Introduction to Courses

Check out how other teachers are using Writing Commons to meet the needs of students in a variety school and workplace contexts. Share assignments, projects, and syllabi. Collaborate with us regarding how to respond strategically and creatively to the exigencies of modern life.

Courses is

  • a forum for faculty to share assignments, syllabi, innovative pedagogies.
  • a forum to critically reflect on pedagogy.

Note: If you teach a college-level course and assign readings from Writing Commons, please share your pedagogical materials with us. See Contribute for details.

At Writing Commons, we value the intellectual work of teachers, academic inquiry, and academic freedom.

We understand many faculty in the U.S. are required by their institutions to develop their classes in course management systems such as Blackboard or Canvas. And, we recognize there are some advantages to course management tools.

However, course management systems have been weaponized by institutions to further Balkanize teacher’s intellectual property: Faculty have invested significant time developing their courses only to find themselves unable to access their work when they are discontinued as teachers. Here we speak of the trend in U.S. higher education to employ teachers as part-time service workers. Hired for low salaries without benefits, teachers work up their courses and then lose them when their positions are not renewed.

Course management tools facilitate teacher-to-student communication yet stifle teacher-to-teacher communications. They limit teacher’s opportunities to collaborate with others teaching similar courses.

Particularly now, during the exigencies of academia’s pandemic moment with a large-scale shift to online delivery, it’s important to share what we can, to understand how shifting intellectual property policies and practices constrain that sharing, and to work to find ways to subvert the exploitation of, especially, non-tenure track (contingent, adjunct, and graduate student) labor.

Archived Courses

The Gates Foundation and Three Composition MOOCS

In 2013, Writing Commons was chosen as the required textbook for three independent MOOCs that were funded by the Gates Foundation.

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Joe Moxley

August 14, 2020

First-Year Composition

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Joe Moxley

January 13, 2020

Workplace Writing

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