A. Learning outcomes:
A committee of core faculty in the Institute for Women’s Studies developed the procedures for collecting and analyzing data to determine if each learning outcome had been obtained. A graduate of the AB in Women’s Studies should be able to achieve the following learning outcomes:
1) Show interdisciplinary understanding of how gender is constructed and represented
2) Demonstrate a theoretical understanding of oppression, including the notion of intersecting forms (or a matrix) of oppression
3) Explain and compare different perspectives of feminist thought
4) Critique research studies by describing and understanding feminist research methods
5) Apply theoretical and methodological concepts in praxis
B. Analysis of Data and Assessment Methods and Procedures
1) Sample of assignments from core courses: The questions from these assignments were developed by faculty members to assess individual learning outcomes and test how well the student recalls, interprets, and/or applies concepts and facts relating to the discipline. Assignments from the core courses cover the different perspectives of feminist thought, feminist research methods, interdisciplinary understanding of gender, theoretical understanding of oppression, and the application of theoretical and methodological concepts.
Possible sources for samples:
The samples will be rated on a 1-5 scale as follows:
4. Very Good
Target scores for each question (3.0 or better) will indicate a level of learning that we find desirable for our majors.
The samples were evaluated according to a rubric approved by faculty members of the steering committee. The grading rubric was used to evaluate students’ ability to meet the learning outcomes. This sample represents a shift to incorporate quantitative data into the assessment methods and procedures.
1. Discuss at least two ways that feminist researchers questioned the idea of “objectivity” in methodology. (Learning outcome 4)
2. Explain what is meant by the phrase “a matrix of oppression” or “intersecting forms of oppression.” (Learning outcome 2)
3. Postmodern feminism critiques binary oppositions and so questions the categories of “woman” and “man, ““femininity” and “masculinity,” and “homosexuality” and “heterosexuality.” (learning outcomes 1, 3 and 5)
a. In what ways might this questioning or deconstruction of categories be liberatory for women and men?
b. On the other hand, in what ways might this questioning or deconstruction of categories be constricting for women?
4. Choose two important goals of liberal or radical feminism and discuss what forces you see at work in their relative successes. (learning outcomes 3 and 5)
5. Explain one difference between first, second and third wave feminists (e.g., goals, strategies for change, understanding of gender differences, etc.). (learning outcomes 1 and 3)
6. How have intersections of race, class, and gender influenced the feminisms of women of color in the United States? How have these insights transformed feminist research and practice? (learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5)
7. Women’s studies emphasizes praxis, the practical application of its intellectual theories. Do you expect to engage in activism when you leave UGA? If so, do you feel your women’s studies training has prepared you for your activist initiatives? Please explain. (learning outcome 5)
2. Focus group: Faculty members will visit the capstone class (WMST 4900) and ask students theoretical and applied questions related to course work in Women’s Studies. This oral exam provides a mean for faculty to assess students’ knowledge and ability to communicate about Women’s Studies. The focus group has been a productive place to address the learning outcomes that are expected results of the AB program in Women’s Studies. This focus group provides a useful source of qualitative data and the summaries from the focus group indicate areas of strength and areas needing improvement.
C) Use of Assessment Evidence
Curriculum committee members will present the findings report to the steering committee members. The report will include recommendations based on the assessment results. The recommendations may include changes to the major requirements, the courses, and the curriculum offerings. Steering committee members will be given the opportunity to discuss the results and the recommendations before giving final approval of the report.