Course Tagging Conceptual Framework

Undergraduate students develop competencies through their major degree requirements, liberal arts requirements, and experiences. Course tagging presents an opportunity for faculty to help students connect the dots between these learning experiences. Courses that are tagged should engage students in the following principles:

  • Course learning objectives clearly align with the tagged competency.

  • At least 30% of the course grade connects to the tagged competency.

  • Faculty utilize specific teaching/learning strategies to teach the tagged competency (e.g. lecture, flipped classroom, small group activities).

  • Faculty provide students with meaningful feedback on their competency development that goes beyond a grade.

Syllabus Integration: Connecting the Dots for Students

The course syllabus is an ideal place for students to see how the knowledge, skills, and work produced in class connects to their course, major, and institutional learning goals. This is currently not required, but a study of other college/university tagging efforts shows that this is a best practice. Click on the link above to view an example from Syracuse University’s MAX 302 syllabus which communicates the connection between the program learning outcomes, course learning objectives, assignments, and Shared Competencies course tags.

Miller, R. (2005). Integrative learning and assessment. Peer Review, 7 (Summer/Fall 2005), 3/4. Retrieved from

Adapted from Fostering Integrative Learning and Reflection through “Signature Assignments” Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU).