How Committees, Departments, and Other Groups Can Use GE Assessment Results

The Curriculum Committee anticipates a variety of ways in which findings from the General Education assessment can be used to strengthen programs and practices throughout the college.

General Education assessment findings can be used:

  1. To fine-tune the GE outcomes statements. Our assessment process will yield reports about the outcomes of each GE requirement from multiple courses. It will also yield suggestions from instructors about the wording of the outcomes they assessed. The Curriculum Committee will use these results to determine whether any statements of intended outcomes need fine-tuning, so that our public statements of purpose reflect a broadly-shared understanding that aligns with what instructors are actually doing in their courses.
  2. To inform faculty development programming.  GE assessment results may point to classroom practices that are working particularly well and should be expanded, to practices that need to be improved, and/or to a need for entirely new initiatives. We may be able to use results in CILA programming or other venues for faculty development, such as WRI or ORC workshops.
  3. To inform departmental conversations about GE course offerings.  In some departments, General Education courses comprise a substantial proportion of their overall course offerings, so the GE assessment may provide a great deal of useful information about pedagogy for those departments.  Departments may also use results to spark conversations about offering new courses or modifying existing courses to enhance their contributions to the GE curriculum.
  4. To enhance professional development in support of academic advising.  Findings from our GE assessment project could be used to strengthen academic advising. We have already used assessment evidence to prepare an advising document for students – Don’t Just Check Off Those Requirements! – and findings from our GE assessment project will be integrated into the next edition of the document.
  5. To inform conversations in Dean’s Council about staffing, faculty development, and resource allocation.  A better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of our GE curriculum would support informed planning by the Dean’s Council, and prompt useful conversations between associate deans and department chairs.
  6. To support future grant applications. If assessment results or faculty reflections point to a need for innovation or curriculum enhancement, we can reference our findings as part of the evidence marshaled for grant applications.