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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 will be given two choices for assuring the assessment of the core curriculum objectives in their courses:

  1. Departments may elect to participate in a communal or group 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 – they may include class final projects which could be a final research paper, a group work project, a class presentation (video), reflections/comments on a case study, etc., Those assignments will be uploaded into Blackboard.  A sample of the assignments will then be assessed using a common rubric (adapted from the AAC&U rubrics) by a trained assessment team.  Each section of a course is expected to assign similar signature assignments which will be uploaded every semester.
  2. 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. 

The Core Curriculum Assessment Committee, composed of faculty from all component areas, will develop the rubrics and parameters of the communal assessment.  One rubric which will be used as point of departure can be accessed here  - this rubric is an adaption of the AAC&U LEAP (Liberal Education and America’s Promise) rubrics. 

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