Research

My research connects back to my administration and teaching to study their impact on those in higher education and the writing classroom. As an administrator-scholar, my research explores the impact focused professional development programs can have on writing center tutors, graduate students, staff, and faculty. Additionally, I study the experiences of other program administrators to document their labor, visibility, professionalization, and institutional impact. As a teacher-scholar, my scholarship in instructional design theorizes and applies research-based practices to the development of curriculum for writing in the disciplines, online and hybrid learning, high-impact practices, and upper-level and general education writing courses. Across both spheres, I want to know, “What does it mean for students and faculty to have meaningful relationships with writing, writing instruction, and writing program administration?”

Better Practices: Experts and Emerging Instructors Explore How to Better Teach Writing in Online and Hybrid Spaces is a digital edited collection I'm working on with Troy Hicks. This collection explores on-the-ground practices anchored in research and expertise in online writing instruction, delivered in formats that are easy to read and immediately applicable by new-and-aspiring online teachers.

 

Each chapter is co-authored by an expert in online writing instruction specializing in the particular theoretical approach alongside a colleague teaching the approach for the first time. This parallel view offers readers expert knowledge of research-based practices as well as insights into the questions and challenges new instructors will encounter as they apply this approach for the first time.

A cover for Better Practices by Amy Cicchino and Troy Hicks

What Project Am I Excited About?

This chapter shares curriculum from our Miller Writing Center professional development program that focused on antiracist tutoring. After engaging with the curriculum, tutors collaboratively developed a rubric that identified the anti-racist values and applied it to our program's materials as part of an internal programmatic assessment. This chapter reflects on their experiences in conversation with our own reactions as white writing center WPAs trying to do antiracist work. 

Neal, M., Stark, K., Cicchino, A., Albert, K. & Healy, M.  (Forthcoming, 2021). Making administrative work visible: Data-Driven approaches to understanding the labor of writing program administration. In Making Administrative Work Visible, edited by Leigh Graziano, Kay Halasek, Susan Miller-Cochran, Frank Napolitano, and Natalie Szymanski. University Press of Colorado.

This chapter analyzes interviews conducted with WPAs from across the nation, identifying their challenges, labors, and program ecologies. 

Neal, M., Cicchino, A, & Stark, K. (July 2021). Kariotic design: Developing adaptable, humanities-driven OWI pedagogy preparation. In English Studies Online: Programs, Practices, Possibilities, edited by Susan Spangler and William P. Banks. (pp.182–200). Parlor Press.

This chapter asks how online pedagogical knowledge can inform our face-to-face practices as teachers and learners. While three pedagogical strategies are shared in a course context, the chapter also discusses implications for how online writing instructors are professionalized at the graduate level.

Cicchino, A. (2020, Fall). Notes toward a panoramic view: A look into how doctoral programs in rhetoric and composition are preparing their graduate students to teach composition. WPA: Writing Program Administration, 43(1), 86–106.  

Cicchino, A & Moreland, K. (2019). What’s in a name? Editor-Mentor-Administrator-Teacher-Scholar: Christine Hult on managing multiple identities and issues as a WPA editor. WPA: Writing Program Administration, 42(3), 89–95.

This article shares an interview with Christine Hult, former editor of WPA: Writing Program Administration. Hult discusses the many roles a good editor plays in order to produce an impactful journal and the connections she sees between editorial and WPA work. 

Administrator-Scholar

I believe administrative work is an intellectual, scholarly practice that should be theorized, studied, and assessed. Below are projects I have completed or will complete related to the field of higher education administration.

Two icons of people think and talk sharing ideas

Publications

Basgier, C., Haskins, M., Cicchino, A., Brown, K. Centering institutional writing assessment around student voices: What writing center consultants can teach WAC programs about antiracist practices. In Engaging Students in Writing Assessment: Opportunities for Antiracism, Equity, and Agency, edited by Asao B. Inoue and Kristin Demint Bailey. Accepted, full chapter submitted to editors.

This article was developed from my dissertation project. Seeking to update our field’s large-scale knowledge about GTA preparation in composition, the study employs a mixed methods approach to describe GTA education and professionalization across institutions granting doctoral degrees in Rhetoric and Composition.

A computer open to show an LMS

This chapter helps students learn strategies for adapting what they learned in first-year composition to their upper-level, discipline-specific courses. It also helps them prepare for the additional challenges of writing in disciplinary contexts.

Cicchino, A., Haskins, M., Gresham, M., Kelly, K., & Zurhellen, S. (2021, July). Digital ethics in ePortfolios: Developing principles, strategies, and scenarios. International Journal of ePortfolios, 10(2).

This article summarizes work completed by the AAEEBL Digital Ethics Task Force, which I chaired. We developed a set of principles and best practices for students, educators, and administrators to use as they create ePortfolios and develop ePortfolio requirements in their courses and programs. See the full digital principles document by the task force.

This article shares curriculum I developed for a professional writing course. Adapting from the Choose Your Own Adventure children's book series, this curriculum uses contract grading, game theory, and digital badges to allow students flexibility and choice in their learning.

Cicchino, A. (2020, August). Supporting online learning with writing-to-learn activities. Online Literacy Open Resource (OLOR)

I developed this resource on using writing-to-learn activities in online writing courses to support reflective practice and rhetorical awareness. 

Cicchino, A., Clark, L., & Austin, T. (2020, July). Blackboard Ally: can digital tools help us identify accessible practices? Online Literacy Open Resource (OLOR).

This resource examines the affordances and limitations of LMS accessibility checkers in promoting accessible practices among online educators. 

Cicchino, A., Efstathion, R., & Giarrusso, C. (2019). ePortfolio as curriculum: Re-visualizing the composition process. In ePortfolio as Curriculum, edited by Kathleen Blake Yancey. (pp. 13–32). Stylus.

This chapter illustrates how to enact ePortfolio curriculum I developed with my co-authors. This approach to ePortfolio instruction integrates knowledge of digital and informational literacies so that students become ethical and effective digital writers and communicators while they integrate and reflect on their learning.

Teacher-Scholar

As someone who studies writing instruction and learning, my scholarship includes work related to curriculum development, student learning and professionalization, and digital pedagogy.

Publications

Cicchino, A. Adapting strategies from FYC to writing in the disciplines. In Writing Spaces, vol. 5. Accepted, full chapter submitted to editors, forthcoming summer 2022.