FAQ for UWR Instructors

By EOU WAC Group, 2018

 

Question:

How do I know whether any of the courses I am teaching is a UWR course?

Answer:

The registrar keeps an updated list of UWR courses here: https://www.eou.edu/registrar/uwr/

 

Question:

What does “UWR” stand for, and why do we have it?

Answer:

UWR stands for “University Writing Requirement.”  Each program has their own distinct disciplinary writing conventions, and it’s best if your students learned them from you.

 

Question:

I’m new and I’m about to write syllabi for my courses.  Is there a special syllabus format that I should follow?

Answer:

You can design the syllabus for your course. Remember, though, to include the required Academic Misconduct Policy and Accommodations/Students with Disabilities Policy statements, kept updated on the Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee (EPCC) New Syllabus Template at: https://www.eou.edu/epcc/files/2017/05/newsyllabustemplate-5.24.17.doc. This template is also used when requesting to begin new courses or significantly changing existing courses.

 

Question:  

I know I’m supposed to make a note on my syllabus that the course I am teaching is a UWR course, but do I need to put any other information on there?

Answer:

Yes, instructors need to have the appropriate UWR Outcomes listed on their UWR syllabi.  The Outcomes are listed here: https://www.eou.edu/engwrite/university-writing-requirement/

 

Question:

Those UWR requirements seem to be awfully generic.  Is that it?

Answer:

No, some programs have program-specific UWR writing requirements or outcomes.  To find out if your program has any, consult your department chair or go to https://www.eou.edu/writing-center/discipline-specific-uwr-criteria/.

 

Question:

Those UWR requirements are crazy for my discipline.  My students create (art, music, programs, proofs,…), writing is just not a primary part of my disciplinary discourse.  What do I do?

Answer:

Do the best you can, and try to follow your program-specific UWR requirements.  If your program has none, contact your chair about building consensus in your program about what those should be.

 

Question:

Should I use a writing rubric?

Answer:

UWR instructors should have clear guidelines on discipline-specific writing requirements for their students.  Ideally, yes, you should use a (discipline-specific) rubric.

 

Question:

I don’t have a writing rubric and I don’t have time to make one.  What now?

Answer:

You can always google “Written Communication Value Rubric,”  but, really, the idea of the UWR is to use something specific to your discipline.

 

Question:

Where can I find resources to help me teach writing in my discipline?

Answer:

The Writing Center provides a page of Faculty Resources at https://www.eou.edu/writing-center/faculty-resources-2/. Another great resource is the WAC Clearinghouse’s Teaching Resources at https://wac.colostate.edu/resources/teaching/.

 

Question:

There’s a Writing Center.  Can they help my students?

Answer:

The Writing Center on campus is for students of all levels and from all programs.  It has both on-campus Writing Tutors and Online eTutoring. These services are FREE to students.  UWR instructors should encourage their students to use the writing center, perhaps even to the extent of requesting that a writing tutor visit your classroom to explain how to access writing tutorials and putting Writing Center information on their syllabi.  Link: https://www.eou.edu/writing-center/writing-center-syllabus-statements/

 

Question:

I understand how important writing is, but where can my students get the real world practice they need?

Answer:

EOU has a variety of special writing/speaking opportunities for their students on campus:

 

Question:

Can the library help me and/or my students?

Answer:

Absolutely.  The library takes information literacy and helping students and faculty very seriously.  They’ve compiled a substantial web page of resources for faculty here:

http://guides.library.eou.edu/c.php?g=55298&p=354351 The first thing to do, though, is to find your subject librarian.  Besides being a fantastic resource for your area, they are willing to visit your class and talk to your students about the library and research resources, or give your students a tour of the library.

 

Question:

I heard my colleagues talking about the CTLA.  It sounded interesting. What is it?

Answer:

CTLA is an acronym for EOU’s “Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment.”  Check out their web page for resources.  They periodically put on events to help teachers.

 

Question:

Any special thing I need to emphasize when I’m teaching my students about writing?

Answer:

The WAC Group and others have found that EOU students have been weak at making appropriate citations.  Many students just don’t understand the importance of it. The library has a homemade video called Why Cite about the subject, and they have made an instructor guide to go along with it (video and guide are here).