FAQs on the Process for GER Part B Designation

Q:    Does a course have to be a current GER course to get OWC-B (or QL-B) status?

A:    No. Any course that meets the requirements for Part B designation can be so designated.

Q:    Does every current GER course need to comply with the OWC-B or QL-B requirements?

A:    Definitely not. Only if a department wishes the course to be designated as OWC-B (or QL-B), does it need to satisfy the requirements.

Q:    Can a course satisfy both a GER distribution requirement and also be designated as Level-B course?

A:    Yes. If a course is a currently approved GER distribution course (Humanities, Arts, Natural Science, Social Science, or Cultural Diversity), it can also be designated as an OWC-B or a QL-B course with approval.

Q:    What prerequisite must an OWC-B course have?

A:    An OWC-B course must have completion of OWC-Part A requirement, or higher as a prerequisite. The OWC-A requirement is same as current "English Composition requirement". The OWC- A is satisfied by either:

i.     earning a grade of C or higher in English 102 or an equivalent course; or

ii.    a suitable score on the UW-System English Placement Test

Q:    What prerequisite must a QL-B course have?

A:    A QL-B course is expected to have completion of QL-Part A requirement, or higher as a prerequisite. Per FD 2836, QL-Part A requirement is satisfied by any of the following:

i.    A grade of C or higher in Math 103 (106), 105, 175, or

ii.    A minimum of 2.5 credits with a grade of C or higher in an equivalent or higher level math course.

iii.    A placement code of 30 or higher on the Mathematics Placement Test.

Q:    Course X requires extensive writing. Does that mean it is OWC-B?

A:    No. An OWC-B course must emphasize improving student communication skills. It is not enough to simply require writing.

Q.    Does every department have to offer an OWC-B course?

A.    No. Students can meet the Level-B requirements by taking approved courses from other departments.

Q.    What happens if such a course is not offered within the department?

A.    If departments do not have their own Level-B offering(s), they should identify courses that their students can take to satisfy the requirements. Departments may also choose to recommend (or require) students to satisfy the Level-B requirement from a specific subset of offerings that most compliment the course of study in the department.

Q.     What do I have to do to get a course approved?

A.     Log in to CAROnline and complete the submission form, including rationale.

Q.     What kinds of information should be in my CAR rationale for an OWC-B course?

A.     Specific requirements will vary by discipline, but generally speaking courses should include multiple assignments [6-8 would be ideal], spaced through the semester that culminate in oral or written presentations. The balance between oral and written presentations may vary, as appropriate to the discipline, so long as the total amount of graded communication remains reasonably consistent from course to course. In a course with a 50/50 balance, students should submit at least 20 pages of writing (in multiple assignments) and give 2 or more formal oral presentations totaling at least 10 minutes. In a course with the maximum emphasis on writing (75%), students should submit at least 30 pages of writing and give 2 or more formal oral presentations totaling at least 5 minutes. Drafts count in the total number of pages.

i.    At least two assignments that require students to submit a draft or give a practice speech, assimilate feedback on it, and then revise it. Additional opportunities for feedback and revision would be better yet.

ii.   At least one individual conference with each student, preferably early in the semester, to discuss the student's writing and/or speaking skills.

iii.   A requirement that a portion of the speaking and/or writing be based on a research.

iv.  A component, appropriate to the discipline and course.

Courses may include the option to integrate speaking and writing into new media formats, including video/animation, podcasts, blogs, some social media, or online discussion and presentation settings.