Learning Goal Committee revises course descriptions

Chrissy Miller, Administration Reporter

The Learning Goal Committee worked on putting final touches on their revised version of the general education courses in the catalog Thursday.

This included adapting courses labeled as writing intensive to make them more flexible. English professor Tim Taylor said he proposed to change the document to be more specific about informal and writing-to-learn activities. He also removed the revision requirement for writing-intensive courses.

“Ideally, you use peer review, you comment, and they could revise,” Taylor said. “You could use all three.”

Karla Sanders, executive director of the Center for Academic Support and Assessment, said she is pleased with the change.

“I think this brings our writing-intensive courses into the 21st century,” Sanders said. “That definition was first in the catalog in 2000. We hadn’t changed it since then, so this allows us to be more current.”

The group also cut phrases out of the document that were no longer applicable and made sure to highlight important parts of the document. Sanders said that when they revised the learning goals three years ago, they left some unnecessary sentences in the document.

Some of the verbs did not correctly convey what they wanted the document to say, health studies professor Misty Rhoads said. One suggestion was to change the wording that senior seminars should “teach” all five learning goals to “address” or a different verb.

“Honestly, I think that under guiding principles number one, it might be nice to highlight ‘for the entire educational experience,’” Rhoads said. “It’s a key part of it because that is what you’re selling.”

Sanders said another thing that might enhance the document is to include the phrase “explicit instruction.”

“It’s our very popular, probably overused phrase, but you can’t say it too often,” Sanders said. “If we had a budget I’d have t-shirts.”

“We don’t have a lot else to do with this document until it is time for CAA to vote on it,” Sanders said. “Now what we need to do is circulate it and get wider comment.”

Sanders said she would avoid making wholesale changes to the document until everyone has seen the same thing.

The document would start in the Dean’s Council and be spread to all the various committees from there. This committee has been set on this task since around 2011, Sanders said, so the committee looks forward to going into the process of getting their document approved.


Chrissy Miller can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].