Writing and Communication Advisor, Workshops and Integrated Support
City : Waterloo, ON
Category : Permanent
Industry : Education
Employer : University of Waterloo
Reporting to the Workshops and Integrated Programs Coordinator, the Writing and Communication Advisor is responsible for performing a range of teaching, coaching, and development activities in order to develop graduate and undergraduate students’ writing, speaking, presenting, and visual communication competencies for academic work, research communication, and professionalization. These competencies are directly linked to undergraduate and graduate degree level expectations. Although they are focused on workshop design and delivery for undergraduate and graduate students, the incumbent also advises undergraduate students, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows across all academic programs and all levels, and they must be familiar with a significant range of academic disciplinary genres and conventions, as well as with the general expectations for students at different levels of degree completion. Using a range of research-supported pedagogical strategies, the incumbent teaches, coaches, and supports students and postdoctoral fellows in individual appointments and in group appointments. Depending on what is required, they may develop, design, and facilitate workshops and other programs to target specific communication skills and strategies; they may collaborate with faculty to develop and deliver customized workshops for classes, research labs and institutes, and academic programs; and they may produce accessible synchronous and asynchronous virtual sessions, learning objects, and resources using various technologies and platforms. The incumbent works in a collaborative environment with responsibilities for information sharing and teamwork on projects, including taking the lead on organizational initiatives as required.
This is a job ladder position and, as such, incumbents will have opportunities to develop competencies in areas identified by the job ladder rubric. At times, Writing and Communication Advisors with a disciplinary or subject area specialization may be recruited and designated as a subject expert to provide an intensive teaching focus for that area.
Support undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in developing academic and professional writing competencies, speaking and presentation competencies, language learning, and/or visual communication:
- Foster strong, respectful, and supportive advising relationships with people from a range of backgrounds, experience levels, language levels, learning experiences, and academic programs
- Develop trust with people one-on-one; attend to the values and needs of the person seeking service
- Cultivate an environment that supports the equitable development of resiliency, self-efficacy, and agency
- Support people in defining and articulating learning goals or outcomes, and with creating pathways to success in meeting those goals
- Assess people’s prior learning/knowledge/experiences; adapt teaching to and scaffold learning based on person’s current level/status
- Support and encourage reflexive, active, and self-directed learning
- Recommend relevant resources, tools, and other supports for the person based on their learning trajectory and goals
- Facilitate sessions using relevant and appropriate strategies for the person and situation: directive and non-directive teaching; inquiry/questioning; scaffolding; reflection; genre analysis; rhetorical analysis; etc.
- Ensure that principles of equity, specifically related to language and linguistic equity, are upheld in all aspects of teaching and support while promoting writers’ agency
- Address teaching to the relevant stage(s) of the composing process; help to identify and define challenging stages of people’s composing processes such as brainstorming/ideation, developing a research focus or question, reading research, taking notes, comparing evidence, planning and outlining, composing components or sections for discipline-specific genres, integrating evidence, signposting and transitioning, drafting and revising, creating data visualizations, integrating visuals, designing documents or presentations visually, editing and polishing, responding to and integrating feedback, practicing public speaking and presenting, etc.
- Provide expert advice on such topics and processes as writing productivity, academic publishing, professional communication, presentations, public scholarship, managing large writing projects, etc.
- Assist people with understanding and integrating feedback on their writing and communication
- Support people in determining future actions and planning next steps for their writing and communication tasks and projects, and for their overall progress and learning
- Develop familiarity with various online teaching and tutoring platforms as used by the WCC to support students in virtual remote sessions
Enhance the WCC’s reputation as source for writing and communication expertise and strengthen internal capacity to provide excellent, research-based programming
- Build and manage positive relationships with students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, and campus partners
- Educate campus colleagues on referral processes, resources, and workshop/program opportunities
- Facilitate access to writing and communication resources that anticipate and target campus partners’ needs in supporting students
- Identify gaps and needs in communication skills and support, and share these with colleagues and leadership, and seek to fill these gaps collaboratively, when possible
- Support students registered with AccessAbility as requested and advised by Learning Strategists
- Develop a teaching praxis that is supported by current research on composition processes, teaching models and strategies and academic and professional genres
- Stay apprised of and review new programs, workshops, resources, etc. developed by WCC colleagues
- Advise and support colleagues with teaching observations, reflection on and review of teaching sessions, etc.
- Make suggestions for and participate in professional development opportunities to enhance teaching and student development
- Ensure that values of equity and inclusivity are embedded in programs, policies, processes, and relationships
Research and develop teaching programs and workshops to meet general and discipline-specific communication skills and strategies
- Propose programs based on identifying needs and gaps in communication skills
- Conduct research into genre, composition, and/or teaching models and strategies as needed
- Design interactive and practice-based workshops on writing- and communication-related topics
- Help deliver a variety of continuing and multi-day programs, either individually or as part of a team, including
- English language programs
- Thesis and dissertation writing
- Academic speaking support
- Writing groups
- Develop program and workshop materials including power-points, handouts, and activities to facilitate learning within a diverse group of learners
- Assess the success of workshops and programs based on developed learning outcomes
Develop and maintain writing and communication resources / learning tools
- Develop and design a variety of material and digital research-based writing and communication resources
- Manage the design and development of projects related to the creation of resources, online modules, or online content Assess and recommend the use of external resources for use and recommendation by the WCC
- Assess the success of resources and/or learning tools and make amendments or recommendations for action as required
Administration and special projects
- Assist with schedule management providing timely feedback and input during planning, and by entering or amending information in the online booking calendar
- Document activities for metrics and assessment
- Write reports about initiatives and programs as required
- Assist with marketing and communications plans by writing web content, writing blogs, posting on social media, and/or writing copy for outgoing communications, and participating in outreach initiatives as necessary
- Support student peer tutors by participating in training, providing mentorship, and giving feedback as requested
Research and professional development
- Stay apprised of research related to fields of teaching, writing studies, writing centre studies, etc.
- Participate in relevant professional associations by attending conferences, webinars, and other professional development opportunities
- Participate in research projects as appropriate
- Master’s degree or equivalent in a field related to language, writing/composition, discourse, rhetoric, linguistics, communication, writing centre studies, TESOL, education, etc., or Master’s degree in any field plus experience teaching or tutoring in writing and/or communication
- If the incumbent is designated as the STEM specialist role for this program area, a degree in a STEM field plus experience teaching or tutoring in writing and/or communication is required
- Minimum of one year tutoring or teaching experience at the post-secondary level, ideally at both undergraduate and graduate levels
- Teaching experience in a writing centre or writing program is ideal
- Experience teaching English language learners is an asset
- Demonstrates excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, as well as strong
- interpersonal and collaboration skills
- Demonstrates sound judgement, discretion, and problem-solving skills
- Motivated, self-directed, able to work independently and collaboratively
- Able to be productive in a fast-paced time-constrained workplace, and can balance multiple priorities
- Demonstrates knowledge of writing/composition pedagogy that is culturally competent and grounded in an equity framework
- Demonstrates an understanding of workshop and group education
Effective May 1, 2022, the University suspended its Vaccination Requirement. Prior to May 1, pursuant to this Requirement, all University employees were required to submit proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 (subject to the University’s obligations under the Human Rights Code to accommodate employees who were unable to receive a vaccination). The University’s Vaccination Requirement website can be found here: https://uwaterloo.ca/coronavirus/return/vaccination-requirement.
The pandemic is ongoing and public health advice continues to evolve. Accordingly, the University reserves the absolute right to reinstate the Vaccination Requirement on short notice, and upon such reinstatement you will be required to comply. You shall also be required to comply with any new health and safety policies/requirements implemented by the University from time to time, including new policies/requirements related to mandatory employee vaccination. As the University may need to reinstate the Requirement on short notice, it will continue to collect and maintain up-to-date information on employee vaccination status. Please submit your Covid-19 vaccine status (QR code) to: https://checkin.uwaterloo.ca/
Failure to comply with the Vaccination Requirement if it is reinstated, including failure to comply with any future amendments to the Vaccination Requirement, or failure to comply with new health and safety policies/requirements implemented by the University, including those related to new mandatory employee vaccination, shall result in discipline up to and including termination of employment.
The requirement to be vaccinated, if reinstated, will be subject to the duty to accommodate pursuant to the Human Rights Code. If you are unable to be vaccinated for reasons related to a ground protected under the Human Rights Code, you may submit a written request for accommodation with an explanation of the reasons and/or any supporting documentation. If you request accommodation, the University may follow up with you for further information if necessary.Equity Statement:
The University of Waterloo is committed to implementing the Calls to Action framed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. We acknowledge that we live and work on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.
The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion. As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.
All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.
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