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At RIC, a new General Education program was launched in the Fall 2012 semester. Plans for assessing that program began before that first term started and continue to evolve.
General Education Outcomes
- Written Communication
- Critical and Creative Thinking
- Research Fluency
- Oral Communication
- Collaborative Work
- Civic Knowledge
- Ethical Reasoning
- Global Understanding
- Quantitative Literacy
- Scientific Literacy
Students will understand the different purposes of writing and employ the conventions of writing in their major fields. Students will produce writing that is well organized, supported by evidence, demonstrates correct usage of grammar and terminology, and is appropriate to the academic context.
Students will be able to analyze and interpret information from multiple perspectives, question assumptions and conclusions, and understand the impact of biases, including their own, on thinking and learning.
Students will demonstrate the ability to access, understand, evaluate, and ethically use information to address a wide range of goals or problems.
Students will learn to speak in a clearly expressed, purposeful, and carefully organized way that engages and connects with their audience.
Students will learn to interact appropriately as part of a team to design and implement a strategy to achieve a team goal and to evaluate the process.
Students will demonstrate through performance, creation, or analysis an ability to interpret and explain the arts from personal, aesthetic, cultural, and historical perspectives.
Students will gain knowledge of social and political systems and of how civic engagement can change the environment in which we live.
Students will demonstrate an understanding of their own ethical values, other ethical traditions from diverse places and times, and the process of determining ethical practice.
Students will analyze and understand the social, historical, political, religious, economic, and cultural conditions that shape individuals, groups, and nations and the relationships among them across time.
Students will demonstrate the ability to: (1) interpret and evaluate numerical and visual statistics; (2) develop models that can be solved by appropriate mathematical methods; and (3) create arguments supported by quantitative evidence and communicate them in writing and through numerical and visual displays of data including words, tables, graphs, and equations.
Students will understand how scientific knowledge is uncovered through the empirical testing of hypotheses; be familiar with how data is analyzed, scientific models are made, theories are generated, and practical scientific problems are approached and solved; have the capacity to be informed about scientific matters as they pertain to living in this complex world; be able to communicate scientific knowledge through speaking and writing.
General Education Assessment Plan
A team attended the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) 2012 Summer Institute on General Education and Assessment to begin the process of developing ways to assess the new General Education Program. That team led other faculty members in creating and piloting three rubrics (written communication, research fluency, and critical and creative thinking) during the following three years, eventually analyzing materials from First Year Writing, First Year Seminar, and Connections courses while refining their methods and the rubrics. In the summer of 2016, after the first cohort of students to complete the “new” General Education program graduates, we will assess senior writing from multiple programs, focusing on three of the learning outcomes.