Course Level Assessment

What is Course-Level Assessment?

Academic departments have the option of including existing instruments/measures that are already embedded in core courses as part of their academic program assessment activities.  The instrument must measure student competencies for at least one of the department's student learning outcomes and may measure student competencies for all of them.  A list of academic direct measures embedded in existing core courses, commonly utilized by UCCS academic programs is below.

Capstone Assignment Comprehensives Internship Evaluation
Performance Presentation Pre-Post Exam
Project Thesis/Project Video/Audiotape
Writing Assignment  


Capstone Assignments

Anthropology, BA - Most senior seminars are taught by two anthropology faculty to ensure breadth of dialogue on various anthropological topics; as of 2012, a few opt for a section that emphasizes guided, but independent research, supervised by a single faculty member.  Students are expected to read broadly on the topic, then do in-depth research on some aspect of it.  They must present their findings both orally, using PowerPoint (although some topics invite other forms of presentation, such as museum displays or videos), and in written form.  Students are evaluated according to a common rubric that they have access to before the class begins.

Space Operations, ME - This graduate program utilizes a capstone course (SPCE 5525/5529) which requires the student to implement the methods and tools of spacecraft subsystem analysis and design learned in previous courses.  The students will apply space operations principles and skills to a practical space mission topic to include books, periodicals, credible web-based sources, and personal contacts.  Their effort will be focused on carrying out the steps of a space mission design process with the goal of offering a thorough technical solution to the need articulated in the project topic statement.  A faculty committee reviews deliverables in order to provide feedback and comments.

Sustainable Development, minor - Student contributes to the final group presentation: a well-organized, clear talk on the sustainability-related project completed during the semester as a class.The presentation should demonstrate clear mastery of the subject matter relevant to the project, broad competency in the major tenets of sustainability, and strive to integrate issues across all three components of economy, equity, and environment.

Visual and Performing Arts, BA - The capstone project addresses research, collaboration and performance.  Components include peer evaluations of collaborative projects, faculty evaluation of research projects, external VAPA faculty review of year end reports.

Comprehensives; Comprehensives at the core course level would consist of oral or written exams taken as part of a capstone course, standardized exams do not fall into this category.

Internship Evaluation; these can be direct or indirect measures

Communication, BA - Internships are required for organizational communication and media managment/recording arts majors.  Typically, internships are completed during students' senior year.  At the end of the semester, supervisors of media management and recording arts interns write letters to the internship director that describe the strengths and weaknesses the intern displayed on the job.

Supervisors of organizational communication interns complete a 3-page evaluation form regarding the job performance of their intern (Appendix B).  For Media Management and Recording Arts interns, occasional public broadcast of work occurs with external review.

Nursing, MSN -  Students are evaluated by their preceptor, a clinician working in the community caring for patients, and by a site visitor each semester they are doing clinical practicum hours.  These evaluations are both formal and informal and provide the student with feedback on their progress toward becoming an independent practitioner.  

Principal Licensure - Formative and summative evaluation of all objectives by field mentor(s) for field work (practicum) experience. The field experience involves 300 hours of hands-on leadership activities in a school, tied to what is being learned in classes. The formative data represents an initial effort to systematically collect and review this data. The formative evaluation process is enhanced by students first rating themselves on all criteria (see attached document) and then mentors completing a final rating. This self assessment serves as a basis for feedback, along with the students performance, between mentors and the student. All mentors are school-based principals and vice-principals. 

Women's & Ethnic Studies, BA -  WEST Internship Evaluation (student) Students write a one page narrative describing their internship and analyzing the following: what were the most important lessons learned; how were they able to apply concepts they are learning in classes to their work at the internship; what were their strengths and weaknesses in the internship; what would their words of wisdom be for future interns; did the internship help them see links between theory and practice;  how has the internship changed them; how helpful were the in- class sessions that accompanied the internship? 

Evaluation of WEST Intern (supervisor) Evaluation of personal and professional qualities of the intern observed by the employer during the internship.  


There are no appropriate samples for course embedded performances at this time.


There are no appropriate samples for course embedded presentations at this time.

Pre-Post Exam; standardized exams are not included in these category for course level assessment.

Communication, BA -  Knowledge and understanding of key course concepts are assessed in core course Comm. 6030, Quantitative Methods in Communication.  Pre- and post-scores are statistically compared.  This course is usually taken early in the student's graduate program.        


Communication, BA - As part of coursework for Comm 3240 - Business and Professional Communication, students must create a business proposal written for a real person(s), within a real organization. The assignment is designed to provide experience and continued practice with formal business writing, but also to help students think critically and creatively when faced with a problem or opportunity.  

Communication, MA - Students enrolled in the core graduates class of Comm. 6040, Qualitative Research Methods, are required to design, conduct, and report a complete qualitative research study.  This class builds upon its prerequisite, Comm. 5010, Introduction of Graduate Studies in Communication, and is taught during spring semester.  The assignment is designed to give all graduate students, regardless of whether they choose the thesis option, a first-hand experience in conducting a research study from start to finish.  The research report follows the same format as a thesis or professional journal article.  

Health Care Sciences, BS - Students design an advocacy, education, and/or outreach (AEO) project and a culminating assignment in HSCI 4520 Health Teaching (core course). This is an opportunity for students to set goals and objectives for a target group in the community, and then plan and implement a healthy living intervention based on the needs of the target population. This project involves a written report and an oral presentation to the class. This project is graded by the instructor using a standardized rubric.


Clinical Psychology, PhD -   All students complete and defend an empirical doctoral dissertation.  A faculty committee evaluates dissertation projects, including an evaluation of the written report and oral defense of the project.  Faculty committee members rate each student on multiple dimensions of skills and proficiencies.

Communication, MA -    The senior thesis is a capstone for the major. In it a student displays each of the skills listed above as an objective. Thus the instrument is direct. It is summative in that the Thesis Seminar is taken at or near end of the student’s career. Form completed by instructor of Thesis Seminar and also signed by the (faculty) “Second reader” of the student’s senior thesis.

History, BA - The Sr. Thesis is a 30-page (article length) project based predominantly on primary sources, required of all history majors. It is our capstone assignment and the most rigorous test of a student's ability to prepare an original work of history. It is evaluated through a sr. thesis assessment form which scores students 0-100 on a variety of measures, including both substantive questions about research as well as questions about cognition, argumentation, and writing skills.

Philosophy, BA -  Senior Thesis Evaluation (Written) 30-40 page thesis-driven philosophical research paper.

Senior Thesis Evalution (Oral) Student defends project and answer questions in front of panel of faculty. 

Writing Assignment

Bachelor of Innovation, BI - Students write a proposal for a grant for extramural funding to demonstrate learning of foundations of technical writing and communication.  

English, Professional Writing Emphasis -  Main research/collaborative assignment from ENGL3080: Advanced Business and Technical Writing.    

Health Care Sciences, BS-  Research Literature Critique; Students will complete a written critique of relevant research literature in their field of study as part of the HSCI 4010 Health Science Research core course. This critique will be evaluated by the course instructor using a standardized rubric.

Culture and Health Research Paper; Students will complete a research paper in HSCI 4630 Culture and Health (core course) which will explore either the health status (health-related problem/disease) of a racial/ethnic group, including the analysis of the nature and prevalence of the health problem within the selected group, including any epidemiological, behavioral, environmental, social, cultural or genetic factors that contribute to the problem. This paper will be graded by the instructor of the course using a standardized rubric.                                                                            

Nursing, BSN - N4290 Demonstration of clinical/critical reasoning in Case Study Scholarly Paper.


revised July 23, 2013