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Writing Intensive Course Prep

I’ve got a few hours today to write in between packing boxes and I’ll be spending them organizing and preparing my portfolio for designating a course I am teaching in the fall as “Writing Intensive.” At BMCC every student is required to take a WI class in order to graduate. WI designated courses are the same as traditional courses but they have an extra writing component added to them. The class I am adding the WI designation to is a public speaking class and I’m trying to come up with creative ways to integrate additional writing assignments to an already packed speaking schedule during the semester. For my portfolio I have to create:

1. formal writing assignment(s) that total 10-12 pages, including revision activities and grading guidelines including before and after drafts

2. Informal (writing-to-learn) writing assignments, some based on the formal assignment(s)

3. examples of student writing in response to formal and informal writing assignment(s)

4. revised syllabus reflecting how the course meets WI guidelines

5. cover letter of 1-2 pages written on my portfolio talking about what decisions I made and why, how the syllabus reflects the changes, and what Writing Across the Curriculum changes I incorporated into the overall structure of the class.

Traditionally I structure my public speaking course to build the students up slowly in content and confidence across the course of a semester, using each assignment to successively add up to the final large speech. I will be trying the same kind of scaffolding structure with the integration of the writing assignments. I’ll be writing the ¬†assignment descriptions and tweaking my syllabus¬†this afternoon. Feel free to drop in.


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