Knowledge and Skills

Step 1: Identify both the Specialized Knowledge and the Intellectual Skills that students will be able to demonstrate after completing your curriculum.

Specialized Knowledge refers to the knowledge, skills, and values that are specific to your discipline.

Intellectual Skills refer to the skills and abilities that all UNR students hone through Gen Ed/Core Curriculum, particularly the fundamental competencies of composition and communication, quantitative reasoning, and critical thinking and use of information.  These Intellectual Skills correspond to Silver Core Objectives 1-3.  

Designing an Effective Assessment Plan

1) First and foremost, your degree program and course-specific SLOs should be aligned and complementary. In other words, a degree-program SLO should be supported by the SLOs of individual courses, and the course-specific SLOs should reflect to a certain degree one or more of the program learning outcomes.

2) This alignment allows the assessment of student learning in an individual course to provide data for the program SLOs.  No other direct assessment of student work or performance is then needed, and if additional program-level assessment data is desired, your faculty and staff can focus on exit or alumni surveys, job or graduate or professional school placement, time-to-degree rates, course evaluations, etc.  In fact, many of these data will be provided for academic departments by the Office of the Provost each fall.

3) Thirdly, although all UNR courses included in the General Catalog must have published SLOs, you should anticipate the value of required courses for the major: targeting required courses rather than electives will allow you to measure student learning within a cohort of majors at various points in your curriculum.

4) Finally, once your SLOs are written and your assessment methods decided upon, you should endeavor to keep them in place for the duration of your UNR Program Review cycle.  This will ensure that you collect consistent, historical data from year to year and posit sound, data-driven conclusions in your self-study for Program Review.