Davis faculty Fellow Spotlight

"I learned to use three particularly valuable practices to teach writing.

"First, by talking about writing in every class session and discussing some pointers and at the same time stressing to students that we are all on a continual course to becoming better writers, I saw a change in the students in that they internalized this same attitude toward writing and began focusing on making continual progress.  This became one of their goals as well.  

"Second, by using concrete examples, many provided by students, we worked through many aspects important to clear writing.  

"Third, by sticking with one large paper that students wrote in pieces and then continually revised through multiple drafts, they focused on the process of writing and working on continual improvement."

— Professor Malcolm Watson (Psychology)

Davis Faculty Fellow Spotlight

"Writing an effective and passionate paper is similar to the steps taken to creating a character and performance.

"It's no accident that my students who write well are also great actors."

— Professor Adrianne Krstansky

Information about the Davis Grant

With the help of the Davis Educational Foundation, the members of the writing program significantly improved the writing skills of Brandeis graduates by extending the systematic application of writing pedagogy into our upper-level writing-intensive course across the curriculum. 

A core group of faculty from various disciplines including politics, biology, sociology, theater arts, anthropology and English literature worked together to develop a set of standards for teaching and evaluating writing in the various disciplines. The 2008-2009 Davis Faculty Fellows and 2009-2010 Fellows taught writing-intensive courses with the help of graduate-student teaching fellows who were specially trained in the teaching of writing. 

We introduced a systematic assessment process, which included an online e-portfolio system, into which examples of student papers were uploaded, evaluated and compared against the new standards. As part of this assessment, we used writing samples from upper-level students in writing-intensive classes that had not implemented the new standards and pedagogy as a "control group" to test the effectiveness of the methods. 

Please look around the Web site to see the wonderful resources the Davis Faculty Fellows developed!