Minutes of the Professional Development Meeting held on Friday 4/25/03

These were main ideas introduced in a long, free flowing and fun, if not always funny, discussion. This, of course, is only a paraphrase of what was said. I offer no direct quotes here. If you need further clarification of any of the points here, please contact Marvin or Andrea.


The purpose of the meeting was to introduce the new guidelines for designing PWR2 courses and to discuss the pedagogical implications.

Administrative Matters:

--Marvin hopes that all PWR classes will be approved for 4 units classes, as opposed to 3 units, so that PWR classes will carry the same weight.

-–Andrea suggested that this could be a source of contention especially since other departments such as Engineering offer 3 unit classes. Andrea also said that the 4 unit requirement will make all PWR class on par with the rest of the Humanities offerings. She emphasized that having instructors from other fields design PWR2 type classes will be a experiment. One of the problems will be recruiting those instructors. There may also be problems with varying interpretations of the guidelines. And budget constraints may also pose an obstacle to instituting the new PWR2 requirement.

-–Marvin then said that there will be 35 sections of PWR1 in the fall, 20 sections of PWR2 (10 in the Winter and 10 in the Spring), and 105 sections of PWR 1 overall. For 2003-4, PWR2 will be taught by volunteers, instructors, and everyone will teach an equal number of PWR1 and 2 in 2004-2005. We’re all hoping that a limit of 12 students per section for PWR2 will be approved.

On Pedagogy:

There was a discussion of what kinds of assignments will be effective and of how to link PWR1 and 2. Many had concerns and suggestions offered (too fast and too numerous for this scribe to write all of them down or even to remember them all). For example, Alyssa O’Brien suggested an emphasis on research as a link, Carolyn Ross concurred. Shea Brawn proposed group project driven classes might be a good idea at first then taking that to field research type projects. Andrea suggested classes could be deigned with a very challenging collaborative project and also mentioned 3 main kinds of emphasis in designing assignments: one written, one oral, and one multimedia. Joyce Moser warned us that we could easily give ourselves too much work if we’re not careful with our class designs.

Andrea also emphasized the main difference between PWR1 and 2. PWR1 will concentrate on the principles of invention arrangement and style and PWR2 on memory and delivery. She mentioned that the work load has to be equal across sections. Some PWR section will designated as "honors" and will emphasize writing skill more than multimedia.

Andrea also suggested that we all come up with a possible sequence of assignments to e-mail to her and to Marvin


Minutes provided by Arturo Heredia