Section II: Outcomes and Assessment


Foundations Program Outcomes

1. Students will learn how to Learn.

    1. Discover knowledge across a variety of media.
    2. Test hypotheses by collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data.
    3. Identify key assumptions and theories in oral and written sources.
    4. Experience the arts both cognitively and affectively.
    5. Search the scriptures as a source of gospel instruction.

2. Students will learn how to think.

    1. Identify reliable sources of information.
    2. Apply quantitative reasoning skills to inform their decisions.
    3. Use empirical evidence to shape their ideas and opinions.
    4. Articulate the responsibilities that come with freedom.
    5. Enrich their understanding of other times and cultures with knowledge and empathy.
    6. Shape their life, including their intellectual and professional pursuits, with their faith.

3. Students will learn how to communicate.

    1. Express ideas with clear, engaging, and confident speech.
    2. Express ideas in clear and effective writing. 
    3. Work with groups across disciplines to solve problems.
    4. Articulate value assessments about quality in the arts.
    5. Express creativity across a variety of media.
    6. Act as informed citizens in their congregation, community, nation, and world.

Faculty outcomes for the Foundations program are as follows:

  • Faculty will implement the principles and processes of the BYU-Idaho Learning Model.
  • Faculty will work with colleagues across disciplines, colleges, and departments.
  • Faculty will create significant learning and teaching experiences by working in teaching teams and participating in a culture of mutual peer observation.
  • Faculty will have experience significant personal and professional development as a result of the cross-disciplinary nature of Foundations.

All Foundations courses share the following common practices (Foundations Learning Environment):

  • Foundations courses are carefully focused to provide opportunities for students to engage deeply in the subject matter.
  • All courses are cross-disciplinary.
  • All courses fully implement the BYU-Idaho Learning Model.
  • All courses are taught by teams who collaborate in the development and delivery of course material. 
  • All sections of a course share a common syllabus, outcomes, and assessment measures. 
  • Teaching teams meet often to discuss curriculum and teaching techniques.

Foundations Course Outcomes


Students in American Foundations 101 will:


    • Be able to explain the basic principles, truths, and history of American political and economic institutions (including agency, rights, rule of law, constitutionalism, the War for Independence, the U.S. Constitution, religion in America, civil rights, women's suffrage, immigration, market economics, Keynesianism, monetarism, the Great Depression, technology, and foreign relations).


    • Be able to converse knowledgeably and respectfully on public issues, apply social theories and correct principles to contemporary situations, and appreciate and defend the universal principles of the American Founding


    • Become effective disciple leaders and informed citizens of their countries


Students will...

      1. Demonstrate their desire and ability to learn and improve in a higher education environment.
      2. Practice the writing process, and demonstrate an understanding of college-level grammar and mechanics.
      3. Produce quality academic writing, including at least twenty pages of reviewed and edited writing and at least twenty pages of instructor-assessed writing, and be able to explain what makes it effective.
      4. Develop critical reading and thinking abilities, including summary, analysis, and synthesis skills.
      5. Develop effective research, source integration, documentation, and presentation skills.


Students will . . .

      1. Apply critical reading and thinking skills to texts.
      2. Demonstrate the ability to accurately summarize and analyze the reasoning and logic of other texts.
      3. Write a coherent, clear, and cogent argument.
      4. Conduct appropriate, effective library research.
      5. Provide adequate context for an argument, including identifying the academic conversation to which the writer is responding.
      6. Support claims with specific, logical reasons based on evidence.
      7. Produce quality academic writing and explain what makes it effective, including at least thirty pages of reviewed and edited writing and at least twenty pages of instructor-assessed writing.


Students will be able to . . .

      1. Make sound financial decisions through careful budgeting, provident living, taking advantage of the power of compound interest, and prudently managing debt and tax obligations.
      2. Develop critical thinking and problem solving skills to make informed decisions with confidence.
      3. Apply properties of arithmetic and algebra in the use of percentages, unit conversions, and linear and exponential models, to solve practical problems.
      4. Use fundamental principles of probability, along with descriptive and inferential statistics, to better scrutinize statistical studies discussed in the media.
      5. Appreciate the aesthetic value of mathematics by reading and writing about enrichment topics such as the golden ratio, mathematics & music, the pigeonhole principle, or the concept of infinity.


Students will...

      1. Explain the complementary natures of scientific and religious inquiry.
        1. Be able to identify and reconcile apparent conflicts.
      2. Know and be able to apply the process of science to a variety of disciplines.
        1. Demonstrate how exploration & discovery, testing ideas, community analysis & feedback, and consideration of benefits & outcomes contribute to the development of scientific knowledge and theories.
        2. Illustrate the process of science in the development of major theories in astronomy, chemistry, geology, and biology, as well as other disciplines.
        3. Apply science personally and generally to their daily life.
        4. Evaluate the validity of scientific claims
      3. Become excited about science and appreciate its usefulness (What it can do)
        1. Show an increased positive attitude towards science and scientists.

FDSCI 200-Level

Students will...

      1. Demonstrate knowledge of subject-specific scientific principles.
      2. Understand and evaluate a variety of scientific points of view from both the physical and life sciences.
      3. Test scientific hypotheses by collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data.
      4. Scrutinize current science news and discoveries through the application of critical scientific thinking.

FDCA 101

Students will...

      1. Identify key works of Western European/ American art, architecture, literature and music within their cultural and historical context.
      2. Understand and identify the formal elements of the visual arts, literature, cinema and music.
      3. Apply principles of the creative process in their own creative work and in analyzing cultural events.
      4. Apply basic cognitive and analytical tools to make value assessments about quality in the arts.

FDCA 200-Level    (Except FDCA 206 Great Books)

      1. Students will increase their awareness of other times, places, peoples, and cultures
      2. Students will humanize the conditions experienced by individuals and families in a place or places defined by the course.
      3. Students will analyze institutional, cultural, and personal bias.
      4. Students will demonstrate the ability to contextualize current problems (i.e. political, historical, cultural).
      5. Students will prepare written statements that demonstrate familiarity with scholarly conventions and critical thinking on complex topics.
      6. Students will formulate and defend conclusions and opinions orally and in writing.
      7. Students will explain how the course has changed their thinking.
      8. Students will deepen their ability to reflect on their learning and demonstrate progress towards gaining greater competence as a learner.


Students will value clear, strong reasoning

      1. Students will distinguish between principle-based and preference-based reasoning. 
      2. Students will develop strategies for recognizing common flaws in their own arguments and in those of others and for eliminating those flaws in their own thinking.

Students will demonstrate awareness of obstacles that make clear thinking difficult.

      1. Students will explain how their personal values, biases, experiences, and beliefs shape their moral reasoning.
      2. Students will demonstrate increased ability to acknowledge, respect, and empathize with people with different cultural, religious, political, and/or social viewpoints.

Students will act with confidence in their decision-making.

      1. Students will value "studying it out in your mind" as a distinct phase in the decision-making process.
      2. Students will blend faith and reason in their decision-making.
      3. Students will attend to language, context, stakeholders, alternative courses of action, evidence, and criteria for judgment when making decisions.