All posts by Derek Mueller

November Announcements

Here are the latest announcements related to the First-year Writing Program.

1. New Laptop Cart
We have a new laptop cart imaged and ready for use by instructors who are teaching in the fourth floor cluster of classrooms. We are experimenting for the remainder of this semester with an online reservation system, so you can book up to two class sessions using an online form. For more information about the cart’s availability, limits on its use, and processes for booking and gaining access to it, please visit the FYWP wiki entry related to the cart at

2. Shirley Brice Heath at UMich, Friday, Nov. 15
Shirley Brice Heath, a noted language and literacy scholar, will be delivering the plenary address at UMich’s Language and Rhetoric Conference next Friday from 5:30-6:45 p.m. in Ann Arbor. For more information visit

3. FYWP Wiki-in, – Friday, November 15, 1-3 p.m., PH313
Please join us next Friday afternoon from 1-3 p.m. in PH313 for the program’s first attempt at a wiki-in. The wiki-in is a two-hour workshop/hack-a-thon focused on planning, drafting, and fine-tuning materials currently published (or soon-to-be published) on the FYWP wiki. Everyone is welcome to attend.

4. First-year Writing Committee/Subcommittees Meeting – Friday, November 15, 12 p.m., PH211
The First-year Writing Committee will hold its third and final meeting of the semester this Friday, November 15, at 12 p.m. in PH211. A significant portion of the meeting will be spent once again in our respective subcommittees, continuing to plan and carry out the efforts initiated at the last meeting. Please refer to the following documents for more information about last month’s meeting, this Friday’s agenda, and the current subcommittee rosters. The meeting will include updates about the WRTG prefix, the upcoming CSW, and PD planning for Winter 2014.
10-18-2013 Agenda and Minutes
11-15-2013 Agenda
2013-2014 FYW Subcommittees/Working groups

Please remember that this is an open, serve-at-will committee. Everyone involved with the First-year Writing Program is welcome to attend. Subcommittee rosters were established at the September meeting, but if you want to join one of these groups, please feel free to show up on Friday. I will be providing a pizza lunch (bring your own soft drinks, waters, etc.).

2014 Research Network Forum at CCCC

The registration and proposal system for the 2014 Research Network Forum at the Conference on College Composition and Communication is now open.  The annual event provides researchers with a forum for discussing in-progress projects. The forum will be held at CCCC in Indianapolis, March 19-22. RNF proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. CST on October 31, 2013. For more information, visit

CFP: CCCC Digital Pedagogy Posters and Computer Connection

The CCCC panels for 2014 are set, but the Digital Pedagogy Poster (DPP) organizers are just beginning to look for folks to present at the Indianapolis CCCC, March 19-22, 2014. Send in your Digital Pedagogy Poster proposals!

Please submit those proposals via this online form:

Last year’s sessions in Las Vegas were both very well attended (over 150 attendees) and wildly interactive. We do our best to provide an engaged audience by setting up two rounds of posters. During the first round, second-round poster presenters are part of the audience. During the second round, first-round poster presenters are part of the audience. Of course many others join in as well. There will be few times when you are not engaged in deep conversations about your project or the projects of others. An additional advantage for those living in the Midwest is that we can involve graduate and undergraduates in the preparation and delivery of our poster sessions. One goal of the DPPs has always been to meet and talk to students from the classes where these digital pedagogies are enacted!

If you would like to propose a poster presentation (as a team or individually), please fill out the form at this address: The deadline is October 15th.

If you are considering your options, here are answers to the questions most frequently asked about Digital Pedagogy Poster Presentations:

  • Your participation this year will NOT count as your “one presentation” at CCCC.
  • We will have our own “room” for these posters, and they will be held on Thurs & Friday, not on Wed.
  • These posters will be reviewed (outside the formal CCCC review process, obviously). After the review, we will provide you by mid- to late-November with an official letter from the 7Cs indicating that your proposal was reviewed and that you will be presenting in Indianapolis. Names will also be in the Digital Pedagogy program (handed out on site) and in the CCCC online program.

Everyone interested in proposing a poster should take a few minutes to fill out the form at But If you have any trouble with that form, just send this information to me via email <>.

  • Full name, affiliation, and contact information.
  • A short ~50 word description of your Digital Pedagogy approach or assignment
  • A spiffy title
  • If appropriate, your team members’ names and emails

Because CCCC is committed to supporting these posters and other Computer Connection events, we are promised an excellent space that is well equipped and connected: power, projection, screens, tables, and poster stands.

2014 Computer Connection
As usual I am working with Doug Eyman to coordinate our poster events with the Computer Connection (CC) sessions. The differences between the two types of sessions are substantial. During DPP sessions you are one of 5-8 other poster presenters with an audience that makes its way around the room talking with all or most of the poster presenters. We manage the DPP events so that we have a built in audience of other poster presenters. The CC sessions are short, interactive, more traditional panels and involve a two or three presenters and a stationary audience. For a complete description of the CC call for proposals, go to Submit your CC proposal via email to Doug Eyman <> by Oct. 15th.

September Announcements

Syllabus Collection
Please send an electronic copy of your syllabus and schedule for ENGL120 and ENGL121 to no later than this Friday, September 6. If you are using the same syllabus for multiple sections of a course, it is fine to submit a single copy.

Fall Meeting
Thirty-two of us met in PH414 last Friday afternoon, August 23, for the FYWP Fall Meeting. For a copy of the meeting agenda, contact Derek Mueller at The Fall 2013 FYWP Calendar of Events was also circulated at the meeting. The calendar is kept up-to-date online at

Profile Pages
Everyone in the FYWP has a profile page on the English Department website (, and I want to encourage you to customize your profile page to lend visibility to our dynamic instructional staff. At the very least, I am asking everyone who teaches in the FYWP to post office hours on your profile page.  To learn more about how to update your profile page, I have created two screencast tutorials at Each screencast is approximately six minutes long, and they step through the processes of logging in, customizing your profile photo, making changes to text, and publishing the changes to the site.

At the Fall Meeting, we announced that all part-time lecturers will have offices in Pray Harrold this fall. Desk spaces are currently assigned for alternating-day sharing, as much as possible, and there will, of course, be a smoothing out period as we begin to get a sense of when everyone has set their office hours. Floor plans and preliminary desk assignments in PH613P and PH424 are available in the Google Drive FYWP Shared Folder. PH424 is scheduled to have furniture installed on Wednesday, September 11.

First-year Writing Committee
The first meeting of the FYW Committee is scheduled for Friday, September 13, from 12-1 p.m. in PH211. This is an open, serve-at-will committee, but as I mentioned at the Fall Meeting, we will also be voting on a few proposals (i.e., for them to go before other committees or to go before the department for subsequent vote), the program directors will generate letters attesting to program-level service for all who attend four of the six meetings this academic year.

Needs/Gains Inventory
Thanks to everyone who completed the needs/gains inventory at the Fall Meeting. I have compiled the results into a single document and will share highlights at the FYW Committee meeting on the 13th.

Classroom Clocks
If you are teaching in PH415 this semester, we are aware that the wall clock is missing. In coordination with the Dean’s Office, we have ordered a new one, and it should be installed soon.

Fall 2013 Calendar

Please note the following listing of events scheduled for the Fall 2013 semester.

15 Thu – ENGL120 Instructors meeting (optional), PH211, 10-11:30 a.m.
19-30 – ENGL596 Fall Workshop, M-F, 9-4 p.m.
23 Fri – Fall Meeting, PH414, 1-4 p.m.

6 Fri – Syllabi and Office Hours due electronically to
13 Fri – FYW Committee Meeting, PH211, 12-1 p.m.
27 Fri – ENGL120 Grade-in (Project One), PH211, 12-3 p.m.

12 Sat – WIDE-EMU Conference, Pray Harrold, all day
18 Fri – FYW Committee Meeting, PH211, 12-1 p.m.

15 Fri – FYW Committee Meeting, PH211, 12-1 p.m.
15 Fri – FYWP Wiki-in, PH313 (to be confirmed), 1-3 p.m.

5 Thu – Celebration of Student Writing, Student Center Ballroom, 4-5:30 p.m.

July-August FYWP Announcements

Fall Support Materials Now Available
Template syllabi (for ENGL120 and ENGL121), blank schedules, and a curriculum map for ENGL120 are available at Because this update is going out to 50-plus faculty, instructors, and graduate students, I need to add a few qualifications about the purposes of the materials. If you are new to the FYWP, consider these materials a resource for you to use as you continue to get acquainted with the program. The new GA cohort will work closely with the version of ENGL120 outlined in the curriculum map. I would prefer to see other teachers of ENGL120 adopt a similar approach, though some degree of customization is to be expected (note the common turn-in date for Project One; this will allow us to hold a grade-in on Friday afternoon, September 27). I will say more about all of this at the Fall Meeting (date, time, and location noted below). Experienced instructors are welcome to appropriate and adapt any of the materials in the shared folder linked above, as well, and even if you plan to teach as you have in recent semesters, the materials I have posted are nevertheless available to give you some sense of what will be emphasized this fall in ENGL596. I would be happy to hear your feedback, to take incorporate your suggestions, and to continue conversations about the (inevitably ever-evolving) shape of things to come.

Fall 2013 Calendar (in progress)
I’ve started building a calendar of events for the Fall at Please let me know if you would like to see something included, okay?

EM-Journal Seeks Two Assoc. Editors for 2013-2014 (and beyond)
As written, the ad mentions that the journal is looking for two students (one grad, one undergrad) to contribute as Assoc. Editors this year: Please share this link with anyone you know who might be interested.  We have just launched a submission form that will improve the review process, and we are piloting rolling deadlines for FYWP-related issues, which means individual pieces will be published until an issue fills. Once full, the issue will be announced. And–as always–we are open to expanding involvement from the FYWP instructional staff. If you are interested in serving the journal in any way, please let us know.

WIDE-EMU ’13 Conference – October 12, 2013, Ypsilanti, Mich.
The third annual WIDE-EMU Conference will be held in Pray Harrold on Saturday, October 12. This free, one-day conference is a great professional development opportunity for everyone interested in the teaching of writing. I’d considered organizing a panel or roundtable similar to the Food Network’s “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” only adjusted to “The Best Thing I Ever Taught (or Learned).” But I might be out of town for a wedding on 10/12.  That said, if anyone is interested in running with this idea, in proposing something for the conference, or if you would just like to talk a bit about the conference and what it’s all about, please let me know.  The conference website has more information, too:

Requesting Course Shells (eCompanion)
For information about requesting an online course shell for your section(s) of ENGL120 or ENGL121, see

July 1 Announcements (for anyone who missed them)

Materials for New GAs
Last week I circulated the 2013 Welcome Kit to the nine new graduate assistants who are joining the program this fall.  Several of you have mentioned to me that you are interested in having access to a copy of the materials I sent them.  Please feel free to download the Welcome Kit PDF at [you will find the link in the email version of this message]. Remember that the kit is designed for new GAs who will be attending the two-week August workshop, taking ENGL596, and teaching ENGL120 in the fall. If you have any questions or concerns about what you find in the kit, or if you have any trouble accessing or opening the file, please let me know, and I will do what I can to help. In addition to the Welcome Kit, many other materials developed to answer questions and support the efforts of all FYWP instructional staff are being posted at and If you have thoughts about ways to improve either site, I would love to hear your ideas.

Fall Meeting
The FYWP Fall Meeting is scheduled for Friday, August 23, from 1-4 p.m. in Pray Harrold 414. The agenda is still taking shape, but we will share a couple of initiatives for the year ahead and introduce the new graduate assistants, new part-time lecturers, and our new faculty colleague, Dr. Kate Pantelides, who will join us from the University of South Florida and who will begin as Associate Director of the FYWP in January. Attendance at the meeting is optional, but encouraged. I will send another reminder about the meeting in early August, but I wanted you to have the details in hand early enough to protect the date on your calendar. If there is anything in particular you would like to have included for discussion at the fall meeting, please let me know by email by August 10.

Textbook Orders
Much like in recent semesters, all sections of ENGL120 this fall will be using Lunsford’s The Everyday Writer (5th edition with exercises). If you want an exam copy, let me know, and I can get one for you from the publisher. Copies have also been ordered for all sections of ENGL120. The Green Reader, which has been a fixture in ENGL120 in recent years, will not be available this year. Committing to a custom reader (or alternative) for AY 2014-2015 is high on the agenda for the First-year Writing Program Committee in the fall. There will be an open call for participation on the FYWP Committee at the Fall Meeting. The Committee will meet approximately three times each semester. For more information about textbooks, visit

Celebration of Student Writing
The Fall 2013 Celebration of Student Writing will be held on Thursday, December 5, 2013, from 4-5:30 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom.  Consistent with recent years, ENGL121 sections are encouraged to participate by displaying their work at the event, and ENGL120 sections are encouraged to attend.

Bios on English Department Website
With the transition to the new content management system for the department web site, everyone in the FYWP now has a profile page at We hope to the the pages put to good use for sharing more information about who we are and also for making contact information and office hours visible on the web (this communicates our presence both to our students and to numerous other stakeholders in and beyond the university). Faculty and full-time lecturers should already have the means to login and update pages. Currently, updates to the pages for part-time lecturers and graduate assistants are in my hands, but I am working with EMU’s web developer, James Turner, to assign login access. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the pages or their content, let me know, and I will do what I can to help.


The Eastern Michigan University Written Communication Program and the Michigan State University Writing and Digital Environments Research Center invite you (faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, teachers, community members, anyone interested) to propose ideas for the third annual WIDE-EMU, a free (un)conference on Saturday, October 12, 2013 in Ypsilanti, Mich. We seek proposals that engage the framing question for this year’s event:


What is “Free?” What does “free” mean as in open access (scholarship, textbooks, courses), “free” as in liberty (copyrights/lefts, released, unrestrained), and “free” as in without charge (software, conferences, beer)? How do these and competing notions of “Free(dom)” operate when we teach–particularly when we teach writing, and particularly when we focus on the use of technology to teach writing? And what are the hidden and not so hidden costs of “Free,” both literal and metaphorical? Learn more about WIDE-EMU ’13 at

Summer Restructuring

As the University makes the transition to a new content management system for all of its official web content (viz., English Language and Literature), we in the First-Year Writing Program are also changing up some of the auxiliary online platforms we will be using for curating teaching materials, posting announcements about activities in the program, and building a repository of resources useful to students enrolled in ENGL120 and ENGL121. This blog is one such platform.  Into this space, we will be publishing periodic announcements about various program initiatives, such as General Education and program-level assessment, ongoing curricular revisions, professional development opportunities, including teaching circles, workshops, and reading groups, and much more. In addition to this blog, we are developing a FYWP knowledge base wiki, which will be introduced at the Fall 2013 program retreat.

Watch for more announcements here later this summer.