In this example, Art History provides clear statements of their learning outcomes which are developed in short paragraphs that clearly point to the dimensions of each. In each case it is very clear what the department means. For instance, the ability to analyze and contextualize art from multiple time periods and different cultures specifically includes coverage of non-western, pre-modern western, and modern western cultures.

Art History Learning Outcomes

  1. Historical Breadth
    • Student majors should be able to analyze and contextualize works of art from multiple historical time periods as well as from different cultures. Students should demonstrate familiarity with the visual culture of, at a minimum, three historical periods—one from a non-western culture, one from pre-modern western culture, and one from modern western culture. These three periods correspond to our new departmental course distribution requirements wherein majors are obliged to take at least one non-western, one pre-1800 western, and one post-1800 western course offering.
  2. Formal Analysis
    • Student majors should be able to develop strong formal analyses of both two-dimensional images (such as paintings, prints and photographs) and three-dimensional objects (such as architecture and sculpture). Further, students should be able to integrate these formal analyses into a broader historical framework regarding the circumstances of the production of these works.
  3. Writing Skills and Thesis-Driven Argumentation
    • In their advanced oral presentation and writing assignments, student majors should be able to employ a combination of their formal analysis skills and their knowledge of historical context to craft thesis-driven arguments.
  4. Methodological Familiarity
    • Student majors should be able to understand a variety of different methodological approaches to the discipline of art history. In addition, students should be able to employ different theoretical lenses in their own thinking and writing. At a minimum, students should be able to analyze and discuss works of art using three different methodological approaches.
  5. Research Skills
    • Student majors should develop competence in basic to intermediate research skills and techniques sufficient to complete independent term papers as well as their capstone comps projects. Students should be able to locate and evaluate appropriate resources to help them pursue independent research for a substantial term-long project. Students should be familiar with common formats for academic writing, knowing how to organize footnotes/endnotes, how to construct an annotated bibliography, and how to write concise proposals and abstracts.
  6. Revision Skills
    • In their advanced writing assignments and oral presentations, student majors should be able to evaluate their own work with critical reflection and should be able to make significant revisions of relevant projects.