Watson Chronicle

WATSON COLLEGE OF EDUCATION

Watson College News

Debbie Powell Launches Universal Writing Continuum Version 2.0

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

Debbie Powell introduced the Universal Writing Continuum Version 2.0 at an event at UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on Feb. 1.

Powell is a Watson College associate professor emerita, internationally known expert in language and literacy, entrepreneur in residence at UNCW’s CIE and CEO of Uni-SPIRE, publisher of the Universal Writing Continuum. The product is an online platform designed to help teachers enhance the writing skills of students in grades K-12.

More than 100 teachers and 165 UNCW students have aided in the development and testing of the Universal Writing Continuum over a period of six years, including the Gorham Randolph Shelburne Cooperative school district in New Hampshire, which has piloted both version 1.0 and 2.0 in elementary, middle and high school classrooms.

“Writing has been given short-shrift in schools in recent decades,” Powell said. “Research shows writing proficiency is declining. Our product is designed to help teachers prepare students for the future workforce by arming them with the tools they need to identify student needs, create an electronic portfolio and assess improvements over time.”

The Universal Writing Continuum is built on global standards, aligned to curriculum standards and can help teachers in all content areas, Powell said. 

She described program development as a unique collaboration between Uni-SPIRE, UNCW and the Watson College and win-win for K-12 teachers and UNCW students. “The Universal Writing Continuum helps teachers enhance students’ writing skills, and development of the product has created applied learning opportunities for dozens of UNCW students,” she said.

Testimonials from teachers in schools in North Carolina, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Virginia and Costa Rica who have participated in pilots are included on the UWC website, and a free demonstration is offered to districts and schools with interest in the program.

For more information visit their website.