Course Approvals - UGS Summary (2007-2008)

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 Summary of Activities by Undergraduate Studies Committee (UGS) – 2007-2008

John Madsen, Chair of UGS

04/02/2008

 

Discovery Learning Experience (DLE)--Course Approvals

The 2007-2008 UGS Committee reviewed 142 courses that were submitted for approval as satisfying the DLE requirement. 109 of these courses were approved. Of these 109 courses, 74 were initially approved and 35 were approved after further evaluation of revised course proposals. 

Of the 68 courses that were initially rejected, the chair of UGS contacted the faculty that submitted these courses and notified them of the initial rejection, outlined the grounds upon which the courses were rejected, and, suggested potential ways that these courses could be revised in order to satisfy the DLE criteria. If revised and resubmitted, the UGS committee then reevaluated the initially rejected courses. The deadline for receipt of revised proposals was 03/28/2008. 35 revised proposals were received and re-evaluated. All 35 of the revised courses were approved as satisfying the DLE requirement.

The criteria by which potential DLE courses were judged by the UGS committee was that which is described at the University Faculty Senate DLE web site http://www.facsen.udel.edu/sites/DLE.aspx. In particular UGS paid close attention to the following statements that are from the web site.

“Given this, the following are required elements of the DLE:

  1. The DLE must be supervised, with on-going faculty involvement and support. While this support may take many forms, it always includes:
    • a written set of shared expectations about the quantity and quality of the experience and required products
    • sufficient periodic meetings with the student(s) to assess progress, advances, and roadblocks
    • feedback on the quality of the student(s) progress and intermediate products/assignments
  2. In addition to the requirement for reflective learning, students will be expected to produce at least one final product, as a result of the DLE. Examples of products include:
    • Research papers
    • Theses
    • Reports
    • Essays
    • Exhibits
    • Portfolios
    • Performances
    • Oral presentations
    • Media presentations
  3. The expectations for student learning must be clearly established in the syllabi or otherwise communicated to the student in writing. The student's work must be evaluated and a grade assigned. The grade should be based upon what the student has learned and how well the student has met the learning goals, not only how many hours were spent in the DLE.
  4. The DLE, particularly if it is integrated into a regular course, must be of sufficient depth and complexity to be worth the assigned number of academic credits.“

For most of the courses that were initially been rejected by UGS, the most common grounds for rejection were: 1) the proposal contained insufficient evidence that the DLE was to be supervised with on-going faculty involvement and support, 2) the syllabi, as submitted with the proposal, did not clearly state the expectations for student learning, and/or 3) the proposed DLE, particularly if it is integrated into a regular course, was of sufficient depth and complexity to be worth the assigned number of academic credits.

As noted at the University Faculty Senate DLE web site, the following courses are automatically approved as satisfying the DLE requirement: 1) any Study Abroad course, 2) any Research course (i.e., with the x68 course designation (where x=1, 2, 3, or 4)), and 3) any course defined as a service learning course by the Office of Service Learning.

Please note: Course information for courses automatically approved as satisfying the DLE requirement must be submitted to UGS according to the online review process in order to be included on the approved list of courses.

Please note: 1) Study Abroad programs instead of the individual courses are approved as satisfying the DLE requirement. DLE program approval is assigned as part of the study abroad program proposal submitted to the Study Abroad Office. 2) Research and Service Learning course information must still be submitted to UGS according to the online review process in order to be included on the approved list of courses.