12 at carleton this played out in three ways first

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At Carleton, this played out in three ways. First, the institutional culture at every college and university reflects the history and personalities of the faculty and staff on that campus. Policy precedents have been set based on past events and turf battles have defined invisible (to the uninitiated) boundaries. Any campus-wide initiative must inevitably find a way to navigate this minefield. Fortunately for leaders of QR initiatives, writing program directors have often already completed this task. By working through existing structures, QR programs can reduce this time-consuming task. At Carleton, this was reflected in QuIRK’s decision to develop programming that mirrored the established routine of the Writing Program. At times, we even sought joint programming such as “Writing with Numbers” faculty development workshops. By leveraging the institutional knowledge embodied in the Writing Program, we were able to avoid unnecessary and frustrating setbacks caused by inadvertent violations of our campus’ norms. We hasten to point out that other curricular initiatives at Carleton, notably those addressing information literacy and visuality, have adopted similar tactics. We are close to claiming a model for across-the-curriculum efforts, and we appreciate the work of writing professionals in showing us the way. (See, for example, Fulwiler and Young 1990). Second, cross-disciplinary initiatives suffer from issues of ownership. For our work to spread throughout the curriculum, we must somehow convince colleagues who do not at first see their courses as QR-relevant to take up this important teaching issue. While those of us involved in the QR initiative may be able to imagine easily how QR may play out in other professors’ courses, providing “constructive advice” on course content is often perilous. Working with the Writing Program allowed us an effective, if indirect, alternative approach. Due to their prior work on writing pedagogy, all faculty would agree that teaching students to write effective arguments is a core mission of the college and is relevant to all fields. If any student were to tell his academic advisor, “I’m avoiding taking Course X because I just don’t do writing,” we are 13
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confident that to a person our colleagues would object. Placing QR in the context of effective argument helped professors from all disciplines take ownership of our cause. Because they all want their majors be able to write persuasive arguments, it was easier to convince them that they should support QR-in-writing than it would have been to get them to support QR alone. And portfolio assessment gave us evidence on the relevance and prevalence of QR in student papers throughout the curriculum. We have found it useful to distinguish between “central” and “peripheral” uses of QR in student work. In the former case, quantitative evidence lies at the heart of the argument being made or the issue being explored. Peripheral use reflects
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