7303.Doctoral Writing and Teaching Seminar

BPS7303: Doctoral Writing and Teaching Seminar
Instructor: McClain Watson, PhD
PLEASE ONLY EMAIL ME AT: mcclain.watson+phd@gmail.com
Office hours: By appointment
Phone: x4875, Office: 4.415

Although academics spend most of their professional life writing and teaching, they are rarely required in their graduate training to think about teaching and writing as such.  Consequently, although beginning academics want to be good writers and effective teachers, they do not always have the tools necessary to think critically about teaching or writing or know how to go about improving the quality of this important academic work.  The Writing and Teaching Workshop is a first step toward addressing this critical need of PhD students in the School of Management. As the name suggests, this course will be run on a workshop model.  This will not only better accommodate your wide range of projects and methods and experiences, but will allow/force you to treat writing and teaching as skills which can, through collaboration and feedback, be continually improved over time.  You will not only be exposed to research on effective writing and teaching, you will work actively with classmates – both within and across areas – to improve your ability to write clearly and teach well.

In this course you will:

WRITE
Write/Revise a research statement
Identify conversants for your current writing project and analyze their abstracts
Workshop a current paper (with feedback from readers in and outside your area)
Reflect on a recently-completed paper with an eye towards how you can improve your process
Identify and Analyze a recent SOM dissertation in your area

TEACH
Compose a statement of teaching philosophy
Put together a syllabus for an Introductory course in your field
Invent 2 assignments for your Intro course
Present 2 explanations of a difficult concept in your field
Put together a draft of a Teaching Portfolio

AACSB-required Student Learning Objectives
Students will create and deliver two short microteach presentations on an introductory topic in their field
Students will write a teaching philosophy statement
Students will read and analyze a recent dissertation in their field
Students will create two innovative assignments for an introductory course in their field

Required Text
McKeachie’s Teaching Tips: Strategies, Research, and Theory for College and University Teachers (14ed)

Additional required texts are available on the schedule of readings on the course schedule.

The Lowdown
As you can see above, you are going to be doing a lot of work in this course.  This work will help you improve as a writer, reader, and teacher.  Be aware that the readings and work in this course are not intended to blow your mind so you should not expect this to happen.  Instead, this course will help you begin developing work habits that will have a tangible impact on your professional success.  By the end of the course – even though you may not feel it right away – you will be a stronger writer, reader, teacher, and job candidate than you were on the first day of class.

Assessment/Grading
In keeping with this emphasis on iteration, process, and improvement over time, my role is to help facilitate individual improvement, not to assign scores according to an idealized hierarchy of right or wrong.  There are very few ‘rights and wrongs’ in writing and teaching; this is why they are so challenging.  My goal is to help you improve through the course and help you internalize behaviors that trend towards improvement over time.  I am happy to discuss your work in the course with you at any time.

If you take the course seriously, come to class ready to discuss the readings, contribute regularly in class, work hard on the writing and teaching exercises, take feedback from myself and your colleagues seriously, and complete deliverables on time, you will earn the grade you want.

If you don’t take the course seriously, skim the readings, remain silent in class, cram the exercises the night before they are due, dismiss feedback out of hand, or turn deliverables in late, you will not do well in the course.  Success in this course is based on attitude and a commitment to self-improvement through hard work rather than ‘smarts.’  You will almost certainly find the same to be true of your career.

Course PoliciesClass Attendance
This course only meets 10 times.  We will be doing important work in every class so it is important that you be here for every class meeting.  Please let me know beforehand if you cannot attend class.  In most circumstances, you will be expected to turn in any assignments before the class meeting you miss.

Late Work
Because there is a lot of work you are doing for this course – and consequently a lot of work I will be doing – it will be very difficult for me to give you thoughtful feedback on work that is turned in late.  See last paragraph in theAssignment/Grading section.

Classroom Citizenship
In keeping with this course’s emphasis on collegiality and professional collaboration, students should use this class as an opportunity to discover the diverse interests of and literatures used by SOM students.  These interactions should be guided by a spirit of intellectual curiosity and hermeneutic charity.

Student Conduct & Discipline
The University of Texas System and The University of Texas at Dallas have rules and regulations for the orderly and efficient conduct of their business.  It is the responsibility of each student and each student organization to be knowledgeable about the rules and regulations which govern student conduct and activities.  General information on student conduct and discipline is contained in the UTD publication, A to Z Guide, which is provided to all registered students each academic year.

The University of Texas at Dallas administers student discipline within the procedures of recognized and established due process.  Procedures are defined and described in the Rules and Regulations, Board of Regents, The University of Texas System, Part 1, Chapter VI, Section 3, and in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.  Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations (SU 1.602, 972/883-6391).


A student at the university neither loses the rights nor escapes the responsibilities of citizenship.  He or she is expected to obey federal, state, and local laws as well as the Regents’ Rules, university regulations, and administrative rules.  Students are subject to discipline for violating the standards of conduct whether such conduct takes place on or off campus, or whether civil or criminal penalties are also imposed for such conduct.

Academic Integrity

The faculty expects from its students a high level of responsibility and academic honesty.  Because the value of an academic degree depends upon the absolute integrity of the work done by the student for that degree, it is imperative that a student demonstrate a high standard of individual honor in his or her scholastic work.

Scholastic dishonesty includes, but is not limited to, statements, acts or omissions related to applications for enrollment or the award of a degree, and/or the submission as one’s own work or material that is not one’s own.  As a general rule, scholastic dishonesty involves one of the following acts:  cheating, plagiarism, collusion and/or falsifying academic records.  Students suspected of academic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary proceedings.

Plagiarism, especially from the web, from portions of papers for other classes, and from any other source is unacceptable and will be dealt with under the university’s policy on plagiarism (see general catalog for details).  This course will use the resources of turnitin.com, which searches the web for possible plagiarism and is over 90% effective.

Student Grievance Procedures

Procedures for student grievances are found in Title V, Rules on Student Services and Activities, of the university’s Handbook of Operating Procedures.

In attempting to resolve any student grievance regarding grades, evaluations, or other fulfillments of academic responsibility, it is the obligation of the student first to make a serious effort to resolve the matter with the instructor, supervisor, administrator, or committee with whom the grievance originates (hereafter called “the respondent”).  Individual faculty members retain primary responsibility for assigning grades and evaluations.  If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, the grievance must be submitted in writing to the respondent with a copy of the respondent’s School Dean.  If the matter is not resolved by the written response provided by the respondent, the student may submit a written appeal to the School Dean.  If the grievance is not resolved by the School Dean’s decision, the student may make a written appeal to the Dean of Graduate or Undergraduate Education, and the deal will appoint and convene an Academic
Appeals Panel.  The decision of the Academic Appeals Panel is final.  The results of the academic appeals process will be distributed to all involved parties.

Copies of these rules and regulations are available to students in the Office of the Dean of Students, where staff members are available to assist students in interpreting the rules and regulations.

Incomplete Grade Policy

As per university policy, incomplete grades will be granted only for work unavoidably missed at the semester’s end and only if 70% of the course work has been completed.  An incomplete grade must be resolved within eight (8) weeks from the first day of the subsequent long semester.  If the required work to complete the course and to remove the incomplete grade is not submitted by the specified deadline, the incomplete grade is changed automatically to a grade of F.

Disability Services

The goal of Disability Services is to provide students with disabilities educational opportunities equal to those of their non-disabled peers.  Disability Services is located in room 1.610 in the Student Union.  Office hours are Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Tuesday and Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The contact information for the Office of Disability Services is:
The University of Texas at Dallas, SU 22
PO Box 830688
Richardson, Texas 75083-0688
(972) 883-2098 (voice or TTY)

Essentially, the law requires that colleges and universities make those reasonable adjustments necessary to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability.  For example, it may be necessary to remove classroom prohibitions against tape recorders or animals (in the case of dog guides) for students who are blind.  Occasionally an assignment requirement may be substituted (for example, a research paper versus an oral presentation for a student who is hearing impaired).  Classes enrolled students with mobility impairments may have to be rescheduled in accessible facilities.  The college or university may need to provide special services such as registration, note-taking, or mobility assistance.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify his or her professors of the need for such an accommodation.  Disability Services provides students with letters to present to faculty members to verify that the student has a disability and needs accommodations.  Individuals requiring special accommodation should contact the professor after class or during office hours.

Religious Holy Days

The University of Texas at Dallas will excuse a student from class or other required activities for the travel to and observance of a religious holy day for a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property tax under Section 11.20, Tax Code, Texas Code Annotated.

The student is encouraged to notify the instructor or activity sponsor as soon as possible regarding the absence, preferably in advance of the assignment.  The student, so excused, will be allowed to take the exam or complete the assignment within a reasonable time after the absence: a period equal to the length of the absence, up to a maximum of one week. A student who notifies the instructor and completes any missed exam or assignment may not be penalized for the absence. A student who fails to complete the exam or assignment within the prescribed period may receive a failing grade for that exam or assignment.

If a student or an instructor disagrees about the nature of the absence [i.e., for the purpose of observing a religious holy day] or if there is similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief executive officer of the institution, or his or her designee. The chief executive officer or designee must take into account the legislative intent of TEC 51.911(b), and the student and instructor will abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or designee.

These descriptions and timelines are subject to change at the discretion of the Professor.