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Aligning Assessment Across All University Levels
Unformatted Document Text:  GEOG 201 A broad understanding of the impact that physical geography has on such processes and issues as development, population and migration, identity, economic growth, and conflict and cooperation. During Spring 2008, a smaller team – Drs. Greenwood (PSCI), Quinney (HIST), and I – developed and co-taught the first version of the upper-division gateway course of GBST 300, embedding within the syllabus the articulated SLOs for that course. Course Learning ObjectivesThe principal learning objectives of this course are to help students: 1) Improve their written and oral communication skills.2) Gain a working understanding of the history of the international system since 19003) Acquire a detailed understanding of the process of globalization and its impact on cultures, economics 4) Prepare students for the upper-division courses of the Global Studies Minor Conclusions Thinking about aligning a university’s approach to assessment to meet a wide range of disparate audiences and purposes can seem daunting at best. The recommendations offered here suggest that it is important to focus on process for each level and audience: whether assessing a university’s effectiveness as a learning organization or a student’s mastery of a course’s learning outcomes, paying attention to how to accomplish the task is imperative. With that focus on process, our outcomes will be more valuable if we have designed our instruments, implementation, and feedback with substantial consultation with affected stakeholders, as well as consultation with them about our interpretation of the data collected. In higher education, it is always critical to focus on faculty and their role in the entire process at each level. We will be unsuccessful if the faculty have not “bought in” to the process and purpose of our efforts. For faculty to engage successfully in assessment at any level, they need time, money, and reward: Time can be found through re-assigning other faculty responsibilities; depending on the institution’s mission, faculty could be granted a course release, given credit for Aligning Assessment Across All Levels page 23 of 34

Authors: Golich, Vicki.
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GEOG 201
A broad understanding of the impact that physical geography has on such processes and issues as
development, population and migration, identity, economic growth, and conflict and cooperation.
During Spring 2008, a smaller team – Drs. Greenwood (PSCI), Quinney (HIST), and I –
developed and co-taught the first version of the upper-division gateway course of GBST 300,
embedding within the syllabus the articulated SLOs for that course.
Course Learning Objectives
The principal learning objectives of this course are to help students:
1) Improve their written and oral communication skills.
2) Gain a working understanding of the history of the international system since 1900
3) Acquire a detailed understanding of the process of globalization and its impact on cultures,
economics
4) Prepare students for the upper-division courses of the Global Studies Minor
Conclusions
Thinking about aligning a university’s approach to assessment to meet a wide range of
disparate audiences and purposes can seem daunting at best. The recommendations offered here
suggest that it is important to focus on process for each level and audience: whether assessing a
university’s effectiveness as a learning organization or a student’s mastery of a course’s learning
outcomes, paying attention to how to accomplish the task is imperative. With that focus on
process, our outcomes will be more valuable if we have designed our instruments,
implementation, and feedback with substantial consultation with affected stakeholders, as well as
consultation with them about our interpretation of the data collected.
In higher education, it is always critical to focus on faculty and their role in the entire process
at each level. We will be unsuccessful if the faculty have not “bought in” to the process and
purpose of our efforts. For faculty to engage successfully in assessment at any level, they need
time, money, and reward: Time can be found through re-assigning other faculty responsibilities;
depending on the institution’s mission, faculty could be granted a course release, given credit for
Aligning Assessment Across All Levels
page 23 of 34


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