In order to be designated as an A+CE courses, you will be asked to complete the A+CE Course Designation Application. These are generally sent out mid-semester for the following semester. Within the application, faculty are asked to submit their A+CE course syllabus and their A+CE Signature Assignment.
Once submitted, the applications are reviewed by the A+CE Implementation Committee. Typically, the committee provides feedback to faculty regarding their assignment and works with faculty to align the Signature Assignment with the appropriate rubric.
What is a Signature Assignment?
A Signature Assignment is an assignment, task, activity, project or exam that is used to collect evidence for a specific learning outcome or learning outcomes (American Public University System).
How are Signature Assignments Used?
Signature Assignments are used to directly assess student learning outcomes (SLOs). A+CE has two student learning outcomes:
- SLO 1 (Inquiry & Analysis): Students will be able to analyze community issues with respect to different perspectives, theories, or solutions
- SLO 2 (Creative Thinking): Students will be able to identify or design creative strategies to address an aspect of a community issue
How are Artifacts Assessed?
Student artifacts are assessed using one of two VALUE rubrics from the AAC&U:
- Inquiry and Analysis Rubric
- Creative Thining Rubric
At a basic level, all A+CE Signature Assignments must align with one of the two Critical Thinking rubrics.
A good Signature Assignment feels like a natural part of the course curriculum and not a disjointed obligatory assignment.
A GREAT Signature Assignment:
- Produces an artifact that is assessable using one of the twoA+CE Critical Thinking Rubrics
- Is achievable with the skills learned in the course
- Occurs later in the semester
- Is transparent in purpose
- Includes clear instructions
- Allows students to address all skills outlined in rubric
- Allows students to reflect on what they have learned
Example SLO 1 Signature Assignment