Center for Teaching and Learning
The Center for Teaching and Learning
The Center for Teaching and Learning, which includes Quinnipiac University Writing Across the Curriculum and the Research and Writing Institute, fosters the development of our faculty and staff as members of a community of engaged and effective educator-scholars, committed to excellence in student learning.
Quinnipiac's Center for Teaching and Learning is a network of faculty and staff, who work to improve the quality of student learning by exploring the principles of effective teaching, supporting scholarship and encouraging communication and collaboration across our three campuses. The center also works closely with the offices of Academic and Student Affairs to support major campus initiatives.
What We Do
The center is pleased to offer a variety of services for members of the university community:
- Workshops on a variety of pedagogical topics, including civility in and out of the classroom, lecturing techniques, active learning, flipped classrooms, critical thinking and writing strategies, etc.
- Individual and departmental consultation with faculty on effective pedagogy
- Small grants, writing sessions and retreats supporting disciplinary and pedagogical research for faculty, professional staff and student affairs personnel
- Classroom observations for all faculty for preparation of promotion and tenure files
- Resources for topics related to teaching and learning including books, journals and consultation
- Training on using the latest technology in the classroom
- Innovative teaching strategies, including the use of desirable difficulties and testing effect
- Support for new faculty in terms of guidance for teaching and development of an approach to teaching
Writing Across the Curriculum
Writing Across the Curriculum
Formed in 2001, QUWAC is an interdisciplinary faculty committee that promotes practices that lead to better student thinking and stronger student writing. Since its inception, QUWAC has embraced four basic assumptions in its core mission:
- That writing is an active, recursive process that reflects and promotes critical thinking
- That the most effective approach to improving student writing is through improving students' critical thinking skills
- That good writing and critical thinking may take different forms from across different disciplines and tasks
- That some combination of informal writing and formal writing provides the best means to model critical thinking and writing with students
Faculty training and workshops
QUWAC provides training opportunities and workshops throughout the academic year. Themes include designing writing-to-learn exercises that support critical thinking outcomes, understanding the varieties of disciplinary writing and how students navigate them, crafting meaningful reflection assignments, giving students feedback and designing rubrics.
QUWAC provides opportunities for university faculty to engage in scholarly pedagogical research around writing and critical thinking. Proposals help us to develop and refine QUWAC theory and tools, test the effectiveness of writing-based pedagogical practices, and develop resources to support effective pedagogy on campus. Awardees work with members of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning committee to share the progress of their work and explore opportunities to disseminate it to internal and external audiences through presentations, papers and publications.
Individual and group consultations
QUWAC consultants are available to meet with individual faculty, informal groups and whole departments to discuss assignment design, pedagogical practices that link thinking and writing, connecting outcomes across assignments, courses and curriculums, and other issues as needed.
Undergraduate student writing contest
Every year, QUWAC rewards exemplary writing of students in our undergraduate programs with cash prizes, public recognition and publication opportunities. Awards have been given to students working in the arts, business, communications, health sciences, humanities, nursing, social science, and STEM disciplines, and for work in variety of genres, including creative writing and nonfiction, essays, news stories, podcasts, PowerPoint presentations and research projects.
Research and Writing Institute
Research and Writing Institute
The RWI fosters opportunities for faculty and professional staff to develop research and writing on pedagogy, disciplinary research and creative projects of their own choosing. By providing programs that engage their critical and creative faculties, we support the development of a community of self-directed teachers, scholars and writers united through the exchange of ideas.
The Research and Writing Institute manages the center’s Scholarship of Teaching and Learning grants. The central mission of the program is to build and support a community of faculty scholars by providing stipends and other resources for their work over a 12-month period. Awardees are encouraged to share their work at venues within and beyond Quinnipiac University.
The RWI hosts biannual writers retreats in January and May. All faculty and professional staff are invited to participate. We also provide writing opportunities during the semester. Writers are encouraged to work on disciplinary, pedagogical and creative projects. Cross-disciplinary consultations and peer reviews are featured.
Biennial International Critical Thinking and Writing Conference
Since 2006, the conference has provided a venue for faculty to present and receive research on the cutting edge of WAC theory and pedagogy. Keynote speakers have included John Bean, Sally Mitchell, Barbara Walvoord, Kathleen Blake Yancey, Neal Lerner, Anne Geller and Michele Eodice.
Double Helix: A Journal of Critical Thinking and Writing
The RWI houses Double Helix: A Journal of Critical Thinking and Writing, which is managed by QUWAC personnel and published by the College of Arts and Sciences. Double Helix features work addressing linkages between critical thinking and writing in and across the disciplines, with an emphasis on pieces that explore and report on connections between pedagogical theory and classroom practice.