Foundational Skills Graphic

Foundational Skills

The Passport Learning Outcomes in foundational skills reference the LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes and describe the learning required to satisfy lower-division general education requirements in oral communication, written communication, and quantitative literacy. Additional academic work in these or other skill areas may be needed to fulfill upper-division general education, academic minor and/or academic major requirements, or graduation or state requirements.

Oral Communication: Public speaking entails a crucial set of skills for higher education students to develop not just because of its importance for effective participation in classrooms, but primarily because of its central position as a tool of democracy and civic engagement. The ability to prepare and extemporaneously deliver an argument grounded in credible information and organized effectively is usually, but not always, developed in one or more courses in oral communication and becomes refined and strengthened through application across the curriculum. The following learning outcomes are not meant to convey all that a student might learn about public speaking, but to provide a balanced portrait of what receiving institutions can expect from transfer students who have earned a Passport. Proficiency in oral communication also requires development of the ability to hear, accurately summarize and evaluate oral presentations by others.

Relationship to Institutions’ Passport Block:

An introductory speech course or equivalent demonstration of speech proficiency is required.

Oral Communication

Features

Passport Learning Outcomes

Examples of Transfer-Level Proficiency Criteria

Each faculty member develops the ways his/her students can demonstrate transfer-level proficiency with the learning outcomes. Below are a few examples provided by participating faculty.

Preparation for Performance

Develop a central message and supporting details by applying ethics, critical thinking and information literacy skills.

  • Select topics that are relevant to and important for a public audience and occasion.
  • Find, retrieve, and critically examine information from personal experience and published sources for credibility, accuracy, relevance, and usefulness.
  • Select and critically evaluate appropriate support materials.
  • Represent sources accurately and ethically.
  • Become fully informed about the subject matter.
  • Defend motive of the presentation.
  • Apply organizational skills in speech writing that use the claim-­‐warrant-­‐data method of argument construction.

Delivery

Demonstrate performance skills that include organizing and delivering content for a particular audience, occasion and purpose, and using technology as appropriate.

  • Prepare the audience by verbally outlining the speech at the start.
  • Present an accurate, relevant and fair message.
  • Support main points with specific reference to a variety of materials, including statistics, personal examples, testimony, and other techniques appropriate for the speaking occasion and audience.
  • Make clear distinctions between speaker’s ideas and ideas of others. 
  • Use verbal footnotes while delivering the speech.
  • Present without reading from notes or visual aids.
  • Use delivery techniques (posture, gesture, eye contact, pauses, and vocal expressiveness) and language choices that make the presentation understandable, and speaker appears comfortable. 
  • Treat the audience with respect. 

Monitor and Adjust

Monitor and adjust for audience feedback. 

  • Present in the time allotted. 
  • Recognize that the audience is engaged (e.g., audience members are looking at the speaker, orienting body toward speaker, displaying appropriate facial expressions) and adjust if needed (e.g., the speaker initiates eye contact, rephrases points, changes delivery pace, increases volume, steps toward audience, provides additional examples). 

Critical Receiver
Student as audience member

Listen and critically evaluate the speaker's central message and use of supporting materials. 

  • Give speaker full attention (e.g., refrain from using cell phone, laptop, iPads, etc.; engaging in other work or side conversations; or sleeping). 
  • Ask and answer questions as appropriate.
  • Restate the purpose of the speech. 
  • Summarize the main points of the speech. 
  • Complete appropriate, constructive peer evaluations. 

The transfer-level proficiency criteria describe the EVIDENCE of proficiency with the Passport Learning Outcomes at the transfer level that one might see in a student’s behavior, performance or work.

 Specific examples, provided in the Transfer-Level Proficiency Criteria column of the matrix above, are not intended to mandate curriculum or assessment methods, nor do they constitute a comprehensive list of concepts that each student must master. Rather, they serve as guidelines for determining whether a student has reached the desired level of proficiency for the specific learning outcome through a variety of possible methods. The inclusion of many diverse concrete examples is intentional as different courses may address a given feature in distinct ways; for example, a statistics course will address learning outcomes differently than a quantitative reasoning course. Also, a given concrete example may possibly address more than one Passport Learning Outcome.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • JoAnne Benschop, Articulation Officer, MiraCosta College (California); Community College Representative, Statewide Senate GE Advisory Committee
  • Sharon Cox, Past Faculty Senate Chair, Assistant Professor, Accounting, University of Hawaii West Oahu
  • Dick Dubanoski, Pilot State Facilitator, Hawaii
  • Becky Johns, Associate Professor of Communication, Weber State University (Utah)
  • Richard Parker, Department Chair, Art, Theater and Humanities, Columbia Gorge Community College
  • Phyllis "Teddi" Safman, Pilot State Facilitator, Utah
  • Thomas Steen, Professor, Physical Education and Exercise Science/Director of Essential Studies Program, University of North Dakota
  • Terry Underwood, Professor, Teacher Education, Sacramento State University
  • Pat Shea, Project Staff
TRANSFER-LEVEL PROFICIENCY CRITERIA

  • Kevin Baaske, Professor of Communication Studies, California State University Los Angeles
  • Sharon Cox, Past Faculty Senate Chair, Assistant Professor, Accounting, University of Hawaii West Oahu
  • Kim Weissman, Communication Department, Williston State College (North Dakota)
  • Becky Johns, Associate Professor of Communication, Weber State University (Utah)
  • Richard Parker, Department Chair, Art, Theater and Humanities, Columbia Gorge Community College

Writing sits at the heart of the mission of the higher education institution. Regardless of the discipline, irrespective of the curriculum, written communication is the key that unlocks critical thinking, analysis, and logical reasoning. Learning to write effectively as an undergraduate is not accomplished in any one course, but learning to use this key to unlock intellectual potential across the curriculum does, in fact, require at least one dedicated course. Proficiency at writing is imparted by at least one formal writing course that includes the use of sources, writing process knowledge, convention and mechanics, self-assessment and reflection. This area further includes at least an introduction to analysis of the content of others’ writings, critical thinking about that content, and logical reasoning in addressing that content in an appropriate context.

Relationship to Institution's Passport Block:

An introductory writing course or equivalent demonstration of writing proficiency is required, with an expectation that students have opportunities to write as part of other lower‐division courses.

Written Communication

Features

Passport Learning Outcomes

Examples of Transfer-Level Proficiency Criteria

Each faculty member develops the ways his/her students can demonstrate transfer-level proficiency with the learning outcomes. Below are a few examples provided by participating faculty.

Rhetorical Knowledge

Demonstrate rhetorical knowledge: address issues of audience, purpose, genre, syntax, structure, format and knowledge appropriate to the task. 

Organize content for a particular audience, occasion and purpose.

  • Writing in a variety of genres, including, for example, essays, reviews, lab reports, case studies, research papers. 
  • Reflective commentary with analysis of writer’s own levels of effectiveness in a variety of writing situations.
  • Narrative of historical events and/or fictional events using chronological organization.
  • Organization and presentation of factual information in the form of a report. 
  • Development of a unified, coherent essay focused on a thesis. 
  • Development of an analytical argument with attention to detailed supporting material appropriate to the context. 
  • Description and analysis of rhetorical features of a document, such as audience, purpose, and genre. 
  • Employment of a variety of types of evidence, such as definition, explanation, analogy, graphics, and/or visuals, as appropriate to the context.
  • Use of a variety of tones, voices, and personae, such as writing in the first person, writing in the third person, adjusting syntax, diction, and structure according to the formality of the occasion and purpose.
  • Awareness of the conventions and expectations of academic audiences. 
  • Use of technology appropriate to the context.

Use of Sources

Evaluate, apply, and ethically synthesize sources in support of a claim, following an appropriate documentation system. 

  • Critical analysis of all source materials for bias, fairness, accuracy, relevance, and validity. 
  • Integration of source information and ideas with student’s original perspective on a topic, with evidence of clear distinctions between his/her own ideas and the ideas of others. 
  • Use of correct punctuation and mechanics to present quotations, citations, page numbers, footnotes, endnotes, and references (bibliography) in accordance with a recognized format and style manual. 
  • Demonstration of the role of full documentation as a strategy to ensure academic integrity, attributing ideas incorporated from books, articles, the Web, or any other material to the original source using in-­‐text citations and ancillary materials (e.g., reference list). 
  • Presentation of ideas and words of other authors in context, used fairly without distortion. 
  • Papers written individually for each class and/or assignment unless explicit approval for collaboration or for rewriting a paper done for a previous assignment has been given. 
  • Understanding of the nature of both obvious (cutting and pasting from other sources, buying papers on the Internet) and subtle (paraphrasing and summarizing without citation) forms of plagiarism and a commitment to avoid it. 

Writing Process Knowledge

Develop flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proofreading.

  • Working documents from inception of idea to final draft (e.g., brainstorming, notes, rough drafts, instructor feedback, peer response, collaboration with a peer writing tutor, incorporation of feedback in revised text, and other relevant illustrations). 
  • Evidence of revision strategies that begin with global (higher order) concerns and shift to local (lower order) concerns as essays or other pieces of writing are developed over time (e.g., a shift from focusing on what to write toward how to write it, but recognizing that the writing process is recursive, not linear, and the writer may return to any stage of process at any time). 
  • Illustration of skillful use of strategies to create both coherence and cohesion (e.g., readers are provided signals to guide their construction of meaning from the text by means of transitional words, phrases, and sentences; looking forward or backward in the text; and other devices). 
  • Reflective commentary that shows meta-­‐cognitive awareness of successful and unsuccessful use of processes in samples submitted. 

Conventions and Mechanics

Demonstrate proficiency with conventions, including spelling, grammar, mechanics, word choice, and format appropriate to the writing task. 

  • Demonstration of sentence variety in terms of type, length, word order, emphasis, etc. 
  • Evidence that proficiency with language extends to matters of format and paragraphing as well as syntax and style appropriate to the context. 
  • Illustration of skillful use of strategies to create both coherence and cohesion (e.g., readers are provided signals to guide their construction of meaning from the text by means of transitional words, phrases, and sentences; looking forward or backward in the text; and other devices). 
  • Efforts to eliminate common errors in grammar, punctuation, and mechanics; over time, student demonstrates improvement in ability to identify and correct patterns of errors. 

Self-Assessment and Reflection

Reflect on one’s inquiry and composing processes to critique and improve one’s own and other’s writing. 

  • Discussion of student’s writing process, including experiences and/or strategies with invention, drafting, peer feedback/peer review, revising, and editing. 
  • Description and analysis of student’s strengths and weaknesses in writing. 
  • Discussion of student’s writing processes and writing choices concerning particular assignments.

The transfer-­‐level proficiency criteria describe the EVIDENCE of proficiency with the Passport Learning Outcomes at the transfer level that one might see in a student’s behavior, performance or work. These are observable behaviors rather than subjective descriptors such as “appropriate” or “excellent.” Specific examples, provided in the Transfer-­‐Level Proficiency Criteria column of the matrix above, are not intended to mandate curriculum or assessment methods, nor do they constitute a comprehensive list of concepts that each student must master. Rather, they serve as guidelines for determining whether a student has reached the desired level of proficiency for the specific learning outcome through a variety of possible methods. The inclusion of many diverse concrete examples is intentional as different courses may address a given feature in distinct ways; for example, a statistics course will address learning outcomes differently than a quantitative reasoning course. Also, a given concrete example may possibly address more than one Passport Learning Outcome.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Debra David, Pilot State Facilitator, California
  • Gloria Dohman, Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, North Dakota State College of Science
  • James Goodman, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Leeward Community College (Hawaii)
  • Maureen Mathison, Associate Professor, Director, Writing Program, University of Utah
  • Larry Peterson, Director of Accreditation, Assessment and Academic Advising, North Dakota State University
  • Kate Sullivan, Faculty Instructor, Language-­‐Literature and Communication, Lane Community College
  • Cathy Walker, Project Staff
TRANSFER-LEVEL PROFICIENCY CRITERIA

  • James Goodman (Chair), Dean of Arts and Sciences, Leeward Community College (Hawaii)
  • Teresa Tande, Assistant Professor of English, Lake Region State College (North Dakota)
  • Donna Evans, Assistant Professor of English/Writing and Director of the Writing Center and Writing Across the Curriculum, Eastern Oregon University
  • Maureen Mathison, Associate Professor, Director, Writing Program, University of Utah

Quantitative literacy requires comfort and capability with fundamental quantitative methods, and incorporation of quantitative concepts into the student’s worldview so the student does not hesitate to apply quantitative skills in any appropriate context. Specific quantitative skills that must be addressed are mathematical process, computational skills, formulation of quantitative arguments, analysis of quantitative arguments, communication of quantitative arguments, and quantitative models.

Relationship to Institution's Passport Block:

A course in mathematics or equivalent demonstration of quantitative literacy is required. To earn the QL portion of the Passport, the student must show proficiency in every Passport Learning Outcome feature.

Qualitative Literacy

Features

Passport Learning Outcomes

Examples of Transfer-Level Proficiency Criteria

Each faculty member develops the ways his/her students can demonstrate transfer-level proficiency with the learning outcomes. Below are a few examples provided by participating faculty.

Computational Skills 

Demonstrates proficiency with arithmetic and algebraic computational skills, and extends them, for example, to geometric and statistical computations. 

Correctly solves problems or equations at the appropriate level.

  • Uses logarithms to correctly solve a compound interest problem for the desired time. 
  • Solves linear and quadratic algebraic equations accurately and reliably without the aid of a calculator..
  • Correctly computes the mean, median, mode, and standard deviation for a given numerical data set.
  • Rearranges the margin of error formula to find the desired sample size for a given confidence level and margin of error. 
  • Finds the area or volume of general geometric objects by decomposing them into more basic components (circles, triangles, rectangles, cubes, etc.).  
  • Uses the ideal gas law to compute how one variable is affected as another is changed. 
  • In problems where units are provided, gives answer in correct units. Also, uses units as a check when solving algebraic problems where units are given. 
  • Uses a spreadsheet or simple computer programs to automate multiple instances of arithmetic calculation. 
  • Calculates present and future values of money by evaluating appropriate formulas. 
  • Determines proportional relationships between the areas/volumes of figures given side (or other) measurements.

Communication of Quantitative Arguments 

Expresses quantitative information symbolically, graphically, and in written or oral language. 

Correctly uses mathematical notation in all aspects of the solution of a typical problem at the appropriate level.

  • Accurately converts between proper mathematical notation/expressions and written / oral narrative.
  • Expresses answer and intermediate steps with correct units. 
  • Uses appropriate language to link between different steps of stating or solving problems. Avoids using “=” to mean anything other than equality. 
  • Uses function notation and parentheses correctly in solving problems. 
  • States the conclusion to a significance test and writes an explanation of the rationale for the conclusion.
Makes appropriate use of graphical objects (such as geometrical figures, graphs of equations in two or three variables, histograms, scatterplots of bivariate data, etc.) to supplement a solution to a typical problem at the appropriate level. 
  • Includes an appropriate graph to support or emphasize trends or findings. 
  • Draws two consecutive iterations of the Koch Snowflake to demonstrate that perimeter increases at each step. 
  • Uses graphs or plots (box-­‐and-­‐whisker, bar graph, etc.) to illustrate a comparison between two related data sets. 
  • Illustrates important values (such as median, mean, or extrema) on a graph or histogram of the data under analysis. 
  • Uses a graph to correctly present the data collected in a scientific experiment. 

Analysis of Quantitative Arguments

Selects and uses appropriate numeric, symbolic, graphical and statistical reasoning to interpret, analyze and critique information or line of reasoning presented by others. 

  • Determines whether a given sequence of steps constitutes a valid line of reasoning (such as a proposed proof of a mathematical theorem or solution to a quantitative problem).  If not a valid method, is able to explain why not.
  • Reads passages which use basic statistics (such as from a newspaper story) and correctly articulates how those statistics could have been calculated and gives a correct analysis of their potential meaning. For example, distinguishes between results that show statistical correlation and causation.
  • When presented with an estimate based on sample data, asks if that sample was randomly chosen, and if not, considers whether that is relevant.
  • Uses present-­‐value and future-­‐value formulas to evaluate claims made about investment opportunities. 
  • Critiques the quantitative results obtained from a scientific experiment. 

Formulation of Quantitative Arguments 

Recognize, evaluate, and use quantitative information, quantitative reasoning and technology to support a position or line of reasoning.

Correctly formulates, organizes, and articulates solutions to theoretical and application problems at the appropriate level.

  • Gives a correct argument why the Koch snowflake has finite area but infinite perimeter.
  • Uses optimization techniques to maximize profit for a business. 
  • Correctly proves that an irrational number is irrational (for example, Ö2 or 1.010010001… ).
  • Uses graphs, diagrams, and charts to compare data sets and draw conclusions. 
  • Given the results for a hypothesis test or confidence interval, draws an accurate conclusion.
  • Describes a scenario in which poll voting (plurality method) gives a different result from ranked preference voting. 
  • Uses a graph and/or appropriate formulas to find the maximum or minimum value of a quadratic polynomial, and distinguishes between the value at which the maximum occurs and the maximum value itself. 
  • When using linear programming, shows an appropriate graph and the details of how the optimum value is obtained.
  • Employs proportional reasoning to explain why a subpopulation is over or under represented in a sample.
  • Utilizes a graph to determine the number of real zeros of a quadratic or cubic equation. 

Mathematical Process

Design and follow a multi-step mathematical process through to a logical conclusion and critically evaluate the reasonableness of the result.

Correctly solves a variety of different problem types (at the appropriate level) that involve a multi-­‐step solution. 
  • Selects an algorithm (such as Cheapest Link Algorithm) for working with a graph theory problem (Travelling Salesman) and correctly applies it to the exercise. 
  • Based on given data, correctly computes a confidence interval or hypothesis test. 
  • Uses synthetic division, factoring, graphing, and other related techniques to find all the (real) zeros of a suitable cubic/quartic polynomial. 
  • Writes a computer program to do a multi-­‐step calculation that involves multiple cases.  For example, identify whether the input is a prime number, factor the input, or sort a list of numbers.
  • Does appropriate error checking on the resulting computer program.  
  • Calculates multiple monthly loan payments for a given principal and different interest rates/times. 
  • Then uses the figures to compare the total cost of the loans. 
  • Given three linear relationships for three unknowns, correctly solves for the desired quantities.
  • For a given velocity and rate of deceleration, calculates the distance required to stop.
  • Correctly solves an optimization problem, justifying why their solution is in fact an optimal one (for example, using linear programming or differential calculus).
Considers the validity of a result from a multi-­‐step problem.
  • Rarely submits solutions that involve an answer of the wrong order of magnitude or involving the wrong type of information (such as a graphical solution when a numeric one is called for).
  • Where possible, checks solutions with the original problem.
  • Looks for signs of model breakdown when using an exponential growth function in a real-­‐world setting. 
  • Evaluates the validity of experimental data.
  • Recognizes, quantifies (where possible), and articulates the possibility of error (type I or II, as appropriate) in a significance test. 
  • Recognizes nonrandom sample data as nonrandom and considers the possible impact to conclusions.
 

Quantitative Models

Create, analyze and apply appropriate quantitative models to solve quantitative theoretical and real-­‐world problems. 

Correctly solves problems at the appropriate level which require the student to choose an appropriate technique or formula. 
  • Given a floor plan, the cost of the carpet per yard from a roll of given width, and the cost of making a cut, devises a scheme to carpet a floor plan and calculates the cost. 
  • Selects the correct model (linear, exponential, logistic, etc.) for a population growth problem and then uses it to solve for the population size at a given time. 
  • Given sample data, calculates confidence intervals for population means and correctly interprets results. 
  • Constructs applicable linear demand and quadratic revenue functions from given data, then uses the model to determine the price and quantity that maximizes revenue. 
  • Given an estimated growth rate per year and a desired investment value after a certain number of years, calculates the initial investment required to reach that value. 
  • Solves problems that involve adding rates. (For example if person A requires 4 hours to do a job, and person B requires 3 hours, how long is required for A and B to do this job together?) 
  • Selects the correct function type to model a set of real-­‐world bivariate data, determines appropriate values for the constants in the model, and uses the model to answer questions.  
  • Utilizes vectors to solve problems involving direction and magnitude. 
 

The transfer level proficiency criteria describe the EVIDENCE of proficiency with the Passport Learning Outcomes at the transfer level that one might see in a student’s behavior, performance or work. These are observable behaviors rather than subjective descriptors such as “appropriate” or “excellent.”  
Specific examples, provided in the Transfer Level Proficiency Criteria column, are not intended to mandate curriculum or assessment methods, nor do they constitute a comprehensive list of concepts that each student must master. Rather, they serve as guidelines for determining whether a student has reached the desired level of proficiency for the specific learning outcome through a variety of possible methods. The inclusion of many diverse concrete examples is intentional as different courses may address a given feature in distinct ways; for example, a statistics course will address learning outcomes differently than a quantitative reasoning course.  Also, a given concrete example may possibly address more than one Passport Learning Outcome.

 
LEARNING OUTCOMES

  • Jonathan Bodrero, Professor of Mathematics, Snow College (UT)
  • Lisa Johnson, Pilot State Facilitator, North Dakota
  • Karen Marrongelle, Pilot State Facilitator, Oregon
  • Julia Myers, Assistant Professor; Chair, General Education Committee, University of Hawaii West Oahu
  • Mark Van Selst, Professor, Psychology, San Jose State University; Chair, CSU Statewide Senate GE Advisory Committee
  • Kristi Wold-­‐McCormick, University Registrar, North Dakota State University
  • Rick Woodmansee, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics, Sacramento City College
  • Bob Turner, Project Staff
TRANSFER-LEVEL PROFICIENCY CRITERIA

  • Rick Woodmansee, Student Learning Outcomes Analyst, Sacramento City College
  • Julia Myers, Assistant Professor, General Education Chair, University of Hawaii West Oahu
  • Ryan Zerr, Associate Professor, Mathematics, University of North Dakota
  • Hal Sadofsky, Chair, Department of Mathematics, University of Oregon
  • Jonathan Bodrero (Chair), Professor of Mathematics, Snow College (Utah)