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San Jose State University

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									             San Jose State University

           Embedding Assessment of
          Student Learning in General
                   Education
         Gail G. Evans (Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies)
               Thalia Anagnos (Director of Assessment)


3/5/04              AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                        Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                Board of General Studies

     Solicits curricular proposals for courses designed to
     satisfy GE requirements from all colleges and
     departments of the University.
     Reviews, approves, and authorizes courses and
     curricular proposals for GE.
     Evaluates courses and curricula (including assessment)
     it has approved.


3/5/04          AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                    Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                  Composition of Board

     Eight teaching faculty elected by Colleges to three-year
     terms.
     Two students serving two-year terms.
     AVP for Undergraduate Studies (ex officio)
     Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies (ex officio)
     Director of Assessment (permanent guest)



3/5/04           AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                     Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
          General Education Advisory Panels

     In 1991 the Board of General Studies established
     advisory panels to involve faculty more actively in the
     review, assessment, and implementation of GE
     requirements in core GE courses. They recommend
     action to the Board of General Studies.

     There are now more than 80 faculty participating in the
     assessment and review process.

3/5/04           AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                     Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                General Education Requirements
    CORE GE                                                       ADVANCED GE
    A. Skills                                                     Prerequisites:
         A1.     Oral Communication                  3            Writing Skills Test
         A2.     Written Communication               3            Upper Division Standing
         A3.     Critical Thinking                   3            Completion of Core GE
    B. Science                                       9            Areas:
          (includes Math Concepts)                                R. Earth & Environment         3
    C. Humanities & Arts                             9            S. Self, Society & Equality
        (includes Written Comm 1B)                                             in the US         3
    D. Social Sciences (may include 6 unit           9            V. Culture, Civilization, &
         American Institution Grad. Requirement)                         Global Understanding    3
    E. Human Understanding & Development             3            Z. Written Communication       3

    TOTAL UNITS                                     39            TOTAL UNITS                   9-12
    Graduation Requirement:              American Institutions (may be satisfied in CORE GE)

3/5/04                    AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                              Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
            Assessment Challenges
            in a Large GE Program
o Menu of more than 200 different courses in 18
  different GE areas
o More than 300 different instructors teaching GE,
  a large portion of whom are part-time
o More than 500 sections of GE courses in any
  given semester
o GE goals that are not necessarily aligned with
  standardized tests
3/5/04      AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
              How Course Embedded
          Assessment Meets the Challenges
     Well defined GE learning goals that must be met in
     each course (SLO - Student Learning Objectives)
     Provides a great deal of flexibility for faculty in
     developing their assessment plans
     Faculty can use existing assignments and exams for
     assessing student outcomes
     Students don’t have to take additional tests outside of
     class
     More immediate and focused feedback leading to faster
     implementation of course modifications
3/5/04           AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                     Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                  Core GE: Human Understanding &
                        Development (Area E)
     Goals
         – Students will understand themselves as integrated,
           physiological, social, and psychological entities who are able
           to formulate strategies for lifelong personal development.

         – Courses shall address challenges confronting students who
           are entering the complex social system of the university, so
           that students can employ available university resources to
           support academic and personal development.

3/5/04                AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                          Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                 Student Learning Objectives
     Students shall:
         – recognize the physiological, social/cultural, and psychological
           influences on their well-being;
         – recognize the interrelation of the physiological, social/cultural,
           and psychological factors on their development across the
           lifespan;
         – use appropriate social skills to enhance learning and develop
           positive interpersonal relationships with diverse groups of
           individuals; and
         – Recognize themselves as individuals undergoing a particular
           stage of human development and how their well being is
           affected by the university’s academic and social systems.
3/5/04                AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                          Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                          Content - Core GE

         Diversity.
         – Issues of diversity shall be incorporated in an
           appropriate manner.
         Writing.
         – The minimum writing requirement is 1500
           words in a language and style appropriate to
           the discipline.
3/5/04              AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                        Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                                           Diversity
     CD 106 - Concepts of Childhood
         – In the term paper students are asked to compare a given childhood
           topic of their choice (e.g., child labor, vaccinations, drinking age,
           availability of different levels of education, etc.) across at least three
           societies.
     RECL 111 - Leisure, Culture and Identity
         – Students research and compose a letter to an authority figure,
           institution or the media discussing diversity and equality. One student
           wrote a letter to NCAA president Miles Brand about the
           disproportionate lack of African American leadership in the form of
           head coaches. Another wrote to Cosmopolitan and Shape magazines
           about the small range of body types and races represented in their
           magazines. The student cited historical, social, and political issues that
           are causing an increase in plastic surgery, anorexia, bulimia, ageism,
           and self-loathing by women and linked it to such magazines.
3/5/04                  AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                            Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                                          Diversity
     EnvS/Pkg 152 - Environmental Issues and Global Distribution of
     Goods
         – Students study and report on the goals and actions of the IMF, WTO,
           NAFTA, GATT and Debt-for-Nature programs, and how they impact on
           people in lesser developed countries and the environments in which
           they live.
         – Students study different packaging designs to address the diversity of
           needs of children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
     PHIL 104 - Philosophies of Asia
         – Students participated in a group discussion on status and role of women
           and ethnic minorities in a critical view of Hindu doctrine of society (the
           varna system).

              More examples at www2.sjsu.edu/ugs/ge/ge-diversity.htm

3/5/04                 AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                           Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                      Content - Core GE (con’t)
     Courses shall enable students to achieve the competencies
     described in the SLOs by including:
         – a focus on the interdependence of the physiological, social/cultural, and
           psychological factors that contribute to the process of human development
           and determine the limitations, potential, and options of the individual across
           the lifespan;
         – an understanding of the university as a learning center for the integrated
           person, an introduction to its resources, and an appreciation for the
           intellectual and social vitality of the campus community; and
         – an inventory and evaluation of university-level learning skills and an
           exploration of the application of these skills to the student’s academic and
           personal development.

3/5/04                   AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                             Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                               Support- Core GE
     Instructor qualifications
          an understanding and appreciation of the SJSU GE program;
          a doctorate (preferred but not required);
          college-level teaching experience or advanced (graduate) training in the
           subject matter of the course;
          a professional commitment to the learning needs of a diverse student
           body;
          sections designed for foreign students require substantial formal training
           and experience in teaching speakers of other languages, in addition to
           above requirements;
          teaching associates shall be allowed to teach a GE course only after
           training and under the close supervision of an expert in the field; and
          exceptions must be justified by the department.
3/5/04                   AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                             Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                                Assessment

          Writing shall be assessed for correctness,
           clarity, and conciseness.
          In accordance with the approved assessment
           plan, the course coordinator/department chair
           will summarize the assessment results and
           attach them to the continuing certification
           request.

3/5/04            AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                      Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                    Advanced GE (Area V):
         Culture, Civilization, & Global Understanding
Goals
     Students should gain an appreciation for human
     expression in different cultures and an
     understanding of how that expression has
     developed over time in different cultures.
     Students should increase their understanding of
     how other cultural traditions have influenced
     American culture and society, as well as how
     cultures in general both develop distinctive
     features and interact with other cultures.
3/5/04         AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                   Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
             Student Learning Objectives
     Students shall be able to:
      – compare systematically the ideas, values, images,
        cultural artifacts, economic structures, technological
        developments, or attitudes of people from different
        societies;
      – identify the historical context of ideas and cultural
        practices and their dynamic relations to other
        historical contexts; and
      – explain how a culture changes in response to
        internal and external pressures.
3/5/04           AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                     Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
               Content (Advanced GE)
     Diversity. Issues of diversity shall be incorporated
      in an appropriate manner.
     Writing. Written assignments should include both
      in-class and out-of-class writing, giving students
      practice and feedback throughout the semester. A
      single final term paper would not satisfy the
      requirement. A minimum of 3000 words of writing is
      required in a language and style appropriate for the
      discipline.
     All courses in Self, Society, and Equality in the U.S.
      should include content to promote all of the above
      competencies.
3/5/04          AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                    Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                                        Support
         Prerequisites
             Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST)
             Upper division standing (56 units)
             Completion of Core GE
         Pedagogical Approach
             Courses shall focus on issues or present
              perspectives from different academic disciplines.
             Courses shall require students to apply basic
              skills (reading, writing, speaking, critical thinking,
              research, and mathematics) and to utilize
              knowledge gained in Core GE courses.
3/5/04              AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                        Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                          Support (con’t)
    Active Learning
        Each course shall provide for active student
         participation. The course may not be exclusively
         lecture format.
        Assignments must utilize library research and oral
         and written communication skills.
        Courses should promote reflective processes and
         critical analysis.
    Primary sources
        Course materials (readings, research) must include
         primary sources.
    Instructor Qualifications & Assessment (same as Core)
3/5/04         AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                   Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                                Certification
         Since fall, 1998 approximately 260 courses have been
         submitted to the Board for recertification under the new
         GE Guidelines
         219 courses were approved
         Since fall 2001, assessment packets for continuing
         certification have been submitted for all courses
         No course has been denied continuing certification, and
         most have received the maximum of 4 years


3/5/04           AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                     Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
          GE Assessment – Required Plan
         Example for a Critical Thinking Course
         – Diagnostic survey first week (self report on abilities
           and attitudes)
         – Peer and instructor feedback on persuasive speech
         – Peer and instructor feedback on first debate
         – Midterm and final with questions related to SLO and
           content objectives
         – Summative survey (repeat of diagnostic)
3/5/04           AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                     Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                      Initial Data Collection

     Fall 1999 – subset of instructors submitted data
     as a series of short written reports
         – Student preparation
            (main issues and how responded)
         – Aggregate student performance with respect to GE
           Student Learning Objectives
            (what worked and how ensure consistency in meeting SLO)
         – Coordination across multiple sections
            (how and how improve)

3/5/04              AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                        Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                     Common Themes in
           Initial Assessment Reports
Problems
   – Writing mechanics and organization
   – Reading comprehension
   – Basic math skills
Solutions
   – Break units/assignments into smaller chunks
   – Clarify readings during class or w/ handouts
   – Use rough-drafts and provide more feedback
   – More writing
3/5/04        AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                  Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
         Need for More Formalized Process

         More than 200 courses in 18 different GE areas -
         ?comparable data?
         Need for systematic data for assessing effectiveness of
         GE program
         Need for well defined process to assist faculty in
         understanding expectations
         Attempt at automated data collection
         More information:
              www2.sjsu.edu/ugs/assessment/as-ge1.html
3/5/04            AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                      Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                     Coordinator Summaries
          for Reporting of Assessment Data
Standardized Format w/ Several Parts:
     Response to concerns from certification letter
     Mastery of Student Learning Objectives (quantitative
     and qualitative)
     Modifications to improve student learning
     Effectiveness in meeting Content Objectives
     Effectiveness of coordination activities
     Evaluation of assessment activities
     Copy of instructor summary form or report format
3/5/04           AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                     Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
            Sample Assessment Question
Learning Objective 1: Students should be able to distinguish between
reasoning (e.g., explanation, argument) and other types of discourse (e.g.,
description, assertion).

Out of approximately          students assessed, approximately            students
met this GE Student Learning Objective.

Briefly summarize 2 or 3 examples of activities/assignments that have been
successful in helping students meet GE Student Learning Objective 1.




3/5/04              AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                        Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                  Evolution of the Process

         Fall 2001 received assessment summaries for 70 courses
         After reviewing first set of summaries, had better
         understanding of the process
          –Unanticipated and new challenges
           (incomplete assessment, drifting of courses off GE objectives,
                     inadequate response to previous concerns)



         –Developed new philosophy
3/5/04             AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                       Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
           Course Recertification Philosophy

         Assessment as pathway to success vs.
         gateway
         Mentoring of faculty
         No decisions until the decision is “YES”
         Education of faculty regarding GE
         objectives and assessment
         Sharing of best practices
3/5/04          AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                    Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                      Successes to Date
     Completion of assessment of GE Assessment (surveys and focus
     groups – see www2.sjsu.edu/senate/assessmentreport.pdf
     Identification of model assessment summaries – posting on web
     in a portfolio
     Identification of models of the diversity requirement
     Identification of common problems in GE courses
      – 3 roundtable discussions in spring 2002 (active learning,
         course coordination, under-prepared students)
     Appointment of GE faculty in residence at CFDS
3/5/04           AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                     Generating Commitment Value and Evidence
                         Successes to Date

     Sharing of best practices for Areas V & S
         – Spring and fall 2003
         – Common understanding of Student Learning Objectives
         – Activities to meet Student Learning Objectives
     Development of Course Coordinator Responsibilities
         – www2.sjsu.edu/ugs/ge/ge-coordresponse.htm
     Letter to campus community asking for feedback on
     assessment reporting form (Fall 2003)
3/5/04              AAC&U Conference on General Education & Assessment:
                        Generating Commitment Value and Evidence

								
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