Skip to Main Content

AS 100/110 - First Year Experience

Track Assignment Resources

The Communication track is informed by the National Communication Association’s Learning Outcomes in Communication Project, which assumes “that Communication constructs the social world and is relational, collaborative, strategic, symbolic, and adaptive” (NCA, “What Is Communication?”). Key learning outcomes include engaging “perspectives, principles, and concepts” of communication, crafting communication “appropriate to the audience, purpose, and context,” engaging “ethical communication principles and practices,” and using communication to “embrace difference.” 

Working through the scaffolded assignments, students will learn about and analyze essential verbal and nonverbal skills in interpersonal, oral, and written communication. Students will understand how to adapt their communication appropriately and ethically according to audience, purpose, and context.  (NCA, “What Is Communication?”). 

The Critical Thinking trajectory is inspired by both Bloom’s taxonomy and WSU’s Critical Thinking Project. Benjamin Bloom identifies in his Taxonomy of Educational Objectives (1956) six important cognitive skills: knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. Responding to the critical thinking components in Bloom’s taxonomy, Washington State University developed seven criteria in their 2002 Critical Thinking Project. Key indicators of critical thinking include identifying the problem at issue, presenting one’s own position, considering multiple perspectives, assessing assumptions, and analyzing the context and implications.

Moving through the scaffolded assignments, students will practice the various aspects of critical thinking. In particular, students will learn to form original and informed assessment of ideas presented to them (Walden U webinar, “Demonstrating Critical Thinking in Writing Assignments,” July 27, 2017).

The Information Literacy track is informed by the Association of College and Research Libraries Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education. As citizens of the world it is vital to learn how “information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning” (ACRL, 2021).

The scaffolded assignments in this track will reinforce your ability to understand your information needs as well as locate, evaluate, and use information in an ethical manner that is consistent with the values espoused by educational institutions.

 The Professional Development track is inspired by the “Models of Professional Development” put forth by the State Education Resource Center (SERC) which lists “models of professional development that have proven effective for adult learners in general, and educators in particular” ( (Links to an external site.), 2021).  These models all advocate professional development beyond the “sit and get” model of content delivery.  

The scaffolded assignments in this track incorporate several of the models put forth by SERC including “Action Research”, “Inquiry”, and “Interviewing”.  They will require you to locate and evaluate information, practice time management skills, and professional communication.