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Professional Learning Communities: Taking the Angst out of General Education Assessment. Harriet R. Fayne, Ph.D. Otterbein College Westerville, Ohio. Professional Learning Communities: Taking the Angst out of General Education Assessment.
Harriet R. Fayne, Ph.D.
This roundtable will highlight Otterbein’s formation of a professional learning community focused on the assessment of general education. Four years of success with teaching and learning communities prompted Otterbein’s assessment committee to adapt this model to focus on college-wide outcomes assessment.
Our professional learning communities (PLCs) are made up of faculty, administrators, staff, and, in some cases, students. Generally we hope that PLCs will allow individuals to transcend disciplinary and/or status boundaries, reflect on their own practices, and collect evidence to inform decisions. During the roundtable, we will talk a bit about how the assessment learning community is working at Otterbein and encourage others to think about the potential of this type of change structure for their campuses.
Commitment on the part of members
Cultivation of atmosphere/collegiality
Clear structures for meetings
Nature of the “space” for meetings (off campus, if possible)
Regularity of meetings
Projects/outcomes shared in processWhat makes a learning community work?
Membership: Niki Fayne, Assessment Fellow and Education Faculty; Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning; Mary Gahbauer,Chair, Assessment Committee and Life Science Faculty; Alison
Prindle, English Faculty; Regina Kengla, Academic Support Center Writing
Faculty; Amy Jessen-Marshall, future Chair, Integrative Studies Program and Life Science Faculty; Kate Porubcansky,
Asst. Dean/Director of Center for Student Involvement; Terry Contenza, Math Faculty;
Susan Thompson, Math Dept. Chair; Doris Ebbert, Librarian; Rick Mosholder, OSU Doctoral Candidate, Preparing Future Faculty Participant
Meetings:Regular 90 minutes meetings scheduled every other week during the three academic quarters; two day-long meetings during winter and spring breaks.
Core Readings: Maki, P.L. (2004) Assessing for Learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing and the following AAC&U
Monographs: The Art and Science of Assessing General Education Outcomes,Advancing Liberal Education: Assessment
Practices on Campus; General Education: A Self-Study Guide for Review and Assessment
Conferences Attended:2006 Assessment Institute at IUPUI, “Writing Across the Curriculum”
at Quinnipiac U, and AAC&U Assessment Conference in Miami
Blackboard Site:Announcements, Minutes, Readings, and Discussion Board
Writing prompt developed based on Common Book; administered
in freshman level INST Comp and Lit sections
Rubric, based originally on ACT Writing Rubric, refined after pilot testing by
GEO; now addresses key Information Literacy standards and
acknowledges the relationship between reading and writing
Over 100 essays will be graded using the revised rubric by 10 INST
instructors during spring break, 2007
17 essays written during 2005-2006 will be re-graded using the rubric; the
student authors, currently in INST 270, will submit compare/contrast
essays. A GEO subgroup will be attempting to determine whether or not the rubric
is a sensitive measure of growth from freshman to sophomore year
GEO members participated in answering and deconstructing QL
GEO members read material about QL Standards
GEO members reviewed QL course syllabi at two other institutions
QL rubric drafted
Goal: Use rubric with embedded items in Integrative Studies sophomore level science courses and again in junior/senior level Integrative Studies science courses
Review of three years of data: locally prepared skills test
administered to freshmen. What does the data reveal?
Review of research on IL Standards
Selected IL Standards integrated into GEO Reading/Writing Rubric
Proposed consultation model: Library liaisons work with
departments on integrating additional IL standards in major
Courses (upper level courses)