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Engaging Faculty in the Purposes of General Education

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Presentation on theme: "Engaging Faculty in the Purposes of General Education"— Presentation transcript:

1 Engaging Faculty in the Purposes of General Education
and the Assessment of Student Learning Outcomes at Michigan State University Duncan Sibley Director for Center for Integrative Studies General Science Mark Sullivan Assoc. Professor of Music Suzanne Wilson Professor of Teacher Education For more information on this project please see our website:

2 MSU’s Program in Liberal General Education
Integrative Studies – MSU’s Program in Liberal General Education CIAH CISS Team Work different expertise , different cultures working together as equal partners CISGS Project Goals strengthen faculty culture and capacity to assess student learning outcomes 2. mobilize campus expertise initiate systematic classroom-embedded assessment of student learning


4 To change the culture costs money:
Pervasive, faculty driven assessment of student learning outcomes is a cultural change and one that we have partially affected at our university. To change the culture costs money: $75K MSU $75K Hewlett Foundation

5 Assessment in General Education Michigan State University January 18, Presented by Trudy W. Banta Vice Chancellor Planning and Institutional Improvement Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis To change the culture requires expertise

6 The Design and Development of Assessments
Our own experts create the sense of community The Design and Development of Assessments Innovative Teaching to Achieve Active Learning Mark D. Reckase Diane Ebert-May

7 Cultural change takes time
24 2-hour meetings over 2 years

8 Multiple types of class-embedded instruments
Pre-post multiple choice Extended responses with rubrics Case-based studies Faculty ranking (modified Bloom’s taxonomy) of test items Concept mapping

9 Assessment Mark Sullivan
From Hostility to Productivity

10 Hostility, Indifference, Dread
The initial attitude toward issues of assessment Fear of bureaucratic “bean counting” Looked at assessment as another form Of unproductive, administrative harrassment

11 Hewlett Project Provided the necessary experiences over a sufficient period of time to create a new model of, and disposition toward, assessment Provided examples of assessment I had never considered, provided models of assessment used by my actual peers Provoked a meaningful debate about which forms of assessment were productive in relation to our actual disciplines, teaching styles and philosophies, and so forth

12 First tries Pre-test, Post-test – confirming the obvious
Assessing the introduction of students to a body of material and knowledge Conceptual spirals in writing assignments Themes related to racism National context in the thirties Langston Hughes International context in the recent past – Idi Amin, Mississippi Masala Recycling writing under different themes

13 What next? Some ideas I plan to try out in the future
Use of interviews and ethnographic profiles Of students - Use of faculty visitation among peers teaching in general education

14 Consequences Faculty Meeting with other Music Faculty teaching general education who did not participate in the institute Initial attitude: from hostility to indifference Became interested when presented with models they deemed to have promise, in terms of helping them do something they wanted to do, or in terms of finding out something they wanted to find out

15 Professional Development for University Faculty
Suzanne Wilson Creating a New Generation of Subject-Specific, Targeted Support

16 Traditional Professional Development
For a long time, K-12 teachers have found professional development, or “inservice” as it is traditionally called, unhelpful So it is with University faculty who often find talking heads and one-day workshops devoid of content meaningless

17 “Best Practices” of Professional Development
Professional Development Practices focuses on teachers as central to student learning; focuses on individual, collegial, and organizational improvement; focuses on student work; is long term respects and nurtures the intellectual and leadership capacity of teachers, principals, and others in the school community; reflects best available research and practice; enables teachers to develop further expertise in subject content, teaching strategies, uses of technologies, and other essential elements in teaching to high standards; promotes continuous inquiry and improvement embedded in the daily life of schools; is planned collaboratively by those who will participate in and facilitate that development;

18 Next Steps Sustainability of such professional development requires:
substantial time and other resources; a coherent long-term plan; On-going evaluation of its impact on teacher effectiveness and student learning

19 To sustain change requires:
I. Challenges: (at your institution) A. B. C. II. Strategies for engaging faculty (at your institution)

20 II. Strategies for engaging faculty (at MSU)
I. Challenges: (at MSU) A. Assessment takes time away from other things B. Faculty believe essential aspects of quality teaching are intangible C. Faculty are unsure of the reward for teaching general education II. Strategies for engaging faculty (at MSU) A. Lilly Fellows B. Peer reviewed teaching awards C. Curiosity

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