The Professional Writing Research Lab (PWRL) is a learning and research lab that focuses on applying classroom learning from first-year writing courses and the Professional Writing (PRW) major to real-world application. The primary research focus is learning transfer--the development of expertise about writing as students adapt prior knowledge, while also acquiring and adapting new knowledge, in various real-world settings. Research in the Professional Writing Research Lab investigates practical learning experiences involving the transfer of knowledge about writing among various contexts—students’ writing courses (or other courses), professional experiences outside college coursework, and other experiences that may prepare them for their anticipated careers. The central questions for the Professional Writing Research Lab are: How does expertise about writing develop? What facilitates transfer of knowledge about writing from coursework to real-world settings
Dr. Tom Skeen is an Associate Professor of English at Grand Canyon University, where he is also the university's Career Specialist in grant writing. He holds a PhD in English (Rhetoric, Composition, and Linguistics), and his primary research interest is the relationship between writing studies, cognitive psychology, education, and learning transfer. Drawing from those disciplines, Dr. Skeen's scholarship focuses on writing pedagogy and learning transfer to maximize the benefit of writing instruction for students. Recent work includes a book chapter about focusing on cognitive problem solving by teaching writing as a design problem. Dr. Skeen is also a co-editor of a forthcoming encyclopedia about cognitive psychology, teaching writing, and learning transfer.