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GENERAL EDUCATION ASSESSMENT Tennessee Board of Regents TENNAIR – Fall 2012 Greg Schutz – TBR Chris Tingle - TBR.

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Presentation on theme: "GENERAL EDUCATION ASSESSMENT Tennessee Board of Regents TENNAIR – Fall 2012 Greg Schutz – TBR Chris Tingle - TBR."— Presentation transcript:

1 GENERAL EDUCATION ASSESSMENT Tennessee Board of Regents TENNAIR – Fall 2012 Greg Schutz – TBR Chris Tingle - TBR

2 Purpose Highlight the process of reporting general education competencies in the TBR System. Provide the first-year strategic plan results for system level reporting of general education competencies. Discuss measurement issues involving transparency and common standards. Investigate possible best practice and next steps for communicating general education outcomes.

3 General Education in TBR Universities and Community Colleges The purpose of the Tennessee Board of Regents’ general education core is to ensure that college students have the broad knowledge and skills to become life-long learners in a global community that will continue to change. Because courses in general education should emphasize breadth, they should not be reduced in design to the skills, techniques, or procedures associated with a specific occupation or profession. ~The Ad Hoc Committee for Lower Division General Education Core Curriculum - November 2002

4 Background at TBR 2001 – Defining Our Future 2001 – General Education Ad Hoc Committee 2002 – Establishment of 41 Hour General Education Core 2003 - System-Wide General Education Course Approvals with Common Course Numbering 2004 – Implementation of 41 Hour Common Gen Ed Core Requirements 2005 – Ongoing General Education Advisory Committee 2007 – General Education Assessment Conference 2008 – Pilot Assessments on Vital Gen Ed Areas of Mathematics, Oral Communication, Writing, and Critical Thinking (2008-09) 2010 – Complete College Tennessee Act (CCTA) 2010 – Strategic plan includes general education assessment as a quality indicator 2011 – General Education Certificates for AA, AS, and AAS 2011 – Initial Reporting on General Education Assessment Outcomes

5 Learning in the Curriculum Far too many institutions have established learning outcomes in response to accreditation requirements and to drive assessments without ensuring that these goals are continuously mapped to, and reinforced by, the teaching and learning process throughout the curriculum as part of a systematic competency-based approach (Ewell 2009).

6 Assessment of Student Learning Nonetheless, most of us think assessment should be, first and foremost, about improving student learning and, secondarily, about determining accountability for the quality of learning produced. In short, though accountability matters, learning still matters most (Angelo, 1999).

7 Definitions General Education General education course work is designed to provide a foundation and a context in which upper division learning and work in the major take place. Consequently, general education courses are not deliberately designed to meet pre-major requirements or to support solely the needs of a specific major or program (TBR Proposal for Gen Ed Core, 2002). The [General Education] courses do not narrowly focus on those skills, techniques, and procedures specific to a particular occupation or profession (Principles of Accreditation, 2012). Competency-Based Learning A combination of skills, abilities, and knowledge needed to perform a specific task (USDOE, Defining and Assessing Learning, 2001). Assessment Assessment is an ongoing process aimed at understanding and improving student learning. (Angelo, AAHE Bulletin, November 1995, p. 7). Competency Measurement Levels and Rubrics Mastery Satisfactory Unsatisfactory

8 National Environment Accreditation 2.0: “Heightened national emphasis on access and attainment of quality higher education.” (Judith Eaton) Accountability and Institutional Improvement (transparency and common general education). Questioning accreditation’s role as the gatekeeper of federal funds. Expanding accreditation as the gatekeeper of federal accountability expectations. Distance Education defines learning outside the confines of seat time. Student-Learning outcomes as part of accreditation process. Assessment movement (began in 1980s). 2012 Lumina grants to state systems for competency-based learning strategies ("shared understanding of what a degree represents in terms of learning" InsideHigherEd 1/25/11). $9 million in Grants from Gates Foundation for “break through learning models.” Incomplete on measuring learning between states (Measuring Up 2008). Association of American Colleges and Universities conference in spring 2013 is going to focus on “General Education and Assessment: A Sea Change in Student Learning.”

9 Mathematics Outcomes Students are able to use mathematics to solve problems and determine if results are reasonable. Students are able to use mathematics to model real-world behaviors and apply mathematical concepts to the solution of real life problems. Students are able to make meaningful connections between mathematics and other disciplines. Students are able to use technology for mathematical reasoning and problem solving. Students are able to apply mathematical and/or basic statistical reasoning to analyze data and graphs.

10 Oral Communication / Writing Students are able to distill a primary purpose to a single, compelling statement. Students are able to order major points in a reasonable and convincing manner based on that purpose. Students are able to develop their ideas using appropriate rhetorical patterns (e.g., natation, example, comparison/contrast, classification, cause/effect, definition). Students are able to employ correct diction, syntax, usage, grammar, and mechanics (language). Students are able to manage and coordinate basic information gathered from multiple sources.

11 Institution Reporting vs. System Reporting Institutions report competency at varying levels of mastery, satisfactory, and unsatisfactory progress according to institutional needs. System will report percentage of competency at satisfactory or above satisfactory in TBR Strategic Plan.

12 Competency Data Collection Two part collection. Quantitative results by outcomes and competency level. Narrative of important actions taken. Common competencies but different collections. Institutions use variety of methodologies and competency levels based on best fit. Institution competency levels merged into satisfactory/unsatisfactory at system level. Institutional reliability over system-wide validity. Importance of operational data at institution level trumps need for reportable outcomes at system level. Goal is institutional improvement.

13 Results: Mathematics Outcomes University % Satisfactory Com. College % Satisfactory Solve Problems 70 (2) 63 (4) Model 68 (3) 67 (3) Connections 74 (1) 63 (4) Technology 66 (5) 68 (2) Reasoning68 (3) 69 (1) *Ordering in parentheses is a starting point for discussing where to direct system efforts.

14 Results: Oral Communication Outcomes University % Satisfactory Com. College % Satisfactory Distill Purpose85 (4) 89 (1) Order Major Points86 (3) 81 (4) Develop Ideas89 (1) 86 (2) Language88 (2) 82 (3) Multiple Sources75 (5) 81 (4) *Ordering in parentheses is a starting point for discussing where to direct system efforts.

15 Results: Writing Outcomes University % Satisfactory Com. College % Satisfactory Distill Purpose 63 (4) 76 (1) Order Major Points 71 (1) 75 (2) Develop Ideas 66 (3) 75 (2) Language 67 (2) 73 (4) Multiple Sources61 (5) 64 (5) *Ordering in parentheses is a starting point for discussing where to direct system efforts.

16 Findings from Progress Results Oral Communication has the highest satisfactory ratings when compared with Mathematics and Writing. Universities and community colleges both have the same lowest satisfactory score for Oral Communication and Writing. The highest satisfactory rating in Mathematics for universities is the lowest ranking for community colleges.

17 Findings from Narratives One institution mentioned that the results of their general education assessment have led to the development of a pilot course utilizing new technology. The hope is that the pilot course will inform ways to improve mathematics outcomes. Various institutions report that faculty driven meetings have led to improved scores on outcome assessments, and that those improvements have encouraged faculty and led them to meet more regularly about areas that still need improvement. Some institutions have seen assessment scores decline, and have renewed efforts to increase general education outcomes. Several institutions have identified critical thinking as an area that still needs improvement, and have placed an increased focus on new strategies for critical thinking.

18 Recommendations Consistent direction on how to report out competency- based learning. Consistency of operationalized definitions. Organization levels (Course, Major, Department, College, Institution, System) Student levels (Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, Senior) Courses within a major Continue to improve alignment with goals and common measurements. Increase incrementally in reporting while allowing for innovation in curriculum.

19 Next Steps Create reporting tools that are transparent for students, faculty, and other stakeholders. Facilitate quality of general education assessment through sharing of best practices. Improve reporting of TBR common core standards. Evaluate 2010-15 assessment of general education for 2015-20 strategic planning cycle.

20 GENERAL EDUCATION ASSESSMENT Tennessee Board of Regents TENNAIR – Fall 2012

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