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Classics & World Religions

College or Campus: College of Arts and Sciences

Student Learning Outcomes

Departmental Objectives

  1. Students can locate major historical sites within their regions of study and identify the main persons, events, and cultural concepts of the tradition(s) they have studied.
  2. Students can demonstrate understanding of important methodologies associated with their discipline or sub-discipline (e.g. philology, history, archaeology).
  3. Students can identify “diagnostic” elements within primary sources (written or physical) and apply this to the analysis of date, genre, location, and significance.
  4. Students can compare aspects of different cultures to their own.
  5. Students can construct arguments based on evidence from literature or material culture.
  6. Students can synthesize and evaluate arguments of others.

Individual Program Objectives

Classical Civilization

  1. Classical Civilization students can describe the significance of the historical and geographical context of physical evidence within the classical world.
  2. Classical Civilization students can identify and explain the historical and cultural significance of major writers, monuments, and sites in the classical world.
  3. Classical Civilization students can compare and contrast different categories of evidence within the classical world.

Classical Languages

The department bases these learning objectives on the standards for the teaching of foreign languages articulated by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL).

  1. Classical Languages students can understand ancient Greek and Roman texts in the original language at a level normative for junior or senior undergraduates.
  2. Classical Languages students can demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the literary periods, genres, movements, cultural or linguistic topics in the area of their focus, and the reciprocal relationship between literature, culture, and history.
  3. Classical Languages students can demonstrate literary, critical, and analytical abilities through the study and discussion of relevant texts and through the exploration of a research topic.

World Religions

  1. World Religions students can demonstrate a high level of knowledge of at least one theoretical approach to the study of religion.
  2. World Religions students can demonstrate a familiarity the history, texts, and practices associated with at least one of the following traditions: Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, or Hinduism.
  3. World Religions students can analyze myths, symbols, religious doctrines, and rituals at a level normative for junior or senior undergraduates.

 

Assessment Plan

The Classics & World Religions Department employs three levels of assessment.

Assessment within Coursework

The above departmental and program learning objectives above are embedded in the courses required for CLWR majors. For example, each of the six departmental objectives is addressed in the core requirements for the Classical Civilization major or the World Religions major. Individual program objectives are addressed both through the core courses and through further required course work in each program.

Through tests and papers we measure the extent to which our majors have attained these learning objectives on a course-by-course basis.

Assessment after Coursework

The department employs three methods of gauging program effectiveness upon a student’s completion of the major:

  1. The last week of spring semester classes, the chair appoints a faculty to administer an anonymous end exam for Classics majors (both Classical Civilization and Classical Languages) and World Religions majors that measures the core knowledge (including geography, chronology, and key individuals and concepts) of students in their program.
  2. For Classical Language majors: The final exam and paper from the student’s last advanced Latin or Greek course also will count as assessment after coursework.
  3. For selected majors: The CLWR honors thesis or the HTC senior thesis.
  4. Admission to graduate school and other post-baccalaureate programs.

Procedures for Responding to Assessment Results (H4)

  1. The chair and the curriculum chair review end exam results each year at the end of the spring semester.
  2. The chair and the curriculum chair note trends in student portfolios admission to graduate school and other post-baccalaureate programs every other year.
  3. If, on the basis of their examination of these data, the chair and the curriculum chair are concerned that changes in program curricula or pedagogy may be indicated, they raise their concerns with the department as a whole, which then determines a program-level response.

Sustainability

The department’s organizational structure makes these assessment procedures sustainable.

  1. Assessment of student learning within coursework belongs to the regular duties of each course instructor.
  2. The department honors program coordinator maintains an archive of undergraduate theses. The department administrator maintains a record of how our majors fare in admission to graduate school and other post-baccalaureate programs.

Evidence of Student Learning

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Use of Student Learning Evidence

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