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Assessment of Co-Curricular Learning

Co-Curricular & Extra-Curricular Learning

Understanding the effects of co-curricular learning and assessment on student engagement, achievement, and success warrants a review of the literature to establish a well-articulated definition and tenets of the term. Co-curricular activities were preceded by another concept, the extra-curricular experience and activities that described student learning outside the classroom. In many instances, both terms have been used interchangeably even though they define and describe different experiences. This document outlines definitions of both experiences and assessment of co-curricular activities for Johns Hopkins University.


Working definition for co-curricular learning @ JHU

Co-curricular activities:

  1. Deliver learning experiences that complement curricular instruction, thereby enhancing and supporting student learning and engagement.
  2. Reside within a program or outside the departmental and programmatic structure in divisions such as student affairs, athletics, and life design.
  3. Connect to a curriculum and can be mapped to university, school, unit, or program learning objectives.
  4. Assess learning objectives connected to students’ program of study, divisional learning objectives or career stated objectives.
  5. Are always assessed and learning can be verified as part of the comprehensive learner record (CLR); learning assessment data collected inform course, activity, and program improvements.

Additional components for the definition

  1. In most cases co-curricular learning is voluntary, but there may be instances where it is required depending on program.
  2. Often credit is not assigned to these types of activities, but in instances where it is assigned, it does not typically count toward the degree requirements.

Working definition for extra-curricular learning @ JHU

Extra-curricular activities:

  1. Provide students with opportunities to enhance and support student learning and engagement.
  2. Are activities, performed by students, that fall outside the realm of the formal curriculum but may be part of their lifelong learning portfolios.
  3. Are typically voluntary and not for credit.
  4. May or may not assess learning.

Comparison between curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular learning

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