FYW Learning Goals

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FYW Learning Goals

The program has decided that learning outcomes and standards created a priori are unproductive and unfair to the diverse groups of students UWT serves. Therefore, what is articulated below are learning goals, broader dimensions of reading and writing, or “habits of mind” that provide more flexible ways for diverse students to succeed as communicators in their diverse and varied majors, careers, and future communicative needs. This means the UWP understands the FYW experience to offer students more enduring and flexible practices, habits of mind, that allow them to meet their unpredictable future writing needs. 
Below are the learning goals (the rank one bullet items), which offer ways to assess the program’s effectiveness and learn inductively and organically the kinds of reading and writing competencies our students are practicing. Indented in one rank (the rank two bullet items) are more specific descriptive ways by which the learning goals might be described or accomplished in activities and courses. All students must meet the following learning goals for all FYW courses. The bracketed numbers indicate to which course(s) the outcomes apply.
At the completion of his/her course of study, a successful student in FYW will have practiced and demonstrated a degree of proficiency in the areas listed below. Click on the link for more information. 

Read rhetorically through processes of meaning-making, learning, and communicating purposefully and to various audiences

  • entering textual academic and civic conversations/discussions/arguments through reading and engaging with texts in meaningful ways
  • reading rhetorically, or reading with the purpose of understanding the way meaning, understanding, or persuasion is produced around a text/artifact (e.g., understanding its purpose, context, audience expectations, etc.)

Revise in recursive processes that continually re-see, rethink, and research ideas, questions, and new information

  • engaging in multiple drafts of a project in ways that deepen the writer’s knowledge and understanding of the complexity of initial question or topic
  • using writing as a way to think through ideas, sources, questions, and assumptions about the subject or text at hand
  • returning to the library and other places of information in order to answer emerging questions that the writing and rewriting of a draft brings up
  • using feedback from peers, the writing center, and teacher to move drafts and thinking forward in significant ways, not to find “what the teacher wants to hear” but to develop a deeper understanding of the complexity of the topic being written about

Reflect as a way to understand one’s own reading practices, and producing understanding (or theory) that helps the writer cultivate flexible and rhetorically-based practices for future use

  • practicing frequent self-assessment of reading and writing practices so that the writer can make sense of what she has read, what questions about learning and her reading develop, and where the potential is for future growth
  • articulating in some way the writer’s reading practices as practices, not as a single or immediate reading task, in order for her to cultivate flexible ways to read for future needs
  • writing about the student’s own thinking and assumptions as thinking and assumptions, which is a kind of theorizing about how the writer thinks and where that thinking may have originated (e.g. cultural, experiential, linguistic sources)

Proof and edit one’s drafts in self-conscious ways, ways that allow the writer to consider future proofing and editing practices as rhetorical in nature and as a part of the writing process

  • practicing processes of polishing and editing of one’s drafts according to explicitly discussed SEAE standards, or other explicit standards that are appropriate for the rhetorical situation at hand
  • getting help and assistance from a writing handbook, peers, the writing center, and the teacher at the final stages of drafting
  • thinking about and reflecting upon practices that can help the writer cultivate sustainable ways to polish and proof his future writing, knowing that everyone needs such help

Engage in academic research as a process that includes recognizing when information is needed to support writing, and having the ability to locate, evaluate, incorporate, and acknowledge appropriate source

  • practicing methods of looking for and distinguishing what sources are appropriate for the writer’s purpose and audience
  • interrogating sources in ways that reveal the rhetorical aspects that produce meaning from them and suggest their significance to the writing project at hand (e.g. Is the article an academic article? What is the purpose or exigency of the article? Where does the author’s position fit within the larger conversation?)
  • using the library’s resources and experts to help make decisions about where to look for information and what kind of information they may find in those places

Problematize one’s existential writing situation, or pose problems that the writer’s own language practices may create when they are set next to the dominant academic discourse, or when others read and judge one’s writing

  • reflecting on the ways one communicates to others and where those linguistic competencies originate, what assumptions others have about one’s competencies and why they might hold such beliefs
  • interrogating the dominant discourse, often academic English or Standard Edited American English (SEAE), as a discourse that is used as a standard by which most in the academy and civic marketplace are judge in subtle and explicit ways
  • considering the ways that all languages are dynamic and political in nature, and that their dynamism and politics create tensions in diverse communities, or in homogenous communities in which “others” attempt to enter and participate
  • questioning one’s own linguistic and communication decisions as ones that are not simply personal and idiosyncratic, but also are a part of larger social or discursive practices in communities outside the dominant one (or inside it)
  • questioning how one’s own language practices are judged in academic, civic, and other communities, and what the larger social consequences of those judgments are