All policies that relate to course proposals, approved by the University Curriculum Committee (UCC).
Credits (Variable Credit)
Course Designations and Attributes
Directed/Independent Study or Thesis Courses
For courses that will be cross-listed:
If a cross-listed subject is being removed:
The maintenance of cross-listed courses can be time-consuming, complex, and error-prone: cross-listing is not “resource-neutral.” Ideally, the use of cross-listing is reserved for courses that are taught within an inter- or multi-disciplinary framework and that appropriately belong in multiple subject listings.
There is no requirement that a course be cross-listed, even when it meets the criteria for cross-listing. The following guidelines are suggested:
The cross-listing of courses increases the complexity of scheduling classes and will add to staff workload. This should be taken into consideration when proposals for cross-listing are considered.
Each course has two governed versions of the title*:
Course Title (also known as the long title): utilized in Course Search and Enroll, Guide, Canvas and other campus systems and publications where space is not an issue. The limitation in the Student Information System (SIS) is 100 characters, Lumen Courses enforces that limit.
Transcript Title: the version that appears on the student transcript and systems where space is limited. The best practice is to utilize as many characters as possible. This field is limited to 30 characters. Lumen Courses enforces that limit.
Course titles may only be changed with the approval of governance via a course change proposal. Titles should reflect the overall theme of the course description. The expectation is that course titles will be unique except in a limited number exceptions would include independent/directed study and other similar courses where the title simply describes the basic activity of the course.
|680||Senior Honors Thesis|
|681||Senior Honors Thesis|
|682||Senior Honors Thesis|
|790||Master's Research and Thesis|
|990||Research or Research and Thesis|
|x99 or x98||Directed or Independent Study|
*Topics courses have an additional title called “Topic Title.” The Course and Transcript Titles are relatively generic, allowing the Topic Title to indicate the specific topic taught in any given term. Topic Titles are limited to 30 characters and are entered through SIS. See Topics Courses for more information.
The course description provides a brief summary of the course content. The text of a course description is used in the search features of Guide, Course Search and Enroll etc. so highlighting key words or phrases are vital.
When crafting the description, keep these in mind:
Courses are, by default, taught in English. If a course is taught in any language other than English and does not have the Foreign Language Attribute (FL1-5) may include "Taught in [Klingon]."
Note: In limited situations, such as “Consent of Instructor,” information related to the enrollment of students in the course may be included as the last sentence in the course description. This is in anticipation of the discontinuation of Enroll Info after the completion of the Requisite Amnesty Program. For more information, see Enroll Info.
The University Curriculum Committee approved an amnesty process to revise requisites by subject in an effort to provide clear, standardized information about enforced requisites (May 22, 2015). Through the amnesty process, Enroll Info was created to store the old requisite data (Prereq>) during the requisite amnesty project and additionally serves as a place to store enroll information when the requisite is “Consent of Instructor.”
In circumstances when the requisite for the course is “Consent of Instructor”, a concise explanation of the circumstances when a student will be given permission to enroll may be included. This can be used to inform the student of the additional criteria to enroll in the course, such as age limits, verifying valid passports, applications/auditions, etc.
Enroll Info cannot include information such as recommended (but not enforced) preparation, how the course fulfills requirements for specific programs, etc. If there is additional information that needs to be provided to students, this can be done in Instructor Notes when building the schedule of classes.
Examples of allowable Enroll Info:
At the completion of the requisite amnesty project, Enroll Info will be retired. See more about requisite amnesty project (RAP).
A catalog requisite is the academic preparation required of all students to be successful in a course. Requisites can take the form of a prerequisite (completed prior to the start of the course) or co-requisite (taken concurrently with the course). Requisites are set at the catalog level and are true for all sections of a course.
Requisites are relatively consistent, in that they remain the same every term until they are revised by course proposal, reviewed, and approved through governance. Requisites are public facing and should be transparent and inclusive of all ways a student could demonstrate preparation. This helps students, advisors, and individuals determining transfer credit understand course sequences and make appropriate plans for completing requirements. The department(s) proposing/offering the course determine the academic preparedness and are the experts expected to articulate that preparedness in the requisite. Requisites must comply with the rules for building requisites.
Requisites are an element reviewed and approved at the subject level (department chair, FP&P 5.31), as the content experts are expected to know and articulate the appropriate level of preparation for a course. See the policy on Course Proposal Review Process - Purpose, Standards and Responsibilities for more information on subject/department responsibilities.
Requisites are not a means of managing enrollment. This is done through the application of section-level requirement groups and is not a part of the course catalog entry. Section level requirements can be turned on and off. These requirement groups may be set while building the schedule of classes and may only be stricter than the catalog level requisite (aka one cannot make section-level requisites less strict than catalog requisites, bypassing the catalog requisite).
Why requisites are important to enforce:
Institutional research has shown that students who enroll in courses without the necessary preparation have higher rates of D, F and drop than students who are appropriately prepared. Enforcing requisites is a way to ensure that students are only enrolling in courses that they are prepared for. For students to make smart decisions about their education, they need clear, consistent information.
Requisites are limited to 254 characters (maximum characters allowed in SIS); Lumen Courses enforces that limitation.
Rules when building requisites:
Policies for grading are found in the policy library:
Additional information can also be found in Guide:
Explanation of Grading Basis Options:
Variable credit courses may take several forms:
Consistent Course Information
Course Learning Outcomes Requirements
See Also: UW-1011 Policy on the Credit Hour
A topics course is a classification used for courses with content that varies with each offering. Topics courses should not be used to circumvent the course proposal and approval process. A new course does not need to be taught as a topics course prior to being proposed and approved with a permanent course number. If a topic title will be a regular offering in the curriculum, it must be created as a new course.
A topics course will:
Typical Uses of a Topics Course:
Guidelines for Reviewing Topics Courses
The decision to offer particular topics should be part of the regular process for establishing the department/program schedule of courses and should involve conversation with, and planning by, the department faculty members.
On an annual basis, each school or college will be provided with a list of topics courses that were offered through subject listings in their departments showing the number of times each topic has been offered. It is the responsibility of the school or college and their departments to review this list and determine whether there are courses being offered as a topic that should be proposed as a stand-alone course with a permanent number. It is recommended that a limit of being offered three (3) times within a 5-year period should be considered the standard.
Topics Courses Section-Level Titles
All attributes and designations (with the exception the Community based Learning attribute) are set at the catalog level and apply to all sections of a course.
See the policy for each attribute/designation:
In the Criteria for Accreditation, the Higher Learning Commission requires "clearly stated goals for student learning and effective processes for assessment of student learning and achievement of learning goals." For course learning outcomes, the syllabus is the place where the goals and assessment are explained.
According to the UW-Madison 2015 Assessment Plan (pdf), “All courses offered at UW-Madison must have course syllabi with course objectives and student learning goals clearly articulated.”
See the 2015 Assessment Plan for more information.
Writing Course Learning Outcomes
Course learning outcomes are common to each offering of a course regardless of instructor, mode of instruction, etc. These learning outcomes are included in the proposal for a new course and may subsequently be updated through the course change proposal process. An instructor may have additional learning outcomes for a specific offering of a course, but these may not be in place of the established course learning outcomes. If a course is part of the requirements for a particular degree/major or certificate one or more of the learning outcomes could relate to the program learning outcomes.
Each time a course is offered the established course learning outcomes must be included on the syllabus.
Course learning outcomes state what students are expected to know or be able to do upon completion of a course. Course learning outcomes may contribute, or map to, program learning outcomes, and are required in group instruction course syllabi. Courses typically should have 3-5 course learning outcomes.
The course learning outcomes included in a course proposal are an integral part of the course and all outcomes must be a part of all offerings of the course (regardless of modality, term, instructor, section, credits, etc.). In the syllabus for a particular term, the instructor may add section level learning outcomes in addition to the governance-approved course learning outcomes.
Course Learning Outcomes:
Guidelines, Roles, and Responsibilities
After the initial implementation of Lumen Programs, Student Learning Assessment (SLA) and Academic Planning and Institutional Research (APIR) offices received feedback that the learning outcomes process was confusing. SLA and APIR created a roles and responsibilities document for Lumen Programs and determined it would be helpful for one in Lumen Courses as well. The Clarification of Guidelines and Roles for Learning Outcomes in Lumen Courses (pdf) document explains the basic principles for learning outcomes in Lumen Courses and the role of SLA and APIR.
Individual study courses are different from group instruction courses in that they do not have a pre-defined curriculum. Proposals to create or change an individual study course must still go through the regular course proposal process.
There are a number of areas where this type of course must follow the same requirements as all other for-credit courses:
The sample syllabus may be replaced with a directed/independent study or thesis agreement form.