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Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies

College or Campus: College of Arts and Sciences

Student Learning Outcomes

Goal 1: Students will describe the role of gender and sexuality in social meanings and practices. Specifically:

  1. Students will recognize gender as a system of social relationships and shared practices that shape understandings of “masculinity” and “femininity”; “gay” and “straight” and “bi” and “trans.”
  2. Students will be able to differentiate the terms sex, sexuality and gender as they are conventionally used. They will use these terms in written and oral work in ways that relate and simultaneously distinguish sex identity and gender identity as it is experienced at the individual level and as it is used in scientific, cultural and political practices.

Goal 2: Students will compare and contrast gendered meanings and practices across different cultural, historical and structural contexts. Specifically:

  1. Students will identify gender and sexuality as systems of social relationships practiced differently in different social and cultural contexts.
  2. Students will identify intersections between gender and other systems of organized privilege—race, class, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, for example.

Goal 3: Students will critically evaluate the respective roles of sex, gender and sexuality in existing social orders and articulate normative concerns and alternatives. Specifically:

  1. Students will identify and evaluate a range of humanist, feminist, post-feminist and queer normative arguments. Students will be able to identify their own visions of gender justice.
  2. Students will articulate the relationship between the study of gender and possibilities and problems for realizing change beyond the classroom.

Assessment Plan

There will be two points at which programmatic assessment is conducted:

The WGSS 1000 Working Group will meet in the spring semester and evaluate written assignments from two of WGSS’ Fall 1000 sections. The 1000 Working Group has a long history in WGSS as a venue for working through some of the challenges of teaching a general education course and integrating adjuncts into conversations about these challenges. The Working Group seems an ideal forum for discussing our successes and challenges particularly with respect to the foundational learning goals articulated in 1a and 1b.

The WGSS 4800 Capstone seminar and WGSS exit interviews. The WGSS capstone project asks students to engage in a critical gender analysis of a cultural artifact or practice and assess its contemporary significance. This requires students show evidence of understanding the relationship between empirical and normative theories—the learning goals articulated in 3a and 3b. At the end of the semester students present their work as well as turning in a sustained paper on the topic of their choosing. The WGSS curriculum committee will collectively review a sample of both written work and oral presentations from capstone work. The curriculum committee includes representatives of both the global and sexuality tracks within the WGSS curriculum as well as the curriculum chair.

 

Direct Measures and Rubric for 1000

At the 1000 level, students will complete an in-class long essay format exam. Essays will reflect familiarity with lectures and assigned readings, use texts as supporting evidence, and an organized and articulate writing structure that demonstrates an understanding of gender and sexuality in order to assess outcome goal 1.a and b:

1. At the 1000 level, WGSS students will describe the role of gender and sexuality in social meanings and practices.

  1. Specifically student will recognize gender as a system of social relationships and shared practices which shape understandings of masculinity and femininity, gay and straight, bi and trans.
  2. Students will be able to differentiate the terms sex, sexuality and gender as they are conventionally used. They will use these terms in written and oral work in ways that relate and simultaneously distinguish sex identity and gender identity as it is experienced at the individual level and as it is used in scientific, cultural and political practices.

 

Rubric for WGSS 1000 Essay Exam

A student will exceed expectations (3) for this essay if:

  • The student draws on multiple assigned readings as evidence.
  • The student connects the evidence to the larger conceptual organization of the essay.
  • The student identifies the limits of the evidence in relation to the conceptual arguments .
  • The student not only suggests knowledge of the distinction between gender and sex but makes use of the distinction between gender and sex and narrates the relationship between masculinity and femininity in the course of the analysis.

A student will meet expectations (2) for this essay if:

  • The student draws on one or two assigned readings.
  • The student presents both evidence and conceptual arguments but fails to adequately integrate them or to acknowledge the limits of the evidence.
  • The student suggests knowledge of the distinction between gender and sex but does not provide evidence that the student can make use of the distinction.

A student will need improvement (1) for this essay if:

  • The student makes little or no reference to assigned readings.
  • The student shows little or no familiarity with evidence presented in class or in assigned readings.
  • The student fails to demonstrate an understanding of the distinction between gender and sex and therefore cannot put this distinction to use in analysis.

 

Direct Measures and Rubric for 4800

At the 4000 level, WGSS students will execute a capstone research project. This project will demonstrate the student’s ability to identify appropriate sources, use and cite those sources in an articulate theoretical or empirical analysis, and identify relevant normative positions and counter arguments, in order to assess outcome goals 2a and 2b and 3a and 3b:

1. Students will compare and contrast gendered meanings and practices across different cultural, historical and structural contexts. Specifically:

  1. Students will identify gender and sexuality as systems of social relationships practiced differently in different social and cultural contexts.
  2. Students will identify intersections between gender and other systems of organized privilege—race, class, sexuality, religion, ethnicity, for example.

2. Students will critically evaluate the respective roles of sex, gender and sexuality in existing social orders and articulate normative concerns and alternatives. Specifically:

  1. Students will identify and evaluate a range of humanist, feminist, post-feminist and queer normative arguments. Students will be able to identify their own visions of gender justice.
  2. Students will articulate the relationship between the study of gender and possibilities and problems for realizing personal, social, economic, political change.

 

Rubric for WGSS 4800 Project

A student will exceed expectations (3) for the research project if:

  • The student identifies and properly uses several, varied sources appropriate to the research project.
  • The student appropriately cites these sources.
  • The student’s analysis demonstrates a recognition of the intersections between gender, sex and other structural and culturally/historically specific aspects of identity.
  • The student’s work recognizes multiple normative perspectives and assesses their implications for the project.

A student will meet expectations (2) for the research project if:

  • The student identifies a few sources.
  • The student sometimes appropriately cites these sources.
  • The student’s analysis describes multiple identities but does not analyze the intersections between identities and structures or fully acknowledge the culturally and historically specific aspects of these intersections.
  • She student’s work identifies a normative perspective but fails to acknowledge competing normative perspectives.

A student will need improvement (1) in the research project if:

  • The student fails to identify sources appropriate to the project
  • The student fails to properly cite the sources they do make use of
  • The student fails to identify the intersections between identities and structures and fails to acknowledge the culturally and historically specific aspects of these intersections
  • The student’s work reflects a lack of awareness of competing normative perspectives.

Evidence of Student Learning

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Use of Student Learning Evidence

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