Curriculum and Governance

Resources

Schedule of Classes

Governance and Curriculum

L&S Syllabus Guidelines

If you are creating a new course, you need to submit the syllabus to governance. Also, making changes to an existing course that require it to go through the governance process often calls for a syllabus to be submitted (especially true for GER and breadth courses).

What must you include in your course syllabus? 

Using the following checklist will ensure that your syllabus complies with the UWM Uniform Syllabus Policy (UWM Faculty Document 1895R6 ) as well as other UWM and federal policy.

Certain aspects of the checklist are required by policy, while other aspects are only recommended. However, any committee (e.g. the L&S Academic Policy and Curriculum Committee (L&S APCC), campus APCC, or for graduate courses, the Graduate Curriculum Committee) may choose not to approve a syllabus on the basis of required and/or recommended elements.

Syllabi for online and hybrid/blended courses, Graduate and U/G courses, GER competency courses, GER distribution courses, and courses fulfilling L&S breath or research requirements have additional requirements.

Undergraduate course syllabus checklist with examples

L&S Syllabus Checklist in PDF
Syllabus element & examplePOLICY
Course title, catalog number (and section number if applicable)

Example: JAMS 304-001 News Literacy
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019, 1.a and 2.a
Class meeting times and location(s)

Example: Mon/Wed 3:00-4:15 pm, Bolton 250
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019, 1.b
Instructor’s name and email or phone #

Example: Marissa Sussani, sassani@uwm.edu
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019, 1.c, d
Teaching assistant’s(s’) name(s) and email or phone # (if TA will be assigned to the course)

Example: Joseph Cintique, joetique@uwm.edu
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019, 1.c, d
Instructors’ and TAs’ names-in-use

(How should students address the instructors verbally and in writing?)
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
Office Hours – Cannot be “by appointment only” if a face-to-face class

Example: Mon & Wed 1-2 pm, Tuesday 2-4 pm & by appointment, etc.
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
Course Format

Examples: Lecture, discussion, hybrid, etc.
916 – Mar 24, 2003
Prerequisites and/or special skills required of students

Examples: junior standing, Math 232, A basic understanding of GIS is required, etc.
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
At least approximate due dates for assignments (actual due dates preferred), including final examination date and time if applicable

Example: Final exam date TBD by registrar, etc.
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019, 1.h, 3.d,e
Course Description with topics to be covered

Example: This course is designed to provide students with a theoretical and practical foundation in paleomagnetism and environmental magnetism. Topics to be covered include Earth’s magnetic field; physics of magnetization; physical and environmental factors that control magnetic properties of Earth materials; how Earth materials become magnetized; how to recover ancient records of Earth’s magnetic field; how to measure
916 – Mar 24, 2003
Short description of course objectives–skills and or knowledge the students are expected to acquire
  • Identify reputable news sources and content
  • Define and identify original news reporting, opinion and analysis
  • Evaluate the reporting process of news organizations and journalists
  • Perform fact checking
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019916 – Mar 24, 2003
Required readings with full citations and ISBN
  • Full Citation – Author, A. (Year of Publication). Title of work. Publisher City, State: Publisher.
  • Citation Example – Finney, J. (1970). Time and again. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019916 – Mar 24, 2003
Recommended readings with full citations if applicable
  • Full Citation – Author, A. (Year of Publication). Title of work. Publisher City, State: Publisher.
  • Citation Example – Finney, J. (1970). Time and again. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster.
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
Price of reading, with no mention book sellers outside of UWM (per current eCampus contract), is recommended

Example: ISBN 978- 0226805368, Price approximately $40.00 ISBN 978- 0226805368, Price $40.00
Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315), 2008; U.S. Department of Education explainer
If reading material is not purchased, where are readings located?

Example: On reserve in library, Canvas, etc.
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
Assignment Policies: Make up or late work policy

Examples: Late work is not accepted for any reason, point/grade reduction, etc. — Late written work (including work returned for failure to conform to submission guidelines) will be assessed a penalty of one full letter grade for each calendar day that it is late. Assignments will not be accepted more than a week after the due date. If there is a penalty for late work, it must be spelled out. Note: Committees like to see information concerning “extenuating” circumstances. Something like, “If there is a medical emergency or something of this manner, policies can be adjusted as long as student presents proper documentation”
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
Assignment Policies: description of all assignments including homework and larger projects

Example: Homework and in-class assessments (14) 5 points each Sometimes prior to and sometimes during class, you will be asked to complete short activities and respond to questions in writing. These are individual activities that I will ask you to turn in. The points for these activities are earned when your responses demonstrate basic comprehension of the content, including readings, lecture, and class discussion. For in- class assessments, you must be present to complete the assessment in class to earn credit for it. Over the course of the semester, 14 homework activities and/or in-class assessments will be assigned. If you earn more than 60 points on these activities, those points will count as extra credit.
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
If there are special out of class requirements, what are they? Special out-of-class requirements may include computers, software, internet access, field trips, etc. Online classes have their own list of requirements, including technical requirements.)

Example: see exhibit at local museum
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
Grading policies, including the weight given to each graded component: Table format is recommended Provide a weight given to each graded course component –

Examples: Homework = 10% Final Exam = 25% Total = 100%
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
Grading Scale:

Examples: – A+ = 98-100, A = 94-97, etc.
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
Time investment that is in accordance with campus credit hour policy and corresponds to the grading policies. Students should invest a minimum of 48 hours/semester per credit hour.

Table format is recommended Examples: Studying for exams = 22 hrs. Homework = 26 hrs. Total = 144 hrs.
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019 2838 – Feb 16, 2012
If this is a lab or a course that may involve safety policies, what are the policies?1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
If attendance is required, what are the requirements and what are the consequences?1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
The following URL for the Secretary of the University web page that contains all UWM policies must be included: http://uwm.edu/secu/syllabus-links/1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
Calendar/A chronology of topics, including specific due dates and exam dates
  • Weeks and/or dates
  • All assignments and their due dates
  • Chapters and/or page numbers (for work assessment)
  • Exam dates
  • The final exam date and time
  • If there is not a final exam, what final assessment tool will be used
Example:
Wk Lecture/Discussion Topic Reading Assignment (take quiz prior to class; Butler readings optional but recommended) Due
1 Intro and organization Earth's magnetic field Tauxe Ch. 1.1–1.5
Tauxe Ch. 2
Butler Ch. 1
2 Displaying paleomagnetic data
Lab: Intro to PmagPy software
Tauxe Ch. 2.4
Butler Ch. 4 (pgs. 69–71)
3 Origins and types of magnetism
Lab: Intro to Python
Tauxe Ch. 3
Butler Ch. 2 (pgs. 16–21)
PmagPy Cookbook, Ch. 7
Paper Topic
4 Magnetic domains and magnetic hysterisis
Lab: Analyzing hysterisis data
Tauxe Ch. 4, Ch. 5.3
Tauxe Ch. 5 (rest)
Butler Ch. 3 (pgs. 31–39)–21
Quiz 1
1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
If your department has a blanket policy on attendance, incompletes, safety, course fees, etc., a URL to the department policy or the policy text should be included in the syllabus.1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
If your department has a culture or policy that final examinations are not mandatory, a URL to the department policy or the policy text should be included in the syllabus.1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019
If participation is considered in the grading policy, then there must be an attendance policy in the syllabus.1895R6 -Feb 21, 2019

Online or blended courses: Additional requirements

Syllabus Element
Clear statement that the course is online or blended. If blended/hybrid, state which aspects are online, and which are face-to-face.
Specification of course interactions:

  • Between the instructor and students (e.g., e-mail, Canvas discussion, phone, Skype, Teams, voiceover slides, etc.).

  • Between students, for any asynchronous or synchronous discussions (e.g., Canvas, Skype, social media site, etc.).

  • Between the students and the course content (e.g., Canvas discussion, UWM or external Web sites, etc.).

Minimum technical requirements, e.g., computer configuration, any necessary hardware or software.
Listing or description of the necessary computer skills for success in the course.
Contact information for technical help and problems with Canvas. UWM Help Desk: (414) 229-4040, help@uwm.edu, GetTechHelp.uwm.edu
Canvas help at https://uwm.edu/canvas/students/, or call 833-826-8713.

Graduate and U/G courses: Additional required elements

Graduate courses, and courses enrolling both undergraduates and graduates have particular requirements from the Graduate School. See the Graduate Curriculum Committee website for further information.
Syllabus ElementPOLICY
U/G courses require two grading tables, one for undergraduates and one for graduate students3196R1 (GFC 916)
U/G courses require two time commitment statements, one for undergraduates and one for graduates. The graduate workload table should contain 33% more hours than the undergraduate.3196R1 (GFC 916)
U/G courses require Graduate Students to be involved in a project or special work that accounts for 33.33% of their grade.
  • Examples of appropriate work include: leading a class discussion or delivering a presentation, completing a more sophisticated research or laboratory project, writing a substantial research paper, or participating in separate web-based graduate student discussions

  • If the instructor chooses a “special” project to account for the 33.33% graduate work, the project must be outlined in detail.

3196R1 (GFC 916)
Graduate and U/G courses require readings/texts that have been published within the past five years; if this is not the case, please upload a document into the CIM form to explaining the necessity of these texts/materials (examples: primary or historical sources).3196R1 (GFC 916)

GER competency courses (OWC, QL): Additional requirements

The syllabus for any course designed to meet General Education Requirement (GER) competency requirements has additional required elements, according to UWM policy and to meet national accreditation standards. All of these requirements are set down in Faculty Document 2836R1 .

OWC-A

OWC-A is satisfied by English 102.

RequirementSample Text In Syllabus
Clear statement of learning outcomes, including:
  • Rhetorical Knowledge: Students will analyze contexts and audiences to comprehend and create a variety of academic texts.

  • Critical Thinking, Reading, and Composing: Students will analyze, synthesize, interpret, and evaluate ideas, information, situations, and texts.

  • Composing Process: Students will develop an array of composing strategies and processes to conceptualize, draft, revise, and finalize projects in academic contexts.

  • Writing Conventions: Students will apply writing conventions (e.g. documentation, format, style, language, and mechanics) appropriate for academic genres.

"There are two overarching aims of the entire course:
  • to help you understand, and put into practice, the idea that research is a thoroughly rhetorical endeavor

  • to teach you 21st century critical information literacy practices”

Identification of assignments that address those learning outcomes“The course will consist of three segments. Within each segment, you will be assigned selected readings, five “Short Stack” writing assignments, and a Segment Major Project.”
An assessment plan showing how the students’ achievement of the learning outcomes will be assessed.
Class should have an enrollment cap of 25 or fewer students (recommended; if over 25 students, there must be an explanation of how the course can meet the objectives that accounts for the larger class size)(entered in CIM, not in syllabus)

OWC-B

It is recommended that each major have one course that satisfies OWC-B, to help your majors meet their GER requirements. If your major has one such course, it is unlikely that APCC will grant another one.

RequirementSample text in syllabus
Clear statement of learning outcomes, including:
  • Critical reading, logical thinking, and the use of argument and evidence

  • The use of appropriate stylistic and disciplinary conventions in writing and/or speaking.

  • Critical analysis of information from primary or secondary sources for some portion of the speaking and/or writing.
Identification of assignments that address those learning outcomes
Identification of multiple assignments (ideally 6-8, spaced over term) that culminate in oral and/or written presentations.
Identification of at least two assignments that require students to submit a draft or give a practice speech, assimilate feedback on it, and then revise it. Additional opportunities for feedback and revision would be better yet.
At least one individual conference with each student, preferably early in the semester, to discuss the student's writing and/or speaking skills.
A requirement that a portion of the speaking and/or writing be based on a research component, appropriate to the discipline and course.
An assessment plan showing how the students’ achievement of the learning outcomes will be assessed.
Class should have an enrollment cap of 25 or fewer students (recommended; if over 25 students, there must be an explanation of how the course can meet the objectives that accounts for the larger class size)

QL-A

There are several Math courses that satisfy QL-A.Courses that meet the QL-A requirement must show they enable students to evaluate, construct, and communicate arguments using quantitative methods and formal reasoning. QL-A skills must be broad-based in order that they have a positive impact on the readiness of students to take a QL-B course in a variety of disciplines.The QL-A requirement will prepare students to achieve the following outcomes:

  1. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
  2. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
  3. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others.
  4. Model with mathematics.
  5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
  6. Attend to precision.
  7. Look for and make use of structure.
  8. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning.
RequirementSample text in syllabus
Clear statement of how the class accomplishes the learning outcomes.“… we will aim to develop the following skills:
a) Recognizing arguments and analyzing their structure
b) Identifying common logical fallacies
c) Applying formal techniques to evaluate deductive reasoning
d) Using abstract formal schemata to represent common inductive reasoning patterns
e) Employing quantitative tools to evaluate probabilistic reasoning and statistical reasoning”

“We want you to understand how math arises in everyday situations, and to help you understand why math is relevant to your life.”
Significant use of quantitative tools in the context of other course material“Throughout the course, college success content will be integrated with mathematical topics.”

Additional text describing assignments. Syllabus should show multiple, scaffolded assignments that build quantitative/formal reasoning skills.
An assessment plan designed to demonstrate that the course meets the objectives and student learning outcomes stated above.
Low-enrollment courses. The APCC defines this as follows: The context in which student work is assessed (i.e., lecture, discussion, lab) has an enrollment cap of 25 or fewer students. Requests to approve courses with a larger class size must demonstrate clearly how the objectives and requirements of the course can be satisfied within the larger format. (Nothing in syllabus)

QL-B

It is recommended that each major have one course that satisfies QL-B, to help your majors meet their GER requirements. If your major has one such course, it is unlikely that APCC will grant another one.Syllabi for classes that meet Quantitative Literacy Part B requirement must address these learning outcomes:

  1. Students will recognize and construct mathematical models and/or hypotheses that represent quantitative information.
  2. Students will evaluate the validity of these models and hypotheses.
  3. Students will analyze and manipulate mathematical models using quantitative information.
  4. Students will reach logical conclusions, predictions, or inferences.
  5. Students will assess the reasonableness of their conclusions.

These outcomes and other requirements are all stated in Faculty Document 2836R1 .

RequirementSample text in syllabus
Clear statement of how the class accomplishes the above learning outcomes.
Significant use of quantitative tools in the context of other course material.
A prerequisite of “successful completion of, or exemption from, a QL-A course.” An individual QL-A course may be specified. Courses designated as satisfying Part A of the requirement may not be used to satisfy Part B. A course with a QL-A prerequisite is not by definition a QL-B course.
An assessment plan designed to demonstrate that the course meets the objectives and student learning outcomes stated above.
Low-enrollment courses. The APCC defines this as follows: The context in which student work is assessed (i.e., lecture, discussion, lab) has an enrollment cap of 25 or fewer students. Requests to approve courses with a larger class size must demonstrate clearly how the objectives and requirements of the course can be satisfied within the larger format. (Nothing in syllabus)

GER distribution courses (Arts, Cultural Diversity, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences): Additional requirements

The syllabus for any course with distribution General Education Requirement (GER) design has additional requirements according to UWM policy (Faculty Document 2836R1 ) to meet national accreditation standards.

If a course already has GER status, you can maintain that by submitting the syllabus with any course change requiring governance or when requested during the GER renewal process.

If I include a syllabus with GER language, can I have my course satisfy GER requirements?

If your course does not already meet a GER, no, because UWM campus APCC has a moratorium on approving any courses for distribution GER (Arts, Cultural Diversity, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences).

GER Distribution Requirements

Here you can find the requirements regarding what must be included in your syllabus to maintain your course’s GER status, as well as examples of how to write GER language.

The syllabus must contain:

  • Clear language stating course learning goals or outcomes
  • Explanations of how those address UWM GER criteria and UW System Shared Learning Goals
    • Explain how your course accomplishes divisional GER criterion #1, plus one other GER criterion; and
    • Explain how your course addresses one UW system shared learning goal
  • Identification of at least one class assignment or activity that will be used to simultaneously assess at least one UWM GER and one UWM System Shared learning goal
  • A description of how students’ achievement of the learning goals will be assessed, and ideally a rubric or other procedure for assessment

To address these requirements, first look at the UW system goals 2-5 and UWM GER criteria below, then review your syllabus to identify what course learning outcomes match these criteria. Add language to the syllabus explaining how they match, naming at least one course assignment through which the criteria will be assessed, and how that assessment (grading) will happen. Regarding the assessment, attaching a rubric for the assignment is ideal.

University of Wisconsin System Shared Learning Goals: Choose one from goals 2-5:
  1. Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Natural World including breadth of knowledge and the ability to think beyond one’s discipline, major, or area of concentration. This knowledge can be gained through the study of the arts, humanities, languages, sciences, and social sciences. All GER courses are presumed to meet this goal, so only choose from goals 2-5.
  2. Critical and Creative Thinking Skills including inquiry, problem solving, and higher order qualitative and quantitative reasoning.
  3. Effective Communication Skills including listening, speaking, reading, writing, and information literacy.
  4. Intercultural Knowledge and Competence including the ability to interact and work with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures; to lead or contribute support to those who lead; and to empathize with and understand those who are different than they are.
  5. Individual, Social and Environmental Responsibility including civic knowledge and engagement (both local and global), ethical reasoning, and action.

GER divisional criteria

The criteria by division (Arts, Cultural Diversity, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences) are based on the 2018 APCC Composite Document .

Arts GER criteria:

Courses satisfying this requirement shall incorporate criterion 1 and at least one other of the following learning outcomes. Students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate comprehension of historical, philosophical, theoretical, or aesthetic perspectives commonly used in the understanding of a specific art; and
  2. apply knowledge of artistic principles, conventions, methods, and practices through the creation or production of works of art; or
  3. compare and contrast the expressive and formal features of different artistic media and/or cultural traditions; this may be accomplished through an analytic study or as part of an original artistic work.
Cultural Diversity GER criteria:

Courses satisfying this requirement shall incorporate criterion 1 and at least one other of the following learning outcomes. Students will be able to:

  1. understand and analyze the perspectives, world views, methodologies, and philosophic constructs that the group(s) use(s) to describe, explain, and evaluate its/their life experiences over historical time; and
  2. investigate critically the social, intellectual, and political structures that support oppression based on race, ethnicity, and other human differences;
  3. explain fundamental episodes in the history and social construction of concepts of “race” and “ethnicity”;
  4. reflect critically on how the students’ own culture and experiences influence their knowledge of, and attitudes towards, people whose cultural and social identities differ from their own;
  5. articulate, within communities of color, the social, cultural, and political contributions of women, transgender people, and persons of varied sexual orientations;
  6. analyze the role of diversity in the successful functioning of a multiracial democratic society; or
  7. delineate how formations of race and ethnicity in the United States are part of a larger transnational history.
Humanities GER criteria:

Courses satisfying this requirement shall incorporate criterion 1 and at least one other of the following learning outcomes. Students will be able to:

  1. identify the formation, traditions, and ideas essential to major bodies of historical, cultural, literary, or philosophical knowledge; and
  2. respond coherently and persuasively to the materials of humanities study; this may be through logical, textual, formal, historical, or aesthetic analysis, argument and/or interpretation; or
  3. apply diverse humanistic theories or perspectives to other branches of knowledge or to issues of universal human concern
Natural Sciences GER criteria:

Courses satisfying this requirement shall incorporate criterion 1 and at least one other of the following learning outcomes. Students will be able to:

  1. understand and apply the major concepts of a natural science discipline, including its breadth and its relationship to other disciplines; and
  2. explain and illustrate the relationships between experiments, models, theories and laws;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the process of generating and testing data, and apply this knowledge to the solution of problems;
  4. discuss and assess the limitations of data and the possibility of alternative interpretations; or
  5. apply ethical reasoning to questions, concepts, and practices within a natural science discipline.
Social Sciences GER criteria:

Courses satisfying this requirement shall incorporate criterion 1 and at least one other of the following learning outcomes. Students will be able to:

  1. recognize and analyze intrapersonal, interpersonal, and/or socio-cultural factors associated with individual behavior, collective action, or societal development; and
  2. identify and critically evaluate the function, structure and development of human collectivities, organizations, institutions, and cultures, their infrastructures and interrelationships;
  3. recognize and contextualize human capacities for and/or techniques of creating behavior acquisition and change as viewed from both intra- and inter-cultural perspectives;
  4. demonstrate the ability to identify, apply and effectively communicate methodologies designed for conducting inquiry into human behavior, collective action, societies, or cultures; or
  5. critically evaluate and apply alternative theoretical frameworks that have been used to offer meaningful explanations of social phenomena.

GER language examples

The examples provided differ by distribution area (Cultural Diversity, Humanities, Natural Sciences, Social Sciences) but also in terms of style. You may find it helpful to look at the different styles and formats for GER language.

Cultural Diversity GER example

This is an example of a syllabus that explains the GER objectives, as well as assessment, in student-oriented language.

GER Cultural Diversity (CD) Goals Assessed:

A)(4.5.b.2) Investigate critically the social, intellectual, and political structures that support oppression based on race, ethnicity, and other human differences;

B)(4.5.b.3) Explain fundamental episodes in the history and social construction of concepts of “race” and “ethnicity”

  • Students will be able to explain how patterns of urban development and change structure privilege and marginalization for different social groups as well how urban space is used to construct community identities and foster movements for social change.
  • Students will gain a better understanding of how community residents experience and make sense of urban change and urban inequality as well as identify and recognize how different urban forms and functions reflect community values and communicate ideas about place and social categories.
  • Students will be able to identify and characterize inequality, particularly racial and ethnic inequality, in the spatial and social order of an urban area, and be able to situate urban inequality in the larger context of urban development and change in the 20th and 21st

Student performance in this class is assessed by a variety of evaluation techniques: in-class exam, written review and presentation of a reading, small group exercises, reading assignments, service learning journal entries, a final project assignment and group presentation, and overall participation in the class. Each of these assignments is aimed at developing academic skills. By the end of the course students should not only have a better knowledge of race and ethnicity and its relationship to urban development and change, but also improved their ability to express themselves orally, and in writing, and apply their learning beyond the classroom.

Humanities GER example

The example below is a good example of syllabus language that is very clear on which learning outcomes are addressed. It gives a very clear example of assessment, including the assignment rubric.

GER Statement: Learning Outcomes for this Course

This course meets the UWM General Education Requirements in the division of the Humanities. All Humanities courses have the following learning outcome: “Students will be able to identify the formation, traditions, and ideas essential to major bodies of historical, cultural, literary, or philosophical knowledge.” In addition, this course addresses the following learning outcome:

“Students will be able to generate and demonstrate informed and independent evaluations concerning the creation, structure, and application of ethical or aesthetic concepts” (Humanities outcome 2).

GER Assessment: Assignment(s) Used to Measure Learning Outcomes:

To achieve these two outcomes, which are closely related, in this course students will read a selection of major philosophical works on the subject of ethics, surveying the tradition from the Greeks to the present day. They will become proficient in identifying principal theories of ethics, analyzing the arguments for and against those theories, and applying various ethical models to concrete situations and problems. Achievement of these outcomes will be measured in part by the writing of a term paper.

UW Shared Learning Goal:

This term paper assignment will also measure the student’s skills in critical and creative thinking, the accomplishment of which is one of the UW System’s Shared Learning Goals for all students. The following criteria will be used to assess the term paper:

  1. Does the paper compare critically the strengths and weaknesses of two theories of ethics? (1‐5 points)
  2. Does the paper persuasively apply these theories to a clearly described and relevant ethical problem or situation? (1‐5 points)
  3. Does the paper demonstrate college‐level writing competence as regards organization, word choice, grammatical correctness, and proper citation of sources? (1‐5 points)
Natural Sciences GER example

This is an example of a syllabus that shows the learning objectives, including GER objectives, as well as assessment, in student-oriented language, and in a table format, to also show grading weights.

By the end of the term, you should be able to do the following:

Learning ObjectiveAssessmentPercentage of Grade
1. Demonstrate knowledge of basic concepts in environmental geography and related disciplines.*14 of 16
Online Quizzes
50% total
2. Explain the relationship between a set of environmental data and theoretical explanations for its geographic distribution.*Project 1: Environmental Equity Mapping/Analysis Exercise
(Quiz and Discussion)
10% total
3. Identify and discuss the limitations and ambiguities of a set of environmental data and the possibility of alternative interpretations.*[See #2 above][See #2 above]
4. Explain how, by virtue of their distinctive and uneven geographies, different human communities and populations are related differently and unequally to the causes and effects of environmental problems.Introductory Discussion, Quiz, and Orientation Activities
---
3of 4 Online Discussions (in addition to Intro and Project 1 discussions)
5%total
---
15%total
(5% each)
5. Analyze the geographic dimensions (e.g., scale, connectivity across space, etc.) of an environmental problem.Project 2: Tracing Environmental Geographies20% total
6. Evaluate the limitations to possible solutions to an environmental problem, and suggest possible alternatives.[See #5 above][See #5 above]
* Based on required objectives for Natural Sciences GER courses (non-field/non-lab).
Social Sciences GER example

The example below is a good example of syllabus language that is student-oriented but still shows that that course is meeting GER criteria. It gives a clear example of assessment including the assignment rubric.

This course meets the GER requirements for Social Sciences because course materials and assignments in this course will help students:

  • recognize and analyze intrapersonal, interpersonal, and/or socio-cultural factors associated with individual behavior, collective action, or societal development. The in-class activities will provide you with opportunities to analyze how interpersonal and sociocultural factors shape individual experiences (either your own or those portrayed in media), which we will link to broader patterns in society.
  • critically evaluate and apply alternative theoretical frameworks that have been used to offer meaningful explanations of social phenomena. As we learn new theories, we will use activities to demonstrate key concepts and propositions from each theory. The exams will ask you to compare theories by applying them to understand either a research problem or policy issue. For the research report, you will apply a theoretical framework to understand a research problem or policy issue of your choosing.
  • demonstrate the ability to identify, apply and effectively communicate methodologies designed for conducting inquiry into human behavior, collective action, societies, or cultures. Throughout the semester, we will review peer-reviewed empirical articles and discuss the methodologies used by the researchers. The research report will involve identifying your own peer-reviewed empirical articles, which you will summarize in written and oral form.

 

UW SYSTEM SHARED LEARNING GOAL

This course meets the UW System’s Shared Learning Goal 2: Critical and Creative Thinking Skills including inquiry, problem solving, and higher order qualitative and quantitative reasoning. We will work toward this goal in two ways. First, we will review and critique qualitative and quantitative data together during each lecture. Second, I will assess your ability to do so independently through a research report.

The research report assignment will evaluate your critical and creative thinking as well as your having learned to apply a theoretical framework to a research problem or policy issue. The following criteria will be used to assess the research report:

  • Application of a theoretical framework to a clearly described and relevant research problem or policy issue (1-10 points)
  • Critical evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the theoretical framework it applies, and consideration of the applicability of other frameworks (1‐10 points)
  • Choice of appropriate empirical articles for your research problem or policy issue and communication of their relevant points (1-10 points)
  • University‐level writing competence in terms of organization, word choice, grammar, spelling, and citation format/completeness (1‐5 points)

L&S Breadth courses: Additional requirements

To have any new undergraduate course be accepted as meeting L&S divisional breadth requirements, the instructor needs to provide language for inclusion in the course management system (CIM) for review during the governance process. You do not have to put this language in the syllabus; it can be pasted directly into the CIM form.

For each division, five outcomes are listed. Your course must address at least THREE of those possible outcomes.

Humanities Breadth Requirement

To qualify for L&S Breadth in Humanities, a course must prepare students to achieve at least three of the following outcomes. Please identify the outcomes that apply to your course, and for those outcomes, a) please discuss any applicable lectures, readings, or activities that will prepare students to achieve the outcomes, and b) please note any homework assignments, particular test or quiz questions, or other assessment items that will evaluate how well students achieve the outcomes.

  • Students will be able to demonstrate understanding of social, historical, literary, cultural, or artistic phenomena within an appropriate conceptual framework.
  • Students will be able to explain the relationship between theories (e.g. aesthetic, philosophical, cultural, or critical theories) and texts, artworks or other cultural products.
  • Students will be able to analyze and interpret texts, artworks, or other cultural products.
  • Students will be able to identify underlying assumptions and alternative explanations of texts, artworks, or other cultural products.
  • Students will be able to formulate and explore humanistic questions and use appropriate research tools.

Natural Sciences Breadth Requirement

To qualify for L&S Breadth in Natural Sciences, a course must prepare students to achieve at least three of the following outcomes. Please identify the outcomes that apply to your course, and for those outcomes, a) please discuss any applicable lectures, readings, or activities that will prepare students to achieve the outcomes, and b) please note any homework assignments, particular test or quiz questions, or other assessment items that will evaluate how well students achieve the outcomes.

  • Students will be able to use a scientific concept from a natural science discipline to explain related naturally occurring phenomena.
  • Students will be able to explain and illustrate the relationships between experimental or field data, models, theories and laws.
  • Students will be able to analyze scientific information.
  • Students will be able to solve natural science problems with appropriate tools.
  • Students will be able to discuss and assess the limitations of data, underlying assumptions, the possibility of alternative interpretations, or ambiguous data.

Social Sciences Breadth Requirement

To qualify for L&S Breadth in Social Sciences, a course must prepare students to achieve at least three of the following outcomes. Please identify the outcomes that apply to your course, and for those outcomes, a) please discuss any applicable lectures, readings, or activities that will prepare students to achieve the outcomes, and b) please note any homework assignments, particular test or quiz questions, or other assessment items that will evaluate how well students achieve the outcomes.

  • Students will be able to understand a social scientific concept and apply it to social phenomena.
  • Students will be able to explain the relationship between quantitative and/or qualitative data and social scientific theories.
  • Students will be able to collect, analyze, and/or interpret quantitative and/or qualitative data.
  • Students will be able to use appropriate methods to address applied and/or theoretical research questions.
  • Students will be able to identify underlying assumptions and alternative explanations of social phenomena.

Courses Fulfilling the L&S Research Requirement

Courses meeting the L&S research requirement must comply with L&S Faculty Document 1027, which specifies outcomes your course should address (see below for details).

L&S Research Requirement

For a course to fulfill the L&S research requirement, the instructor must provide language about the research requirement for inclusion in the course management system (CIM) for review during the governance process. Such language must be provided when requesting a new course or existing course be accepted as meeting the L&S research requirement.

You do not have to put this language in the syllabus; please put the language in this form and submit as a PDF uploaded into the CIM form.