Faculty Learning Communities:

Call for Proposals

  • Working on new or revised curriculum for your program that includes writing?
  • Interested in exploring ways to add writing into co-curricular activities?
  • Trying to figure out how to assess student writing in your program or what to do with the assessment data you’ve already collected?
  • Looking for ways to be more effective and efficient as you use writing to enhance student learning?

Why not get support for your work?


The Office of University Writing (OUW) invites proposals for teams of three to join a Faculty Learning Community (FLC) focused on writing. Like learning communities for students, the goals of a FLC are to foster cross-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary conversations, promote deeper learning, connect theory to practice, and give participants the time and support necessary to move ideas into practices that promote student engagement. Teams may come from the same department or college, from interdisciplinary or cross-disciplinary programs, from student affairs or academic support, or other appropriate units.

  • Each team will receive support from the Office of University Writing and up to $500 for books and/or materials not already available at Auburn.
  • The sponsoring unit will receive up to $3,000 for a professional development fund at the successful completion of the team’s project and must provide in-kind support or up-front matching funds.
  • Participants who complete the first year will be invited to become University Writing Fellows and be publicly recognized.
  • In the first year, teams will participate in monthly lunch and learn working sessions and share their work-in-progress with other members of the FLC working on similar or related projects.
  • In the second year, teams will present their finished projects to their departments, the AU community and, if they wish, to the larger academic community through publications or presentations. University Writing Fellows will serve as consultants to the next FLC.

Proposals may focus on any topic relevant to the sponsoring unit’s efforts to improve writing and writing instruction. Examples of possible topics include, but are not limited to:

  • creating more engaging and relevant writing assignments
  • teaching a particular genre or form of writing commonly used in the discipline
  • teaching students to use source material
  • sequencing writing experiences to support student development over the major
  • developing additional courses for the major where writing would be a primary focus
  • teaching writing in large-enrollment courses
  • using collaborative writing to promote team work and strengthen individual writing competency
  • connecting writing to co-curricular experiences like internships, study abroad, practicums, etc.
  • structuring curriculum to support student electronic portfolios
  • teaching writing that uses multi-media
  • integrating writing and numerical data
  • integrating writing and visual materials
  • using writing to foster critical thinking
  • using reflective writing to help students make connections across time and experience
  • writing for public audiences
  • using peer review to support student writing development
  • responding more effectively and efficiently to student writing
  • evaluating written products
  • assessing writing across the major
  • interpreting assessment data and creating appropriate revisions to curriculum or pedagogy
  • managing writing in on-line and distance courses
  • helping non-native speakers of English gain fluency and correctness in written English
  • supporting graduate student or faculty writing projects


Each team will produce exemplary materials to be shared with others. Work products might include course plans for new or existing courses, new assignments or assignment sequences, handouts for students, examples or other resource materials for students, class activities, evaluation rubrics, assessment analysis, videos or multi-media resources for students or teachers, etc. Teams will receive extensive support in investigating their topic and in developing appropriate materials. In the second year, each team will present the results of their work to a) their sponsoring units, and b) the university community (students or faculty) through at least one 5-7 minute video production to be made available through the OUW 24/7 Video Library with appropriate written documents to accompany the video. For those who wish to also present their work at a regional or national conference or submit to an appropriate publication, the OUW will help individuals or teams identify publication and conference opportunities, locate necessary funding, and prepare materials for submission. In the second year, University Writing Fellows will serve as additional internal consultants to new FLC members. Individuals and teams will be eligible to submit their work for the 2014 inaugural Award for Exemplary Teaching of Writing.


An initial kick-off session will be held for FLC teams in May. Pre-semester sessions will be held in August and January. Monthly working lunches will provide information and consultations relevant to the team projects, peer review sessions for sharing work-in-progress, and sustained conversations about writing and teaching writing. The Director of University Writing will serve as an in-house consultant for each team, read and respond to draft documents, help teams locate relevant research, and identify appropriate conferences and journals for publishing the teams’ work. After the first year, University Writing Fellows will serve as additional in-house consultants. Each year the Faculty Learning Community will identify a guest speaker to be invited to campus to speak about some aspect of writing pedagogy or scholarship and to serve as an outside consultant for the projects. The OUW will provide each team with up to $500 for books, materials, and/or technology not already available at Auburn. At the completion of the two-year fellowship, the OUW will provide each sponsoring unit whose team has produced the required deliverables with $3,000 for a professional development fund. Sponsoring units must provide documentation of the in-kind support or matching funds with the proposal submission. In-kind support may come in the form of release time to members of the team, summer support for members of the team, a graduate assistant to support the team, travel money, or other professional development support to the team members.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

The OUW is prepared to fund up to 12 teams in the initial year. Proposals can come from any School or College, including the Library and the Graduate School, or any interdisciplinary or student-focused unit where writing activities are appropriate and where the identified project is expected to have a significant impact on student learning. Teams will ordinarily include tenured or tenure-track faculty or clinical faculty, but may include one lecturer, post doc, administrative professional, or other non-tenure track or non-clinical faculty member. A committee chaired by the Director of University Writing will review proposals and make selections based on:

  1. (25%) relevance of focused topic to unit’s identified needs and established learning outcomes
  2. (25%) anticipated impact on students and on the long-term ability of the unit to incorporate significant and meaningful writing experiences
  3. (20%) evidence of interest, commitment, and appropriateness of the team members
  4. (15%) clarity and completeness of proposal
  5. (15%) committee discretion for creativity, innovation, originality, or other signs of excellence



March 1, 2012 submission of proposals due to OUW
March 2-23, 2012 committee review and selection
April 6, 2012 notification of selected teams
May 8-9, 2012 kick off working session
August 9, 2012 pre-semester working session
two hours each month Sept-Dec lunch and learn sessions
January 7, 2013 pre-semester working session
two hours each month Feb-April lunch and learn sessions
March 1, 2013 applications for University Writing Fellows due


August 2013 public recognition of University Writing Fellows
ongoing 2013/14 presentations and video/document production
March 1, 2014 submission due for Award for Exemplary Teaching of Writing

Proposal Submission Process

Sponsoring units must complete the application form and submit supporting documents to the Office of University Writing by noon on Thursday, March 1, 2012. All proposals are limited to 2400 words.

If you believe your project requires additional team members or if you have any other questions or concerns about the Faculty Learning Community, please contact Dr. Margaret J. Marshall, Director of University Writing; 844-7474; mmarshall@auburn.edu

Office of University Writing
Auburn University | Auburn, Alabama 36849 | (334) 844-7475 |
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