Special Issue of JBW: Acceleration and Pandemic-Era Pedagogy
The Journal of Basic Writing: Call for AbstractsSpecial Issue: Acceleration, Basic Writing, and Pandemic-Era Pedagogy Guest Editors: Leah Anderst (QCC, CUNY), Cheryl Comeau-Kirschner (BMCC, CUNY), and Jennifer
Maloy (QCC, CUNY) The COVID-19 pandemic brought swift and major changes to higher education in the United States
and internationally. Nearly all college and university courses shifted to remote formats in the spring
semester of 2020 without knowing the duration of that change in modality. For many schools, that
move online persists whereas in some cases, the move back to in-person classes has brought with it
the need to rethink the effectiveness of pre-pandemic pedagogies, curricula, policies, and program
structures. Currently, educators at postsecondary institutions are faced with realities of low
enrollment, evolving student populations, and the need to reflect on our experiences over the past
two years to inform our teaching practices.
In this special issue of JBW, we propose to take an in-depth look at the ways that pandemic-era
pedagogy impacted students, instructors, and programs specifically linked to accelerated
developmental writing and reading courses. Just prior to the pandemic, acceleration was rapidly
unseating “traditional,” stand-alone models of developmental courses across the US, with the Gates
Foundation, RAND, and even state legislatures weighing in on its success. However, for some,
accelerated learning was still a new format, and the shift to fully remote instruction came as
instructors of Developmental English courses were also in the process of shifting to acceleration. Even
for instructors with experience, such unanticipated shifting required significant adaptation of
approaches to teaching including interacting with students in ways that were equitable and inclusive.
Being forced to shift to online teaching modalities potentially affected the implementation and
progress of acceleration. We are soliciting abstracts for contributions, in the form of traditional articles (of 15-25 pages) or
short reflections (of 5-7 pages) that explore practical approaches to teaching ALP with online
components in a time of crisis, which we expect will raise a range of urgent questions and from a
variety of perspectives and approaches. Contributions may respond to such questions as:
● How did co-requisite courses work or not work during the pandemic (from a logistical and
● What is the impact of the digital divide and the health access limitations for certain
communities or students enrolling in co-requisite and ALP courses?
● What challenges did/does remote teaching bring to English Language Learner (ELL) specific
courses or ELLs enrolled in ALP?
● To what extent has trauma-informed pedagogy impacted acceleration and what are some
possibilities for determining, assessing, or enacting resilient teaching practices in ALP?
● What does the future of co-requisite pedagogy look like with the increased, and likely
continuing, reliance on remote instruction?
● How have changes in college academic support structures, such as tutoring and counseling
services, affected faculty and students in co-requisite courses?
● What approaches are instructors and program directors taking to assess the effectiveness of
accelerated learning, and what can we learn and reflect upon through this assessment?
● In what ways can antiracist pedagogies and approaches to writing instruction inform current
models of ALP?
● How can co-requisite instruction integrate inclusive teaching practices and Universal Design for
● How do we define acceleration in higher education in times of crisis, austerity, and grief? We particularly welcome contributions that consider instructional approaches such as antiracist
pedagogy; inclusivity and universal design for learning; and trauma-informed and resilient teaching.
Please be sure to define student cohorts in view of institutional contexts, as necessary, in order to
clarify local settings and populations that may differ across institutions. Ultimately, we hope to expand
voices and perspectives on accelerated learning, developmental education, and working with diverse
and multilingual student populations.
June 30, 2022: Abstracts of 500-800 words due to the guest editors (include your name(s), campus
affiliation(s), and whether your focus will be reflective or a full-length paper)
July 30, 2022: Accepted abstracts announced
January 15, 2023: Full papers submitted
April 1, 2023: Feedback sent
July 1, 2023: Revised papers due
Sept 15, 2023: Second round revisions due (if needed)
Oct 30, 2023: Final editing for publication