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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
3 October 2017
Re: Gen Ed Assessment Reporting reminder -- reports due Nov. 1, 2017
Thank you for our ongoing work with GERC in managing ISU's general education program. We are now in the second year of the assessment process for this program, and I am sending a reminder that general education assessment reports need to be submitted by Nov. 1, 2017.
It may be useful to bear in mind the following about the reporting process:
- The time period for this year’s reports is the 2016/2017 academic year.
- 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, 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. It is entitled 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 very much,
Sandra Shropshire, 2017/2018 Chair, GERC
8 May 2017
Re: Gen Ed Assessment, next steps
Deans, Directors, and Chairs:
On behalf of the General Education Requirements Committee (GERC), I thank you for your help in conducting Year One of the university's general education assessment effort. Our work has been proceeding according to the General Education Assessment plan. I would like to clarify some questions that have arisen as a result of last November's reporting process.
- Year Two of the reporting process begins in the Fall and results reporting date is November 1, 2017.
- Departments are asked to assess relevant Learning Outcomes according to the instruments described in their approved assessment plans, and to the cycle put forth in these plans.
- Departments are asked to retain indefinitely all instruments used in the assessment process, as the plan calls for continual detailed reviews of the process over time.
- Use of course grades as assessment indicators is not sufficient in this context.
The plan also calls for a GERC-and-discipline-representatives' review of each of the general education program's nine Objectives every five years. In the coming academic year we expect to be reviewing Objective 1 Written Communication, and Objective 2 Oral Communication. If a department you represent teaches courses that fall within these Objectives, you should expect to be contacted about participating in this process.
You should be aware that access to the individual plans and relevant GERC comments will be improved over the summer, as will the GERC webpage, so the links below may change. Please feel free to contact me with any questions that you may have.
See the Assessment plan
All approved course assessment plans can be seen for now at: Assessment Plan Tracking Sheet
18/19 Chair, GERC