BACK TO MINUTES
BACK TO CUE
BACK TO SENATE

 

Text Box:  Approved by CUE VIA EMAIL 4/18/12
To ACC: 4/24/2012

 

Committee on Undergraduate Education                                                                                                             

                    Meeting Minutes

 

Date:

4/5/2012

Time:

4:00 pm

Room:

OM 340

 

CUE called to order at 4:04 pm by Co-chairs Matthew Miller and Carmen Werder. CUE minutes of 3/8/12 had been approved via email and forwarded to ACC.   There were fifteen (15) persons present  (see roster).

 

Course proposals for Science/Religion Strand

LIBRL 297: Eform: 659963   - approved

FAIR 297j: Eform: 659602    - approved

Approved with caveat that prerequisites be cleaned up as they affect the order in which courses will be taken.

Neither course is FYE.

 

Other:

INTL312  - approved category change as SSC

 Recommendation for course forms:  If button is not filled in, form should kick back and require fill-in before continuing.

 

Writing Proficiency Catalog Language

Carmen Werder explained that there are quite a few requests to approve alternative writing proficiency courses, and some appear to be very worthwhile.  However, there is no formal approval process for upper division writing courses to vet how they meet the point requirements.  Transfer students may be confused about the equivalent of “writing intensive” courses.

Faculty may be unclear about what distinguishes WP 1 from WP2 or WP3.  Taking three WP1’s does not derive the same benefit as taking one an intense WP3 course.  Taking three  WP1 courses means there will be minimal revision, and does not seem legitimate for the requirements.  The whole point in teaching writing may be to require the revision part, and if that is the case maybe WP1 and WP2 could be eliminated in favor of WP3.

 

CUE recommends that in order to make major changes we need to seek data, look at the requirements and survey what is being done now.  History majors do large and heavily revised papers.  But Science Ed and Chemistry may interpret this differently.  Is an outline counted as a first draft?  We need to both create some leeway and provide some guidelines.  Faculty may believe that a large percentage of the grade is to be allocated to the revised draft only, and this points out the need for a systematic model that covers various examples.

 

MOTION for revision:

CUE made a MOTION (moved by Emily Borda, second Anu-Singh Cundy)  to revise the catalog language for the Writing Proficiency Requirement for clarification purposes and to forward to ACC for approval. The motion includes a request that ACC send a separate memo to department chairs when the language is revised finally, and not simply to include the revision in minutes.  This action will be followed by a broader review of the WP requirement.   Highlighted material below is new:

 

“Upper-division Writing Proficiency Requirement

Upper-division writing proficiency requirement: complete a minimum of three writing proficiency points in designated upper-division Writing Proficiency courses at WWU with a minimum grade of C-. Students must complete Block A of the Communication GUR requirement before enrolling in a Writing Proficiency course[CW1] .

All Western Writing Proficiency courses should follow these University-wide guidelines:

·                                    students have opportunities to write multiple drafts of assigned papers

·                                    Students receive suggestions for revision; and

·                                    instructors assign course grades based on assigned writings according to the writing proficiency points table below

Upper-division writing proficiency courses emphasize research and writing. In writing proficiency courses, students learn the writing style and conventions of their disciplines, as well as the techniques for integrating evidence into scholarly papers. Writing proficiency courses are listed in the online Timetable of Classes.

 

Writing Proficiency Points Fulfilling the Upper-division Writing Proficiency Requirements
(Minimum 3 points required)

 

Credit Hours of course

% of Grade Based on Writing Assignments

WP1

(1 pt)

1 Credit

75%

2 Credits

50%

3 Credits

25%

4 Credits

20% (18.75%)

5 Credits

15%

 

 

 

WP2

(2 pts)

2 Credits

75%

3 Credits

50%

4 Credits

40% (37.5%)

5 Credits

30%

 

 

 

WP3

(3 pts)

3 Credits

75%

4 Credits

55%

5 Credits

45%

Students unable to enroll in designated WP courses may be able to satisfy the requirement, with faculty endorsement, by submitting an “Alternative Writing Proficiency Course Agreement” through the Writing Instruction Support Program.”

Committee members pointed out it is necessary to eventually define what can be expected from each level of a WP course, and hope to draft some language about this.  The rubrics for Communication competencies may prove useful. Some definition ought to be provided for what “revision” entails, and where Eng 101 fits in.

 

 

 

Viking Landing and Committee Subgroups

 

Viking Landing will take place on May 9.  CUE plans to get the word out to first year students and sophomores working on GURs.  The co-chairs asked CUE members to identify a subgroup they would consider working with.  Matt Miller will survey the membership so people can identify their area.  Subcommittees articulated so far include:

·               WP subcommittee

·               Viking Landing

·               Rubrics and Assessment

·               Gen Ed homepage

·               GUR award

Miller will include a short description of what each subgroup might entail.

 

 

Visit of Barbara Walvoord, Assessment Consultant:  April19th.

Steve VanderStaay reported that Walvoord’s book is available as an E-text in the Library, and Chapter 4 on Assessment is only 12 pages long.  VanderStaay then reviewed the focus of the next accreditation visit.  If we have competencies as part of the Gen Ed program we have to show a plan to assess against those outcomes.  Do we have a structural plan that will permit us to do that?  Such a GUR assessment plan has to be in the books by next year.  Walvoord may suggest possible ways to create a simple plan, and compare with what other universities do.

 

Accreditors told us last time we were not using assessment data on the GURs to improve the GURs.  But now we have the data from the CLA, the NSSE, and WP assignments.  And GUR improvement includes Viking Landing, the GUR website, and the rubrics.  VanderStaay suggested that Walvoord is famous for very simple assessment procedures; for example if the History department got together once a year and talked about capstone papers, where weak, where strong, wrote that up, and suggested changes -- that would be a great assessment plan.  Or another idea would be to get sample papers from student projects and discuss them in the department to point out strengths and weaknesses.  As far as AAAC - their job is to advise Steve in coordinating academic assessment and in preparing the reports for accreditation.

Some departments have very complicated assessment plans that are hard to sustain and can be simplified and revised and affirmed in light of our strategic plan, student outcomes, and assessment recommendations.  CUE has also looked at competencies, chosen to affirm our own, included them on course forms, and collected data. 

 

NSSE suggests that students might not be writing as much as we think they should, so we are looking at the WP requirement again.  Our student improvement in writing and critical thinking between freshmen and seniors is essentially average and we are in the exact middle of the  curve.  Vanderstaay explained that reports show that when students read and write a lot they show a growth in CLA and those who do not show little or no growth.  There is a direct correlation with reading and writing.

 

 

Some questions for Barbara Walvoord:

·               Can she provide a palette showing what different institutions used to get at where students are; to get at assessment outcomes?

·               How we can adapt a model such as St. Olaf to an institution such as ours because we are different and cannot do exactly as they are doing. What about resistance to these efforts and pushback.

·               Given what you know about our institution, what kind of model do you recommend?  We want a 2-pager, very simple.

·               How do we create a culture of procedures that encourage buy in (at 50%, at 75%, at 10%); and give the Assessment Office information that they can use for the Gen Ed program.  What are some real commonalities.

·               We need to know how, not what.  That is a critical distinction.

·               Implementation strategy, and staging implementation.  Stage one might be different than later.

·               Moving toward a long term goal, and a short term goal  -- the accreditors would like to see that.

·               Sampling methodology, along the spirit of St. Olaf.  Yet create a culture of assessment that fits our campus.

·               Implementation strategies that might work well here.

·               Portfolios -- if you have time to voice an opinion on portfolios – or other capstone.

 

The focus should be streamlining and simplifying what we are doing.  We want a simple plan that gives us useful data

Where does the writing requirement fit into General Education?

 

 

Friday April 20 at 11:30 am (OM460) there will be a follow-up meeting for CUE chairs and any other member who wishes to attend – to carry on more assessment work.  Can be related to portfolio question.  VanderStaay also has a slot for anybody who wants a private time.   Accreditors want us to say what are our goals are for the GURs and to tell how we know we achieved those goals.  For us our goals are our competencies.  So  many roads lead back to reading and writing.  VanderStaay will send Walvoord our WP requirement and suggest that we are wrestling with how it feeds in; we would like ways to help us and our faculty.  He is also giving her departmental assessment plans, revised rubrics, writing proficiency, competencies, and the summary of the work CUE has done.

 

CUE concluded by requesting data on how many GUR courses we have, how many students are in one or another of the categories; a numbers audit would help us a lot.  We can ask the registrar a series of questions and ask for data points on the questions about which we would like to know more information. 

 

Adjournment – 5:26 pm

Minutes submitted by Rose Marie Norton-Nader, 4-5-2012

 

CUE 2012 ROSTER

 

Present

Name

Role

Area

Term until

1

P

Borda, Emily

Faculty

CST

2012

2

P

Grimm, Jeffrey & ACC rep

Faculty

CHSS (2)

2012

3

P

Johnson, Diane

Faculty

At Large – GUR

2013

4

P

Friday, Chris

Faculty

CHSS (1)

2013

5

P

Miller, Matthew

Faculty

Woodring

2012

6

--

Arvizu, Fabiola, ASVP-Acad

Student

GUR, ASVP Acad 2011-12

2012

7

P

Abel, Troy

Faculty

Huxley

2013

8

P

Singh-Cundy, Anu

Faculty

At Large – GUR

2012

9

--

Tag, Sylvia

Faculty

Western Libraries

2012

10

       --

Larner, Dan

Faculty

Fairhaven

2012

11

       --

Sapin, Julia

Faculty

CFPA

2013

12

P

Wonder, Nicholas

Faculty

CBE

2012

13

       --

Amy Stavig, Student Representative

Student

GUR ASVP Acad 2011-2012

2012

14

P

Werder, Carmen

Ex Officio

Writing Programs

 

15

P

VanderStaay, Steven

Ex Officio

VP Undergrad Education

 

16

       P

Loudon, Tina

Ex Officio, nv

Director, Advising

 

17

       --

Purdie, John

Ex Officio, nv

Director, Residences

 

18

P

Norton-Nader, Rose Marie

Recorder, nv

Faculty Senate, ACC, UPRC

 

19

      P

Luke, Linda

Ex Officio, nv

Registrar’s Office

 

20

      P

David Brunnemer,

Perm Guest

Registrar

 

 

 

(Rep from ACC – Jeff Grimm)

 

Total present  4/5/2012

15

21

P

Maya Price, Distingusihed Student

Senate office

15 voting members: quorum= 8