Course Evaluation Rubric

Proposed-Course Evaluation Rubric

The following rubric is used by the UWGEC to evaluate course proposals submitted for consideration as a General Education Course.  Proposals submitted for the Foundations--Freshman Composition, Mathematics, Second Language--should address relevant criteria in the Course Goals and Mechanics sections of this rubric.

You may wish to print a copy of this rubric to review your syllabus and proposal before submission.

If you have any questions, please contact the Office of Instruction and Assessment using the on-line form at


Course Goals

  • Requires sufficient readings (in terms of volume and content to provide fundamental knowledge
  • Emphasizes critical and evaluative thinking
  • Writing and/or other forms of composition in multiple formats are integral parts of this course
  • Fosters independent, creative, and interactive learning (i.e. group work, research projects, library work requiring use of printed and electronic sources)
  • Provides students with opportunities to discuss course topics and material
  • Multiple faculty members who can teach the course are identified

Course Mechanics

  • For Tier One and Tier Two courses, 40% of the grade-points should be completed by the 8th week of classes (or the mid-point of shorter terms) so that students have ample feedback on their performance prior to the 10-week deadline to drop a course.

Tier One - Individuals & Societies

  • Emphasizes fundamental issues and concepts pertinent to the broad exploration of questions about human beings and their societies
  • Inspires students to think about themselves, others, and social organizations in new insightful ways
  • Explores the basic concepts and theories used in analyses of personal, social, cultural, political, economic, philosophical, religious and scientific issues

Tier One - Traditions & Cultures

  • Studies historical development and fundamental concepts in European or other world cultures
  • Provides an awareness that we, as historical beings, are shaped by the thoughts and actions of our predecessors and that we will influence the lives of those who follow us
  • Examines cultures as distinct heritages of idea, values, and artistic expressions and view them as having undergone continual adaptation due to social changes
  • Has a broad sweep both in terms of chronology and in terms of geography
  • Emphasizes interdisciplinary and cross-cultural analysis
  • Emphasizes the assessment, evaluation, and critique of culture

Tier One - Natural Science

  • Demonstrates the importance of physical and chemical processes and their application to events in the everyday world
  • Emphasizes the quantitative aspects of science and the relevance of mathematical skills to the understanding of scientific problems
  • Requires hands-on, inquiry based experiences, including designing experiments, generating and analyzing data, using abstract reasoning to interpret the data and formulating and testing hypotheses with scientific rigor
  • Emphasizes the integrative nature of science, including cross-discipline contributions, and include exposure to scientific thinking and procedures applicable throughout the sciences

Biological Science

  • Covers the following concepts:
    • Evolution and diversity of life
    • Cells
    • Structure and function at the multi-cellular level
    • Genetics and development
    • Health and disease
    • Interaction and interdependence between organisms
  • Emphasizes the following:
    • the process leading to the evolution of diverse life forms
    • the interdependence of living systems
    • the importance of understanding and preserving the life around us
    • the benefits of taking an active role in one’s own health and well-being

Physical Science

  • Covers the following concepts:
    • Newton’s laws governing force and motion
    • Laws of thermodynamics governing energy and entropy
    • Role of electromagnetism in nature
    • Atomic structure of matter
  • Includes course content that integrates two or more disciplinary or cross-disciplinary applications

Tier Two - Arts

  • Emphasizes verbal, visual, musical, spatial or kinesthetic forms of expression
  • Components either emphasize student creativity, expression, and production or require students to identify and analyze the impact of cultural and historical factors on the creation and reception of artistic works
  • Asks students to develop critical thinking and interpretive skills

Tier Two - Humanities

  • Explores aspects of human culture such as religion, history, philosophy, literature and languages
  • Deals with the above aspects in an interdisciplinary fashion rather than as discrete phenomena
  • Asks students to develop critical thinking and interpretive approaches to culture

Tier Two - Natural Science

  • Builds on concepts developed in Tier One courses
  • Makes clear which concepts from Tier One courses are being advanced
  • Designed for non-science majors

Tier Two - Individuals & Societies

  • Studies human behavior and the cognitive models and societal constructs that humans create
  • Designed broadly enough to address the needs of students who may take only a single course within the area
  • Focuses on self-contained topics that develop one or more of the formats to which students were exposed at the Tier One level