Journal of American History
Table 2: Development of Alverno College abilities most integral to the history discipline in courses at different levels

Course level


Speaking, writing, listening, reading, quantitive literacy, computer literacy


Valuing in decision making:


The student:Uses self assessment to identify and evaluate communication performance The student:Observes individual parts of phenomena and their relationships to one another The student:Explores the valuing process

Level 1

Recognizes own strengths and weaknesses in different modes of communication Observes accurately Identifies own and others’ values and some key emotions they evoke

Level 2

Recognizes the processes involved in each mode of communication and the interactions among them Draws reasonable inferences from observations Connects own values to behavior and articulates the cognitive and spiritual dimensions of this process


Communicates using discipline concepts and frameworks with growing understanding Uses disciplinary concepts and frameworks with growing understanding More precisely analyzes the role of groups, cultures, and societies in the construction of values and their expression in moral systems or ethical frameworks

Level 1

Uses communication processes purposefully to make meaning in different disciplinary contexts Perceives and makes relationships Analyzes reciprocal relationship between own values and their social contexts and explores how that relationship plays out

Level 2

Connects discrete modes of communication and integrates them effectively within the frameworks of a discipline Analyzes structure and organization Uses the perspectives and concepts of particular disciplines to inform moral judgments and decisions


Performs clearly and sensitively in increasingly more creative and engaging presentations Consciously and purposefully applies disciplinary frameworks to analyze complex phenomena Explores and applies value systems and ethical codes at the heart of the field

Level 1

Selects, adapts, and combines communication strategies in relation to disciplinary/professional frame works and theories Refines understanding of frameworks and identifies criteria for determining what frameworks are suitable for explaining a phenomenon Uses valuing frameworks of a major field of study or profession to engage significant issues in personal, professional, and civic contexts

Level 2

Uses strategies, theories, and technologies that reflect engagement in a discipline or profession Applies frameworks from major and minor discipline independently to analyze complex issues Consistently examines and cultivates own value systems in order to take initiative as a responsible self in the world
Source: Modified from the brochure Ability=Based Learning Program: The History Major (1994; Milwaukee, 2001), 8.Alverno College history faculty translate generic institutional outcomes into department, course, and assessment outcomes.