University of Minnesota
teaching with writing
center for writing
writing.umn.edu


Teaching With Writing.Center for Writing's home page.

Course design & feedback

student designingWhen designing a course that involves substantial writing, you may find it useful to keep a few key components in mind: course-specific learning objectives, discipline-specific writing expectations, sequencing of writing assignments, and, within those assignments, opportunities for instructors (and/or peers) to coach or provide feedback on drafts. 

Asking students to reflect on a course's writing assignments and instruction provides instructors with valuable measures of student learning and specific suggestions for course improvement.

Course design

In this section, you’ll find materials and examples that can help you effectively integrate writing within your specific course.

Approaches to course creation

Writing Intensive Course Application Instructions
Writing Intensive (WI) course designation is determined by the Campus Writing Board All questions should be directed to Rachel Rodrique (webe0354@umn.edu) in the Office of Undergraduate Education.

Checklist for Writing-Intensive Syllabi

Planning to Teach with Writing TWW Tip, August 2013

Quick, Effective Writing Instruction TWW Tip, September 2013

Building Oral & Written Communication Into Your Classroom (University of Delaware Writing Center)

Learning Outcomes for First-Year Writing Courses at the University of Minnesota

Samples of syllabi

American Studies 3112 | American Everyday Life
Sequenced writing assignments: ethnographic observation, primary document interpretation, fiction/journal writing, cultural criticism

Business Administration 1910 | Freshman Seminar
Iindividual and group assignments

Communication Disorders 5900 | Clinical Issues and Procedures
Reflective journal; collaborative writing portfolios; written evaluation of journal articles and a professional conference

History 3613 / Medieval Studies 3610 | History of the Crusades
Textual analysis and informal writing within a compressed summer course schedule

Mechanical Engineering 4431 | Energy Conversion Systems
Laboratory notebooks; lab reports, including preliminary drafts; oral reports

Physics 3071W | Laboratory-Based Physics for Teachers
Idea journals; daily reflective journals; lesson designs and presentations

Course feedback

Samples of feedback items are offered below with the idea that instructors can adopt them, customize them, or use them as menus from which to pull relevant items.

Approaches to course feedback

Feedback solicited at mid-semester (between weeks four and seven) allows instructors to address student concerns immediately and to continue activities that are obviously effective.  Doing so can increase student motivation and involvement in the writing elements of a “content” course.

Feedback solicited at the end of the semester can helpfully inform the design of future courses. The items offered on this form can be filled out separately and offered directly to the instructor.

Samples of course feedback handouts

Generic sample | Mid-Semester Feedback Form (.pdf) with Mid-Semester Feedback: Operating Instructions

Generic sample | End-of-Semester Feedback Form (.pdf) with End-of-Semester Feedback: Operating Instructions

Discipline-specific sample (English 112) | Mid-Semester Feedback Questionnaire
Asks students about working in small groups and the class in general

Discipline-specific sample (English 3006W) | Informal, Anonymous Mid-Term Evaluations
Handout assessing student engagement, preparation, and satisfaction

Support

... for teaching
Schedule individual consultations and attend our workshops and seminars.

... for student writers
Students can schedule one-to-one consultations and download handouts about style and grammar, punctuation, the writing process, and documentation.