The SWIRL Initiative draws upon research-informed best practices for teaching and learning that seek to promote students’ success in writing, information, and research literacy in all disciplines. Informed by the principles of Transparency in Learning and Teaching (TILT), SWIRL engages faculty in designing assignments and instructional activities that enable all students--regardless of previous academic preparation-- to better understand, analyze, and apply disciplinary conventions of writing and research in papers or other work they produce in their courses.
The SWIRL Initiative is guided by the following principles:
- Learners--actual, not just imagined learners--and learning matter most
- Scaffolding learning through evidence-based practices is prioritized
- Writing and research literacy are grounded in critical practice
- Curricular and pedagogical development should be iterative
WRITE Assignment Design Tool
Assignments provide important opportunities for students to advance and demonstrate the central learning objectives in their courses. The assignment prompt, as the research from the TILT framework has demonstrated, must be accessible to students who may be disciplinary novices, and clearly state its purpose, tasks, and criteria for success. For work involving disciplinary writing and research, The WRITE tool takes this further in guiding faculty to clarify assumptions about research sources, argumentative structure, use of evidence, and effective composition. The WRITE tool takes faculty through the process of designing or revising the most critical elements of an assignment, along with suggestions on how and when to support assignment expectations with classroom instruction or activities. Download and use the WRITE Assignment Design Tool.