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Committee on Undergraduate Education Meeting Minutes 

Date:

10/1/09

Time:

4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Room:

Old Main 465

Attendees:

Listed below

Approval: CUE 10/15/09

 

Called to order at 4:00 pm by Kathleen Kennedy.

         I.            Role of Chair or Co-chair Discussion:  Limited discussion on role; most felt the topic was covered adequately at the fall workshop.    Miller suggested there could be volunteers to take the lead on various responsibilities, such as an “assessment officer,” or leaders of sub-committees.  These would be ad-hoc and could change yearly.  Kennedy also mentioned that committee members are present because they care about undergraduate education but also to fulfilling service obligations.  The CUE Chair could write end of year letters detailing the service and responsibilities that each CUE member contributed.  These letters could be sent to the committee member and his or her departmental chair or dean.   VanderStaay acknowledged that is the pilot year of the CUE, so changes could be made in the future.

 

        II.            Chair Election:  Roger Thompson led the voting of the chair.  Kathleen Kennedy was elected the 2009-2010 CUE chair by secret ballot.  Kennedy accepted and thanked the committee for their support.

 

      III.            VPUE Presentation:  VanderStaay presented on GUR satisfaction data, competency study and NSSE GUR information.  Handed out AAC&U announcement of the “General Education and Assessment: Maintaining Momentum, Achieving New Priorities” conference in Seattle, WA on February 18-20, 2010.  The VPUE Office has a budget for GUR improvement and these funds may be used by CUE committee.  VanderStaay would like to take a team (3-7 people) from CUE to the conference since it is in Seattle. VanderStaay asked the committee members to consider attending and to let him know if they would like to attend.  In addition, there is another conference in November in Indiana.   There is a half–day workshop on using senior seminar work in assessment.  If someone really wants to go, he or she should contact VanderStaay about funding.  There is also a full day session on e-portfolios.

A second handout included various charts from NSSE and the Office of Survey Research.   Most of WWU data is satisfaction-based data, rather than learning outcomes data.  The third handout was a draft of “CATL’s 2008 General Education Survey: Report to the ACC”.  The committee discussed the handouts and implications of the NWCCU seeking more assessment of our Gen Ed program. 

·         How many instructors teaching GURs are coving the purpose of the GUR in the course? 

·         A rubric would need to be created in order to assess what is sufficient to meet the 11 competencies.  

·         Students are able to take GUR courses all four years, so it is more difficult to assess than a two year program.

·         What are possible ways of improving GUR based on existing data?

·         Use LEAP materials to show the value of Gen Ed; students would understand the value of that. Faculty could link to materials on syllabi. 

·         John Purdy, faculty rep to Olympia [Deputy Legislative Liaison], hears that legislators don’t get the value of liberal arts education here at WWU.  They want to fund professional training programs.

·         Is it too late to get sample work from students this quarter?  Are student perceptions different than their work?  

·         Have to have an assessment plan by spring.

·         We need to determine what data is needed next.  May be able to check with faculty to ask in their judgment what they thought their students’ level of improvement was in course. 

·         Faculty would need the same rubric to make that judgment.

·         Get done with Accreditation what we want to do, take our time to make real improvement.  Identify this year what we’d like to do for the next years to continue improvement.

·         11 competencies have not been flushed out into a rubric.  CUE could help develop the language to go with that rubric that could be cross-departmental.  If we had that tool, we could show how we align and develop an improvement plan.

·         AAC&U has developed rubrics that are very similar to ours.

·         We would still need to engage in a cross-disciplinary conversation agreement on what is sufficient mastery/that learning progression standards met, etc. 

·         More challenging on 4 year model.

·          Writing Assessment Group developed expectations for Writing at Western (first- year work).  It is not a rubric; but could work to establish other levels of writing expectations (junior s, etc)

·          How do we share our intentions/recommendations about Gen Ed/GURs?

o    We need a campaign to get faculty to start using language.  Could share information via VPUE Office and could be explained at DAC meetings. 

o    Need to do sell at faculty level.  Advisors already sell/describe the purpose of the GURs at Summerstart

o    Does selling it help them learn it? If we could improve student evaluations, they could be learning outcome based not just satisfaction. “I learned how to do this in this class…” 

o    Need chair buy-in.

o    Need to go in with resources, explain why we’re doing it.

o    Understanding what the purpose of the GUR’s are. Not just satisfaction thing.

o    Is our senior or freshman class size better or worse than others?  Do instructors teach GURs in higher proportion than TT faculty?  Are there data on that?

 

      IV.            Chair recap: Where do we want to go with Gen Ed assessment? Prefer it to move from satisfaction to learning outcomes data.  First agenda item – decide what exactly we want to do to meet the accreditators’ requirements.  Second, gain a better understanding of rubrics.  Would it be helpful for committee to have rubric-maker to give a brief training so we all have the same understanding of rubrics?  Formally decide how decide how to meet accreditators’ needs versus long term (short term versus long term; assign tasks).   Third, learn more about Woodring Information System (presentation by Kimberly McDaniel or Bob Schneider’s office).  Fourth, it would be good to have a Blackboard site set up (Kennedy to meet with Wendy).

In regard to rubrics, Miller will bring in examples of what he has worked with previously in teacher education rubrics; Thorndike-Christ will give an overview of rubrics; Werder will bring in writing rubrics; and VanderStaay will bring in LEAP Value Project materials.

       V.            Presentation by Carmen Werder:   Last spring 110 first-year students participated along with about 25 staff and 100 faculty.  TLA created a study question last fall to study throughout the year: “Given the economic times, and institutional mission, how do we sustain our teaching and learning?”  In spring TLA participants came up with some proposals, including one relating to GURs; Werder handed out the “Enhancing the GURs” document.  Students and faculty are sharing the same concerns about GURs. 

·         Disconnect between majors and GURs.  Is there some way to find out what students and faculty “think” about the GURs?

·          Could they be themed or clustered in some way to help students pick a complement of courses. For example, a student interested in a particular major may want to take a particular cluster because of the theme of courses.  (Cohort model might be a result but not intention).  

·         Support for teachers of GURs. Not a lot of recognition of teaching GURs – incentives, community, shared pedagogies.  Use of mid-term teaching evaluation.  Faculty Senate is looking at expanding recognition – this would good time to include this.  Fairhaven included as well.

·         Eliminate GURs? Can we change the name?  A name is everything.  You recruit with image, you retain with culture.  Image of “have to do” GURs. 

·          How can we turn this into a positive? 

Kathleen will try to establish a separate email for CUE chair communication.

Adjourned at 5:28 p.m. 

Submitted by Wendy Knight.

 

Present

Name

Role

Area

Voting

P

Borda, Emily

Faculty

CST

Voting

P

Grimm, Jeffrey

Faculty

CHSS (2)

Voting

P

Kennedy, Kathleen

Faculty

CHSS (1)

Voting

P

Miller, Matthew

Faculty

Woodring

Voting

P

Rinonos-Diaz, Ramon

Student

Appointed by AS

Voting

P

Rossiter, David

Faculty

Huxley

Voting

P

Tag, Sylvia

Faculty

Western Libraries

Voting

P

Takagi, Midori

Faculty

Fairhaven

Voting

P

Thorndike-Christ, Tracy

Faculty

ACC representative

Voting

P

VanderStaay, Steven

Ex Officio

VP Undergrad Education

Voting

P

Vassdal-Ellis, Elsi

Faculty

CFPA

Voting

P

Werder, Carmen

Ex Officio

Director Writing Instruction

Voting

P

Wonder, Nicholas

Faculty

CBE

Voting

P

Knight, Wendy

Recorder

Admin Asst to VPUE

Non-Voting

P

Thompson, Roger

Guest

ACC Chair

 

P

Luke, Linda

Guest