University-wide Student Learning Goals (pdf)

Assessing student learning is the process of collecting information in order to ascertain the extent to which students are achieving the learning goals set forth by the institution. Assessment takes place at different levels throughout the institution: the course, the program, the college or school, and the university as a whole. Each level of assessment tells the corresponding academic unit whether the educational experiences it provides to its students are producing the desired result and ideally informs the academic unit as to how student learning can be improved.

These goals are meant to convey a shared vision as to what should be expected of all students who successfully complete a Dominican education.

These eight goals were developed by establishing commonalities among existing student learning goals from across the college and the professional and graduate schools. They were developed with the University’s mission in mind so that courses, programs, and schools that align their curricula with these goals will effectively also align their curricula with the University’s mission. An additional benefit of having university-wide student learning goals is that it fosters communication and collaboration amongst different academic bodies regarding student learning.  

The following learning goals are not intended to place limits on what is taught nor should it be expected that every program will address each goal equally.

The Assessment Committee expects that these goals will be systematically and formally assessed across the university. Every three years the Assessment Committee reports on assessment activities across the university. As part of this report, the Assessment Committee will solicit from the college and the professional and graduate schools reports of assessment of these student learning goals.

Goal Statements

Knowledge: Depth and Breadth

Students will develop a significant level of mastery within a major field of study and develop an appropriate degree of literacy in other disciplines.

Operational definition: “significant level of mastery” is defined as possessing a requisite set of content knowledge, an understanding of the key concepts and principles, and the requisite skill set (e.g., psycho-motor, intellectual, etc.) commonly associated with the discipline. “Literacy” is defined as having some basic knowledge and skills so as to be functional within a particular area (e.g., scientific literacy, computer literacy, information literacy, etc.).

Critical Thinking

Students will develop the necessary skills to think critically.

Operational definition: “to think critically” is defined as the intellectual process of analyzing, applying, synthesizing and/or evaluating information collected and/or generated through observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication so as to reach an answer, make a prediction, or draw a conclusion.

Communication

Students will be able to communicate effectively.

Operational definition: “communicate effectively” is defined as the ability to convey meaning (either verbally or in writing) to a particular audience.

Global Citizenship

Students will develop as global citizens.

Operational definition: “develop as global citizens” means that students will demonstrate the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and actions associated with being a Globally Positioned Student. This includes, but is not limited to, the development of the cultural competencies necessary for engaging the multiplicity of human perspectives and differences with authentic empathy.

Civic Engagement/Social Responsibility

Students will demonstrate socially responsible behavior and civic engagement.

Operational definition: “social responsibility” and “civic engagement” together reflect acting and/or participating in events that address issues of public concern, so as to benefit society at large. A necessary aspect of acting in a socially responsible manner and/or participating in civic engagement involves demonstrating and adhering to moral and ethical principles, especially those associated with the Sinsinawa Dominican tradition.

Integrative/Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Students will have the knowledge of and the ability to conduct integrative/interdisciplinary inquiry.

Operational definition: “integrative/interdisciplinary inquiry” is defined as the process of combining information, experiences, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from across different contexts.

Research and Scholarship

Students will have the knowledge base and skill set necessary for conducting research and/or scholarship in a particular area of study.

Operational definition: “research and/or scholarship” is defined as the systematic implementation of intellectual inquiry to advance the knowledge base of a particular field of study and the dissemination of this knowledge through either publications or presentations.

Catholic-Dominican ethos

Students will have an understanding of the Catholic-Dominican ethos.

Operational definition: “understanding of the Catholic-Dominican ethos” refers to regarding the Catholic intellectual tradition as a conversation that affirms the compatibility of faith and reason, possessing the skills necessary for engaging in the Dominican tradition’s ongoing pursuit of truth, and having the capabilities for transformation of the world into a greater realization of the common good.

Sample Student Learning Outcomes

Sample Learning Outcomes (pdf)

The following are sample learning outcome statements for each of the eight university-wide student learning goals. These outcome statements are intended to serve as examples as to how the university-wide goals could be assessed at different levels of student performance. The Assessment Committee recommends that programs involved in assessing the university-wide goals develop their own outcome statements and corresponding assessment measures. However, if you are unsure about how to assess these goals, the sample outcomes are a good place to start.

As you think about assessing the university-wide goals, keep in mind that the expectation is that all Dominican students are developing to some extent with respect to these goals. Every student should, therefore, be assessed, but this does not mean that every student will be assessed along every possible associated outcome or that every course within a school or program will assess every outcome. Rather, over the course of a student’s career at Dominican, a representative set of outcomes will be assessed in enough courses where enough information is collected so that one can make a value judgment regarding student development with respect to these goals.

Knowledge: Depth and Breadth

Students will develop a significant level of mastery within a major field of study and will develop an appropriate degree of literacy in other disciplines.

Level 1
  • Students will define key terms within a discipline.
  • Students will use disciplinary terms in the proper context.
  • Students will demonstrate information literacy skills.
  • Students will demonstrate computer literacy skills.
Level 2
  • Students will describe key methods of research, scholarship, or inquiry associated with a particular field.
  • Students will explain key areas of contention within a particular field.
  • Students will identify the appropriate strategy to solve a problem.
Level 3
  • Students will use the knowledge of a discipline to solve a problem.
  • Students will evaluate knowledge claims within a discipline.
Critical Thinking

Students will develop the necessary skills to think critically.

Level 1
  • Students will summarize a pattern within presented information.
  • Students will identify additional information needed to make a decision.
Level 2
  • Students will separate given information as either relevant or irrelevant to a presented issue.
  • Students will identify assumptions inherent in an argument or position.
Level 3
  • Students will identify suitable solutions for real-world problems.
  • Students will evaluate if presented information supports an assertion.
  • Students will provide alternative explanations for a given claim.
Communication

Students will be able to communicate effectively.

Level 1
  • Students will apply appropriate communication skills for a given setting and audience.
  • Students will use technology appropriately to communicate effectively.
Level 2
  • Students will develop a written or oral communication designed to inform an audience.
  • Students will develop a written or oral communication designed to persuade an audience.
  • Students will analyze communication variables in personal, professional, or community settings.
Level 3
  • Students will evaluate their own communication behavior.
  • Students will explain the roles their own values, beliefs, and attitudes play in their own personal communication.
Global Citizenship

Students will develop as global citizens.

Level 1
  • Students will describe what it means to be a global citizen.
  • Students will articulate the benefits of interacting with someone from a different culture.
Level 2
  • Students will describe how aspects of their discipline are practiced worldwide.
  • Students will explain the advantages of participating in cross-cultural events.
Level 3
  • Students will apply knowledge, theories or principles from their discipline to explain global issues or events.
  • Students will critically engage with others of differing views on matters involving a global perspective.
Civic Engagement/Social Responsibility

Students will demonstrate socially responsible behavior and civic engagement.

Level 1
  • Students will describe different types of civic engagement.
  • Students will explain different strategies that can be employed to further social justice.
Level 2
  • After participating in a service-learning project, students will articulate how the experience was personally transformative.
  • Students will advocate for social justice for a vulnerable or oppressed group of people.
Level 3
  • Students will propose novel strategies to address entrenched problems in society.
  • Students will describe the ways different social systems promote or deter people in maintaining or achieving well-being.
Integrative/Interdisciplinary Inquiry

Students will have the knowledge of and ability to conduct integrative/interdisciplinary inquiry.

Level 1
  • Students will identify differing views on a topic from at least two different disciplines.
  • Students will identify relationships between at least two different disciplines.
Level 2
  • Students will synthesize knowledge from multiple disciplines in order to produce something greater than would be possible from any one disciplinary perspective.
  • Students will apply knowledge, methods, or principles from one discipline to another.
Level 3
  • Students will evaluate knowledge from a broad range of disciplines.
  • Students will evaluate the importance of a specific disciplinary perspective to a given issue.
Research and Scholarship

Students will have the knowledge base and skill set necessary for conducting research and/or scholarship in a particular area of study.

Level 1
  • Students will prepare an annotated bibliography.
  • Students will collect data.
  • Students will organize data into useful arrangements.
Level 2
  • Students will conduct a literature review.
  • Students will design/propose a research/scholarship project.
  • Students will summarize a research/scholarship article
  • Students will prepare a research/scholarship proposal.
Level 3
  • Students will evaluate a research/scholarship article.
  • Students will defend a research/scholarship thesis.
  • Students will draw conclusions from data analysis.
Catholic-Dominican ethos

Students will have an understanding of the Catholic-Dominican ethos.

Level 1
  • Students will state the Dominican University mission.
  • Students will identify prominent figures in the Catholic intellectual tradition.
  • Students will identify key texts associated with the Catholic intellectual tradition.
Level 2
  • Students will describe the Dominican approach to pursuing truth.
  • Students will explain how critical reflection figures in the Catholic-Dominican tradition.
  • Students will describe Dominican habits of inquiry.
  • Students will describe the benefits of participating in activities designed to uphold the dignity of the person.
Level 3
  • Students will analyze the influence of the Catholic-Dominican tradition on the human condition.
  • Students will explain how the dignity of the person relates to the solidarity of the community.
  • Students will explain the relationship between dignity of the person and the realization of the common good.
  • Students will explain how their discipline contributes to or upholds the dignity of the person.
  • Students will explain how their discipline contributes to the common good.