Listed below are selected learning outcomes in the areas of critical thinking, writing, and information literacy that Western Washington University is actively integrating into its curriculum. Each learning outcome is listed with its definition, along with a description of how Nicole Brown's teaching strategies meet each of these student learning outcome goals.


Critical Thinking

Learning Outcomes Definition Course Outcomes
Identification Accurately identifies and interprets evidence. Eng 203, 302, 462: Students research and evaluate information and contexts relevant to their topics, such as writings, oral histories, community groups, online social networks, etc.
Alternative Consideration Considers major alternative points of view. Eng 462: Students expound the alternative views towards their social change campaigns and state the implications of these on their research and messaging strategies.
Accurate Conclusions Draws warranted, judicious, non-fallacious conclusions. ENG 203, 462: Students explore topics and research through discussion, debate and role-play, and practice the oral presentation of both one-sided and balanced arguments.
Justification Justifies key results and procedures, and explains assumptions and reasons. ENG 302,371, 461, 462: Students discuss how they take claims, observations and insights gained through rhetorical analysis and make worthwhile discoveries that lead them to rhetorical communication practices.
Source: Adapted from the California Academic Press's Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric (HCTSR).


Learning Outcomes Definition Course Outcomes
Rhetorical Knowledge Focuses on a clear rhetorical purpose and responds appropriately to the needs of varied audiences and situations. ENG 302, 461, 462: Students create and distribute effective audience-centered information using different forms of public writing and media tools. For example, blogs, editorials, concept papers, proposals, press releases, letters, videos, web sites, public events, social media, and other forms of visual-verbal persuasion.
Critical Analysis Develops, examines, situates, and communicates a reasoned perspective clearly to others. ENG 203, 302, 461, 462: Students craft texts that consider the requirements and limitations of their unique rhetorical situations.
Composing Processes Understands writing as a recursive process that involves drafting, re-thinking, editing, reconceptualizing. ENG 302, 461: Students gain understandings of the ethical and political implications of a technical writer's choice, as well as the diverse roles that technical writers occupy in organizations and communities.
Convention Knowledge Uses appropriate conventions for documentation and for surface features such as syntax, grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling. ENG 203, 302, 461, 462: Students apply technical style to documents with an emphasis on clarity, grammar, and consistent usage.
Source: Adapted from Western Washington University's Learning Outcomes for Writing II.

Information Literacy

Learning Outcomes Definition Course Outcomes

Identifying Need

Recognizes and articulates the need for information, identifies potential sources, considers the costs and benefits, and reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need.

ENG 203, 302, 461, 462: Students identify a community-based need for information and assess the topic’s accessibility, manageability, professionalism, relevancy, community support, etc., as well as what contribute they will be able to make to the project and the benefits they will gain.

Search Strategies

Matches information needs to information resources, organizes an effective search strategy and manages the information and its sources.

ENG 203, 302, 371, 461, 462: Students distinguish between types of information sources and demonstrate through their choices that not all information sources are appropriate for all purposes.


Evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

ENG 203, 302, 371, 461, 462: Students learn how to analyze the persuasive mechanisms of a text or activity, as well as how to place ideas and arguments in a social, historical, and intellectual context. 


Applies new and prior information to the planning, creation, and revision of the development process, and communicates the product or performance effectively.

ENG 461: Students recognize the key aspects of an organizational culture and contribute effectively to this organizational culture by offering new ideas that improve the culture and work practices of the organization.


Understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

ENG 462: Students use public writing as a tool for social critique and as a means of personal, community, institutional, and/or political dialogue and transformation.
Source: Adapted from the Association of College and Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.