Proposing a W Course in FAS
What is a W course at SFU?
A W course is a Writing-Intensive course that adheres to five specific criteria, and which has been approved by SFU's Program Undergraduate Curriculum Chairs.
The five criteria are as follows:
- Students have opportunities to use writing as a way of learning the content of the course and are taught to write in the forms and for the purposes that are typical of the disciplines and/or professions, in ways that are clearly distinguished from remedial and foundational skills courses.
- Examples of writing within the disciplines are used as a means of instruction about typical structures, modes of reasoning, styles of address, and the use of technical language and of evidence.
- Students receive appropriate feedback and response to their writing that is based on explicit criteria and is directed at improving the quality of their writing.
- Revision is built into the process of writing for formal assignments, usually in terms of revisions of the same paper, or alternatively, in revisions accomplished through successive similar assignments.
- At least half the course grade is based on written work for which students receive feedback.
There is more specific information about each of the 5 criteria on the SFU website at http://www.sfu.ca/ugcr/files/Criteria_Explanation_Nov04.html
How do I make my course a W course?
W-designated courses must be approved by the University Curriculum Office. All designation requests must have both departmental and Faculty approval before being considered.
To request a new W course, or to modify a current course to include a W-designation, you must complete and submit a proposal.
What do I need to complete a proposal?
- a course description
- evidence that your course will meet the 5 W criteria
- a course syllabus, including assignment breakdown
- a sample activity or assignment
- a marking scheme or grading rubric for the sample assignment
- a completed course proposal form
Here are some sample W course proposals that were approved:
- IAT209W proposal
- Addendum to IAT209W proposal
- Tech101W proposal
- CMPT322W proposal
- CMNS 323W proposal
- IAT309W proposal
How can the FAS W Resource Coordinator help me?
Chantal Gibson, FAS W Resource Coordinator, can help you to:
- understand the requirements of a designated W course at SFU
- prepare and submit your W course proposal
- identify areas in your current course where you already use writing-intensive activities
- identify opportunities to incorporate writing-intensive activities
- write and submit your W course proposal
- guide TAs in marking and providing feedback on writing assignments (through workshops and/or resources)
- access resources to help you with your course planning, design, and teaching
Chantal can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 778.782.7503.
If you belong to another Faculty at SFU, please consult your Faculty's Writing Coordinator.