Student Assessment Plan

The Department of History uses multiple methods of assessing student performance, but all require students to understand factual information in relation to larger thematic and interpretive issues.

  • While written, in-class examinations are the primary method used to assess students in history courses on the university level, History Department faculty use a variety of essay examination formats. These range from short-answer sections in which students are asked to identify and explain the significance of terms, events and individuals to higher order questions in which students construct larger thematic arguments that are substantiated by factual material.
  • Students are also assessed through focused analytical essays, book reviews, website analyses, and film responses prepared outside of class. These assignments are carefully constructed in terms of their requirements for length, appearance, appropriate audience, the use and citation of evidence, and basic structure. Instructors work closely with students in communicating the criteria or rubrics from which their performance will be evaluated.
  • Oral presentation and discussion are also central mechanisms of student assessment in the Department of History. Whether they use traditional, large-group discussion formats to analyze issues and text, or group-projects that require consensus-building and accurate reporting of collective decisions, instructors model the assessment or oral communication.