Learning Outcomes Suggestions Received Wed 5/3/2017 12:56 PM
I would like to suggest that we incorporate 'sustainability' or some type of language that reflects the importance of such in the Learning Outcomes. Thank you.
Issues Raised at Open Session 103 Spotts April 27, 2017:
- Concern regarding the timeline for completion of the comment process in view of the need for liberal studies revision committee to know University Outcomes before revision of liberal studies can take place
- General feeling was the outcomes were similar to old ones except for ones that seemed unable to be assessed in a quantitative way.
- Concern that the numbers of outcomes be kept manageable and that support/resources be provided since each outcome is a claim that all students will achieve the outcome.
- Concern that University-wide outcomes shape liberal studies and college and department outcomes, program outcomes, course outcomes which are all supposed to align. Many of the outcomes aren't related to academic curriculum or assessable there.
- Concern that some areas do not appear to allow for assessment in the context of the academic curriculum (personal development, civic engagement, digital citizenship); some outcomes seem to be goals or aspirations, not outcomes.
- Concern for where assessment of "student success" or co-curricular outcomes is to take place. Need to indicate where the responsibility for assessment lies. Is data indicating numbers of activities participated in or visits to career development considered viable evidence of levels of achievement? How can personal development outcomes be measured? where? Do they imply invasion of student privacy? Some seem likely to be discussed only in a confidential setting.
- Concern that science and quantitative reasoning is not explicitly mentioned as needed for all students, not just majors, as part of critical thinking or preferably as a separate area.
- Concern about the ambiguity of the word "successful" regarding communication. Would effective improve the outcome? Main concern was to ensure basic sentence-level literacy and proficiency required in professional contexts.
- Concern that oral and written language are not the only forms of communication.
- Concern that it is not possible to assess "development." Assessment implies what students are able to DO.
- Dissatisfaction with digital citizenship since digital proficiency is implied in many outcome areas and extends beyond social media behavior which should be implied under ethics which apply in virtual and physical space.
- What kind of a mandate would or could be given to students to participate in civic engagement within external communities? Many of our students commute, are veterans, are non-traditional students, work many hours a week, and/or have families and so may already be taxed in terms of their time commitments... Is it really a mandate for faculty to require service learning in their courses? Curriculum is supposed to be a faculty responsibility by the CBA. It is one thing to require service of honors students who assent to the requirement as a condition of being in the honors program, another to have it as an outcome that will be assessed university wide and as an indication of eligibility for Middle States once it is a university outcome... the committee [should] investigate and get a firm answer about how some of these can be assessed and what department or division is expected to be doing the assessment. Maybe there are assessment procedures that have been tried, but we don't know what they are and haven't worded them in ways lending themselves to quantitative data gathering.
Q: Would the following work for quantitative as an addition to critical thinking:
Critical Thinking and Analysis - Research, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data using sound reasoning to reach valid conclusions or solve complex problems.
Feedback from Open Session, Thursday, April 27, 2017:
There was a real consensus on the inability to assess some of the outcomes, and extreme confusion about the language on some others. In particular, the fact that some used action verbs like "Demonstrate" and others used "Act" seemed ineffective to the group.
A suggestion for making #7. Ethics clear: Demonstrate an understanding of moral values and principles, diverse ethical perspectives, and the moral consequences and the impacts of actions. This they felt could be assessed - but assessing the individual student or the "your"? Not likely as a proper outcome.
#4. And #5. Weren't measurable in courses.
A big argument regarding Digital Citizenship was the word citizenship, with the suggestion that students lack a fundamental digital/information literacy. They suggested a Media Literacy outcome or perhaps Information Literacy.
It was acknowledged that making all of them measurable backed instructors, evaluators, everyone into a corner, but this may have tied into the importance of defining what an outcome was versus a goal, etc.
They argued against the use of ambiguous words - another issue they had was with the term "Physical Wellness" as an example of how difficult #4. Was - "If a student has diabetes at the end of their time here, did they fail physical wellness?" Tongue-in-cheek sure, but I suppose a point about the clarity of the language or ease of assessment.
Learning Outcomes Suggestions Received Thu 4/27/2017 2:01 PM:
At a time when the federal government is actively undermining respect for scientific thinking and knowledge, clear affirmation of the importance of science education for all students is more important than ever. Leaving all mention of science out of these goals is a serious omission.
Learning Outcomes Suggestions Received Wed 4/26/2017 8:52 PM:
I have one concern: science is notably lacking in the SRU learning outcomes.
Learning Outcomes Suggestions Received Wed 4/26/2017 9:31 AM:
I am not in support of the proposed SRU student learning outcomes. I am not seeing anything related to SCIENCE!
This is not appropriate for numerous programs in the CHES! AND, challenging for accrediting agencies such as nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, PA, and much more!
The proposed outcomes lack - scientific awareness! critical thinking related to STEM!
Nice to see we added the A for creativity and aesthetic appreciation but perhaps some of these can be combined and we can have something related to science! Stating critical thinking does not recognize science...
Feedback from Provost/Department Chair Forum, Thursday, April 20, 2017:
• Scientific literacy should be one of the SRU student learning outcomes.
1. Both scientific and quantitative reasoning should be elements of critical thinking.
2. Digital Citizenship is an element of ALL other 8 outcomes. It would be repetitive to have it in all other outcomes and needs to be an outcome by itself.
3. I'm surprised the outcomes do not use measurable terminology. E.g., understanding is not easily measured.
4. "creativity in discovery, innovation, and artistic expression" is a very powerful phrase.
5. Ethics - Assessing whether or not students 'act with an understanding of their values and principles', is subjective.
1) I would suggest removing #9 Digital Citizenship. It is absorbed in Communication and Ethics specifically, but is understood in various other outcomes.
2) Change #1 Communication to: Communicate successfully with diverse audiences. There are more forms to communication than just speech and writing.
3) #3 Intellectual & Professional Development: Could this just be Professional Development with it's definition? Intellectual is understood in the definition.
4) Add "Science and Quantitative Reasoning". As a consumer of life, students need to know basic science and math reasoning. Even if your professional development is not in the science/math area, you need to be able to understand basic information to be a consumer of information throughout life. There should be no alternative facts.
How are these going to be assessed?
Feedback from Roundtable discussions at "Brown Bag - Ask the Provost" lunch, Tuesday, April 18, 2017:
* Desire for this to be measurable outcomes
* Nine is too many outcomes
* Language appropriate for a broad audience - students, parents, employers, community beyond campus
* Consider the expectations of Middle States
* No Digital Citizenship - incorporate into other outcomes - all or maybe under Critical Thinking - as media literacy.
• Majority of attendees felt we were mixing core values in with our LOs. Those that are core values include LOs 3, 4, 6, and 9.
• Consider the structure of the UMass Amherst's Gen Ed LOs (https://www.umass.edu/gened/learningObjectives/indexObjectives.html). The "core values" as listed above as well as "leadership", would be in the introduction/overview. The LOs are very general, which means that they can be interpreted from program to program. This would offer much more flexibility for all faculty to determine how they would assess specific outcomes...
• Need to include something about quantitative analysis or scientific computation, different from our Critical Thinking.
• Quite a few did not like "self."
• Obtaining buy-in let alone being able to implement. Some felt it would just be another document that gets pushed aside and won't matter
- Consider renaming digital media literacy and making it an element at a secondary level of critical thinking; elements referring to conduct in social media and other virtual spaces would be implied by ethics and general proficiency with the digital world regarding one's major and professional aspirations would be part of intellectual and professional proficiency.
- Quantitative analysis and associated skills used in the empirical sciences would be part of professional-level attainment within relevant disciplines and also part of critical thinking where all forms of logical analysis would be implied... (However) mathematical innumeracy is something we should try to prevent by having mathematics part of the liberal studies program.
- Some objections to the focus on personal development or at least the way it was phrased, especially the use of the term self-authoring (a discursive term perhaps current in a particular disciplinary context but inscrutable to students and parents).
- Important to include a learning outcome that addresses quantitative reasoning. Below is a brief description that is similar to one coined by the Mathematical Association of America (MAA). Perhaps it could be used as a starting point: Quantitative Reasoning: The ability to create and use mathematical models in a variety of forms including formulas, graphs, schematics, etc. to solve problems and make inferences. It differs from mathematical content knowledge because knowledge of mathematical content is required to do QR. Here is a good link that talks about QR and University Learning Outcomes from the Association of American Colleges and Universities. It provides an example of QR learning outcomes from the University of Virginia. https://www.aacu.org/peerreview/2014/summer/elrod