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Scenes from Women's Studies

Gender and Women's Studies Student Learning Outcomes

  • Understand Gender and Women’s Studies as an academic field of study, be familiar with its major concepts, history, assumptions, and theories/theorists, and recognize its epistemological and methodological diversity and character.
  • Recognize the intersections between gender and other social and cultural identities, including, but not limited to, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, class and sexuality.
  • Analyze the ways in which societal institutions and power structures impact the material realities of women’s lives.
  • Demonstrate adequate skills in listening, speaking, and writing effectively, performing critical thinking and analysis, incorporating feminist theoretical perspectives in problem solving and research methodologies.
  • Evaluate and interpret information from a variety of sources including print and electronic media, film, video, and other information technologies.
  • Articulate connections between global, regional, and local issues, and their relationship to women’s experiences and to human rights, with an awareness of the importance of context.
  • Engage in promoting social justice and human rights.

 

Program Expectations - Classroom Discussions

CRITERIA 100-Level 300-Level 400-Level
EXPLANATION AND DISCUSSION OF ISSUES Student states and describes issue/problem to be considered, and begins to define and clarify terms, ambiguities, undetermined boundaries, and/or background information. Student states, describes, and clarifies issue/problem to be considered and focuses on the need to define and explain terms, ambiguities, undetermined boundaries, and/or background information. Student clearly states and comprehensively describes issue/problem to be considered critically, including focused attention on clarifying and defining terms, ambiguities, undetermined boundaries, and/or background information, making sure to explain all relevant information necessary for full understanding.
DEMONSTRATION OF EVIDENCE Student takes information from source(s) and shows the beginning stages of interpretation/evaluation of the evidence. Although student might take viewpoints of experts as mostly fact, student begins to question authorial assumptions and bias. Student takes information from source(s) and interprets and evaluates evidence to develop a coherent analysis or synthesis. Student questions viewpoints of experts. Student takes information from source(s) and interprets and evaluates, evidence in order to develop a comprehensive analysis or synthesis. Student thoroughly questions and analyzes viewpoints of experts.
INFLUENCE OF CONTEXT AND ASSUMPTIONS Student questions some assumptions and identifies several relevant contexts when presenting a position. Student may be more aware of others’ assumptions than one’s own (or vice versa). Student identifies own and others’ assumptions and several relevant contexts when presenting a position. Student thoroughly (systematically and methodically) analyzes own and others’ assumptions and carefully evaluates the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.
STUDENT'S POSITION Student’s specific position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis) acknowledges different sides of an issue. Student’s specific position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis) takes into account the complexities of an issue. Student acknowledges others’ points of view within her/his position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis). Student’s specific position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis) is imaginative, taking into account the complexities of an issue. Student acknowledges limits of position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis). Student synthesizes others’ points of view within position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis
CONCLUSIONS Student ties conclusions logically to information; student identifies clearly some related outcomes (consequences and implications). Student ties conclusions logically to a range of information, including opposing viewpoints; student identifies clearly related outcomes (consequences and implications). Student ties conclusions and related outcomes logically to a range of information (consequences and implications); conclusions reflect student’s informed evaluation and ability to prioritize new ideas, evidence, and perspectives.

 

Program Expectations - Reading Expectations

CRITERIA 100-Level 300-Level 400-Level

READING COMPREHENSION

Student evaluates how features of a text (language, syntax, structure, tone, etc.) contribute to the author’s argument; student draws basic inferences about the context** and purpose of a text. Student uses the text, general background knowledge, and/or specific knowledge of the author’s context to draw complex inferences about the author’s ideas and attitude. Student recognizes possible implications of the text for contexts, perspectives, or issues beyond the assigned task within the classroom or beyond the author’s explicit message (ex: might recognize broader issues at play, or might pose challenges to the author’s message and presentation).
RELATIONSHIPS TO TEXT: Locating texts within specific contexts Student engages texts with the intention and expectation of building topical and world knowledge. Student uses texts in the context of scholarship to develop a foundation of disciplinary knowledge and to raise and explore important questions and original ideas. Student evaluates texts for scholarly significance and relevance within GWS and across various disciplines, evaluating them according to their contributions and consequences.

TEXTUAL ANALYSIS:

Interacting with texts in parts and wholes

Student recognizes relations among parts or aspects of a text, such as effective or ineffective arguments, use and/or omission of evidence, in considering how these contribute to a basic understanding of the text as a whole. Student identifies relations among ideas, text structure, and/or other textual features, to evaluate how they support an advanced understanding of the text as a whole. Student develops strategies for relating and interrogating ideas, text structure, and/or other textual features in order to build knowledge and insight within and across texts and disciplines.
TEXTUAL INTERPRETATION Student demonstrates that s/he can read purposefully, choosing among interpretive strategies (synthesis, analysis, comparison, contrast, argument) depending on the purpose of the reading. Student articulates an understanding of the multiple ways of reading and the range of interpretive strategies particular to one’s discipline(s) or in a given community of readers. Student provides evidence not only that s/he can read by using an appropriate epistemological lens* but that s/he can also engage in reading as part of a continuing dialogue within and beyond a discipline or a community of readers through the understanding and articulation of the complexity of issues.

 

*Epistemological lens: The knowledge framework a student develops in a specific discipline (ex: GWS) as s/he moves through her/his major. The depth and breadth of this knowledge provides the foundation for independent and self-regulated responses to the range of texts in any discipline or field that students will encounter.

**Context: The historical, ethical, political, cultural, environmental, and/or circumstantial settings or conditions that influence and complicate the consideration of any issues, ideas, artifacts, and events.

 

Program Expectations - Writing Expectations

CRITERIA 100-Level 300-Level 400-Level
CONTEXT AND PURPOSE OF WRITING Student demonstrates awareness of context**, audience, and purpose as they relate to the assigned task. Student demonstrates consideration and a clear focus on how context**, audience, and purpose relate to the assigned task. Student demonstrates a thorough and critical understanding of how context**, audience, and purpose relate to the assigned task and incorporates this consideration into an argument that addresses the assigned task.
TOPIC SELECTION Student identifies a topic that relates to the assigned task. Student identifies a focused and manageable topic that appropriately addresses relevant aspects of the assigned task. Student identifies a focused and manageable topic that addresses potentially significant and previously less-explored areas or arguments as related to the assigned task.
RESEARCH AND CONTENT DEVELOPMENT Student demonstrates the use of appropriate, credible, and relevant sources to develop content and explore ideas throughout the work. Student demonstrates consistent use of appropriate, credible, and relevant sources to explore and support compelling argument, ideas, or content throughout the work. Student demonstrates skillful use of high-quality, credible, relevant sources to develop ideas and illustrate mastery of the subject, conveying the student’s understanding of the topic and shaping the whole work.
INFORMATION PROCESSING Student organizes evidence and develops an argument in a logical and consistent manner that leads to a logical conclusion. Student organizes and analyzes evidence in a logical and consistent manner that reveals important patterns, differences, or similarities, leading to a relevant, clear, and supported conclusion. Student organizes, analyzes, and synthesizes evidence in a logical and consistent manner that reveals insightful and original patterns, differences, or similarities, leading to a focused, clear, potentially nuanced, and original conclusion.
WRITING MECHANICS Student uses language that clearly conveys meaning to readers; grammar, punctuation, and spelling are mostly without error. Student uses fresh and clear language to convey meaning to readers; grammar, punctuation, and spelling are without error. Student uses clear, compelling, fluid, and graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning to readers; grammar, punctuation, and spelling are without error.

**Context: The historical, ethical, political, cultural, environmental, and/or circumstantial settings or conditions that influence and complicate the consideration of any issues, ideas, artifacts, and events.

 

Program Expectations - Classroom Participation

Participation is graded on a scale from 0 (lowest) to 4 (highest), using the criteria below. The criteria focus on what you demonstrate and do not presume to guess what you know but do not demonstrate. This is because what you offer to the class is what you and others learn from. I expect the average level of participation to satisfy the criteria for a “3”.

LETTER GRADE CRITERIA
F Absent.
D

Present, not disruptive.

Tries to respond when called on but does not offer much.

Demonstrates very infrequent involvement in discussion.
C

Demonstrates adequate preparation: knows basic case or reading facts, but does not show evidence of trying to interpret or analyze them.

Offers straightforward information (e.g., straight from the case of reading), without elaboration or very infrequently (perhaps once a class).

Does not offer to contribute to discussion, but contributes to a moderate degree when called on.

Demonstrates sporadic involvement.
B

Demonstrates good preparation: knows case of reading facts well, has thought through implications of the.

Offers interpretations and analysis of case material (more than just facts) to class.

Contributes well to discussion in an ongoing way: responds to other students’ points, thinks through own points, questions other in a constructive way, offers and supports suggestions that may counter to the majority opinion.

Demonstrates consistent ongoing involvement.
A

Demonstrates excellent preparation: has analyzed case exceptionally well, relating it to reading and other material (e.g., readings, course material, discussion, experiences, etc.).

Offer analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of case material, e.g., puts together pieces of the discussion to develop new approaches that take the class further. Contributes in a very significant way to ongoing discussion: keeps analysis focused, responds very thoughtfully to other students’ comments, contributes to the cooperative argument-building, suggests alternative ways of approaching material and helps class analyze which approaches are appropriate, etc.

Demonstrates ongoing very active involvement.

 

Behavioral Guidelines for Students

  • Arrive to each class meeting on time and prepared.
    • This includes having done all assigned reading prior to the start of class.
    • Be prepared and have the necessary materials to take notes on all lectures, discussions, and classroom activities.
  • Be mindful and respectful of the opinions of your classmates.
  • Turn off cell phones, MP3 players, and all electronics when entering class.
  • Use of computers is for note taking only. There will be absolutely no web browsing, instant messaging, or use of social network sites during class.