Learning Goals

The following are derived from the College of Wooster’s Mission Statement and its First-Year Seminar Learning Objectives.

1. Students should be able to develop the abilities, especially the writing skills, that are essential to critical thinking. Success in achieving this goal will be assessed by your ability to:
•participate in discussions and debates about the course material;
•write short argumentative essays on course topics;
•complete a research project and paper on a relevant subject.

2. Students should be able to interpret complex theoretical and creative texts. Success in achieving this goal will be assessed by your ability to:
•analyze primary source materials;
•communicate your developing ideas to your peers;
•complete a research project and paper on a relevant subject.

3. Students should be able to construct a coherent argument and then support it with evidence. Success in achieving this goal will be assessed by your ability to:
•participate in discussions and debates about the course material;
•write short argumentative essays on course topics;
•complete a research project and paper on a relevant subject.

4. Students should be able to understand, appreciate, and constructively criticize multiple perspectives, including one’s own. Success in achieving this goal will be assessed by your ability to:
•participate in discussions and debates about the course material;
•write short argumentative essays on course topics;
•complete a research project and paper on a relevant subject.

All First-Year Seminar sections will

  • provide students with clear opportunities to meet the learning objectives;
  • introduce questions and problems that are intellectually challenging as well as interesting and comprehensible to first-year students;
  • approach issues from a number of perspectives, methods, and points of view;
  • create the opportunity for students to pose problems and pursue their own questions in relation to the course themes;
  • introduce students to substantive texts of a variety of kinds;
  • require a minimum of five graded writing assignments that encourage students to engage in a variety of intellectual tasks, including synthesizing, judging, and comparing different approaches or points of view and drawing on several sources in constructing an argument.

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