Checklist of Required WI Course Elements

1. Complexity: Writing may take many (conventional and/or electronic) forms, but each course includes at least one writing assignment that features complexity in context, interpretation, explanation, analysis, evidence, or evaluation.  Through writing assignments and activities, students will do at least one of the following:

  • Consider real-world problems which have more than one acceptable solution
  • Practice critical scholarship
  • Perform critical reflection
  • Take and defend a position on an issue
  • Pick a topic/format and justify the choice
  • Perform original research and defend research approach
  • Interpret data and evidence to justify conclusions
  • Other
  1. Quantity: Writing for the entire course totals at least 20 pages (6600 words) which can include multiple iterations of the same assignment.
  2. Revision: Each course includes multiple assignments that are complex enough to require substantive revisions for most students. There are at least 8 pages (2600 words) involved in the revision process. These 8 pages can be included in the 20 page course total.
  3. Feedback: Students receive feedback from a variety of readers (instructors, teaching assistants, and/or peers) throughout the writing process.
  4. Range of writing: In-class and out-of-class writing in a variety of multimodal forms and drafts is distributed through the semester rather than concentrated at the end.
  5. Assessment: Writing accounts for at least 50% of the total course grade or requirements. In exceptional cases, the Board will accept a course with writing comprising less than 50% (but no less than 30%) of the total course grade with justification from the instructor.
  6. Grading and marking of papers: In classes employing graduate teaching assistants, instructors provide careful mentoring of other teaching staff. Mentoring may include norming sessions using a common rubric and sharing grading strategies. Instructors maintain involvement in grading and giving feedback.
  7. Group writing: If the course contains group work, instructors elaborate on their methods of assessing individual student contributions and assigning individual student grades. See the group work guidelines for more information.
  8. Student/faculty ratio: WI courses are ideally designed and taught at or below a 25:1 student/instructor ratio. CWP provides funding for other teaching staff to support large enrollment courses. See the large enrollment course guidelines for more information.
  9. Graduate Instructors: If a department chooses to have a graduate student teach a WI course, then the Board needs the GTA’s CV and a letter from the sponsoring department’s chair addressing the rationale for this particular WI teaching assignment and the nature and duration of the WI proposer’s appointment.