Creating Connections Symposium
The Creating Connections symposium is an annual event each spring that brings together UCLA instructors (graduate students, faculty, and all others interested in undergraduate education) from around campus for conversation around teaching generally, and writing pedagogy specifically. Each year, the symposium is organized by students in the Graduate Certificate in Writing Pedagogy in consultation with faculty and staff in UCLA Writing Programs.
The concept for the 4th annual Creating Connections symposium, Back to
Normal, challenges the notion that there was ever a “normal” where writing and language instruction is concerned, and it’s also intended as a provocation to think beyond our habitual practices as we return to campus next year. We will offer two remote workshops this year: Session 1 will focus on creating and assessing multimodal assignments, and Session 2 will focus on community building and collaborative learning. Both sessions will center antiracist student-driven pedagogy. We will also have a brief mixer after session 2 where participants will be invited to share favorite pandemic teaching practices to take with us post-pandemic.
In 2020, as we all grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, our Creating Connections symposium became a remote event comprising three workshops over three days. The three workshops all responded to the challenge of “teaching writing remotely,” focusing on teaching multimodal composition remotely, challenges to student learning and wellness during the pandemic, and creative approaches to assessment, feedback, and grading.
Our 2019 symposium kicked off with two panels on scholarly-teaching connections: the first was on teaching as research, and the second was on building writing communities. The afternoon featured a roundtable on inclusive writing pedagogy, followed by four hands-on workshops led by graduate students: writing to learn, mapping to write/writing to map, writing about data, and writing pedagogy and creative practice.
Our inaugural Creating Connections symposium featured a workshop on inclusive writing pedagogy and an interdisciplinary faculty roundtable on teaching writing in and across disciplines. The theme of writing in the disciplines carried into our graduate student-led afternoon workshop sessions, which addressed four topics—assignment design/scaffolding, peer learning, course design, and reading/writing connections—from multidisciplinary perspectives.