Core Objective 13: Integration & Synthesis

The Silver Core Curriculum took effect in the Fall 2016 semester


  • Silver Vein IV: Integrative Experience
  • Brief Description of Learning Objective: Students will be able to integrate and synthesize Core knowledge, enabling them to analyze open-ended problems or complex issues.

Standards or Requirements for Verification:

This objective is satisfied by the Core Capstone course. Capstones combine knowledge gained in other Core courses with knowledge gained in the major. Capstone courses should also integrate (a) CO1, (b) either CO2 or CO3 or both, and (c) either CO9, CO10, CO11, or CO12. Capstone courses should also assess the Student Learning Outcomes relevant to these Core Objectives.

  1. Courses must be upper division (300 or 400 level), 3 units minimum, and completed in residency.
  2. Clearly articulate how the course curriculum and assignments require students to integrate knowledge and skills gained from CO1, at least 1 of the other 2 Core Objectives in Silver Vein I, and at least 1 of the Core Objectives in Silver Vein III. 
  3. Clearly articulate how the course curriculum and assignments require students to synthesize information in order to analyze an open-ended question or complex issue.

Courses satisfying this Core Objective 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.
  5. Provide an appropriate class size (e.g., around 35 students for a course in which an instructor grades all assignments) or other instructional-support structure (e.g., teaching assistants/team teaching) that will facilitate assessment of CO1.

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.

Prerequisites:

Prerequisites for Capstone courses are junior or senior standing and completion of all General Education courses that build Core Objectives 1-3 and satisfy Core Objectives 4-8. Other course-specific prerequisites may be applied, so long as they do not, in effect, exclude all other majors.


Suggested Student Learning Outcomes & Assessment Methods

Integration & Synthesis

Students will be able to integrate and synthesize Core knowledge, enabling them to analyze open-ended problems or complex issues.

Student Learning Outcomes

The SLOs for these courses need to address the Core Objective of Integration and Synthesis. These SLOs should be fairly consistent among courses in terms of focusing on integration and synthesis, although SLOs will be adapted for course- and program- specific assessments for Capstones.

SLOs should incorporate elements of integration and synthesis, along with course-specific learning outcomes:


Integration:

Students will be able to assemble, develop, design, formulate, or combine knowledge gained from at least 2 Core Objectives in Vein I and 1 Core Objective in Vein III to provide a basis for analyzing or solving an open-ended question, problem, or complex issue. This might be accomplished through analysis of literature, creative or research projects, grant proposals, or case studies.

Synthesis:

Students will be able to develop new data or information using techniques from different disciplines previously learned in Core Objectives 1-12 and use that information to design a project, solve a problem, or analyze a complex issue.


Capstone courses satisfying CO13 should include a combination of program SLOs and SLOs specific to this Core Objective and might include the following:

Students will be able to:

  • make connections between and apply theories from previous coursework and/or other disciplines to the context/topic of the Capstone course
  • demonstrate mastery of skills built from COs 1, 2, and/or 3
  • make connections between courses taken in the major and in the Core
  • explain key theories in the discipline related to the course topic
  • demonstrate inclusion and understanding of the interplay among different disciplinary fields relevant to the topic at hand (through what is presented/described in literature review, etc.)
  • apply relevant theories from a variety of disciplines in analyzing case studies
  • show insight or new knowledge by identifying gaps in previous literature and/or through research design
  • critically examine how one's configuration within intersecting social forces impacts one's worldview
  • identify and summarize current scholarly conversations (e.g., challenges, opportunities, trends) that exist within the field and related fields.

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.

Capstone courses satisfying CO13 must integrate at least 2 Core Outcomes from Silver Vein I (CO1, CO2, and/or CO3) and most likely will include CO3 in part. Incorporating assessment of CO3 (and related Core Objectives in Silver Vein I) as part of that of CO13 is therefore recommended. For example, assessing integration of knowledge might be also assessing the writing skills of a literature review (CO1), as well as ability to evaluate information (CO3). Assessment can be done by collecting a sample of major assignments (comprehensive exams, research project, presentation, portfolio, etc.) across all Capstone courses and evaluating integration and synthesis elements following examples of SLOs listed above.