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Summer 2020 Faculty Workshops

In Summer 2020, we hosted a series of Zoom workshops to assist faculty in all departments with the process of (re)designing classes to include online and hybrid instruction. The focus was on best practices and methods for becoming more efficient and effective in responding to student writing. Professors, full- and part-time lecturers, and GTAs from numerous departments across campus participated.


Best Practices for Responding to Student Writers: A Workshop with Nancy Sommers 

In this workshop, Professor Nancy Sommers from Harvard University led us in an exploration of what it means to be a thoughtful reader of student writing and how to engage students in a dialogue about their work. We focused attention on strategies to inspire and encourage students to revise and to transfer learning from one assignment to the next—and methods for faculty to become more efficient and effective in responding to student writing.



Commenting on Drafts with Online Tools: Using PowerNotes

PowerNotes is a web browser extension designed to address the challenges inherent to source-based writing in the digital environment and is provided at no cost to UTK students and faculty through licensing by the UT Libraries.


In this workshop, PowerNotes CEO Wilson Tsu demonstrated the tool’s features, ’including how to annotate digital sources, organize and develop outlines, and how students can share their work-in-progress online with classmates and/or instructors for review and comments.



Helping Students Respond to Each Other: Effective Peer Review

Peer review serves a critical function in how students learn, yet it can be challenging to create effective peer review experiences for students—and it may seem particularly daunting to plan for it to take place online.


In this workshop, Dr. Anne Langendorfer, lecturer in the English Department, led an exploration of key principles for designing effective peer review activities for student writers, considered the different requirements of creating peer review in online environments, and discussed some ways to apply these principles in our courses.




Would you like to arrange a workshop for your faculty or students? Contact Dr. Kirsten Benson at