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Additional Recommendations for Course Content

Designing Learning Objectives: Starting your course planning with learning objectives is a productive way for keeping your assignments and other planning decisions anchored in your vision of disciplinary writing. Because JYW courses are intended to foster students’ writing in their major, instructors might consider how the course objectives fit with the department’s view of how writing is taught (e.g. in career planning, integrative experience courses, etc.). To ensure this connection, it may be productive to consult with departmental colleagues and the Undergraduate Program Director or Chair in developing these goals. In addition, the Office of Academic Planning and Assessment has a useful guide on learning objectives and assessment for Junior Year Writing instructors that will prove useful in designing Learning Objectives that are can guide your planning.

Information Literacy: Learning to do advanced writing in a discipline also means learning how to find and cite appropriate sources in the discipline.  As students advance in their major, they need to learn how to access and make effective use of the literature of their field.  They need to become familiar with the indexing databases, reference sources, search strategies, and citation styles used in their major and in their future professions.  JYW courses should give some attention to discipline-specific information literacy which encompasses the ability to recognize when information is needed and how to locate, evaluate, and effectively use information in writing and other contexts.  Students should also understand the ethical issues pertaining to the use of and citations to sources of information in their field.  The JYW Program partners with UMass Libraries in this effort.

Career Development: Professional development elements (e.g., resumé writing, oral presentation skills, etc.) may be incorporated into the syllabus as a way to add value to the course and give students an opportunity to plan ahead for their careers. UMass Career Services can be a great resource with these course elements.

Do you have additional questions? Please contact the University Writing Committee at uwritingcommittee@acad.umass.edu