Support for Arts First Courses

Welcome to the WCC’s Arts First Program!

Are you an Arts First Instructor? You’ve come to the right resource! 

The Writing and Communication Centre (WCC) collaborates with the Arts First program in order to support instructors and students with both course-embedded peer tutors and student-centred workshops that focus on a high degree of engagement and experiential learning. With the support of Arts Peer Tutors, your students can access additional feedback throughout the drafting process, as well as guidance on how to navigate assignment expectations and how to interpret and apply feedback. Workshops can help students break down and dig into genres and writing strategies with examples, practice, and feedback, and prepare them to work on your course assignments. In both cases, you are helping introduce the WCC to your students as an academic support unit that they can turn to throughout their academic careers in the Arts. 

Opting into this program is easy-just one click away! 

The Arts First Peer Tutor Program

What is the WCCs Arts First Peer Tutor Program? 

The Writing and Communication Centre (WCC) is funded by Arts First to support instructors and students through course-embedded undergraduate peer tutors. Like other embedded writing tutors (or “writing fellows”) worldwide, our tutors enhance Arts 130 and 140 students’ writing and communication development by coaching them through the writing process and providing feedback on their organization, presentation, and use of genre conventions in their assignments. Tutors can also help instructors reflect on and enhance their course design through meetings about the course goals and assignments. 

What does the Peer Tutor Program Offer? 

  • Our team of experienced Arts students supports their Arts 130 and 140 peers by meeting with them one-to-one to coach, encourage, respond, and instruct them just like any WCC tutor would.  
  • Tutors provide targeted assistance to Arts First students while also building community within Arts.    
  • Instructors tell us that this program reduces their workload because their students use feedback and support from peer tutors to improve their assignments while decreasing the number of questions they have for their instructors.  
  • Students tell us again and again that they wish they’d heard about this program earlier and more often, because they find it so helpful once they’ve used it.  

How do I opt into the program? 

To have a peer tutor assigned to your course, we ask that you commit to doing the following:  

  • Promote the program to your students (we’ll provide the promotional materials!). 
  • Meet with your assigned tutor once at the start of the term to explain your assignments and goals for the course and collaborate on a plan of support (we’ll set up the meeting!). 
  • Recognize that peer tutors are not TAs, and they are not editors, but rather they are WCC staff who can coach your students at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming to planning to drafting to revising. 
  • Complete this 2-question form by Wednesday, January 30, 2023. 
  • That's it! 

Arts First Workshop Program

What is the Arts First Workshop Program?

Arts First Workshop support consists of workshops, peer review, and other facilitated sessions organized in consultation with Arts First instructors on communication-related processes, strategies, and topics.  

The Arts First Workshops Facilitator uses excellent workshop design and facilitation skills to teach students online or in person. They collaborate with course instructors to identify needs and learning outcomes, create or customize synchronous and asynchronous workshop materials in response to those needs, then facilitate robust, engaging workshops for first-year students that rely on active-learning strategies. They work closely with other members of the WCC team to coordinate support services, conduct assessments, and record outcomes and metrics. 

What does the Arts First Workshop program offer? 

  • Eight engaging asynchronous WCC workshops already loaded in your Arts First Remote Teaching Template.  
  • Three options to choose from for in-person activities facilitated by the Arts First Workshop Coordinator and are designed for students to ask questions, discuss, and put into practice concepts learned from the asynchronous workshops (a flipped classroom approach).   
  • Instructors tell us that these workshops are easy to integrate and take the burden off them to teach foundational writing and communication strategies.  
  • Overwhelmingly, students find these workshops engaging and helpful.  

How do I sign up for a workshop? 

Click on the button below to go to the request form or email the Arts First Workshop Coordinator, Sadia Afrin at sadia.afrin@uwaterloo.ca  

Available Workshops

Arts First Asynchronous workshops - full info in caption

Asynchronous workshops available to Arts First courses include: Your ideal writing process (1.5 hours), From topic to thesis (1 hour), How to read for research (1 hour), Organizing your writing (1 hour), Integrating sources into your writing (1.5 hours), Writing with quantitative data (1 hour), Getting and giving feedback (1 hour), and Designing effective presentations (1 hour).