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Serving the Greater Good: Delivering General Education Outcomes in a Small Liberal Arts College
Unformatted Document Text:  emphasizes Popular Sovereignty, Political Liberty, and Political Equality, readings and discussion also require the students to analyze the distinctions between civic republican (otherwise called “civic textbook”), pluralism, and elite approaches. 10 The argument here is that general education students will benefit from this rigorous introduction to the foundational elements of an undergraduate political science program. If these components stood alone, they might well produce a very poorly enrolled and even more poorly performing set of student learning outcomes. Course assessment, however, indicates that this emphasis has in fact produced surprising dividends for student learning, satisfaction, and civic engagement. General Education Assessment: POLS 147 While there are eight student learning outcomes in the Morningside general education model, courses in the General Education Curriculum are often only responsible for focusing particularly on one or two specific curricular objectives. The model does assume a certain amount of overlap to reinforce more basic student learning outcomes. Further, assessment is also necessary to monitor progress on disciplinary outcomes. POLS 147 United States Government fulfills the American Experience rubric in the Morningside General Education Curriculum. 11 Courses can apply for inclusion in this rubric if they offer a course that meets two relatively basic criteria described in Table 1.1. These criteria imply that a broad array of disciplinary perspectives can deliver these learning outcomes. Morningside’s assessment policies encourage faculty to self-identify at least two measures for each of the outcomes as well as scoring criteria to make the evaluation. In most cases, POLS 147 rests on more than two data points. The student work included in the analysis of learning outcomes include: • Exam multiple choice questions appropriate to the outcomes • Final Exam essay questions • Précis on articles related to the experiences of minority populations or concerning the relationship of minority populations to the broader American society • Political Experience activities related to the experiences of American minority groups or concerning their relationships to the broader American society as reported in their Political Experience Logs and Political Experience Paper Table 1.1 POLS 147 US Government American Experience Rubric Aggregate Outcomes 10 Woolley, et.al. (2002) provided the first textbook and framework for this introduction of the canonical approaches. I remain indebted to Wooley for providing a simple statement of these distinctions which I continue to use in my the course design and in lecture. 11 See Appendix C for the American Experience General Education Assessment Form Lopez & McKinlay, 6

Authors: Lopez, Lillian. and McKinlay, Patrick.
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emphasizes Popular Sovereignty, Political Liberty, and Political Equality, readings and
discussion also require the students to analyze the distinctions between civic republican
(otherwise called “civic textbook”), pluralism, and elite approaches.
The argument here is that general education students will benefit from this rigorous
introduction to the foundational elements of an undergraduate political science program. If these
components stood alone, they might well produce a very poorly enrolled and even more poorly
performing set of student learning outcomes. Course assessment, however, indicates that this
emphasis has in fact produced surprising dividends for student learning, satisfaction, and civic
engagement.
General Education Assessment: POLS 147
While there are eight student learning outcomes in the Morningside general education
model, courses in the General Education Curriculum are often only responsible for focusing
particularly on one or two specific curricular objectives. The model does assume a certain
amount of overlap to reinforce more basic student learning outcomes. Further, assessment is also
necessary to monitor progress on disciplinary outcomes.
POLS 147 United States Government fulfills the American Experience rubric in the
Morningside General Education Curriculum.
Courses can apply for inclusion in this rubric if
they offer a course that meets two relatively basic criteria described in Table 1.1. These criteria
imply that a broad array of disciplinary perspectives can deliver these learning outcomes.
Morningside’s assessment policies encourage faculty to self-identify at least two measures for
each of the outcomes as well as scoring criteria to make the evaluation. In most cases, POLS
147 rests on more than two data points. The student work included in the analysis of learning
outcomes include:
Exam multiple choice questions appropriate to the outcomes
Final Exam essay questions
Précis on articles related to the experiences of minority populations or concerning
the relationship of minority populations to the broader American society
Political Experience activities related to the experiences of American minority
groups or concerning their relationships to the broader American society as
reported in their Political Experience Logs and Political Experience Paper
Table 1.1 POLS 147 US Government American Experience Rubric Aggregate Outcomes
10
Woolley, et.al. (2002) provided the first textbook and framework for this introduction of the canonical
approaches. I remain indebted to Wooley for providing a simple statement of these distinctions which I continue to
use in my the course design and in lecture.
11
See Appendix C for the American Experience General Education Assessment Form
Lopez & McKinlay, 6


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