Curriculum Renewal

The department of Italian engaged a Curriculum Renewal Project that started in 2005. The objective of the project was to ensure greater vertical coherence between language level and upper level courses and goals, to understand current  levels of achievement and perceived value of targeted learning outcomes across the courses, and to utilize assessment information for the implementation of more effective pedagogic strategies to reach stated outcomes.  The areas that were selected as domains for primary attention and teaching/learning improvement at the time were general background formation in basic cultural and literary movements in Italy, and the development of critical and writing skills. The department agreed that a focus on the teaching of writing skills within culturally meaningful tasks could be a way to work on the development of critical skills as well and to ensure continuity between language level and upper level courses.  An offspring of this initial reflection was the creation and implementation of a Gateway and a Capstone course in Italian literature, a restructuring of the Senior Seminar and the design of a set of specific writing tasks reflective of expected learner development at distinct levels of the language curriculum and some of the upper level courses. We implemented process writing throughout the curriculum (see Writing Project), elaborated learning outcomes for both majors and minors and specific writing goals.