Writing Fellows as Support for Digital Introductory Lectures: Advantages and Challenges


  • Ute Reimers University of Siegen




Digital Introductory Lectures; Writing-Fellow Program; Writing Support;


This teaching practice paper discusses the implementation of writing support into subject courses at an early stage of university students’ studies, with a particular focus on the courses’ digital transformation during the Covid-19 pandemic. The paper presents a pilot project in which the original concept of the German writing fellow-program was adapted to a digital introductory lecture series in winter term 2020/21. 12 subject teachers received support for developing writing tasks for the lecture session they taught asynchronously. Six peer tutors were trained to support the 60 freshmen through text feedback and video consultations. The learning platform Moodle was used to provide all project participants with materials and information. The project results show a reduction of anonymity in this large online course, leading to less loneliness felt among first-year students. Additionally, the lecturers’ workload was reduced, the freshmen felt more secure in mastering their first writing task that took place off-campus and the writing fellows gained expertise for online consultations including respective tools and procedures. Consequently, this paper argues that it is worth implementing writing fellow support not only in smaller groups of advanced learners but also in introductory subject courses.




How to Cite

Reimers, U. (2022). Writing Fellows as Support for Digital Introductory Lectures: Advantages and Challenges. Journal of Academic Writing, 12(1), 86–91. https://doi.org/10.18552/joaw.v12i1.821