General Education Requirements Committee (GERC)
About the General Education Requirements Committee (GERC)
The General Education Requirements Committee (GERC) is a subcommittee of the Undergraduate Curriculum Council (UCC). The GERC reports directly to UCC. The purpose of the GERC is: to consider all courses and policies that relate to the University’s general education requirements; to evaluate, on a regular basis, the University’s general education courses for appropriateness, rigor, and assessment; and to make general education curricular recommendations based on these evaluations to the UCC. The General Education Objectives are to be reviewed on a staged 5-year cycle (meaning that not all of the Objectives need be evaluated at once).
Frequently Asked Questions about General Education Assessment
Does each iteration of a general education course need to undergo assessment?
Instruments from all delivery methods of a course and from all sections of a course should be included in the pool that is used for sampling.
What is the time period to be covered in the November assessment reports?
Each November report should address results from the previous academic year (e.g., November 2017 report includes 2016-17 academic year: Fall 2016, Spring 2017, and Summer 2017)
Do General Education Assessment results need to be reported every year?
If a course is not offered in a given coverage year, is a report needed?
One report per course number should be filed each year. If the course had not been taught during the coverage year, the report should clearly indicate that.
The department is making some changes to the approved assessment plan for its general education course. What does GERC expect in these cases?
It depends on the type of changes intended.
GERC does not need to review:
Change in assessment instruments to be used.
Change in textbook(s) to be used.
Change in when the department will be discussing/implementing the results.
GERC, and often UCC, does need to review:
Change in sampling method(s).
Change in the learning outcomes that are being addressed, as in the case of Objectives that require a course meet 4 of 5 learning outcomes, for example.
Removal of a course from the general education program. (See instructions for removing a gen ed course.)
Change in course title.
GERC does not need to review my department's changes to the approved assessment plan. Shall I record these changes somewhere?
Yes. Please record this type of change on the approved assessment plan that is stored on Google Drive and can found on the Approved Assessment Plans webpage. If you need editing access to your course assessment plan, please contact email@example.com.
GERC needs to review my department's intended changes. How do I proceed?
The steps are outlined on the Changing an Approved Assessment Plan webpage.
Is there a reason why I couldn't plan to use course grades as indicators of assessment for this process?
Normally, course grades indicate student-based assessment, rather than course-based or learning outcome-based assessment. It is likely that GERC would not have approved the use of course grades in your assessment plan. Please refer to the approved assessment plan for this course.
GERC Chair Announcements
21 October 2019
Dear Department Chairs for Objectives 5 and 6
Thank you for your ongoing work with GERC in managing ISU's general education program. My purpose in writing to you today is to inform you that by January 17, 2020, action is required from your department in commitment to the ongoing assessment efforts of our general education program.
According to our committee's policies, the assessment cycle for all courses in each objective will be completed every five years, with one or two specific objectives cycling into focus each year. This year, those to review are Objectives 5 and 6. The departmental obligations in this process are two-fold:
1) Detailed Five-year Reports on all courses satisfying Objectives 5 and 6 need to be submitted to GERC by that January 17, 2020 deadline. No Annual Course Report was required this year, since the 5-Year Report is due, and departments offering multiple courses under a single objective are welcome to collect them in a single report if this is convenient.
Five-Year Reports will describe the overall findings from the assessment process, including a description of the processes, a summary of the findings, recommendations for changes to be made to courses or to learning outcomes, and details regarding any changes already made. These reports should take into account the information included in the Annual Course Reports, but should go beyond these to provide a complete assessment of each course as fulfilling the general education objective.
Please use the following template to help you with this assessment report: Departmental 5-Year Objective Review Report Template.
Each 5-Year Report should include:
· A description of the methods used for assessment of each learning outcome, including an explanation of why these particular methods were chosen.
· An explanation of how the analysis was performed, including an appendix with copies of any rubrics developed for the purpose.
· A discussion of the major findings.
· A discussion of changes made and recommended on the basis of this assessment.
· An overall evaluation of the assessment process itself, explaining what was and was not effective, and providing recommendations for changes to the plan in the future.
· Access to assessment materials themselves, either as appendices or by other arrangements.
· Grade distributions within each course, and discussion of these data. (This information will be used by Objective Review Committees to compare course offerings within an objective, not to assess learning outcomes.)
· Other data relevant to assessing the effectiveness of each course.
Although comprehensive, this report should be limited to seven pages, excluding appendices. All materials reviewed as part of this report must be retained by the department for future use in the General Education Assessment process. This report and related materials will be used as part of the overall assessment of the general education program.
2) All departments which offer a course in the objective should appoint a representative to the Objective Review Committee for the given objective. Objective-wide course review and preliminary program-level assessment will be performed by these Objective Review Committees.
Deliver reports and names of appointed representatives to GERC: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We appreciate your efforts to teach and prepare students for their future endeavors and thank you for your support of the general education program as a whole.
18 October 2019
Thank you for our ongoing work with GERC in managing ISU's general education program. I am sending a reminder that general education assessment reports need to be submitted by Nov. 1, 2019. Please forward this email as needed to the assessment coordinator(s) for your department's gen ed courses.
The link to the Qualtrics survey where the assessment data is entered can be found using the following link: General Education Assessment Reporting for use by Departments. This link can be found near the Activity Insight link in Bengalweb.
It may be useful to bear in mind the following about the reporting process:
The time period for this year’s reports is the 2018/2019 academic year (i.e., Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019)
There needs to be one report submitted per general education course; do not combine multiple courses into the same report unless it is a course/lab pair
The pool from which sampling is drawn for course assessment should include all iterations of the course, including multiple sections, varying methods of delivery (e.g., online, traditional classroom, etc.), and any dual enrollment versions
Respondents are asked to provide responses based on the assessment plan previously submitted and approved by GERC, e.g.
The percentage of students who satisfied each of the learning outcomes being assessed pertinent to the general education objective that your course meets
The direct and indirect assessment materials that were collected for the course
The process by which the assessment materials were reviewed
A summary of the key findings from your review of the assessment materials
A summary of any steps planned and/or taken in response to the review
A few notes about the Qualtrics reporting tool:
The link to the tool lies under the Academics tab and in that tab’s Institutional Research channel: General Education Assessment Reporting for Use by Departments.
The tool now includes an option to review all input before submitting. Please carefully review your input before submitting, since all incorrect or duplicate submissions have to be manually identified, verified and deleted to ensure the accuracy of the report data.
The confirmation email that you receive upon submission of a report includes both a copy of the report that was submitted, as well as a link to revise that report, if needed.
Thank you all for helping us ensure we offer Idaho State students the best general education experience possible.
2019/2020 Chair, GERC