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CAP 4-Year Review

What is the 4-Year Review process for CAP courses?

The CAP 4-Year Review process is an opportunity for faculty members and departments to reflect on a CAP course and consider student learning in that course. Faculty members are asked to re-examine the course as it was initially conceived and proposed for CAP to determine if the course is still being delivered that way and whether or not students are learning what faculty members strive for them to learn in the course. Accordingly, the Course Learning Objectives (CLOs) form the foundation of this review.

Simply put, the 4-Year Review process asks: 

  • Is the course being delivered as proposed for CAP (or how it was described the last time it went through 4-Year Review)?
  • Are students achieving the learning objectives for the course?
  • How is the level of achievement assessed and evaluated? And how is that information being utilized?
  • What are the plans for future offerings of the course?

By providing an opportunity to reflect, this process enables faculty, departments, and the broader campus community to focus on learning and communicate with others about the learning that is occurring as part of the Common Academic Program.

Download Overview, Timeline, and Outcomes for the 4-Year Review Process (PDF) >>HERE.

Download Frequently Asked Questions about the 4-Year Review Process (PDF) >>HERE.

What the CAP 4-Year Review is not:

Words such as "review" can provoke fear and reluctance, so it is important to point out what the CAP 4-Year Review is not. This process is not about:

  • Collecting evidence that will be conveyed by the CAP Office to unit- or institution-level tenure and promotion committees or other review committees;
  • Telling faculty members how to teach or what to teach; or
  • Using data to thwart course offerings.

Recommended elements of a course assessment plan:

The CAP Committee (CAPC) developed recommendations that a course assessment plan should identify the following elements:

  • System for administering assessment [e.g., rubric -- which relates directly to the Course Learning Objectives (CLOs)]
  • Specifics about which assignment(s) are used to assess which CLOs
  • Who will conduct the assessment (e.g., instructor of record, outside instructors, etc.)?
  • Who will be assessed (e.g., every student or random sample)?
  • Frequency of assessment (if appropriate depending on how often the course is offered)
  • Thresholds for achievement (e.g., 70% proficiency)
  • Process or method for interpreting and using results of assessment to inform future course offerings
  • Steps taken to act upon evidence and/or data to enhance student learning in the course (i.e., closing the loop)

If the course is part of program assessment (perhaps for an academic unit and/or external accreditation), please look for ways to align the 4-Year Review with that process.

Completing the 4-Year Review Report

Departments are asked to provide information about each course undergoing the CAP 4-Year Review process by completing a form (download information follows). Departments will need to refer to the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system to complete the form. Additional information, documentation, etc. is encouraged, but please include answers to each question on the form and refer only to other documents for supplemental information.  

Download the 4 Year Review Report form (Word) >>HERE.

4-Year Review Timeline: 2020-21 Academic Year

The following timeline applies to departments with courses that will go through the 4-Year Review process during the 2020-21 academic year. Departments will be notified with significant lead time about the timeline applicable to courses that will go through the process in subsequent academic years.

  • Departments and faculty members are reminded of the upcoming 4-Year Review cycle

  • Please do not make any changes to the course's record in the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system during the 4-Year Review process. Any changes in CIM should be made after the CAP Committee (CAPC) has reviewed the 4-Year Review Report and communicated a decision regarding renewal of CAP course designation.
  • In lieu of a fall in-person workshop for departments and faculty, the CAP Office will convey information by other means regarding the review process and examples of assessment methods for course reflection
  • Faculty members who teach the course have conversations among themselves about Course Learning Objectives (CLOs), Institutional Learning Goals (ILGs), and CAP components
  • Faculty members compile information about the course and student learning
  • Draft 4-Year Review Report reviewed and submitted to department for input and dialogue according to department's own due dates
  • If a department requests a two-year deferral for a course up for review because it has been offered less than once a year since it was approved for CAP, the CAP Office should be notified no later than October 15, 2020
  • If a department and faculty members choose to remove a course from the list of approved CAP courses and not participate in the 4-Year Review process, the CAP Office should be notified no later than October 15, 2020

  • Faculty members make revisions to CAP 4-Year Review Report
  • Department Chair submits CAP 4-Year Review Report to the CAP Committee (CAPC) as an attachment via the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system by January 22, 2021
  • CAPC reviews submitted Reports:
       - CAPC refers Reports to subcommittee of approximately three members for initial review and recommendation to the entire CAPC (completed by March 5, 2021)
       - CAPC reviews recommendations of subcommittees and determines if more information and/or consultation with faculty and departments is needed. If needed, requests will be made by March 26, 2021
       - During April, meetings with faculty members and/or department chairs will take place, if needed
Decisions by CAPC regarding renewal of CAP course designation and modifications will be provided by May 14, 2021 via CIM

  • Department and unit conversations determine necessary next steps depending on CAP designation status
  • Any final revisions or modifications should be submitted via CIM by September 3, 2021

4-Year Review Workshops: Presentations and Resources

The CAP Office sponsors workshops (generally once a semester) to provide information to departments with courses up for 4-Year Review. The following materials were covered during the specified workshop date. Select the title to download a presentation or document.


Michelle C. Pautz, Ph.D. Assistant Provost for the Common Academic Program

300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1302