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Session Notes: From WRD to the Workplace

Friday, May 4th  
From WRD to the Workplace: Intersections between First Year Writing and Professional Writing

A group of FYW and Professional Writing — WRD 202 and WRD 204, mostly – discussed an article provided by Alan Ackmann, “Professional & technical communication in a Web 2.0 world: A report on a nationwide survey” looking for connections and possible cross-pollination between the disciplines. We talked about the historical relationships behind “vocational” education and liberal arts education – the “arts of the hand” vs. the “arts of the mind,” say — and how those orientations play out in the classroom. While our emphasis was initially on the role of technology and techne, it led to a conversation about the broader and evolving purposes of college – and what we think students, parents, and employers think about the purpose of college.

That line of thought and inquiry led to how it plays out in curriculum design: the kinds of projects we assign, and the types of technology we’re currently employing in the service of our pedagogical aspirations. It turns out there are a lot of interesting connections to explore – not that it was ever a mystery, but it was nice to hear concrete examples – and maybe even enough that we can follow-up with another similar session next year!