CP Logo

University of Kansas College Portrait

Home Compare At A Glance Contact


University of Kansas Learning Outcomes

The Assessment of General Education is an annual activity consisting of interviews between faculty and senior students structured to ascertain each student’s level of attainment of the Goals of General Education. This activity is faculty-intensive, involving approximately 60 faculty each year, from across the university. It is an opportunity for intellectual discourse between faculty and individual students, involving up to 120 students each year.

A stratified sample of students, balanced by academic major, sex, ethnicity, cumulative GPA, and composite ACT, are selected for the study according to specific criteria. Each year, approximately 30 students are selected from a rotating set of four disciplines—three professional schools and one area within the College.

This assessment has been counducted at the University of Kansas since the early 1990's.


The University of Kansas is also implementing some AAC&U Value Rubrics. Future reporting will be done using this model.

University of Kansas administered the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics in 2011 - 2013.

University of Kansas conducted a Senior-only benchmarked administration of the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics in 2011 - 2013. The results are displayed below in the SLO Results tab.

For additional information on KU’s process for administering AAC&U VALUE Rubrics, please click on the Assessment Process Tab below. For information on the students included in the administration, please click the Students Tested Tab.

Why did you choose the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics for your institutional assessment?

The VALUE Rubrics were selected to provide baseline information for the KU CORE (KU's general education program).

Which University of Kansas students are assessed? When?

Students from each department are assessed each semester. Each department identifies 1 or 2 courses per semester to participate in the assessment. From those courses, student artifacts are selected at random to be assessed.

How are assessment data collected?

Each department nominates a course for inclusion in the assessment activity. Typically, the final paper of each course is used for the assessment  For each course , a primary reader and a secondary reader assess the student artifacts by applying an electronic version of the AAC&U value rubrics. For small classes, all students are evaluated. For classess larger than 35, a random sample of students is seelcted.   The electronic submissions are sent to the Office of Institutional Research and Planning for analysis and reporting back to the department.

How are data reported within University of Kansas?

Data reports and data cutting tools (pivot tables) are provided to the department to inform the curriculum process. The institution tracks any changes that were made to departmental processes becasue of the findings of the assessment activity. . The data is summarized and provided to the Board of Regents.

How are assessment data at KU used to guide program improvements?

The semesterly reports are generated as quickly as possible after the assessments are collected. Those reports are provided back to the department for review during depatmental meetings. The department sues the data to determine how

Departments were encouraged to nominate upper division or capstone courses for inclusion in the assessment for two reasons: 1) those courses would have a large number of senior students preparing for graduation and 2) those courses should be the culmination of the department/programs curricular efforts. In some cases, departments did not use a capstone/upper division course, but instead used a 300 or 400 level course. The insitution will look at the effects on the sample of those 300/400 level courses.


Please note: as of publisihing this information, KU did not have enough information regarding the critical thinking VALUE Rubric. Data for the oral communicaiton VALUE Rubric is subsituted.

The VSA advises institutions to follow assessment publisher guidelines for determining the appropriate number of students to test. In the absence of publisher guidelines, the VSA provides sample size guidelines for institutions based on a 95% confidence interval and 5% margin of error. So long as the tested sample demographics represent the student body, this means we can be 95% certain that the "true" population learning outcomes are with +/- 5% of the reported results. For more information on Sampling, please refer to the Research Methods Knowledge Base

The charts below show the distribution of senior student scores on the AAC&U VALUE Rubrics for Written Communication and Critical Thinking. Students are scored at one of four levels: Benchmark, Milestone 1, Milestone 2, or Capstone. The Benchmark level is the level at which most incoming freshmen who begin college immediately after high school would perform. The Capstone level is the level at which senior students about to graduate would perform. All students, regardless of class standing, are scored on the same rubric against the same criteria, so it is expected that the distribution for senior scores would be centered farther to the right (closer to the Capstone level).

Critical Thinking Detail

The charts below show the distribution of student scores on the subscales of the Written Communication and Critical Thinking rubrics. Each rubric consists of five dimensions that students are rated on individually.

Written Communication Detail

The charts below show the distribution of student scores on the subscales of the Written Communication and Critical Thinking rubrics. Each rubric consists of five dimensions that students are rated on individually.