- Course Validation
- Course Revalidation
- Course Development
- ES Committee
- Syllabus Language
The development of Essential Studies courses starts with individual faculty members and their departments. Faculty leadership in curriculum design and departmental “ownership” for courses are two key principles at UND. At the same time, the responsibility for the general education program belongs to all of us, working together. That’s why Essential Studies course proposals, changes, and assessments are faculty-initiated, and it’s why the oversight and approval process is in the hands of a campus-wide committee, under the jurisdiction of the University Senate.
Ways to Develop an ES course
New ES Course
Validated as a) an existing course that is being proposed as an addition to the ES program b) a new course at UND that was recently approved through the university curriculum procedure.
ES Course Change
A request to change an already-approved ES course so that it now meets a different ES requirement. Such a change is handled as a new validation.
A procedure for a course review and analysis of students’ learning that takes place on a 4-year cycle. The revalidation procedure is operated by the ES Committee.
ES Course Deletion
A request to drop a course from the ES program. Deletions are handled by simply notifying the ES Office (departmental memorandum to ES Office).
How a Course Makes a Contribution to Essential Studies
When reviewing an Essential Studies course, the Committee looks at four critical elements in how the course is designed:
1. Clear Statement of ES Learning
The course’s ES Goals and, if applicable, the Breadth of Knowledge and Special Emphasis (SE) requirements are clear, stated at the beginning of the class and on the syllabus, and restated during the term.
- Course syllabus, language for ES learning goals, Breadth of Knowledge ares, and Special Emphasis areas.
- Ways the ES Program contributes to a UND undergrad education.
2. Learning Activities for ES
The coursework is specifically and intentionally designed to help students study/learn the ES Goals designated and, when applicable to fit within the course's designated Breadth of Knowledge and Special Emphasis area.
This is usually demonstrated in/by, where "X"=selected course outcome:
- Specific assignments (e.g., essays, research papers, presentations, projects) and learning activities (e.g., small group discussions, informal writing, problem sets) that are designed to help students learn X.
- Repetition and practice—students get more than one opportunity to learn X. Two-to-three intentional ES learning activities is common.
- Opportunity for feedback—students receive advice and suggestions for improving their learning of X.
3. Clear Match to ES Program Requirements
- Essential Studies Learning Goals
- Criteria for Breadth of Knowledge courses
- Critieria for Special Emphasis courses
- Criteria for Capstone courses
For more information and advice about instructional design, teaching techniques, and more, see the Office of Instructional Development.
For examples of innovative teaching practices at UND, many of which relate to teaching in Essential Studies, see Best Practices.