Status Update and Plan

Report
General Education Reform
Update and Plan
Fall 2013
Members of the General Education Council
Kim Barron (Inst Accred/Assess), Dwight Brady, Mike Burgmeier,
David Donovan, Jill Leonard (chair), Carolyn Lowe, Andrew Poe, Kim
Rotundo (Registrar), Kristen Smith, Robert Winn (Assoc. Dean)
Overview
Background for NMU General Education
Reform
 Discuss draft General Education Learning
Outcomes
 Assessment approaches
 Impact on courses and divisions
 Timetable and mechanisms for input

Why a new General Education
program?

Liberal Studies does not currently reflect clear
linkages to assessable learning outcomes as is
required by accreditation
◦ Many of our current learning goals are not easily
assessable


Accreditation (HLC) requires effective
assessment of the general education program
Our Liberal Studies program has not been
updated in a long time and it no longer reflects
priorities for a 21st century educational
experience.
Path to GenEd Reform

Phase I – review of oversight and
administration
◦ Senate approved replacing Liberal Studies with
new General Education Program
◦ Created GEC
◦ Created administrator position


Phase II – Gen Ed Action Project –
learning outcome assessment;
adoption of new learning outcomes
and process to conduct and use
assessment
Phase III – Review and revision of existing
divisions and courses
General Education Best Practices


Higher Learning Commission (HLC) U.S. Dept.
of Education
American Association of Colleges and
Universities
◦ Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP)
 A national advocacy, campus action, and research initiative
that champions the importance of a twenty-first century
liberal education—for individuals and for a nation
dependent on economic creativity and democratic vitality
 Provides suggestions for common learning objectives,
rubrics etc.
 Oversees a process where institutions, and groups of
institutions in states, can be LEAP certified
 http://aacu.org/LEAP
Learning Outcomes
Definition: Learning Outcomes are the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and habits
of mind that students take with them from a learning experience.
- L. Suskie Assessing Student Learning, 2009
Institutional Learning Outcomes
(based on NMU Mission Statement)
Gen Ed Program
Learning
Outcomes
Disciplinary
Program Learning
Outcomes
Extracurricular
Learning
Outcomes
Individual
Gen Ed
Course LO
Individual
Disciplinary
Course LO
Specific
Activity LO
Our information sources
Best practices (e.g. LEAP, HLC)
 Other institutions (peers, etc.)
 NMU Faculty survey
 NMU Student input
 Mapping by departments of current
courses to draft objectives
 State initiatives (course transferability)

DRAFT NMU General Education
Learning Outcomes

Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking and Problem Solving
Explore and synthesize issues, ideas, artifacts or opinions
Analyze options
Formulate innovative or imaginative conclusions

Effective Communication
Find and use relevant sources and evidence as supporting material
Access and use information ethically and legally
Content development and organization
Control of syntax and mechanics
Express in ways relevant and appropriate to the audience, context, purpose or genre

Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis
Competence in working with quantitative data to reason and solve problems
Interpret and analyze data
Convey quantitative information in a variety of forms (use tables, graphs and mathematical equations)
Evaluation of data source(s)

Ethical Reasoning and Consequences of Decision Making
Students recognize ethical issues in a variety of settings and contexts
Assess the consequences of choices made in different contexts

Intercultural Competence/Diverse World
Articulate that the US & the world is a diverse and interrelated community
Identify relationships of the individual to society and its culture and institutions
Recognize and respond to cultural biases
Interpret intercultural experiences from one’s own and others’ perspectives

Integrative Learning
Synthesize and apply existing knowledge, past experiences, and other perspectives to new, complex situations
Independently connect examples, facts or theories from more than one field of study or perspective
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Learning Outcomes Mapping
Results – Fall 2013
Number
of
Courses
178
191
66
118
150
94
Course counts represent the number of courses that likely address the
proposed Learning Outcomes as determined by their home departments.
Assessment

Learning Outcomes assessment needed
◦ For accreditation
◦ For program improvement and consistency

Develop a rubric for each Learning
Outcome that can be applied to all courses
addressing that LO.

Develop process where courses are
evaluated by GEC on a regular basis
based on these rubrics.
Ongoing Course Evaluation Process

Departments will work with the GEC to
evaluate if a course is meeting its stated
General Education Learning Outcomes.
◦ Rubrics will be available ahead of time and
departments will have time to make adjustments to
courses, if needed.
◦ Having a course included in the General Education
program is an Opt-In system. Departments identify
which courses they would like to propose for
inclusion. These courses must meet the basic
Learning Outcomes (some, not all; based on how
each LO fits into the program).
Estimated Timeframe

Fall ’13
◦ solicit input from campus
◦ Trial run of assessment process for one potential LO
(Quantitative Analysis) with several volunteer courses

2014 (winter)
◦
◦
◦
◦
◦

Finalize Learning Outcomes
Trial runs of assessment process for additional LOs
Training on assessment process for faculty
Establish protocols for assessment
Determine how LOs will be applied across General Education
program (e.g. how will they mesh onto division structure)
AY 2014-15
◦ Program is basically set up and departments can begin to adjust
to it
◦ Fine tuning of rubrics and assessment processes

Fall 2015
◦ Program is fully implemented and appears in bulletin
Current Liberal Studies Program
The current Liberal Studies Program is
still in effect and will be until the new Gen
Ed program is official and implemented.
 Currently, no new courses are being
added to the Liberal Studies program

◦ This is currently being discussed in Senate

Please be patient as we transition from
Liberal Studies to General Education!
We need you!



Input now (Questions? Comments?)
Input as we go along
Other ways to send us
information/comments/questions
◦ Email…
 Chair: Jill Leonard ([email protected])
 ANY of the other council members –









Kim Barron (Inst Accred/Assess)
Dwight Brady (CAPS)
Mike Burgmeier (AIS)
David Donovan (Physics)
Carolyn Lowe (Educ)
Andrew Poe (Math/CS)
Kim Rotundo (Registrar)
Kristen Smith (Nursing)
Robert Winn (Assoc. Dean)
NMU Institutional Learning
Outcomes
Think independently and critically
 Develop lifelong learning habits
 Acquire career skills
 Embrace diversity
 Productive citizens and leaders in regional
and global community

Results of Winter 2013 NMU Faculty
Survey on Learning Outcomes
Resulting
Rank
Question
1 Critical Thinking
2 Written Communication
3 Problem Solving
4 Oral Communication
5 Inquiry/Analysis
6 Ethical Reasoning
7 Creative Thinking
8 Information Literacy
9 Quant Literacy/Reasoning
10 Intercultural Competence
11 Teamwork/Collaboration
12 Lifelong Learning
13 Integrative Learning
14 Civic Engagement
1st Count
71
18
8
6
5
6
14
5
5
8
1
4
3
2
2nd
Count
20
21
18
11
16
14
15
10
8
3
3
2
2
1
Total
Times
Selected
128
119
86
79
73
62
59
50
51
50
51
38
28
26
All the choices most
important to faculty appear in
our draft LO, but in many
cases they are combined.
Some additional elements are
included based on best
practices.
Responder's Discipline
Arts
Behavioral/Social Sciences
Business
Education
Health Services
Occupational Studies
Natural Sciences
Humanities
Total
Count
16
20
13
12
14
10
29
28
142
%
11%
14%
9%
8%
10%
7%
20%
20%
GEC Charge from the Senate
What are the General Education Council responsibilities?

Develop and implement an assessment plan of General Education Program learning
outcomes (assessment training will be provided, as needed).

Develop and review division outcome goals and criteria for general education and world
cultures courses and make recommendations to the Academic Senate.

Implement the addition and removal of courses from the General Education Program
based on established division outcome goals and corresponding assessment data.

Review and evaluate all courses taught for general education credit on an ongoing basis
(3-5 year cycle).

Report recommendations to the Associate Dean of General Education and Retention.

Annually, elect a Chair and provide a report to the Academic Senate.
What will the General Education Council do the first few years?

The focus in Year 1 is on General Education Learning Outcomes and Assessment – an
AQIP Action Project to review and reframe the general education learning outcomes,
adopt or develop assessment methods and create a new process and procedure for
conducting the assessment of those learning outcomes and using the results.
Implementation is needed before a Higher Learning Commission reaccreditation visit in
2015-16.This Action Project does not include review or revision of existing general education
divisions.

The focus in Years 2-3 will review the program structure, division objectives and courses.

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