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Dual-listed undergraduate and graduate courses enhance the educational experience of both undergraduate and graduate students. While academic programs are generally encouraged to offer distinct undergraduate and graduate courses, there are circumstances in which academic programs may wish to teach certain graduate and undergraduate courses together as one course. Explicit guidelines are provided here for dual-listed undergraduate/graduate courses, which refers to offering two courses, one undergraduate and one graduate, for which the class experience is shared; the graduate course is expected to have learning outcomes consistent with the relevant graduate program outcomes that must be clearly identified in the CIM system and on the syllabus.
Students may not take a dual-listed course at the undergraduate level and later apply it toward requirements for a graduate program (i.e., students may not take FSW 415 and later count it as FSW 515). Students may not complete any additional/distinct work for the 500-level course after the fact in order to receive graduate credit/or count the course toward a graduate program. In these cases, undergraduate students should request permission from the graduate school to take the 500-level course as an undergraduate by using the Undergraduate Permission Form. This form must be received by the Graduate School (with the approval of the instructor and the department chair) by 5 p.m. on the fifth day of class for a full-term fall, spring, or summer course. For sprint courses and winter term courses, the form must be submitted by the "Last Day for Departments to Add Students to a Course" date listed in the Academic Calendar.
In order to have quality graduate education, individual courses must have learning outcomes that are appropriate for graduate students. Learning outcomes should emphasize the application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation levels of cognitive learning (see Bloom, 1956 for additional information on levels of learning). Graduate education “involves a greater depth of learning, increased specialization, and a more advanced level of instruction than undergraduate education” (CCGS Guidelines, p. 3). Furthermore, CCGS guidelines state that, “In the event that a graduate course is co-listed with an advanced undergraduate course, the approval process should require clearly defined expectations of graduate students that go well beyond the expectations of the undergraduates in the course.”
Higher levels of originality and independence are expected in graduate work compared to undergraduate work (c.f., Lumina Foundation Degree Qualifications Profile). In combined courses, the content of learning outcomes will most often be the same for undergraduates and graduate students, but graduate students should be expected to achieve higher levels of learning for the content. The level of learning is most often communicated through the verbs used in assessing learning outcomes. Examples of terms that reflect different levels of learning are presented in Bloom’s Taxonomy of Measurable Verbs and are articulated in the following distinctions, which may be modified as needed in different disciplines.
Learning Outcomes in Online Courses
Online courses should follow the same guidelines as traditional courses with regard to student learning outcomes. In addition, online courses should minimally receive a Quality Matters review or evaluation.
NOTE: Portions used with permission from the Graduate School at Western Washington University.
The Graduate School is committed to advocating and supporting graduate programs dedicated to the pursuit of new knowledge and best teaching practices that promote diverse, globally aware graduate students and faculty.