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Preparing for a Second-Round Review of a W-Course


For your proposal, collect the following documents and submit them electronically to the Writing-Intensive Course Committee, in care of Lori Salem. You may submit files in word or pdf format. If possible, please combine all of the documents for Part I into one pdf, and all of the documents for Part II into a separate pdf document.

Part I: The Prospective Review*

• A completed W-Course Proposal Form
• A model syllabus (with a day-by-day or week-by-week course calendar)
• A complete set of assignment instructions/descriptions for each of the major writing assignments in the model syllabus

Part II: The Retrospective View**

Submit a portfolio of syllabi that have been used for this for this course in the past four academic years. The total number of syllabi you include will vary depending on how often the course is taught, how many instructors have been involved in teaching the course, and where/when the course has been taught. The WICC will want to see syllabi that demonstrate the full range of teaching scenarios for the course, so...

  • If the course has been taught by 1-5 different instructors, include syllabi from every instructor.
  • If the course has been taught by more than five instructors, include a sample of syllabi representing at least five faculty.
  • If the course has been taught on multiple campuses (Main, Ambler, TUJ, Rome, etc.) and/or online, include samples from each of the various locations.
  • If the course has been taught in summer or in other non-typical semesterly formats, include samples of each type.

*Advice for preparing Part I:

When you submit your proposal, please be sure that we can tell which syllabus is meant to serve as your “model” syllabus. If you combine all of the pieces of Part I into a single pdf file, we’ll be able to find the model syllabus easily. But if you submit the pieces as separate files, it’s easy to get confused between the past syllabi and the model syllabus.

The model syllabus is probably the single most important document in the proposal. It can be a “real” syllabus (used by a faculty member for his or her class), but note that “real” syllabi are sometimes not as explicit and/or detailed as the model syllabus will need to be. (For example, “real” syllabi sometimes don’t include a course calendar, but model syllabi must do so.) So if you are using a “real” syllabus as a model, you may find that you need to include additional information or explanations.

You may have more than one good option for your model syllabus. For example, it may be that several faculty teach the course, and each of them has an effective syllabus. If that is the case...

  • choose just one of these options as your model syllabus, and base Part I of your proposal on it. This is for the sake of clarity. You’ll see that the proposal form asks you to answer a series of questions about the model syllabus and assignments. Trying to answer all of these questions for multiple syllabi is too confusing. To put this another way, Part I of your proposal only has to demonstrate one good way that the course can meet the writing-intensive guidelines. It doesn’t have to demonstrate all of the ways that this is possible.
  • choose the syllabus that you think would be easiest for a new instructor to use. For instance, if you have a last-minute change in instructors for this course, you will want to have a ready-to-go, easy-to-understand syllabus available for the new instructor. (This happens more often than you might think, and it is one of the main reasons that we collect and archive model syllabi for each course.)

Once you have assembled all of the documents for Part I, check them for consistency in…

  • Labels: If an assignment is called “Project Report #1” on the proposal form, make sure it is also called “Project Report #1” on the syllabus and assignment sheets.
  • Percentages: If the proposal form states that Assignment X counts as 30% of the final grade, the syllabus should say the same thing.
  • Dates and Processes: If the proposal form states that Assignment X will be submitted in draft form, given feedback, and then revised, check to ensure that each of those steps is reflected in the course calendar.

**Advice for Preparing Part II:

If you aren’t sure when, where, or by whom the course was taught, please ask. We can give you a list. If your department does not keep copies of past syllabi, or if you cannot get in touch with past instructors, your Dean’s office should also have archives of syllabi.

Apart from collecting the past syllabi and sending them to us, you aren’t required to do anything with them. In other words, you don’t need to explain why Syllabus A is different from Syllabus B, or why Syllabus C met the guidelines but Syllabus D didn’t. However, we encourage you to read through them to get a sense of how the course has been taught.