Benchmarks for Core Skills – First Draft  

 

Table of Contents

A. Communication
B. Cognition
C.  Information Competency
D.  Social Interaction
E.  Aesthetic Responsiveness
F. Personal Development and Responsibility

A. Communication

Students will communicate effectively in many different situations, involving diverse people and viewpoints.

 

1.     Listening: Students will listen actively and respectfully to analyze the substance of others' comments.

 

Demonstrated Competence

 

Beginner

·        Avoid interrupting the speaker.

·        Summarize speaker’s main points when called upon to do so.

·        Integrate the message into his or her own frame of reference.

·        Anticipate forthcoming points.

 

Developed

·        Develop a framework for organizing the message.

·         Differentiate between relevant information and information requiring further explanation or analysis.

·        Take notes paraphrasing salient points.

·        Ask clarifying questions.

 

Accomplished

·        Differentiate between denotation and connotation; recognize irony, metaphorical language, and intentionally misleading language.

·        Develop a framework for organizing the message.

·        Summarize the speaker's purpose.

·         Identify the relative importance of parts of the message and their relevance.

·        Identify and evaluate evidence used to support specific claims.

 

 2.  Speaking: Students will speak in an understandable and organized fashion to explain their ideas, express their feelings, or support a conclusion.

 

Demonstrated Competence

 

Beginner

  • Use brief opening and closing remarks.
  • Clearly state and address an assigned topic.
  • Develop a number of points appropriate to the time allowed.
  • Express key points understandably.

 

 

Developing

  • Establish eye contact with the audience.
  • Avoid distracting physical actions and mannerisms.
  • Speak understandable and clearly audible Standard English.
  • Avoid repeated phrases or utterances irrelevant to the message.
  • Develop a clear thesis.
  • Use rhetorically appropriate opening and closing remarks.
  • Differentiate points and move coherently from one point to another.
  • Use supporting and interest material suited to the audience.

 

Accomplished

  • Pay attention to the audience and speak directly to the listeners.
  • Use appropriate gestures and facial expressions.
  • Support a clear thesis, with supporting points, that move to a conclusion.
  • Use concrete and sophisticated supporting material.
  • Use audio-visual support, where it is called for, without creating distractions.

 

3.  Reading: Students will read effectively and analytically and will comprehend at the college level.

 

Demonstrated Competence

 

 

Beginner

  • Correctly decode vocabulary at the 13th grade-level.
  • Understand and accurately summarize the major points of reading material.
  • Learn specialized vocabulary through reading and use that vocabulary appropriately.

.

Developing

  • Develop a framework for organizing the text and relating it to his or her own frame of reference.
  • Correctly decode vocabulary appropriate to the reading material of one or more disciplines.
  • Understand, summarize, and apply the major points of non-specialized and some specialized reading material.
  • Diagnose some reading deficiencies and independently resolve them and seek aid in resolving others.

 

Accomplished

  • Accurately summarize non-specialized and specialized reading material in two or more disciplines.
  • Diagnose most reading deficiencies and independently resolve them.

·        Develop a framework for organizing the meaning of a written text.

·         Summarize the writer's purpose and the connection of the components to it.

·        Differentiate between denotation and connotation, recognizing irony, metaphorical language, and intentionally misleading language.

·        Identify the relative importance of parts of the text and their relevance.

·        Identify and evaluate evidence used to support specific claims.

 

4.     Writing:  Students will write in an understandable and organized fashion to explain                    their ideas, express their feelings, or support a conclusion.

 

Demonstrated Competence

 

Beginner

  • Write an essay or narrative of several paragraphs that they can read aloud understandably.
  • Distinguish sentences within paragraphs, capitalizing the first word of a sentence and ending it with terminal punctuation.
  • Write paragraphs that develop a main point.
  • Produce a text in which paragraphs have a logical relationship to one another.

 

Developing

  • Write an essay or narrative that moves toward a clear conclusion or thesis.
  • Write paragraphs that usually state and develop a clear point.
  • Support claims with evidence that is relevant and reasonable.
  • Diagnose some errors in usage, spelling, and grammar, correcting some independently and seeking aid in correcting others.
  • Express ideas in specific, concrete language and develop some specific examples.
  • Substantially revise a piece of writing to achieve greater clarity, persuasiveness, or vividness.

Accomplished

  • Develop a clear, significant, and complete thesis statement in an essay or narrative.
  • Support claims by presenting credible and persuasive evidence.
  • Develop and explain points in clear, specific language, providing concrete referents for key concepts that the audience can easily understand.
  • Diagnose errors in spelling, usage, and grammar, correcting most independently and seeking aid in correcting others.

 

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B. Cognition

 

Students will think logically and critically in solving problems; explaining their conclusions; and evaluating, supporting, or critiquing the thinking of others.

 

2. Problem Solving: Students will identify and analyze real or potential problems and develop, evaluate, and test possible solutions, using the scientific method where appropriate.

 

Demonstrated Competence

 

Beginner        

  • Can identify problem types.
  • Relies on standardized solution methods, rather than guesswork or intuition.
  • Understands the level of complexity of a problem.

 

Developing

  • Focuses on difficult problems with persistence.
  • Can work independently with confidence.
  • Sees the real world relevance of problem.
  • Provides a logical interpretation of the data.

 

Accomplished          

  • Achieves, clear, unambiguous conclusions from the data.
  • Employs creativity in the search for a solution.
  • Recognizes and values alternative problem solving methods, when appropriate.

 

3.     Creative Thinking: Students will formulate ideas and concepts in addition to using those of others.

Demonstrated Competence

Beginner

  • Reads materials carefully.
  • Recognizes differences between fact and opinion.
  • Understands issues under consideration.

 

Developing

  • Considers implications of data, patterns, ideas, and perspectives.
  • Clearly outlines thoughts and considers issues, facts, formulas, and procedures appropriate to the discipline.
  • Employs data from other disciplines.
  • Demonstrates open-mindedness.

 

Accomplished
  • Perseveres through complex issues and problems.
  • Draws well-supported, logical conclusions.
  • Uses a logical chain of thought when defending view.
  • Eager to share understandings and exhibits confidence in conclusions.

4. Quantitative Reasoning: Students will use college-level mathematical concepts and methods to understand, analyze, and explain issues in quantitative terms.

Demonstrated Competence

Beginner

·        Identify the quantities that are  involved in the issue.

·        Identify the quantities that need to be addressed in analyzing the issue.

·        Make a prediction about the solution of the issue. (For example, the
interest paid will be between  $50 and $100.)

·        Check the guess or solution against the issue. Refine the guess, if
necessary.

Developing

·        Have a clear understanding of the issue and be able to restate it in one's
own words.

·        Make a list of known facts related to the issue.

·        Make a list of information that could be helpful in finding a solution to
the issue.

·        Make a logical guess about the solution.

·        Check the guess or solution against the issue. Refine the guess, if
necessary.

·        Identify the different mathematical units involved in the issue.

·        Identify the relation between the different mathematical units involved.

·        Identify the mathematical units involved in the solution.

Accomplished

  • Be able to explain why or why not a solution make sense.
  • Use the logical skills, and develop a strategy to find solutions to the
    issue.
  • Carry out the strategies and develop solutions to the issue
  • Check the solutions against the issue.
  • Interpret the solutions in the context of the issue.
  • Justify the solution by giving practical and logical reasons.

 

5. Transfer of Knowledge and Skills to a New Context: Students will apply their knowledge and skills to new and varied situations.

  Demonstrated Competence

 

Beginner

·        Read the material carefully, or contemplates the situation carefully.

·        Identify what the final solution should determine.

·        Identify a few intermediate steps required that connects previous material to the new context.

 

Developing

·        Read the material carefully, or contemplates the situation carefully.

·        Identify what the final solution should determine.

·        Identify some intermediate steps required that connects previous material to the new context.

·        Be able to bring other resources to bear on the solution.

·        Be able to see problem or challenge in a wider context.

·        Recognize basic patterns from prior context that are applicable to new context.

 

Accomplished

·        Read the material carefully, or contemplates the situation carefully.

·        Identify what the final solution should determine.

·        Identify all intermediate steps required that connects previous material to the new context.

·        Be able to bring other resources to bear on the solution.

·        Be able to see problem or challenge in a wider context.

·        Recognize basic patterns from prior context that are applicable to new context.

·        Arrive at solution expeditiously.

·        Create complex analogies between new and old context.

·        Go beyond solving the problem at hand to optimizing the process in a new environment or situation.

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C. Information Competency

 

Students will use printed materials, personal communications, observation, and electronic resources to find and evaluate information.

 

1. Research:   Students will do research at a level that is necessary to achieve personal, professional, and educational success.  

 

2. Technological Competency:   Students will use technological applications to find, organize, and present information effectively.

 

Demonstrated Competence

 

Beginner

  • Define and articulate the need for information that is appropriate to complete a specific college-level research project or paper.
  • Match the information requirement with the appropriate resources, such as: format type; primary and secondary information; current and historical information; information representing various points of view; and scholarly versus popular press.
  • Construct and implement search strategies appropriate for a variety of retrieval systems, including: online catalogs; periodical databases; statistical databases; online reference tools; and World Wide Web search tools.

 

Developing

  • Organize and evaluate information from multiple sources based on usefulness, reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias.
  • Read the selected texts, recognize main ideas with supporting details, and will synthesize the information obtained to meet the needs of a college-level assignment.
  • Compile a discipline-appropriate bibliography of sources obtained through their research at the beginner level.

 

Accomplished

  • Successfully complete a college-level research paper utilizing a word processing program, and other necessary software, such as a spreadsheet, data base management program, or graphics program.
  • Successfully discuss, present and preserve the research findings using a variety of media, including presentation software and CD recorder.
  • Successfully publish the final product of a research project on the Internet with software that may include multimedia recording and presentation capabilities.

 

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D. Social Interaction

 

Students will interact with individuals and within groups with integrity and awareness of others' opinions, feelings and values.

 

1. Teamwork: Students will participate effectively in teams, committees, task forces, and in other group efforts to make decisions and seek consensus.

 

Demonstrated Competence

 

Beginner

  • Joins a group cooperatively.
  • Acknowledge members of the group.
  • Listens attentively to members of the group.
  • Be prepared and reliable members of the group.
  • Contribute to the end product of the group. 

 

Developing

  • Give input and/or recommendations confidently.
  • Complete assigned tasks in a timely fashion.
  • Respect differing points of view.
  • Agree on group priorities, goals and procedures.
  • Help to build a consensus.

 

Accomplished            

  • Take an active position in group by assigning tasks and/or speaking for the group.
  • Take responsibility for end product that reflects the minority as well as the majority conclusions of the group.
  • Encourage and acknowledge the work of other group members.

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E. Aesthetic Responsiveness

 

Students will produce or respond to artistic and creative expression.

 

Demonstrated Competence

 

Beginner

 

Developing

 

Accomplished

 

Beginning

Developing

Accomplished

N/A

 

 

 

 

Comments:

 

 

 

 

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F. Personal Development and Responsibility

 

Students will develop individual responsibility, personal integrity, and respect for diverse people and cultures.

 

1. Self-management: Students will demonstrate habits of intellectual exploration, personal responsibility, and physical well being.

 

Demonstrated Competence

 

Beginner

  • Demonstrates personal responsibility through generally good attendance, punctuality, and performance of required tasks.
  • Monitors the quality of his/her own acceptance of responsibility and responds to advice or counseling where appropriate.
  • Participates in the development of a personal educational plan by interacting with staff and others in shaping and refining his/her educational goals and strategies for achieving them.

 

Developed

  • Demonstrates an understanding of the role of physical well being in achieving educational and personal goals.
  • Participates in the development of a personal academic portfolio to document her/his educational growth and her/his habits of intellectual exploration.

 

Accomplished

  • Develops and maintains an on-line portfolio to document his/her educational growth and habits of intellectual exploration.
  • Selects institutions to which she/he wants to apply for admission, employment, or some other professional consideration.
  • Identifies appropriate contact within the institution to send portfolio to.
  • Sends electronic portfolio to institutions, including a cover letter addressed to a specific contact within the institution.

 

 

3. Respect for Diverse People and Cultures: Students will interact respectfully in groups whose membership includes such diverse human traits as language, culture, and physical ability.

 

Demonstrated Competence

 

Beginner

  • Identifies and describes the aspects of a number of cultures, including their own.
  • Can work in diverse groups when given the opportunity.
  • Appreciates the variety of U.S. residents.
  • Is familiar with the historical struggle for equality and justice in the U.S. 

 

Developed     

  • Identifies many cultural and linguistic backgrounds and reflects upon cultural and linguistic prejudice.
  • Understands cultural, linguistic and physical differences.
  • Interacts respectfully with others in the classroom, including his/her instructor.

 

Accomplished

  • Strives to be understanding and respectful, when working in groups with people who have diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds and different physical abilities.
  • Proactively and compassionately influences others to respect diverse people and cultures.

 

 

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Sample table for assessment.

 

Beginning

Developing

Accomplished

N/A

 

 

 

 

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