The Department of Psychology, in the College of Liberal Arts, offers approximately 1,400 undergraduate majors and countless non-majors a broad range of coursework in both basic and applied psychology. In teaching these courses, the Department's 44 core faculty members are joined by a large group of affiliate and adjunct instructors. With course enrollments ranging from small seminars and multi-section labs to massively-enrolled introductory courses, coordinated approaches to sequential writing instruction can be challenging.
In its third-edition Writing Plan, the Psychology Department has laid out a three-stage plan with each stage activating increased faculty and instructor involvement.
In Stage 1, “Integration,” the department will host targeted discussions to scrutinize ways in which the faculty-generated list of valued writing abilities are align with course instruction at key locations in the department’s curriculum, entry-level (PSY1001), mid-level (PSY3001), and exit-level (PSY 3903W). This stage also initiates a monthly writing-oriented newsletter and involves regular and generative communication with key departmental instructors.
In Stage 2, “Expansion,” the department will sponsor idea-sharing dialogues in which specific groups of undergraduate writers, faculty members, instructors, and graduate TAs are invited to present and discuss writing activities and approaches. These discussions will leverage and expand an instructor-facing website developed in association with a previous-edition Writing plan. Also during this stage, the department will host a series of discussions with Psychology alumni to discuss the writing they do in their professions.
In Stage 3, “Assessment,” the department will analyze the impacts of its Writing Plan by administering a series of student and instructor surveys. Results of these surveys will supplement the results of the triennial WEC rating.