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College of Arts & Sciences
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English Department Learning Outcomes & Assessment Plan for Undergraduate Majors

Introduction

Formally created in 1829, the English Department is one of the oldest and over time matured departments of Ohio University. Today, the English major has four distinct undergraduate specializations: Literature, Creative Writing, English Pre-law, and Cultures, Rhetoric, and Theory. While each distinct area particularly prepares students with tailored courses and professional goals, the overarching program of the English major aims to serve students who are interested in careers involving reading, writing, and critical interpretation of texts. The learning outcomes of the English major reflect these objectives.

Learning Objectives

English Department students can:

  • Read and interpret texts from multiple genres of writing.
  • Write evidence-based essays about multiple genres, for different contexts and purposes.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of English language and literature in different national, historical, social, political, and cultural contexts.
  • Collect and sift information, analyze and interpret a diverse variety of primary sources and present material in appropriate formats of writing, including in standardized bibliographical citation styles such as MLA.

Assessment Plan

The English Department uses the following assessment strategies for measuring student learning outcomes, in two phases. Formative Assessments are based on student performances after majors have completed the genre courses ENG 2010 and ENG 2020; Summative Assessments are based on student accomplishments to be reflected in a capstone project, delivered in student E-Portfolios.

Formative Assessments

These are course-level assessments to gauge effectiveness of two required courses early in the English major. ENG 2010 and ENG 2020 are used for this phase of the assessment. These courses provide an essential framework of knowledge and skill for students to progress effectively through the major.

ENG 2010

Learning Objectives
  • Students will develop their appreciation for the purposes and pleasures of prose fiction and nonfiction.
  • Students will articulate ways that literary works construct values and ethical meanings.
  • Students will identify major features of literary form and construct arguments about the relationship between form and the work’s meaning.
Assessment Tool
  • Essay evaluated by rubric

ENG 2020

Learning Objectives
  • Students will develop their appreciation for the purposes and pleasures of poetry and drama.
  • Students will articulate ways that literary works construct values and ethical meanings.
  • Students will identify major features of literary form and construct arguments about the relationship between form and the work’s meaning.
Assessment Tool
  • Essay evaluated by rubric

Steps for Implementation

The English Department “Rubric for Essay Assessment” is used for evaluating learned student skills in reading and interpreting texts from multiple genres of writing.

Faculty who teach ENG 2010 and ENG 2020 evaluate one or more writing coursework based on the department “Rubric for Essay Assignment.”

Feedback from student performance is used to guide the program in the continuous improvement cycle of student performance, curriculum and teaching.

Summative Assessments

Assessment of student e-portfolios: The e-portfolios are compiled at the end of the major and are used to see that the learning objectives for the English major have been met. ENG 3070J or 1-credit Pass-Fail course is used for this part of the assessment. E-portfolios serve as integrated projects for English graduating majors. E-portfolios may include some combination of student essays, personal narratives, journals, creative and critical work of students, coursework assignments, and study abroad reports.

3070J or One-credit Pass-Fail course (recommended)

  • Read and interpret texts from multiple genres of writing.
  • Write evidence-based essays about multiple genres, for different contexts and purposes.
  • Demonstrate an awareness of English language and literature in different national, historical, social, political, and cultural contexts.
  • Collect and sift information, analyze and interpret a diverse variety of primary sources and present material in appropriate formats of writing, including in standardized bibliographical citation styles such as MLA.
Assessment Tool
  • Evaluated by e-portfolios

Steps for Implementation

Students work with an assigned faculty mentor to decide which samples of their writing from different genres they want to upload into their e-portfolios.

The faculty mentor and the Undergraduate Committee (or a LAC—newly to be initiated departmental Learning and Assessment Committee) assess at least 15 percent of student e-portfolios to see that student writings actually reflect solid knowledge of the discipline and that students can analyze and write effectively about diverse topics in an effective and organized manner. 

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