A Network of Curricular Connections: Lessons from Cultivating History in the State of Utah

A Network of Curricular Connections: Lessons from Cultivating History in the State of Utah Over the past twenty years, members of history departments at eight public universities in Utah have built a collaborative network to foster a culture of teaching and learning. Representatives from departments meet twice a year to discuss and refine shared teaching and learning goals and curriculum, and to explore state and national issues in higher education that affect our departments. The success of our statewide projects warrants consideration, especially given that, traditionally, historians have not exactly clamored for continuing, careful, rigorous examinations of teaching and learning. Many of us have reluctantly entered such discussions because of departmental concerns over accountability, accreditation, enrollments, and recruitment. Others find themselves drawn into conversations prompted by a college's or university's insistence that disciplines explain their contributions to an institution's mission—and justify the budgets allotted to their program. More recently (and more admirably), colleagues have participated in initiatives and projects developed by major disciplinary societies, programs, and journals: the American Historical Association's “Tuning the History Discipline in the United States,” “Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges,” and “Career Diversity for Historians”; and the Organization of American Historians' Distinguished Lectureship Program, The American Historian, the “Teaching the Journal of American History” feature, and Process—A Blog for American History. Often the work begins—and, in a few cases, ends—with a focus on the discipline of history itself. In contrast, for many historians connected to state systems of higher education (or consortia of postsecondary institutions), the initial framework for discussions of teaching and learning has been much broader, working outside of individual departments or particular institutions and examining, instead, projects and programs that cut across multiple campuses and engage diverse fields of study. Such is the case in Utah. Since the late 1990s, the Utah System of Higher Education, which oversees postsecondary campuses, has regularly brought together faculty to discuss strategies for addressing major academic concerns, to build coherent and carefully designed curricula for students, and to clarify the shared assumptions that unite educators in their specialized fields and common programs. Much of the state's work fostering a disciplinary network in history grew out of years of broader academic meetings that began by addressing the structure, principles, and integrity of general education. A discussion of teaching and learning that originates in our own disciplinary specialization has clear advantages. The expertise and familiarity that faculty have developed in the field commonly help colleagues reach consensus on the core ideals and values of historical study. We can readily outline where key knowledge and skills come into play within a curriculum. With a bit of practice, we can also figure out how to determine the levels of learning that students achieve. The experience of historians in Utah demonstrates the benefits that can also come out of conversations grounded in a much broader educational framework that crosses disciplinary and campus lines. Colleagues were able to build a foundation in the vocabulary of pedagogy and academic reform, concentrate on all students rather than those in particular majors, confront the realities of transfer and articulation, understand the core projects that inform higher education systems, and grasp the complexities of policy making. When an opportunity arose to drill down into the core values of their own field, historians in Utah found themselves well acquainted with one another and well grounded in processes of academic change. Leaders of the state's postsecondary system helped cultivate the ground for fruitful disciplinary dialogue—though, as colleagues later recognized, much was still left to learn. The approaches taken within the state have proven effective, though Utah educators have always expected strong levels of commitment and engagement from different institutions and different disciplines. Outside the state, however, leaders of the projects long ago acknowledged that “what has worked across Utah campuses may prove disastrous elsewhere.” The likelihood that the specific arrangements of a network for student learning within a single state will be replicable is small. With that caution in mind, other historians may find a few broader lessons from Utah's experience appropriate to their circumstances—and faculty may find particular steps they can model or reframe as they work to build a greater sense of disciplinary identity and collaboration in a department, institution, and perhaps even a large state or regional system.1 The Work in Utah In a state with 3 million residents, the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), based in Salt Lake City, oversees the work of eight public institutions of postsecondary learning that serve over 175,000 students. The system includes research universities (the University of Utah and Utah State University), a liberal arts and sciences university (Southern Utah University), regional universities (Weber State University, Dixie State University, and Utah Valley University), and community colleges (Snow College and Salt Lake Community College). Other institutions in the state (Brigham Young University, Westminster College, and Western Governors University) have also participated in many projects with their public cousins. The campuses range widely in their missions, resources, and geographic location (spread out across the nation's thirteenth-largest state in square miles). The USHE has administered the institutions since 1969, but in the past twenty-five years the work has extended well beyond broad bureaucratic mandates and regulations to focus more deliberately on the substance of student learning and a diverse range of academic initiatives. The spark for Utah's engagement with postsecondary reforms came from a fairly unexpected, mundane, and (by now) quaint source: a 1992 discussion about televised general education courses. The issues raised by the proposal were not simply limited to technical, procedural, and accounting concerns. The biggest puzzler involved a fundamental evaluative question: Whether campuses broadcast courses from a picture tube or a podium, what purpose did general education courses serve? As it turned out, the historian Norman L. Jones noted, the state's higher education system “had no way of defining ‘worth.’”2 Utah created the General Education Task Force to look at programs in statewide rather than individual or institutional terms. While recognizing the distinctive purpose of each campus and the local loyalties of faculty, the task force repeatedly returned to the common educational ground of Utah's colleges and universities and system-wide responses to educational needs. Starting with the structure of general education, the group tackled questions of student transfer, the “equivalency” of courses across institutions, and the overall evaluation of learning. As Jones added, the group also “acquired the informal mission of serving as a place where faculty can exchange information and ideas and develop a shared perspective on curricular issues.”3 Even these initial steps in the early 1990s revealed seven key qualities of postsecondary education reform in Utah. First, the state recognized that the core issues in higher education commonly transcended the boundaries of a single institution. Second, curriculum discussions revolved around the goals faculty intend their classes to achieve, focusing on the rationale, “outcomes,” and shared values of a program. Third, leaders understood that it was best to let the people who actually teach the courses take the lead in answering these questions. Fourth, discussions also focused on the way educational decisions would affect students, especially the growing number of learners who tended to move from campus to campus. Fifth, leaders of the USHE system stepped back from a “command-based” approach to curricula, assessment, and transfer, and relied on practices of collaboration with individual campuses and their faculties. Sixth, state leaders continually sought ways to connect Utah's work with wider national initiatives, staying informed about the latest conversations on postsecondary learning across the United States. Finally, the group knew that the work faculty undertook would not conclude in a semester or a year but over an extended period. All recognized that educators across the state faced a profound cultural change, a dramatic shift in the identity, outlook, and orientation of faculty. The “course correction” they sought was similar to turning an ocean liner, requiring energy, commitment, consistency, and patience.4 The first significant venue for statewide discussions began in 1997 with a postsecondary conference, “What Is an Educated Person?” Now in its third decade, that annual meeting has addressed topics ranging from the organic nature of a degree to the quality of undergraduate learning to meaningful pathways through general education and the distinctive qualities of twenty-first-century students. With the success of common conversations on higher education, the state system then launched a complementary gathering (known as the “majors meeting”) to focus on academic specializations, bringing together faculty from thirty-two disciplines and all campuses to examine the core contributions of their fields, the curricula they have established, policies for transfer, common course numbering, and strategies for assessment.5 Utah's in-state programs and national projects helped nurture habits of mind and forms of exchange that generated a considerable degree of faculty preparedness, engagement, and collaboration. Several outside groups saw the state as an interesting laboratory for educational experiments. One organization, the Lumina Foundation, invited the USHE system in 2008 to take part in Tuning USA, the three-state roll-out of a new approach to academic reform in the United States Tuning USA grew out of discussions in the European Union in 1999 with the launch of the Bologna Project. By reframing the meaning and form of credits, degrees, and learning, the Bologna initiative sought to provide “students with clear indications of what their paths through higher education look like, what levels of knowledge and skills will qualify them for degree awards, and what their degrees mean.” Tuning USA, the university response to the Bologna Project, focuses on identifying “points of reference, convergence, and common understanding” about the skills and learning goals of different disciplines. The project's informing question, while not easy to answer, addresses the main focus of educators in colleges and universities: “When students complete a program of study in a discipline, what should they know, understand, and be able to do?” By clarifying these points in a clear, straightforward fashion, program leaders (known as “tuners”) help students understand the information and skills necessary to move successfully through a chosen area of study—and on to further education, careers, and civic life. Tuning concentrates on the quality and outcomes of the disciplinary learning that takes place in higher education. Participants in the project try to improve courses, refine curricula, create meaningful pathways to degrees, and guide students in the strategies that will enable them to continue learning. Utah officials chose to launch the state's tuning work in two disciplines: history and physics.6 To those who had taken part in statewide discussions since the 1990s—and to the funders from the Lumina Foundation—Tuning USA seemed a natural outgrowth of the work that had long engaged Utah educators. And, indeed, the levels of familiarity, comfort, and confidence many faculty had built with one another through previous activities helped move the new discussions along. But the launch of Tuning USA in Utah in 2009 also revealed what colleagues still needed to accomplish. The Work of Historians in Utah Years of statewide meetings had brought in a fairly small number of department “representatives” rather than a large sample of faculty members. Those who did come together for USHE convenings also sensed that their attention to conference business tended to drift into the background as they became swamped with department work during the other months of the year. The discussions that had taken place across campuses commonly focused on issues tied to general education, transfer, articulation, and course numbering—all important but lacking the intensity (and heat) of discipline-focused values and outcomes, conversations that dug deeply into tender departmental considerations of curricula and course sequences. In addition, previous state discussions had encouraged—but had not systematically addressed—ways of determining if students actually achieved the goals set out for them. And while the state had spoken with employers about the alignment of broad institutional goals and career opportunities, similar conversations had not taken place at the discipline level. In other words, Utah's history team was familiar with the twenty-first-century world of academic reform—and knew that state leaders had carefully “tended” its growth—but recognized that its “blossoming” would require extra care. In contrast to the reports that came out of initial Tuning USA meetings among Utah's physics team, historians in the state steadily raised serious doubts and concerns about the project from the start, an observation that many colleagues may take as a point of pride rather than a sign of disciplinary dysfunction. Questions about the language, authority, and purpose of the project—along with historically appropriate concerns with the memory of past disciplinary reviews and the context of U.S. higher education—lent a skeptical and inquisitive tone to the conversations. An initial difficulty with the new initiative involved “translating” the European Union's Bologna Project into an American “idiom.” The history team saw a pressing need to build a vocabulary of academic reform and a structure for implementing change that corresponded to the decentralized, diverse, and multilevel nature of postsecondary education in the nation. On questions related to student abilities, for example, U.S. teams wrestled with the European term competences, comparing the term with the American usage of competent—indicating adequacy rather than mastery. The project also encountered marked skepticism from a number of history colleagues who saw the work as a sly scheme of standardization reminiscent of the highly politicized and contentious discussion of National History Standards in the 1990s. In addition, history colleagues found themselves haunted by traumatic recollections of past “assessment experiments” on their campuses and worried that Tuning USA would duplicate the unsatisfactory busywork and frustration of earlier projects.7 Perhaps the biggest obstacle to the success of the new project was timing. Utah's state system of education asked history and physics faculty to start disciplinary discussions during the depths of the great recession in the winter and spring of 2009. While the physics team did not report any striking and sustained problems at the start of the project, the initial response of history colleagues was particularly critical. I served as acting head of Utah State University's department of history and convened the first open discussion of the work. Not surprisingly, colleagues in the department exhibited little enthusiasm for the project. One of the first questions posed a chilling concern: “Why are we focusing on this kind of issue when we don't know who's going to have a job next year?” Subsequent comments spoke to frustration with past internal reviews, the “busywork” that would build up toward the close of the semester, and the poor prospects for any meaningful changes. Another issue raised by a faculty member called attention to a perceived failing of the department. Why, one colleague asked, should we address these abstract “outcomes” when we have a bigger problem: we steer majors into a senior capstone research project that many do not pass because they are so poorly prepared for the work. Colleagues then gave a series of examples of students who had no idea how to use primary sources, how to create an annotated bibliography, how to compare conflicting sources, how to write a thesis statement—the list went on and on. But after about ten minutes of complaints, the conversation took a decidedly different turn, with another faculty question: “Who instructs students on using library resources? Who has a unit on historiography? Who talks about the structure of a journal article?” One by one, faculty began to talk about the exercises they offered in classes and the types of assignments they could add in the future. A critical conversation suddenly became remarkably constructive. And unbeknown to all of us, our department had somehow stumbled into a “backward design” approach to our discipline, starting with the endpoint for student work and working backward to identify where majors would pick up the knowledge and skills they would need to apply to their concluding project.8 Problems remained, however, with the discussion of our discipline's “learning outcomes,” a phrase that was awkward and unfamiliar to everyone in the room. One colleague suggested, “Tell them we develop critical thinking. Then sign the form and hand it in.” When the laughter died down, I said that every discipline on campus would claim the same contribution. We needed to clarify what set history's approach apart. But as faculty wrestled with this question (for most of us, the first time in our careers), the group struggled to find the right words to describe our discipline's distinctive qualities. Disciplinary organizations in other fields (such as physics) had long provided statements of core expectations and standards; resources for historians, however, were fairly limited. Fortunately, historians in the United Kingdom and Australia had already created statements of learning outcomes for their own tuning projects. Along with literature on assessment from the American Historical Association (AHA), our faculty had a useful set of starting points.9 Following the model from the United Kingdom, the Utah State history department formed a set of objectives around three major categories of disciplinary work: historical knowledge, historical thinking, and historical skills—each broken into a range of goals focusing on issues of content, strategies of analysis, and transferable proficiencies. Having composed the first version of an outcomes statement, we offered the document as a provisional model for the state's Tuning USA team. Our colleagues appreciated having a baseline statement to work with and took the document back to their home departments. Faculty members across Utah voiced questions and concerns, discussed the statement, suggested a series of fairly minor revisions, and brought the outcomes document back to the statewide group—which quickly reached consensus on its wording. For the first time, the history team began to understand how a presumably contentious and individualistic collection of academics could come to agreement on the core values and goals of our disciplinary work.10 The history team then received additional help from Margaret McGlynn, a colleague in history at the University of Western Ontario, whose department had already created a model for developing learning outcomes step-by-step over the course of a four-year bachelor's degree program. The statement shared by McGlynn suggested how faculty working in a range of introductory to advanced courses could incrementally strengthen the knowledge and proficiencies we outlined for our students. The “benchmarks,” presented as a set of proposals rather than a fixed “formula,” provided the Utah group with a clear, sequential, and concrete outline of the goals that instructors could set out year by year for majors.11 While the proposals from Canada focused on four-year degrees, the Utah history team quickly understood that colleagues from the state's major two-year institution, Salt Lake Community College (SLCC), had already put in place two systematic models for advancing student learning that four-year campuses had not yet developed. The first was a framework for all of the SLCC general education courses that contributed to the associate's degree. The goal of the broad program was to prepare students for the work they would undertake when they transferred to a four-year program. Courses offered by the SLCC history department not only stressed the range of written, oral, and analytical skills central to the institution's rigorous general education program but also outlined a variety of “assessments” to gauge the level of student mastery within these objectives. The second model in place at SLCC was a system of “e-portfolios” that students continually constructed. The electronic files held a pair of folders, one containing the significant “signature” assignments that students completed for different general education classes and the other containing the students' reflections on the construction and evaluation of the works. The portfolios helped students sense the ways course components of general education cohered and allowed them to explain how their thinking had evolved and matured over time.12 Back in their home departments, colleagues reported that Tuning USA work sparked a wide range of proposals and experiments in classes and curricula. Utah State inaugurated a premajor program requiring students to complete a sequence of introductory history classes and recommended general education offerings before enrolling in upper-division course work. Utah Valley University set up collaborative teams of full-time and adjunct faculty to develop shared objectives for lower-division classes. Weber State University refined departmental expectations for reading and writing skills. Faculty at the University of Utah called attention to programs preparing K–12 teachers in history and social studies, offering what one colleague on the history team called “basic training” for the world of public education. And several departments, after examining how our learning outcomes “mapped” to existing course offerings, recognized the need to offer new classes on historical methods, theory, and craft.13 Historians in Utah's postsecondary institutions also began a more systematic effort to collect information on what students gained from their course work. Some faculty relied on information from evaluative rubrics to understand the strengths and weaknesses of student work on specific assignments. Other colleagues developed assignments that were more closely aligned with the stated learning outcomes for particular courses. Many faculty worked carefully on the questions posed to students in “course evaluation” forms, framing their queries around the stated learning outcomes for a class. Some colleagues experimented with the “learning outcomes and assessment” features of the Canvas course management system purchased by the USHE system. And Utah State developed an electronic “exit interview” form sent to graduating seniors to learn if they were planning to go to graduate school, seek employment in private firms, or work in the public sector.14 A major advantage of participating in a well-funded project was that the history and physics teams benefited from thoughtful discussions with outside “stakeholders” in higher education—particularly as we considered the career paths of our graduates. The Lumina Foundation grant provided the support needed for a series of professionally led focus group discussions with key Utah employers. One set of meetings concentrated on employers of history teachers, a second with employers in public history, and a third with companies and agencies that hired physics graduates. These discussions allowed us to engage in thoughtful conversations about employers' experiences with our graduates. One key finding from the discussions gave faculty participants a considerable sense of relief and encouragement: employers and faculty valued remarkably similar skills sets in graduates. Through this work, team members learned that considerable convergence existed between the qualities academics value in higher education and the interests that others hold.15 Utah historians returned for multiple meetings on their project, coming together for specific Tuning USA discussions, following up at departmental majors' meetings, and offering presentations at other statewide education conferences. At the center of the work were continuing conversations focused on core goals, curricula, course organization, graduate education, and career prospects. Utah's approach to disciplinary outcomes soon expanded when, in 2011, the Lumina Foundation endorsed a supplementary academic project, the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP). Widening faculty discussions from a starting point in general education to specific fields of study to full associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs, the DQP asked what students should know, understand, and be able to do at the completion of a degree. Utah historians, who had already framed their discipline within general education programs and the elements of a major, quickly recognized the relation of history to the multiple components of an entire degree, understanding how expectations would “ratchet up” from an associate's degree to a bachelor's degree to a master's degree. Once again, colleagues could picture themselves as academic versions of Russian nesting dolls: satisfying teaching responsibilities situated within particular courses, courses that are part of a larger curriculum, that contribute to a broader program, and that lead to a completed degree.16 Discussions on these subjects were so promising, the curriculum changes so significant, and the tone of conversations so collegial that two Utah State historians—Norm Jones and I—encouraged the president and general counsel of the Lumina Foundation to consider expanding the Tuning USA project in an entirely new way: through the endorsement and coordination of a prestigious scholarly society. By February 2012, through the efforts of the foundation and the AHA executive director James Grossman, a new American Historical Association History Tuning Project began. Across two stages of the project, the AHA brought together over 150 faculty members on 120 campuses to discuss the nature of historical study, work collaboratively across two- and four-year institutions, develop a “discipline core” of key goals and skills, reframe survey courses, address enrollment issues, and clarify career prospects for history majors.17 Similar to the patterns followed in Utah, the AHA project drew from—and updated—past discussions of issues tied to teaching and learning. Participants came from both two- and four-year campuses. The project's members met repeatedly at annual conferences and at national and regional tuning project meetings. The work emphasized personal, face-to-face discussions. The project's core reference points were regularly reexamined, and the AHA built out from the base established by Tuning USA to move into additional, integrated projects tackling survey classes, course exercises, new technologies, doctoral preparation, and related issues that have sustained the momentum of disciplinary discussions. Themes of collaboration, conversation, connections, and continuity, along with a commitment to faculty leadership, have helped cultivate the work of historians within one state and throughout a national organization. Ten Key Take-Aways Again, it is not likely that others could (or should) try to copy the experience of a particular state. The distinctive circumstances operating within one-fiftieth of the nation would be difficult to capture even if a desire to reproduce one set of campus changes existed. And the possibilities of replication diminish even further for independent, private institutions that operate without connection to (or directions from) public agencies of higher education. But a number of broader lessons from Utah's experiments can offer guidance to colleagues working to reframe the history major within their respective campuses. A Starting Point: Perhaps the most helpful piece of advice that Utah teams carried throughout their work—and a point we historians should bear in mind—came from a research group in New York City that facilitates complex discussions. Public Agenda, in a report on the contentious topic of campus productivity, urged leaders to recognize an effective starting point for any difficult discussion: “Begin where people are, not where you want them to be.” The “cultivation” of the history major might, at first, appear to be a subject on which there is a ready-made consensus. But it does not take long for conversations to reveal considerable divides among faculty themselves—let alone among instructors, students, administrators, and stakeholders. The very call for a reexamination of the major can spark doubt, disagreement, and division. Rather than starting off with an announcement of a new plan, Public Agenda suggests “engaging faculty first around those issues that they care most deeply about and building from there.”18 Kicking Off a Conversation: How might an “engaging” exchange among historians begin? Anne Hyde, the faculty director of the AHA History Tuning Project, suggested one way to launch a discussion. Admitting that her proposal sounded “crazy,” Hyde wondered what might happen during “a first meeting of the academic year where no one talked about budgets, assessment, course assignments, or parking. What if we all started the year discussing what disciplinary ideals link us as historians and how we might best introduce those to our students?” In other words, Hyde suggested that faculty simply have an opportunity to talk about the reasons they got into this line of work, the passions that have kept them engaged in research and teaching, and the goals that drive them in their courses. Instead of beginning a project with a dreary account of tasks we require, hear from colleagues about points that inspire.19 Again, in the case of Utah, discussions began at a much broader level, addressing the purposes and aspirations behind general education rather than a particular discipline. But that might not be a point of departure available to many colleagues. Hyde's suggestions are likely more appropriate. However the conversation begins, make note of the words history faculty use to describe their commitment and engagement to the field. Their language will help colleagues who are new to this type of disciplinary reflection build a working vocabulary for their discussions and documents. Anticipate Skepticism: Despite a high-minded start, be prepared for different kinds of responses. Not everyone will be cheery and uplifted by the exercise. It is tempting to write off the negativity as a sign of faculty resistance and suspicion. But there may well be another problem at work: the recollections that haunt faculty about past assessment efforts. Colleagues who endured various types of academic self-study from the mid-1980s through the early 2000s may recall the kinds of strategies that followed up on faultfinding studies ranging from A Nation at Risk (1983) to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education's A Test of Leadership (2006). Assessment efforts that responded to the critiques were often top-down, one-size-fits-all, skeptical of faculty evaluations of student work, heavily dependent on external, standardized tests, and keenly focused on compliance with political mandates. The work did not sit well with many faculty. Bad memories are difficult to shake, and reform advocates may have to patiently lead some assessment aversion–therapy sessions to help their colleagues feel comfortable with another discussion on the topic.20 Assessment Has Changed: The good news is that contemporary practice has undergone a remarkable transformation, including a rigorous “reassessment of assessment.” Its emphasis now rests on bottom-up efforts that are faculty-led and discipline-centered, building projects that address the guidance (not simply the compliance) that good assessment can offer about student learning, that recognize the importance of multiple “measurements” of knowledge and skills, and that focus on the work actual students do in actual classrooms with actual instructors on actual assignments. Good assessment still provides one way of demonstrating “accountability” in higher education. But its added value comes from encouraging regular faculty conversations about the strengths (and struggles) of those enrolled in our courses and programs—and determining the best possible exercises and curricula that can assist students in the development of their learning.21 See What Others Have Done: This issue of the Journal of American History (JAH) should be a reminder that you are not alone in your effort to join a broader conversation about the state of our discipline. Colleagues in departments across the nation have worked for a decade on ways to respond to the March 2008 alert sent out by the past AHA president Gabrielle Spiegel in her essay “A Triple ‘A’ Threat: Accountability, Assessment, Accreditation.” Urging historians to lead (rather than evade) discussions on the nature, place, and contributions of the discipline in higher education, Spiegel called for a proactive response from the profession. She warned that inactivity or avoidance would create a power vacuum that others (with no disciplinary expertise) would fill: “if we don't craft the instruments of assessment, then the state or federal government surely will.” Fortunately, historians have responded thoughtfully, creatively, and abundantly to the call. Those just starting on the work have many resources available to guide their efforts. Recent “Textbooks and Teaching” sections of the JAH explored globalized courses, guidance on assessment, and developments in digital courses. The AHA's monthly magazine, Perspectives on History, and the Organization of American Historians publication The American Historian, continually discuss issues tied to teaching and learning. Two major AHA projects—“Tuning the History Discipline in the United States” and “Career Diversity for Historians”—also provide valuable documents, discussions, and videos tied to disciplinary outcomes, curricula, and occupational opportunities. The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning offers a Web site focused on recent research in history. The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment has filled the “Resource Library” tab on its Web site with information on topics such as tuning, the degree qualifications profile, the assignment library, and case studies of curriculum changes on different campuses. Be sure to look at the guidance provided by historians in the European Union for over a decade through the work of the History Subject Area Group and the Web site Clioh.net, guided by Robert Wagenaar and Ann Katherine Isaacs. The Tuning Academy, founded by scholars from the University of Deusto and the University of Groningen, supplies resources from 120 countries and fifty disciplines on tuning in higher education worldwide. The information from all of these organizations is meant to be widely shared, copied, revised, and applied. Historians need not begin their disciplinary review from a blank page.22 Work Backward: Even with guidance from distant departments and help from colleagues at home, it can be difficult for a department to revise, reframe, or reinvent a program of study. Starting at square one and looking at the discipline through the eyes of an entering student, where do we begin to talk about the principles, components, and navigation of a history major? It may be helpful to flip the discussion upside down. Instead of looking at how the program opens, consider how it closes. Is there, for example, a capstone course that requires a major research project? It may prove helpful (especially if the course rotates among many instructors) to reach agreement on the levels of knowledge and skill students should have mastered before enrolling in the class. The next question to ask: Where in earlier classes do students pick up that basis of knowledge and skill? For example, if the capstone project requires students to write an original piece of historical scholarship grounded in primary-source research, which previous courses introduce students to the nature, location, and analysis of those documents? Do colleagues provide assignments that build skills in information literacy, the interrogation of sources, the mechanics of notes and bibliographies, and other fundamental proficiencies? Such a discussion helps locate (or “map”) the courses in a program of study that address particular outcomes. At the same time, faculty engage in a version of what is called “backward design,” reflecting on the way the major concludes rather than commences and determining the prior learning that students need to bring to each advanced piece of course work they encounter.23 Keep at It: At the heart of historical inquiry rests the discipline's attention to change over time. The question informs our understanding of political movements, market forces, social orders, and cultural constructions. It should hardly come as a surprise when we witness considerable change over time in the way historians envision their own field of study. We should be the last academics to expect that discussions on the framing, shape, and components of a curriculum would wrap up in a single session. Do not assume that a thoughtful review of the discipline is a one-time exercise. The work that our eight institutions tackled in Utah is a reminder that established outcomes will likely come up for reexamination. At the national level, the AHA History Tuning Project encountered a similar set of issues in building its “discipline core.” A working group outlined the preliminary document in January 2012; late that year the tuning group announced an initial version of the core; in September 2013 they released a revised version; in December 2016 an update of the revised core appeared. Recognize that conversations on disciplinary goals will be ongoing—as will discussions on the design of a workable curriculum, the exercises that best capture desired skills, and the measures that reveal meaningful levels of student learning.24 Move the Discussion from “My Course” to “Our Curriculum”: Faculty members who bear responsibility for a class as the “instructor of record” understandably think about their course assignments in personal, individualized terms. After all, accountability for all parts of the class falls on one person's shoulders. They are the ones who have to answer to students, administrators, and committees about the work that occurs in a classroom. Those with a continuing faculty line who receive regular assignments in a particular course may gradually develop a sense of ownership over the class as a piece of personal property. Even the title and catalog placement of a course may fix its identity and function in precise and relatively narrow learning terms. In other words, the common structural models for teaching duties and course descriptions can easily reinforce the idea of guarding “my course” within a carefully defined frame of reference. The idea that instructors might coordinate the work of a course with other faculty in a logical sequence of classes—or clarify how the course might best integrate with other programs outside of a department—can seem like an intrusion into one's teaching space. But if we want to build shared learning outcomes, create progressively expanding knowledge and skills, and clarify the relation between majors and other programs of study, educators need to shift their thinking from “my course” to “our curriculum.” Our attention should focus on a range of issues: how one history class or teaching assignment links to another in a coherent disciplinary framework; the way an introductory course might satisfy the goals of historians as well as the expectations of a general education program; how a lower-division class from a two-year institution can transfer smoothly to a four-year course of study; how upper-level classes might connect with the goals of interdisciplinary studies. In all of these issues, we want to understand “how the various elements of undergraduate education come together (or don't) to provide a coherent student learning experience.” Sealing off a course in a private and isolated fashion blocks the kind of collaborative, intentional, and sequential education our academic initiatives aim to provide.25 Work with an Inclusive Notion of “Educators”: Stop to consider who sits at the table for conversations about disciplinary goals. Do tenure-track faculty define and lead discussion? Who else holds responsibility for instructing students in courses, disciplinary skills, and pathways to a degree? In all likelihood, a history department also draws on the talents of part-time teachers, one-year appointments, and postdoctoral lecturers who lead classes in the program. These colleagues should be part of the regular discussions if a department intends to build a coherent curriculum with a shared sense of commitment and expectations from all instructors. In addition, others on campus also play essential roles in course work and student learning. For example, librarians should hold a prominent place in discussions, explaining the kinds of resources and assistance they offer to students (and faculty) in the work of historical research and information literacy. Another group to invite are the academic advisers who meet (and speak frankly) with students on course selection, paths to degrees, and the meaningful values of disciplinary work. What might discussions with admissions officers reveal about the language their office uses to describe the work and goals of historical study? These are just some of the people on campus who can help us convey, clarify, and reiterate a consistent set of messages about the objectives of historical study.26 Make Ourselves Understood: Among the many learning outcomes that history departments declare, one of the most common focuses on the ability of graduates to communicate clearly and effectively. The discipline takes justifiable pride in the way history programs help majors investigate problems, identify reliable sources, analyze information, contextualize complex questions, and express their arguments in a straightforward, understandable fashion for different audiences. It is the kind of outcome historians should practice while explaining the nature and character of the discipline. Remember that we want to describe the work and contributions of historical study to a wide range of groups, including students, parents, administrators, legislators, and employers, few of whom will be specialists in our field. A good part of the effort involves demystifying the discipline. That means stating our goals and ideals in clear, direct, and accessible language. Avoid jargon, acronyms, and specialized terms, and recognize that the skills, insights, and strategies of historical study that are self-evident to us probably remain clouded and obscure to others. Joan Middendorf and David Pace have expressed the task as one focused on “decoding the discipline”—a phrase used by experienced tuning advocates who remind us of the need to “make the implicit explicit.” In other words, our discussions should pull back the curtain on our disciplinary work, explain what we take for granted, reveal how we pursue our study, and clarify what we contribute to our students' learning, careers, and civic life.27 The projects in which so many historians and organizations find themselves involved continue to expand. Much work lies ahead: addressing issues of equity in higher education; gathering meaningful data on student learning; shaping malleable and manageable pathways to degrees; building enrollment in the history major; and helping students construct a persuasive narrative of their educational experience. Even for those committed to broad academic reform, the prospect of “initiative fatigue” looms over all the endeavors. How many reform projects are simply too much to handle and stretch faculty in too many different directions? One way to approach the problem is to ensure projects that compound also converge, constantly referring back to a shared center and purpose. That common ground is best located in the fundamental issue of learning. Faculty are best prepared for this work—and most likely to sustain their efforts—when they can move out from (and back to) thoughtful discussions of the disciplinary learning about which they are most informed and passionate. In other words, collaborative networks work well among faculty who are able to “stay tuned.”28 1 Ann Leffler et al., “Faculty Collaboration and Statewide General Education Reform,” in General Education and Student Transfer: Fostering Intentionality and Coherence in State Systems, ed. Robert Shoenberg (Washington, 2005), 25–33, esp. 33, http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=oarca_pubs. 2 Norm Jones, “LEAPing in Utah: Lessons Learned along the Way,” Peer Review, 13 (Spring 2011),16–19, esp. 16, https://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/leaping-utah-lessons-learned-along-way. 3 At its founding in 1992, the group was originally called the General Education Task Force, but the name was later changed to Regents' Task Force for General Education, after the Utah Board of Regents approved the group's policy. The task force did not originally represent all public institutions of higher learning, but by the late 1990s the committee did include all campuses. Phyllis Safman to Daniel J. McInerney, June 2, 2017 e-mail (in Daniel J. McInerney's possession). Jones, “LEAPing in Utah,” 16–17. With expanding discussions came a shift in the formal nature of the General Education Task Force. The ad hoc group became a standing committee. 4 On early trends in the statewide discussions of educational reforms, see Jones, “LEAPing in Utah”; and Leffler et al., “Faculty Collaboration and Statewide General Education Reform,” 25–33. On stepping back from a command-based approach to education, see Jones, “LEAPing in Utah,”; and Leffler et al., “Faculty Collaboration and Statewide General Education Reform,” 33. Key organizers came from a range of disciplines and an array of institutional projects: Ann Leffler, a sociologist, directed Utah State University's Liberal Arts and Science Program; Reba Lou Keele, with a focus on rhetoric, public address, and educational psychology, served as dean of undergraduate education at the University of Utah; Norman L. Jones, an Elizabethan scholar at Utah State University, brought a wide range of experience in department leadership, curriculum design, and assessment strategies; and Phyllis Safman, trained in adult development and learning, worked as associate dean of continuing education at the University of Utah and assistant commissioner for academic affairs at the Utah System of Higher Education. Safman secured for the state a wide range of grants addressing questions of teaching, learning, and assessment and also offered her expertise to multiple regional and national organizations: the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, and the Western Academic Leadership Forum. Safman and Jones also helped establish a strong and ongoing partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), a national group that advocates for the value of undergraduate liberal education through a wide range of initiatives. On the AACU, see https://www.aacu.org/. Randall S. Davies and David Williams, “Utah Tuning Project,” Tuning Journal for Higher Education, 2 (June 2015), 235–51, esp. 239. See also Benjamin Wood, “Utah Colleges, Universities ‘Tune’ Degrees to Align Student Outcomes,” Deseret News (Salt Lake City), May 4, 2014. 5 Jones, “LEAPing in Utah,” 16–17. 6 Clifford Adelman, “The Bologna Club: What U.S. Higher Education Can Learn from a Decade of European Reconstruction,” May 2008, p. xv, http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED501332.pdf. For a broad and updated discussion of the Bologna Club, see “The Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area,” n.d., http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/higher-education/bologna-process_en. Tuning Project, “Tuning Educational Structures in Europe: Reference Points for the Design and Delivery of Degree Programmes in European Studies,” n.d., p. v, Tuning Academy, tuningacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/RefEuropeanStudies_EU_EN.pdf. For additional overviews, see Web sites devoted to tuning in the European Union and the United States at Tuning Educational Structures in Europe, http://www.unideusto.org/tuningeu/; and Tuning Academy, http://tuningacademy.org/?lang=en; and Degree Qualifications Profile, http://degreeprofile.org/resource-kit/tuning/. For a tuning project guidebook, see David W. Marshall, “Tuning: A Guide for Creating Discipline-Specific Frameworks to Foster Meaningful Change,” April 2017, http://degreeprofile.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/TuningProcessReportFINAL.pdf. 7 On the results of Tuning USA meetings among Utah's physics team, see William E. Evenson, “Strengthening Student Learning through ‘Tuning,’” Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics, and Policy, 3 (no. 1, 2012), 18–24. On questions about the language, authority, and purpose of Tuning USA, see Davies and Williams, “Utah Tuning Project,” 245. On the National History Standards, see Gary B. Nash, Charlotte Antoinette Crabtree, and Ross E. Dunn, History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past (New York, 2000); Gary B. Nash, “The History Standards Controversy and Social History,” Journal of Social History, 29 (Dec. 1995), 39–49; and Diane Ravitch, “The Controversy over National History Standards,” Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 51 (Jan.–Feb.1998), 14–28. Davies and Williams, “Utah Tuning Project,” 245. 8 Pat Hutchings, Natasha A. Jankowski, and Peter T. Ewell, “Catalyzing Assignment Design Activity on Your Campus: Lessons from NILOA's Assignment Library Initiative,” Nov. 2014, pp. 8–9, http://www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/Assignment_report_Nov.pdf. 9 For learning outcomes for history programs in the United Kingdom, see Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, “Subject Benchmark Statement: History,” June 2014, http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-consultation-history.pdf. For Australian learning outcomes, see http://ec.europa.eu/education/international-cooperation/documents/australia/tuning_en.pdf. The assessment literature from the American Historical Association includes “Assessment in History: A Guide to Best Practices,” American Historical Association, https://secure.historians.org/members/services/cgi-bin/msascartdll.dll/productInfo?PRODUCTCD=pm322; Philip M. Katz, “Retrieving the Master's Degree from the Dustbin of History: A Report to the Members of the American Historical Association,” ibid., http://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/historicalarchives/retrieving-the-masters-degree-from-the-dustbin-of-history; and Michael Galgano, “Liberal Learning and the History Major,” ibid., https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/governance/divisions/teaching/liberal-learning-and-the-history-major. For other assessment literature, see “The History Major and Undergraduate Liberal Education: Report of the National History Center Working Group to the Teagle Foundation,” Sept. 29, 2008, http://www.teaglefoundation.org/Teagle/media/GlobalMediaLibrary/documents/resources/The_History_Major_and_Undergraduate_Education.pdf?ext=.pdf. 10 For an early version of history outcomes, see “Learning Outcomes, Undergraduate Program,” n.d., https://utahtuning.weebly.com/upload/1/4/6/9/14699846/learning_outcomes_usu_history_undergraduate_major.pdf. For a revised and updated statement of learning objectives, see “Learning Objects,” n.d., Utah State University Department of History, http://history.usu.edu/about/learning-objectives. 11 Phyllis Safman, “Tuning USA Interim Report—Utah, November 18, 2009,” pp. 18–20, Utah Tuning: Defining Learning Outcomes for Post-Secondary Degrees, http://utahtuning.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/6/9/14699846/interim_report_nov2009.pdf. 12 ibid., 53–55. For information on Salt Lake Community College's e-portfolio initiative, see “Electronic Portfolios at SLCC,” Salt Lake Community College, http://www.slcc.edu/gened/eportfolio/. 13 On the Utah State University history department premajor program, see “Utah State University History Major,” July 2015, https://history.usu.edu/files/Sum15-Sp16.pdf. The department's experiment with a premajor and sequenced pathways led the Utah State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences to adopt the approach for all students. See Utah State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences, “Preparing for Degrees, Careers, and Lives: Pathways through General Education,” http://history.usu.edu/files/uploads/Assessment/PathwaysBrochure.pdf. Phyllis Safman, “Lumina Foundation for Education Grantee Interim Narrative Report,” May 31, 2012, pp. 36–52, Utah Tuning, https://utahtuning.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/6/9/14699846/report.5.30.12.pdf. 14 Utah State historians used a series of rubrics in lower- and upper-division courses, as well as a common rubric, to evaluate all senior theses in the department's capstone course for majors. See “Senior Capstone Learning Outcomes Rubric,” Utah State University Department of History, http://history.usu.edu/files/upload/senior%20capstone%20rubric.pdf. For examples of assignments aligned with learning outcomes, see “Assessing Student Learning: Samples of Skills-Based Courses and Skills-Based Course Assignments,” ibid., http://history.usu.edu/files/uploads/Assessment/Assessing_student_learning_web_site.pdf. The course evaluation system used at Utah State University and thousands of institutions across the United States is IDEA: Individual Development and Educational Assessment. On the methods and data collection used by IDEA, see “Improving Learning in Higher Education since 1975,” IDEA, http://ideaedu.org/. On Canvas learning outcomes and assessment, see “How Do I Use the Learning Mastery Gradebook to View Outcome Results in a Course?,” Canvas, https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10190. For the results of the May 2014 survey of Utah State graduating seniors, see “Exit Survey with Graduating Students,” May 2014, Utah State University, http://history.usu.edu/files/uploads/Assessment/Graduate_survey_May_2014.pdf. 15 Phyllis Safman, “Lumina Foundation Grantee Final Narrative Report,” May 31, 2014, pp. 71–72, 105–6, Utah Tuning, https://utahtuning.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/6/9/14699846/report.7.15.14.pdf. For an introduction to focus-group discussions, see Martha Ann Carey and Jo-Ellen Asbury, Focus Group Research (New York, 2012). “Report on Research with Employers of Graduates with History Majors: Executive Summary,” 2010, Utah State University, http://history.usu.edu/files/uploads/Assessment/EmployerFocusGroupReportonHistoryMajorsDec2010.pdf. Daniel McInerney, “Bringing the ‘Big Ideas’ of Gen Ed Reform to Life with Faculty and Students,” paper delivered at the Association of American Colleges and Universities Conference on General Education and Assessment, Phoenix, Feb. 23, 2017 (in McInerney's possession). For an example of employment survey data, see “Employment Data,” Utah State University, http://history.usu.edu/files/uploads/Employment%20data.pdf. 16 Lumina Foundation, “The Degree Qualifications Profile,” 2014, http://degreeprofile.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/DQP-web-download-reference-points-FINAL.pdf. McInerney, “Bringing the ‘Big Ideas’ of Gen Ed Reform to Life with Faculty and Students.” 17 On the expanding resources and ongoing discussions of the American Historical Association (AHA) History Tuning Project, see “Tuning the History Discipline in the United States,” American Historical Association, https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/tuning-the-history-discipline. 18 Alison Kadlec and Will Friedman, “Changing the Conversation about Productivity: Strategies for Engaging Faculty and Institutional Leaders,” 2010, pp. 3, 10, Public Agenda, https://www.publicagenda.org/files/changing_conversation_college_productivity.pdf. 19 Anne Hyde, “Tuning and Teaching History as an Ethical Way of Being in the World,” July 17, 2014, online posting, AHA Today blog, http://blog.historians.org/2014/07/tuning-teaching-history-ethical-way-world/. 20 National Commission on Excellence in Education, A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (Washington, 1983); Commission on the Future of Higher Education, A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education (Washington, 2006). Some of the most thoughtful and open discussions with critics occurred during the first year of the AHA History Tuning Project, including the exchange between the AHA executive director James Grossman and an organization member, Christopher Doyle. See James Grossman, “Tuning in the History Major,” Perspectives on History, April 2012, http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2012/tuning-in-to-the-history-major; Christopher Doyle, “On Historians, Tuning, and Markets,” ibid., Sept. 2012, http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2012/letter-to-the-editor-on-historians-tuning-and-markets; and James Grossman, “Response to On Historians, Tuning, and Markets,” ibid., http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2012/letter-to-the-editor-response-to-on-historians-tuning-and-markets. 21 Douglas D. Roscoe, “Toward an Improvement Paradigm for Academic Quality,” Liberal Education, 103 (Winter 2017), 21. Peter T. Ewell, “Assessment and Accountability in America Today: Background and Context,” New Directions for Institutional Research, 1 (Fall 2008), 7–17; Pat Hutchings, “Opening Doors to Faculty Involvement in Assessment,” April 2010, http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/documents/PatHutchings_000.pdf; Pat Hutchings, “DQP Case Study: Kansas City Kansas Community College,” July 2014, http://www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/KCKCC/DQP%20KCKCC.pdf; George D. Kuh et al., “Knowing What Students Know and Can Do: The Current State of Learning Outcomes Assessment at U.S. Colleges and Universities,” Jan. 2014, http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/documents/2013%20Abridged%20Survey%20Report%20Final.pdf; National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, “Higher Education Quality: Why Documenting Learning Matters. A Policy Statement from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment,” May 2016, http://www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/NILOA_statement.html; Trudy W. Banta, Peter T. Ewell, and Cynthia A. Cogswell, “Tracing Assessment Practice as Reflected in Assessment Update,” Oct. 2016, http://learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/Occasional%20Paper%2028.pdf; Terrel Rhodes, “The VALUE of Learning: Meaningful Assessment on the Rise,” Liberal Education, 103 (Winter 2017), 22–27; Roscoe, “Toward an Improvement Paradigm for Academic Quality,” 14–21. 22 Gabrielle M. Spiegel, “A Triple ‘A’ Threat: Accountability, Assessment, Accreditation,” Perspectives on History, 46 (March 2008), https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/march-2008/a-triple-a-threat-accountability-assessment-accreditation. “Resources for Tuning the History Discipline,” American Historical Association, https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/teaching-resources-for-historians/resources-for-tuning-the-history-discipline; “Career Diversity Resources,” ibid., https://www.historians.org/jobs-and-professional-development/career-diversity-for-historians/career-diversity-resources. On the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History, see http://www.indiana.edu/~histsotl/blog/. For examples of resources from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, see National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/publications.html. On the History Subject Area Group and Clioh.net, see Ann Katherine Isaacs, “Tuning and History: A Personal Overview,” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 16 (no. 4, 2017), 403–9. On the Tuning Academy, see Tuning: Educational Structures in Europe, http://www.unideusto.org/. 23 Kay Pippin Uchiyama and Jean L. Radin, “Curriculum Mapping in Higher Education: A Vehicle for Collaboration,” Innovative Higher Education, 33 (Jan. 2009), 271–80; Natasha Jankowski, “Mapping Learning Outcomes: What You Map Is What You See,” Sept. 12, 2014, http://learningoutcomesassessment.org/Presentations/Mapping.pdf. Grant P. Wiggins and Jay McTighe, Understanding by Design (Alexandria, 2005), 18–34; Stanley O. Ikenberry and George D. Kuh, “From Compliance to Ownership: Why and How Colleges and Universities Assess Student Learning,” in Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education, by George D. Kuh et al. (San Francisco, 2015), 1–26, esp. 18. 24 “AHA History Tuning Project: 2016 History Discipline Core,” Dec. 2016, American Historical Association, https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/tuning-the-history-discipline/2016-history-discipline-core. 25 Pat Hutchings and Natasha Jankowski, “Rethinking Boundaries: Bringing General Education and the Discipline Together,” Spectra, 51 (Nov. 2015), 25–26. Pat Hutchings, Aligning Educational Outcomes and Practices, Jan. 2016, http://www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/Occasional%20Paper%2026.pdf; Michael Scarlett, “Moving from Courses to a Curriculum,” Jan. 1, 2015, Augustana Digital Commons, http://digitalcommons.augustana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=educfaculty. 26 For resources on issues facing contingent faculty, compiled by Adrianna Kezar, see The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success, http://www.thechangingfaculty.org/resources.html. Hutchings, Aligning Educational Outcomes and Practices; Scarlett, “Moving from Courses to a Curriculum.” Natasha A. Jankowski and David W. Marshall, “Roadmap to Enhanced Student Learning: Implementing the DQP and Tuning,” Dec. 9, 2014, p. 12, https://www.luminafoundation.org/resources/roadmap-to-enhanced-student-learning. John H. Schuh and Ann M. Gansemer-Topf, “The Role of Student Affairs in Student Learning Assessment,” Dec. 2010, http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/documents/StudentAffairsRole.pdf. 27 Joan Mittendorf and David Pace, “Decoding the Disciplines: Helping Students Learn Disciplinary Ways of Thinking,” New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2004 (Summer 2004), 1–110; Holiday Hart McKiernan and Tim Birtwistle, “Making the Implicit Explicit: Demonstrating the Value Added of Higher Education by a Qualifications Framework,” Journal of College and University Law, 36 (no. 2, 2010), 511–64. 28 George D. Kuh and Pat Hutchings, “Assessment and Initiative Fatigue: Keeping the Focus on Learning,” in Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education, by Kuh et al., 183–200. © The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Organization of American Historians. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of American History Oxford University Press

A Network of Curricular Connections: Lessons from Cultivating History in the State of Utah

Loading next page...
 
/lp/ou_press/a-network-of-curricular-connections-lessons-from-cultivating-history-mx506Z9MWr
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Organization of American Historians. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
ISSN
0021-8723
eISSN
1945-2314
D.O.I.
10.1093/jahist/jax432
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Over the past twenty years, members of history departments at eight public universities in Utah have built a collaborative network to foster a culture of teaching and learning. Representatives from departments meet twice a year to discuss and refine shared teaching and learning goals and curriculum, and to explore state and national issues in higher education that affect our departments. The success of our statewide projects warrants consideration, especially given that, traditionally, historians have not exactly clamored for continuing, careful, rigorous examinations of teaching and learning. Many of us have reluctantly entered such discussions because of departmental concerns over accountability, accreditation, enrollments, and recruitment. Others find themselves drawn into conversations prompted by a college's or university's insistence that disciplines explain their contributions to an institution's mission—and justify the budgets allotted to their program. More recently (and more admirably), colleagues have participated in initiatives and projects developed by major disciplinary societies, programs, and journals: the American Historical Association's “Tuning the History Discipline in the United States,” “Bridging Cultures at Community Colleges,” and “Career Diversity for Historians”; and the Organization of American Historians' Distinguished Lectureship Program, The American Historian, the “Teaching the Journal of American History” feature, and Process—A Blog for American History. Often the work begins—and, in a few cases, ends—with a focus on the discipline of history itself. In contrast, for many historians connected to state systems of higher education (or consortia of postsecondary institutions), the initial framework for discussions of teaching and learning has been much broader, working outside of individual departments or particular institutions and examining, instead, projects and programs that cut across multiple campuses and engage diverse fields of study. Such is the case in Utah. Since the late 1990s, the Utah System of Higher Education, which oversees postsecondary campuses, has regularly brought together faculty to discuss strategies for addressing major academic concerns, to build coherent and carefully designed curricula for students, and to clarify the shared assumptions that unite educators in their specialized fields and common programs. Much of the state's work fostering a disciplinary network in history grew out of years of broader academic meetings that began by addressing the structure, principles, and integrity of general education. A discussion of teaching and learning that originates in our own disciplinary specialization has clear advantages. The expertise and familiarity that faculty have developed in the field commonly help colleagues reach consensus on the core ideals and values of historical study. We can readily outline where key knowledge and skills come into play within a curriculum. With a bit of practice, we can also figure out how to determine the levels of learning that students achieve. The experience of historians in Utah demonstrates the benefits that can also come out of conversations grounded in a much broader educational framework that crosses disciplinary and campus lines. Colleagues were able to build a foundation in the vocabulary of pedagogy and academic reform, concentrate on all students rather than those in particular majors, confront the realities of transfer and articulation, understand the core projects that inform higher education systems, and grasp the complexities of policy making. When an opportunity arose to drill down into the core values of their own field, historians in Utah found themselves well acquainted with one another and well grounded in processes of academic change. Leaders of the state's postsecondary system helped cultivate the ground for fruitful disciplinary dialogue—though, as colleagues later recognized, much was still left to learn. The approaches taken within the state have proven effective, though Utah educators have always expected strong levels of commitment and engagement from different institutions and different disciplines. Outside the state, however, leaders of the projects long ago acknowledged that “what has worked across Utah campuses may prove disastrous elsewhere.” The likelihood that the specific arrangements of a network for student learning within a single state will be replicable is small. With that caution in mind, other historians may find a few broader lessons from Utah's experience appropriate to their circumstances—and faculty may find particular steps they can model or reframe as they work to build a greater sense of disciplinary identity and collaboration in a department, institution, and perhaps even a large state or regional system.1 The Work in Utah In a state with 3 million residents, the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE), based in Salt Lake City, oversees the work of eight public institutions of postsecondary learning that serve over 175,000 students. The system includes research universities (the University of Utah and Utah State University), a liberal arts and sciences university (Southern Utah University), regional universities (Weber State University, Dixie State University, and Utah Valley University), and community colleges (Snow College and Salt Lake Community College). Other institutions in the state (Brigham Young University, Westminster College, and Western Governors University) have also participated in many projects with their public cousins. The campuses range widely in their missions, resources, and geographic location (spread out across the nation's thirteenth-largest state in square miles). The USHE has administered the institutions since 1969, but in the past twenty-five years the work has extended well beyond broad bureaucratic mandates and regulations to focus more deliberately on the substance of student learning and a diverse range of academic initiatives. The spark for Utah's engagement with postsecondary reforms came from a fairly unexpected, mundane, and (by now) quaint source: a 1992 discussion about televised general education courses. The issues raised by the proposal were not simply limited to technical, procedural, and accounting concerns. The biggest puzzler involved a fundamental evaluative question: Whether campuses broadcast courses from a picture tube or a podium, what purpose did general education courses serve? As it turned out, the historian Norman L. Jones noted, the state's higher education system “had no way of defining ‘worth.’”2 Utah created the General Education Task Force to look at programs in statewide rather than individual or institutional terms. While recognizing the distinctive purpose of each campus and the local loyalties of faculty, the task force repeatedly returned to the common educational ground of Utah's colleges and universities and system-wide responses to educational needs. Starting with the structure of general education, the group tackled questions of student transfer, the “equivalency” of courses across institutions, and the overall evaluation of learning. As Jones added, the group also “acquired the informal mission of serving as a place where faculty can exchange information and ideas and develop a shared perspective on curricular issues.”3 Even these initial steps in the early 1990s revealed seven key qualities of postsecondary education reform in Utah. First, the state recognized that the core issues in higher education commonly transcended the boundaries of a single institution. Second, curriculum discussions revolved around the goals faculty intend their classes to achieve, focusing on the rationale, “outcomes,” and shared values of a program. Third, leaders understood that it was best to let the people who actually teach the courses take the lead in answering these questions. Fourth, discussions also focused on the way educational decisions would affect students, especially the growing number of learners who tended to move from campus to campus. Fifth, leaders of the USHE system stepped back from a “command-based” approach to curricula, assessment, and transfer, and relied on practices of collaboration with individual campuses and their faculties. Sixth, state leaders continually sought ways to connect Utah's work with wider national initiatives, staying informed about the latest conversations on postsecondary learning across the United States. Finally, the group knew that the work faculty undertook would not conclude in a semester or a year but over an extended period. All recognized that educators across the state faced a profound cultural change, a dramatic shift in the identity, outlook, and orientation of faculty. The “course correction” they sought was similar to turning an ocean liner, requiring energy, commitment, consistency, and patience.4 The first significant venue for statewide discussions began in 1997 with a postsecondary conference, “What Is an Educated Person?” Now in its third decade, that annual meeting has addressed topics ranging from the organic nature of a degree to the quality of undergraduate learning to meaningful pathways through general education and the distinctive qualities of twenty-first-century students. With the success of common conversations on higher education, the state system then launched a complementary gathering (known as the “majors meeting”) to focus on academic specializations, bringing together faculty from thirty-two disciplines and all campuses to examine the core contributions of their fields, the curricula they have established, policies for transfer, common course numbering, and strategies for assessment.5 Utah's in-state programs and national projects helped nurture habits of mind and forms of exchange that generated a considerable degree of faculty preparedness, engagement, and collaboration. Several outside groups saw the state as an interesting laboratory for educational experiments. One organization, the Lumina Foundation, invited the USHE system in 2008 to take part in Tuning USA, the three-state roll-out of a new approach to academic reform in the United States Tuning USA grew out of discussions in the European Union in 1999 with the launch of the Bologna Project. By reframing the meaning and form of credits, degrees, and learning, the Bologna initiative sought to provide “students with clear indications of what their paths through higher education look like, what levels of knowledge and skills will qualify them for degree awards, and what their degrees mean.” Tuning USA, the university response to the Bologna Project, focuses on identifying “points of reference, convergence, and common understanding” about the skills and learning goals of different disciplines. The project's informing question, while not easy to answer, addresses the main focus of educators in colleges and universities: “When students complete a program of study in a discipline, what should they know, understand, and be able to do?” By clarifying these points in a clear, straightforward fashion, program leaders (known as “tuners”) help students understand the information and skills necessary to move successfully through a chosen area of study—and on to further education, careers, and civic life. Tuning concentrates on the quality and outcomes of the disciplinary learning that takes place in higher education. Participants in the project try to improve courses, refine curricula, create meaningful pathways to degrees, and guide students in the strategies that will enable them to continue learning. Utah officials chose to launch the state's tuning work in two disciplines: history and physics.6 To those who had taken part in statewide discussions since the 1990s—and to the funders from the Lumina Foundation—Tuning USA seemed a natural outgrowth of the work that had long engaged Utah educators. And, indeed, the levels of familiarity, comfort, and confidence many faculty had built with one another through previous activities helped move the new discussions along. But the launch of Tuning USA in Utah in 2009 also revealed what colleagues still needed to accomplish. The Work of Historians in Utah Years of statewide meetings had brought in a fairly small number of department “representatives” rather than a large sample of faculty members. Those who did come together for USHE convenings also sensed that their attention to conference business tended to drift into the background as they became swamped with department work during the other months of the year. The discussions that had taken place across campuses commonly focused on issues tied to general education, transfer, articulation, and course numbering—all important but lacking the intensity (and heat) of discipline-focused values and outcomes, conversations that dug deeply into tender departmental considerations of curricula and course sequences. In addition, previous state discussions had encouraged—but had not systematically addressed—ways of determining if students actually achieved the goals set out for them. And while the state had spoken with employers about the alignment of broad institutional goals and career opportunities, similar conversations had not taken place at the discipline level. In other words, Utah's history team was familiar with the twenty-first-century world of academic reform—and knew that state leaders had carefully “tended” its growth—but recognized that its “blossoming” would require extra care. In contrast to the reports that came out of initial Tuning USA meetings among Utah's physics team, historians in the state steadily raised serious doubts and concerns about the project from the start, an observation that many colleagues may take as a point of pride rather than a sign of disciplinary dysfunction. Questions about the language, authority, and purpose of the project—along with historically appropriate concerns with the memory of past disciplinary reviews and the context of U.S. higher education—lent a skeptical and inquisitive tone to the conversations. An initial difficulty with the new initiative involved “translating” the European Union's Bologna Project into an American “idiom.” The history team saw a pressing need to build a vocabulary of academic reform and a structure for implementing change that corresponded to the decentralized, diverse, and multilevel nature of postsecondary education in the nation. On questions related to student abilities, for example, U.S. teams wrestled with the European term competences, comparing the term with the American usage of competent—indicating adequacy rather than mastery. The project also encountered marked skepticism from a number of history colleagues who saw the work as a sly scheme of standardization reminiscent of the highly politicized and contentious discussion of National History Standards in the 1990s. In addition, history colleagues found themselves haunted by traumatic recollections of past “assessment experiments” on their campuses and worried that Tuning USA would duplicate the unsatisfactory busywork and frustration of earlier projects.7 Perhaps the biggest obstacle to the success of the new project was timing. Utah's state system of education asked history and physics faculty to start disciplinary discussions during the depths of the great recession in the winter and spring of 2009. While the physics team did not report any striking and sustained problems at the start of the project, the initial response of history colleagues was particularly critical. I served as acting head of Utah State University's department of history and convened the first open discussion of the work. Not surprisingly, colleagues in the department exhibited little enthusiasm for the project. One of the first questions posed a chilling concern: “Why are we focusing on this kind of issue when we don't know who's going to have a job next year?” Subsequent comments spoke to frustration with past internal reviews, the “busywork” that would build up toward the close of the semester, and the poor prospects for any meaningful changes. Another issue raised by a faculty member called attention to a perceived failing of the department. Why, one colleague asked, should we address these abstract “outcomes” when we have a bigger problem: we steer majors into a senior capstone research project that many do not pass because they are so poorly prepared for the work. Colleagues then gave a series of examples of students who had no idea how to use primary sources, how to create an annotated bibliography, how to compare conflicting sources, how to write a thesis statement—the list went on and on. But after about ten minutes of complaints, the conversation took a decidedly different turn, with another faculty question: “Who instructs students on using library resources? Who has a unit on historiography? Who talks about the structure of a journal article?” One by one, faculty began to talk about the exercises they offered in classes and the types of assignments they could add in the future. A critical conversation suddenly became remarkably constructive. And unbeknown to all of us, our department had somehow stumbled into a “backward design” approach to our discipline, starting with the endpoint for student work and working backward to identify where majors would pick up the knowledge and skills they would need to apply to their concluding project.8 Problems remained, however, with the discussion of our discipline's “learning outcomes,” a phrase that was awkward and unfamiliar to everyone in the room. One colleague suggested, “Tell them we develop critical thinking. Then sign the form and hand it in.” When the laughter died down, I said that every discipline on campus would claim the same contribution. We needed to clarify what set history's approach apart. But as faculty wrestled with this question (for most of us, the first time in our careers), the group struggled to find the right words to describe our discipline's distinctive qualities. Disciplinary organizations in other fields (such as physics) had long provided statements of core expectations and standards; resources for historians, however, were fairly limited. Fortunately, historians in the United Kingdom and Australia had already created statements of learning outcomes for their own tuning projects. Along with literature on assessment from the American Historical Association (AHA), our faculty had a useful set of starting points.9 Following the model from the United Kingdom, the Utah State history department formed a set of objectives around three major categories of disciplinary work: historical knowledge, historical thinking, and historical skills—each broken into a range of goals focusing on issues of content, strategies of analysis, and transferable proficiencies. Having composed the first version of an outcomes statement, we offered the document as a provisional model for the state's Tuning USA team. Our colleagues appreciated having a baseline statement to work with and took the document back to their home departments. Faculty members across Utah voiced questions and concerns, discussed the statement, suggested a series of fairly minor revisions, and brought the outcomes document back to the statewide group—which quickly reached consensus on its wording. For the first time, the history team began to understand how a presumably contentious and individualistic collection of academics could come to agreement on the core values and goals of our disciplinary work.10 The history team then received additional help from Margaret McGlynn, a colleague in history at the University of Western Ontario, whose department had already created a model for developing learning outcomes step-by-step over the course of a four-year bachelor's degree program. The statement shared by McGlynn suggested how faculty working in a range of introductory to advanced courses could incrementally strengthen the knowledge and proficiencies we outlined for our students. The “benchmarks,” presented as a set of proposals rather than a fixed “formula,” provided the Utah group with a clear, sequential, and concrete outline of the goals that instructors could set out year by year for majors.11 While the proposals from Canada focused on four-year degrees, the Utah history team quickly understood that colleagues from the state's major two-year institution, Salt Lake Community College (SLCC), had already put in place two systematic models for advancing student learning that four-year campuses had not yet developed. The first was a framework for all of the SLCC general education courses that contributed to the associate's degree. The goal of the broad program was to prepare students for the work they would undertake when they transferred to a four-year program. Courses offered by the SLCC history department not only stressed the range of written, oral, and analytical skills central to the institution's rigorous general education program but also outlined a variety of “assessments” to gauge the level of student mastery within these objectives. The second model in place at SLCC was a system of “e-portfolios” that students continually constructed. The electronic files held a pair of folders, one containing the significant “signature” assignments that students completed for different general education classes and the other containing the students' reflections on the construction and evaluation of the works. The portfolios helped students sense the ways course components of general education cohered and allowed them to explain how their thinking had evolved and matured over time.12 Back in their home departments, colleagues reported that Tuning USA work sparked a wide range of proposals and experiments in classes and curricula. Utah State inaugurated a premajor program requiring students to complete a sequence of introductory history classes and recommended general education offerings before enrolling in upper-division course work. Utah Valley University set up collaborative teams of full-time and adjunct faculty to develop shared objectives for lower-division classes. Weber State University refined departmental expectations for reading and writing skills. Faculty at the University of Utah called attention to programs preparing K–12 teachers in history and social studies, offering what one colleague on the history team called “basic training” for the world of public education. And several departments, after examining how our learning outcomes “mapped” to existing course offerings, recognized the need to offer new classes on historical methods, theory, and craft.13 Historians in Utah's postsecondary institutions also began a more systematic effort to collect information on what students gained from their course work. Some faculty relied on information from evaluative rubrics to understand the strengths and weaknesses of student work on specific assignments. Other colleagues developed assignments that were more closely aligned with the stated learning outcomes for particular courses. Many faculty worked carefully on the questions posed to students in “course evaluation” forms, framing their queries around the stated learning outcomes for a class. Some colleagues experimented with the “learning outcomes and assessment” features of the Canvas course management system purchased by the USHE system. And Utah State developed an electronic “exit interview” form sent to graduating seniors to learn if they were planning to go to graduate school, seek employment in private firms, or work in the public sector.14 A major advantage of participating in a well-funded project was that the history and physics teams benefited from thoughtful discussions with outside “stakeholders” in higher education—particularly as we considered the career paths of our graduates. The Lumina Foundation grant provided the support needed for a series of professionally led focus group discussions with key Utah employers. One set of meetings concentrated on employers of history teachers, a second with employers in public history, and a third with companies and agencies that hired physics graduates. These discussions allowed us to engage in thoughtful conversations about employers' experiences with our graduates. One key finding from the discussions gave faculty participants a considerable sense of relief and encouragement: employers and faculty valued remarkably similar skills sets in graduates. Through this work, team members learned that considerable convergence existed between the qualities academics value in higher education and the interests that others hold.15 Utah historians returned for multiple meetings on their project, coming together for specific Tuning USA discussions, following up at departmental majors' meetings, and offering presentations at other statewide education conferences. At the center of the work were continuing conversations focused on core goals, curricula, course organization, graduate education, and career prospects. Utah's approach to disciplinary outcomes soon expanded when, in 2011, the Lumina Foundation endorsed a supplementary academic project, the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP). Widening faculty discussions from a starting point in general education to specific fields of study to full associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree programs, the DQP asked what students should know, understand, and be able to do at the completion of a degree. Utah historians, who had already framed their discipline within general education programs and the elements of a major, quickly recognized the relation of history to the multiple components of an entire degree, understanding how expectations would “ratchet up” from an associate's degree to a bachelor's degree to a master's degree. Once again, colleagues could picture themselves as academic versions of Russian nesting dolls: satisfying teaching responsibilities situated within particular courses, courses that are part of a larger curriculum, that contribute to a broader program, and that lead to a completed degree.16 Discussions on these subjects were so promising, the curriculum changes so significant, and the tone of conversations so collegial that two Utah State historians—Norm Jones and I—encouraged the president and general counsel of the Lumina Foundation to consider expanding the Tuning USA project in an entirely new way: through the endorsement and coordination of a prestigious scholarly society. By February 2012, through the efforts of the foundation and the AHA executive director James Grossman, a new American Historical Association History Tuning Project began. Across two stages of the project, the AHA brought together over 150 faculty members on 120 campuses to discuss the nature of historical study, work collaboratively across two- and four-year institutions, develop a “discipline core” of key goals and skills, reframe survey courses, address enrollment issues, and clarify career prospects for history majors.17 Similar to the patterns followed in Utah, the AHA project drew from—and updated—past discussions of issues tied to teaching and learning. Participants came from both two- and four-year campuses. The project's members met repeatedly at annual conferences and at national and regional tuning project meetings. The work emphasized personal, face-to-face discussions. The project's core reference points were regularly reexamined, and the AHA built out from the base established by Tuning USA to move into additional, integrated projects tackling survey classes, course exercises, new technologies, doctoral preparation, and related issues that have sustained the momentum of disciplinary discussions. Themes of collaboration, conversation, connections, and continuity, along with a commitment to faculty leadership, have helped cultivate the work of historians within one state and throughout a national organization. Ten Key Take-Aways Again, it is not likely that others could (or should) try to copy the experience of a particular state. The distinctive circumstances operating within one-fiftieth of the nation would be difficult to capture even if a desire to reproduce one set of campus changes existed. And the possibilities of replication diminish even further for independent, private institutions that operate without connection to (or directions from) public agencies of higher education. But a number of broader lessons from Utah's experiments can offer guidance to colleagues working to reframe the history major within their respective campuses. A Starting Point: Perhaps the most helpful piece of advice that Utah teams carried throughout their work—and a point we historians should bear in mind—came from a research group in New York City that facilitates complex discussions. Public Agenda, in a report on the contentious topic of campus productivity, urged leaders to recognize an effective starting point for any difficult discussion: “Begin where people are, not where you want them to be.” The “cultivation” of the history major might, at first, appear to be a subject on which there is a ready-made consensus. But it does not take long for conversations to reveal considerable divides among faculty themselves—let alone among instructors, students, administrators, and stakeholders. The very call for a reexamination of the major can spark doubt, disagreement, and division. Rather than starting off with an announcement of a new plan, Public Agenda suggests “engaging faculty first around those issues that they care most deeply about and building from there.”18 Kicking Off a Conversation: How might an “engaging” exchange among historians begin? Anne Hyde, the faculty director of the AHA History Tuning Project, suggested one way to launch a discussion. Admitting that her proposal sounded “crazy,” Hyde wondered what might happen during “a first meeting of the academic year where no one talked about budgets, assessment, course assignments, or parking. What if we all started the year discussing what disciplinary ideals link us as historians and how we might best introduce those to our students?” In other words, Hyde suggested that faculty simply have an opportunity to talk about the reasons they got into this line of work, the passions that have kept them engaged in research and teaching, and the goals that drive them in their courses. Instead of beginning a project with a dreary account of tasks we require, hear from colleagues about points that inspire.19 Again, in the case of Utah, discussions began at a much broader level, addressing the purposes and aspirations behind general education rather than a particular discipline. But that might not be a point of departure available to many colleagues. Hyde's suggestions are likely more appropriate. However the conversation begins, make note of the words history faculty use to describe their commitment and engagement to the field. Their language will help colleagues who are new to this type of disciplinary reflection build a working vocabulary for their discussions and documents. Anticipate Skepticism: Despite a high-minded start, be prepared for different kinds of responses. Not everyone will be cheery and uplifted by the exercise. It is tempting to write off the negativity as a sign of faculty resistance and suspicion. But there may well be another problem at work: the recollections that haunt faculty about past assessment efforts. Colleagues who endured various types of academic self-study from the mid-1980s through the early 2000s may recall the kinds of strategies that followed up on faultfinding studies ranging from A Nation at Risk (1983) to the Commission on the Future of Higher Education's A Test of Leadership (2006). Assessment efforts that responded to the critiques were often top-down, one-size-fits-all, skeptical of faculty evaluations of student work, heavily dependent on external, standardized tests, and keenly focused on compliance with political mandates. The work did not sit well with many faculty. Bad memories are difficult to shake, and reform advocates may have to patiently lead some assessment aversion–therapy sessions to help their colleagues feel comfortable with another discussion on the topic.20 Assessment Has Changed: The good news is that contemporary practice has undergone a remarkable transformation, including a rigorous “reassessment of assessment.” Its emphasis now rests on bottom-up efforts that are faculty-led and discipline-centered, building projects that address the guidance (not simply the compliance) that good assessment can offer about student learning, that recognize the importance of multiple “measurements” of knowledge and skills, and that focus on the work actual students do in actual classrooms with actual instructors on actual assignments. Good assessment still provides one way of demonstrating “accountability” in higher education. But its added value comes from encouraging regular faculty conversations about the strengths (and struggles) of those enrolled in our courses and programs—and determining the best possible exercises and curricula that can assist students in the development of their learning.21 See What Others Have Done: This issue of the Journal of American History (JAH) should be a reminder that you are not alone in your effort to join a broader conversation about the state of our discipline. Colleagues in departments across the nation have worked for a decade on ways to respond to the March 2008 alert sent out by the past AHA president Gabrielle Spiegel in her essay “A Triple ‘A’ Threat: Accountability, Assessment, Accreditation.” Urging historians to lead (rather than evade) discussions on the nature, place, and contributions of the discipline in higher education, Spiegel called for a proactive response from the profession. She warned that inactivity or avoidance would create a power vacuum that others (with no disciplinary expertise) would fill: “if we don't craft the instruments of assessment, then the state or federal government surely will.” Fortunately, historians have responded thoughtfully, creatively, and abundantly to the call. Those just starting on the work have many resources available to guide their efforts. Recent “Textbooks and Teaching” sections of the JAH explored globalized courses, guidance on assessment, and developments in digital courses. The AHA's monthly magazine, Perspectives on History, and the Organization of American Historians publication The American Historian, continually discuss issues tied to teaching and learning. Two major AHA projects—“Tuning the History Discipline in the United States” and “Career Diversity for Historians”—also provide valuable documents, discussions, and videos tied to disciplinary outcomes, curricula, and occupational opportunities. The International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning offers a Web site focused on recent research in history. The National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment has filled the “Resource Library” tab on its Web site with information on topics such as tuning, the degree qualifications profile, the assignment library, and case studies of curriculum changes on different campuses. Be sure to look at the guidance provided by historians in the European Union for over a decade through the work of the History Subject Area Group and the Web site Clioh.net, guided by Robert Wagenaar and Ann Katherine Isaacs. The Tuning Academy, founded by scholars from the University of Deusto and the University of Groningen, supplies resources from 120 countries and fifty disciplines on tuning in higher education worldwide. The information from all of these organizations is meant to be widely shared, copied, revised, and applied. Historians need not begin their disciplinary review from a blank page.22 Work Backward: Even with guidance from distant departments and help from colleagues at home, it can be difficult for a department to revise, reframe, or reinvent a program of study. Starting at square one and looking at the discipline through the eyes of an entering student, where do we begin to talk about the principles, components, and navigation of a history major? It may be helpful to flip the discussion upside down. Instead of looking at how the program opens, consider how it closes. Is there, for example, a capstone course that requires a major research project? It may prove helpful (especially if the course rotates among many instructors) to reach agreement on the levels of knowledge and skill students should have mastered before enrolling in the class. The next question to ask: Where in earlier classes do students pick up that basis of knowledge and skill? For example, if the capstone project requires students to write an original piece of historical scholarship grounded in primary-source research, which previous courses introduce students to the nature, location, and analysis of those documents? Do colleagues provide assignments that build skills in information literacy, the interrogation of sources, the mechanics of notes and bibliographies, and other fundamental proficiencies? Such a discussion helps locate (or “map”) the courses in a program of study that address particular outcomes. At the same time, faculty engage in a version of what is called “backward design,” reflecting on the way the major concludes rather than commences and determining the prior learning that students need to bring to each advanced piece of course work they encounter.23 Keep at It: At the heart of historical inquiry rests the discipline's attention to change over time. The question informs our understanding of political movements, market forces, social orders, and cultural constructions. It should hardly come as a surprise when we witness considerable change over time in the way historians envision their own field of study. We should be the last academics to expect that discussions on the framing, shape, and components of a curriculum would wrap up in a single session. Do not assume that a thoughtful review of the discipline is a one-time exercise. The work that our eight institutions tackled in Utah is a reminder that established outcomes will likely come up for reexamination. At the national level, the AHA History Tuning Project encountered a similar set of issues in building its “discipline core.” A working group outlined the preliminary document in January 2012; late that year the tuning group announced an initial version of the core; in September 2013 they released a revised version; in December 2016 an update of the revised core appeared. Recognize that conversations on disciplinary goals will be ongoing—as will discussions on the design of a workable curriculum, the exercises that best capture desired skills, and the measures that reveal meaningful levels of student learning.24 Move the Discussion from “My Course” to “Our Curriculum”: Faculty members who bear responsibility for a class as the “instructor of record” understandably think about their course assignments in personal, individualized terms. After all, accountability for all parts of the class falls on one person's shoulders. They are the ones who have to answer to students, administrators, and committees about the work that occurs in a classroom. Those with a continuing faculty line who receive regular assignments in a particular course may gradually develop a sense of ownership over the class as a piece of personal property. Even the title and catalog placement of a course may fix its identity and function in precise and relatively narrow learning terms. In other words, the common structural models for teaching duties and course descriptions can easily reinforce the idea of guarding “my course” within a carefully defined frame of reference. The idea that instructors might coordinate the work of a course with other faculty in a logical sequence of classes—or clarify how the course might best integrate with other programs outside of a department—can seem like an intrusion into one's teaching space. But if we want to build shared learning outcomes, create progressively expanding knowledge and skills, and clarify the relation between majors and other programs of study, educators need to shift their thinking from “my course” to “our curriculum.” Our attention should focus on a range of issues: how one history class or teaching assignment links to another in a coherent disciplinary framework; the way an introductory course might satisfy the goals of historians as well as the expectations of a general education program; how a lower-division class from a two-year institution can transfer smoothly to a four-year course of study; how upper-level classes might connect with the goals of interdisciplinary studies. In all of these issues, we want to understand “how the various elements of undergraduate education come together (or don't) to provide a coherent student learning experience.” Sealing off a course in a private and isolated fashion blocks the kind of collaborative, intentional, and sequential education our academic initiatives aim to provide.25 Work with an Inclusive Notion of “Educators”: Stop to consider who sits at the table for conversations about disciplinary goals. Do tenure-track faculty define and lead discussion? Who else holds responsibility for instructing students in courses, disciplinary skills, and pathways to a degree? In all likelihood, a history department also draws on the talents of part-time teachers, one-year appointments, and postdoctoral lecturers who lead classes in the program. These colleagues should be part of the regular discussions if a department intends to build a coherent curriculum with a shared sense of commitment and expectations from all instructors. In addition, others on campus also play essential roles in course work and student learning. For example, librarians should hold a prominent place in discussions, explaining the kinds of resources and assistance they offer to students (and faculty) in the work of historical research and information literacy. Another group to invite are the academic advisers who meet (and speak frankly) with students on course selection, paths to degrees, and the meaningful values of disciplinary work. What might discussions with admissions officers reveal about the language their office uses to describe the work and goals of historical study? These are just some of the people on campus who can help us convey, clarify, and reiterate a consistent set of messages about the objectives of historical study.26 Make Ourselves Understood: Among the many learning outcomes that history departments declare, one of the most common focuses on the ability of graduates to communicate clearly and effectively. The discipline takes justifiable pride in the way history programs help majors investigate problems, identify reliable sources, analyze information, contextualize complex questions, and express their arguments in a straightforward, understandable fashion for different audiences. It is the kind of outcome historians should practice while explaining the nature and character of the discipline. Remember that we want to describe the work and contributions of historical study to a wide range of groups, including students, parents, administrators, legislators, and employers, few of whom will be specialists in our field. A good part of the effort involves demystifying the discipline. That means stating our goals and ideals in clear, direct, and accessible language. Avoid jargon, acronyms, and specialized terms, and recognize that the skills, insights, and strategies of historical study that are self-evident to us probably remain clouded and obscure to others. Joan Middendorf and David Pace have expressed the task as one focused on “decoding the discipline”—a phrase used by experienced tuning advocates who remind us of the need to “make the implicit explicit.” In other words, our discussions should pull back the curtain on our disciplinary work, explain what we take for granted, reveal how we pursue our study, and clarify what we contribute to our students' learning, careers, and civic life.27 The projects in which so many historians and organizations find themselves involved continue to expand. Much work lies ahead: addressing issues of equity in higher education; gathering meaningful data on student learning; shaping malleable and manageable pathways to degrees; building enrollment in the history major; and helping students construct a persuasive narrative of their educational experience. Even for those committed to broad academic reform, the prospect of “initiative fatigue” looms over all the endeavors. How many reform projects are simply too much to handle and stretch faculty in too many different directions? One way to approach the problem is to ensure projects that compound also converge, constantly referring back to a shared center and purpose. That common ground is best located in the fundamental issue of learning. Faculty are best prepared for this work—and most likely to sustain their efforts—when they can move out from (and back to) thoughtful discussions of the disciplinary learning about which they are most informed and passionate. In other words, collaborative networks work well among faculty who are able to “stay tuned.”28 1 Ann Leffler et al., “Faculty Collaboration and Statewide General Education Reform,” in General Education and Student Transfer: Fostering Intentionality and Coherence in State Systems, ed. Robert Shoenberg (Washington, 2005), 25–33, esp. 33, http://digitalcommons.csbsju.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1007&context=oarca_pubs. 2 Norm Jones, “LEAPing in Utah: Lessons Learned along the Way,” Peer Review, 13 (Spring 2011),16–19, esp. 16, https://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/leaping-utah-lessons-learned-along-way. 3 At its founding in 1992, the group was originally called the General Education Task Force, but the name was later changed to Regents' Task Force for General Education, after the Utah Board of Regents approved the group's policy. The task force did not originally represent all public institutions of higher learning, but by the late 1990s the committee did include all campuses. Phyllis Safman to Daniel J. McInerney, June 2, 2017 e-mail (in Daniel J. McInerney's possession). Jones, “LEAPing in Utah,” 16–17. With expanding discussions came a shift in the formal nature of the General Education Task Force. The ad hoc group became a standing committee. 4 On early trends in the statewide discussions of educational reforms, see Jones, “LEAPing in Utah”; and Leffler et al., “Faculty Collaboration and Statewide General Education Reform,” 25–33. On stepping back from a command-based approach to education, see Jones, “LEAPing in Utah,”; and Leffler et al., “Faculty Collaboration and Statewide General Education Reform,” 33. Key organizers came from a range of disciplines and an array of institutional projects: Ann Leffler, a sociologist, directed Utah State University's Liberal Arts and Science Program; Reba Lou Keele, with a focus on rhetoric, public address, and educational psychology, served as dean of undergraduate education at the University of Utah; Norman L. Jones, an Elizabethan scholar at Utah State University, brought a wide range of experience in department leadership, curriculum design, and assessment strategies; and Phyllis Safman, trained in adult development and learning, worked as associate dean of continuing education at the University of Utah and assistant commissioner for academic affairs at the Utah System of Higher Education. Safman secured for the state a wide range of grants addressing questions of teaching, learning, and assessment and also offered her expertise to multiple regional and national organizations: the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, and the Western Academic Leadership Forum. Safman and Jones also helped establish a strong and ongoing partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU), a national group that advocates for the value of undergraduate liberal education through a wide range of initiatives. On the AACU, see https://www.aacu.org/. Randall S. Davies and David Williams, “Utah Tuning Project,” Tuning Journal for Higher Education, 2 (June 2015), 235–51, esp. 239. See also Benjamin Wood, “Utah Colleges, Universities ‘Tune’ Degrees to Align Student Outcomes,” Deseret News (Salt Lake City), May 4, 2014. 5 Jones, “LEAPing in Utah,” 16–17. 6 Clifford Adelman, “The Bologna Club: What U.S. Higher Education Can Learn from a Decade of European Reconstruction,” May 2008, p. xv, http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED501332.pdf. For a broad and updated discussion of the Bologna Club, see “The Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area,” n.d., http://ec.europa.eu/education/policy/higher-education/bologna-process_en. Tuning Project, “Tuning Educational Structures in Europe: Reference Points for the Design and Delivery of Degree Programmes in European Studies,” n.d., p. v, Tuning Academy, tuningacademy.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/RefEuropeanStudies_EU_EN.pdf. For additional overviews, see Web sites devoted to tuning in the European Union and the United States at Tuning Educational Structures in Europe, http://www.unideusto.org/tuningeu/; and Tuning Academy, http://tuningacademy.org/?lang=en; and Degree Qualifications Profile, http://degreeprofile.org/resource-kit/tuning/. For a tuning project guidebook, see David W. Marshall, “Tuning: A Guide for Creating Discipline-Specific Frameworks to Foster Meaningful Change,” April 2017, http://degreeprofile.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/TuningProcessReportFINAL.pdf. 7 On the results of Tuning USA meetings among Utah's physics team, see William E. Evenson, “Strengthening Student Learning through ‘Tuning,’” Synesis: A Journal of Science, Technology, Ethics, and Policy, 3 (no. 1, 2012), 18–24. On questions about the language, authority, and purpose of Tuning USA, see Davies and Williams, “Utah Tuning Project,” 245. On the National History Standards, see Gary B. Nash, Charlotte Antoinette Crabtree, and Ross E. Dunn, History on Trial: Culture Wars and the Teaching of the Past (New York, 2000); Gary B. Nash, “The History Standards Controversy and Social History,” Journal of Social History, 29 (Dec. 1995), 39–49; and Diane Ravitch, “The Controversy over National History Standards,” Bulletin of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 51 (Jan.–Feb.1998), 14–28. Davies and Williams, “Utah Tuning Project,” 245. 8 Pat Hutchings, Natasha A. Jankowski, and Peter T. Ewell, “Catalyzing Assignment Design Activity on Your Campus: Lessons from NILOA's Assignment Library Initiative,” Nov. 2014, pp. 8–9, http://www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/Assignment_report_Nov.pdf. 9 For learning outcomes for history programs in the United Kingdom, see Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, “Subject Benchmark Statement: History,” June 2014, http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/SBS-consultation-history.pdf. For Australian learning outcomes, see http://ec.europa.eu/education/international-cooperation/documents/australia/tuning_en.pdf. The assessment literature from the American Historical Association includes “Assessment in History: A Guide to Best Practices,” American Historical Association, https://secure.historians.org/members/services/cgi-bin/msascartdll.dll/productInfo?PRODUCTCD=pm322; Philip M. Katz, “Retrieving the Master's Degree from the Dustbin of History: A Report to the Members of the American Historical Association,” ibid., http://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/historicalarchives/retrieving-the-masters-degree-from-the-dustbin-of-history; and Michael Galgano, “Liberal Learning and the History Major,” ibid., https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/governance/divisions/teaching/liberal-learning-and-the-history-major. For other assessment literature, see “The History Major and Undergraduate Liberal Education: Report of the National History Center Working Group to the Teagle Foundation,” Sept. 29, 2008, http://www.teaglefoundation.org/Teagle/media/GlobalMediaLibrary/documents/resources/The_History_Major_and_Undergraduate_Education.pdf?ext=.pdf. 10 For an early version of history outcomes, see “Learning Outcomes, Undergraduate Program,” n.d., https://utahtuning.weebly.com/upload/1/4/6/9/14699846/learning_outcomes_usu_history_undergraduate_major.pdf. For a revised and updated statement of learning objectives, see “Learning Objects,” n.d., Utah State University Department of History, http://history.usu.edu/about/learning-objectives. 11 Phyllis Safman, “Tuning USA Interim Report—Utah, November 18, 2009,” pp. 18–20, Utah Tuning: Defining Learning Outcomes for Post-Secondary Degrees, http://utahtuning.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/6/9/14699846/interim_report_nov2009.pdf. 12 ibid., 53–55. For information on Salt Lake Community College's e-portfolio initiative, see “Electronic Portfolios at SLCC,” Salt Lake Community College, http://www.slcc.edu/gened/eportfolio/. 13 On the Utah State University history department premajor program, see “Utah State University History Major,” July 2015, https://history.usu.edu/files/Sum15-Sp16.pdf. The department's experiment with a premajor and sequenced pathways led the Utah State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences to adopt the approach for all students. See Utah State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences, “Preparing for Degrees, Careers, and Lives: Pathways through General Education,” http://history.usu.edu/files/uploads/Assessment/PathwaysBrochure.pdf. Phyllis Safman, “Lumina Foundation for Education Grantee Interim Narrative Report,” May 31, 2012, pp. 36–52, Utah Tuning, https://utahtuning.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/6/9/14699846/report.5.30.12.pdf. 14 Utah State historians used a series of rubrics in lower- and upper-division courses, as well as a common rubric, to evaluate all senior theses in the department's capstone course for majors. See “Senior Capstone Learning Outcomes Rubric,” Utah State University Department of History, http://history.usu.edu/files/upload/senior%20capstone%20rubric.pdf. For examples of assignments aligned with learning outcomes, see “Assessing Student Learning: Samples of Skills-Based Courses and Skills-Based Course Assignments,” ibid., http://history.usu.edu/files/uploads/Assessment/Assessing_student_learning_web_site.pdf. The course evaluation system used at Utah State University and thousands of institutions across the United States is IDEA: Individual Development and Educational Assessment. On the methods and data collection used by IDEA, see “Improving Learning in Higher Education since 1975,” IDEA, http://ideaedu.org/. On Canvas learning outcomes and assessment, see “How Do I Use the Learning Mastery Gradebook to View Outcome Results in a Course?,” Canvas, https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-10190. For the results of the May 2014 survey of Utah State graduating seniors, see “Exit Survey with Graduating Students,” May 2014, Utah State University, http://history.usu.edu/files/uploads/Assessment/Graduate_survey_May_2014.pdf. 15 Phyllis Safman, “Lumina Foundation Grantee Final Narrative Report,” May 31, 2014, pp. 71–72, 105–6, Utah Tuning, https://utahtuning.weebly.com/uploads/1/4/6/9/14699846/report.7.15.14.pdf. For an introduction to focus-group discussions, see Martha Ann Carey and Jo-Ellen Asbury, Focus Group Research (New York, 2012). “Report on Research with Employers of Graduates with History Majors: Executive Summary,” 2010, Utah State University, http://history.usu.edu/files/uploads/Assessment/EmployerFocusGroupReportonHistoryMajorsDec2010.pdf. Daniel McInerney, “Bringing the ‘Big Ideas’ of Gen Ed Reform to Life with Faculty and Students,” paper delivered at the Association of American Colleges and Universities Conference on General Education and Assessment, Phoenix, Feb. 23, 2017 (in McInerney's possession). For an example of employment survey data, see “Employment Data,” Utah State University, http://history.usu.edu/files/uploads/Employment%20data.pdf. 16 Lumina Foundation, “The Degree Qualifications Profile,” 2014, http://degreeprofile.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/DQP-web-download-reference-points-FINAL.pdf. McInerney, “Bringing the ‘Big Ideas’ of Gen Ed Reform to Life with Faculty and Students.” 17 On the expanding resources and ongoing discussions of the American Historical Association (AHA) History Tuning Project, see “Tuning the History Discipline in the United States,” American Historical Association, https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/tuning-the-history-discipline. 18 Alison Kadlec and Will Friedman, “Changing the Conversation about Productivity: Strategies for Engaging Faculty and Institutional Leaders,” 2010, pp. 3, 10, Public Agenda, https://www.publicagenda.org/files/changing_conversation_college_productivity.pdf. 19 Anne Hyde, “Tuning and Teaching History as an Ethical Way of Being in the World,” July 17, 2014, online posting, AHA Today blog, http://blog.historians.org/2014/07/tuning-teaching-history-ethical-way-world/. 20 National Commission on Excellence in Education, A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform (Washington, 1983); Commission on the Future of Higher Education, A Test of Leadership: Charting the Future of U.S. Higher Education (Washington, 2006). Some of the most thoughtful and open discussions with critics occurred during the first year of the AHA History Tuning Project, including the exchange between the AHA executive director James Grossman and an organization member, Christopher Doyle. See James Grossman, “Tuning in the History Major,” Perspectives on History, April 2012, http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/april-2012/tuning-in-to-the-history-major; Christopher Doyle, “On Historians, Tuning, and Markets,” ibid., Sept. 2012, http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2012/letter-to-the-editor-on-historians-tuning-and-markets; and James Grossman, “Response to On Historians, Tuning, and Markets,” ibid., http://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/september-2012/letter-to-the-editor-response-to-on-historians-tuning-and-markets. 21 Douglas D. Roscoe, “Toward an Improvement Paradigm for Academic Quality,” Liberal Education, 103 (Winter 2017), 21. Peter T. Ewell, “Assessment and Accountability in America Today: Background and Context,” New Directions for Institutional Research, 1 (Fall 2008), 7–17; Pat Hutchings, “Opening Doors to Faculty Involvement in Assessment,” April 2010, http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/documents/PatHutchings_000.pdf; Pat Hutchings, “DQP Case Study: Kansas City Kansas Community College,” July 2014, http://www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/KCKCC/DQP%20KCKCC.pdf; George D. Kuh et al., “Knowing What Students Know and Can Do: The Current State of Learning Outcomes Assessment at U.S. Colleges and Universities,” Jan. 2014, http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/documents/2013%20Abridged%20Survey%20Report%20Final.pdf; National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, “Higher Education Quality: Why Documenting Learning Matters. A Policy Statement from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment,” May 2016, http://www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/NILOA_statement.html; Trudy W. Banta, Peter T. Ewell, and Cynthia A. Cogswell, “Tracing Assessment Practice as Reflected in Assessment Update,” Oct. 2016, http://learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/Occasional%20Paper%2028.pdf; Terrel Rhodes, “The VALUE of Learning: Meaningful Assessment on the Rise,” Liberal Education, 103 (Winter 2017), 22–27; Roscoe, “Toward an Improvement Paradigm for Academic Quality,” 14–21. 22 Gabrielle M. Spiegel, “A Triple ‘A’ Threat: Accountability, Assessment, Accreditation,” Perspectives on History, 46 (March 2008), https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/march-2008/a-triple-a-threat-accountability-assessment-accreditation. “Resources for Tuning the History Discipline,” American Historical Association, https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/teaching-resources-for-historians/resources-for-tuning-the-history-discipline; “Career Diversity Resources,” ibid., https://www.historians.org/jobs-and-professional-development/career-diversity-for-historians/career-diversity-resources. On the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in History, see http://www.indiana.edu/~histsotl/blog/. For examples of resources from the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, see National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/publications.html. On the History Subject Area Group and Clioh.net, see Ann Katherine Isaacs, “Tuning and History: A Personal Overview,” Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 16 (no. 4, 2017), 403–9. On the Tuning Academy, see Tuning: Educational Structures in Europe, http://www.unideusto.org/. 23 Kay Pippin Uchiyama and Jean L. Radin, “Curriculum Mapping in Higher Education: A Vehicle for Collaboration,” Innovative Higher Education, 33 (Jan. 2009), 271–80; Natasha Jankowski, “Mapping Learning Outcomes: What You Map Is What You See,” Sept. 12, 2014, http://learningoutcomesassessment.org/Presentations/Mapping.pdf. Grant P. Wiggins and Jay McTighe, Understanding by Design (Alexandria, 2005), 18–34; Stanley O. Ikenberry and George D. Kuh, “From Compliance to Ownership: Why and How Colleges and Universities Assess Student Learning,” in Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education, by George D. Kuh et al. (San Francisco, 2015), 1–26, esp. 18. 24 “AHA History Tuning Project: 2016 History Discipline Core,” Dec. 2016, American Historical Association, https://www.historians.org/teaching-and-learning/tuning-the-history-discipline/2016-history-discipline-core. 25 Pat Hutchings and Natasha Jankowski, “Rethinking Boundaries: Bringing General Education and the Discipline Together,” Spectra, 51 (Nov. 2015), 25–26. Pat Hutchings, Aligning Educational Outcomes and Practices, Jan. 2016, http://www.learningoutcomesassessment.org/documents/Occasional%20Paper%2026.pdf; Michael Scarlett, “Moving from Courses to a Curriculum,” Jan. 1, 2015, Augustana Digital Commons, http://digitalcommons.augustana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1000&context=educfaculty. 26 For resources on issues facing contingent faculty, compiled by Adrianna Kezar, see The Delphi Project on the Changing Faculty and Student Success, http://www.thechangingfaculty.org/resources.html. Hutchings, Aligning Educational Outcomes and Practices; Scarlett, “Moving from Courses to a Curriculum.” Natasha A. Jankowski and David W. Marshall, “Roadmap to Enhanced Student Learning: Implementing the DQP and Tuning,” Dec. 9, 2014, p. 12, https://www.luminafoundation.org/resources/roadmap-to-enhanced-student-learning. John H. Schuh and Ann M. Gansemer-Topf, “The Role of Student Affairs in Student Learning Assessment,” Dec. 2010, http://www.learningoutcomeassessment.org/documents/StudentAffairsRole.pdf. 27 Joan Mittendorf and David Pace, “Decoding the Disciplines: Helping Students Learn Disciplinary Ways of Thinking,” New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 2004 (Summer 2004), 1–110; Holiday Hart McKiernan and Tim Birtwistle, “Making the Implicit Explicit: Demonstrating the Value Added of Higher Education by a Qualifications Framework,” Journal of College and University Law, 36 (no. 2, 2010), 511–64. 28 George D. Kuh and Pat Hutchings, “Assessment and Initiative Fatigue: Keeping the Focus on Learning,” in Using Evidence of Student Learning to Improve Higher Education, by Kuh et al., 183–200. © The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Organization of American Historians. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

Journal

The Journal of American HistoryOxford University Press

Published: Mar 1, 2018

There are no references for this article.

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create lists to
organize your research

Export lists, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off