Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education


Date of this Version


Document Type



To Improve the Academy, published by the Professional and Organizational

Development Network in Higher Education, volume 16, 1997.


Recently, higher education specialists have called for new faculty development initiatives, claiming current faculty development efforts need to go beyond a reductive "teaching tips" approach to consider transformative practices aimed at improving learning. While such critiques are valuable, they tend to overlook one mode of development that has had undeniable success in initiating significant individual and institutional transformations in the realms of teaching and learning. Over the past two decades, the faculty workshop in writing across the curriculum (WAC) has become a major part of successful WAC programs across the country. This article discusses how, at their best, such workshops go beyond a bag of tips for assigning and grading writing and lead faculty members through a powerful dialogic reexamination of their pedagogy. For some it is a transformative experience, resulting in wholesale changes in the ways they teach and in the ways their students learn. The article concludes by asserting that a well-conceived WAC workshop continues to offer an excellent model for other faculty development initiatives, such as those concerned with implementing teaching technology and interdisciplinarity.