Learning Goals

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Learning goals are no longer a part of the Division I curriculum as of September 2011. This page outlines the Learning Goals that were in effect from 2004 to 2011. The current Division I program has Cumulative Skills, which have a similar purpose to the learning goals but a very different format.



The seven learning goals were intended to confirm a basic grounding in essential academic skills, so that by the time a student reached Division II they would have the tools they need to complete the work required of them.

The way to fulfill the learning goals was to take classes. Along with the divisional requirements, a class also had certain learning goals that could be earned by taking it. However, just passing a class did NOT automatically fulfill your learning goal. Depending on the level of work you completed and what type of things you did, you might fulfill more than the listed number of goals, or you might not fulfill one that the class listed.

On your evaluation on TheHub at the end of the class, your professors would check off boxes for each of the learning goals, indicating if your preformance was "Satisfactory" or "Not Satisfactory". A "Satisfactory" in this box indicated that you had fulfilled the learning goal requirement. If the course did not offer a learning goal, the box would say "Not Applicable"; generally courses fulfilled about three learning goals, though the number varied.

Without fulfilling all of the learning goals, you could not pass Division I. However, for many of the goals you could do a project of some sort which demonstrated mastery of them and pass that way, though it depended on the professor and on advisor approval.


REA: Learn to read and interpret intellectual or artistic works

  • Identify and locate appropriate literature and other source materials
  • Recognize the author's thesis
  • Understand the nature of evidence use to support or refute arguments
  • Recognize and read primary source documents well enough to construct one's own argument
  • Distinguish between speculation and theory and recognize possible biases
  • Compare two or more authors' works and analyze similarities or differences
  • Seek opposing sides of the story or alternative theories

WRI: Write critically and analytically

  • Learn to present ideas within an orderly structure and organization, building on what one has written in previous paragraphs
  • Acquire the skill to construct an original argument, one that is rigorous and logical
  • Develop full control of the technique or proper spelling, grammar, and sentence structure
  • Learn to critique and revise one's own writing and the writing of others
  • Express one's ideas with increasing facility and grace, seeking greater nuance in vocabulary and tone

QUA: Understand quantitative methods of analysis

  • Demonstrate basic elements of numeracy, including the computational skills needed for ratios, percentages, rates of change, simple probability and graphical representation among others
  • Acquire a questioning, critical stance toward quantitative information that leads to better judgment about meaning and significance
  • Apply quantitative methods analytically as an aid to structuring one's own position or argument

EXP: Develop creative abilities in expressive modes such as creative writing, visual and performance arts, and music

  • Explore the human enterprise of creative endeavor, reflecting on original thought, materials, and methods
  • Understand the process or creative work in terms of meaning, significance, and consequence
  • Encounter and reflect upon the historical, cultural, and social context of artistic endeavor
  • Create one's own work, whether analog or digital, two-or three-dimensional, written or performed 

PRS: Effectively present ideas orally

  • Develop the ability to articulate one's ideas and the ideas of others clearly and cogently
  • Prepare and deliver oral presentations that reflect sound organization and effective speaking skills
  • Learn to engage in scholarly/artistic discussions, lectures, and presentations by asking thoughtful questions and offering appropriate contributions<span id="fck_dom_range_temp_1219184319707_25" />

PRJ: Conceive and complete project-based work

  • Learn to formulate clear, analyzable questions that are appropriate to the area of investigation
  • Propose and carry out scholarly or artistic work that reflects relevant modes of inquiry, theoretical perspectives, or creative techniques 
  • Demonstrate an awareness of how the work of others informs your own work
  • Submit your work for review, critique, and discussion, preparing revisions based on this feedback and defending or presenting the resulting work

MCP: Understand multicultural perspectives on intellectual or artistic subjects

  • Acquire a basic understanding of the structures, history and consequences of prejudice, privilege, oppression, inequality, and injustice
  • Demonstrate a questioning position towards cultural assumptions and stereotyping of historically marginalized U.S. social groups and foreign cultural groups
  • Explore the history, perspectives, or cultures of non-Western (European) peoples within the context of the U.S. or in a culture whose origin lies outside of Western traditions
  • Consider the ways in which theories of ethnicity, nationality, gender, and class contribute to an understanding of prejudice and injustice

Why they were discontinued

When framing the new Division one plan in 2009-2010, the Educational Policy Committee came to the conclusion that the Learning Goals were not fulfilling their intended purpose. They had become "checkboxes" that felt pointless and onerous to both students and faculty, and in mayn cases actually prevented true engagement with the skills they were triyng to build. Though acquiring and improving key skills is still an important part of the Hampshire curriculum, Learning Goals are no longer the method. The current Division I Cumulative Skills are an attempt to get rid of checkboxes, create continuity between skills built in Division I and later work, and break down the binary of progress versus proficiency.

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