Aims

The Thinking Writing team has formulated a set of Strategic Aims for the period 2010-15. These are aligned with Queen Mary strategies, in particular the Student Experience, Teaching, Learning and Assessment (SETLA) strategy and the Queen Mary Statement of Graduate Attributes

Aim 1
To work with students and academic colleagues to give students opportunities to develop graduate level writing, communication and related intellectual attributes throughout their degree programmes.

Aim 2
To build expertise across the College in teaching, curriculum design, assessment and feedback which relate to or use writing.

Aim 3
To raise awareness amongst staff and students of the full range of cross-College writing-related opportunities.

Aim 4
To facilitate the development of a Queen Mary writing community that recognises and builds on connections between staff and students’ experience of writing and research and that supports and celebrates achievement.

Aim 5
To contribute to education provision in local and partner schools and colleges in order to increase academic attainment and to inform teaching & learning practice at Queen Mary.

Aim 6
To continue to make conceptual and practical contributions to the field of writing and the educational areas related to writing on a national and international level.

Statement of purpose

Thinking Writing works in partnership with academic staff to review and challenge practices and to support change that will bring about a closer fit with students’ needs, enhance their learning experience, and realise the ambitions of Schools and the College. In this work writing tends not to be viewed narrowly as a discrete skill but is often used to open up questions about, and pursue objectives relating to, curriculum design and evaluation, learning, assessment and disciplinary thinking. Working collaboratively with disciplinary staff, the team creates targeted resources that support writing development and knowledge-building in specific modules and undergraduate, taught postgraduate and postgraduate research degree programmes. Reflective conversations, collaboration on course design, co-teaching and observation of teaching facilitate the professional development of academic partners and the Thinking Writing team.

Whenever possible the team seeks to bring staff from across the College together to exchange and critique experiences of, and research into, teaching, assessment and writing. Through writing retreats, it supports the writing of academics and postgraduates and encourages reflection on the commonalities between staff and student experiences of writing and research. Committed to high academic attainment for all students, Thinking Writing has extended its work to schools in the local area.

The team engages in small scale research, often in collaboration with academic staff, in order to explore and critique beliefs and practices around teaching and learning. Team members are active participants in national and international organisations and debates concerned with educational development and writing.