Sample Course Proposal 1
(New Course Proposal)
Department of English
Course Title: Introduction to Literature
Course Number: ENG 1XX
Course Credits: 3 semester hour credits
Currently the Department of English offers several introductory literature courses, i.e., Eng104 Introduction to Nonfiction, Eng105 Introduction to Poetry, Eng106 Introduction to Fiction, and Eng107 Introduction to Drama. These courses, each focusing on a major genre of literature, have been listed as having these “Attributes”: “CSUS Common Course, Hum Gen Ed – Literature, English Dept Lit Course.” Of these courses, Eng106 Introduction to Fiction (W) has typically been taught for the Megasection program when the Department of English runs it every spring.
While Eng106 Introduction to Fiction (W) has helped many students further develop their abilities to read, think, and write about fictional texts as well as meeting the general educational requirements, it is limiting due to its focus on one of the four major genres of literature. There is a real need to design a new course which gives students broader exposure to literature, i.e., all four major genres. This proposed new course will not only help satisfy the general education requirements for many students, but also give them a broad and rigorous exposure to literature and prepare them for more focused and in-depth study of literary genres, e.g., poetry, drama, fiction, and nonfiction.
This proposed new course is not to replace, but to add to the slate of introductory literature courses the Department of English offers so that students have more viable choices of courses that will better meet their educational needs and career goals.
This course provides an introduction to literature and its major genres: fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction. By examining the nature, structure, and key elements of literature and reading and analyzing a wide selection of literary texts from major literary genres, this course will enhance students’ abilities to appreciate, understand, and critique literature as embodied in its major modes of expression of the human condition. Not for major credit. Every semester. Prerequisite: None. General Education: Critical Thinking
1. To introduce students to literature as a significant expression of the human condition;
2. To introduce students to the nature, structure, and key elements of the major literary genres such as fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction;
3. To introduce students to a wide range of works in all four major literary genres;
4. To help students develop abilities to read, think, research, and write critically about literary texts in their literary, cultural as well as historical contexts.
At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of literature as an artistic form;
2. Recognize the key elements of the major literary genres (fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction);
3. Demonstrate an understanding of a range of representative works in fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction;
4. Interpret works of fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction in their literary, cultural as well as historical contexts.
Faculty will employ frequent quizzes, written assignments, tests and other activities to assess the learning outcomes.
Critical Thinking Competency
Critical thinking is an intellectual and analytical activity through which students develop the ability to recognize, examine, critique and synthesize arguments. It consists of two key components: acquiring the skills to assess the clarity, accuracy, relevance, and strength of arguments, and developing habits of mind to utilize those skills. Courses in critical thinking move beyond the mere acquisition of information to the examination of the nature and effectiveness of argument within a specific discipline.
Upon completion of the Critical Thinking Competency, students will be able to:
- Recognize arguments: Students will distinguish between arguments and unsupported claims or opinions, and identify the central claim of an argument;In English courses, students will develop critical thinking skills through close readings of texts (poetry, fiction, drama, nonfiction) in their pertinent literary, cultural, and historical contexts. Through class discussions, they will learn to recognize their own and peers’ claims about the texts and analyze those claims for credibility (i.e., distinguish unsupported opinions from arguments). In writing assignments (including but not limited to journal entries, in-class writing, response papers, Blackboard posts), they will identify the central claim of an argument pertaining to a specific aspect (e.g., symbol, image, setting, character) of the literary text.
- Analyze arguments: Students will determine the components of a given argument and their relation to the whole;Through class discussions and writing assignments (which may take the form of in-class writing, Blackboard posts, response papers, journal entries, or the essay portion of an exam), students will be asked to develop an overall interpretation of a text (for example, on the topic of race, ethnicity, and gender in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior or Maya Angelou’s poems) that contains supporting arguments.
- Critique arguments: Students will evaluate assumptions and the quality and reliability of evidence. They will apply relevant criteria for evaluating different types of arguments, including potential counter-arguments;Students will critique arguments by evaluating how well these arguments are supported by textual and contextual evidence. They may do so in a journal entry, Blackboard post, response paper, or an essay portion of an exam.
- Synthesize arguments: Students will formulate good arguments, which justify positions by bringing together reasons and evidence in a coherent structure that provides persuasive support for a conclusion; andStudents will learn to synthesize their readings of the various aspects of a literary text (e.g., metaphor, character, theme) in order to formulate a convincing argument grounded clearly and specifically in the text as well as its pertinent literary, cultural, and historical context. Students will present this overall argument with appropriate support in a coherent structure that may take the form of an essay, response paper, etc.
- Apply arguments: Students will apply critical thinking through a discipline-specific method.Students will apply critical thinking in an in-class presentation, response paper, Blackboard post, etc. by analyzing at least two critical perspectives on a literary text.
A. Definitions and perspectives
B. Reading, thinking, and analyzing literature
C. Major genres
A. Basic elements of fiction—form, language, history
B. Reading, thinking, and analyzing fiction
C. Selection of fiction writers/works
A. Basic elements of poetry—form, language, history
B. Reading, thinking, and analyzing poetry
C. Selection of poets/poetry
A. Basic elements of drama—form, language, history
B. Reading, thinking, and analyzing drama
C. Selection of playwrights/plays
V. Nonfiction (literary/creative)
A. Basic elements of nonfiction—form, language, history
B. Reading, thinking, and analyzing nonfiction
C. Selection of nonfiction writers/works
Time Provision for Incorporation into the Program
This course will be offered beginning Fall 2016.
The current holdings in the WCSU Library are adequate for the readings assigned in this course.
No additional staff, computer hardware, or software is required for this course.
Sample Course Proposal 2
(Aligning an Existing Course with General Education Competencies)
BIO 480 Revised Course Outline
Course number: BIO 480
Course name: Group Senior Research
Semester hour credits: 3 (2 credit lecture, 1 credit lab [4hr lab])
Prerequisite: Bio 260, MAT120 or 115 , at least one Biology course at the 300 or 400 level, and at least one exposure to each of the general education competencies (FY, CP, CT, HW, IC, IL, OC, QR, SI, and WI).
Catalog Course Description: Students learn the skills and techniques necessary for designing and carrying out a research project related to the research specialty of the faculty member leading the course and integrated with the primary scientific literature. Students participate in laboratory and written activities and engage in peer discussion and evaluation. The course includes seminar attendance requirements, and may include guest presentations, field trips and other experiences designed to inspire student interest in real-life scientific investigation. By the end of the semester, each student will write a complete lab report, make a formal presentation to the department and complete a programmatic assessment test. Fulfills the “Writing Intensive Tier 3” and the “Culminating General Education Experience” general education requirements. Offered every semester.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Writing Intensive Competency Tier III
Three tiers of the writing competency allow students to develop their writing ability through continued practice. Tier 1 (Composition I or its equivalent) focuses on writing as a process and as a method of learning; on understanding and using various rhetorical strategies in writing; and on organization, audience, tone, voice, and the conventions of Standard American English and academic documentation. Tier II continues to support the Tier I outcomes and further emphasizes targeted instruction and strategies for research-based writing and revision. As the culminating writing experience, Tier III focuses on a discipline-specific synthesis of the skills acquired in the earlier tiers.
Outcomes Upon completion of the Tier III Writing Competency, students will be able to:
- Design, propose, sustain, and write a source-supported project on a topic that is appropriate to the discipline
- Incorporate instructor feedback into professional-quality writing in genres that are most relevant to the discipline
- Apply specialized conventions of writing within the discipline, including grammar, mechanics, diction, syntax, format, source attribution, and specific languages
The outcomes will be met by writing a lab report that is contextualized by the primary literature and includes a testable hypothesis, a description and justification of the experimental design, the quantitative analysis of the result, and the interpretation of the results. The final version of the lab report will incorporate feedback from the instructor and peers who reviewed earlier versions of the report. (Course Specific Learning Outcomes 3.a.)
Culminating General Education Experience
The primary goal of the general education curriculum is to cultivate the capacity for life- long learning. This can be demonstrated in the student’s ability to:
- Evaluate and draw defensible conclusions from information and other artifacts;
- Synthesize material from different bodies of knowledge; and
- Communicate ideas and arguments in forms appropriate to the discipline.
Pre-requisites for CGE courses are the successful completion of at least one exposure to each of the general education competencies (FY, CP, CT, HW, IC, IL, OC, QR, SI, and WI). Any three or four hundred level course, including a disciplinary capstone, can qualify for the CGE designation. No instruction specific to life-long learning is required, but there must be one assignment or project that will illustrate the capabilities described above.
The outcomes will be met by writing a lab report that is contextualized by the primary literature and includes a testable hypothesis, a description and justification of the experimental design, the quantitative analysis of the result, and the interpretation of the results. The final version of the lab report will incorporate feedback from the instructor and peers who reviewed earlier versions of the report. (Course Specific Learning Outcomes 3.a. and 3b.)
Course-specific Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of BIO 480, students should be able to:
1. Apply the process of science (DBES learning outcome 2.a. Mastery), as demonstrated by:
a. Participating in the data collection of a biological study
b. Writing an individual lab report that is contextualized by the primary literature and includes a testable hypothesis, a description and justification of the experimental design, the quantitative analysis of the result, and the interpretation of the results. The final version of the lab report will incorporate feedback from the instructor and peers who reviewed earlier versions of the report.
2. Use quantitative reasoning (DBES learning outcome 2.b. Mastery), as demonstrated by:
a. Identifying appropriate statistical or modeling approaches and using them properly
3. Clearly convey their understanding of biology through written and oral communication (DBES learning outcome 2.d. Mastery), as demonstrated by:
a. Writing a lab report that is contextualized by the primary literature and includes a testable hypothesis, a description and justification of the experimental design, the quantitative analysis of the result, and the interpretation of the results. The final version of the lab report will incorporate feedback from the instructor and peers who reviewed earlier versions of the report.
b. Preparing and presenting a poster or oral presentation that is contextualized by the primary literature and includes a testable hypothesis, a description and justification of the experimental design, the quantitative analysis of the result, and the interpretation of the results
Example of a possible topical course outline
1. Making observations
A. Laboratory technology
B. Field technology
2. Exploratory analysis
A. Preliminary ideas
B. Preliminary methodology
3. Developing hypotheses and predictions
A. Background literature
B. Unanswered questions
C. Hypothesis/prediction selection
4. Confirmatory analysis: statistical inference
A. Data handling
B. Statistical analyses
5. Testing hypotheses and predictions
A. Results of analyses relative to prediction
B. Revisiting the hypothesis
6. Presenting information.
7. Reporting on results
8. Student products
A. Peer critique of presentations
B. Peer review of written report
C. Final written laboratory report
D. Final oral or poster presentation