GenEd Objectives in the Course Catalog

On October 2, 2017, the Faculty Senate charged the GenEd Committee and the Committee on Undergraduate Studies to collaborate with the Registrar to incorporate the General Education objectives for each course into the course catalog and relevant forms and processes e.g., new course proposals, course revisions. The initial data were supplied via the curricular mapping project and new or updated data will be added using the standard course proposal and revision processes.  The guidance below is adapted from the instructions developed for the initial curricular mapping project.

Guidance for Faculty Creating or Updating a Course

  1. A course should indicate that it includes a General Education objective if students are assessed and provided with feedback about their attainment of the objective in that course.
  2. If there are multiple sections of a course that address different objectives, only include those objectives that are common for all sections.
  3. It is not expected that all courses will include General Education objectives. The goal is that students meet the General Education objectives as a result of their collective UD experience during their entire time here, not that they meet the objectives as a result of any specific course or small group of courses.

Definitions and Examples

1a. Read Critically
Definition: The process of simultaneously extracting and constructing meaning through interaction and involvement with written language. Students need to contextualize written content and respond to it effectively, differentiating their own contemporary and culturally influenced values from those expressed by another.

Example outcome: In this course you will analyze the readings interpreting the texts and compare the author’s viewpoints to your own. Your reflection papers that contain your analysis and responses to the readings will be a portion of your final grade.

1b. Analyze Arguments and Information

Definition: The ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand. Analyzing arguments requires breaking complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them. Arguments may pose challenges to the values and beliefs of the student, requiring the student to reflect on their own attitudes and presumptions about our civilization or about the natural world, or perhaps about their place as an individual.

Example outcome: In this course you will create an annotated bibliography that contains a short description or rationale for each citation in relation to your thesis.

1c. Engage in Constructive Ideation

Definition: Building new ideas and concepts, and contributing to the solution of previously unsolved problems.

Example outcome: In this course your group will create a unique solution to an authentic problem that you identify for our campus community. Select your problem based upon the following criteria: It is a problem for the UD campus community, you can create a solution that is doable (minimal resources are needed), and the solution would provide impact. Be prepared to conduct a poster presentation where your team will present your solution to campus administrators who will provide feedback.

2a. Communicate Effectively in Writing

Definition: The development and expression of ideas in writing. It involves learning to work in many genres and styles. It can involve working with many different writing technologies, and mixing texts, data, and images. Written communication abilities develop through iterative experiences across the curriculum. A student with this skill will understand how to advance a credible argument using logical reasoning and the use of evidence; how to write with clarity and grace; how to account for different audiences and contexts; and how to employ the standard conventions of writing.

Example outcome: In this course you will write a 5-7 page persuasive essay using APA citation, 12 point Times New Roman font, double spaced. Your paper will be evaluated on the following criteria: Controlling thesis, source selections, quality of sources, persuasiveness. This will count for a portion of your final grade.

2b. Communicate Orally

Definition: A prepared, purposeful presentation designed to increase knowledge, to foster understanding, or to promote change in the listeners’ attitudes, values, beliefs, or behaviors. A student with this skill will understand how to advance a credible argument using logical reasoning and the use of evidence; how to speak with clarity and grace; and how to account for different audiences and contexts.

Example outcome: In this course, you will be evaluated on your ability to debate current political topics. Each student will select a topic from the hat and must come prepared to debate the topic from the “pro or con” perspective on the assigned date in the syllabus. This will count as a portion of your grade.

2c. Communicate through Creative Expression

Definition: Students will recognize and are able to communicate in a variety of media that go beyond the written and spoken word. These include forms of artistic and emerging forms of expression enabled by technology.

Example outcome: In this course, you will create a video that captures your process from inception to delivery.

3a. Work Collaboratively across a Variety of Cultural Contexts and a Spectrum of Differences

Definition: Behaviors under the control of individual team members (effort they put into team tasks, their manner of interacting with others on team, and the quantity and quality of contributions they make to team discussions.) The development of skills to work collaboratively across cultures ensures that graduates will understand the limitations of a single perspective and the value of diverse perspectives and cultures in creative problem solving of major challenges and discussion in debates, and establishment of an engaged society. A student with these skills will learn from diverse perspectives, assimilate this knowledge, and synthesize new solutions and ways of thinking.

Example outcome: In this course you will need to work collaboratively to create a recommendation for a real world problem. Working as a member in the group, you need to be responsible to foster team discussions to work towards your group’s goals. What will you do to ensure that all members of the group can share their opinions? Our classroom environment should be mutually respectful and inclusive of all students. The classroom should be an environment with no discrimination, where everyone is comfortable and at liberty to contribute to, and benefit from the entire learning experience. Any suggestions to improve class interactions or any concerns should be brought to my attention. Your small group interactions in lecture, studio and lab are a good way to adopt this attitude of inclusion and enhance positive interactions in the larger class.

3b. Work Independently Across a Variety of Cultural Contexts and a Spectrum of Differences

Definition: The development of skills to work independently across cultures ensures that graduates will understand the limitations of a single perspective and the value of diverse perspectives and cultures in creative problem solving of major challenges and discussion in debates, and establishment of an engaged society. A student with these skills will learn from diverse perspectives, assimilate this knowledge, and synthesize new solutions and ways of thinking.

Example outcome: In this course you will learn about and discuss selected social problems. For each unit, you will need to write written reflections on you own perspective and values pertaining to that issue as well as identify and reflect on differing perspectives.

4. Critically Evaluate the Ethical Implications of What They Say and Do

Definition: Reasoning about right and wrong human conduct. It requires students to be able to assess their own ethical values and the social context of problems, recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings, think about how different ethical perspectives might be applied to ethical dilemmas and consider the ramifications of alternative actions. Students’ ethical self-identity evolves as they practice ethical decision-making skills and learn how to describe and analyze positions on ethical issues.

Example outcome: In this First Year Experience course, you will identify how your actions or inactions as a bystander can affect the community where you live.

5a. Reason Quantitatively

Definition: The development of quantitative reasoning skills equips graduates to understand and interpret quantitative information presented in multiple forms and given in multiple contexts. A student with these skills will understand data, the visual presentation of data, the statistical analysis of data, as well as essential concepts such as exponential growth and the law of large numbers.

Example outcome: In this course, you will create a question, gather data, analyze this data, and represent the data in a meaningful way such as a graph. This visual presentation of your data must be succinct, persuasive, and accurate.

5b. Reason Computationally

Definition: Computational thinking is a problem-solving process that includes (but is not limited to) the following characteristics: Formulating problems in a way that enables us to use a computer and other tools to help solve them; Logically organizing and analyzing data; Representing data through abstractions such a models and simulations; Automating solutions through algorithmic thinking (a series of ordered steps); Identifying, analyzing, and implementing possible solutions with the goal of achieving the most efficient and effective combination of steps and resources; Generalizing and transferring this problem-solving process to a wide variety of problems.

Example outcome: In this course, we will use data to analyze the spread of the Zika virus and make predictions about its transmittal geographically as well as the economic, social, and environmental impact.

5c. Reason Scientifically

Definition: The development of scientific reasoning skills equips graduates to understand the evaluation of evidence in modern science. A student with these skills will understand the scientific method, inductive and deductive thinking, causal reasoning, and how to evaluate the evidence for and against a scientific hypothesis or theory.

Example outcome: In this course, you will test a hypothesis of your own choosing and provide feedback on your peers’ abilities to reach a reasonable conclusion.

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