DePaul University Catalog > Student Handbooks > Undergraduate Student Handbook > University Information > Liberal Studies Program Core and Domain Learning Outcomes

Liberal Studies Program Core and Domain Learning Outcomes

DePaul is committed to ensuring educational excellence in each of our academic programs.  Articulating learning outcomes for each of our academic programs is an important first step in our ongoing assessment and improvement cycle.  By having well-defined learning outcomes as a guide, our programs are positioned to implement and assess quality educational experiences.  These outcomes are also mapped to institutional learning goals, further strengthening the connection to overall student learning at DePaul University. 

Liberal Studies Common Core

Chicago Quarter Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • Analyze and integrate the academic content and their experiences across the city.
  • Articulate connections between the course content and at least two of these four concepts that reflect the mission of DePaul University:
      • Diversity.
      • Social responsibility.
      • Human dignity.
      • Urban sustainability.
  • Showcase self-development and personal growth as a university student.
  • Describe how their course prepares them to embark on the remainder of their liberal studies education.
  • Articulate educational, career, and financial goals.
  • Demonstrate awareness of strategies and resources needed to achieve academic success.

Focal Point Seminar Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • Discuss and analyze work from at least three different fields in their written work for the course.
  • Participate actively in advancing the collective intellectual understanding of the course topic through class discussions.
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary sources, and assess varying degrees of mediation and interpretation in specific source materials.
  • Construct arguments based on evidence and the work and interpretations of other sources.
  • Revise papers in response to the instructor’s comments.
  • Produce a project with a central argument, in which all parts of the project support the central argument.

Quantitative Reasoning and Technological Literacy Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • Make estimations.
      • Use proportional reasoning.
      • Use percent change.
  • Use information conveyed as data, graphs, and chart.
      • Draw inferences from data.
      • Aggregate data with pivot tables.
      • Recognize disaggregation as a factor in interpreting data.
  • Formulate applied problems mathematically, seek patterns, and draw conclusion.
      • Recognize interactions in complex systems.
      • Use linear, exponential, and simulation models.
      • Recognize the impact of different rates of growth.
  • Make and interpret frequency distributions.
      • Summarize data with measures of center and dispersion.
      • Measure and interpret the association between variables.
      • Recognize the difference between correlation and causation.
      • Solve applied problems involving the normal distribution and z-scores.
  • Recognize that seemingly improbably coincidences are not uncommon.
      • Evaluate risk from available evidence.
      • Calculate basic common probabilities.
  • Use sequential, logical thinking
      • Develop algorithms to solve problems.
      • Use Boolean conditionals and repetition to create simple computer programs.
  • Make algebraic calculations within a spreadsheet using cell addresses and formulas.
      • Format the layout of a spreadsheet.
      • Use statistical, logical, and financial.
      • Use and create macros to automate repetitious tasks.
  • Make appropriate and effective graphs to communicate and visualize quantitative information.
      • Enter data into a pre-existing database
      • Import data from a text file or spreadsheet file into a database.
      • Filter records based on a single parameter and on multiple parameter.
      • Sort records with multiple sort keys.
      • Formulate and conduct queries.
      • Generate a report from a database.
      • Recognize the difference between a flat file and a relational database.
      • Create a relational database using two or more tables.
      • Construct a query for a relational database using two or more tables.
      • Construct a query for a relational database using joins.
      • Design and implement forms for data entry.
  • Import data from a spreadsheet or database into a statistics package.
      • Use graphical tools in a statistical package to make specialized statistics plots such as box plots and normal probability plots.
      • Calculate descriptive summary statistics using a statistical package.
  • Construct the concept of algorithm through experimentation and reflection on everyday activities.
      • Articulate an accurate definition of an algorithm
      • Recognize algorithms fitting the definition.
      • Construct the notion of a control structure and a repetition structure.
      • Acquire the ability to trace simple programs listings using control and repetition structures.
      • Use control and repetition structures to write simple computer programs to affect a task.
  • Analyze and discuss the impact of information technology on society and their own lives.
  • Discuss the implications of the fact that information and decision making are increasingly quantitative.
  • Critically assess the sources, importance and factual accuracy of digital information.

First Year Writing Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • Define and focus on a purpose or purposes.
  • Interpret and respond to different audiences.
  • Respond appropriately to different kinds of rhetorical situations.
  • Apply conventions of format and structure appropriate to the rhetorical situation.
  • Apply appropriate tone, diction, and level of formality.
  • Demonstrate how genres shape reading and writing.
  • Write in several genres.
  • Employ writing and reading for inquiry, thinking, and communicating.
  • Respond and evaluate texts in multiple genres and media.
  • Demonstrate that a writing assignment is a series of tasks that includes finding, analyzing, and synthesizing appropriate primary and secondary sources.
  • Integrate their own ideas with those of others.
  • Interpret and explain the relationships among language, knowledge, and power. 
  • Recognize and articulate the value of using multiple drafts to create and complete a successful text.
  • Exhibit flexible strategies for generating, revising, editing, and proof-reading.
  • Demonstrate understanding that writing is an open process that permits writers to use later invention and re-thinking to revise their work.
  • Explain the collaborative and social aspects of writing processes.
  • Critique their own and others’ works.
  • Apply a variety of technologies to address a range of audiences.
  • Demonstrate competency in using common formats for different kinds of text.
  • Apply a variety of genre conventions ranging from structure and paragraphing to tone and mechanics.
  • Correctly document their work.
  • Correctly apply in their writing such surface features as syntax, grammar, punctuation, and spelling.
  • Use electronic environments for drafting, reviewing, revising, editing, and sharing texts including scholarly library databases, other official databases, and informal electronic networks and internet sources.
  • Understand and exploit the differences in the rhetorical strategies and in the affordances available for both print and electronic composing processes and texts.
  • Articulate, for multiple audiences, meaning-making capabilities of textual, graphic, auditory, and video modes.
  • Compose in multiple modes with intended rhetorical effects and articulate the steps taken to achieve those effects.
  • Contextualize meaning-making capabilities of multimodality for academic, professional, and community audiences.

Seminar on Multiculturalism in the United States Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • Understand the historical debates about and values of multiculturalism. The course will compare at least three different dimensions of multiculturalism, such as ethnicity, race, gender, class, language, and sexuality.
  • Develop, through self-reflection and critical analysis, alternative perspectives on the historical roots of inequality along with an understanding of the lasting effects of oppression on marginalized groups.
  • Critically analyze multiple sources of information (from, for example, relevant databases and other reference works, primary and secondary sources, community knowledge, etc.) in order to form clear, concise arguments about multicultural issues and to interpret evidence from a variety of points of view.
  • Advance collective intellectual understanding —through discussion, group work, active listening and speaking — and use information to address problems and issues related to social inequality, conflict and diversity.

Experiential Learning Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • Apply particular concepts from readings, lectures, etc. to an analysis of lived experiences in the settings provided by the course.
  • Use the experiences provided by the course to construct and articulate the impact of their experience on their understanding of course content.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethics appropriate to his or her experiential placement.
  • Synthesize and articulate how the ideas and experiences provided by the course might inform their personal, academic, and/or professional pursuits.

Senior Capstone Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • ​Apply one or more theories or concepts from courses within their major to an analysis of a particular issue relevant to the major.
  • Identify an idea, method, or concept from a discipline outside their major field of study and be able to apply it within the context of their major field of study.
  • Examine how their previous coursework, including Liberal Studies courses, has contributed to their intellectual development and/or their post-graduation plans.

Learning Domains

Arts and Literature Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • Explain, in well-written prose, what a work of art is about and/or how it was produced
      • Articulate and explain the “content” of that work and/or its methodology of production.
  • Comment on the relationship between form and content in a work.
      • How does the 14-line sonnet both enable and inhibit its practitioner, for example?
      • What are the generic expectations of a particular form?
      • How does an artist complicate, enrich, or subvert such expectations?
  • Assess the formal aspects of their subject and put those qualities into words, using, when appropriate, specialized vocabulary employed in class and readings.
  • Contextualize a work of art.
      • Do so with respect to other works of art in terms of defining its place within a broader style or genre.
      • Contextualize a work of art in terms of contemporaneous aesthetic, social, or political concerns, discussing how these might shape the work’s reception and how that reception might differ amongst various peoples and historical periods.

Philosophical Inquiry Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • Address, critically think about, and analyze philosophical questions and problems.
  • Evaluate philosophical questions, issues and/or problems using informed judgment.
  • Analyze and interpret the methods used by philosophers in addressing philosophical questions, issues, and/or problems.
  • Engage with philosophical topics and figures in their historical context.
  • Confront and interpret primary texts from the philosophical tradition.
  • Write an analytic essay treating a philosophical question, issue and/or problem that forwards an identifiable thesis, argument, and conclusion.

Religious Dimensions Learning Outcomes

​Students will be able to:

  • Explain beliefs and practices of one or more religious traditions in their specific social and cultural contexts.
      • In courses in which the focus is on one religious tradition, describe the diversity of strands within the tradition and explain with significant depth the modes of interpretation of the world the tradition offers both to adherents and to others.
  • Identify religious modes of thinking, acting, and feeling such as: myth and narrative, symbol, ritual, law, doctrine, ethics, religious experience.
  • Analyze the impact of religion on personal as well as communal dimensions of human life, including for example the relationship between religion and power, social integration, social transformation, and social justice.

Scientific Inquiry Learning Outcomes

Scientific Inquiry: Science as a Way of Knowing 

​Students will be able to:

  • Identify the types of questions that can and cannot be answered by science, and recognize the strengths and limitations of science in answering questions about the natural world.
  • Critically evaluate the assumptions that underlie scientific investigations.
  • Substantiate the claim that scientific knowledge is durable but can evolve with new evidence and perspectives.
  • Connect evidence to the predictions made by theories and hypotheses, and then assess the extent to which the presented evidence supports or refutes a scientific claim.
  • Evaluate the role of creativity, curiosity, skepticism, open‐mindedness and diligence of individuals in scientific discovery and innovation.
  • Recognize the uncertainty inherent in the scientific approach and evaluate scientists’ efforts to minimize and understand its effect through experimental design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation.
  • Evaluate the role of communication, collaboration, diversity and peer review in promoting scientific progress and the quality of scientific evidence and ideas, and ensuring compliance with ethical standards.
  • Determine the extent to which science both influences and is influenced by the societies
  • Apply scientific approaches to problem solving and decision‐making in their own lives, and evaluate how scientific knowledge informs policies, regulations, and personal decisions.

Scientific Inquiry: Lab

​Students will be able to:

  • Pose meaningful scientific questions and generate testable scientific hypotheses.
  • Plan, design and conduct scientific investigations in a collaborative environment using appropriate tools and techniques to gather relevant data in order to test and revise scientific hypotheses.
  • Develop explanations of natural phenomena.
  • Address variability in the data and recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions.
  • Communicate scientific procedures, results, and explanations and engage in arguments based on scientific evidence.


Scientific Inquiry: Elective Courses 

Students will be able to:

  • Apply appropriate concepts, tools, and techniques of scientific inquiry.
  • Describe how natural scientific, mathematical, and/or computational methodologies function as mechanisms for inquiry.
  • Explain the interaction between the content of their SI-Elective course and other scientific disciplines or the broader society.

Social Cultural and Behavioral Inquiry Learning Outcomes

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Understanding the Past Learning Outcomes

​​Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a depth and breadth of historical knowledge of specified content by:
    • Explaining historical developments in terms of continuity and change.
    • Describing the relevant political, economic, social, and/or cultural contexts of historical events and developments.
    • Explaining how people have lived, acted, and thought in one or more particular historical periods.
  • Demonstrate historical skills by:
    • Analyzing and evaluating primary and secondary sources.
    • Differentiating between historical facts and historical interpretations.
    • Articulating a historical argument.
    • Supporting an interpretation with evidence from primary and secondary sources.
  • Demonstrate historical thinking by:
    • Articulating how geography and regional differences affect the past.
    • Interpreting the complexity and diversity among issues, events, and ideas of the past.
    • Distinguishing among multiple perspectives that shape interpretations of the past.
    • Using the categories of race, gender, class, ethnicity, region, and religion to analyze historical events and developments.