Center for Instructional
Innovation and Assessment


Mark Bussell
Dawn Dietrich
Joyce Hammond
Mike Mana
Goals Contents
Joyce Hammond
Department of Anthropology

Institutional Goals

Listed below are selected learning outcomes in the areas of critical thinking, writing, and information literacy that Western Washington University is actively integrating into its curriculum. Each learning outcome is listed with its definition, along with a description of how Joyce Hammond's teaching strategies meet each of these student learning outcome goals.

Critical Thinking

Learning Outcomes Definition Course Outcomes
Identification Accurately identifies and interprets evidence. Students worked with community partners to identify key research questions that the community members wanted to investigate. Together with the stakeholders, students interpreted responses elicited by research strategies.
Alternative Consideration Considers major alternative points of view. While working with stakeholders, students needed to take into account the diverse perspectives that were expressed and incorporate all perspectives into the research project.
Accurate Conclusions Draws warranted, judicious, non-fallacious conclusions. Students needed to support their conclusions with data collected via a variety of research methods and tools. For example, focus groups, semi-formal interviews, matrices, and other visual tools generated data that substantiated conclusions.
Justification Justifies key results and procedures, and explains assumptions and reasons. Students worked with community partners to clarify participatory action research principles and assumptions such as building on people's experiential knowledge. In student presentations and written portfolios for community partners, students reviewed their procedures and explained their research results.

Source: Adapted from the California Academic Press's Holistic Critical Thinking Scoring Rubric (HCTSR).

Information Literacy

Learning Outcomes Definition Course Outcomes
Identifying Need Recognizes and articulates the need for information, identifies potential sources, considers the costs and benefits, and reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need. Students collaborated with community partners to identify research questions that were important to them.
Search Strategies Matches information needs to information resources, organizes an effective search strategy and manages the information and its sources. Students then decided which research strategies would be most effective and which stakeholders to involve.
Evaluating Seeks various sources of evidence to provide support for a research question or conclusion. As part of drawing conclusions regarding the case, each student must balance the information from different references and draw his or her conclusions. Since different references will reach different conclusions, each student must weigh the merits of each source.
Effective Searching Interprets citations and the internet equivalents and knows how to efficiently retrieve cited items. Based on stakeholders' needs, students used internet and library resources to identify and retrieve information that supported community partners' projects.

Source: Adapted from the Association of College and Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.


Learning Outcomes Definition Course Outcomes
Rhetorical Knowledge Focuses on a clear rhetorical purpose and responds appropriately to the needs of varied audiences and situations. The students created a portfolio that included meeting minutes, research methodologies, results of research, and suggestions for future work. The portfolio was designed for and provided to their community partners.

Students also wrote periodic "check-in writes" which lead to reflection and were used to guide class discussions. At the end of the course, students wrote self-evaluations for the instructors.
Critical Analysis Develops, examines, situates, and communicates a reasoned perspective clearly to others. When students gathered and summarized the information for the portfolio, they provided the perspectives of the stakeholders to the community partners as well as to the instructors and other students in the class.

Students presented their own perspectives within the portfolio by providing recommendations.
Composing Processes Understands writing as a recursive process that involves drafting, re-thinking, editing, re-conceptualizing. Students submitted a draft of their portfolio at the midpoint of the quarter for commentary from instructors. Completed, updated portfolios were then submitted at the end of the quarter. Revisions based on critique from the instructors was incorporated before portfolios were presented to community partners. In addition, students revised portfolio entries based on responses from community partners during their presentations.
Convention Knowledge Uses appropriate conventions for documentation and for surface features such as syntax, grammar, usage, punctuation, and spelling. Students followed an outline of required elements to include in the portfolio, which resulted in a professional compilation of information for the community partners. During the composing process, students were expected to follow conventions for writing for the public with attention to clarity, accuracy, and efficiency in expression.

Adapted from Western Washington University's Learning Outcomes for Writing II.