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Administrative Review of L&S Course Proposals

After a course proposal is approved by an L&S department, staff in L&S Administration review it for alignment with current L&S and campus curricular guidelines/policies. For course changes, this includes a review of all course components, not just those ones that are changing. The general assumption is that proposers and departments, too, review the full course to avoid frequent or piecemeal changes to one course. Departments will be asked to address any issues identified by this administrative review, after which the proposal is added to the next possible L&S Curriculum Committee agenda. The questions below generally reflect the administrative review. If you apply this to your course proposal prior to submitting (or if departments use this prior to approving), you're likely to catch the typical issues that cause delay in L&S Curriculum Committee approval.

Course Description. Is it....

  • Up-to-date? Does it describe the content of the course?
  • Broad enough that it will accurately reflect the course through the next several offerings? (e.g., free of overly specific information like meeting times or assignments)
  • Free of information that has an ‘official’ place in another field?  (e.g., credits, title, requirements it meets, etc.)
  • Aligned with the general advice on course descriptions provided by the University Curriculum Committee
A reminder: undergraduate students tell us they use the course title and description when deciding whether to enroll in a course.

Prerequisites will be enforced on the course by the Registrar's Office. Are the prerequisites. . .

  • Included on all undergraduate courses that have an intermediate or advanced level? (See course criteria for level designations)
  • Enforceable?  Inclusive of all possible prerequisites, including those from other departments? Aligned with other campus guidelines on prerequisites?
  • Articulated in such a way that graduate students will be able to enroll, if they are an expected audience?
    (Graduate students are unlikely to have taken undergraduate prerequisite coursework on campus, and may be blocked if only undergraduate courses are included. Adding "or graduate or professional standing" can help with courses numbered under 700. For courses numbered 700+, departments may wish to articulate 'recommendations' in the course description if the prerequisite courses are most likely to have been taken as an undergraduate at another institution.)

Submitted syllabus   

  • If a syllabus is submitted, does it include all the required components, per University Curriculum Committee policy? Approval for courses missing components will be delayed until a revision is provided.
  • Syllabus components most likely to be missing are how the course meets the federal credit definition, institution name (UW Madison), grading scale (e.g., A=93-100, or description of curve) and learning outcomes. If the course has the grad attribute, it must have separate graduate learning outcomes, assignments, and weights of assignments.

If the course has Graduate Attribute because undergraduates and graduates are assessed separately...

  • Does the proposal/syllabus include information about how students are assessed separately, and make clear that the work/assignments for the graduate students have higher, graduate-level rigor? (Read more about campus policy regarding the graduate course attribute)
    • In particular, does the syllabus include both separate learning outcomes and separate assignments/work for undergraduates and graduates?
  • Does the course have prerequisites that allow graduate students to enroll? (See more information about this above, in the 'prerequisites' section.)
Consultation with other departments:
  • L&S waits for all cross-listed departments to approve a proposal before reviewing it.
  • The L&S Curriculum Committee expects departments will consult with other areas that offer similar/related courses when applicable, especially for new proposals. Departments should add appropriate departments via the online course proposal system; this will allow the L&S Curriculum Committee to see relevant/appropriate departments have been consulted, as well as comments and support.

Additional links that may be helpful:

Keywords:curriculum, change, prerequisite, syllabus   Doc ID:75957
Owner:Kimbrin C.Group:College of Letters & Science
Created:2017-08-23 10:23 CSTUpdated:2018-01-29 08:35 CST
Sites:College of Letters & Science
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