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Additional Assessment Activities

Course Level Assessment 

Assessment plays an important role in course design. This includes assessing individual student learning within courses. It is expected that each course articulates what students will learn. As identified in the Course Syllabus Policy (SDSU 2:3; SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 5.3), faculty must include the course goals, student learning outcomes and evaluation procedures. 

General Education Assessment 

The General Education curriculum consists of System General Education Requirements. Policies identify (a) the purpose of the requirement, (b) the skills to be developed in each course that satisfies the requirement and (c) the approved courses (SDBOR Policy 2:7, SDBOR Policy 2:26, SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 8.3, and SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 8.4)

Goal 1

Students will write effectively and responsibly and will understand and interpret the written expression of others.

 As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will:  

  • Write using standard American English, including correct punctuation, grammar and sentence structure;
  • Write logically;
  • Write persuasively, with a variety of rhetorical strategies (e.g., expository, argumentative, descriptive) and 
  • Incorporate formal research and documentation into their writing, including research obtained through modern, technology-based research tools. 
Goal 2

Students will communicate effectively and responsibly through listening and speaking. 

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will:  

  • Prepare and deliver speeches for a variety of audiences and settings;
  • Demonstrate speaking competencies including choice and use of topic, supporting materials, organizational pattern, language usage, presentational aids and delivery; and 
  • Demonstrate listening competencies by summarizing, analyzing, and paraphrasing ideas, perspectives and emotional content. 
Goal 3

Students will understand the organization, potential and diversity of the human community through study of the social sciences. 

 As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will:  

  • Identify and explain basic concepts, terminology, theories and systems of inquiry of the selected social science disciplines. 
  • Apply selected social science concepts and theories to contemporary or historical issues from different behavioral, cultural, institutional, temporal or spatial contexts. 
  • Analyze the extent and impact of diversity among individuals, cultures, or societies in contemporary or historical contexts using social science methods and concepts. 
Goal 4

Students will understand the diversity and complexity of the human experience through study of the arts and humanities. 

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will: 

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of values, beliefs and ideas embodied in the human experience; 
  • Identify and explain basic concepts of the selected disciplines within the arts and humanities. |

In addition, as a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will be able to do at least one of the following: 

  • Identify and explain the contributions of other cultures from the perspective of the selected disciplines within the arts and humanities; 
  • Demonstrate creative and aesthetic understanding; 
  • Explain and interpret formal and stylistic elements of the literary or fine arts; 
  • Demonstrate foundational competency in reading, writing and speaking a non-English language.
Goal 5

Students will understand and apply fundamental mathematical processes and reasoning.

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will: 

  • Use mathematical symbols and mathematical structure to model and solve real world problems, 
  • Demonstrate appropriate communication skills related to mathematical terms and concepts. 
Goal 6

Students will understand the fundamental principles of the natural sciences and apply scientific methods of inquiry to investigate the natural world 

As a result of taking courses meeting this goal, students will:

  • Explain the nature of science including how scientific explanation are formulated, tested and modified or validated. 
  • Distinguish between scientific and non-scientific evidence and explanations and use scientific evidence to construct arguments related to contemporary issues. 
  • Apply basic observational, quantitative, or technological methods to gather and analyze data and generate evidence-based conclusions in a laboratory setting. 
  • Understand and apply foundational knowledge and discipline-specific concepts to address issues, solve problems or predict natural phenomena. 


Board of Regents Policy 2:11 Assessment sets forth the responsibility of assessing student learning outcomes for the general education curriculum approved in Board of Regents Policy 2:7 and 2:26 to the System Assessment and Testing Committee. 

The general education assessment requirement and processes are described in the General Education Assessment Guidelines (SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 8.7). Departments and faculty who provide courses for the general education curriculum are expected to participate in the general education assessment processes as needed. 

As part of this process, an annual general education report will be provided to the SDSU General Education Sub-Committee for their review and approval. 

Institutional Program Review/Accreditation 

Assessment plays a central role in accreditation and Institutional Program Review (IPR) processes. The processes and expectations outlined in this handbook should complement but not override accreditation and IPR requirements. 

For additional information on the IPR purpose and process, please visit:


Institutional Level Assessment 

The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment (OIRA) leads institutional level assessment efforts. Institutional level assessment is conducted for internal improvement or to meet external accountability demands. Examples of institutional level assessment includes the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), Senior Exit survey, First Destination survey and the Campus Climate survey.