The Department of German, Nordic, Slavic & Dutch (GNSD), located in the College of Liberal Arts, has 9 tenured and 21 teaching faculty members and teaches more than 1,100 undergraduate students. GNSD is a community engaged in transnational cultural studies with a focus on the languages, literatures, and cultures of central and northern Europe and Russia.
For its first-edition Writing Plan, the department identified several key activities involving curricular, programmatic, and pedagogical features: (1) re-examining the current structure, purpose, and design for the capstone project; (2) extending the curricular mapping and analysis that began during the WEC-facilitated faculty meetings; (3) providing a Fall 2019 Orientation Week that brought together the faculty, P&A, and graduate instructors to discuss ways critical reasoning is relayed through writing instruction; (4) conducting two faculty workshops on “Designing Effective Writing Assignments” and “Utilizing Writing Strategies, Prewriting and Scaffolding.”
During its first-year of WEC implementation, the department also worked closely with the Russian program—which merged with German, Scandinavian and Dutch in 2018—to develop a clear set of objectives and writing goals for the four-year Russian curriculum in the target language.
For its second-edition Writing Plan, approved by the Campus Writing Board in Summer 2020, GNSD is focusing on the following core activities in AY 2020-2022: (1) implementing the changes made to the capstone seminar; (2) establishing a cohort of writing-intensive instructors who will meet twice a semester to consider ways to integrate more explicit writing instruction into courses; (3) supporting the Russian and Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) programs by articulating program-specific learning outcomes; (4) conducting departmental workshops focused on writing-related matters once a semester.