Learning Goals – CSUS Communication majors

(Adapted from CSUS Learning Goals section of Communications dept.)


For full detail see:    http://www.csus.edu/portfolio/prog/coms/1Learn.stm


Review and development of the undergraduate program is on going in a formal process that links the Curriculum Committee with other committees and with the full faculty. The department has conducted its own assessment of needs and priorities and has acted on periodic Program Reviews as well as requests by administration. As a result, the undergraduate curriculum continues to be refined and strengthened.

The Communication Studies Department has three core learning objectives for all majors.

Students graduating in Communication Studies should be able to:

  1. Construct well-reasoned arguments, avoiding fallacious reasoning
  2. Demonstrate the ability to competently evaluate communication research
  3. Design and present effective messages

Interpersonal-Small Group Assessment Outcomes

Students graduating in this option should be able to:

  • Understand the major theories of interpersonal and small group communication
  • Demonstrate communication skills needed to effectively work with others individually and in group settings
  • Demonstrate empathy for others.

Intercultural –International Assessment Outcomes

Students graduating in this option should be able to:

  • Recognize and explain commonly accepted taxonomies for describing cultural variability and communication styles
  • Develop an understanding of the basic skills for communicating with people from different cultures and recognize barriers to effective intercultural competencies
  • Understand the patterns of information exchange among major global regions and the role of governments

Criticism and Public Communication Assessment Outcomes

Students graduating in this option should be able to:

  • Identify and evaluate rhetorical elements in public messages (visual, oral and written)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of basic rhetorical and critical perspectives from classical and modern traditions

Organizational Communication Assessment Outcomes

Students graduating in this option should:

  • Be knowledgeable in theories of organizational communication
  • Be able to conduct appropriate research in order to analyze communication organizational settings
  • Demonstrate understanding of effective leadership skills, group processes, and the function of communication networking in organizations.

Psychology undergraduate SLOs

(Adapted from American Psychological Association recommendations)



Expectation             SLO

Knowledge Base of Psychology

Students will demonstrate familiarity with the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology. 


Research Methods in Psychology

Students will understand and apply basic research methods in psychology, including research design, data analysis, and interpretation


Critical Thinking Skills in Psychology

Students will respect and use critical and creative thinking, skeptical inquiry, and when possible, the scientific approach to solve problems related to behavior and mental processes. 

Application of Psychology

Students will understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social, and organizational issues.


Values in Psychology

Students will be able to weigh evidence, tolerate ambiguity, act ethically, and reflect other values that are the underpinnings of psychology as a discipline.


Information and Technological Literacy

Students will demonstrate information competence and the ability to use computers and other technology for many purposes. 

Communication Skills

Students will be able to communicate effectively in a variety of formats.


Socio-cultural and International Awareness

Students will recognize, understand, and respect the complexity of socio-cultural and international diversity.

Personal Development

Students will develop insight into their own and others’ behavior and mental processes and apply effective strategies for self-management and self-improvement.


Career Planning and Development

Students will emerge from the major with realistic ideas about how to implement their psychological knowledge, skills, and values in occupational pursuits in a variety of settings. 




Example of Aggregation of Specific Program Competencies into a Program Student Learning Outcome


Global Student Learning Outcome: Use critical thinking effectively.


Specific Competencies:

  1. Evaluate the quality of information, including differentiating empirical evidence from speculation and the probable from the improbable.
  2. Identify and evaluate the source, context, and credibility of information.
  3. Recognize and defend against common fallacies in thinking.
  4. Avoid being swayed by appeals to emotion or authority.
  5. Evaluate popular media reports of psychological research.
  6. Demonstrate an attitude of critical thinking that includes persistence, open-mindedness, tolerance for ambiguity and intellectual engagement.
  7. Make linkages or connections between diverse facts, theories, and observations.


From Undergraduate Psychology Major Learning Goals And Outcomes: A Report, American Psychological Association, March 2002xii





Example of the Use of Direct and Indirect Measures of Student Learning

Adapted from Oklahoma State University: http://www.okstate.edu/assess


Student Outcomes for Geology. Upon degree completion, students will

  • Demonstrate understanding of the basic concepts in eight subject areas: physical geology, historical geology, mineralogy, petrology, sedimentology/stratigraphy, geomorphology, paleontology, and structural geology;
  • Demonstrate technical skills in the collection and analysis of geologic data, critical-thinking skills, plus written and verbal communication skills;
  • Apply geologic knowledge and skills to a range of problems faced by business, industry, government;