Key Policies

  • 6500 words of writing during the semester. This word count includes drafts.
  • 3 major papers plus a reflective/portfolio final.
  • The papers must make up at least 80% of the final grade. (The papers can be worth more than 80%)
  • The other 20% or less of the final grade can come from daily grades, homework, journals, etc.

  • All 101, 102,1 03, and 104 sections should use Wavelength and/or adopt a textbook from the FWP approved text list unless prior approval is given by the director of FWP.
  • The approved book list is updated each semester and sent via email shortly after course assignments have been made. Contact the FWP if you need the most recent version of the list.
  • Desk copies should be ordered from the publisher’s reps listed on the book list.
  • Book orders are submitted by following the link and instructions in an email from the SupeStore after course assignments have been made. If you are using Wavelength and not using a textbook, fill out the Supestore survey and indicate no book is needed.

Your course syllabus should include all required course policies (see preloaded templates in OSM) and a complete calendar that lists major grade due dates, rough draft dates, homework and reading assignments, and some indication of in-class activities.

  • Each teacher must upload the accurate syllabus (policies and calendar) for each of their sections to Simple Syllabus by the first day of classes each semester. The syllabi in Simple Syllabus are evaluated for program requirements and used in SACS accreditation records. Assignments and requirements in the syllabus uploaded to Simple Syllabus and in the syllabus given to students must be the same. 
  • Teachers must also create a BBL shell for each section and at least use the BBL course to upload the syllabus there as well. See instructions for creating a BBL shell.

At the end of each semester, please remind students to complete the Student Opinion of Instruction Survey. They receive emails with a link to the survey; they are prompted to complete the survey when they login to blackboard, and they can access the surveys through mybama. To get better response rates, you can give students class time to complete the surveys.

How to access the student opinion survey results

Results can be accessed through mybama, faculty tab, OIRA resources box. Click on “Student Opinions of Instruction/Course Evaluations”

If you have problems accessing the program surveys contact the First-Year Writing Program.

  • Major-grade assignments (papers or tests) may not be due during Study Week. Homework is fine.
  • Final exams may not be given during study week.
  • In your course policies, do not allow the final paper / final exam to be turned in late. (You can make individual exceptions, if warranted by extenuating circumstances, but don’t allow the whole class the option of turning in these papers late.)
  • Final grades must be posted by the deadline advertised by the Registrar’s office.
  • Use one of two methods for giving a final exam in FWP classes:
  • OPTION 1: Students complete a final assignment during the University-scheduled time for your class. Your exam must be given AS SCHEDULED by the University.
  • OPTION 2: A reflective or other final essay that is assigned before or during study week so that you can walk students through the process of writing as with previous essays. This essay should be due at the same time as your University-scheduled exam would have be given. Students can meet you during the exam time to drop off papers, or you can have students submit electronically (turnitin, BBL, etc.).

  • Report class cancellations on the intradepartmental page of the English department website
  • If you know that you will need to cancel more than one day of FWP classes, notify the Director of First Year Writing in addition to reporting the cancellation on the website. For TESOL classes, contact one of the Co-Coordinators of the TESOL program.
  • Please report your class cancellation even if you plan to have students complete activities online in place of class.
  • Please also email your students and post in Blackboard. Office staff does not post notices on classroom doors when there is a class cancelation.
  • You are expected to meet all of your classes, but if you must be absent, you are required to notify the English Department as outlined above.

Official Class Rosters can always be found through My Bama: Academics or Faculty tab, Banner Self Services box, Faculty & Advisors link, Summary Class List link; or Faculty tab, Faculty Dashboard box and can be downloaded and/or printed. To help you learn student names, there is also a photo class list (Banner Self Services box, Faculty and Advisors, Photo Class List).

If you choose to replace class meetings with individual conferences, FWP recommends one week per unit. You should meet with students in your office or another on-campus location such as the library. Do not hold conferences off campus, on weekends, or outside business hours.

First-year writing requires that each teacher turn in grade records at the end of each semester. Watch for the end-of-semester email/memo with directions on how to turn in these records. Use these forms.

  • Your office hours and a “by appointment” statement should be listed on your course policy and syllabus, which should be uploaded to Simple Syllabus and BBL.
  • Office hours should be held in your office or in another campus location during regular business hours. You should not set up meetings with students off-campus or after hours
  • You can determine the number of office hours you hold each week. The key is to be available to your students each week as necessary.