Improving Rhetoric and Writing Curriculum
College of Liberal Arts
The Department of Rhetoric and Writing is committed to quality writing instruction, especially in lower-division courses where students tend to struggle the most and where at-risk students tend to lose their academic footing. This project composes a more structured and thorough curriculum for RHE 306, a required lower-level writing course, to improve writing instruction in lower-division course and to help students who come to college underprepared. It delivers that curriculum via a new textbook, an instructor guide, and a website; these resources contain detailed schedules, lesson plans, and activities in a format that anyone can readily access and use.
Development of these curricular resources addresses two challenges: supporting new teachers who have little or no experience in the classroom, and providing enough flexibility to accommodate a range of teaching styles, comfort with technology, and teaching skill levels. The RHE 306 curriculum includes materials to teach the principles of rhetoric and writing, provides up-to-date samples of student papers, consolidates helpful materials scattered around various UT websites, offers instructional support for students acclimating to college life, and teaches students the basics of grammar, clear syntax, and documentation. It features particular exercises that instructors can complete with students in class and out-of-class work that complements the sequence of major assignments. Instructors are encouraged to spend their in-class time on exercises that reinforce the skills initially acquired in an online environment.
In addition to the critical RHE 306 course, the curriculum developed through this project provides resources for every lower-division writing course offered by the department.