Core Ed Re-Approval FAQs
- What’s a good way to get started?
The Core Education Council recommends:
Identifying a core group of people (such as your unit curriculum committee) who will fill out the re-approval template after interviewing a faculty member who teaches the course. These discussions can be moments of mutual teaching development.
Using this process as an occasion to brainstorm what you might improve in teaching the Methods of Inquiry. Invite your master teachers to share examples of syllabus language, assignments, or activities that they use to help students meet the outcomes.
Having a discussion in a meeting about what your unit, specifically, adds to Core Education. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on what you are doing – and what you can be doing better – to support student learning in the areas that we, as a university community, have agreed are important for every undergraduate student.
- What does an expedited review mean?
The process is considered expedited because it does not require a school or college review. Courses go directly from your unit to UOCC. The focus of the review is on the syllabus, outcomes, and templates related to each method selected for the course. It does not require a full Course Leaf revision.
New courses should come through your school- or college-level process.
- How much needs to be changed?
If you have assignments and activities that support student learning in the two Methods of Inquiry you have chosen, you are not required to change the content or structure of your course. Small revisions to your syllabus and instructions for activities and assignments that use the phrasing or directly connect to the methods are strongly encouraged.
You are welcomed—encouraged—to make changes to the teaching of these courses as a result of this process. In fact, if faculty don’t highlight for students the work of these courses to teach the important, cross-cutting, career ready skills of UO Core Education—critical and creative thinking, written communication, ethical reflection and dialogue—we are losing the positive impact of these changes.
- What are the benefits of engaging in the process?
The focus of the process is on better outcomes for students and to improve consistency across courses for students. Re-approval is also an opportunity to revisit courses and identify signature assignments or exemplary teaching practices for sharing with the campus community.
- Why do we need to be specific about the methods of inquiry we are using in syllabi and course material?
In naming the methods used in the course, you will help students see the connection between what they are learning across the Core Education courses and Methods of Inquiry that our campus community has agreed that every UO undergraduate student should experience during their education.
- What should I address in the syllabus specifically?
If the course is US DIA or Global Perspectives fulfilling, you should include the approved Senate language. If the course meets an Area of Inquiry, a statement describing which of the requirements it meets and why (e.g., “This is a course in the Arts and Letters area which are intended to....) (from university Syllabus policy). Other direct connections to Core Education and the Methods of Inquiry are encouraged on the syllabus.
- Why do I have to select two methods of inquiry?
The Senate requires two methods of inquiry for each Core Education course that satisfies one of the three Areas of Inquiry. It’s recommended that you only select two methods for the purposes of re-approval. The goal is for students to encounter all four methods of inquiry in completing their Core Education requirements. If each Area of Inquiry course covers two methods, then students have high probability of encountering all of the Methods of Inquiry.
- How do I decide which two best fit the course?
It’s up to you. TEP has models. Request a consult through the Core Education website.
- What are the most common things that get courses kicked back?
Incomplete syllabi (true at all levels of review) is the most common issue. Be sure to update syllabus to meet current syllabus requirements. No stated outcomes or templates that don’t refer directly to the syllabus also require resubmission.
- Where can I find model templates related to my discipline?
Find model templates are on the Core Education website.
- How should I fill in the templates?
UOCC is looking for specific engagement activities that address the criteria for each Method of Inquiry, the more detailed the better. Templates should be specific to the course. Assignments usually fulfill more than one criterion.
- How can I get help?
TEP will be offering workshops. Check the Core Education website and look for announcements. Christian Cherry (email@example.com) and Emily Simnitt (firstname.lastname@example.org), Core Education Co-Chairs, would be happy to come to your unit meeting to talk about the methods, answer questions, and facilitate a discussion about your unit’s connection to Core Education.