A. W (Writing-Enhanced) Courses
Guidelines Relating to the Curriculum
Faculty Handbook Revision September 24, 2004
A course eligible to fulfill the competency requirement in writing is one in which the following characteristics apply:
- A ?W course? emphasizes student writing as central to the process of learning. W courses incorporate written assignments that are sufficiently frequent that they constitute a key component of the continuity and sense of progress of the course. Writing assignments may include essays on exams, take-home essays, journals, or research papers. Such assignments should account for at least 50% of the final grade. The quality of written expression should clearly contribute to the assessment of the grades for those assignments.
- The instructor should pay explicit attention to accuracy, clarity and effectiveness in the development of student writing skills. Various pedagogies may be employed to achieve these goals, including, for example, required re-drafting of assignments, required re-writing of assignments, close editing, additional optional assignments, 5-minute in-class essays, or group critiques. Writing instruction itself may be integrated with faculty-student conferences; it may also be the subject of group critiques, class lectures and/or demonstrations.
- Institutional support through the Center for Teaching and Learning may provide extra assistance for students. But the CTL programs should not substitute for focused attention to writing on the part of the instructor in the designated course.
- Normally, enrollment should not exceed 20 students.
- Faculty teaching ?W? courses are encouraged to participate in faculty development activities that will enhance their familiarity with current pedagogical practices in the instruction of writing. Such activities could include: workshops offered through the Knox Faculty Development Program and/or the Center for Teaching and Learning, workshops off campus, and extended reading of classic or current literature in the field.