Presentation on theme: "Ability-Based Education at Alverno College. Proposed Outcomes for Session 1. To introduce you to Alvernos approach to designing integrative general education."— Presentation transcript:
Ability-Based Education at Alverno College
Proposed Outcomes for Session 1. To introduce you to Alvernos approach to designing integrative general education and assessment 2. To refine your ability to frame general education in terms of developing abilities across courses 3. To help you consider future steps to improve general education on your home campus
One of the questions the president initially asked each department to address: What are you teaching that is so important that students cannot afford to pass up courses in your department ?
How do you want your students to be able to think as a result of studying your discipline? What do you want your students to be able to do as a result of studying your discipline? Which Led to Other Questions, Like...
In 1973, a new curriculum was initiated based on eight curriculum- wide abilities or outcomes. Graduation requirements now based on demonstration of outcomes rather than distribution requirements.
The Eight Abilities We Employ : Communication Analysis Problem Solving Valuing in Decision Making Social Interaction Developing a Global Perspective Aesthetic Engagement Effective Citizenship
Abilities that: Involve the whole person Are teachable Can be assessed Transfer across settings Are continually re-evaluated and re- defined
A New Framework for Excellence Principle One Aim Highand Make Excellence Inclusive Principle Two Give Students a Compass Principle Three Teach the Arts of Inquiry and Innovation Principle Four Engage the Big Questions Principle Five Connect Knowledge with Choices and Action Principle Six Foster Civic, Intercultural, and Ethical Learning Principle Seven Assess Students Ability to Apply Learning to Complex Problems
An Activity for You to Start Off With: Pair up with someone from another discipline. Select any one of these abilities to discuss. Develop a general statement of the ability that you both can agree to and could teach for in your respective fields. As a further complexity, consider what this ability would look like in a beginning, developing, and advanced level student.
Watch for… How do the students change as speakers over time? What abilities other than speaking do the students demonstrate?
Samples of Student Development:
An Example: Analysis Level 1 – Show observational skills Level 2 – Draw reasonable inferences Level 3 – Perceive and make relationships Level 4 – Analyze structure and organization Level 5 – Employ frameworks from major and support disciplines in order to analyze Level 6 – Independently employ frameworks
Beginning Level Examples Use of evidence in arts, humanities, natural sciences, behavioral sciences Social interaction learning and assessment
Intermediate Level Example: GEC Collaboration between faculty in interdisciplinary departments of Effective Citizenship and Developing a Global Perspective General education requirements include one 300-level Global Effective Citizenship (GEC) course and assessment
GEC Courses Students spend a semester learning about a global issue and how they as citizens can influence global policy. Courses include: The Power of Water; The End of Nature; Crime and Punishment; Gender Diversity; The Food Connection; Terrorism
Common Course Outcomes Students explore the complexity of various global issues, including: cultural and social differences in how issues are perceived and/or confronted political systems and traditions that affect the present condition of issues economic forces that influence or shape issues national and international groups organized to deal with issues
GEC Assessment Process Students work in teams as part of simulated NGO Teams present public awareness campaigns Faculty and external assessors evaluate student individual and team performances
BUT… How do abilities play out in the major?
Two Examples of Ability-based Outcomes for Majors: The Business and Management student: 1. uses discipline models and theories to analyze interdependence among systems, organizations, individuals, and events (Systems Thinking and Analysis) 2. applies business and management principles to develop and deliver quality products or services (Enterprising and Problem Solving) 3. uses team and organizational skills to work effectively with diverse individuals, teams, and organizational units to meet stakeholder and organizational goals (Interacting and Leading)
Next… The Chemistry student: 1. Communicates effectively, using language, concepts, and models of chemistry 2. Uses methodology of chemistry to define and solve problems individually and collaboratively
Development of Problem Solving in Chemistry Level 1 Articulate own problem solving process, making explicit steps taken to approach the problem Example: Students in first year science course use energy concepts to solve an open ended problem to create a marble slide. Write a reflection using a four step generic problem solving model as their framework.
Development of Problem Solving in Chemistry Level 2 Analyze the structure of discipline or profession- based problem solving frameworks. Example: In first year science course, students conduct an experiment and then analyze the structure of a scientific method of problem solving. Written work shows understanding of hypothesis, the ability to record data in a table, and draw conclusions. Experimental design shows ability to modify one variable while holding others constant.
Development of Problem Solving in Chemistry Level 3 Use discipline or profession-based problem solving frameworks and strategies. Example: Students in second semester chemistry course design experiment around chemistry technique of titration. They create their own questions to be answered by the experiment. They design hypothesis, design experiment, conduct and record data and conduct data analysis.
Development of Problem Solving in Chemistry Level 4 Independently examine, select, use and evaluate various approaches to develop solutions. Example: Junior level chemistry students conduct a five-week purification of a wheat germ enzyme. They keep records of procedures used following standard lab notebook conventions. They evaluate each step using standard purification criteria.
Development of Problem Solving in Chemistry Advanced Level Uses the methodology of chemistry to define and solve problems individually and collaboratively; uses a wide variety of lab techniques with accuracy, precision, and safety. Example Senior level physical chemistry students select a research article of kinetic study, ask a follow question to the study, design and perform the experiment and analyze the data. They write a lab report in the format of a publishable research article.
Core Alverno Principles Essential to good learning and assessment are: Public, Expected Outcomes/Criteria Performance Feedback Self Assessment
Final Reflection …. What are you doing on your campus? What else could you do?