Assessment Plan

The History Department measures its effectiveness at various points in the students’ time as majors in three distinct ways:

  • Major Courses: First, the department has developed a list of learning objectives, and each course in the major targets two to three learning objectives. Faculty list these objectives in their syllabi and grade using according to these objectives. Every two years, faculty “test” the objectives in their courses using pre- and post-exams or targeted writing assignments.
  • HIST 3000 & 4990 Written Work: We also collect and analyze written data from students in our two required courses: HIST 3000 (the sophomore-level historical research methods course) and HIST 4990 (the senior capstone).
    • Members of the history department, including those on the Assessment Committee, perform inter-rater reliability work for HIST 3000 and HIST 4990 data. In 2022-23, the Assessment Committee produced two new rubrics for internal assessment for projects in HIST 3000 and senior capstone papers in HIST 4990. See the rubrics below. The Assessment Committee works with instructors in HIST 3000 and HIST 4990 to create a random, de-identified sampling of projects to assess according to the rubrics that correspond to our learning objectives. About 20 projects/papers are chosen each year from all sections of HIST 3000 and all sections of HIST 4990.
    • After assessing and tabulating results from the inter-reliability rating for written work, the Assessment Committee discusses and provides a report to the faculty during a department meeting. The department should review the provided materials and results, discussing the results. Members of the department are encouraged to review the provided materials and results, providing suggestions for programmatic and curricular changes.
  • HIST 4990 Oral Presentations: The Assessment Committee, in cooperation with the Department Head and 4990 instructors collect oral presentations from HIST 4990 students that are based on their capstone papers. These oral presentations are assessed by departmental faculty using a standard rubric provided below.

In spring 2023, the history department agreed that an appropriate benchmark for all internal assessments was to have scores in the “meets expectations” category, or an 8/10 on the current scale.

We post all of our data, along with data-based decisions, on our website.

Internal Assessment Rubric for HIST 3000
Internal Assessment Rubric for HIST 4990
Internal Assessment Rubric for HIST 4990 Oral Presentation