General Studies follows rigorous assessment practices as recommended by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).Ongoing assessment of the program measures how well best practices are being achieved.
Best Practices in Teaching
- Engaged teaching and learning with an emphasis on active learning
- Integrated learning/team teaching
- Academic rigor
- Engagement with the student learning outcomes
Here's a close-up of the assessment activities routinely conducted in General Studies:
A. Student Course Survey
In every course, a student survey is assigned (these are sometimes known as course evaluations). The intent is purely for feedback to improve the course and program. The purpose of is not for faculty evaluation. These are done during week 4 and at the semester's end. The student course survey is designed (with considerable input and timely revisions) to get information on the program's four main Teaching Strategies (listed above). These strategies have been made explicit in the faculty list of expectations.
B. Faculty Peer Observation
In every course, each instructor/pair is scheduled to be observed twice by a faculty peer for feedback (not evaluation). The peer observation form is designed to acquire information on the program's Teaching Strategies. Data from these two assessment activities drive curriculum changes, faculty development and student learning. At the end of the semester, workshops are devoted to analysis and program improvements. GSR instructors are encouraged to participate.