Learning Goals & Assessment | University of Portland

Learning Goals & Assessment

Two students at desks in classroomThe goals for the Core are embedded in the Core Habits of Heart and Mind. We want students to demonstrate those six habits through their Core courses:

  • Literacy, Dialogue, and Expression
  • Religion, Faith, and Ethics
  • Aesthetic Inquiry, Imagination, and the Creative Process
  • Scientific and Quantitative Literacy and Problem Solving
  • Commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and the Common Good
  • Global and Historical Consciousness

To ensure the Core is achieving those broad goals, each Core course takes responsibility for specific Course Learning Goals that operationalize each of the six habits. Those Course Learning Goals are then further defined by faculty and departments themselves, each committing to specific Student Learning Outcomes that they can assess at the individual course level.  In sum, this creates a three level system with:

  • broad Habits of Heart and Mind all students should cultivate through the Core;
  • shared Course Learning Goals that are consistent across courses addressing the same Habits;
  • class-specific Student Learning Outcomes that can be assessed through any given semester.

This multi-level model serves to both promote consistency across the Core while also offering departments and faculty the autonomy to teach in ways appropriate to their discipline.

The model also encourages continuous improvement, allowing regular opportunities to consider what students are actually taking away from the Core, how that learning might be enhanced, and how we can evolve our Core offerings to best promote student success.

This continuous improvement process is further facilitated by having a regular and interactive assessment schedule, along with a UP Core Guide with Rubrics that offers shared markers for success. The assessment schedule and Core Guide with Rubrics are available to members of the UP Community through the Assessment page and through the Core Curriculum page at pilots.up.edu.