Assessment of the Core Curriculum
The University of Nevada, Reno's competencies-based Core Curriculum trains students in communication, quantitative reasoning, methods of inquiry, critical and creative thinking, as well as integration, synthesis and application of knowledge. It is also integrated into each major, so that the knowledge and skills described in the 14 Core Objectives can be developed throughout a student's progress towards an undergraduate degree.
The Process of Core Assessment
The Core Curriculum Board oversees assessment of Core Objectives, such that courses bearing each objective will be evaluated approximately every five years.
Courses delivered by the Core Humanities, Core Math, and Core Writing programs will be comprehensively assessed every five years, unless they are more frequently, routinely assessed in part and thus accumulate to assessment of the full program over several years.
Courses delivered by departments in disciplines will be assessed according to the Core Objectives articulated as the focus for each academic year:
- 2021-22 Core Objective 7
- 2022-23 Core Objectives 9, 13, and 14
- 2023-24 Core Objectives 4, 6, and 12
- 2024-25 Core Objectives 8, 10 and 11
Each Fall, the Core Curriculum Office will contact departments about the courses that need to be assessed. If the courses are scheduled to be taught during the year, the Core Curriculum Office will initiate a Reverification Proposal in Curriculog. The Reverification Proposal will be sent to the department chair, who will upload the results and the course syllabus once the course has been taught and assessed. The completed Curriculog Reverification Proposal form will be returned to the Core Board for reverification review.
Procedures for Core Assessment
- If a course satisfies more than one Core Objective (CO), its instructor may assess all COs that have not been assessed within the last five years.
- Faculty teaching a course that satisfies the specified CO will provide a completed, data-driven assessment report during the year of assessment focused on that CO. The chair or their designee will answer the questions in the Reverification Proposal form in Curriculog, and attach the assessment results and a current syllabus to the form.
- If the Core Board expresses in their review any concerns regarding student performance, course content, or assessment methods, the department will be asked to report on modifications when the Core Board requests, or during the next reverification assessment of the course.
- During the four years following the reverification assessment process, faculty will need to notify their department of any significant changes to CO-delivering courses (i.e., revised SLOs or substantial changes to course content or calendar).
- The Core Curriculum Office encourages assessing the work of the entire student population whenever possible; however, when this is not feasible, faculty should rely on random sampling of student work. In a class with fewer than 100 students, 10 should be selected for assessment, and in a class with more than 100 students, at least 10% of the population should be selected for assessment. In all cases, the Core Curriculum Office will collect and store online these reports and supplementary documents for the Core Board to review.
- The Core Curriculum Office provides standards and sample SLOs upon which departments and faculty will base their assessment measurement tools (e.g., rubrics or examination questions) and their definitions of exceeding, meeting, and failing to meet an SLO. If faculty members use their own criteria or rubrics for assessment, they may be asked to explain in departmental assessment reports their definitions of exceeding, meeting, and failing to meet SLOs.
- The Core Curriculum Office will coordinate with faculty, provide technical assistance, and provide model processes and measurement tools when necessary.
- The Core Curriculum Board will evaluate assessment methods applied as well as departments’ and faculty members' standards for students exceeding/meeting/failing to meet SLOs and the quantitative measurement of SLOs.