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
Gen Ed 5-Year Assessment Reports for Obj. 7 & 8 due January 18
8 December 2020
Dear Department Chairs and Assessment Coordinators for Objectives 7 and 8,
Thank you for your ongoing work with the General Education Requirements Committee (GERC) in managing ISU's general education program. My purpose in writing to you today is to inform you that by January 18, 2021, 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 7 and 8. The departmental obligations in this process are two-fold:
1) Detailed Five-year Reports on all courses satisfying Objectives 7 and 8 need to be submitted to GERC by that January 18, 2021 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: email@example.com.
If you or your assessment coordinators need any assistance with these assessment reports, you may contact Ann Hackert in the Office of Assessment (firstname.lastname@example.org). You may also reach out to me or one of the Gen Ed Representatives from your college.
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.
2020/2021 GERC Chair
Missing Gen Ed Assessment Reports - submit no later than Jan. 8, 2021
7 December 2020
Dear Department Chairs and Assessment Coordinators,
An email was sent out a month or more ago inviting departments that teach a general education course to submit their annual assessment report(s) for the 2019-2020 academic year. We want to thank those departments who have completed the annual assessment report. If you have done so, then you can ignore the rest of this message.
As of December 1st annual assessment reports for the following courses have not been received:
ENGL 1101, 1102, 2257, 2258
MATH 1127, 1130, 1147, 2256, 2257
PHIL 1101, 1103, 2201, 2250, 2210
ART 2210/CMP 2250
DANC 1105, 2205
MUSC 1100, 1105, 1106, 1108, 1109
ANTH/SHOS 1101, 1102, 2201, 2202
ARBC, CHNS, GERM, JAPAN, LANG, LATN, RUSS -- all
FREN 1101, 2201, 2202 (FREN 1102 was submitted on Jan. 24, 2020)
GEOL 1100/L, 1101/L, 1110, 1107, 1108
ECON 2201, 2202
GLBL 2202, 2203, 2270
CMP 2205, 2203
INFO 1181, 1101
THEA 1118, 2251
CMLT 2207, 2208, 2209
HIST 2249, 2251
For those departments who have not submitted annual assessment reports, there is still time to submit these reports during the next month. We want to encourage you to do what you can to submit these reports no later than January 8, 2021. Keep in mind that the report can be reviewed at the end, but then it must also be submitted after you review it by clicking forward to the final page. If you receive an email with your report, then it has been submitted.
These reports help us to understand how the general education program is functioning, and they also allow us to give accurate reports to our accreditation bodies.
These reports give departments opportunities to reflect on strengths and weaknesses and thus identify ways to improve teaching and learning. When instruction improves in our general education program, it means that students are more prepared for their upper-division courses. When students are prepared for their upper-division courses, they are more likely to succeed and graduate.
We acknowledge that the Spring 2020 semester included significant challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic and that assessment results will reflect the unexpected burden placed on educators and students midway through that semester. If you are unsure of how to complete your course assessment plan under our present pandemic-impacted circumstances, please reach out to Ann Hackert (email@example.com) or your GERC representative for assistance.
Departments that teach courses that fulfill Objectives 7 and 8 are not required to submit annual reports this year, since they are being asked to complete a five-year departmental report which is due by January 17th.
Thank you for your efforts to provide a quality general education for Idaho State University students.
Below you can find the previous message that was sent with details about how to submit your annual reports.
2020/2021 GERC Chair
Annual Gen Ed Assessment Reports due Nov. 2, 2020
October 26, 2020
Thank you for our ongoing work with the General Education Requirements Committee (GERC) in managing ISU's general education program. I am sending a reminder that general education assessment reports need to be submitted by Nov. 2, 2020. 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 2019/2020 academic year (i.e., Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Summer 2020)
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, hybrid, 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.
Due to the sudden shift from teaching students face-to-face to entirely online in the Spring 2020 semester, we recognize that normal assessment practices and protocols may have been disrupted. If this is the case, please contact us and let us know how we can help. It may be that you are only able to provide assessment results that you gathered from the Fall 2019 semester. That would be okay, considering the upheaval that occurred in the Spring 2020 semester. Alternatively, any data that you have gathered from the Spring 2020 semester would be useful in helping the University and faculty in general understand how events connected to the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted the general education program.
If you or your assessment coordinators need any assistance with these assessment reports, you may contact Ann Hackert in the Office of Assessment (firstname.lastname@example.org). You may also reach out to me or one of the Gen Ed Representatives from your college.
Note: If your department offers Gen Ed courses for Objective 7: Critical Thinking or Objective 8: Information Literacy, you do not need to submit an annual assessment report this year; however, you do need to submit a Five-Year Assessment Report (Departmental 5-Year Objective Review Report Template). This report needs to be submitted by January 18th, 2021, and should include the name of an individual that will represent your department on the Objective Review Committee connected to the objective your course falls under.
Thank you all for helping us ensure we offer Idaho State University students the best general education experience possible.
2020/2021 GERC Chair