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Assessment of Core Courses

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools both mandate that we regularly assess the core curriculum.  Under the new THECB mandate, this assessment must address the core objectives in each component area. Thus, students must be assessed for skills in critical thinking, communication, teamwork, etc.  It is important to bear in mind that the assessment is not an assessment of mastery of content of a given course or component area, but of the skills related to the objectives tied to that area. 

Departments may select one of two models for assessing students' achievement toward the core objectives in their courses:

  1. Communal Assessment         
    Under the communal assessment model, courses must include “signature assignments" designed to address each core objective. Signature assignments are assignments that best display the knowledge or skills essential to the objectives of a course. Examples of signature assignments include a final project, final research paper, a group work project, a class presentation (video), reflections/comments on a case study, etc. Signature assignments must be uploaded into Blackboard.  A sample of the assignments will then be assessed using a common rubric (adapted from the AAC&U rubrics) by the Core Curriculum Assessment Committee, a trained assessment team comprised of UT Arlington faculty with expertise in each component area.  Each section of a course is expected to assign similar signature assignments which will be uploaded every semester.

  2. Individual Assessment
    Departments may elect to assume total responsibility for the assessment – including the development of an assessment plan, rubrics, and outcomes, the administration of the assessment and the reporting of results.  Courses will be assessed every semester. 

Other assessment resources:

Assessment Plan Resources

Core Course Proposal Syllabus Review Form

Resources from the UEP assessment page

NC State Outcomes Assessment Resources

Signature Assignments” – from the AAC&U

LEAP Rubrics (as adapted by Amarillo College)

Signature Assignment Resources

 For more information about developing an assessment plan, contact Rebecca Lewis at rebeccal@uta.edu