Conceptualizing and Driving a Writing-in-the-Disciplines Initiative to Enhance Undergraduates' Writing Competence at a University in Singapore
conference contributionposted on 2021-11-25, 16:32 authored by Radhika RamakanthanRadhika Ramakanthan, Brad Franklin BlackstoneBrad Franklin Blackstone, Chien Ching LeeChien Ching Lee, Hwee Hoon LeeHwee Hoon Lee, Bhmidipati Padma RaoBhmidipati Padma Rao, Keng Wee Kenneth OngKeng Wee Kenneth Ong
At the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) we offer a range of our own as well as joint degree programmes (with overseas universities) in engineering, computing, and allied health services. To help students cope with their academic writing tasks at the university, language and communication skills are taught in one or more of four ways. These include stand-alone' modules that vary in length from 6 to 15 weeks and embedded content-specific writing (and speaking) instruction within content modules which could be incorporated within curriculum time or offered on a needs/ad hoc basis, outside of curriculum time, depending on the programme. The third way in which undergraduates' communication needs are addressed is through a writing centre offered by way of a “communication helpdesk,” which is a peer tutoring system. Finally, we have a suite of e-micro modules for students to use whenever they need help with their writing. Despite these efforts, it has been found that students' writing competence is still wanting. The members of this roundtable will share some insights on important considerations in the conceptualization of new initiatives and discuss foreseeable challenges in launching a holistic, university-wide, Writing-in-the-Disciplines (WID) initiative.