UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
To seek general education course approval, applicants must complete 2 forms:
All courses submitted to the General Education Committee must include the current transmittal and course approval forms. These are the standard forms used for all course approvals on campus and can be found at the links provided above. Departments seeking a General Education designation for a course will also need to complete the appropriate Appendix GE form(s) identifying the following:
There are three paths that lead to a course being considered by the General Education Committee for inclusion in the program. The appropriate path hinges on the degree of change or development required to enable the course to conform to the general education requirements.
No Significant Change (Path 1): Motion 8 from Faculty Senate 2001-2002 (November 28, 2001) states that the University Curriculum Committee must receive, review, and record all courses that undergo “significant change.” The motion defines significant change as, “changes in credit hours, course title, or any other planned alteration that would affect the course's catalog listing.”
Significant but Not Substantive Change (Path 2): A currently approved course may be modified in such a way as to create a change in the catalog description but not alter the substantive nature of the course. Examples of “significant but not substantive changes” might include renumbering a course or changing evaluation procedures.
Significant and Substantive Change (Path 3): New courses or currently approved courses that change the topics covered, the number of credits associated with the course, or the pedagogy used (e.g. going from a lecture to a service learning format) would be examples of significant and substantive changes.
Once a course reaches the General Education Committee by any path, the committee will:
The general guidelines the committee uses in evaluating courses is available here.
Courses that the General Education Committee approves for inclusion in the general education program will, in general, be approved for up to five years. General education courses should be offered regularly during their approval period.
What happens once a course is approved for the General Education Program?
Once approved, the General Education Committee Chair will forward the relevant material to the Registrar for inclusion in the next course catalog. The Registrar's Office maintains a web page listing all the approved courses by designator. The Committee also maintains a web page indicating when the assessment reports for approved courses are due.
Definition of Assessment. A critical aspect of this general education program is the effort to assess our success in achieving the student learning outcomes we have identified. Assessments are important for improving instruction in the general education program, for the General Education Committee to periodically review the performance of general education classes, and for external accrediting bodies. To make assessments valid and usable for the multiple purposes, outcome measurements for each designator must be consistent with respect to:
For example, within a designation such as Ethical Citizenship (EC), we must have agreement about the component of the learning outcome being measured (e.g. knowledge of material, support for ideas, writing quality, etc.), what kinds of student performance are to be measured (e.g. pre- and post-tests, writing assignments, examination questions, oral presentations, projects, etc.) and how those performances will be evaluated (e.g. setting a scale/rubric for assessing each of the identified components of performance with definitions for each level of performance).
As a rule, all general education courses are approved for five years. All assessment reports are due November 1. See the list of approved courses for the year that assessment reports are due for all approved courses. The format for assessment reports is available here.
In November of 2008, the GEURC developed this rubric for evaluating assessment reports.
Available in Falcon File are examples of assessment reports previously submitted for course reapproval. Choose a year folder, such as 2010-2011, and click Course Assessments.