ENGL 4384 (Senior Seminar)
Course Description, Learning Outcomes, and Policies
Approved by the English Faculty, 12/04/01

NOTE: The following course requirements have been approved by the English department. Faculty who teach ENGL4384 must incorporate these
requirements into their course and include them on their syllabus.

Guidelines and Questions for the Exit Interview (Click HERE)

Catalog Course Description:

A capstone seminar designed to assess students' learning in the program.  The course will integrate literature, theory and writing, centering on an Idea, a theoretical issue or critical concern in literary studies. Required for the English major. Cannot be taken until ENGL 1101, 1102 and core area F have been completed with a minimum passing grade of C. A minimum of 18 hours of upper level classes must also have been completed. Requires permission of the department chair.  Not offered during the summer session.

Credit Hours: 3 / 0 / 3

Learning Outcomes

Students will understand and apply select theoretical and practical issues in the discipline of literary studies.

Students will become conversant with representative texts and a selected issue in literary history that allows for integration of the aims of the discipline.

Students will develop the ability to work both independently and collaboratively toward the publication of an anthology of essays by class members.

Students will propose, research, and execute a substantive literary argument appropriate to the seminar topic.

Students will be able to make effective oral presentations, both individual and collaborative.

Students will participate in an end-of-semester exit interview to assess how the course and the major have served their professional goals.

Other Requirements:

This course, required of all English majors, must be taken during the final semester of course work within the English major. Enrollment will be limited to twelve (12) students in each section in order to facilitate a seminar format. In keeping with that format, the class will be discussion, rather than lecture, driven, and all professors teaching ENGL 4384 will be committed to encouraging students toward independent and collaborative work generated by the class members rather than solely by the teacher.

Proposed sections of ENGL 4384 must involve the three elements of study that students in an English major encounter: literature, theory and writing. To this end, professors will center their course on an idea, theoretical issue or critical concern in literary studies which is illustrated by readings of a theoretical nature in tandem with one or more appropriate literary texts selected according to the professorís specialty.  The class should not become dominated by those literary texts since their primary focus is to provide a concrete instance of the idea, theoretical issue or critical concern which anchors the course. Since the course functions as a capstone for the English major, the students should be able to draw on their previous experience as students of English in their selection and execution of their final projects.  The primary written product generated by the class will be an anthology of 15-20 page essays produced by the students, essays which share the classís central focus but which are based on texts not limited by period, genre or country of origin. The focus of the course must therefore be considered in terms broad enough to facilitate such a range of final projects, even though the professorís selection of illustrative texts for classroom study may be very tightly focused. It is recommended that, in instances where a studentís final project is significantly outside the professorís range of expertise, the professor advises the student to solicit help from other faculty early in the projectís development.

 The papers will be rigorously edited and organized into a collection by the students collaboratively. They will make all decisions about the design of the anthology itself, and will share responsibility for ensuring the quality of the essays contained therein. The final version of the anthology will be printed and bound, each student taking at least one copy, and one copy being kept by the department.

Assignments: While these may include various combinations of instruments ranging from reading quizzes, response papers, and presentations to longer essays, including documented essays, students in all sections should produce a 15-20 page research documented essay for inclusion in the final anthology in order to meet departmental expectations.

Texts: Individual instructors may assemble a group of texts that will allow students to meet the objectives and specifications outlined above. No specific texts are required.

Attendance and Participation: Because of the collaborative nature of the seminar, students should be expected to come to class, prepared and able to participate.

ENGL 4384 (Senior Seminar)
Guidelines for Conducting the On-line Exit Interview

1. All students enrolled in ENGL 4384 must complete an on-line exit interview for their assigned section of the course before the end of the final exam period. Faculty should include this information on the syllabus as a required element for completion of the course.

2. After the withdrawal date for the semester, seminar faculty should email the Academic Coordinator, Susan Holland, the names and email addresses for the students enrolled in their section.

3. The Academic Coordinator will set up the assessment tool for the semester and let faculty know when it will be available for student input.

4. While students will receive an email from the on-line system, seminar faculty should be proactive in prompting students to complete the survey. (FYI--Please make clear to the students that the information they provide will be kept confidential and that it is being used to assist the department with program assessment.)

5. The Academic Coordinator will report participation rates to the Chair of the Assessment Committee who will work with faculty to boost these rates during the survey process.

6. The Academic Coordinator will house the data and provide downloads to the Chair and Assessment Committee as needed.