Evaluating Courses

Standard Operating Practice for Evaluating Courses for New or Continuing Cross-Listing and Inclusion
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The Women's Studies Program at Central Michigan University is an Interdisciplinary Program that draws from several knowledge traditions across the academy. The WST Program offers both a major and a minor in Women's Studies and utilizes cross-listed courses as way to identify courses that have a significant focus and study on women and/or gender.  Each participating discipline has identified women and/or gender as a category of theoretical and analytical consideration within the field of study and has developed one or more courses that focus explicitly on women and gender.

The Curricular process at CMU produces a fairly permanent cross-listed status. Courses undergo review in all cross-listed departments and those departments must submit separate, but matching paperwork as it matriculates through to the Academic Senate. Thus, it is critically important to the WST Program and the WST Governance Council that these courses meet the needs of our students.  In order to strengthen the academic curriculum and community within the WST Program, the WST Curricular Committee has adopted the following criteria and standard evaluation practice for all potential and current cross-listed courses included in the program.

Q:  Will all courses (current and potential) be evaluated? Yes.

  • New/potential courses will be evaluated using the criteria below at the time they are submitted to the WST Program for consideration.
  • Courses that are currently cross-listed will be evaluated for continued cross-listed status when the periodic, university mandated  update of the Master Course Syllabus occurs. The criteria listed below will be standard for all courses under consideration. For example, if a course is up for review in the 2011-12 academic year, the WST curricular committee review will occur during that year as the home department develops its updated MCS.

Q.  What are the Criteria for inclusion?

  • The Master Course Syllabus and the subsequent working syllabi must include course objectives/student learning outcomes that specifically address the study of critical gender analysis within the course.

Additionally, cross-listed courses must meet three of the following criteria:

  1. One of the course's principle areas of focus must clearly be the roles, perspectives, experiences, contributions or representation of women in a variety of contexts (such as regional, national, global).
  2. The course should equip students to identify systems of domination and subordination and analyze stereotyped assumptions and biases about gender and other intersecting identities like race, class, sexual orientation, etc. A Women's Studies course uncovers, rather than ignores or dismisses, these assumptions.
  3. The course draws from recent feminist and/or queer theory and scholarship.
  4. Feminist pedagogy encourages active learning. When appropriate, the instructor should use teaching techniques that encourage student participation.
  5. The course teaches about gender and its historical and current relevance in cultural perceptions of issues in a manner designed to empower students to participate in social change.

(Adapted from the Women's and Gender Studies Programs
 at Northern Iowa University, Gettysburg college, and Colby College)

 

Q:  What is the procedure for submitting a new course for cross-listing consideration?

  1. Contact the current WST Director, AN 119, x3601 to set up a time to meet.
  2. Pull together an electronic or hard copy packet of the following items:
    • One copy of the Master Course Syllabus
    • One copy of a Working Syllabus (one that would be used for the actual class)
    • A brief narrative (1-2 pages) that addresses how this course contributes to the Women's Studies Program and the value for student learning, such as giving a brief description of which criteria the course would meet and how.

 

Q:  What is the procedure for maintaining a current cross-listed course with Women's Studies?

  1. When the update for the MCS is due, contact the current WST Director, AN 119, x3601 to coordinate the curricular effort.
  2. Pull together an electronic or hard copy packet of the following items:
    • One copy of the Master Course Syllabus
    • One copy of a Working Syllabus (one that would be used for the actual class)
    • A brief narrative (1-2 pages) that addresses how this course contributes to the Women's Studies Program and the value for student learning, such as giving a brief description of which criteria the course would meet and how.

                                                                              

Q:  What kind of turnaround time is needed to evaluate a course for new or continued cross-listing?

  • During the academic year, the WST Curricular Committee can review materials within a month of submission. It is possible that WST may make recommendations in order to better meet the needs of WST students that would result in changes before including a course in our program.
  • If a course is also included as part of the University Program, additional time may be needed for review.

 

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