Department: English Course Prefix and Number



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Department: English Course Prefix and Number: ENG 262

Course Title: American Literature II

Instructor(s): Peterson, Cosgrove, Totten, Helstern

This form was completed by: Linda Helstern

Date: 10 December 2002

Campus phone #: 1-5387 E-mail: linda.helstern@ndsu.edu

Is this course intended to be continued to be offered as a General Education course? Yes: __X___ No: _____

(Ifno, please delete the next three questions and progress to identifying how the General Education outcomes selected for this course were met during the previous five-year period.)


  1. Will any of the General Education outcomes previously identified for this course be deleted? Yes: _____ No: __X___

If so, please identify the learning outcome(s) to be deleted: _________________




  1. Which General Education learning outcomes will be continued? 1, 2, & 6

  2. Will any General Education learning outcomes be added for this course?

Yes: _____ No: __X___
If General Education learning outcomes are to be added, this form must be accompanied by a “General Education New Course Template”.


Outcome #1: (Students will learn to)
Communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and formats.

What methods of evaluation have been used to determine if, and how effectively, this outcome has been met?


Methods: Students are required to communicate in oral and written formats in ways that demonstrate their understanding different American periods, cultures and literatures. These methods include group and class discussions and written materials addressed to various audiences.

a) Class discussions require students to communicate clearly with regards to primary texts, authors, cultural contexts and critical theory.

b) Weekly writing assignments ask students to prepare open-ended questions on the materials covered. These questions are then used in both small- and large-group discussion as a way of generating a collective understanding of course materials. The focus on asking questions places students in a dialectical relationship with the texts and in dialogue with their peers, and encourages a shift from a teacher-centered classroom to a student-centered one.*

c) Group presentations on critical theory encourage students to work within peer groups. Peer groups must then present their research to classmates in an organized manner as they, in effect, attempt to clearly convey how critical theory informs primary texts. Because the presentations address critical theory through the examinations of specific texts, they also offer students to demonstrate their abilities to convey the significance of critical theory as a framework for examining literature.*

d) The short-answer and essay portions of exams encourage students to respond to specific prompts by integrating materials and offering textual support. A prompt that asks students to demonstrate how a primary text demonstrates African-American literary criticism and African-American vernacular tradition, for instance, requires students to consider how the texts articulate relationships between racial, cultural, and national structures.

e) Exams include a preparatory component in which students convey their understanding of critical theory by constructing a reference handout. In designing the handouts, students address three different audiences: themselves, other students and the instructor.*

e) The one-page papers and the literary term paper require students to communicate in formal writing to an academic audience. It demonstrates their ability to both consume and produce knowledge.

* Given that this course helps fulfill requirements for English Education majors, these assignments also provide practice in communicative skills useful for future teachers.


What assignments, test questions, and/or projects included in the attachments (andreferenced in the rubric for Student Learning Outcome #1) have addressed this outcome?
Attachment A Discussion Questions

Attachment B One-Page Papers

Attachment C Critical-Theory Presentation

Attachment D Critical-Theory Handout

Attachment E Literary Term Paper

Attachment F Sample Exam


Outcome #2: (Students will learn to)
Locate and use information for making appropriate personal and professional decisions.

What methods of evaluation have been used to determine if, and how effectively, this outcome has been met?


Methods: Individual term papers, one-page papers, presentations, discussion papers and exams require the selection or location, evaluation, and implementation of information.

a) Shorter writing assignments—the discussion questions, one-pager papers, and presentations—encourage students to selectively use material to advance and defend their claims or to present information to the class.

b) The individual term paper requires students to locate and use materials not assigned as part of the class. After choosing a primary text, students must then integrate secondary sources found through various sources: assigned class texts, traditional library research, archival and scholarly research, electronic databases, and online searches.

c) Short answers, in-class essays, and take-home essays require students to integrate primary and secondary materials and to offer their findings in coherent, well-developed materials. In one example from the midterm, students are asked to construct an essay interpreting one of two assigned texts—“The Yellow Wallpaper” or “Editha”—from a psychoanalytic, feminist, or Marxist perspective. In that same exam, the extra-credit question asks students to affiliate themselves with a theoretical perspective of their choosing; a student’s answer on the midterm tends to inform the direction of the literary term project.


What assignments, test questions, and/or projects included in the attachments (and referenced in the rubric for Student Learning Outcome #2) have addressed this outcome?
Attachment E Literary Term Paper


Outcome #6: (Students will learn to)
Communicate effectively in a variety of contexts and formats.

What methods of evaluation have been used to determine if, and how effectively, this outcome has been met?


Methods: The critical-theory presentation and critical-theory handout, individual papers, and exams demonstrate students’ abilities to critically engage with course material and concepts.

a) The critical-theory presentations permit students to articulate relationships between primary texts of American literatures and theoretical frameworks. A group might make connections between The Great Gatsby and feminism, for instance, to demonstrate how it reflects anxieties about the New Woman by examining the figures of Daisy Buchanan or Jordan Backer, while another group might use New Historicism to address the discourses on sexuality which emerge during the Jazz Age. The critical-theory handout requires students to concisely represent critical theory and its application in American literature to an outside audience.

b) Individual papers encourage students to develop initial connections between primary and secondary texts, and to address American literature as expressions of various cultural contexts, values, and anxieties.

c) Exams require students to assess course materials, discussions, lectures, and independent research in relationship to class objectives. One example, from the sample midterm provided here, asks students to define Marxist Criticism’s false consciousness using examples from assigned primary texts.


What assignments, test questions, and/or projects included in the attachments (and referenced in the rubric for Student Learning Outcome #6) have addressed this outcome?
Attachment B One-Page Papers

Attachment C Critical-Theory Presentation

Attachment D Critical-Theory Handout

Attachment E Literary Term Paper

Attachment F Sample Exam

Rev. 11/18/2004




Outcome 1
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