Brooklyn College Writing Across the Curriculum


Instructions for Submitting Writing-Intensive Course Proposals

There are two formats for submitting this proposal depending on whether this is an existing course or a new course. For existing courses, use the Section A-V: Changes in Existing Courses template; otherwise use the Section A-IV: New Courses template.   NB: It is possible to offer the same course in both W and non-W versions. In the college bulletin and the schedule of classes, each version of the course will be listed separately.

1. EXISTING COURSES:

Existing 4 hour/3 credit W course being converted to 3 hours/3 credits: Complete the Changes in Existing Courses template (Section A-V). The Discussion section should explain in two to three sentences how the course is accommodating the loss of the fourth teaching hour while preserving the integrity of the course content.

Acceptable justifications include: 1) More writing now occurs outside rather than during class time, 2) Writing is embedded as a tool for understanding the discipline rather than being treated as a supplementary component, and/or 3) The writing assignments more precisely and intentionally reflect the need of the discipline to prepare students either for jobs or for graduate school and therefore are an integral part of the course content.

Existing 3 hour/3 credit course that is not yet officially declared a W course but is de facto writing intensive: Complete the Changes in Existing Courses template (Section A-V). Please be certain in the Discussion to justify that the course is writing intensive. In a two- or three-sentence discussion, let us know that: 1) The course requires ten or more pages of writing, with the chance to revise at least one assignment or to prepare a paper in stages, 2) Writing is embedded as a tool for understanding the discipline, and 3) The writing assignments reflect the needs of the discipline to prepare students either for jobs or for graduate school.

2.    NEW COURSES:

Complete the New Course template (Section A-IV), and submit the usual documentation, including outcomes assessment pertaining to the writing component. In a two- or three-sentence discussion, let us know that: 1) the course requires ten or more pages of writing, with the chance to revise at least one assignment or to prepare a paper in stages, 2) Writing is embedded as a tool for understanding the discipline, and 3) The writing assignments reflect the need of the discipline to prepare students either for the job market or for graduate school.

FOR ALL COURSES:

a. Include outcomes assessment of the writing component. Choose one to three objectives (that will be addressed in all sections of the course) from the list provided in the appendix and specify which tools (e.g., lab reports, papers, essay tests) you are using for assessment.
b.  Please mention in the Discussion whether this is a required course or whether students will be permitted to choose from among several writing-intensive courses.

c.  Add a W designation to the course number, which can otherwise remain the same for existing courses. Be sure to include English 2 as a prerequisite. Add the phrase “Writing-intensive course” at the end of the course description.

d. Include a sample syllabus.

e. At this point you may as well fill out the Changes in Degree Programs document (Section A-III) so your bulletin matter is up to date. The A-III document is not required by the WAC Committee, but you should submit it to the CUCDR with this W course document.

f. Submit four hard copies and one e-mail copy of your proposal to the chair of the WAC Committee (Ellen Belton, c/o English Department, Ebelton@brooklyn.cuny.edu). Feel free to consult with Ellen before then for feedback or help. Once the WAC Committee has approved the course, we will notify the chair of the department and the CUCDR, to whom you can then submit the requisite material.

APPENDIX: OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT FOR WRITING-INTENSIVE COURSES

The goals for all writing-intensive courses and programs must explicitly include objectives for writing and the means by which these objectives will be assessed. (New courses will also address other kinds of objectives and assessment.)

GOALS AND OBJECTIVES: The General Education Outcomes Assessment Task Force has identified the goal and objectives below as appropriate for writing-intensive courses. Use the goal below and select those learning objectives that are a major focus of your course. Except when the sole purpose of the course is to produce a substantial research paper, limit your choices to one to three writing objectives.

Goal: Effective writing.

Learning objectives: Ability to express ideas clearly in writing, which includes:

1. the ability to use writing to reflect on one’s learning and to understand difficult material

2. the ability to move from low stakes [ungraded] writing to more formal pieces

3. the ability to draft and revise written material

4. the ability to organize according to a pattern that is appropriate to the discipline

5. the ability to develop ideas by using supportive evidence appropriate to the discipline

6. the ability to edit one’s work so that grammar and syntax are correct

7. the ability to write a research paper that uses quotations, paraphrases, and appropriate documentation

8. the ability to write for a variety of purposes and audiences.

ASSESSMENT: Specify which assessment tools (e.g., assignments, exercises, lab reports, portfolios, and essay questions on exams) will be used to meet your objectives.

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