciplines” (129). One of the greatest strengths of first-year writing at Moravian is that these concepts and practices are communicated in vastly different contexts depending on the discipline represented by the faculty member, which demonstrates the wide range of applications of these concepts and encourages first-year students to recognize points of transfer between their FYW course and writing experiences that follow. As an entry point, FYW not only represents students’ first encounters with college-level reading, writing, and research but also with habits of mind such as flexibility, openness, and metacognition that will empower students to rhetorically read and respond to texts that they encounter in the future.

Our immediate and ongoing objective is for faculty to engage with the intellectual tools that guide the FYW activity system to facilitate student engagement with writing key terms, genre examination and production, and iterative, transfer-promoting reflective practice—all of which we advocate and prepare faculty for in our development workshops. We do this in part because, as Wardle notes, first-year writing “courses can only serve as entry points to writing in the [college] and the larger world” and we therefore should teach “students about writing in ways that can enable them to be more successful later” (Intractable Writing Program Problems). Ultimately, all of our efforts in supporting faculty, writing fellows, and student writers within first-year writing are in service of the objectives that we hope lead to our envisioned outcome for this FYW activity system. The outcome we hope this first-year writing program achieves, and which also serves the larger WAM mission, is to prepare students with habits of mind known to foster proficiency in far transfer of writing knowledge and abilities.

Writing-Enriched Curriculum Activity System

[A]ny attempt to create criteria defining a “successful” performance within ... disciplinarily and pedagogically distinctive contexts must emerge from, and be unique to, these genres as they are defined and practiced within the communities where they have meaning.
— Chris M. Anson, Deanna P. Dannels, Pamela Flash, and Amy L. Housley Gaffney, Big Rubrics and Weird Genres: The Futility of Using Generic Assessment Tools Across Diverse Instructional Contexts

Working in tandem with the FYW activity system is that of the Writing-Enriched Curriculum (WEC), which aims to extend and assist in the realization of the aspirational outcome of WAM across the various undergraduate and graduate programs at our college. WEC serves as a catalyst for writing knowledge transfer for both our students and faculty, inviting conversations about writing and writing pedagogy into disciplinary spaces. Facilitated by Crystal and Chris, and roughly modeled on the work of Chris Anson at North Carolina State University and Pamela Flash of the University of Minnesota, WEC is an opt-in research, curricular revision, and assessment process open to interested academic units on campus. The Writing-Enriched Curriculum at Moravian utilizes quantitative and qualitative research methods to situate writing within different departmental and programmatic contexts, leading faculty to make curricular changes that more intentionally utilize writing practice throughout a student’s course trajectory.{6}

Our objective for each WEC unit is for unit faculty to establish a recursive process of researching, planning, enacting, assessing, and revising, creating a sustainable method of targeted revision that is as reflexive as it is malleable. At the start of the 2019-2020 academic year, academic units across undergraduate and graduate programs in both the School of Natural and Health Sciences and the School of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, representing nearly half of all departments on campus, have engaged with and are in various phases of the WEC process.

The Writing-Enriched Curriculum also establishes connections with the larger Moravian community, in particular with individuals (e.g., the Director of Assessment, Academic Deans, Dean of Student Success, Associate Provost, and Provost) and groups (e.g., the Academic Planning and Program Committee, Human Subjects Institutional Review Board [HSIRB], and the Strategic Planning Committees) whose rules govern the WEC activity system. Ultimately, then, we establish a community that extends beyond academic units, to include Academic Affairs leaders and other policy writers and enforcers who support the WEC initiative’s writing, curricular revision, and assessment goals.

Within the WEC activity system, the subjects of activity (i.e., academic units) select the tools utilized to study writing activity within each unit and subsequently articulate the unit’s aspirational writing outcomes based on research results. As such, the Writing-Enriched Curriculum offers disciplinary faculty the autonomy to steward writing instruction within their programs, which we hope establishes buy-in and furthers the collaborative directives that define the larger WAM activity system. At the start of the process, we collaborate with unit faculty to define the parameters of our methods based on their needs at the point in time that they opt in. Across contexts, the first phase of WEC is guided by this fundamental question: Through what methods can we generate rich, data-driven, context-specific findings about writing that are valuable to this particular academic unit—findings that represent not only the collective unit ethos and epistemologies but also the individual voices within the unit? In a number of undergraduate programs, that means working within an already established curriculum to promote cross-faculty communication and encourage critical reflection about writing. In our rapidly developing professionally-oriented graduate programs, that means conducting preliminary research to help with curricular design prior to the implementation of a new curriculum.

Because the division of labor within the WEC activity system is dynamic and unit-context specific, so too are the tools we utilize. The first phase of the process within each unit includes the consistent material tools of HSIRB informed consent documents and approved interview and survey templates, followed many months later by faculty interview transcripts, affiliated faculty and student survey data, and our analysis of graded writing samples from core courses. We often extend our methods to include practices and tools that represent the varied ways of knowing and doing inherent to each unit—from surveying and/or interviewing affiliated professionals, to conducting student focus groups, to other inquiries requested by a unit’s faculty liaison.{7} Regardless of the context, we tend to find ourselves collaborating with unit faculty to investigate discipline-relevant genres, their functions, and the “criteria defining a ‘successful’ performance” (Anson et al.) of those genres within an academic unit; we share that and all other triangulated and synthesized information through a findings report. The findings reports that the WEC team produces are meant to function as primary resources that support the efforts of academic unit faculty to reflect upon and revise their curricula. These reflections and plans for revision are articulated in a unit-faculty produced writing plan: a document that characterizes writing in a discipline, names the writing abilities with which unit faculty would like students to become proficient, maps those abilities to corresponding student learning outcomes (SLOs), maps those writing-enriched SLOs to courses in the major (which then may need revision), and plans for relevant writing assessment and instructional support. Throughout the process, unit faculty interact with the WEC team whose underlying goals represent those of the larger WAM objectives: improved rhetorical flexibility (connoted in this context as discipline-relevant writing knowledge and abilities) facilitated through student engagement with meaningful discipline-relevant writing projects and instruction that have the potential to promote transfer. As researchers, the WEC team’s positionalities are grounded within writing studies research; we acknowledge this and consistently strive to represent data about disciplinary context-situated student writing within findings reports in ways that are descriptive and offer faculty the opportunity to interpret these findings through their own disciplinary lenses.

It is our hope that WAM faculty development opportunities outside of WEC-specific contexts will ultimately influence WEC program objectives and outcomes, but because the ethos of this program is based in faculty-led decision making we do not pressure departments to do what we may think is best. Faculty who engage in other WAM programs and initiatives tend to become advocates not only for the components of the activity system with which they have engaged, but for the WAM effort generally, as they develop a conversational proficiency with many of the intellectual tools that make WAM function. As Russell notes, the dialectically structured nature of activity systems invites us to recognize the need to appropriate knowledge from across systems so as to better articulate and move between them: “In the process, [a discipline] may also transform the terminology it has appropriated, investing it with new meaning, just as it might redesign for its own objective mechanical research instruments appropriated from another discipline” (55). Within the FYW activity system we ask faculty from disciplines outside of writing studies to appropriate this disciplinary knowledge (specifically the key terms and theory underpinning the knowledge domains from which successful writers draw [Beaufort, College Writing and Beyond]) and apply it to their first-year writing classes. WEC findings reports often detail how knowledge domains are represented within a given unit and identify how assignment prompts and class materials privilege elements of those knowledge domains; we code faculty interviews using writing key terms and highlight how unit faculty utilize teaching practices that promote writing transfer. Across the nested activity systems of FYW and WEC, we are utilizing the same writing studies theory and communicating it in ways that are appropriate to the audience and purpose of the given system in an effort to work towards the larger WAM outcomes of writing knowledge transfer and rhetorical flexibility.

We hypothesize that as more units move through the later phases of Moravian’s WEC process (see Appendix 3 for details) faculty will incorporate transfer-centric practices that emerge from being active members within their local disciplinary communities. Top-down initiatives, like the writing-intensive model still in place at our institution and managed by the WAM Committee, forego such disciplinary specificity in favor of generic campus-wide writing-intensive course outcomes.{8} In contrast, WEC shifts agency to the faculty, positioning them toward productive change developed through reflection on disciplinary writing expectations, writing pedagogy, curricular design, and writing transfer across and beyond unit courses. Flash describes her motive for WEC in From Apprised to Revised: Faculty in the Disciplines Change What They Never Knew They Knew: “instead of positioning instructional practices as the primary point of intervention, the WEC model takes primary aim at faculty conceptions of writing and writing-instruction. These become the trigger points for change rather than the inevitable and ignorable reactions to change” (232, emphasis in original). These trigger points for change carry with them long-term implications for articulation with the WAM activity system outcome as faculty refine teaching practices based on their sustained engagement with the WEC process, in turn preparing students to more effectively respond to the varied rhetorical situations they may encounter.


At this point in our WAC program development, perhaps the most important action we’ve taken has been dedicating substantial time to understanding our institutional context—both before and during our initial application of activity theory—so that we could plan, revise, and implement Writing at Moravian initiatives in ways responsive to that context. The goodwill that has come from listening to and consistently working with stakeholders has helped WAM cultivate an ethos of non-hierarchical leadership, collaboration, and caring on campus, and it is with this ethos in mind that we advocate for writing program revision and/or development to stem first from institutional context. We do not suggest that other Writing Program Administrators (WPAs) cookie-cutter replicate our programmatic initiatives, but we encourage other WPAs to cultivate programmatic ethos in similar ways and to consider how aspects of our model may be useful when trying to respond to institutional challenges. We found that this approach, facilitated by the implementation of the activity system heuristic, increased buy-in and changed the perception of the WAC program and the WPAs working within it from that of prescriptive administrators to a collaborative support network.

In Sustainable WAC: A Whole Systems Approach to Launching and Developing Writing Across the Curriculum Programs, Michelle Cox, Jeffrey R. Galin, and Dan Melzer warn new WAC directors against spending too much time looking outward at the specific and potentially adoptable initiatives of other programs and suggest instead to look “inward to understand existing or previously existing WAC initiatives,” find ways to develop a “systematic process for integrating curricular change,” and “start with a more integrated [and sustainable] model in mind” (24). While we did not get to benefit directly from those wise words during the initial development of the Writing at Moravian program (in fact, Cox, Galin, and Melzer’s book was released the same week that we presented a version of this program profile at CCCC 2018), we certainly agree with them and believe that the program we have produced came into being through a well-theorized process akin but not identical to the whole systems process of understanding, planning, developing, and leading that they promote.

We can say to other WPAs that the Writing at Moravian program in particular has benefited from adopting a mission and connecting all of our planning to mission-oriented objectives illustrated in the nested activity systems we desired to enact; we developed and implemented tools to help that enactment; and now, as a collaborative group of stakeholders all working towards the shared goals across these systems, we lead and assess and continue to treat WAM itself as an iterative process, not a product. We ultimately want the Writing at Moravian activity system to be sustainable. For us that means we need to continue to find ways to be in the room where it happens and, in those spaces, consistently position writing as transfer-centric, position writing and transfer as connected to “High Impact Educational Practices” (HIPs) as defined by the George Kuh, connect HIPs to student success, retention, and Moravian’s Strategic Plan that asks students to reflect, all of which can make our requests for resources more powerful. We need to continue to value faculty agency in our research, design, and programmatic assessment initiatives. And, perhaps most importantly, we all need to remain mindful of the dynamic nature of activity systems and be prepared to make our programs work in our ever-changing institutional contexts.


  1. Appendix 1: Writing at Moravian Programmatic Key Terms
  2. Appendix 2: Suggested First-Year Writing Seminar Assignment Progression
  3. Appendix 3: Writing-Enriched Curriculum Timeline

Appendix 1: Writing at Moravian Programmatic Key Terms

Key Terms

The use of consistent key terms about writing across sections of FYW and throughout discipline-specific writing instruction helps to facilitate transfer. Here is the current list of agreed-upon WAM program key terms, along with tentative definitions (all of which come from College Composition and Communication poster pages unless otherwise noted):

  • Purpose: the overarching goal that a writer is trying to reach in response to a rhetorical situation

  • Audience: “anyone who hears or reads a text—but it is also anyone a writer imagines encountering his or her text. This means there is a difference between intended or ‘invoked’ audience and actual or ‘addressed’ audience.”{9}

  • Genre: a term used to signify the categorization of writing types based on shared formal features, exigencies (that is, a given situation typically calls for a specific genre to be used), and functions.

  • Discourse Community: “a group of people, members of a community, who share a common interest and who use the same language, or discourse, as they talk and write about that interest.”

  • Rhetorical Situation: includes exigence (i.e., the occasion for writing), purpose, audience, genre, medium, and other aspects of context

  • Process: “Writing classes engage students in writing processes, which include many activities— from participating in invention activities and conducting research to using document design principles to emphasize important points and copyediting to assure that the audience can easily read the text.”

  • Multimodality: emphasizing some thoughtful combination of audio, visual, spatial, gestural, and textual components such as graphic presentation, sketches, drawings, videos, maps, podcast, web design, etc.

  • Reflection: “When we reflect ... we project and review, often putting the projections and reviews in conversation with each other, working dialectically as we seek to discover what we know, what we have learned, and what we might understand.”{10}

While the key terms listed above jumped out to the WAM team after thinking about the activity system of first-year writing at Moravian, I look forward to what everyone else can add to the conversation. If you have any thoughts on the key terms as they are now, any advocations for new key terms that would be valuable, or arguments why a key term we have currently doesn’t fit, please reach out!

Appendix 2: Suggested First-Year Writing Seminar Assignment Progression

To guide students in reaching the First-Year Writing Seminar and Writing Seminar outcomes in an optimal way, following a sequence of three major writing assignments related to the topic of the course, each scaffolded with multiple component parts, is recommended. Below is an example of one such sequence, but please note that you are in no way expected to follow this, as there are many possible ways to meet the course outcomes:

Assignment 1—An analytical writing assignment that allows students to develop their critical reading abilities, better understand a fundamental aspect of the course topic (i.e., a theory, concept, or practice) that will carry over into the other assignments, and assist students in understanding essential writing abilities such as thesis development, paragraph organization, source integration, peer response and academic honesty. Focus on outcomes 1 and 4 with an introduction to ideas of purpose, audience, genre, and medium in outcome 2. Due by week 5.

  • Purpose: Demonstrate ability to apply a core course concept to write a well-supported analytical argument about a text, artifact, or phenomenon

  • Audience: Students and teacher of FYW who are all familiar with the course topic and core course concept(s) being applied in the analytical essay

  • Genre and Medium Conventions: To be determined by studying relevant models of analytical writing that makes a claim about a text, artifact, or phenomenon. This can vary from course to course, from a review modeled after something in the New York Times to more traditional academic writing, etc.

Assignment 2—Student develops a research question in relation to the course topic, conducts research with annotated bibliography/research journal, and writes an MLA/APA/Chicago/etc. formatted, piece of writing that makes an argument using evidence from research. Focus on outcomes 1 and 3 with continued emphasis on outcomes 2 and 4. Due approximately week 11.

  • Purpose: Sufficiently answer a research question through logical implementation of well-reasoned argument

  • Audience: Moravian College students and faculty who may or may not be familiar with the course topic

  • Genre and Medium Conventions: To be determined by studying models of scholarship in this discipline (see “Common steps of genre analysis” activity below), examples of student writing in assigned textbook, as well as guidelines from APA, MLA, Chicago, or other style

Assignment 3—Student remixes what they wrote for Assignment 2 as a podcast/documentary/interactive digital poster/collaborative website/eBook/Wikipedia entry/ op ed/ letter to a politician/grant proposal/etc. Then student writes a separate reflection in which they explain and defend choices made in translating the argument into this new genre and medium. A remix assignment asks students to take, for example, the well-reasoned and supported argument from a research essay written in a traditional academic format like APA or MLA for the discourse community of the classroom and then transform that argument to be delivered through a different genre and medium, for a different purpose, to a different audience, possibly using the affordances of the digital realm. Focus on outcomes 1 and 2 with continued emphasis on outcomes 3 and 4. Due approximately week 15.

  • Purpose: Determined by student and/or instructor

  • Audience: Determined by student and/or instructor

  • Genre and Medium Conventions: Determined by analysis of quality models from chosen genre and medium

Appendix 3: Writing-Enriched Curriculum Timeline

Moravian College Writing-Enriched Curriculum Timeline

Adapted from UMN WEC Timeline by Pamela Flash

Phase 1


Planning Meeting

WEC team meets with Faculty Liaison to plan for WEC process. Liaison becomes part of WEC team for Dept.

Sample Collection

WEC team collects student writing from classes within discipline/department.

Faculty Introduced to WEC Project

WEC team attends a department meeting in order to introduce the project design and sequence.

Online Survey

(Approx. 20 Min)

WEC team surveys dept. faculty, students, and related professional affiliates about discipline-specific writing and writing instruction.

Interview Process

(1 Hour Per Session)

WEC team meets and interviews dept. faculty members, holds focus group with students, & connects with affiliate professionals to supplement survey data.

Phase 2


Meeting 1

(2-3 Hours)

Dept. Faculty and WEC team review findings report, articulate discipline-specific writing characteristics & abilities.

Meeting 2

(2 Hours)

Dept. Faculty and WEC team discuss ways that writing instruction can be intentionally infused into the sequence of undergraduate and/or graduate courses.

Instructional Support Email

Dept. Faculty respond to a short questionnaire discussing needed support for upcoming academic additions.

Draft Writing Plan

Faculty Liaison drafts Dept.’s Writing Plan, conferring with faculty & other stakeholders.


Dept. Faculty arrives at consensus on Writing Plan.

Writing at Moravian Approval

WAM Advisory Committee reviews & approves Writing Plan.

Phase 3



Faculty, with support of WEC team, implements Writing Plan.




Faculty, with support of WEC team, assesses Writing Plan.


  1. This Program Profile is adapted from a talk given by Crystal N. Fodrey, Meg Mikovits, Chris Hassay, and Erica Yozell at the 2018 Conference on College Composition & Communication in Kansas City, MO. That talk, Designing for Transfer in First-Year Writing, Writing-Enriched Curriculum Research, and Writing Fellows Experiences in a Developing WAC Program, was presented as the Writing Across the Curriculum Standing Group Sponsored Panel. (Return to text.)

  2. Around this time WAM also expanded the definition of “writing” at our institution to “communication in which audio, visual, spatial, gestural, and/or textual components convey meaning (including words, sentences, tables, figures, images, video, etc.).” (Return to text.)

  3. Crystal and Meg each have 50% reassigned time for their WAM administrative work. (Return to text.)

  4. The term “academic unit” in Moravian’s context can either mean a department or a specific discipline/program within a department as outlined by faculty in that department. (Return to text.)

  5. The alternative to WEC in an academic unit would be to maintain the writing-intensive model in place prior to the development of WAM. A policy adopted in April 2019 allows faculty in an academic unit to choose between these models or maintain both. (Return to text.)

  6. For more details on this approach see Fodrey and Hassay’s Piloting WEC as a Context-Responsive Writing Research Initiative forthcoming in the edited collection The Writing-Enriched Curriculum: Accounts of Departmentally-Focused Implementation from the WAC Clearinghouse Perspective on Writing series, edited by Chris Anson and Pamela Flash. (Return to text.)

  7. Pamela Flash describes a WEC faculty liaison as “an appointed member for the faculty ... [who] is ultimately responsible for ... weaving colleagues’ ideas together for comprehensive writing plans” (233-34). In our context, liaisons are also instrumental in deciding upon research methods and in some instances analyzing data with the WEC team. (Return to text.)

  8. This has been a persistent challenge for Writing at Moravian and emblematic of a larger obstacle in the program’s development: maintaining the pre-existing and increasingly outmoded systems of the program while developing and integrating new initiatives like WEC in ways that do not alienate the work faculty are doing currently while also encouraging them to adapt to these new initiatives. (Return to text.)

  9. Definition from the glossary of Elizabeth Wardle and Doug Downs’s Writing about Writing: A College Reader, 3rd ed. (Return to text.)

  10. Definition from Kathleen Blake Yancey’s Reflection in the Writing Classroom, page 6. (Return to text.)

Works Cited

Adler-Kassner, Linda, and Elizabeth Wardle. Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies. Utah State UP, 2015.

Adler-Kassner, Linda. What Is Principle? A Rhetoric for Writing Program Administrators, 2nd ed., edited by Rita Malenczyk, Parlor, 2016, pp. 460-72.

Anson, Chris M. Crossing Thresholds: What’s to Know about Writing Across the Curriculum. Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies, edited by Linda Adler-Kassner and Elizabeth Wardle, Utah State UP, 2015, pp. 203-19.

Anson, Chris M., et al. Big Rubrics and Weird Genres: The Futility of Using Generic Assessment Tools across Diverse Instructional Contexts. The Journal of Writing Assessment, vol. 5, no. 1, 2012, Accessed 2 June 2019.

Bass, Randall. Coda: Writing Transfer and the Future of the Integrated University. Understanding Writing Transfer: Implications for Transformative Student Learning in Higher Education, edited by Jessie L. Moore and Randall Bass, Stylus, 2017, pp. 144-54.

Bawarshi, Anis S., and Mary Jo Reiff. Genre: An Introduction to History, Theory, Research and Pedagogy. Parlor, 2010.

Beaufort, Anne. Reflection: The Metacognitive Move Towards Transfer of Learning. A Rhetoric of Reflection, edited by Kathleen Blake Yancey, Utah State UP, 2016, pp. 23-41.

Beaufort, Anne. College Writing and Beyond: A New Framework for University Writing Instruction. Utah State UP, 2007.

Birnbaum, Robert. How Colleges Work: The Cybernetics of Academic Organization and Leadership. Josey-Bass, 1988.

Boone, Stephanie, et al. Imagining a Writing and Rhetoric Program Based on Principles of Knowledge ‘Transfer’: Dartmouth's Institute for Writing and Rhetoric. Composition Forum, vol. 26, 2012, Accessed 11 June 2019.

Carillo, Ellen C. Securing a Place for Reading in Composition: The Importance of Teaching for Transfer. Utah State UP, 2014.

Condon, William, and Carol Rutz. A Taxonomy of Writing Across the Curriculum Programs: Evolving to Serve Broader Agendas. College Composition and Communication, vol. 64, no. 2, 2012, pp. 357-82.

Council of Writing Program Administrators. WPA Outcomes Statement for First-Year Composition (3.0). CWPA, 2014,

Cox, Michelle, Jeffrey R. Galin, and Dan Melzer, editors. Sustainable WAC: A Whole Systems Approach to Launching and Developing Writing across the Curriculum Programs. National Council of Teachers of English, 2018.

Engeström, Yrjö. Learning by Expanding: An Activity-theoretical Approach to Developmental Research. Orienta-Konsultit, 1987.

Felten, Peter. Writing High-Impact Practices: Developing Proactive Knowledge in Complex Contexts. Understanding Writing Transfer: Implications for Transformative Student Learning in Higher Education, edited by Jessie L. Moore and Randall Bass, Stylus, 2017, pp. 49-58.

Flash, Pamela. From Apprised to Revised: Faculty in the Disciplines Change What They Never Knew They Knew. A Rhetoric of Reflection, edited by Kathleen Blake Yancey, Utah State UP, 2016, pp. 227-49.

Fodrey, Crystal N., and Chris Hassay. Piloting WEC as a Context-Responsive Writing Research Initiative. The Writing-Enriched Curriculum: Accounts of Departmentally-Focused Implementation, edited by Chris Anson and Pamela Flash, WAC Clearinghouse, forthcoming.

Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing. Council of Writing Program Administrators, National Council of Teachers of English, and National Writing Project. 2011,

Gladstein, Jill, and Dara Rossman Regaignon. Writing Program Administration at Small Liberal Arts Colleges. Parlor, 2012.

Kane, Donna, and Elizabeth Wardle. Activity Theory: An Introduction for the Writing Classroom. Writing about Writing: A College Reader. 3rd ed., edited by Doug Downs and Elizabeth Wardle, Bedford St. Martins, 2017, 395-406.

Kuh, George D. High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter. AACU, 2008.

Moravian College Strategic Plan Committee. Moravian College 2015-2020 Strategic Plan. Moravian College, 2015,

Nowacek, Rebecca S. Agents of Integration: Understanding Transfer as a Rhetorical Act. Southern Illinois UP, 2011.

Palmquist, Mike, Joan Mullin, and Glenn Blalock. The Role of Activity Analysis in Writing Research: Case Studies of Emerging Scholarly Communities. Writing Studies Research in Practice: Methods and Methodologies, edited by Lee Nickoson and Mary P. Sheridan, Southern Illinois UP, 2012, pp. 231-44.

Robertson, Liane, Kara Taczak, and Kathleen Blake Yancey. Notes toward a Theory of Prior Knowledge and Its Role in College Composers’ Transfer of Knowledge and Practice. Composition Forum, vol. 26, 2012, Accessed 11 June 2019.

Russell, David. Activity Theory and Its Implications for Writing Instruction. Reconceiving Writing, Rethinking Writing Instruction, edited by Joseph Petraglia, Routledge, 1995, pp. 51-77.

Wardle, Elizabeth, and Doug Downs. Writing about Writing: A College Reader. 3rd ed. Bedford St. Martins, 2017.

Wardle, Elizabeth. Intractable Writing Program Problems, Kairos, and Writing about Writing: A Profile of the University of Central Florida’s First-Year Composition Program. Composition Forum, vol. 27, 2013, Accessed 11 June 2019.

Wardle, Elizabeth. ‘Mutt genres’ and the Goal of FYC: Can We Help Students Write the Genres of the University? College Composition and Communication, vol. 60, no. 4, 2009, pp. 765-89.

Yancey, Kathleen Blake. Reflection in the Writing Classroom. Utah State UP, 1998.

Yozell, Erica, Crystal N. Fodrey, and Meg Mikovits. Implementing Digital Storytelling across the Curriculum at a Small Liberal Arts College. Designing and Implementing Multimodal Curricula and Programs, edited by Santosh Khadka and J. C. Lee, Routledge, 2018, pp. 155-64.

Return to Composition Forum 42 table of contents.