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Geneseo Learning Outcomes for Fine Arts

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to interpret works of art by analyzing appropriate social, cultural, psychological, and environmental aspects of the works;
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze and interpret works of art using the language of art criticism relevant to the art form under study;
  • Students in courses that treat the history of an art form will understand the cultural dimensions and contributions of the arts;
  • Students in courses that treat the history of an art form will appreciate the personal and cultural forces that shape the arts and how the arts in turn shape the diverse cultures of past and present society;
  • Students in studio courses will demonstrate an understanding of the principles and elements used in the art form under study, and demonstrate sensitivity to, and creativity with, the medium.

SUNY Learning Outcome in The Arts

  • Understanding of at least one principal form of artistic expression and the creative process inherent therein.

Method of Assessment

Instructors assessed students in the following Fine Arts courses: ArtS 100, ArtS 101 (2 sections), ArtS 205, ArtS 210, ArtH 171, ArtH 172, ArtH, 180, Danc 100, Danc 211, Danc 222, Thea 100 (2 sections), Thea 130, Thea 140, Thea 200, Thea 203 , Musc 100, Musc 110 (2 sections), Musc 120, and Musc 226. There were 152 students assessed in ArtS courses, 333 in ArtH courses, 94 in Dance courses, 303 in Music courses and 445 in Theatre courses, for a total of 1327 students. The data for Music were collected in fall 2006; all other data were collected in spring 2007. The Fine Arts area considers this a 100% sample.

In each course, the Fine Arts rubric was applied to a piece of student work (usually a short test) at both the beginning of and a later point in the semester; students were scored 1-4 on the Geneseo Fine Arts learning outcomes based on improvement; each student's scores were averaged to produce a single score for the SUNY learning outcome in The Arts.



Understanding of artistic expression and creative process







Not meeting


Observations from Fine Arts Faculty

"The majority of students in the large enrollment survey sections taking multiple choice exams can manage to answer enough questions correctly that they can pass and do well. This means that the majority of students in these classes are able to memorize data and to identify correct answers when presented with multiple choice questions and answers. These findings, however, do not assess how many of these students actually possess a complex or abstract understanding of the basic concepts taught in these courses as multiple choice tests make it impossible to test for the more subtle and conceptual areas in any field. Anyone thinking differently is fooling themselves."

"We could all learn that we are fooling ourselves if we try to say that these large enrollment classes are any kind of adequate environment for promoting teaching and learning other than the most rote memorization of some basic data and concepts."

"Improving teaching and learning means if it is the goal to improve education by increasing the ability of students to think originally, speak in an articulate manner and develop their abstract and conceptual thinking, then smaller classes must be instituted. Unless and until this happens, the large enrollment classes will continue to turn out students who can manage to memorize a certain amount of data and recognize correct answers in a multiple choice context without our ever being able to assess how much students are actually learning or how much we might actually be teaching them."