Liberal Studies Program > Teaching in LSP > Learning Outcomes & Writing Expectations

Learning Outcomes & Writing Expectations by LSP Area


Common Core

Chicago Quarter

​Students who successfully complete the Chicago Quarter will be able to:
  • Analyze and integrate the academic content and their experiences across the city.
  • Articulate connections between the course content and at least two of these four concepts that reflect the mission of DePaul University:
      • Diversity.
      • Social responsibility.
      • Human dignity.
      • Urban sustainability.
  • Showcase self-development and personal growth as a university student.
  • Describe how their course prepares them to embark on the remainder of their liberal studies education.
  • Articulate educational, career, and financial goals.
  • Demonstrate awareness of strategies and resources needed to achieve academic success.

Focal Point Seminar

Students who successfully complete the Focal Point Seminar will be able to:​
  • Discuss and analyze work from at least three different fields in their written work for the course.
  • Participate actively in advancing the collective intellectual understanding of the course topic through class discussions.
  • Distinguish between primary and secondary sources, and assess varying degrees of mediation and interpretation in specific source materials.
  • Construct arguments based on evidence and the work and interpretations of other sources.
  • Revise papers in response to the instructor’s comments.
  • Produce a project with a central argument, in which all parts of the project support the central argument.

Quatitative Reasoning and Technological Reasoning (QRTL)

Students who successfully complete QRTL courses will be able to:
  • Make estimations.
      • Use proportional reasoning.
      • Use percent change.
  • Use information conveyed as data, graphs, and chart.
    • Draw inferences from data.
    • Aggregate data with pivot tables.
    • Recognize disaggregation as a factor in interpreting data.
  • Formulate applied problems mathematically, seek patterns, and draw conclusion.
    • Recognize interactions in complex systems.
    • Use linear, exponential, and simulation models.
    • Recognize the impact of different rates of growth.
  • Make and interpret frequency distributions.
    • Summarize data with measures of center and dispersion.
    • Measure and interpret the association between variables.
    • Recognize the difference between correlation and causation.
    • Solve applied problems involving the normal distribution and z-scores.
  • Recognize that seemingly improbably coincidences are not uncommon.
    • Evaluate risk from available evidence.
    • Calculate basic common probabilities.
  • Use sequential, logical thinking
    • Develop algorithms to solve problems.
    • Use Boolean conditionals and repetition to create simple computer programs.
  • Make algebraic calculations within a spreadsheet using cell addresses and formulas.
    • Format the layout of a spreadsheet.
    • Use statistical, logical, and financial.
    • Use and create macros to automate repetitious tasks.
  • Make appropriate and effective graphs to communicate and visualize quantitative information.
    • Enter data into a pre-existing database
    • Import data from a text file or spreadsheet file into a database.
    • Filter records based on a single parameter and on multiple parameter.
    • Sort records with multiple sort keys.
    • Formulate and conduct queries.
    • Generate a report from a database.
    • Recognize the difference between a flat file and a relational database.
    • Create a relational database using two or more tables.
    • Construct a query for a relational database using two or more tables.
    • Construct a query for a relational database using joins.
    • Design and implement forms for data entry.
  • Import data from a spreadsheet or database into a statistics package.
    • Use graphical tools in a statistical package to make specialized statistics plots such as box plots and normal probability plots.
    • Calculate descriptive summary statistics using a statistical package.
  • Construct the concept of algorithm through experimentation and reflection on everyday activities.
    • Articulate an accurate definition of an algorithm
    • Recognize algorithms fitting the definition.
    • Construct the notion of a control structure and a repetition structure.
    • Acquire the ability to trace simple programs listings using control and repetition structures.
    • Use control and repetition structures to write simple computer programs to affect a task.
  • Analyze and discuss the impact of information technology on society and their own lives.
  • Discuss the implications of the fact that information and decision making are increasingly quantitative.
  • Critically assess the sources, importance and factual accuracy of digital information. 

First Year Writing

Students who successfully complete First Year Writing courses will be able to:
  • Identify and use key rhetorical concepts, including purpose, audience, and context, through analyzing and composing a variety of texts.
  • Integrate critical thinking, reading, and writing.
  • Reflect on and develop their own writing processes.
  • Appropriately apply knowledge of linguistic structures, genre, and citation.

Seminar on Multiculturalism in the U.S.

Students who succesfully complete the Seminar on Multiculturalism in the U.S. (LSP 200) will be able to:
  • Understand the historical debates about and values of multiculturalism. The course will compare at least three different dimensions of multiculturalism, such as ethnicity, race, gender, class, language, and sexuality.
  • Develop, through self-reflection and critical analysis, alternative perspectives on the historical roots of inequality along with an understanding of the lasting effects of oppression on marginalized groups.
  • Critically analyze multiple sources of information (from, for example, relevant databases and other reference works, primary and secondary sources, community knowledge, etc.) in order to form clear, concise arguments about multicultural issues and to interpret evidence from a variety of points of view. 
  • Advance collective intellectual understanding —through discussion, group work, active listening and speaking — and use information to address problems and issues related to social inequality, conflict and diversity. 

Experiential Learning

Students who successfully complete the Experiential Learning requirement will be able to:
  • Apply particular concepts from readings, lectures, etc. to an analysis of lived experiences in the settings provided by the course.
  • Use the experiences provided by the course to construct and articulate the impact of their experience on their understanding of course content.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the ethics appropriate to his or her experiential placement.
  • Synthesize and articulate how the ideas and experiences provided by the course might inform their personal, academic, and/or professional pursuits.

Senior Capstone

Students who successfully complete the Capstone requirement will be able to:
  • ​Apply one or more theories or concepts from courses within their major to an analysis of a particular issue relevant to the major.
  • Identify an idea, method, or concept from a discipline outside their major field of study and be able to apply it within the context of their major field of study.
  • Examine how their previous coursework, including Liberal Studies courses, has contributed to their intellectual development and/or their post-graduation plans.

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Learning Domains

Arts and Literature

Students who successfully complete the Arts and Literature requirement will be able to:
  • Explain, in well-written prose, what a work of art is about and/or how it was produced
    • Articulate and explain the “content” of that work and/or its methodology of production.
  • Comment on the relationship between form and content in a work.
    • How does the 14-line sonnet both enable and inhibit its practitioner, for example?
    • What are the generic expectations of a particular form?
    • How does an artist complicate, enrich, or subvert such expectations?
  • Assess the formal aspects of their subject and put those qualities into words, using, when appropriate, specialized vocabulary employed in class and readings.
  • Contextualize a work of art.
    • Do so with respect to other works of art in terms of defining its place within a broader style or genre.
    • Contextualize a work of art in terms of contemporaneous aesthetic, social, or political concerns, discussing how these might shape the work’s reception and how that reception might differ amongst various peoples and historical periods.​

Philosophical Inquiry

Students who successfully complete the Philosophical Inquiry requirement will be able to:
  • Address, critically think about, and analyze philosophical questions and problems.
  • Evaluate philosophical questions, issues and/or problems using informed judgment.
  • Analyze and interpret the methods used by philosophers in addressing philosophical questions, issues, and/or problems.
  • Engage with philosophical topics and figures in their historical context.
  • Confront and interpret primary texts from the philosophical tradition.
  • Write an analytic essay treating a philosophical question, issue and/or problem that forwards an identifiable thesis, argument, and conclusion.

Religious Dimensions

Students who successfully complete the Religious Dimensions requirement will be able to:
  • Explain beliefs and practices of one or more religious traditions in their specific social and cultural contexts.
    • In courses in which the focus is on one religious tradition, describe the diversity of strands within the tradition and explain with significant depth the modes of interpretation of the world the tradition offers both to adherents and to others.
  • Identify religious modes of thinking, acting, and feeling such as: myth and narrative, symbol, ritual, law, doctrine, ethics, religious experience.
  • Analyze the impact of religion on personal as well as communal dimensions of human life, including for example the relationship between religion and power, social integration, social transformation, and social justice.

Scientific Inquiry

Students who successfully complete the Scientific Inquiry requirements of Science as a Way of Knowing, Scientific Inquiry Lab, and Scientific Inquiry Elective will be able to:

Science as a Way of Knowing 

Students will demonstrate this by:

  • Identify the types of questions that can and cannot be answered by science, and recognize the strengths and limitations of science in answering questions about the natural world.
  • Critically evaluate the assumptions that underlie scientific investigations.
  • Substantiate the claim that scientific knowledge is durable but can evolve with new evidence and perspectives.
  • Connect evidence to the predictions made by theories and hypotheses, and then assess the extent to which the presented evidence supports or refutes a scientific claim.
  • Evaluate the role of creativity, curiosity, skepticism, open‐mindedness and diligence of individuals in scientific discovery and innovation.
  • Recognize the uncertainty inherent in the scientific approach and evaluate scientists’ efforts to minimize and understand its effect through experimental design, data collection, data analysis and interpretation.
  • Evaluate the role of communication, collaboration, diversity and peer review in promoting scientific progress and the quality of scientific evidence and ideas, and ensuring compliance with ethical standards.
  • Determine the extent to which science both influences and is influenced by the societies
  • Apply scientific approaches to problem solving and decision‐making in their own lives, and evaluate how scientific knowledge informs policies, regulations, and personal decisions.
Scientific Inquiry - Lab
Students will demonstrate this by:
  • Pose meaningful scientific questions and generate testable scientific hypotheses.
  • Plan, design and conduct scientific investigations in a collaborative environment using appropriate tools and techniques to gather relevant data in order to test and revise scientific hypotheses.
  • Develop explanations of natural phenomena.
  • Address variability in the data and recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions.
  • Communicate scientific procedures, results, and explanations and engage in arguments based on scientific evidence.
Scientific Inquiry - Elective​ 

Students will demonstrate this by:

  • Apply appropriate concepts, tools, and techniques of scientific inquiry.
  • Describe how natural scientific, mathematical, and/or computational methodologies function as mechanisms for inquiry.
  • Explain the interaction between the content of their SI-Elective course and other scientific disciplines or the broader society.

Social, Cultural, and Behavioral Inquiry (SCBI)

Student​s who successfully complete the SCBI requirement will be able to:
  • Analyze and reflect upon arguments about the contemporary world using relevant theory, methods, and/or empirical evidence.
  • Analyze interdependent relationships between contemporary society and individuals.

Understanding the Past

Students who successfully complete the Understanding the Past requirement will be able to:
  • Demonstrate a depth of historical knowledge of specified content by:
    • explain historical developments in terms of continuity and change; 
    • describe the relevant political, economic, social or cultural contexts of historical events and developments; 
    • explain how people have lived, acted and thought in one or more particular historical periods. 

  • Demonstrate historical skills by: 
    • analyze and evaluate primary and secondary sources; 
    • differentiate between historical facts and historical interpretations; 
    • articulate an historical argument; 
    • supporting an intrpretation with evidence from primary and secondary sources. 

  • Demonstrate historical thinking by: 
    • articulate how geography and regional differences affect the past; 
    • interpret the complexity and diversity among issues, events, and ideas of the past; 
    • distinguish among multiple perspectives that shape interpretations of the past; 
    • use the categories of race, gender, class, ethnicity, region, and religion to analyze historical events and developments.  

Understanding the Past Learning Outcomes and Writing Expectations