WID Course Guidelines for Faculty

Faculty are encouraged to be innovative in their course design. This can take many forms, such as linking assignments in which early writing becomes part of a larger final project. Writing could have a more public component, with the goal of presenting at GW Research Days, publishing in the GW Undergraduate Review journal or some other kind of class event.  

WID Course Outcomes

While styles, formats and lengths of writing assignments will vary, all WID courses will:

  • Teach students to write in modes characteristic of the discipline or interdisciplinary field, attending to the discipline's genres, purposes and audiences
  • Stage writing assignments that build upon each other throughout the course, providing scaffolding support as needed
  • Ask students to draft and revise in response to substantive feedback from faculty
  • Ask students to draft and revise in response to substantive feedback from peers; each student should gain practice in providing meaningful peer response
  • Value such disciplinary work by assigning graded writing (excluding timed exams) as at least 40 percent of the course grade


WID Course Planning and Designation

Special Topics Courses

For new WID courses that fall under a specially designated category such as Special Topics, Proseminars or Undergraduate Research, departments must ensure that courses reflect the WID course outcomes. The WID directors may request syllabi for approval before such courses are offered. Consult the WID directors with any questions.

Cross-Listed and Non-WID Course Versions

If WID and non-WID versions of a course are offered simultaneously, syllabi should clearly articulate the differences between the two courses. WID credit cannot be offered for the non-WID version of the course. WIDs should be cross-listed only with other WIDs. Students will not receive WID credit if enrolled under a non-WID course number.

WID Course Reviews

Departments should expect a review of WID syllabi and assignment sheets every few years, especially since syllabi and faculty assignments will change over time.


Proposing a New WID Course

How to Submit
  1. Submit the WID Course Proposal Form (PDF).
  2. The WID director will approve your syllabus and 15-week course calendar if it meets the requirements. This may happen in an email exchange with drafts and revisions.
  3. Meanwhile, the department administrator from the requesting department initiates a request to have a new WID course number created in Courseleaf. Once the final syllabus/calendar is approved by the WID director, it will be uploaded to Courseleaf and continue its way through the workflow. This can take several weeks.
Proposal Submission Deadlines
At this time, WID is accepting submissions for new WID courses on a rolling basis.
No Retroactive Designation

The WID program does not grant retroactive WID status for a course offered without the W designation. Students will not receive WID credit for a course that does not have the W designation at the time of registration.

Summer Courses

First-time summer course proposals should be submitted into Courseleaf based on a 15-week term term calendar (e.g. fall or spring), even if the course will actually be taught over a shorter duration (i.e. summer session, which is 8 or 12 weeks). Assignment calendars that do not follow a 15-week schedule will not pass CCAS academic dean review, and will be sent back to the department for revisions.