Course Assessment vs. Course Requirements

Course Assessment

Course Assessment is defined on the CARF as follows: In addition to using grades and end of term evaluations, how will the department assess the success of the course in meeting its specific goals and objectives? While student evaluations mostly evaluate the instructor, the college urges faculty to have a plan as to how they and the department will evaluate the course itself.

To promote curricular success, it is helpful for faculty members to identify specific goals and expectations for the course, methods of measuring student progress, and grading procedures and standards. The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching (CRLT) provides faculty and graduate student instructors with valuable resources found. Conducting their own midterm evaluations elicits valuable information when feasible adjustments can be made while the course is underway. Open-ended questions on the end-of-semester course evaluations also ask students to reflect on how well the course met its stated goals. Using a pre-test and post-test gathers hard data as to how well students have learned.

Course Requirements

This field is asking how the instructor plans to evaluate student performance in the course, i.e. the basis for grading. Examples include required reading and writing assignments, term papers, exams, and projects and/or group presentations. In addition to a syllabus, the CC wants a NEW CARF to include details, i.e. the minimum length of papers, the type of exams, descriptions of projects. Even though assignments change over time, the college wants faculty to have a general plan for grading before offering the course, for example:

Mid-term exam 25% (combination of short questions and short essays); final paper 40% (20 pages); and weekly homework assignments 35% (examples in syllabus).

The Role of Writing in Course Proposals encourage faculty to consider various ways in which they can incorporate writing into their course, which depends on subject, course level, and academic discipline. The committee is especially concerned about how writing is utilized as a teaching tool in distribution courses and chose to state the principles rather than specific numbers about papers and pages.


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