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 has or is currently going through the university curriculum procedure. Validation proposals may be submitted before a new course is approved by the University Curriculum Committee so the two reviews can run concurrently.
- 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.
- ES Revalidation
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 a course for inclusion in the Essential Studies Program, the Essential Studies Committee looks at the following critical elements:
1. Clear and Detailed Attention to One or More ES Learning Goals:
- Goals and associated language
- Syllabus template language for goals
- Course activities and assignments which are clearly connected to each claimed goal
2. Clear Match to ES Program Requirements and Course Criteria
- Types of ES courses: BoK, SE and Capstone
- Criteria for each type
- Syllabus template language for each type
3. Department and Faculty Involvement in the Essential Studies Program
Just as faculty teaching for a department are expected to remain connected to that department and to goals and expectations for departmental courses, faculty teaching ES courses are expected to remain connected to that program and goals and expectations for ES courses.
- Assessment Week involvement: perform task development, student recruiting and proctoring and scoring sessions
- UNDergraduate Showcase involvement
- Service on the ES Committee
- Participation at events hosted by the ES Committee and/or ES Office
For more information and advice about instructional design, teaching techniques, and more, see the Teaching Transformation & Development Academy.
For examples of innovative teaching practices at UND, many of which relate to teaching in Essential Studies, see Best Practices.