For 2020-21 we planned to assess the following LOs
- Demonstrate understanding of concepts central to Women’s and Gender Studies, including...c. intersectionality and difference
- Engage in interdisciplinary research...a. locate, evaluate, and interpret scholarly sources from several disciplines and b. apply methodologies derived from multiple disciplines to problems in women’s and gender studies
in three different courses: WGST 100 Introduction to Women’s & Gender Studies (spring), WGST 310 Race, Class, and Gender (fall), and WGST 490 Senior Capstone Seminar (spring).
These courses represent three different levels within our curriculum. Both 100 and 310 have no prerequisites, while 490 is intended as the Capstone course for WGST minors, majors, and concentrators.
However, because of a change at the last minute to the instructor of WGST 100 in the spring (with a part-time faculty member taking over at the last minute), assessment was not taken up in that course to avoid overburdening the new instructor.
In this course assessment was carried out with regard to the second paper assignment (see appendix). The following rubric was employed:
Mastery: Student demonstrates a complex and nuanced understanding of the notion of intersectionality and its importance within women’s and gender studies, and is able to appropriately apply to new topics/considerations in a sophisticated way
Sufficient: Student demonstrates an accurate understanding of the concept of intersectionality and acknowledges its importance within women’s and gender studies, and applies the concept in an appropriate way to new topics/considerations in a sophisticated way
Developing: Student demonstrates a generally accurate understanding of the concept of intersectionality and acknowledges its importance within women’s and gender studies; however, successful application of the concept is lacking
Insufficient: Student does not display an understanding of the concept of intersectionality or its importance in women’s and gender studies
Direct method: The direct method taken up in this course was an evaluation of the Capstone project, which was in most cases a research oriented paper, but for some students was a creative project. These projects were assessed using the following rubric:
3a. locate, evaluate, and interpret scholarly sources from several disciplines
3b. apply methodologies derived from multiple disciplines to problems in women’s and gender studies
Student demonstrates ability to locate multidisciplinary sources, to evaluate them sufficiently, and to employ them in productive and nuanced ways in their independent work.
Student’s end product is (wholly) inter/multidisciplinary in nature.
Student demonstrates ability to locate multidisciplinary scholarly sources and to employ (evaluate and interpret)
Student’s end product has some significant inter/multidisciplinary elements.
Student demonstrates ability to locate, evaluate, and interpret scholarly sources. However, these sources are not multidisciplinary. OR student demonstrates ability to locate sources from multiple disciplines sources, but does not show ability to evaluate and interpret these sources.
Student’s end product has some inter/multidisciplinary elements.
Student does not demonstrate the ability to locate, evaluate, and interpret scholarly sources from multiple disciplines.
Student’s work remains within one disciplinary framework in terms of methodology, sources, style, etc. or lacks a framework or methodology altogether.
Indirect Method: For the indirect method, students were asked to reflect on the interdisciplinary nature of their final projects and report their thoughts verbally during the final exam session of the course.
Students in the course wrote 3 essays plus an "action plan" for social engagement. These numbers reflect their achievement of the learning outcome in their second essay of the semester.
- Direct Method:
Of the eight students, five achieved mastery, one was sufficient, one was developing (having seemed to not venture beyond sources that I recommended, and so failing to show ability to locate scholarly sources on one’s own). One student was insufficient, though this was a case involving plagiarism.
- Indirect Method:
Mastery: 4 students
Sufficient: 1 student
Not present: 3 students
Five of the eight students were present during the final exam session. Four of the five students indicated with clear examples that their projects were wholly interdisciplinary in terms of the nature of their argument, their methodology, and/or their sources. These students achieved Mastery on the indirect method. One student affirmed the interdisciplinary nature of her project, but in a more vague way. This student achieved Sufficiency.
- From WGST coordinator:
- This year we’ve created and posted a 5 year rotation of Learning Outcome assessment
- An indirect method was used in only one of the assessments this year. Next year we will work hard to ensure all faculty doing assessment use both a direct and indirect method.
- While most students achieved mastery on the LOs related to interdisciplinary research, it seems to me that students could use more direct instruction in what interdisciplinarity is as well as in conducting research itself.
- From the Advisory committee:
- We should considering building in expectations of having our assigned librarian due library sessions with students in specific courses in the curriculum. Perhaps these sessions could be geared toward interdisciplinarity.
WGST 310 Assignment
WGST 310 Race, Class, and Gender
Assignment for paper #2 (4-5 pages)
Following the example of Romero, you will write a paper that explores intersectionality in everyday campus life, developing your own case study and analysis. The paper will rethink “everyday practices underpinning racism, genderism, classism and other -isms” in the university environment with a focus upon your own discipline/major or the general education curriculum. Beyond Romero’s work, you’ve encountered other readings in this unit that critically examine institutional practices in the United States. Your analysis should make some connections to course texts by authors such as Rankine, Coates, Hannah-Jones, Stevenson, or Alexander.
- How does intersectionality affect your understanding of your discipline’s curriculum, goals, methods, and role within the college and larger society? What type of work is most highly rewarded in your discipline, and what underlying dynamics of race, class, gender, and sexuality affect this reward system? To what extent does work in your discipline address inequality and race, class, and gender systems? Try to provide an analysis that locates your major within larger social and power relations, and does not merely comment upon the content of your coursework. In examining your major, you might consider issues such as use of campus space, routines and rituals connected to your program, institutional practices, and so forth. This is not a research paper, but you may need to do some hands-on investigation on the campus and/or its website to provide evidence for your claims about institutional and disciplinary practices. Finally, and importantly, consider how your analysis might contribute to improving equality and social justice in the academic world and beyond.
- How does intersectionality affect your understanding of the general education curriculum—its requirements, learning outcomes, and role within the college and larger society? What type of work is most highly prioritized in the general education curriculum, and what underlying dynamics of race, class, gender, and sexuality are reflected in its structure? To what extent does coursework in general education address inequality and race, class, and gender systems? Try to provide an analysis that locates general education within larger social and power relations, and does not merely comment upon the content of your coursework. In examining general education, you might consider issues such as use of campus space, routines and rituals connected to its curriculum, institutional practices, and so forth. This is not a research paper, but you may need to do some hands-on investigation on the campus and/or its website to provide evidence for your claims about institutional and disciplinary practices. Finally, and importantly, consider how your analysis might contribute to improving equality and social justice in the academic world and beyond.
Papers should be submitted as a file upload (doc, docx, or pdf) to Canvas by the due date and time. The paper should be 4-5 pages in length using standard formatting: double-spacing, 1-inch margins, and a legible 12-point font (e.g. Times New Roman). Center your paper’s title on the first page; do not create a separate title page. Essays will be evaluated for their understanding and application of key concepts, and the clarity and sophistication of their arguments. A late paper will accrue a penalty for each day that it is late and will not be accepted over seven days late without a certified excuse from the Dean of Students. Students are encouraged to utilize SUNY Geneseo's Writing Guide for advice on writing essays, the Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL) for MLA style and formatting guidelines, and the Writing Learning Center for one-on-one remote assistance with your essay from a writing tutor.
Keep in mind these guidelines, using Romero’s writing about certain campus life as a model for your own paper:
- Present your argument clearly and concisely. Incorporate specific details but try to stick to what is important to your analysis. If you use a personal anecdote, keep them it focused and appropriate in length.
- Keep in mind that the goal is to present critical analysis using intersectionality, and not merely to discuss your own coursework. Your paper should be balanced accordingly, developing your intersectional analysis of the academic program in substantive detail and not just a few short sentences and asides.
- Be sure to incorporate direct quotations (exact words, in quotation marks) in the essay as you use terms and conceptual frameworks from the readings.
- Identify the source and the page number in the text of your essay when you cite a source.
It’s important to understand that evaluation of the paper’s analysis is not a judgment of your personal identities, experiences, feelings, and opinions. The assignment asks you to engage critically with the course texts and will be graded using the following criteria: 1) development of ideas; 2) evidence of critical thinking; 3) demonstration of knowledge and understanding gained from assigned readings; 4) clarity.
Excellent papers will be distinguished by the following:
- Well-developed presentation and analysis of the academic program; effective use of specific details and evidence to illustrate and support main ideas.
- Clear evidence of critical thinking—application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Characterized by clarity of argument, depth of insight, originality of treatment, and persuasiveness.
- Demonstration of knowledge and understanding gained from assigned reading. Clear evidence that conceptual frameworks are well understood and incorporated into the analysis.
- Clear writing that is virtually free of grammatical and mechanical issues; effective organization of ideas into paragraphs and essay structure.
Assignment for WGST 490
Broad Description of Independent Project
Your major project for the course will be an independent research project culminating in a presentation at Great Day (during the week of April 26th).
Final product (due Tues 5/18): 12-15 page research paper with abstract.
Timeline Breakdown of Project
- Independent capstone project* (semester long)—50%
- 22%: 12-15 page final draft of research paper, with abstract due Sun 5/16
- 14% small pieces of research project
- 2% Proposal due Thurs 3/4
- 2% Draft Annotated Bibliography & Research Check due Thurs 3/25
- 2% Developed thesis and outline due Thurs 4/29
- 3% Peer feedback on thesis & outline due Tues 5/4
- 5% Rough draft due Fri 5/7
Description of Proposal
Your proposal is aimed at laying out a plausible project idea to be executed step-by-step throughout March, April, and half of May. Recall that you may take up the project on any WGST related topic that you like; it does not have to be a project on carceral issues.
Most importantly, your proposal should clearly identify a topic and main research question for your independent project, and should motivate this topic and research question.* That is, you need to make the case that this is 1) a topic of relevance to women’s & gender studies, 2) an issue that matters (whether theoretically, practically, politically, personally, etc.), and 3) that your way of framing the question will be productive as part of your research and writing process. Regarding (3), you should consider: is your question to large? Too small? Is it specific enough? Will there be literature that speaks to what you are interested in? Is your question somewhat unique and/or is there room for your position and argument to be different than what others have said?
After laying out the topic, main research question, and motivation in about a paragraph or two, you should then go on to offer a preliminary position, approach, argument, thesis, framework, etc. that you will take up in the project. In other words, begin to speculate or hint at what you might want to say in your project, again considering that what you say should not simply be repeating positions that others have put forth. Of course, this is a very early stage in your research process and so you understandably are not likely to have a worked out view at this point. Note also that you are not wedded to the thesis, argument, framework, etc. that you suggest at this point. Your ideas and views will evolve over time. However, to convincingly propose a project, you must be able to put forth not only a research question, but also hint at the general vicinity of what your answer to that question might be (or at least how you will answer that question.)
Finally, you should indicate at least three scholarly sources that are NOT included on the syllabus that are likely to be of use to you in proceeding with the project. You do not have to have fully read these sources, and annotations are not required; the idea is that you have some familiarity (e.g. reading an abstract at least) with the source and a sense that it would be worth reading in full at the beginning of your research process.
In total then, you should write about 2-5 paragraphs of text (though you might organize the proposal with headings, bullet points, etc. rather than in a paragraph/essay format).
* If you are taking up a creative project or a project other than a traditional research paper, consult with me individually about the expectations for your proposal.