Guidelines for Core Designators

and Policies on Course Classification (Social Sciences, Humanities)

November 15, 1993
UAF Faculty Senate Meeting #45

WORD version of the required syllabus statement for "O" and "O/2" courses (.docx)

Copy of the Motion re the required syllabus statement for "O" and "O/2" courses. (Passed at Faculty Senate Meeting #183)

GUIDELINES FOR CORE ORAL COMMUNICATION INTENSIVE DESIGNATOR:

1. General Guidelines:

  1. A minimum of 15% of the final course grade should be based on effectiveness of oral communication. This minimum is proposed so that a student's failure to attend to the oral communication aspects of his or her work in an "O" designated course will have an important effect on his or her final grade for the course, while at the same time not overshadowing the importance of subject matter mastery.
  2. Attention to oral communication in "O" designated courses must be developmental, in that students need the opportunity (i) to receive intermediate instructor assistance in developing presentational competency, (ii) to utilize their communication competency across the span of the semester, not just in a final project, and (iii) to receive instructor feedback on the success of their efforts at each stage.
  3. These guidelines distinguish between courses emphasizing Group projects and those emphasizing Public presentations. The guidelines for courses emphasizing public communication are further divided according to the number of students regularly enrolling in a given course, i.e., Small Class (less than 12 students), Medium or Large Class (at least 12 students), and Large Class (at least 20 students).
    **Note specifically that under guideline 5 for a Large Class, a given course fulfills only half of the "O" intensive requirement, so that a student must take two such courses (hence the designation "O/2"). Under each of the other sets of guidelines, a single course would fulfill the "O" requirement.
  4. Exceptions to these guidelines may be made by the Core Review Subcommittee because of unique circumstances in individual departments.

2. Specific Guidelines for "O" Designated Courses Emphasizing Group Communication in Medium or Large Class Contexts:

  1. Each student must be involved in at least one ongoing group project or team of 5 to 8 members, with the group spanning 4 to 7 weeks duration. Group projects must be a coordinated, integrated effort by the group members, not simply 5 to 8 individual projects put together.
  2. Each student must present both an intermediate and a final presentation on an aspect of the group's work during the span of the project or team.
  3. Both presentations must be at least 5 minutes in length, must be given to an audience (e.g., the rest of the class), must be integrated with the presentation of the other group members, and must include additional time for a question and answer period.
  4. Each presentation should receive evaluation by the instructor on oral communication competency, as well as on subject mastery. In addition, the instructor should evaluate the degree of coherence in the overall presentation of the entire group. Students should receive both an individual and group grade for the presentation.
  5. Students must receive, as part of the course structure, information/instruction on how groups function most effectively, on organization of material for effective presentation, and on development and use of media and visual aids.

3. Specific Guidelines for "O" Designated Courses Emphasizing Public Communication in Medium or Large Class Contexts (Regularly enrolling at least 12 students):

  1. Each student must be involved in the individual preparation and delivery of at least 3 course related presentations of at least 5 minutes duration each, to an audience of at least 12 persons.
  2. At least one presentation must involve questions from the audience and responses by the presenter.
  3. All presentations must have a clear introduction-body- conclusion organization, appropriate to the discipline.
  4. All presentations should receive evaluation by the instructor on oral communication competency (including responsiveness to audience questions), as well as on subject mastery.
  5. Students must receive, as part of the course structure, information/instruction on effective speaking, on organization of material for effective presentation, and on development and use of media and visual aids.

4. Specific Guidelines for "O" Designated courses Emphasizing Public Communication in Small Class Contexts (Regularly enrolling less than 12 students):

  1. Each student must be involved in the preparation and delivery either of 2 or more course related presentations of at least 20 minutes duration each or of 3 or more presentations of at least 10 minutes duration each. It is highly desirable and strongly encouraged for the benefit of the student that one of the presentations be to an audience of 12 or more. The remaining presentations need to be to an audience of 5 or more. It is also desirable that the presentation to the larger group be given in a large auditorium and involve the use of a public address system.
  2. All presentations must involve question and answer interaction. As appropriate for the discipline, it is highly desirable that there be at least one assigned respondent, with questions by other audience members encouraged.
  3. In a course with 3 presentations, it is highly desirable that one of the three presentations be video-taped, either in or outside of class. Such video taped presentations need to involve at least the presenter and the respondent, and must be viewed by these individuals with the instructor present to provide feedback on oral communication effectiveness in the presentation and response.
  4. For individual presentations that relate to a common theme or project, it is highly desirable that the presentations be organized in a panel format, with a student moderator.
  5. All presentations must have a clear introduction-body- conclusion organization, appropriate to the discipline.
  6. At least one presentation must involve the development and use of appropriate visual aids, and it is desirable that all presentations do so.
  7. All presentations should receive evaluation by the instructor on oral communication competency (including responsiveness to audience questions), as well as on subject mastery.
  8. Students must receive, as part of the course structure, information/instruction on effective speaking, effective responding, organization of material for effective presentation, and on development and use of media and visual aids. If thematic panels are used, students should also receive instruction on panel/symposium and moderator techniques.

5. Specific Guidelines for "O/2" Designated Courses Emphasizing Public Communication in Large Class Contexts (Regularly enrolling 20 or more students):

  1. Each student must take at least two "O/2" designated courses to meet the Core Curriculum requirement for oral intensive coursework.
  2. Each student must be involved in the individual preparation and delivery of at least 2 course related presentations one of at least 5 minutes duration and one of at least 8-10 minutes duration, to an audience of about 20 persons.
  3. The 8-10 minute presentation, must be a formal individual presentation, and must involve questions from the audience and responses by the presenter.
  4. All presentations must have a clear introduction-body- conclusion organization, appropriate to the discipline.
  5. All presentations should receive evaluation by the instructor on oral communication competency (including responsiveness to audience questions), as well as on subject mastery.
  6. Students must receive, as part of the course structure, information/instruction on effective speaking, on organization of material for effective presentation, and on development and use of media and visual aids.

Effective: November 18, 1993


November 12, 1990
UAF Faculty Senate Meeting #22

GUIDELINES FOR CORE WRITING INTENSIVE DESIGNATOR:

A. General guidelines for 3-credit course with "W" designator

  1. The lower-division writing sequence as specified in the Core Curriculum will be a prerequisite for all "W"- designated courses.
  2. Instructors are encouraged to have students write an ungraded diagnostic composition on or near the first day of class to help assess writing ability and general competence in the discipline. [If diagnostic tests indicate that remedial work may be needed, teachers can set up specialized tutoring for their students with UAF Writing Center tutors.]
  3. Teachers regularly evaluate students' writing and inform students of their progress. If a major written project (research project) is part of the course, the project should be supervised in stages. If possible, a writing activity should comprise a major portion of the final examination.
  4. At least one personal conference should be devoted to the student's writing per term and drafts of papers should receive evaluation from the teacher and/or peers.
  5. Written material should comprise a majority of the graded work in the course for it to be designated "intensive." "Written material" can consist of quizzes and exams with short answers or essay sections, journals, field notes, informal responses to reading or class lectures, structured essays, research projects, performance reviews, lab reports, or any forms suitable to the discipline being taught.

B. Guidelines for the "W" designator in Technical courses

  1. In order to ensure that technical disciplines can meet the goals of the writing intensive requirements without compromising the technical quality of their courses, such disciplines may substitute longer courses or a series of courses (typically 1-credit labs) for each of the two necessary 3-credit writing intensive or "W"-designated courses. Courses meeting all the general guidelines will, of course, also be acceptable.
  2. The longer course option allows the "W" designator for a 4- or 5-credit course in which written material comprises a portion of the grade equivalent to "a majority" of a 3-credit course. The course must also meet the other general guidelines.
  3. The series option allows a student to replace one or both 3- credit "W" courses with a series of courses, each of which may be less than three credits--e.g., a series of 1-credit or 1-credit-equivalent laboratories. Each series, however, must sum to the equivalent of at least one 3-credit "W"- designated course. The initial course in the series will be designated "W1" and, while less than three credits, will fulfill all the other general requirements for a "W." The subsequent courses will base a majority of the grade on written material. Students must take the "W1" course before taking the other courses in the series.

    ** To grade a course on written work means to use the student's written work as the basis for his or her grade. Written work is graded mainly on content and organization, with tone, word choice, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation, and spelling accounting for a smaller fraction of the grade.

Effective: November 29, 1990


The (n) designator is an outdated classification and no longer routinely assigned.  See the Core-designated Natural Sciences section in the current UAF Catalog under "Baccalaureate Core" for the current list of courses satisfying the BS requirements.

April 13, 1990
UAF Faculty Senate Meeting #18

GUIDELINES FOR CORE NATURAL SCIENCE DESIGNATOR:

The Natural Science requirement in the Core Curriculum shall be two 4-credit hour courses, each with a laboratory (8 credit hours total). Both courses must be selected from those available in one of the two options defined below.

The goal of the Natural Science component of the Core Curriculum is to prepare students for lifelong learning in the natural sciences (biology, chemistry, earth science, physics). In order to achieve this goal, three objectives will be met:

  1. Students will become familiar with the methods used for acquisition and expansion of scientific knowledge through laboratory/field exercises which deal with
    1. data collection and analysis,
    2. hypothesis building, and
    3. experimentation.
  2. Students will learn and use major concepts of natural science either by exploring in depth a single discipline or the conceptual relationship between at least two of the natural sciences. Although there are no well-defined criteria for identifying a "major concept" of natural science, the following are generally accepted examples: momentum and energy, electricity and magnetism, the atomic and nuclear nature of matter, equilibrium, the cellular basis of life, evolutionary theory, and plate tectonics.
  3. Students will understand the relationships between science and society in terms of the historical context of modern science and the influence of science on contemporary issues. They will also study elements of public science policy and the methods by which it is developed.

Any course qualifying for either emphasis must contain elements which address all three objectives outlined above. This probably requires modification of nearly every natural science course which is offered at UAF before it qualifies under the new guidelines. Thus each qualifying course must have:

  1. a laboratory/field component which emphasizes data collection and analysis, hypothesis building, and experimentation;
  2. substantial content dealing with "major concepts;"
  3. science-related issues in society and public policy

Effective: May 7, 1990

*As amended to delete Breadth and Depth distinction, December 8, 2003, Meeting #119.


Course Designation/Classification Criteria

Social Sciences (s) and Humanties (h)

April 29, 1987   Academic Council Meeting 123A

COURSE DESIGNATION/CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA

1.       Courses designated Natural Sciences must meet the following criteria:

         a.      Content is directly defined by major models or theories of the Natural Science disciplines of Biology, Geology, Physics, Chemistry, Physical Geography and Physical Anthropology.

         b.     Includes quantitative and qualitative analysis of Natural Science processes.  

         c.      Excludes courses whose primary emphasis is in technical or vocational skill development.

2.       Courses are designated Social Science according to the following criteria:**  

         a.      Courses may be classified appropriately as Social Science if they exclusively address one or more of the following areas of study:

                --Models or theories of social phenomena.

                --Social processes and institutions.

                --The social framework of human existence.

                --The activities of the individual as a member of a group.

         b.     Excludes courses whose primary focus is on research skills or techniques, practicum experience, or professional or vocational skill development.

3.       Courses are designated Humanities according to the following criteria:

         a.      Course content in the traditional Humanities disciplines of Art, Drama, Languages, Linguistics, Literature, Humanities, Music and Philosophy.

         b.     Outside the Humanities disciplines, courses may be classified as Humanities which exclusively address one or more of the following areas of study:

                --Philosophic and/or religious thought.

                --Intellectual and value assumptions of discipline.

                --Literary traditions (written and oral) of a culture area or historical period.

                --Aesthetic traditions or a culture area or historical period.

                --Formation and nature of values.

         c.      Excludes courses whose primary emphasis is on research skills or techniques, practicum experience, or professional or vocational skill development.

                    Effective:           May 19, 1987

**Note:   Social Science classification amended May 2, 2005.  (See below.)

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December 2, 1987    Academic Council Meeting 127

The course designation for Natural Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities (shall) be approved by the Curriculum Councils of these Colleges in the following way:

l)     Natural Sciences shall be approved by the Curriculum Council of the College of Natural Sciences.

2)    Social Sciences shall be approved collectively by the Curriculum Councils of the College of Rural Alaska (formerly the College of Human and Rural Development), the College of Liberal Arts, and the School of Management.   [superseded by action 2/9/92, see below]

3)    Humanities shall be approved by the Curriculum Council of the College of Liberal Arts.  

                    Effective:           March 9, 1988

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April 22, 1988    UAF Faculty Senate Meeting #4

Courses that may be used in satisfying generally stated degree requirements (e.g., Social Science, Humanities, Natural Science) are classified on an individual course basis.

                    Effective:           Fall 1988

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February 10, 1992     UAF Faculty Senate Meeting #32

The UAF Faculty Senate moves to change the approval route for course designations for Social Sciences, the "s" designator, to the following:

      Social Sciences shall be approved individually by the Curriculum Councils of the College of Rural Alaska, the College of Liberal Arts, and the School of Management, such that each college approves courses taught within its own college.

                        Effective:           Fall 1992

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May 2, 2005     UAF Faculty Senate Meeting #130

The UAF Faculty Senate moves to amend the Course Designation/Classification Criteria policy as follows:  

COURSE DESIGNATION/ CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA

2.          Courses are designated Social Science according to the following criteria:  

a.    Content is directly defined by major models or theories of the social science disciplines of anthropology, communication, economics, geography, history, justice, political science, psychology, social work, sociology or interdisciplinary social science disciplines.  

b.    Excludes courses for which a majority of focus is on research skills or techniques, practicum experience, or professional or vocational skill development.  

c.    Courses approved for "s" designators prior to May 2005 will retain their "s" designator.

          EFFECTIVE:   Immediately

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