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University Curriculum Committee Assessment of the Drake Curriculum A Summary Report of Findings and Recommendations to Faculty Senate March 12 th, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "University Curriculum Committee Assessment of the Drake Curriculum A Summary Report of Findings and Recommendations to Faculty Senate March 12 th, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 University Curriculum Committee Assessment of the Drake Curriculum A Summary Report of Findings and Recommendations to Faculty Senate March 12 th, 2014

2 Committee Members UCC Members: Todd Hodgkinson (Chair) (Education), Michael Andreski (Pharmacy), Bill Boal (Business), Maria Bohorquez (Chemistry), Lee Joliffe (Journalism), Marcia Keyser (Cowles Library), Karen Leroux (History), Joanna Mosser (Political Science), Daniele Shelton (Law), Arthur Sanders (Ex-officio member), Chrystal Stanley (CAAD representative), Consulting Members: Bruce Gilbert (DCAC chair) (Cowles Library), Kevin Saunders (Office of Institution Research & Assessment), Stephanie Majaran (Office of Institution Research & Assessment), Kevin Moenkhaus (Office of Student Records).

3 Our Charge Engage in a broad review of the Drake Curriculum. Identify areas of success and improvement. Investigate alternative models of liberal arts/general education. Consider the place of experiential learning. Consider resource implications, if a revision is warranted.

4 Our Process August: Discussed charge; Asked for clarification. September: Clarified the charge; Established goals; Broke up into sub-committees. October: Reviewed literature on gen ed/lib ed; Faculty Open forum. November: Reviewed lit, DSS results. December: Reviewed lit, alternate models. January: Reviewed charge; Reviewed literature; alt models, Focus group results. February: Reviewed lit, alt models, Wabash report findings & NSSE data. March: Came to a consensus and formed recommendations; composed report.

5 Data Points Considered

6 Findings

7 Points of Pride Allows for a great amount of choice. Gives students the freedom to explore personal interests, while exposing them to a liberal arts education. Emphasizes 21 st Century skills (critical thinking, written communication, information literacy, etc.) Allows for students to count major coursework towards general education requirements.

8 Expressed Concerns Lacks rigor and relevancy. Has deviated from its original intentions (e.g., transfer coursework counting AOI credit, major coursework counting for two AOI requirements). Too many course offerings in some AOI categories (History, Global and Cultural Understanding); too few in others (Artistic Experience, Values and Ethics, and Information Literacy.) Too complex (Conceptual framework)

9 Expressed Concerns Too ambitious (Hybrid model attempts to provide both a liberal arts and “ways of thinking” experience.) Lacks cohesiveness. Perpetuates a “checklist mentality.” Is difficult to assess (10 separate AOI categories with 39 outcomes). Has failed to achieve its desired learning outcomes.

10 Alternative Models of Gen Ed In addition to gathering data on the efficacy of the Drake Curriculum, the UCC also explored alternative models of general and liberal arts education. Looked for “peer institutions” with similar missions and learning goals. Considered size of the institution, make up of the student body, range of degree programs, etc.

11 Alternative Models of Gen Ed A trend away from disciplinary- centered, distributive models of general education. A focus on integrative coursework that invites cross-disciplinary reflection and action upon a common theme or problem. An emphasis on fostering students’ ability to think and act across disciplinary boundaries.

12 Alternative Models of Gen Ed Sequenced curricula designed to span a student’s four-year experience. Linked/clustered courses that invited students to explore a common theme from a multi-disciplinary perspective. A focus on key academic skills development (e.g., writing, speaking) across the curriculum. An emphasis on outcomes-based assessment targeting identified learning outcomes.

13 Integrated Core Curriculum Source: Portland State University. Retrieved from https://www.pdx.edu/unst/home on February 25th, 2014.https://www.pdx.edu/unst/home

14 Integrated Core Curriculum

15

16  Positives: Cohesive learning experience lends Itself to purpose. Allows for the targeting of student developmental needs  Negatives: Resource intensive (human and financial) o Curriculum development o Faculty Development o Coordinator of Program o Core of instructors

17 Major-Minors Model Source: College of Idaho. (2014). PEAK Curriculum. Retrieved from February 25th, 2014http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/peak

18 Major-Minors Model Source: College of Idaho. (2014). PEAK Curriculum. Retrieved from February 25th, 2014http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/peak

19 Major-Minors Model Source: College of Idaho. (2014). PEAK Curriculum. Retrieved from February 25th, 2014http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/peak

20 Major-Minors Model Source: College of Idaho. (2014). PEAK Curriculum. Retrieved from February 25th, 2014http://www.collegeofidaho.edu/peak

21 Major-Minors  Positives: Combination of liberal education and professional studies. More cohesive/purposeful. Flexibility. Easy to advise. Provides breadth, but also greater depth.  Negatives: Re-conceptualize our “minors.” Curriculum Development “Fit” within certain colleges/schools.

22 Attributes of a Distinctive General Education Curriculum

23 Attributes of a Distinctive General Education Program Realize the mission of the university to integrate liberal arts education with professional preparation for all students. Emphasize the acquisition of 21 st Century learning skills and dispositions (e.g., systems thinking, communication skills, information literacy, personal and social responsibility, etc.) and incorporate best practices in teaching and learning (integrative and applied learning, ongoing reflection, etc.) Have a simple conceptual framework that could be explained in a clear, compelling way. Encourage students to experiment broadly outside their major and develop interests to be pursued in their years beyond college, while giving some coherence to that experimentation. Be considerate of the developmental needs of students.

24 Attributes of a Distinctive General Education Program Discourage the “checklist/requirement” mentality, often associated with distribution models of general education. Be taught by existing faculty in the disciplines, interdisciplinary programs, and professional schools, without a large investment in faculty development or in additional hiring. Preserve and build on existing FYS and Senior Capstone experiences. Maintain or reduce to the current number of credits required to complete the general education curriculum.

25 Recommendations

26 Recommendation #1: Vote to approve a revision of the Drake Curriculum.

27 Recommendations Informing students about its purpose. Reducing the number of AOI categories. Improving the quality of AOI course offerings, focusing on High Impact Learning practices (integrative and collaborative learning). Examining where more course offerings are needed. Reviewing the number of AOI requirements a course can fulfill. Reducing the number of learning outcomes. Decentralizing more curricular authority and responsibility to the departments and programs. Option # 1: Improve the efficacy of the existing Drake Curriculum by:

28 Recommendations Option # 2: Embrace an alternative model of general education. Major-Minors model Integrated Core Curriculum

29 Recommendations Recommendation #2: Vote to establish a working group to revise the Drake Curriculum.

30 Questions

31 Todd Hodgkinson, PhD Assistant Professor of Secondary Education Department of Teaching and Learning (515)


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