General Studies Assessment proposals thus far
February 3, 2003
The assessment of General Studies is an enormous task for any particular office or department to undertake. Nonetheless, it has to occur.
General Studies is a program that is faculty “owned and operated,” and, in a similar vein, assessment of the program should be faculty driven. It is well known that faculty members have enough to do already, so any suggested assessment programs will need the personnel and financial support of the Academic Affairs office. However, this does not mean that faculty members have no responsibility for assessment.
The task can be made more manageable by design. It is clear that all students taking every General Studies course cannot be assessed. Appropriate sampling of General Studies courses and General Studies students can reduce the amount of data to more manageable proportions
Given these presumptions, the following is a of list strategies that could comprise the General Studies Assessment plan. They are points of discussion and would need to be forwarded to the full General Studies Council and to the SVCAA for review and approval.
- Course based. Each General Studies course is assessed with regard to the category and overall learning objectives for General Studies.
- Each department performs assessment activities for each course that they offer within the General Studies program. The learning objectives specified for the GS category of the course are the basis of the assessment.
- Category based. All of the courses within a category are assessed in the same way—since they share the same learning objectives.
- If one department “owns” a category, then that department has the primary responsibility for the assessment activity. If a category has more than one department contributing courses, all of those departments would determine and agree on the manner of the assessment for the courses in the category, under the supervision of the General Studies Council.
- Centralized. An assessment device could be developed or purchased that would be administered to a sample of students as they near the end of their General Studies program. This assessment could address some of the overarching learning objectives.
- The Director of General Studies could assume responsibility for this approach. It could be implemented via the Web and student incentives could include remuneration or course credit for the Capstone course.
- Capstone Course. An assessment of the overarching learning objectives could be a requirement for any approved Capstone course.
- If the Capstone course is defined as an interdisciplinary course that has the objectives of that category, the departments who offer the course would assume responsibility for assessment.