Our first collective task is to develop the rubrics by which we will assess the core.
Why start here?
With the exception of the Component Area Option, each foundational Component Area is required to address at least four of the required Core Objectives (each Component Area must address Critical Thinking and Communication). If we are going to have any ability to have more than a single course in each of the Component Areas, it will require us to come to an agreement on exactly what the Core Objectives mean. It is also an opportunity to begin to lay the groundwork for what we, as a collective body, want body of knowledge a student emerging through a four-year degree with us will possess.
Why do we only have a week to come up with this?
Thankfully, we aren't required to reinvent the wheel here. As I talked about in the Colloquium presentation, many of the changes in the core come from ties directly and indirectly to the work of The Association of American Colleges and Universities and are tied to their VALUE rubrics. As I detailed in the talks I gave during the last week of the semester, these rubrics will serve us well as a guide (either wholesale acceptance or through minor revisions) because they not only involve best practices that we already utilize or are written in ways that are open for our interpretations.
What are you asking for?
The committee is asking those folks interested in and expert in their areas to work on producing the rubrics that we will use as a guide to course proposals. Our local experts on Critical Thinking, Communication, Empirical and QUantitative Skills, Teamwork, Personal Responsibility, and Social Responsibility are encouraged to examine them, discuss them, and come to an agreement on a common, university-wide rubric for each of the Component Areas. Also, those who intend on teaching a course in the core may find it worth the time to examine all of the rubrics impacting their Component Area. For example, if I am proposing a course in the Language, Philosophy, and Culture Component Area, artifacts from my course will be assessed against the Critical Thinking, Communication, Social Responsibility, and Personal Responsibility Core Objectives.
Does this change how I grade in my class?
No. No. And, no, again. You will grade your class assignments exactly the way you want to grade your class assignments. Grading and Assessment are two entirely different things.
Does this change the assignments in my class?
Perhaps. In each core class, an artifact that can be used to assess a student's progress towards the Core Objectives will be necessary. If your class in the Life and Physical Sciences did not produce an artifact that one could assess Communication skills with, then the answer is yes. If you already have such an assignment in the course, the answer is no.
From the folks that have attended prior sessions and the SACS conference I attended on the new core, these seem to be the most frequently asked questions. If you have others, I will certainly attempt to answer them.
Critical Thinking: https://www.dropbox.com/s/q8bjuows88ipgzq/Critical%20Thinking.PDF
Oral Communication: https://www.dropbox.com/s/f2whmn3zeq4wf1k/Oral%20Communication.PDF
Written Communication: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bdhlmjlhwayn2vl/Written%20Communication.PDF
Quanitative Literacy: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pv004a688hd7icx/Quantitative%20Literacy.PDF
Intercultural Knowledge: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rju75u6lp7i5dr6/Intercultural%20Know%20%28Social%202%29.PDF