As faculty in SLCC's General Education program, one of our responsibilities with respect to the ePortfolio is to have students create a page for each Gen Ed course on which they showcase their achievement of essential learning outcomes. Students do this by posting signature assignments and reflection from our courses. Therefore, our signature assignments should address two or more of SLCC's General Education Learning Outcomes, and we need to be conscious about how exactly we see each assignment doing so. We have a guide for you and your students focusing on how Strong ePortfolios Document General Education Learning Outcomes.
Examples of Assignments and How They Address Learning Outcomes
It's a given that our assignments will address student attainment of substantive knowledge across the disciplines, so we leave that learning outcome out of the equation. Our assignments need to address two other learning outcomes from the list. Here are three examples to get you thinking:
1) Students are required to research the campaign financing of particular congressional incumbents and challengers, analyze the results, and write a short paper about whether the results the student found confirm or dispute theories of campaign finance and democracy. The assignment addresses the General Education learning outcomes in this way:
Effective Communication--writing the paper using what the student learned in their composition courses.
Quantitative Literacy--analyzing quantitative data on campaign finance.
Critical Thinking--making an argument with respect to how the student's findings fit (or do not fit) established wisdom in the Political Science field.
Civic Engagement--developing a better understanding of how the U.S. political system works.
Information Literacy--using credible campaign finance sources and appropriately documenting them.
2) Students conduct a lab experiment, photograph each step in the process, and write up a lab report of their finds and how those findings support or challenge a hypothesis. For the ePortfolio, they create a page that hosts the lab report, a slideshow documenting the experiment, and a reflection on how their work represents an illustration of the scientific method in action. The assignment addresses the General Education learning outcomes in the following ways:
Effective Communication--writing the lab report according to discipline-specific standards.
Quantitative Literacy--collecting, analyzing, and representing data from the experiment.
Critical Thinking--demonstrating understanding of the scientific method, and solving any problems encountered in conducting the experiment.
Creativity--effectively documenting the experiment with photographs.
3) Students work together in groups to revise major pieces from a writing course, adapt one piece into a different medium, design an online magazine-style portfolio that contains their revised and adapted pieces, and reflect on their contributions as a group. For the ePortfolio, they create a hypertext reflection that explores their writing processes, research methodology, knowledge transfer, revision and adaptation choices, as well as their role in the group. Students create links to their magazine pieces when they discuss those pieces in their reflection. This project addresses the General Education learning outcomes in the following ways:
Effective Communication--researching, writing, and revising pieces to communicate messages/information for specific purposes and to target audiences.
Develop Knowledge and Skills to Work with Others in a Professional and Constructive Manner--engaging with peers from diverse backgrounds to produce a group online magazine-style portfolio
Critical Thinking--demonstrating understanding of rhetorical opportunities and situations through conducting research, analysis, evaluation, and examining public issues from multiple (more than two) perspectives.
Creativity--effectively communicating messages/information to audiences through a variety of mediums in order to fulfill audience expectations and needs.
Civic Engagement--developing an understanding of the impact that public issues have on the community and proposing solutions to those issues
Information Literacy--using credible sources in order to enter real-world conversations taking place on public issues and to advance those conversations.
Computer Literacy--using Web 2.0 platforms to create and publish revised/adapted pieces to share with broader audiences.