Overall Reviews of the GE CLAS Core
CLAS reviews the requirements, learning outcomes, costs, and structure of the GE CLAS Core around every five to six years, often in conjunction with updated guidelines and expectations from the Higher Learning Commission, the UI accreditation body. The processes of the review are developed at the time of the review. The committee is composed predominately of faculty members and key staff from CLAS and from other colleges to provide a wide perspective on the GE CLAS Core. Students either serve as members of the committee or participate in focus groups and related activities. The review may or may not include assessment of student learning, depending on the charge to the review committee, which may, for example, focus on one GE CLAS Core requirement if needed or may undertake to look at each requirement and the integration of the whole.
Assessment of Individual Courses and GE Areas
GE CLAS Core courses, on the other hand, are assessed for student leaning on a four to five year cycle by the CLAS GE Curriculum Committee using an collaborative approach with departments and with instructors who assess when and how student learning of the GE outcomes is achieved.
In other words, the primary goal of this assessment is to discover if students are achieving the intended outcomes of the GE CLAS Core requirements and to discuss what might help students to better achieve these outcomes. The assessment is thus about the CLAS Core requirements than about the specific disciplinary content of the course. Likewise, the assessment is not an evaluation of the instructor but of student learning related to the GE outcomes.
The second purpose of this assessment is to help educate instructors and the UI community on the goals of the program and to discuss and revise learning outcomes. The assessment procedures allow a dialog to occur among participants, resulting in focused conversations about teaching and student success and about related topics such as finding a researching/teaching balance through innovative and creative teaching strategies.
In this sense, the assessment process is meant to generate a sense of community related to teaching undergraduate students and a valuable discussion about teaching and learning.
Departments and instructors are notified of the assessment in the semester before the assessment process occurs. The department is asked to choose a selection of GE CLAS Core courses to assess, with instructors assessing the courses during the semester in which they are taught and submitting the results in a single file with an analysis of the results to the GE Curriculum Committee by the beginning of the following semester.
For the assessment, instructors follow the guidelines provided by the College or as created by the department in question in collaboration with the College, such as in this sample. GE CLAS Core instructors are invited to meet with the committee to discuss assessment findings or the process, and instructors are also asked to consider updates to related GE area outcomes, as needed. Some funding is available for the redesign of courses or components of them at the conclusion of the assessment. An additional sample is here, completed in late Fall 2019.
At the end of the assessment, the General Education Curriculum Committee makes general and specific recommendations to the Undergraduate Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee (UEPCC) concerning the GE outcomes and the description of the area under review.