All Foundations courses share common outcomes and practices. These outcomes are assessed both during the creation process of new courses and as a part of ongoing review of current courses. In addition, they should be assessed in surveys administered to the students at the time of matriculation and again at graduation.
Having a defined set of academic and learning outcomes is vital for every academic institution. They guide our efforts in providing the best educational opportunity possible. They also are a vital tool in measuring our progress and success in providing that education. As they are measured they provide evidence to outside agencies that outcomes have been identified and focus is given to achieving those outcomes. All Foundations courses define and assess outcomes at five levels: 1) Institutional; 2) Academic; 3) Foundations; 4) Area (Eternal Truths, Academic Fundamentals, Science, Cultural Awareness, and Connections); and 5) Course.
Outcomes are defined in a hierarchy; outcomes at the institutional level define its purpose and mission. Academic outcomes support the institutional objectives. Foundations, Area, and Course Objectives each, in turn, support academic goals. This concept is illustrated in the graphic below:
BYU-Idaho Institutional Outcomes
Intended outcomes for BYU-Idaho students are defined in the university's mission statement:
Student Development Outcomes
To Know - Learning Deeply and Broadly
To Do - Developing Core Academic Skills
· and writing.
To Become - Becoming a Disciple-Leader
Student outcomes for the Foundations program are as follows:
Faculty outcomes for the Foundations program are as follows:
All Foundations courses share the following common practices:
Students take courses from five Foundations Areas: Eternal Truths; Academic Fundamentals; Science; Cultural Awareness; and Connections, the capstone course. Following are outcomes for each Area:
· Students' testimonies will deepen and strengthen as they learn to rely on the scriptures as the primary source of gospel instruction.
· Acting, rather than being acted upon, students will apply gospel principles in their lives, "at all times, and in all places."
· Students will demonstrate greater personal integrity and obedience, living moral and ethical lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.
· Students will develop the vital skills of critical reading, thinking, and analysis, and verbal and written communications, through fundamental and advanced course work.
· Students will develop mathematical competency and understanding of collegiate-level expressions and equations, demonstrating the ability to apply mathematical concepts and logic.
· Students will understand science in both general and specific contexts, learning to appreciate, understand, and evaluate a variety of scientific points of view.
· Students will learn methods of studying and comprehending the scientific aspects of current events and their consequences.
· Building on introductory instruction, students will develop in-depth knowledge of challenging contemporary scientific issues.
· Students will develop an understanding of the history and founding principles of the American experience, including constitutional, economic, and political issues.
· Students will demonstrate an awareness, understanding, and appreciation of world civilizations and their religion, art, literature, music, culture, and perspectives.
· Students will deepen their understanding of the human condition and develop greater empathy for their fellowman.
· Students will study current events, developing a comprehension of their significance in the context of history and humanity.
· In this capstone experience, students will further develop the skills of critical thinking and problem solving.
· Students will learn how to develop personal positions and make judgments on challenging moral and ethical issues, giving expression to those positions in both verbal and written form.
Individual Foundations courses should have common outcomes, syllabi, and assessment practices. They also should fulfill Area, Foundations, Academic, and Institutional outcomes. Some courses will be taken by all BYU-Idaho students, while others will be chosen according to personal preference and interest. Some courses are designed to be permanent fixtures of the academic program at BYU-Idaho. Others will be offered for three to five years and then phased out as other topics courses are developed. Courses in the latter category include Humanities, Science, and International Foundations. See the BYU-Idaho course catalog for more information about specific courses.
Courses that have multiple options to fill a single requirement, such as Humanities, International, and 200-level Science Foundations) have common course-level outcomes.
· Students will demonstrate knowledge of subject-specific scientific principles.
· Students will be able to understand and evaluate a variety of scientific points of view from both the physical and life sciences.
· Students will be able to test scientific hypotheses by collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data.
· Students will be able to scrutinize current science news and discoveries through the application of critical scientific thinking.
· Students will be able to describe a variety of styles, forms, and genres in the arts and letters, placing various artworks in cultural and historical context.
· Students will attend live performances, shows, and readings.
· Students will use basic cognitive tools to make value assessments about quality in the arts.
· Students will cultivate and train the affective side of their nature, study works with deep emotional and intellectual content, and have detailed, intimate experiences with a few major works.
· Students will explore intellectually the ideas expressed in an artwork, and articulate an affective reaction to it in informed cognitive terms.
· Students will engage in the creative process or interpretive performance.
· Students will make connections-with other art works, with Gospel principles, with life events, and with other intellectual endeavors.
· Students will increase their awareness of time, place, people, and culture, especially outside Western civilization.
· Students will personalize the current lives of individuals in a place or places defined by the course.
· Students will analyze institutional, cultural, and personal bias.
· Students will demonstrate the ability to contextualize current problems (i.e. political, historical, cultural).
· Students will read complex texts, write informed and well-constructed prose, and think critically about complex topics.
· Students will formulate and defend conclusions and opinions orally and in writing.
· Students will explain how the course has changed their thinking.
· Students will deepen their ability to reflect on their learning and practice and demonstrate progress towards gaining greater competence as a learner.