YSW Intern Lexi Stewart Reflects on Experience at CCCC Workshop
From March 9th to March 12th, the 2022 Conference on College Composition & Communication (CCCC) provided a valuable opportunity for professionals in the field to gather and discuss everything to do with writing. Various sessions were held online due to Covid restrictions, one of which was hosted by a group of undergraduate research journals, including Xchanges, Jump+, and Young Scholars in Writing. In this program, titled “Designing New Approaches to Teaching with Undergraduate Research Journals and Publications,” these journals held an “engaged learning experience” in which those attending the session collaborated with the publishers of these journals to discuss how such publications could be utilized in the classroom environment.
As the intern for Young Scholars in Writing, I was not involved in running this session but did have the privilege of attending it. The presenters began with a short bit of background knowledge and introductions, but the overall session was very engaging with those attending. Utilizing the breakout session feature in Zoom, we could join separate rooms concerning specific guiding questions. While the session was geared towards those in the position of teaching composition courses, I still found myself relating to a lot of the information discussed in the room I attended, which focused on the guiding question of how undergraduate research publications could be used to teach different research methods within undergraduate courses and mentoring situations. During much of the discussion, I was able to relate to my own experiences within courses that did happen to utilize undergraduate research journals in our projects. During the conversation, many of the points brought up by the attendees connected back to my experiences in the classroom. For instance, much of the discussion surrounding the potential use of undergraduate research journals in the classroom for research assignments could relate to instances where I have done exactly that in writing research courses. After about 30 minutes of discussion, the breakout rooms concluded, and the session met in whole once more to share what each group had discovered from their conversations. In some cases, this prompted more questions of interest on the topic, and we left the session with answers to some and more to consider. While this was the only live session I attended, it was a valuable opportunity and one I have gained a lot of insight from.
However, that was not the only extent of my participation in the conference. From registering for CCCC, I was also able to gain access to a variety of On-Demand resources that registrants have viewing access for 90 days following the conference. Some of these resources dealt specifically with undergraduate students, which I was very excited to watch. A particular On-Demand session that caught my attention, titled “‘Toward a Shift of Authorities and Truths’: Retrofitting Bridges to Consequential Publicness in Student Writing,” went along very nicely with my experience in the live session hosted by YSW and others. The speaker in this video, Dr. Judith Chriqui Benchimol from Marymount Manhattan College, discussed different ways institutions could help their students view themselves as public writers and specifically discussed how undergraduate research journals could be utilized for this purpose.
Overall, the experiences I gained from this conference were unique and a step outside of the typical experience I have as an undergraduate student. Getting a look into how higher-level education programs and professionals in the field work on developing curricula was very informative and enlightening, certainly providing an insider’s look into a topic typically not discussed by undergraduate students like myself.
For more information on the Conference on College Composition & Communication, go to: https://cccc.ncte.org/
Written by: Lexi Stewart, Professional Writing major at York College of Pennsylvania