Mason Core


2017 – 2020 Assessment Findings

Our sincerest appreciation to all of the faculty, administrators, reviewers, and working group members who supported this assessment process over the past three years. The AY18-20 assessment cycle was successful, informed plans for student learning improvement, and strongly supported the university’s reaffirmation with our regional accreditor, SACSCOC. Your commitment to student achievement is clear; we are proud of our Mason faculty! The final reports from the 2017-2020 Assessment cycle are linked below.

Full Report

Mason Core AY17-20 Assessment Full Report (pdf) 

Assessment Purpose, Framework, Methods, and Data (pdf) 


Mason Core Arts Full Report (pdf) 

Mason Core Arts Rubric (pdf) 

Critical Thinking (Capstone and Synthesis)

Critical Thinking Full Report (pdf) 

AAC&U-Mason Development of Critical Thinking Rubric (pdf) 

Global Understanding

Mason Core Global Understanding Full Report (pdf) 

Global Understanding Rubric (pdf) 

IT and Computing

Mason Core IT and Computing Full Report (pdf) 

Mason Core IT and Computing Rubric (pdf) 


Mason Core Literature Full Report (pdf) 

Mason Core Literature Rubric (pdf) 

Natural Sciences

Mason Core Natural Sciences Full Report (pdf) 

Mason Core Natural Sciences Rubric (pdf) 

Quantitative Reasoning

Mason Core Quantitative Reasoning Full Report (pdf) 

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mason Core Social and Behavioral Sciences Full Report (pdf) 

Mason Core Social and Behavioral Sciences Rubric (pdf) 

Western Civilization and World History

Mason Core Western Civilization and World History Full Report (pdf) 

Western Civilization and World History Rubric (pdf) 

Written Communication (English Composition)

Mason Core Written Communication Full Report (pdf) 

Written Communication (Writing Intensive in the Major)

Written Communication in the Major Full Report (pdf) 

AAC&U Written Communication VALUE Rubric (pdf) 

Previous Assessment of the Mason Core (2009-2015)

Between 2008 and 2015, the Mason Core program was assessed using faculty-prepared course portfolios. During each assessment period, a list of courses and faculty were randomly selected from all of the Mason Core courses in the designated category. Faculty participated in a pre-semester workshop to learn about student learning outcomes, assignment design, and expectations for the portfolio. Faculty were provided with online resources and one-on-one assistance as requested. At the end of the semester, each participating faculty member submitted a course portfolio that included: course syllabus, course map with assignments mapped to learning outcomes, selected assignment instructions or exams, samples of student work from a randomly selected list of students, and a narrative responding to prepared prompts.

The course portfolio review was conducted by members of the Mason Core Committee and by peer faculty reviewers who were paid a small stipend. The review focused on how well each course addressed the Mason Core student learning outcomes through instruction, assignments/activities, and samples of student work. Portfolios were assessed on how well the instructors articulated the learning outcomes, the congruence of the learning outcomes with the course content, the appropriateness of the course material for the Mason Core curriculum, and the appropriateness of the assignments or forms of assessment in relation to the learning outcomes. Results were shared with course faculty, department chairs, and the Mason Core Committee.

Exploration and Foundation courses were assessed on a six-year cycle, and each area was assessed at least once since 2008. Mason Core courses at Mason’s Korea campus were assessed during three semesters: Spring 2014, Fall 2014, and Spring 2015.

Assessment results for the 2009-2015 Mason Core assessment cycle are linked below:

Arts 2009

Critical Thinking Trends 2010-2014

Global Understanding 2013

IT 2012

Literature 2009

Mason Core at Mason Korea 2014

Mason Core at Mason Korea 2015

Natural Sciences 2014 

Oral Communication 2014

Quantitative Reasoning 2013

Social and Behavioral Sciences 2010

Synthesis 2011

Western Civilization 2010