GE and W Course Syllabus Review
In order to support faculty in their use of writing in courses, the WAC program reviews course syllabi, assignment handouts, and other course-related materials in order to help faculty comply with GE and W course university guidelines, as well as find the best teaching practices with writing. Teachers or departments receive feedback on their materials submitted. This is not an oversight mechanism. The feedback process is meant to support faculty who teach with writing at Fresno State.
At the beginning of every semester, the WAC director will email GE and W course instructors with an invitation to have their syllabus reviewed. Instructors who are interested should then email their course materials to the WAC director. This review process is completely anonymous and formative in nature.
Reporting and Lessons Learned
This report details the GE and W course review conducted in spring 2012, with a description of the review process and a summary of findings. Faculty members from a variety of disciplines participated in the anonymous review, with the WAC Advisory committee providing formative assessments of the materials they provided. As a result of this process, observations are provided about the state of writing instruction on campus, with a number of suggestions for how to improve the way writing is used in the classroom. One of the main lessons learned is that although teachers often provided materials intended to help students with writing tasks, there appeared to be little discussion about writing actually happening in the classroom. Additionally, the assessment of writing focused primarily on surface level features and "pet peeves" rather than on content. The report concludes that one reason for the lack of discussion about writing and clear assessment criteria is the increased class sizes and workload for GE and W course instructors.