October 5, 2011- Power Point Presentation

Report
An Uncommon Approach to
Common Assessment of General Education
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An Uncommon Approach to Common
Assessment of General Education
Jeanne Butler, Ph.D., Director of Assessment
Daren Snider, Ph.D., Director of General Studies
University of Nebraska Kearney
Meet the Presenters
Jeanne Butler
 Director of Assessment at UNK since 2004
 Former faculty member at Boston
University, University of Southern California
and Western Governors University
Daren Snider
 Director of General Studies at UNK since 2006
 Associate professor of modern languages
 Also taught at Skidmore College and BYU
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Document learning outcomes
Align goals and outcomes
Build curriculum maps
Create assessment plans
Collect program-level data
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Assess learning outcomes
Manage electronic portfolios
Score rubrics
Analyze student performance
Collect student-level data
Presentation Overview
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University of Nebraska Kearney
Renewing General Education
Challenges for GE Renewal
Lessons Learned
Next Steps
Questions
University of Nebraska Kearney
Ranked as a Top 10 Public Midwest
Regional University by U.S. News &
World Report
 Student/faculty ratio of 16 to 1
 99% of full-time faculty teach
undergraduate courses.
7,100 students enrolled in:
 170 undergraduate majors
 25 pre-professional programs
 34 graduate programs
The New General Education Program
2010-2013
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2010
2005-2008
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2004
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No assessment of
GE taking place
HLC accreditation
visit
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GE assessment at
the department
level
Survey of student
and faculty
perceptions of GE
HLC visit focused
on assessment
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Common
assignments and
rubrics used to
assess learning
outcomes in the
new GE program
Selected
TaskStream to
facilitate work
Phased
implementation
of common
assessments
2004 Accreditation Visit Feedback
Areas for improvement:
 Infrastructure to Support Assessment
 Faculty Commitment to Assessment
 Recognition of Exemplary Assessment
 Assessment Process Sustainability
 GE Program Assessment
Faculty and Student Surveys
Surveys in 2005 and 2006
Areas for improvement:
 Lack of clarity in the purpose
and goals of the program
 Lack of student/faculty
understanding of the program
 Lack of coherence in the
program
Both students and faculty
wanted changes in the program.
2008 Accreditation Visit Feedback
Feedback showed the program needed:
 Common GE learning outcomes across the university
 Common assessment measures
 Standard rubrics for evaluation
 Coherent, purposeful curriculum
Status report on implementation of the new General
Education program requested for 2011
Challenges for GE Renewal
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Logistical and financial support
Structure of the new program
Common assessment assignments
Common rubrics
Support of the faculty and students
Logistical and Financial Challenges
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Analysis of large volumes of data
Course, division, and program level data analysis
Longitudinal data analysis
Financial options
Structure of the New GE Program
Capstone
Distribution
Portal
Foundational Core
Portal Course (3 hours)
 Purpose:
–
–
–
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Help students become intentional learners
Analyze critical issues confronting individuals/society
Strengthen critical thinking
Mentor through the process of analyzing, articulating
own conclusions
 Features:
– Includes “global perspective”
– Emphasizes writing
Capstone Course (3 hours)
 Features:
–
–
–
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Culmination of the GE experience
Integration of two disciplines
Uses rubric similar to Portal to gauge value added
Students apply knowledge, cognitive abilities, and
communication skills from GE
– Students complete an original project (50% of course
grade)
Common Assessment Assignments
 AAC&U VALUE project
 Best practices at other universities
 GE Council approval
Course instructor chooses one of six common assignments
Common Portal Assignments
 Integrated Summary
– Use selected articles and show critical understanding of
the topic within the context of the discipline.
 Current Events Analysis
– Use theories, concepts, and ideas learned in class to
analyze a current event(s).
 Controversial Issue Analysis
– Contrast two credible sources to analyze a controversial
topic in the discipline.
Common Portal Assignments
 Research Proposal
– Reflect on the value of a study, then propose a follow-up
study to correct weaknesses or further understanding of
the topic.
 Community Introspection
– Analyze the relationship between the topic and relevant
social policies, laws, or practices.
 Media Analysis
– Analyze different cultural perspectives about an issue as
portrayed in media reports.
Option 6: Media Analysis
Instructor selects a topic addressed in the global media community
that is relevant to course concepts, issues, or theories.
Students are instructed:
Utilizing your textbook and the Internet as resources, your task is to find two
different cultural perspectives as indicated by media reports about (chosen topic).
You will conduct a web search for the topic and find relevant, reliable media
reports that represent different cultural perspectives surrounding the target issue.
Compare and contrast how different cultural perspectives describe the topic, then
critically apply course concepts to highlight how the academic community in our
culture understands the issue. Your media analysis should be 2- 3 pages doublespaced (not including title or reference page) and should be written in a style
appropriate to the discipline.
Common Rubrics
 AAC&U VALUE Rubrics adapted to fit our outcomes
 Rubrics approved by faculty
 Rubrics available in TaskStream
Course instructor is trained on the use of the rubrics
Portal Rubric
Does not
meet criteria
Beginning
Developing
Proficient
Advanced
Student’s
position
No stated
position.
Position implied
but not stated.
Position stated
but is simplistic
or obvious.
Position
considers
complexities of
issue.
Synthesizes
viewpoints in
evaluating
complexities.
Content
development
No content
development.
Uses related
content to
develop simple
ideas in some
parts of work.
Uses related
content to
develop ideas
throughout
work.
Uses relevant,
persuasive
content to
develop ideas
throughout.
Uses relevant/
compelling
content to
convey writer’s
understanding.
Evaluate
information/
sources
No awareness of
assumptions.
Shows minimal
awareness of
assumptions.
Shows emerging
awareness of
others’
assumptions.
Identifies and
questions their
own and others’
assumptions.
Thoroughly
analyzes their
own and others’
assumptions.
Conclusions
No stated
conclusion.
Conclusion
stated and
loosely
connected to
information.
Conclusion tied
to information
and some related
implications.
Conclusion
logically tied to
information and
opposing
viewpoints.
Conclusion and
implications
reflect fully
informed
evaluation.
Faculty Engagement
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Faculty participation in roundtables
Open communication to all faculty
Policy related to use of e-portfolio
Orientation/training for all faculty
Technical support for faculty
Incentives for faculty and departments
Student Engagement
Information on TaskStream requirement for GE in:
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Admissions packet to all students
Flyer at New Student Orientation and on Transfer Student Day
All syllabi for GE courses
Dedicated website for TaskStream at UNK
Technical support for students
Article in the student newspaper, The Antelope, on the
TaskStream requirement and how to purchase it
Meeting the Challenges
LAT by TaskStream e-portfolio provides:
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Analysis of large volumes of data
Course, division, and program level data analysis
Longitudinal data analysis
Faculty and student use reports
Reasonable cost for university-wide application
Ease of use for students and faculty
Full support for students and faculty
Student Interface
Aggregate Assessment Data
Individual Assessment Results
Accomplishments So Far
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Fulfilled ongoing accreditation mandates
Greater validity in assessment of GE program
Campus-wide conversation about learning outcomes
Increased clarity about purpose of GE
Greater vision about teaching critical thinking
Use of e-portfolios across the campus
Lessons Learned
 Obtain approval at all levels—Provost, Deans, Chairs,
Faculty
 Establish policies to ensure faculty and student
participation
 Provide incentives to encourage faculty participation
 Address resistance immediately to minimize impact
 Provide frequent/accessible communication
 Provide adequate orientation/training
Next Steps
Implement common instruments and rubrics
 Foundational Core
– Written Communication
– Oral Communication
– Democracy in Perspective
 Distribution Courses
– Natural Science
– Social Science
– Fine Arts
– Wellness
Challenges for the Future
 Creating a unified orientation for faculty on TaskStream
and on rubrics from different areas of GE
 Deciding on sample sizes and rotation schedule
 Continuing information flow to faculty to ensure
continued participation
 Setting up access to TaskStream for various levels (chair,
dean, provost, assessment committee, etc.)
 Deciding how to share the data
 Motivating students to use TaskStream
Achieving Our Mission
TaskStream helps UNK meet our
General Education Mission:
The UNK General Education
program helps students acquire
knowledge and abilities to:
understand the world, make
connections across disciplines,
and contribute to the solution of
contemporary problems.
Questions?
TaskStream Contact Information
For more information about TaskStream or to request a
copy of this PPT or a recording of today’s WebCast,
please contact:
[email protected]
1-800-311-5656
Contact Information
 Jeanne Butler
[email protected]
308-865-8006
 Daren Snider
[email protected]
308-865-8001
 UNK Assessment website:
http://www.unk.edu/academicaffairs/assessment.aspx?id=4323
 UNK General Studies website:
http://www.unk.edu/academicaffairs/generalstudies.aspx?id=14844

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