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Enhancing Liberal and Technical Education through General Education Assessment

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Enhancing Liberal and Technical Education through General Education Assessment. Prof. Gail Gibson Sheffield, Director of Assessment Dr. Phillip Taylor, Dean - Science, Liberal Arts, Business Prof. Virginia McAleese, Director of Academic Support Services.

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enhancing liberal and technical education through general education assessment

Enhancing Liberal and Technical Education through General EducationAssessment

Prof. Gail Gibson Sheffield,

Director of Assessment

Dr. Phillip Taylor,

Dean - Science, Liberal Arts, Business

Prof. Virginia McAleese,

Director of Academic Support Services

agenda develop action plan for your campus
Agenda – Develop action plan for your campus
  • About Paul Smith’s College
  • Fundamental Principles of Integrated General Education (IGE)
  • Project Development Guidelines
  • Stage 1 – Purpose and design Stage 2 – Defining the constructs for developing the model
  • Reflection (with guiding questions)
  • Stage 3 – The model and implementation Stage 4 – Assessment/On-going improvement
  • Reflection(with guiding questions)
  • Implications and next steps
paul smiths college the college of the adirondacks
Paul Smiths CollegeThe College of the Adirondacks
  • Our 14,200-acre campus is located in a wilderness area of the Adirondack Park of New York State. 
  • Near Lake Placid -- about 21/2 hours from Montreal, Albany, NY and Burlington, Vermont.
  • Total enrollment is about 900 students.
  • We offer a variety of four-and two- year degree programs in the areas of Natural Resources, Forestry, Culinary Arts, Hospitality, Recreation, Business and Biology. 
  • Emphasis on student-centered, experiential learning
  • Historically associate granting – Graduated our first baccalaureate class in 2000.
fundamental principles of ige
Fundamental Principles of IGE
  • All Paul Smith's College students will have the opportunity to achieve literacy in the knowledge areas and skills necessary to become productive citizens in today’s world.
    • Communicate
    • Calculate/Analyze Data/Systematically Solve Problems
    • Reason Scientifically
    • Understand Diverse Cultures & Systems
    • Act Ethically, Responsibly, Creatively

literacy

fundamental principles of ige6
Fundamental Principles of IGE

For each literacy:

  • Measurable student outcomes assessed at the course level.
  • A foundation in a liberal arts/science course relevant to that literacy area.
  • Integration into the program discipline area to synthesize the literacy with the discipline.
  • Multiple opportunities to reinforce and strengthen literacy in the curriculum and/or in the co-curriculum.
development principles
Development Principles
  • Grounded in college mission, values and educational philosophy
  • Inclusive of the campus community
  • Responsibility for meeting objectives shared by whole campus community.
  • Follows national best practices as defined by AACU (Greater Expectations and LEAP)
  • Evolution not revolution
slide8
STAGE 1:

Defining the purpose & design parameters

STAGE 2:

The Model

STAGE 3:

Implementation

STAGE 4:

Assessment

On-going improvement

stage 1 defining the purpose design parameters
Stage 1 – Defining the purpose & design parameters
  • 2002 - 2003
    • Provost – asks for curriculum change

Improve transferability and meet baccalaureate expectations

    • Campus-wide Ad Hoc Committee
      • Values – “productive citizens” - handout
    • Assessment Council
      • Gen Ed purpose and assessable objectives
    • Governance process approved
      • Values and objectives
purpose for general education
Purpose for General Education
  • Interact with diverse people.
  • Strengthen interpersonal skills
  • Collaborate productively with a diverse group
  • Develop the practical skills
    • effective communication
    • analytical skills
    • practical intelligence
    • social responsibility
    • ethical judgment
assessable educational objectives
Assessable Educational Objectives
  • Developed from existing core areas (see handout)
    • Communication
    • Quantitative Literacy
    • Science
    • Social Science
    • Humanities
stage 2 defining constructs for the model
Stage 2 – Defining constructs for the model

Task Force formed to determine:

  • How objectives are met in curriculum?
  • Who should be responsible for meeting objectives?
  • How do other campuses deliver general education?
  • What are employer’s expectations?
  • What should our general education include?
psc graduates
PSC graduates…

Have the competence and skills necessary to become productive citizens in today’s world.

  • Communicate
  • Calculate/Analyze Data/Systematically Solve Problems
  • Reason Scientifically
  • Understand Diverse Cultures & Systems
  • Act Ethically, Responsibly, Creatively, in manner that supports personal and community wellness
task force recommendations evolution not revolution
Task Force Recommendations Evolution NOT Revolution
  • Provide our student with a signature Paul Smith's College experience that connects mission, values and common educational goals.
  • Scaffold general education across the curriculum.
  • Provide our students with deep learning opportunities in all competencies.
  • Meaningfully and intentionally connect curricular and co-curricular efforts,
  • Create a system to develop assessment practices across the PSC experience
  • Design an organizational structure that can support this plan in a manner which is acceptable to faculty culture, sustainable in time of great change and manageable in times of limited resources.
task force recommendations build a structure that can facilitate the development of
Student choice in the curriculum

Incoming, Experience, Outcome (I-E-O) Assessment

Living Learning Communities (thematic and/or curriculum based)

Developmental Advising/ Total Intake Model – Faculty Led

Co-curricular opportunities to meet outcomes

Capstone as Gen Ed assessment tool

Integrate Gen Ed objectives and values into every course and articulate that relationship to the students.

Programs determine to what extent students across curriculum be able to meet Gen Ed objectives

Task Force Recommendations Build a structure that can facilitate the development of
reflection 1
Reflection - 1
  • What are your goals for your students?
  • How does that connect to the college’s mission/values/vision?
  • How do they relate to your educational philosophy? (Experiential, Scholarship, Socratic, Learner-centered/Teacher-centered)
  • How effectively are you meeting those expectations now?
  • What is your vision for what the common educational experience could be?
slide17
STAGE 1:

Defining the purpose & design parameters

STAGE 2:

The Model

STAGE 3:

Implementation

STAGE 4:

Assessment

On-going improvement

stage 3 the model implementation
Stage 3 – The Model & Implementation
  • Faculty ownership
  • Curriculum design of IGE
  • The Master Course Outline
  • Process for Inclusion
  • Where we were by September 2006
full faculty ownership of ige
Full-Faculty ownership of IGE
  • Curriculum Committee facilitates cross campus discussion of alternative models
    • Assigns oversight to the Assessment Council
    • Decisions made by Assessment Council can be appealed to curriculum committee (checks/balances).
    • Final approved model is a cross-disciplinary collaboration that built on multiple initiatives in the curriculum.
psc graduates20
PSC graduates…

Have the competence and skills necessary to become productive citizens in today’s world.

  • Communicate
  • Calculate/Analyze Data/Systematically Solve Problems
  • Reason Scientifically
  • Understand Diverse Cultures & Systems
  • Act Ethically, Responsibly, Creatively, in manner that supports personal and community wellness
the five literacy areas
The five literacy areas
  • Communication
  • Quantitative
  • Scientific Reasoning
  • Social and Cultural Understanding
  • The Human Condition
slide22
Use of Bloom’s taxonomy to scaffold the objectives across whole experience

Map the curriculum across all four years, clear distinction between associate and baccalaureate

Each year contributes to the student’s overall development.

predominate characteristics of experiences
Predominate characteristics of experiences
  • First Year –
    • Introductory - Connections Presented – Begin to Integrate
  • Second Year –
    • Exploration, Choice, Customization, Individualize
  • Third Year –
    • Transference, Connections Constructed
  • Fourth Year –
    • Synthesis, Leadership, Mentoring, Mastery
slide26
Expectation after 2 years

Expectation after 4 years

how we build knowledge language
Knowledge

Comprehension

Application

Analysis

Synthesis

Evaluation

Foundation

Structural

Multiple Dimensional

How we build knowledge…language
how is a course selected for inclusion
How is a course selected for inclusion?
  • Do the objectives and descriptions of the given course meet the expectations of the literacy level proposed?
  • Are all of the objectives listed on the Master Course Outline (MCO) assessable?
  • Are the objectives in the course appropriate for the course level indicated in the course number?
  • What direct assessment data will this course offer for use in institutional assessment of this literacy level?
the master course outline mco understanding the curriculum beyond the course title
Course Title

Course Subject Area (Number)

Credit Hours

Contact Hours

Prerequisite(s)

Course Description

Objectives

Assessment Methods

Resources

The Master Course Outline (MCO) Understanding the curriculum beyond the course title
syllabus
Course Title

Course Subject Area (Number)

Credit Hours

Contact Hours

Prerequisite(s)

Course Description

Objectives

Assessment Methods

Resources

Syllabus
  • Course Content - tentative schedule of test dates and assignment due dates
  • Grading Policy
  • Final Exam
  • Instructor Information – Office Hours
  • Attendance Policy - Classroom Rules
  • Student Support
  • Values
course objectives
Course Objectives
  • Learner centered
  • Stated in terms that can be demonstrated
  • Appropriate to the level of study indicated by the course number
slide33
Task Oriented Question Construction Wheel Based on Bloom's Taxonomy. ©2001

St. Edward's University Center for Teaching Excellence.

assessment methods defined on the mco
Assessment Methods (defined on the MCO)
  • Link directly to the course objectives
  • Differentiate between methods for student feedback and methods for use in course/program/IGE assessment.
  • Course level assessment across the curriculum
by fall 2006 entrants begin under ige
By Fall 2006 - entrants begin under IGE
  • 31 courses included
  • 84% Liberal Arts and Science, 16% Other programs
  • A FYE success course is included as a foundation course in Human Condition
  • By October 2007 -139 courses approved for IGE
  • 71% Liberal Arts and Science, 29% Other programs.
stage 4 assessment and on going improvement
Stage 4 – Assessment and on-going improvement
  • Provide opportunity for entrance standards
  • Baseline student outcome assessment data
  • Assess the implementation
  • Define the weaknesses for the next step in the evolution
priority of gen ed quantitative literacy
Priority of Gen Ed – Quantitative Literacy
  • Standard raised in foundation courses Meet peer institution standards raising the bar for all quantitative courses that follow.
  • ACCUPLACER Assess incoming ability appropriate placement
  • Developed two developmental courses Provide a guided self-paced and/or web based approach to meeting standards.
priority of gen ed communication literacy
Priority of Gen Ed – Communication Literacy
  • Indirect NSSE
  • Anecdotal Faculty Review
  • Employee survey data
summative assessment question based on communication literacy objective
Summative Assessment Question – based on Communication Literacy objective

To what extent do graduating baccalaureate students, regardless of major, communicate and critically evaluate organized and informed ideas clearly and persuasively.

Reviewing Senior work 2006 –old gen.ed. program

methodology
Methodology
  • Study took place April-May 2007
  • 12 cross discipline faculty served as readers/reviewers
  • Faculty were selected based on their writing, research and professional credentials
  • Rubric developed based on existing tool used in ENG 101 courses.
  • Integrated information literacy objectives
  • Pilot study
    • All readers reviewed the same five Capstones using the rubric
    • Revisions were made to categories and definitions of categories.
  • Concern about Capstone – Student/Mentor writing
recommendations
Recommendations
  • Communicate results across the faculty
  • Workshop with faculty on writing standards and pedagogical approaches.
  • Distribution of writing rubric across the faculty.
  • More integrated courses especially at 300 and 400 level.
  • Concern about developmental writing in the IGE design.
  • Use of the writing rubric to redefine the communication literacy
reflection 2
Reflection - 2
  • Political, symbolic, structural obstacles and opportunities
  • Who are your stakeholders/opinion leaders both in curriculum and in structure?
  • What is going to change along the way – how do you keep the momentum moving forward, remain inclusive, and orient new members to a new paradigm
  • How will you build an evolutionary process?
general education assessment council review of ige after one year
General Education Assessment Council Review of IGE after one year
  • Titles/focus of the literacy areas.
  • Adaptation of Capstone for multidimensional
  • Need more courses submitted/included.
  • Advisors comfort level.
  • Literacy advocates needed.
  • More assessment needed!
next steps in the evolution
Next steps in the evolution…
  • Scientific Reasoning/critical thinking study this spring similar to writing study.
  • Potentially use this process to revise SR standards.
  • Develop threads for economic literacy and environmental sustainability for Social/Cultural literacy.
  • Explore opportunities to expand HC literacy into the co-curriculum.
  • Focus communication on writing and move oral expression
lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Immersion has advantages…
  • Need for ongoing conversation/education
  • Language is critical to campus culture
  • Too many things at the same time

(FYE, IQWeb, Other program changes)

  • Advisors have to understand the model
  • Choice only works if the schedule can accommodate it
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