Crossing the threshold in introductory women’s and gender studies courses: An assessment of student learning


  • Holly Hassel University of Wisconsin-Marathon County
  • Christie Launius University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh



SoTL, women's and gender studies, social construction of gender, intersectionality, privilege and oppression, feminist praxis, student learning outcomes


This article reports on a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) project in the introductory women’s and gender studies course, occasioned by a curricular redesign to focus the course on four threshold concepts within the field: the social construction of gender, privilege and oppression, intersectionality, and feminist praxis. The authors identify the metaphors students used to describe their learning, focus on the roles of metacognitive development and affective learning, and discuss the most difficult course concept for students: intersectionality.


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Author Biographies

Holly Hassel, University of Wisconsin-Marathon County

Holly Hassel is a Professor of English and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County, USA.


Christie Launius, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

Christie Launius is Associate Professor and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, USA. They are the co-authors of the introductory textbook Threshold Concepts in Women’s and Gender Studies: Ways of Seeing, Thinking, and Knowing.


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How to Cite

Hassel, Holly, and Christie Launius. 2017. “Crossing the Threshold in Introductory women’s and Gender Studies Courses: An Assessment of Student Learning”. Teaching and Learning Inquiry 5 (2):30-46.