Workload Statement for Instructors of Writing Intensive Courses

University of Missouri
Campus Writing Board
Workload Statement for Instructors of Writing Intensive Courses

The Campus Writing Board is concerned that, as departments undertake the project of defining, or re-defining, their markers of research productivity, the increased instructional responsibility that comes with teaching Writing Intensive (WI) courses may get de-incentivized. Because the labor that goes into the development and implementation of WI courses can often be largely invisible, we offer the following description of how WI courses function at MU and the work that WI instructors undertake when developing and teaching these courses.

  • As part of MU’s General Education and graduation requirements, students must successfully complete (C- or better) 2 WI courses. In other words, WI instruction serves a crucial need on this campus; without enough WI courses, students would not be able to meet this campus-wide requirement.
  • WI Courses include a minimum of 20 pages of writing, of which at least 8 pages should have gone through substantive revision. The writing becomes a major portion of students’ grades.
  • WI Instructors are the main responders of student writing, which includes overseeing the teaching assistants who may be assigned to the class (in large enrollment courses, the WI Instructor is thus overseeing a team of teaching assistants to ensure calibrated grading of student work). As the stipend for graduate students increases, the ability to hire graduate students decreases, therefore placing additional grading expectations on the WI instructor.
  • WI Faculty are often required to mentor graduate teaching assistants in addition to their work with WI courses.
  • Writing Intensive assignments highlight complexity of course content, interpretation, and evaluation. These assignments require students to engage in various levels of critical thinking and are thus more difficult and time-consuming to grade.
  • To teach a WI course, faculty are required to attend an intensive training with the Campus Writing Program, in addition to other faculty development opportunities offered by the Campus Writing Program.
  • For a course to be designated Writing Intensive, the instructor must submit a course proposal before each semester the course is taught. The proposal is then reviewed by peers who serve on the Campus Writing Board.

Approved by the CWB on 3.22.2017
Updated by the CWP on 8.1.2019