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COMPLETING QUALITY DEGREES: IDAHOS AGENDA FOR POST-SECONDARY LEARNING Daniel J. McInerney Tuning USA Advisory Board Professor & Associate Department Head.

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Presentation on theme: "COMPLETING QUALITY DEGREES: IDAHOS AGENDA FOR POST-SECONDARY LEARNING Daniel J. McInerney Tuning USA Advisory Board Professor & Associate Department Head."— Presentation transcript:

1 COMPLETING QUALITY DEGREES: IDAHOS AGENDA FOR POST-SECONDARY LEARNING Daniel J. McInerney Tuning USA Advisory Board Professor & Associate Department Head Utah State University, Department of History

2 learning & listening – not just lecturing as much a matter of vocabulary as an issue of pedagogy and administration the ambitious agenda for post- secondary education

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4 learning & listening – not just lecturing the ambitious agenda for post- secondary education integrating – not simply adding – reform projects example

5 60% of Idahoans ages will have a degree or certificate by Idaho must grow talent within the state to fuel innovation and economic competitiveness. increased education attainment improves the quality of life for Idahoans and drives a vibrant, diverse economy. It is imperative we commit to efficiently and effectively increase postsecondary degrees and certificates.

6 In 2010, the Board set an attainment goal that 60% of Idahoans, age 25 to 34, have a postsecondary degree or certificate by This will require a focus not only on increasing the number of students who complete college, but also on maximizing students abilities and potential for success in the workforce.

7 To encourage access and completion involves demystifying the college going process and experience. Ensuring there is alignment between secondary graduation requirements and postsecondary expectations so that students are ready for the rigor and expectations of college are integral to completion, which includes the development of a statewide model for assessment of college and career readiness. The transition from secondary to postsecondary education opportunities must be clear and straightforward, by simplifying and streamlining the college admissions process. And, transfer processes between colleges must be understandable and attainable.

8 WHAT IS THE FOCUS? -numbers of degrees -percentages, growth -transferring courses credits GPAs QUANTIFICATION & ADMINISTRATION OF DEGREES.

9 Post-secondary degree -represents Carnegie credits, grade point averages, residency requirements, state- mandated requirements? -symbolizes institutional identification, college rankings? Gen Ed, Core, Major field -represent lists of courses, credits, minimal grades? What do degrees and curricula and cores and major fields represent in terms of learning?

10 What do degrees and curricula and cores and major fields represent in terms of learning? -How clearly do we define the learning that our institutions & programs develop? -How well do our students (and their parents, their employers, their policymakers) understand these goals? -Student understanding of these issues: -when they complete program of study? -when they enter program of study? -How well do we clarify these objectives and expectations to secondary schools & other post-secondary institutions? THE QUESTIONS ADDRESSED BY IDAHOS INITIATIVES

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12 THEIR FOCUS: WHAT DO DEGREES REPRESENT? -the learning that informs post-secondary work -the quality of degrees -the intentionality of academic programs -the knowledge, skills, and abilities students develop -the clarity with which we communicate this information

13 HOW DO THE INITIATIVES FIT TOGETHER?

14 What should post-secondary education aim to achieve? What qualities should students develop in post-secondary education? What qualities do educators develop at different degree levels?

15 What should students majors aim to achieve – overall and at different degree levels? What is one way of determining if we are achieving our goals? What can we do to facilitate transfer and mobility?

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17 WHY SHOULD ANY OF THIS MATTER TO YOU?

18 top-down approach isolated from the rest of the world one size fits all

19 collecting (but not using)data shhh... be quiet; maybe assessment will go away

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21 -Assessments are here to stay -Who else but discipline experts should respond? -Assessment and education

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23 A GOOD STARTING POINT The types of issues addressed in the Tuning project

24 Clarify what (too often) remains unstated Tuning is a a faculty-led project -within individual disciplines -working together across different sectors of post-secondary education to clarify the subject-specific knowledge, skills, and competencies we expect students to learn, demonstrate, and master upon completing a program of study

25 -not simply to generate moredegrees but qualitydegrees understandabledegrees -not simply discussions among academics but a range of stakeholders in higher ed students parents administrators alumni policy makers employers -not simply stating our learning goals but scaling our learning goals -within a curriculum -to different degree levels

26 Central question Tuning poses: What should students know, understand, and be able to do when they complete a program of study? ~~ a question that helps us address the issues involved with LEAP, ELOs, DQP ~~

27 EUUS FOCUS OF THE INITIATIVES teaching learning educational inputs learning outcomes teacher-centered student-centered degree as a reflection degree as reliable of an institution credential of accomplishments implicit purposes clarity, transparency

28 Tunings DUAL commitments Ten Tips For harmony common reference points diversity autonom y

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30 (1) informing question What should students know, understand, and be able to do? When students complete our program of study, they will be able to.... T U N I N G

31 (1) informing question (2) bottom-up approach (3) discipline-specific (4) focus on learning outcomes (5) clarity and transparency (6) degree levels (7) colleagues at other institutions (8) inclusive; many stakeholders (9) diversity and autonomy wind up singing in the same key – though not the same tune (10) a process, not a finished product T U N I N G

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33 THE TUNING ELEVATOR SPEECH

34 The Tuning project asks faculty to drill down and clarify the core goals and the key skills pursued in their disciplines. We want to answer a basic question: when students complete a program in a discipline, what should they know, understand, and be able to do? We ask this question to understand our own roles and responsibilities in higher education. And we want our students to understand what they take from their studies into employment, further education, and civic life.

35 2009: start of Tuning USA project April, Chicago

36 Utahs work in Tuning 8 state institutions 2 research universities 4 comprehensive or regional universities 2 community colleges

37 Utahs work in Tuning What did Utah offer? -10+ years of state-wide meetings -Majors Meetings - all institutions in the Utah System of Higher Education disciplines, annually -Annual Conference: What Is An Educated Person? – faculty from all institutions

38 Utahs work in Tuning What did Utah offer? - general education - articulation - transfer - trust

39 Utahs work in Tuning What did Utah lack? (1) a coordinated body of goals and objectives (2) evidence of goals achieved (3) discussions outside of circle of faculty and administrators

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41 Approaches

42 Ten Tips For MEET PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE NOT WHERE YOU WANT THEM TO BE : annus horribilis administrative orders functions of conflict and complaint start at the endpoint

43 Ten Tips For DONT GO IT ALONE UK learning outcomes AHA lit on assessment Australian colleagues

44 Ten Tips For BUILD THE PROJECT INCREMENTALLY provisional learning outcomes: knowledge / skills / thinking syllabi rubrics single rubric for capstone inter-rater-reliability revise intro survey for majors create a pre-major

45 Ten Tips For TALK WITH PEOPLE OUTSIDE ACADEME stakeholders students, parents, alumni, employers, policy makers surveys focus groups alumni letters

46 HART RESEARCH P e t e r DASSOTESCIA Raising The Bar Employers Views On College Learning In The Wake Of The Economic Downturn Key findings from survey among 302 employers Conducted October 27 – November 17, 2009 Search: aacu raising the bar

47 47 Employers: room for 2-year & 4-year colleges to improve Employers: room for 2-year & 4-year colleges to improve Doing good job Some improvement needed Significant improvement needed How good a job are our colleges/universities doing in preparing students effectively for the challenges of todays global economy ? 60% 68% Two-year colleges and universities Four-year colleges and universities

48 48 % saying two- and four-year colleges should place MORE emphasis on helping students develop these skills, qualities, capabilities, knowledge Employers Top Priorities For Student Learning Outcomes In College Effective oral/written communication Critical thinking/ analytical reasoning Knowledge/skills applied to real world settings Analyze/solve complex problems Connect choices and actions to ethical decisions Teamwork skills/ ability to collaborate Ability to innovate and be creative Concepts/developments in science/technology

49 Ten Tips For BUILD A BASKET OF METRICS rubrics student portfolio course evaluations course management systems (Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas)

50 Ten Tips For CLARIFY WHAT DISTINGUISHES THE MAJOR levels pre-major

51 Ten Tips For FAMILIARIZE STUDENTS WITH THE LANGUAGE OF TUNING requirement sheet guide to graduation guide to learning Historical study develops ones ability to: investigate problems, identify reliable sources, analyze information, contextualize complex questions, and communicate conclusions in a clear and thoughtful manner.

52 Embrace your distinctiveness missionpriorities student profile curriculum entry point majors interdisciplinary evaluations spec. resources soc/civic engagmt

53 Ten Tips For Here is a coherent set of learning goals. Here are the ways our institution fosters that learning in distinctive ways.

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55 Tuning EU: Tuning USA: tuningusa.org/ Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board – Tuning in Texas objectid=8FFC700A-D9F8-57C3- CD178199FADC8CD4 On the Tuning USA website -PDF: Why Tune? (2011) -Tuning guide -Degree Qualifications Profile T U N I N G

56 Kentucky Tuning Project cpe.ky.gov/committees/tuning/ Midwest Higher Education Compact Tuning Project Tuning in the discipline of History Tuning at Utah State University, History Department history.usu.edu/assessment T U N I N G


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