Program level assessment with faculty learning communities the wisdom of well managed small crowds
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Amy Liu , Mary Maguire, Lynn Tashiro Sacramento State University Wayne Tikkanen - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Program-level Assessment With Faculty Learning Communities: The Wisdom Of Well-managed, Small Crowds. Amy Liu , Mary Maguire, Lynn Tashiro Sacramento State University Wayne Tikkanen Office of the Chancellor, California Sate University. Introductions.

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Amy Liu , Mary Maguire, Lynn Tashiro Sacramento State University Wayne Tikkanen

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Program-level Assessment With Faculty Learning Communities: The Wisdom Of Well-managed, Small Crowds

Amy Liu, Mary Maguire,Lynn Tashiro

Sacramento State University

Wayne Tikkanen

Office of the Chancellor, California Sate University


  • At your tables or local groups of 5 or 6

    • Your name

    • Position duties in a snapshot

    • Why you chose this session

    • Something that you enjoying doing outside of work (no repeats at a table)

      • No interruptions or cutting in

Workshop outcomes

  • Participants will:

    • Participate in FLC activities (critical thinking)

    • Be informed of the benefits of diversity in a working group

    • Be informed of FLC traps and tricks for success

    • Know facilitator roles and important skills, both technical and political

    • Share their local practices and perspectives on implementing FLCs for this purpose

What is a Faculty Learning Community (FLC)?

  • Peer led faculty professional development

  • Group of 8-12 collaborative faculty

  • Best practice FLC includes:

    • Long term: Meets for 1 year

    • Structured: 10 meetings 2 hours each

    • Defined syllabus and deliverables

    • Guided by effective facilitators

    • Concludes with a product that is widely disseminated

About your approach to PLO assessment

  • Discuss these points

    • What are the challenges of program level outcomes assessment on your campus?

    • What is your role in this process?

  • Write some of your common (institution/college/degree program)’s issues with program level assessment on post-its

  • Table reps bring up post-its to a monster post-it

  • Discussion and cluster

Designing FLC curriculum and deliverables


What issues drive FLC design?

Example: Sac State Challenges for Evaluating Critical Thinking in a program

  • no common definition of critical thinking

  • “Academic Freedom”

  • The one person assessment “team”

Curriculum & Deliverables in Sac State FLC

FLC elements to address challenges:

• establish common vocabulary, experience, trust and consensus

• Academic freedom is about how you teach not what you teach if your course is part of a program.

• be a part of a national conversation

• participants apply in teams of 3 or 4

Structure of an FLC session

  • Example FLC Activity: Building consensus on Critical Thinking Program Learning Outcomes.

    Discussion Question: What should students know and be able to do to demonstrate “Critical Thinking”

    Facilitation tool- Dialog Protocol: “The talking stick”


  • Gathering and putting ideas on the table (post- its)

  • Sorting ideas into a framework

  • Coming to consensus on how individual definitions map on to VALUE rubric dimensions

Critical Thinking Value Rubric PLO/Dimensions

6.1 Clearly state and describe the issue/problem to be considered, using all relevant information necessary for full understanding.

6.2 Develop a comprehensive analysis or synthesis of information from relevant and appropriate sources.

6.3 Thoroughly (systematically and methodically) analyze the assumptions of self and others. Carefully evaluate the relevance of contexts when presenting a position.

6.4 Formulate a specific and sophisticated position (perspective, thesis/hypothesis) which accounts for the complexities of the issue. Acknowledge the limits of the position and synthesizes others’ points of view.

6.5 Draw logical conclusions and related outcomes. Consequences and implications reflect student’s informed evaluation and ability to place evidence and perspectives discussed in priority order.

Where can things go awry in a session?

  • Discussions going beyond a diverse range to an off-tangent direction

  • Non-productive disagreement/discussion

  • I’m here with you, but my Department is not

Role of facilitator

  • keep the discussion diverse, but on track

  • be the invisible wires that keep the FLC supported, both at the individual and group level

  • keep the group on schedule

Targeting deliverables

  • Must provide a good learning experience

  • Must directly be useful

Planning your custom FLC

  • Consider your contributions on the big post-it.

  • What would be the learning and concrete goals?

  • What activities would support faculty achieving the goals?

What would be good deliverables for your FLC?

Top FLC do’s and don’t


  • Prepare, prepare, prepare.

  • Have the curriculum fully mapped out ahead of time, even if you digress from it.

  • Have the faculty FLC member sign a “contract” with specified meeting times and dates ahead of time.

  • Spend time finding out if everyone is on the same page with expectations, and terminology.


  • Assume your faculty are that different from your students.

  • Panic. The process is a difficult one, but after 1 year the FLC group will have built trust, internal support

  • Skimp on the professional development compensation for completion of the FLC.


  • Thank you

    • Amy Liu,

    • Mary H. Maguire,

    • Lynn M. Tashiro,

    • Wayne Tikkanen,

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