{Rubric for W Courses}

Words of Wisdom

I grew up in the '40s and I heard all these great speeches, like Winston Churchill. His most famous, or infamous, commencement exercise speech was one that consisted of seven words. He stood before this graduating class and said: "Never, never, never, never give up."”

— Johnny Cash

 
  Total
Relation to major 0 1 2  
Amount of graded writing required 0 1 2  
Amount of writing instruction 0 1 2  
Practice and Feedback 0 1 2  
Collaboration Not Applicable 0 1 2  
Syllabus statement on passing YES NO      
Indicate if the course proposal passes, is exemplary, or does not meet criteria. If one criterion is judged “Does not meet criteria,” the course proposal does not pass. To be “Exemplary” all 2’s must be awarded.  Final Evaluation: 
 
 
Criteria Guidelines:
 
Each criterion should be marked as being 0, 1, or 2 points. If a proposal receives “0” on any one criterion, it will fail. For example, a course may be exemplary in all other criteria, but if it receives “0” on the criterion entitled “Related to the major,” it will not be approved by the reviewers. In other words, the proposal should receive a score of 1 or 2 on each criterion in order to be approved by the W and C Course Committee reviewers.
 
Scoring:
Pass:  4-8 for courses with no Collaborative Writing; 5-10 for courses with Collaborative Writing
Exemplary: 2 in all columns
Does not pass: 0 in one or more columns
Must include syllabus statement on passing
 
Relation to the major
 
Does not meet expectations/0 Passes/1 Exemplary/2
Only related loosely to the major or the field; related but only dealing with genres such as resumes that are taught in a general course Specific to the field (i.e., engineering) but not the major (i.e. chemical engineering); requires some knowledge of the major; the course is integral to and is prepared specifically for the field Specific to the major and best taught at the upper division; requires considerable knowledge of the field
Lacks course learning outcomes States course learning outcomes States course learning outcomes, specifically relating them to the subject and/or major

Percentage of graded writing required
 
Does not meet expectations/0 Passes/1 Exemplary/2
Less than the required % of 70% for a 1-credit course, 50% for a 2-credit course, 33% for a 3-credit course, and 25% for a 4-credit course Equal to the required % More than the required %
Drafts account for more than half the percentage of the grade of some writing assignments Drafts account for half of the percentage of the grade of some writing assignments Drafts account for less than half of the percentage of the grade for all writing assignments
 
Graded writing word count
 
Does not meet expectations/0 Passes/1 Exemplary/2
Less than 2000 words or 8 pages double-spaced 2000 words or 8 pages double-spaced A) 4000+ words or 16+ pages double-spaced OR
B) 2000+ words (8+ pages double-spaced) in a major where brevity and concision are expected
 
Amount of writing instruction and practice (not including peer response or time devoted to providing formative feedback)
 
Does not meet expectations/0  Passes/1 Exemplary/2
No instruction—writing is simply assigned Some instruction, brief amounts of more than one class are devoted to topics related to writing At least one full class day and brief amounts of other classes are devoted to lecture or workshops on writing
No written copies of the assignments provided or minimal written copies of the assignments provided; no grading rubrics or discussion of how writing assignments will be evaluated Written copies of assignments are provided with detailed instructions; it is clear how each writing assignment will be evaluated Written copies of assignments are provided with detailed instructions; it is clear how each writing assignment will be evaluated; samples of acceptable papers (student or professionally written) are provided and discussed
No lectures or class time to discuss writing (audience, format, providing instruction on argument or evidence, documentation, or any relevant topic); no ungraded writing or low-stakes writing is assigned Some instruction on writing, at least some reading, or lecture, but not much active learning (workshops, discussion of models or drafts); ungraded writing or low-stakes writing is assigned for practice; students may get feedback, but it is provided collectively Ample instruction on writing including active learning, for example, workshops, exercises, practice assignments, or discussion of models or drafts; ungraded writing or low-stakes writing is assigned for practice in getting words and ideas on paper and students get individualized feedback on their efforts

Provisions for formative feedback (defined as feedback provided before a grade is determined that can be used to improve a draft)
 
Does not meet expectations/0  Passes/1 Exemplary/2
The only feedback provided is summative (i.e., final grades); formative feedback is provided on some assignments via guided self-assessment or collective comments on representative drafts for the whole class Formative feedback is provided on at least one major writing assignment via comments on individual drafts by peers or by an instructor or supervised teaching assistant.  Students have an opportunity to revise after receiving feedback Formative feedback is provided on more than one major writing assignment via comments on individual drafts by peers and via comments on individual drafts or conferences with an instructor or supervised teaching assistant.  Students have an opportunity to revise after receiving feedback, and the instructor may use class time to provide feedback of a general nature
No low-stakes writing, in-class writing, or drafts of papers are assigned; students don’t get practice and feedback in one type or genre of writing; students don’t get feedback on short sections of a longer paper Students write drafts of papers; or they write multiple assignments practicing one type or genre of writing, with feedback; or they write short sections of a long paper, with feedback,  in preparation for a long paper Students write drafts, practice one type or genre of writing several times, or write short sections of a longer paper; they keep reading logs or journals, or have other opportunities to do low-stakes writing; students have opportunities to practice writing and to develop fluency (getting words and ideas on paper)
 
Collaborative writing (where applicable)
 
Does not meet expectations/0 Passes/1 Exemplary/2
No mechanism for students to provide feedback on the group processes There is a mechanism for students to provide feedback on the group processes There is a mechanism for students to provide feedback on the group processes; they may opt out of group work; remedies are provided for those who are taking on an inordinate amount of the group’s work.
There is no instruction on how to write collaboratively There is some instruction on writing collaboratively, at least some reading, or brief verbal instructions There is ample instruction on collaborative writing, including lecture, readings, class discussion, or practice
  
Syllabus Statement on Passing 
Students may not use this course for the W graduation requirement without earning a passing grade for the writing components. This should be clearly stated in the syllabus. One of the two options should be used:
  1. ☐ To pass this course, you must pass the writing components. [NOTE: In this case the student will receive a failing grade.]
  2. ☐ To receive W credit for this course, you must pass writing components.[NOTE: In this case the section number would be changed from a 900 to a 500, so the student would pass the course but would not receive W credit.]
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