Preparing a PWR Course Description and Video

Students have two primary ways of finding out about PWR courses: a brief written course description and an accompanying course video (about 1-2 minutes in length). For PWR 1 and PWR 2, the two forms of course description appear together on the course page linked from VCA-PWR; for our advanced elective PWRs, they linked from our PWR Electives page.  They also can access more generic descriptions of each on Explorecourses.

Students use these materials to help make informed choices about how to rank their PWR section preferences.  According to a 2014 student survey, most students read the written course descriptions for details about the course; when viewing the videos, they are looking for a window into the instructor’s take on the topic and engagement with the course material.  In both cases, students are looking to see what distinguishes that particular section from all the other sections of PWR.

In other words, strong videos and section descriptions help students find the PWR courses that best match their own intellectual and academic interests.  Consequently, the course description and the video should be designed to serve as an advising tool principally -- to help the student understand how a class supports their academic growth and interests -- rather than as a marketing or recruiting tool.

See also: 2014 Student Survey about Course Descriptions (by Emily Polk; Canvas log-in required)