Proposing a Writing-Enhanced Course
"Writing enhanced" and "writing intensive" refer to a pedagogy designed to heighten learning and professional communication by using writing assignments in a variety of lengths, sequences and types. This high impact pedagogy facilitates any course in which writing is an essential method of facilitating mastery of content, or in which students learn professional and/or disciplinary conventions and procedures.
The W.E. designation may be applied for in regard to an existing course or as part of a new course proposal. Writing enhanced courses are considered to support and reinforce the general education curriculum, but they are not necessarily themselves general education courses carrying specific designations (e.g., H, S, W, etc.). Because writing is a University learning outcome, all writing enhanced courses must be approved by the University General Education Committee.
Writing enhanced courses will be reviewed regularly and after a period of time may undergo re-certification as needed.
Developing a W.E. Course Proposal
Faculty and programs should be sure to indicate the alignment between the level of the course and the skills students are expected to learn. For example, W.E. proposals for First Year Seminar courses should use language appropriate to this introductory course. W.E. proposals for Junior Seminar courses should reflect expectations that are appropriate for junior level. W.E. proposals for senior capstone proposal courses should indicate mastery-level learning goals and pedagogy appropriate to those goals. We recommend consulting the Written Communication Assessment Rubric.
Course proposals for W.E. ask for specific information:
- Referring explicitly to the goals of a WE course, explain how the course merits the WE designation (Here, consider discussing the use of writing to improve student learning or the value of the processes you expect during a writing project)
- Describe how this course serves to strengthen student written communication or what specific disciplinary writing features the course teaches (Here, be as specific as possible about what you expect students to learn about writing in your course)
- Describe how revision is incorporated into writing assignments; which writing projects will require revisions; and how feedback will be provided and by whom (Here, discuss the number of revision cycles and what students are expected to do for their projects. Not all writing projects require revision, but at least one major project must go through a substantial revision cycle with you.)
- Describe how students will be finding, evaluating, and incorporating outside source material into their written texts (handling information is a critical part of a W.E. course; please ensure that you address each part of this question.)
- Describe how much students’ written work will count toward the final grade (This number should be at least half the course grade.)
A proposed writing enhanced course--including new F.S.E.M. and J.S.E.M. courses--will follow these processes for approval:
A&S faculty: please note that the A&S Curriculum Committee has established these guidelines for the proposal of a W.E. course. Proposals that do not meet these expectations will be returned with a request to revise. Please read carefully.