This page includes a description of the current agreement between the General Education Committee of the University of Delaware Faculty Senate and the Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning, as well as a schedule for General Education Assessment based upon a call in 2014 for reform of General Education at UD. Reports from this assessment are located here or from the GenEd Assessment drop-down.
Collaboration between CTAL and the UD Faculty Senate Committee on General Education
Most recently revised February 2021 and unanimously approved by the GenEd Committee
The professionals in UD’s Center for Teaching & Assessment of Learning (CTAL) are enormously proud of the close collaboration they share with the Faculty Senate Committee on General Education. This collaboration enables both units to meet their respective missions much more effectively than they could alone. Moreover, CTAL’s support of the academic priorities established by the committee exemplify a healthy and respectful relationship between faculty who control the curriculum and administrators who support the faculty with scholarly expertise. Recent, successful examples of collaborations include the 2018-2019 assessment of First-Year Seminar (FYS) courses jointly carried out with the FYS Office, the 2018-2019 assessment of capstone courses, and the 2017-2018 assessment of multicultural courses jointly carried out with the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for the Study of Diversity.
As the university’s demands on CTAL continue to increase with regards to campus-wide assessment and educational development initiatives, it is important to formalize our relationship with the General Education Committee to ensure that our important work continues in a sustainable manner.
The projects must focus on areas of interest and concern shared by CTAL and the committee e.g., assessing the learning that occurs in particular General Education objectives, determining how particular General Education requirements are being addressed by UD faculty and disseminating best practices. Although it is expected that most projects will have assessment of student learning as a primary focus, some projects can be more expansive and include a focus on other areas of teaching and learning.
The calendar of topics can be modified with the agreement of both parties. Priority should generally be given to topics that are new, have been significantly modified, have not been studied in the recent past, or present known concerns and challenges. Priority should also be given to topics that are well-defined and likely to have widespread and meaningful impact i.e., GenEd requirements.
The approaches – methods, data sources, timing, etc. – of each project will be proposed by CTAL in advance of each project and approved by the committee. The intended format of the final product – formal report with recommendations, portfolio of exemplars, handbook of best practices, etc. – will also be proposed in advance. Unless otherwise agreed in advance, CTAL will retain authorship and editorial independence in writing the final product without expectation that the committee will necessarily accept or endorse it.
- One General Education-focused project each academic year. This project may be managed and conducted by CTAL staff or it may be carried out by UD faculty or staff supported by CTAL training, CTAL funding, or CTAL staff.
- Maintaining formal representation on the committee by the Deputy Provost for Academic Affairs (who has historically appointed one member of CTAL to hold one of the two seats alloted to the Deputy Provost).
- Creating a 3-year calendar of topics for these projects.
- Routine communications and collaborations on topics and concerns of joint interest and concern.
2017 – 2018: Multicultural courses (joint project with DEI committee), ENGL 110 (joint project with English department)
2018 – 2019: First-Year Seminar (joint project with FYS Office), Capstone
2019 – 2020: No major GenEd assessment project – focus on self-study and COVID-19
2020 – 2021: No major GenEd assessment project – focus on self-study and COVID-19
2021 – 2022: Discovery Learning Experience
2022 – 2023: ENGL 110
2023 – 2024: University Breadth
2024 – 2025: Multicultural courses
Additionally, the committee has also expressed interest in having faculty develop model syllabi for different GenEd requirements/objectives. CTAL is very supportive of this idea, especially of GenEd requirements, and would strongly consider funding if/when funding is available to pay faculty to develop model syllabi during the summer. We would need to establish a calendar of which requirements/objectives would be addressed with 1-2 addressed each year.
General Education Committee
General Education at the University of Delaware is guided and overseen by the Faculty Senate Committee on General Education. Specific details about the committee, including its charge and current membership, are available on the Faculty’s Senate webpage.
Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning (CTAL)
Formally established in 1975, CTAL’s approach to educational assessment is driven by faculty and supported by the administration. In 2014, two distinct units, the Center for Teaching Effectiveness and the Office of Educational Assessment, were combined to become the Center for Teaching and Assessment of Learning. CTAL has since operated as a combined assessment office and teaching and learning center, a model that allows CTAL to partner in the assessment process with nearly all who teach at UD. CTAL supports faculty, department chairs, and all those involved in educational assessment through multiple means including targeted events, funding opportunities, and campus-wide programming. CTAL has collaborated with the Faculty Senate since 2006 to reform General Education requirements, including the First-Year Seminar and the Capstone course. CTAL supports faculty-identified areas of curricular need and works to create, evaluate, and support systems of assessment that are closely aligned with the educational goals of departments and programs, as well as the University’s mission. Ongoing assessment of General Education courses has lead to a number of CTAL published reports which can be found on the reports page.