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Reno,  NV  89557-0005

Core Objective 7: Artistic Composition, Interpretation & Expression

The Silver Core Curriculum does not take effect until Fall 2016


  • Silver Vein II: Primary Areas of Focused Inquiry
  • Brief Description of Learning Objective: Students will apply techniques of critical analysis to study and interpret works of art, dance, music, and theater in the context of culture, society, and individual identity. Students may cast their interpretation in the form of creative expression.

Standards or Requirements for Verification:

This objective is satisfied by 3 credits of Core Fine Arts courses approved by the Core Board. Where appropriate, majors are encouraged to develop this objective within their courses, and if possible to integrate this objective into the Core Capstone course.

The purpose of this objective is to ensure that all students gain both exposure to and a basic understanding of an area of fine arts, such as music, theater, dance, or art.

All courses satisfying the Core Fine Arts requirement must include substantial attention devoted to critical interpretation to satisfy the criteria for CO7. While it is invaluable that students gain an understanding in basic fine arts, it is just as crucial that a student's fine arts education include attention to analysis or evaluation based on knowledge of relevant historical, cultural, aesthetic, or theoretical traditions. Students may satisfy the requirement either by articulating critical interpretation based on works, performance, or expression of others (past or contemporary), or by crafting an interpretation that demonstrates critical application of technique (i.e., in the form of a student's own work, performance, or expression that demonstrably takes into account a historical, cultural, aesthetic, or theoretical tradition).

Courses should include lecture, a writing component, and/or creative activity that results in a display of the student's work, whether through performance or exhibition. Courses satisfying CO7 should also develop CO1 and/or CO3.

Courses satisfying this Core Objective will meet the expectations for the Core Fine Arts requirement and should:

  1. Include the Core Objective, together with its brief description, on the course syllabus in its original form.
  2. Include 1 or more student learning outcomes addressing this Core Objective on the course syllabus, along with other student learning outcomes appropriate to the course.
  3. Identify in the course syllabus the teaching techniques and student experiences that will help students acquire the competencies described in the Core Objective.
  4. Assess whether students have acquired the competency described in the student learning outcomes and use methods for collecting and analyzing data that can be reported to the Core Curriculum Board.

Some examples of approved student learning outcomes and assessment methods are listed later in this document. Faculty may incorporate 1 or more of the examples from this list or propose their own student learning outcomes and methods of assessing the objective.


Suggested Student Learning Outcomes & Assessment Methods

Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression

Students will apply techniques of critical analysis to study and interpret works of art, dance, music, and theater in the context of culture, society, and individual identity. Students may cast their interpretation in the form of creative expression.

Student Learning Outcomes

Courses satisfying CO7 might feature student learning outcomes like the ones listed below. Faculty may use outcomes from this list or propose their own outcomes addressing the objective. Learning outcomes must be observable and measurable so that they can be properly assessed.

Students will be able to:

  • use theoretical, critical, or practical concepts to analyze works of art, dance, music, and/or theatre
  • articulate relationships between works of art (dance, etc.) and their contexts: culture, society, and individual identity
  • articulate the relationships between historical context and works of art (either their own or those of others)
  • demonstrate knowledge of artistic theory or technique in a work or performance.

Direct Assessment Methods

All courses that are verified as satisfying a Core Objective will be assessed on a regular basis to determine how well students are learning the knowledge and skills described in the objective. Instructors are expected to develop ways of directly measuring student learning (through evaluating the work students produce in the course) and to report these measurements to the Core Board upon request.

The following are some examples of direct assessment methods that might be used in courses satisfying CO7. Examples of student work should be evaluated according to a clear, consistent rubric or set of criteria. Faculty may choose methods from this list or propose alternative assessment methods:

  • an assignment that asks students to apply concepts learned in the course to analyses of artistic works, in the form of an essay, oral report, or performance, evaluated using a rubric containing criteria keyed to this outcome and representing disciplinary standards
  • a written assignment or oral report analyzing how an artist's cultural surroundings and individual experiences might have influenced his or her work, evaluated via a rubric as described above
  • an essay requiring students to place an artistic work in historical context by explaining the social conditions that existed at the time it was produced, evaluated via a rubric as described above
  • a portfolio or performance of representative work demonstrating the student's application of artistic theory or technique, evaluated via a rubric as described above.

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University of Nevada, Reno

University of Nevada, Reno
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Reno,  NV  89557-

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