Core objective #14: Application

Silver Vein IV: Integrative experience

Brief description of learning objective: Student will be able to demonstrate their knowledge and skills developed in previous Core and major classes by completing a project or structured experience of practical significance.

Standards or Requirements for Verification

This objective may be satisfied through an upper-division course or a structured experience, such as an exhibit, internship, performance, practicum, service learning, senior thesis, or Capstone project.

Courses and structured experiences satisfying CO14 must be approved by the appropriate Core Curriculum subcommittee and Core Curriculum Board. Course proposals will be expected to meet the following criteria:

  1. Courses must be upper-division (300- or 400- level) and completed in residency.
  2. Proposals must clearly articulate how an assigned project in the course or structured experience demonstrates that the student has applied the knowledge and skills gained through previous Core and major classes and connects to the fundamental principles inherent in the Core Objective standards.

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.


Prerequisites for courses satisfying CO14 include 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.

Suggested student learning outcomes and assessment methods

Faculty may incorporate one or more of the examples from this list or propose their own student learning outcomes and methods of assessing the objective.

  • Application

    Students will be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills developed in previous Core and major classes by completing a project or structured experience of practical significance.

  • Student learning outcomes

    Courses satisfying CO14 should address how the student applies knowledge gained from the Core and major to create a product of practical significance. As application experiences are different, examples of SLOs specific to internship, service learning, performance, or senior paper/research project experience are provided below:

    1. Senior Thesis, Design Project, or Research Project

    Many of these may be similar to those outlined in Core Objectives 1-3 and/or 13, with additional SLOs that focus on application of the skills or knowledge. Additional SLOs may be discipline-specific (for the project) or include elements of Institutional Review Board (IRB) proposals, grant proposals, research ethics certification, or specific methodology/data gathering and analysis as required by a project.

    Students will be able to:

    • articulate an original research question to pursue in a research project
    • develop and design appropriate steps and tasks to conduct a research project based on an original research question
    • write the results of a research study in the appropriate academic format for a given discipline
    • write a grant proposal to an appropriate granting agency to obtain resources for a given research project

    2. Performance

    Students will be able to:

    • explore the role of artistic expression in addressing social issues
    • use creative expression to consider multiple and possibly divergent solutions to problems
    • engage in artistic collaboration and creative reinterpretation of art made by others
    • use creative expression to demonstrate an understanding of theories and concepts from other disciplines.

    3. Internship

    Students will be able to:

    • apply academic knowledge in a professional setting to solve practical real-world problems
    • acquire new knowledge in a new setting to enhance classroom education
    • apply higher order thinking skills to "real-world" situations
    • develop skills and competencies specific to an occupation or profession
    • develop professionally relevant competencies and relationships in a professional setting
    • develop skills to work effectively within formal and informal networks and work cultures
    • develop skills for understanding and working with people of diverse backgrounds or cultures
    • demonstrate growth from exposure to a professional field and an understanding of professional etiquette
    • observe and begin to understand professional organizational culture
    • evaluate one's own performance in light of one's expressed goals and learning outcomes
    • compare and contrast one's self-perception to the professional perception of a site supervisor.

    4. Service Learning

    General Service Learning SLOs

    Many service experiences build students' awareness of diversity, foster moral reasoning, and develop an attitude towards being an engaged and civically responsible citizen. Students build understanding of and problem-solve community issues. Examples of SLOs for service learning course could include those below:

    Students will be able to:

    • define, describe, analyze, and integrate the concepts of individual, social, and cultural group identities and concepts of social privilege and marginalization
    • demonstrate critical analysis of their own assumptions, values, and stereotypes, and evaluate the relative privilege and marginalization of their identities
    • articulate the relationship between individual, group, community, and societal well-being
    • develop critical understanding of ethical behavior in the concept of their professional discipline with regard to the issue of social well-being
    • analyze a community issue in the context of systemic inequality, discrimination, or social injustice
    • examine demographics, socio-cultural dynamics and assets of a specific community through a social justice framework
    • develop intercultural communication skills, reciprocity, and responsiveness in service work with the community.

    5.  Structured  Tutoring/Teaching Experience

    The CO14 criteria focus on application of knowledge learned in major classes; a structured tutoring/teaching experience is one way for students to apply this knowledge. Structured tutoring/teaching experiences go above and beyond traditional models of tutoring which simply call on successful advanced students to help struggling peers. Structured experiences intentionally introduce tutors to teaching/tutoring pedagogy and demand that tutors/teachers create connections between their subject knowledge and their tutoring/teaching practices. Structured tutoring/teaching presupposes that there is an art and craft to teaching subject material that involves more than simply being a good student. By its very nature, structured tutoring/teaching is self-reflective. The self-reflective nature of tutoring makes it difficult to measure gains a student makes through traditional tests and papers. However, assignments which ask students to make connections between their teaching, their students and the content are appropriate alternatives.

    For a tutoring/teaching experience to be certified for CO14, the tutoring/teaching must meet the above description of structured tutoring/teaching. In particular the CO14 committee will be looking for:

    • an opportunity for students to create and deliver substantive lessons
    • an opportunity for students to create a tutoring/teaching portfolio that includes both the content lessons and reflections on what the CO14 student learned by teaching - about the subject itself, about communicating the subject to others, and about perceptions of non-majors about the subject
    • a process of evaluation and feedback designed to provide input to the tutors from course instructors, as well as feedback from the tutees
    • structure for providing information to the CO14 students about "how to tutor/teach," along with information about goals and challenges faced by the introductory students

    The committee understands that there will be a distinction between structured peer tutoring experience versus a structured tutoring experience for younger students (i.e., high school, middle school, etc.).  The difference may also lead to different expectations on the tutoring outcomes.

    Course-Specific SLOs

    A basic model for a service learning SLO would include learning objectives regarding specific skills to master or a knowledge area to learn and a service objective regarding  how  students will achieve the learning objective with the service experience. These SLOs can be specific to the course or more general to service and course content. Examples are below:

    Students will be able to:

    • examine the strengths and weaknesses of educational policy arguments through tutoring in local public schools
    • provide examples of the principles of behavioral psychology through interacting with individuals in community groups in the city
    • explain scientific topics to a general audience through presenting and teaching science demonstrations to children
    • examine and articulate cultural differences through interacting with individuals at community organizations in the city.
  • 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.

    All courses satisfying CO14 should include some form of written, performed, or portfolio assignment that reflects and reports on the application experience. These assignments can be collected to assess how the student applied Core and major knowledge to the application experience, the student's understanding of how the research/work produced is relevant to an audience outside the major, and/or how the student learned from the application experience.

    Many application experiences (service learning and internship specifically) have other built-in assessment measures through specific programs and colleges that can also be used to assess student learning. The Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement offers pre- and post-test surveys for student learning outcomes specific to service learning, as well as models for community partners to evaluate student performance. Many internship programs may also have processes for employer evaluation or student surveys. Individual programs might also have rubrics specific to senior papers or projects that can also be used for assessment.