This faculty toolkit showcases and supports the teaching faculty at the University of Kentucky who are teaching a course approved in the general education program called the UK Core.  In an increasingly complex society, the need for teaching innovation in higher education has become critical to preparing our college graduates for the challenges they will face in a global workforce.  More than ever before, UK’s faculty seek new and challenging ways for students to understand multiple perspectives, and to identify the commonalities and differences among the perspectives that are inherent in different academic disciplines.

The success of the University of Kentucky’s new general education program relies on a focus on inquiry as the mode of instruction and evidence-based thinking as its outcome.  UK is a national leader in the implementation of this new approach to a general education core. On March 17, 2008, the University of Kentucky Faculty Senate adopted seven design principles for revising UK’s general education curriculum.  Soon thereafter hundreds of UK faculty, librarians, teaching and support services staff began work on developing innovative strategies to support the new courses being proposed based on the ten course templates grouped along essential learning outcomes in four broad areas:

    1. Intellectual Inquiry:  Students will demonstrate an understanding of and ability to employ the processes of intellectual inquiry. [12 credit hours]
    2. Composition and Communication Students will demonstrate competent written, oral, and visual communication skills both as producers and consumers of information. [6 credit hours]
    3. Quantitative Reasoning:  Students will demonstrate an understanding of and ability to employ methods of quantitative reasoning. [6 credit hours]
    4. Citizenship:  Students will demonstrate an understanding of the complexities of citizenship and the process for making informed choices as engaged citizens in a diverse, multilingual world. [6 credit hours]

UK is supported in this effort by the AAC&U’s LEAP initiative which defined a set of essential learning outcomes, the Principles of Excellence and a LEAP Vision for Learning.


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