These skills should be addressed in a substantial part of the coursework and in the evaluation of students’ performance.
Read Complex Texts – Course requires students to “read,” evaluate, and interpret primary sources, critical commentaries, or works of art.
In the humanities, arts, and social sciences, complex texts have usually been interpreted by the UCGE Committee as being primary sources, including original writings, films, artwork, and so forth. However, in mathematics and the natural sciences, it is recognized that primary sources may not be accessible to students. Hence, textbooks have also been accepted as “complex texts” provided that they are representative of the complexity, style and vocabulary of primary sources in the subject field. One criterion might be that the textbook could serve as a basic reference in the field. Another approach to incorporating this skill is to utilize assignments in selected journals in the field in addition to a standard textbook.
Write Effectively – Course requires written assignments designed to allow students to practice and improve writing skills with regular feedback from the instructor such as by submitting drafts and revisions, by writing a series of comparable papers, or by writing long assignments in shorter units.
Speak Effectively – Course requires oral presentations designed to allow students to practice and improve speaking skills with instructor and/or group feedback.
Examine Human Differences – Course requires assignments that examine the role of difference within and across national boundaries. Appropriate examples of “difference” would include but not be limited to race, religion, sexual orientation, language, culture, and gender.
Use of Quantitative Data – Course requires assignments which involve the analysis, interpretation, and/or use of quantitative data to test a hypothesis, build a theory, or illustrate and describe patterns.
Use of Qualitative Data – Course requires assignments which involve the analysis, interpretation, and/or use of qualitative data to test a hypothesis, build a theory, or illustrate and describe patterns.
Qualitative analysis is a process through which meaning is derived from the evaluation and interpretation of non-numerical data. These data can be in the form of audio, still and moving images such as photographs and paintings or video recordings, computer-generated texts, web pages, chat rooms, or bodies of literature. Methods for obtaining qualitative data include case studies, interviews, open-ended questions, focus groups, intensive interviews, participant and non-participant observation, the collection of oral histories, field notes derived from respondents’ letters and diaries, and cultural/archival texts.
Qualitative analysis may be deductive or inductive. However, the most common approaches are inductive, employing some form of content analysis to uncover patterns and themes in the data. These patterns and themes provide the foundation for the elaboration of explanations that are grounded in data and richly detailed.
‘Critical thinking’ is required for successful qualitative analysis, as it is for all of the integrated skills, but that alone is not sufficient to establish the use of qualitative data. Rather, the ‘data’ itself must be identified, and the conclusions should not be preordained before the analysis of the data. It is also not sufficient for the instructor alone to interpret qualitative data; the students themselves must also be challenged to evaluate such data and to draw conclusions from it.
Use of Information Technology – Course requires assignments which involve the use of information technology such as web-based research (access to and evaluation of information), participation in class-related internet conferencing, or introduction to and use of computer programs.
Course assignments involve the use of information technology such as web-based research (access to and evaluation of information), participation in class-related Internet conferencing, or introduction to and use of computer programs. The UCGE Committee expects the course to provide active interaction with computers and information, not just passive consumption. The goal is that students improve their skills with computers or information access and retrieval by virtue of their computer assignments, as well as their knowledge or skill in the subject area. To be taken seriously by the students, the information-technology component of the course should also be reflected in the course grade.
Examples of active participation in web-based research would be assignments that provide practice and skill development in the application of effective and appropriate electronic-information search and evaluation software and methods.
Examples of active interaction in class-related Internet conferencing would be assignments that improve the students’ usage of Internet communication techniques and resources, as well as the course content, in a meaningful and assessable manner. Examples of active interaction in the use of computer programs would be assignments that include practice and skill development in programming or in the use of sophisticated software to develop problem-solving and critical-thinking skills.
Activities not satisfying the spirit of this integrated skill would include simple Internet access of articles or assignments, the use of canned programs requiring no programming, or passive or unskilled use of software packages.
Engage in Artistic Activity – Course requires assignments which involve the creative process in the practice of fine arts skills and aesthetic appreciation with instructor and /or group feedback.