UAF general education learning outcomes
— By Ilana Kingsley, professor of library science, GERC faculty fellow and EAGER co-chair
Sarah Stanley, director of composition and EAGER co-chair
General Education Requirement courses play a pivotal role in shaping the academic, professional, and life skills of our students. They help students improve their skills in communication, critical thinking, ethical decision-making, synthesizing knowledge across disciplines, civic engagement and much more! UAF GER courses welcome students from every degree pathway and are designed around four learning outcomes.
A committee, appointed by the UAF Faculty Senate, crafted four learning outcomes, which are summarized below:
- LO1: Build knowledge
- LO2: Develop intellectual and practical skills
- LO3: Acquire tools for effective civic engagement
- LO4: Integrate and apply learning
The Energy, Aspirations, Gifts, Expertise, Reflections sub-committee of the GER and Core Committee is the faculty group responsible for completing the
assessment of the GER LOs. They received high praise from the Northwest Commission
on Colleges and Universities (our institutional accrediting body) site visit in October
2023 for their innovative approach, which assesses a single learning outcome each academic year.
The peer evaluation team suggested that by focusing on a single learning outcome during
each program review cycle, we can use assessment findings to improve learning for
EAGER has completed the assessment of LO1, in which students were asked to explain a concept from class to a peer. The results from this evaluation showed that the majority of the students that participated provided responses that made connections between the course matter and to social problems occurring outside their GER course. Also, responses were informative and demonstrated that students had a clear understanding of the material. The assessment full report for LO1 can be found at GERC Assessment Report AY 2021-2022. LO2 and LO3 are currently in the writing and data analyses stages, respectively, and LO4 is in the early stages of assessment. The Summit Year, which will take place in AY 2024-2025, will bring faculty together to discuss the assessment process and generate ideas for the future of general education at UAF.
The EAGER sub-committee welcomes you to participate in the conversation about general education at UAF. EAGER is excited to offer Zoom and face-to-face sessions on the topic of General Education Learning Outcomes for UAF. During these sessions, EAGER will share information about the assessment work they have been doing and look forward to hearing your ideas on how to improve general education at UAF.
The sessions are intended for instructors who teach GER courses, as well as staff and faculty of academic programs that require students to take additional GER classes for their degree. Anyone with an interest in GERs is welcome to attend. These informal sessions will use the same Zoom link and run from 1:15-1:45 p.m. on the following dates:
- Thursday, Feb. 15: GER Overview and FAQ – Zoom
All The Things: Everything You Need to Know about GER Assessment and EAGER
- Thursday, Feb. 22: DIY Action – Zoom
Defend Your Case: Have a Try Testing the Learning Outcome 4 Assessment
- Thursday, Feb. 29: GERs and the First-Year Experience – Zoom
How GER Courses and the First-Year Experience Help Students Succeed
- Thursday, March 7: Beyond the GER – In-person and Zoom
Come to a Campus Makerspace to Learn How to Spruce up Your GER Course
If you have questions, or would like to get involved with general education at UAF, contact Ilana Kingsley at firstname.lastname@example.org.