Workshop course on creative writing with a focus on values, ethics, and social responsibility.
This proposal is to offer a 200-level creative writing course, Creative Writing, Voice, and Community, as a foundational overlay course intended to satisfy University core requirements in Values, Ethics, and Social Responsibility (VSR) and Aesthetic and Interpretive Understanding (AIU). This course will introduce students to writing as a form of social engagement. As an AIU course, students will analyze works of literary art and create works of their own with specific prompts to guide them. As a VSR course, students will address questions of personal and societal values by analyzing texts in which authors engage with different values and by creating works of their own in which they will discover how to better define their own values. This new course addresses a critical need for access to creative writing at the early stages of the undergraduate experience. Currently, many students cannot enroll in the introductory creative writing course, 360, until their junior or senior years; offering a stand-alone course at the 200-level would allow more students across the university access to a creative writing course. While 360 provides preparation to take advanced workshops for students who already have an interest in creative writing, this course is designed for students without a writing background, and is structured around thematic units which students engage with through specific writing assignments. By studying creative writing in a course tied to values, ethics, and social responsibility, students would gain an appreciation of creative writing as a practice through which they may engage with issues critical to their experience.
This is a strong proposal that will appeal to a broad spectrum of undergrads.
A timely and relevant humanities course for VSR (and AIU) which should generate a lot of interest.
The VESR committee members all thought highly of the course and its design. However, more work is needed to justify that the course should receiving the VESR designation. In general, the committee would like to see more detailed explanations of how the course will result in VESR learning outcomes. The committee would also like some assurance that the VESR content is a sufficient focus of the course to justify the designation. Specific comments follow. The comments respond to the instructor’s justification for the VESR designation in section 3 of the proposal.
In sections 3A and 3B, the justification did a good job of identifying the VESR learning outcomes as learning outcomes for the course. These sections clearly stated that the course would realize these learning outcomes, as these outcomes are explained in the Carolina Core Learning Outcomes Rubric. However, more explanation is needed to show precisely how students in the course will realize learning outcome 1 (in section 3A) and learning outcome 2 (in section 3B). The justification states that students will realize the outcomes by analyzing literary texts. The justification should further explain precisely what values will be examined, and how the literary analysis will lead the students to realize the learning outcomes with respect to these values. For instance, the justification might explain how analyzing Jordan’s “Poem About My Rights,” will teach students to recognize the value of social justice or to connect this value to issues of identity and well-being. Similarly, the justification might explain how the assignments (reaction papers or creative writing) would lead the students to realize these learning outcomes.
In section 3C, the justification does not explain how students in the course will realize learning outcome 3. The section states that students will analyze ethical dilemmas from literary texts. But analyzing ethical dilemmas is not part of the explanation of learning outcome 3 from the Carolina Core Learning Outcomes Rubric. Consequently, more explanation is needed to connect analyzing ethical dilemmas with the Rubric for learning outcome 3. It is important to note that realizing learning outcome 3 requires students to employ methods and frameworks for ethical analysis. The most obvious such method or framework would be an ethical theory or the methods of ethical analysis, though the committee would also accept theories or methods that provide students with the tools to describe and analyze values in a rigorous way. The committee worries that a course cannot satisfy this learning outcome if the readings are entirely poems and works of literature. It is conceivable that students could self-generate ethical methods and theories independently of readings and other course content, but much more explanation would be needed about precisely how this self-generation would proceed. The committee would also seek some justification for thinking that the self-generating process would be sufficient to result in students realizing learning outcome 3.
Section 3D does a nice job of explaining how course activities result in realizing learning outcomes. For instance, 3D explains that students will read poems to understand values such as justice and patriotism. This sort of explanation would be helpful in sections 3A and 3B. However, 3D is supposed to explain how the instructor will assess whether students have successfully realized the learning outcomes. For instance, how will the students’ “critical manifesto” help the instructor to determine whether a student has, for instance, realized learning outcome 2? Perhaps the critical manifesto will ask students to reflect on the connection between values and their own identities, which is what learning outcome 2 requires. In general 3D should connect the syllabus to the specific learning outcomes, rather than to general consideration of values.
the syllabus was previously approved by the AIU committee
Since the revisions in this approval have addressed our requests for re-formulations, the committee has decided to approve the revised proposal for VESR overlay.
Adminstratively returned on behalf of Sarah Williams, see commentin approval 11.
AIU approves the proposal
Thank you for submitting your proposal to the Committee on Curricula & Courses. We have approved the proposal and are moving it forward to the Faculty Senate. It is recommended someone from the department attend the next Faculty Senate meeting in case there are questions from the floor regarding your proposal.
We appreciate your patience and commitment to undergraduate and graduate education.
John Gerdes, Chair803firstname.lastname@example.orgFaculty Senate Committee on Curricula and Courses
Added to the 1819 Undergraduate Bulletin.