Course Design Proposal

1. FYC Learning Outcomes 

English 1101 Course Description

English 1101 focuses on skills required for effective writing in a variety of contexts, with emphasis on exposition, analysis, and argumentation. Also includes introductory use of a variety of research skills.

English 1101 Course Outcomes

Upon completion of English 1101, students will be able to…

1. Practice writing in situations where print and/or electronic texts are used, examining why and how people choose to write using different technologies. 
2. Interpret the explicit and implicit arguments of multiple styles of writing from diverse perspectives. 
3. Practice the social aspects of the writing process by critiquing your own work and the work of your colleagues. 
4. Analyze how style, audience, social context, and purpose shape your writing in electronic and print spaces. 
5. Craft diverse types of texts to extend your thinking and writerly voice across styles, audiences, and purposes.


2. Individual Course Overview/Description 

What exactly is English? Despite many assumptions, America’s official language isn’t English: in fact, this nation actually doesn’t have a formally recognized national language! America is a nation that is rich in culture, language, and dialects, and what American citizens consider to be “Standard English” may not accurately reflect our society at large. In this class, students will discuss the importance of linguistics (otherwise known as the “science of language”) in conjunction to FYC requirements. Linguistic choices affect American society on a daily basis, and by understanding linguistic components, students will be better able to interpret arguments from diverse perspectives; analyze style, audience, and social context; and obtain agency in writing in their own individual voices. Utilizing both print and electronic written texts, students will gain insight into what makes English, English! 


3. Theoretical Justification: Thresholds, teaching philosophy, learning theory, etc.

I believe in the socio-epistemic theory of pedagogy, in which we as teachers have a responsibility to bring up our students to be successful not only in academics but also in society. Therefore, my students will be made critically aware about socio-linguistic dynamics in America and will learn how to craft an argument to effectively back up their beliefs and claims (with a borderline heavy emphasis on logos).

Further, I believe in the following Threshold Concepts, which were explored further in my blog entries over the course of the semester:

  • 1.2 – Writing Addresses, Invokes, and/or Creates Audiences
  • 1.6 – Writing is Not Natural
  • 1.7 – Assessing Writing Shapes Context and Instruction
  • 2.2 – Genres are Enacted by Writers and Readers
  • 3.0 – Writing Enacts and Creates Identities and Ideologies
  • 4.2 – Failure can be an Important Part of Writing Development
  • 5.4 – Revision is Critical for Writer’s Development

More of my thoughts on the theories and concepts I intend to utilize in my class can be seen in my teaching philosophy section of my website.


Photo by Giammarco on Unsplash

4. Detailed, Individual Description for each of Major Assignments: 

Literacy Narrative

  • Assignment overview:
    • The purpose of this assignment is to reflect upon and compose a literary narrative (story) about your experience so far as a writer and reader using vivid detail and elements of narrative. Specifically, your goal is to focus on a childhood book that stood out the most to you growing up.
  • Learning Outcomes/Skills:
    • Identify audience, purpose, and context for writing
    • Practice multiple types of writing
  • Thematic focus and conceptual ideas: 
    • childhood and identity
  • Incremental steps:
    • A week dedicated to sharing stories
    • A week dedicated to ice breaker/low stakes exercises
    • A week to draft
    • Final submission
  • Writing process
    • Construction of ideas
    • Rough drafts
    • Professor feedback/revision
    • Final draft
  • Low Stakes Assignment:
    • Prompt: Write about what you think comprises the WORST essay you can imagine
  • Multimodal component:
    • Post ideas in blog journal (part of weekly participation and reflection grades) – Students can choose whichever platform they like to create their journals
    • Group Discussion post on d2l
  • Readings and Resources:
    • In class text and outside readings that focus on sharing stories
  • Collaborative Activities
    • Group Discussion
    • Low Stakes group project and presentation
  • Skills Emphasized:
    • Voice
    • Tone
    • Audience
    • Revision
    • MLA/Grammar 
    • Quality of content

Rhetorical Analysis

  • Assignment Overview/Task:
    • Write a 3-4 page rhetorical analysis of a digital/virtual/visual text. This can include anything from a commercial, to a magazine ad, to even a TikTok. Please be sure to approve your selection with Professor Morgan before you begin your rhetorical analysis. We do NOT want you writing a great paper that doesn’t analyze the required topic!
  • Learning Outcomes/Skills
    • The purpose of this assignment is for you to develop your close reading and analytical skills as you make specific observations about a chosen digital or video text. As you make observations about your selected rhetorical device, analyze the way the writer utilizes the rhetorical appeals and how these rhetorical appeals have impacted their intended audience. As you write this essay, you will be developing and strengthening your ability to think critically and analytically, which will prepare you for future assignments as you move forward in your academic career.
  • Thematic focus and conceptual ideas
    • Rhetorical knowledge and audience
  • Incremental steps:
    • A week dedicated to reading/discussion, with one day dedicated to each appeal
    • A week of application
    • A week to draft
    • Final submission
  • Writing process
    • Construction of ideas
    • Rough drafts
    • Professor feedback/revision around week 3 or 4 of the unit; feedback will be given via Word doc track changes
    • Final draft
  • Low Stakes Assignment
    • Write a discussion post about when you’ve used a rhetorical device most recently
  • Multimodal component:
    • Post ideas in blog journal
    • Group Discussion post on d2l
  • Readings and Resources:
    • In class text and outside readings on linguistics that focus on sharing stories
  • Collaborative Activities
    • Group Discussion
    • Low Stakes group project and presentation
  • Skills Emphasized:
    • Voice
    • Tone
    • Audience
    • Revision
    • MLA/Grammar 
    • Quality of content
    • Rhetorical Appeals

Argument

  • Assignment Overview/Task:
    • The purpose of this assignment is to help you understand how to identify, develop, craft, and support a written argument
  • Learning Outcomes/Skills:
    • Develop analytical writing skills; present claims and ideas in the form of a scholarly, thoughtful argument; utilize various audiences, social contexts, and purposes to shape your writing; incorporate sources to support your argument and claims
  • Thematic focus and conceptual ideas
    • Based on the linguistic articles and sources we have read over the semester, students will be tasked with exploring or making an argument that has linguistic significance. For example, do you believe that there is a “Standard English”, and why?
  • Incremental Steps
    • A week dedicated to reading/discussion
    • A week to draft
    • Peer Review/Revision week
    • Final submission
  • Writing process
    • Construction of ideas
    • Rough drafts
    • Professor feedback/revision
    • Final draft
  • Low Stakes Assignment
    • Write a discussion post about when you’ve used a rhetorical device most recently
  • Multimodal component:
    • Post ideas in blog journal
    • Group Discussion post on d2l
  • Readings and Resources:
    • In class text and outside readings that focus on sharing stories
  • Collaborative Activities
    • Group Discussion
    • Low Stakes group project and presentation
  • Skills Emphasized:
    • Voice
    • Tone
    • Audience
    • Revision
    • MLA/Grammar 
    • Quality of content
    • Rhetorical Appeals

Reflection 

  • Assignment overview:
  • The purpose of this assignment is to reflect upon the skills and lessons you have learned over the course of the semester.
  • Learning Outcomes/Skills:
    • Identify audience, purpose, and context for writing
    • Practice multiple types of writing
  • Thematic focus and conceptual ideas: 
    • reflection and student agency to voice
  • Incremental steps:
    • A week dedicated to sharing stories
    • Final submission
  • Writing process
    • Construction of ideas
    • Final draft
  • Low Stakes Assignment:
    • Prompt: Write out your “roses and thorns”; your highs and lows from the semester
  • Multimodal component:
    • Post ideas in blog journal (part of weekly participation and reflection grades) – Students can choose whichever platform they like to create their journals
    • Group Discussion post on d2l
  • Readings and Resources:
    • In class text and outside readings that focus on sharing stories
  • Collaborative Activities
    • Group Discussion
  • Skills Emphasized:
    • Voice
    • Tone
    • Audience
    • Revision
    • MLA/Grammar 
    • Quality of content

5. Methods of Assessment 

Overall statement/approach 

I believe that first year composition classes need to take into account the linguistic challenges and dialectal differences within the English language as a whole. Writing is not an inherent trait learned, but linguistics and verbal communication are; it is not fair or just to expect that every student will walk into my classroom being masters at prescriptive grammar norms from Standardized English because their individual experiences may not reflect Standard English norms. When approaching papers, I will, then, be focusing on high order concerns, such as organization, structure, and content. If there are outstanding grammar issues made throughout papers, I will be sure to sit down with students and discuss ways to improve, but ultimately it isn’t my goal to reinforce comma rules; it is my goal to teach students how to think, process, and convey messages through their writing.

Sample Rubric:

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