General Education Assessment

Illinois’ general education curriculum prepares students to be creative and critical thinkers who are engaged members of their communities. General education complements the academic major, which equips students with specialized knowledge appropriate for their professional goals.

Illinois students spend as much as a third of their coursework on general education and Illinois is committed to ensuring that its general education curriculum goes through a rigorous assessment and quality assurance process.

General Education Assembly on Learning Outcomes

Beginning in Spring 2019, Illinois will engage in a process to build learning outcomes for each of the general education categories through engaging faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students. The objectives of this process are as follows:

  • Identify learning outcomes for each of the general education categories
  • Engage the campus in a discussion of the purpose and role of general education
  • Begin to create a Community of Practice around the Gen Ed Requirements by creating opportunities for faculty and staff involved with the individual requirements to get to know each other and build community
  • Create learning outcomes for each of the Gen Ed requirements that align with the campus student learning outcomes
  • Start the discussion for assessing student learning in these General Education requirements

The Assembly will include multiple parts.

Part one involves four large group brainstorming sessions made up of faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduate teaching assistants who teach general education courses.

Part two includes smaller working groups for each general education category who will process the information and recommendations gathered through/from the larger Assembly discussions. These working groups will also generate recommendations for concrete learning outcomes for each general education category.

Once the Assembly at large has vetted and approved the learning outcomes, they will be adopted.

After the campus has adopted its general education learning outcomes, regular assessment and continual improvement of its general education curriculum will begin. The Council for Learning Outcomes Assessment (C-LOA) will determine the structure and timeline for assessment reporting.

This work builds on the general education assessment activities piloted for the new U.S. Minority Cultures general education requirement.

Please check back regularly for more updates.