The Hidden Curriculum You Want
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The Hidden Curriculum You Want

No matter what you teach, you probably want your learners to think critically, communicate effectively, and be capable of many other broad “soft skills.” These soft skills may not be part of the learner outcomes for your course. But it’s likely your organization has already defined them as broad overall goals or values. They may be part of a mission or vision statement; or they might be described as college-wide skills or life-long learning skills.  In the WIDS model, they care called core abilities.

Here are some other common examples of core abilities:

  • Demonstrate integrity
  • Think critically
  • Contribute constructively
  • Respect diversity

As a teacher, how do you get at core abilities when that’s not what your class is about? You probably already have plenty of content to cover in your class. So instead of thinking about explicitly teaching core abilities, think about incorporating them into student learning activities, assignments or assessments. 

Consider these examples:

Example Core ability: Communicate effectively

  • Assessment Strategy: Deliver a class presentation on xxx.
  • Assessment Criteria: Presentation is clear, concise and persuasive

Example Core ability: Contribute constructively

  • Assessment Strategy: Peer-evaluate xxx.
  • Assessment Criteria:Provide useful feedback in a respectful manner

Example Core ability: Demonstrate integrity

  • Assessment Strategy: Perform the xxx procedure
  • Assessment Criteria: Adhere to guidelines, without taking shortcuts

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