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General Education and Assessment:
New Contexts, New Cultures

February 23-25, 2012
New Orleans, Louisiana

Program of Events with Session Materials

AAC&U would like to thank all the session facilitators at this conference. Resources and materials are made available here at the discretion of the facilitators and additional items will be posted as they are made available.

Thursday, February 23

2:00 – 5:00 p.m.           Pre- Conference Workshops

Workshop 1: From “Why?” to “How?” to “Well Done!”: Strategies for Strengthening General Education
Workshop co-facilitators will examine general education reform from a consideration of motivations to a discussion of process and strategies for implementation. Participants will discuss case studies from a range of institutions and share their own insights and experiences. This workshop—in some ways, a condensed experience of AAC&U’s Institute on General Education and Assessment—is ideal for colleagues considering launching, reviving, or bringing to closure a successful change process.
Paul Gaston, Trustees Professor of English—Kent State University

Workshop 2: Advancing Academic Partnerships to Improve Student Success
How are campus leaders fostering cross-campus partnerships that design and assess approaches to general education that connect student learning with real-world issues? What support do faculty members need to teach general education with the same passion they hold for their disciplines? Participants will examine interdisciplinary and campus-wide collaborations that support faculty members as change agents in course and curricular innovation. They will discuss using data to foster evidence-informed decision making and leave with concrete ideas to improve student learning.
Brau Handout (pdf)
Mojgan Behmand, Associate Professor of English and Director of General Education and First Year Experience—Dominican University of California; Mary Brau, Faculty Coordinator, Student Outcomes Assessment and Curriculum Development—Lane Community College; and Michael Reder, Director, Joy Shechtman Mankoff Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning—Connecticut College

Workshop 3: Context and Connections: Examining Changing Practices for Global Learning (ppt)
Traditional understandings of global learning and its assessment are being challenged by changing demographics and evolving uses of social media. How are campuses meeting the needs of the new student demographic by broadening definitions and practices of global learning in general education? How are students using technology and social media to change our conception of global learning? Participants will examine innovations in linking disciplinary expertise and multidisciplinary global issues in general education, and discuss implications for assessment.
Paul McVeigh, Associate Vice President for Global Studies and Programs—Northern Virginia Community College; and Indira Nair, Vice Provost Emerita—Carnegie Mellon University

Workshop 4: Mapping General Education Outcomes with Assessment
Participants will use a logic model to match specific outcomes for learning with a broader vision for general education. They will examine and practice ways to integrate shared learning outcomes across the curriculum and co-curriculum, strategies for writing, and matching outcomes with assessments.
Ashley Finley, Senior Director of Assessment and Research—AAC&U

Workshop 5: The Promise of e-Portfolios: Creating a New Culture of Assessment (ppt)
Workshop Handouts (pdf)
Mapping Overview (pdf), Mapping Case Study (pdf)
Workshop co-facilitators will share strategies for starting and sustaining an undergraduate e-portfolio program that collects evidence of student learning. Given the chronically poor outcomes of many of today’s college students, e-portfolios can operate as a high-impact practice providing students and educators with a tool to improve academic success both within and across two- and four-year institutions. Co-facilitators and participants will discuss key steps to mapping student work to learning outcomes at course, program, and institutional levels.
Ruth Cox, ePortfolio Faculty Liaison, Faculty/Health Education—San Francisco State University; and Savita Malik, Curriculum Director and Instructor, Metro Academies—City College of San Francisco

Workshop 6: Aligning Innovative Practices, Curriculum, and Faculty in General Education
Academic administrators are crucial in the design, implementation, and assessment of general education. Their relationships with faculty members, however, are complex. This workshop will use multi-institutional case studies to focus on how administrators can foster innovative practices, guide curriculum change, and invite faculty ownership in general education programs. Participants will contextualize approaches to their own campus.
Joseph Favazza, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty and Todd Gernes, Assistant Dean for General Education and Academic Achievement—both of Stonehill College; Laura DeAbruna, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Michelle Loris, Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences—both of Sacred Heart University
Sponsored by the American Conference of Academic Deans

7:00 – 8:30 p.m.           Welcome and Keynote Address 

Podcast

Welcome
Terrel Rhodes
, Vice President for Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment—AAC&U

Keynote Address: Learning and Discovery in an Era of Change
Students come to college to learn about their world, hoping to change it for the better. What opportunities do they have to examine their ideals, assess expectations, and discover solutions to society’s most compelling problems? This plenary will open with the story of the Mississippi River Delta region as an example of the multi-faceted, evolving, and unscripted challenges for which college must prepare students. The speakers will provide insights into how general education can offer students the opportunity to study complex problems that require interdisciplinary approaches, integrative skills, and ethical decision-making in an era of change.
Collins Slides (pdf)
Veins the the Gulf
Elizabeth Coffman, Environmental Curriculum Developer and Program Director, International Film and Media Studies program—Loyola University Chicago;James P. Collins, Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and Environment—Arizona State University; and Ted Hardin, Film and Video Professor—Columbia College Chicago

8:30 – 9:30 p.m.           Poster Session and Welcome Reception   

Theme 1: Changing Students: Demographic Trends and General EducationPoster 1: Early College Experiences and Higher Education (pdf)
The University System of Maryland (USM) has been recognized as a national leader in K-16/P-20 education. In recent years, USM has committed to creating early college experiences for high-school students as a vehicle for: (1) helping low-achieving students meet high academic standards and lowering the need for remediation in postsecondary institutions; (2) reducing high-school dropout rates and increasing student aspirations, particularly for students who do not have college-going role models in their families or communities, by providing them with challenging, motivating coursework; and (3) helping students acclimate to college life by introducing them to the reality of postsecondary education. This poster will share two early-college models and data on the effects of early-college experiences on students’ subsequent performance in higher education.
Erin Knepler, Project Manager and David May, P-20 Partnership Project Manager—University System of Maryland System Office

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
Poster 2: Engaging Faculty in Assessment of General Education: A Case Study
This poster describes strategies that are proving to be effective at developing a system of general education assessment at Cal Poly Pomona, a comprehensive public university in Southern California. The presenters will share a step-by-step overview of the process and discuss the details and results of the efforts.
Jonathan Nourse, Chair of Geological Sciences Department and Anne Wohlcke, Assistant Professor of History—both of California State Polytechnic University-Pomona

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
Poster 3: Building a Culture of Change in General Education: Next-Level Practices
What does it take to build a culture of change in general education assessment? In 2004, Lewis University began its inquiry into what works and what does not work to revitalize the general education curriculum. The process has led to more faculty ownership of assessment and further advanced the university’s efforts toward a campus-wide assessment plan. This poster will present an overview of the process and address the next level of practices and assessment activities that support continuous improvement of general education at Lewis.
David Anderson, Professor and Chair of Department of Communications and Jion Liou Yen, Executive Director of Institutional Research and Planning—both of Lewis University

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
Poster 4: Object(ive)s Closer than They Appear: Using Reflective Writing Assignments
This poster presentation examines the role of reflective writing in general education courses as a means to foster student learning, engage faculty in professional development, and assess general education outcomes. Researchers have demonstrated that reflective writing is a high-impact practice that encourages transferable learning about writing. Using assessment of the Oakland University writing foundations course as a case study, the presenters will describe the process of integrating reflective writing into general education assessment. Models from the assessment project, including outcomes statements, rubrics, writing prompts, and faculty professional-development materials, will be provided.
Elizabeth G. Allan, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric and Dana Lynn Driscoll, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric—both of Oakland University

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
Poster 5: Faculty Learning Communities at Work
Texas Christian University has developed an outcomes-based core curriculum. Faculty who teach courses in certain core categories are automatically members of a Faculty Learning Community tasked with designing and implementing strategies for assessment. The poster will describe the assessment process and show how Religious Traditions, Literary Traditions, and Historical Traditions faculty have come to embrace the assessment process and complete the tasks.
Nadia Lahutsky, Associate Professor of Religion and Claire Sanders, Instructor in History—both of Texas Christian University

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
Poster 6: Faculty-Driven Course-Level Assessment of General Education Outcomes
During the 2009-2010 school year, the University of Michigan-Flint transformed its general education program into a curriculum grounded in newly approved student learning outcomes. All courses had to reapply for designation in the new program using a General Education Learning Outcomes form, explicitly stating how the course would contribute to selected learning outcomes. In 2010, faculty working in Outcomes Strategy Groups used this treasure trove of faculty narratives to: (1) develop a rubric for assessing written communication; and (2) validate earlier rubrics that assessed learning and facility with research methods. This poster describes the Outcomes Strategy Groups' process, presents the rubrics, and will serve as a catalyst for discussing how this process may work on other campuses.
Roy C. Barnes, Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences and Coordinator for General Education and Vickie J. Larsen, Assistant Professor of English—both of University of Michigan-Flint

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
Poster 7: Curriculum, Process, and Outcomes: Engaging the University in Assessment
Assessing the multiplicity of outcomes associated with general education presents a challenge for universities. Engaging a cross-section of faculty at all levels of the process, from evaluation of individual courses to relevant communication, is key to maintaining the integrity of the curriculum. This poster will share a three-tier model of assessment that was the product of the Working Group on Liberal Education Assessment at the University of Minnesota. By collecting a variety of data through surveys, focus groups, and document analysis, institutions can develop an understanding of the effectiveness of their curriculum in terms of individual course outcomes and the institution’s overall commitment to general education.
Leslie R. Zenk, Coordinator of Academic Policies, Procedures, and Faculty Governance, Office of Academic Affairs—University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
Poster 8: Going Public: Communicating about General Education Revision and Assessment
The introduction to the LEAP publication College Learning for the New Global Century boldly states, "The public silence about what matters in college is dangerous.” This poster investigates how campus leaders can communicate effectively to a variety of key audiences, including faculty, staff, students, and parents, about general education revision and assessment efforts.
Brooke Glenn, Program Coordinator for General Education and Assessment and Nancy Mitchell, Director of General Education—both of University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
Poster 9: Improving the Student Transition to College-Level Work
The poster presents the promising practice of Wyoming's “Lost in Transition” initiative created by a school-university partnership. The initiative brings together secondary and postsecondary faculty, organized by core content areas, in one- and two-day meetings where participants examine student work samples, build instructional and curricular connections, and form positive working relations that carry over to other programs.
Audrey M. Kleinsasser, Director, Wyoming School-University Partnership and Professor, Department of Educational Studies—University of Wyoming

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
Poster 10: Translating National Benchmarks Into Local Practice: Implementing Integrative Assessment
VALUE rubrics offer excellent guidelines for assessment, but rubrics must also be embedded in local institutional culture. What happens in the multiple acts of translation of a rubric from the national through the institutional down to the course level, and can the resulting assessment data travel back up the chain of translation? This poster presentation will examine Champlain’s path in adopting the VALUE Rubric on Integrative Thinking to its core curriculum, and solicit discussion on how to improve assessment of integrative thinking for use in curriculum revision. The poster will also address the challenges of generating data with the VALUE rubrics that can be used for cross-institutional comparisons, and encourage discussion about possibilities for cross-institutional collaboration.
Michelle Miller, Senior Associate Provost and Craig K. Pepin, Assistant Dean for Assessment—both of Champlain College

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
Poster 11: Students at the Center: Changing Culture to Empower Students
Northern Illinois University (NIU) has established the Student Advisory Council on Learning Outcomes to provide a student perspective on what is learned in college, how it is valued, and why student learning outcomes embedded within general education courses need to be assessed. Student participation, through examining general education course syllabi, has led to two recommendations about what should be clearly stated on a syllabus: learning outcomes expected from course participation and completion; and assessment tools related to learning outcomes. Building a culture of learning and assessment must be based on the collaboration of all campus participants and must put students at the center. This poster will discuss how this plan is part of a foundation for improving student learning at NIU.
David Changnon, Professor of Geography, Carolinda Douglass, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Outcomes Assessment, and Nora Lindvall, Undergraduate Student—all of Northern Illinois University

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
Poster 12: Connecting the Dots: Next Generation Course Redesign and Knowledge Management
Outcomes-based assessment propels the NextGen® course redesign program at the University of North Texas (UNT). This model, which UNT has used for the past four years, makes measurable and meaningful connections among course, program, and institutional goals through a three-level process. The use of an integrated, precise model allows educators and accreditors to calculate learning outcomes and goal attainment as numeric values, providing evidence on the efficacy of program- and institutional-level goals. Facilitators will demonstrate how this model connects student learning outcomes, assessments, instructional activities, and reporting at all levels. Calculation methods for outcome and goal-attainment values will be demonstrated.
Ron Carriveau, QEP Outcomes, Assessment, Measurement Specialist—University of North Texas; and Richard Plott, Executive Director, Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Assessment, and Strategic Planning and SACS-COC Liaison—Cisco College

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
Poster 13: Assess for Success: Librarian and Faculty Partnerships to Improve Student Learning
This poster will present an ongoing collaborative assessment project in which librarians and faculty partnered to embed information-literacy instruction and assessment tools into the curriculum of a lower-division composition class. Since winter 2010, faculty and librarians have collected assessment data in the form of pre- and post-surveys, a student research journal, faculty and student feedback, library instruction worksheets, a librarian self-reflection, and citation analyses of bibliographies from students’ final research papers. This poster will provide attendees with ideas for new ways to assess research, writing, and information literacy, and tips for developing partnerships with colleagues across departments.
Jackie Belanger, Reference and Instruction/Arts and Humanities Librarian and Rebecca Bliquez, Reference and Instruction Librarian/Online Learning Coordinator—both of University of Washington Bothell

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
Poster 14: General Education Assessment—A New Perspective (pdf)
This poster will share the process of development for over 25 new special-topic courses called Educated Perspective Seminars (EPS). These courses provide students with the opportunity to integrate disciplines within the liberal arts and use the knowledge and skills emphasized in general education courses. All EPS courses incorporate knowledge, concepts, and philosophies from various disciplines by examining a topic of interest relevant to today’s learners. The poster will focus on teaching strategies, key practices, assessment challenges, and alignment of EPS course objectives with general education program goals.
Patricia M. Arneson, Professor of Business, Suzanne R. Sydow, Director of Assessment, and Tamara S. Worner, Professor of Mathematics—all of Wayne State College

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
Poster 15: Assessing General Education Outcomes in Large Classes
Authentic assessment, or using evidence of actual student performance, is typically the preferred method to determine achievement of, or progress toward, student learning outcomes. However, in large classes, multiple-choice tests are often a necessity. Although these “objective” tests often reflect lower cognitive levels and not those indicated in outcome statements, multiple-choice tests can be constructed to tap into higher levels of thinking. This poster will illustrate how rubrics and test blueprints can guide the development of effective multiple-choice tests that can be used as a suitable alternative when performance-based measures are impossible to collect. 
Teresa Flateby, Director of Academic Assessment, Georgia Southern University

Theme 4: Engaging Real-World Problems: General Education for a Global Century
Poster 16: Big History: Situating Students In a Global Narrative (pdf)
In fall 2010, Dominican University adopted Big History for its first-year experience and created a one-year seminar sequence that was global in intent while still teaching core writing and research competencies. Big History, a universal and transdisciplinary narrative, tells the story of our universe. This poster will provide an overview of the program and share how assessments, surveys, and intense faculty development led to a revision of the program’s goals with the aim of forcing students to: (1) develop critical thinking skills; (2) situate themselves in a universal narrative; and (3) engage in nuanced thinking.
Mojgan Behmand, Director of General Education and First-Year Experience—Dominican University of California

Theme 4: Engaging Real-World Problems: General Education for a Global Century
Poster 17: Combining Academic Exposure and Civic Engagement in General Education
This poster will share how faculty at Simpson College struggled with developing a new approach to general education that would honor the traditions of the liberal arts while providing students with greater opportunities to integrate their learning with their lives as global citizens. The faculty decided that general education at Simpson could provide greater emphasis on practical skills and deeper engagement with the question of what it means to be a citizen of the world. These discussions resulted in the creation of a new general education program: the Engaged Citizenship Curriculum (ECC). This poster will address the structure of the ECC and chart the required criteria and learning objectives.
Amy Doling, Co-Director of General Education and Associate Professor of Biology and CoryAnne Harrigan, Co-Director of General Education and Associate Professor of English—both of Simpson College

Theme 4: Engaging Real-World Problems: General Education for a Global Century
Poster 18: AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise
AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative is designed to champion the value of a 21st century liberal education for all students. LEAP addresses the demands of a globally interdependent world, intending to match ambitious goals for college access and completion to a new vision for learning. Participants are invited to learn more about the LEAP vision and the many activities of the LEAP campaign.
Susan Albertine, Vice President for Engagement, Inclusion, and Success—AAC&U

Friday, February 24

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.           Facilitated Discussions

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 1: Assessing LEAP Essential Outcomes When Colleges Focus on Disciplines (ppt)
Assessment of general education courses and many of the LEAP essential learning outcomes often suffers when colleges focus more on whether graduates have mastered disciplinary content. This session invites participants to examine the situation on their campuses and explore possible solutions to lackluster assessment processes. The presenters will share what the College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University is doing to create a culture that broadens the conversation and increases engagement with general education requirements, while adapting existing assessment information to new purposes.
Ken Jones, Director, Common Curriculum, Phil Kramer, Director, Office of Academic Review and Curricular Advancement, and Peggy Retka, Director of Education Abroad—all of College of Saint Benedict/Saint John's University

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 2: Critical Innovations: General Education Reform at the Two-Year College
As much recent research on student learning has demonstrated, students do not learn critical, integrative, higher-order thinking skills and their application in one or two courses. General education at Manchester Community College therefore focuses on a limited number of college-wide learning outcomes that were defined and prioritized through campus-wide discussion. This limited number of outcomes is common to all general education content courses. The most significant challenge for the team responsible for facilitating general education reform was to engage these college-wide learning goals in 21 credits (seven courses). Facilitators will discuss ways to overcome challenges, the elements of success, and the material they created to implement significant changes to general education.
Ken Klucznik, Professor of English, Christopher Paulin, Director of Social Science and Hospitality Division, and Catherine Seaver, Director of Business, Engineering and Technology Division—all of Manchester Community College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 3: Strategies for General Education Administrators
The Council for the Administration of General and Liberal Studies (CAGLS) was created to provide strategies, discussion, and promising practices for administrators in general and liberal studies. Session facilitators will describe the governance or administrative structures of their own programs, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these structures relative to achieving expected outcomes. They will share results of a survey of governance structures and invite participants to engage in conversation about the elements that lead to effective administration of general education programs. They will also address resolutions to specific administrative problems that concern those attending the session, including strategies used to achieve ends central to curriculum reform and program coordination.
Larry R. Peterson, Chair, General Education Committee—North Dakota State University Main Campus
Sponsored by the Council for the Administration of General and Liberal Studies

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 4: Creating Faculty Investment in General Education Across Colleges
This session will feature a dean of arts and sciences, an interim associate provost (and professor of history), and a professor of finance (from a school of business) who will together ask an audience of participants to imagine how their institutions might more fully achieve a shared vision for general education. Faculty governance was an obstacle at the facilitators’ institution, and changes in the structures of shared governance, as well as working with faculty not generally considered to be core faculty for general education, helped engage faculty across colleges, schools, and disciplines. While keeping the focus on students and learning, facilitators will ask, “Are the institutional and structural impediments to innovation really as insurmountable as they often seem?” As a possible solution, the facilitators will discuss the idea of faculty senates’ holding “constitutional conventions” to design, build, and oversee new governance structures for general education.
Diedre Badejo, Dean, Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences, Daniel Gerlowski, Professor, Department of Finance and Economics, Merrick School of Business, and Jeffrey K. Sawyer, Associate Provost—all of University of Baltimore

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 5: Assessing Service-Learning Pedagogy in General Education Components
Facilitators will provide an overview of how one institution has designed and implemented a service-learning program assessment process at both course and programmatic levels. The process includes a rubric that is used for assessing learning but also shared with students in service-learning classes as part of an effort to ensure that faculty are integrating theory with practice and helping students make the vital connections that lead to complex thinking about root and systemic causes. The model engenders critical and creative reflection for students, faculty, and program administrators, laying the groundwork for new initiatives that allow faculty and students to engage collaboratively. Participants will use the rubric to read and "score" an embedded assessment assignment, and discuss how the process of bringing faculty and students together creates an opportunity for collaboration and growth that is as vital as the resulting data.
Thomas Burke, Assistant Professor, Literature and Languages and Social and Cultural Studies and Julia van der Ryn, Director, Service-Learning/Assistant Professor, Humanities—both of Dominican University of California

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 6: Students as Stakeholders: Early Engagement and Communication Strategies(ppt)
Visual representations of the assessment cycle usually include the standard stages of identifying outcomes, gathering and analyzing evidence, and implementing program enhancements on the basis of the evidence. However, missing from many of these conceptual models—and assessment practices in general—are indications that students are fully and purposefully engaged in assessment early in their tenure at the institution. Through several brief case studies, facilitators will illustrate how Duke University promotes a culture of assessment through early engagement with students, the use of integrated and non-invasive assessment practices, the careful minimization of surveys, the use of novel incentives to encourage investment, and the establishment of standardized feedback techniques. The facilitated discussion will encourage program participants to analyze Duke’s approaches to early engagement and the return of assessment information to students. Through interactive exercises and materials, the discussion will help participants adapt these practices for use on other campuses.
Jennifer L. Hill, Associate Director, Office of Assessment and Matt Serra, Director, Office of Assessment—both of Duke University

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 7: Moving from Program to Campus-wide Assessment (and Back Again) (pdf)
This discussion invites participants to explore methods of integrating department- or major-based outcomes with general education goals and even wider baccalaureate learning outcomes. Facilitators will provide examples of specific tools to prompt departments that engage in overall degree assessment to focus on individual majors and then expand their vision to the entire undergraduate experience. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss processes, timelines, and deliverables for assessing majors in their colleges. They can also share their own examples of how departments review mission statements, define learning outcomes for their majors, map those outcomes to courses, and develop plans for assessment. The session will explore questions of how individual departments integrate their students’ learning experiences and outcomes in order to support components of LEAP and campus-wide baccalaureate outcomes. Attendees will also have substantial opportunity to share their experiences and plans on applying campus-wide baccalaureate learning outcomes and LEAP components to individual majors.
Greg L. Cook, Director of Assessment and Lois J. Smith, Associate Dean, College of Business and Economics—both of University of Wisconsin - Whitewater                       
Liberal Education and America’s Promise

Theme 4: Engaging Real-World Problems: General Education for a Global Century
CS 8: AAC&U: A Newcomers’ Welcome and Review of LEAP—Turning Ideas into Action
As the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education, AAC&U works closely with campuses to extend the advantages of a liberal education to all students, regardless of academic specialization or intended career. In this session, participants will learn how AAC&U’s five broad goals for student learning (a guiding vision for liberal education; inclusive excellence; intentional and integrative learning; civic, diversity, and global engagement; and authentic evidence) and its Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative provide both context and framework for the undergraduate experience. Participants will have the opportunity to question and discuss how these goals apply to general education and learn about AAC&U’s VALUE rubrics for assessing essential learning outcomes.
Terrel Rhodes, Vice President for Quality, Curriculum, and Assessment and Ashley Finley, Senior Director of Assessment and Research—both of AAC&U

Theme 4: Engaging Real-World Problems: General Education for a Global Century
CS 9: Ashé Unbound: An Innovative Assessment Collaborative in Community Arts and Development
This session will highlight the early months and formation of Ashé Unbound. Instead of simply looking at general education as a means of matching students to “real-world issues” through courses or engagement projects, Ashé Unbound is a curricular program built, at its core, upon the civic ties of its individual students and needs of its community partners. Run as a distance-learning program at Roger Williams University and in partnership with College Unbound (www.collegeunbound.org), Ashé Unbound seeks to support adult learners through prior learning documentation, experiential learning that expands on their current work projects, shared assessment practices, and individualized learning plans to ensure that each student develops a full set of critical liberal arts skills. Participants will learn about a new (fall 2011) bachelor’s degree program where professionals associated with the Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans pursue a degree program tied intimately to their community arts and development work. They will have opportunity to discuss how this program might serve as a model for similar work at their campus.
Adam Bush, Director of Curriculum—College Unbound; Carol Bebelle, Director, Ashé Cultural Arts Center; and Petrice Sams-Abiodun, Executive Director, Lindy Boggs National Center for Community Literacy—Loyola University

Theme 4: Engaging Real-World Problems: General Education for a Global Century
CS 10: Creating Global Citizens Through Engaged Learning (pdf)
By focusing on integrating academic inquiry with practical applications in the form of engaged learning, Tulane University educates students to be socially responsible global citizens and leaders in their communities. This session will demonstrate the educational effectiveness of engaged learning beyond the traditional classroom boundaries. The facilitators will: (1) share the results of a longitudinal research study designed to assess general education outcomes and determine the students’ views of the public-service requirement; (2) highlight best practices of engaged learning, factoring in institutional effectiveness and students’ satisfaction; and (3) present a successful model for implementing “engaged learning,” consisting of public service, active classroom teaching, discipline-based academic inquiry (i.e. research), social entrepreneurship/innovation, and career-related intern- and externships.
Michael Cunningham, Executive Director of the Center for Engaged Learning and Teaching and Associate Professor of Psychology, Vincent Ilustre, Executive Director of the Center for Public Service, and Ana Lopez, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs—all of Tulane University

9:15 – 10:45 a.m.         Plenary

Podcast

Making Sense of the New Learning Landscape

The plenary will open with an overview of our changing students, followed by a discussion of how today’s students require that our institutions also change in profound ways—for example, by creating more flexible curricula, pursuing more rigorous assessment, and blending students’ non-campus-based learning with the full spectrum of institutional aspirations for them. Finally, the speakers will consider e-portfolios as a way to document, discuss, and assess students’ many modes of learning in connected, reflective ways that support their professional, personal, and civic development.

Steve H. Murdock, Allyn R. and Gladys M. Cline Professor of Sociology—Rice University and former Director of the U.S. Bureau of the Census; Barbara Wright, Vice President—Western Association of Schools and Colleges; and Kathleen Blake Yancey, Kellogg H. Hunt Professor of English—Florida State University

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.     Promising Practices and Rubrics Analysis Sessions

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 11: An Integrated Model for Outcomes-Based Curricular Planning and Faculty Development
The purpose of this interactive session is to: (1) describe an integrated curricular planning/implementation initiative recently implemented at Loyola University New Orleans that engages faculty in holistic curricular reform anchored in quality learning outcomes, high-impact pedagogies, and robust faculty development; (2) demonstrate how a key learning outcome, critical thinking, may be “hardwired” not only into the new curriculum, but also the curricular planning/implementation process (e.g., the faculty development program as well as the assessment/evaluation system); (3) share practical guidelines and tools associated with this integrated model; and (4) engage participants in interactive exercises applying insights and strategies that can be used to inform curricular change and enhancement at their own institutions.
Melanie McKay, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and Lydia Voigt, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs—both of Loyola University New Orleans

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 12: Integrative General Education Learning and Assessment as a Shared Responsibility
Middlesex Community College’s assessment journey began with a recommendation from NEASC, its regional accreditor, which became the catalyst for the development of an assessment plan and process. As with any good assessment process, areas for improvement have emerged, leading the school to its most recent work: a revision of the general education curriculum yielding greater cross-college, curricular, and co-curricular collaboration on the development and assessment of institutional student learning outcomes. This presentation will offer attendees the story of where Middlesex has been so far, the tools it has used, what it has learned, and where it plans to go in the future. Participants will be provided with tools for assessment, course mapping, general education course certification, and alignment with institutional, regional, and national standards. They will also be asked to share ideas for applying and improving these tools.
Clea Andreadis, Associate Provost, Instruction and Assessment, Elise Martin, Associate Dean, Assessment, and Philip Sisson, Provost and Vice President, Academic and Student Affairs—all of Middlesex Community College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 13: Engaging Faculty in Curricular Review Through Intellectual Inquiry into How We Learn
Efforts to revise general education programs often focus on providing students with opportunities to integrate and apply their learning in multiple contexts. An understanding of how students learn can provide a valuable foundation for thinking of general education as both developmental and integrative. It is equally important that the process of general education reform be informed by the science of learning, since many faculty do not have a deep understanding of the principles of curriculum design. This session will provide an overview of these cognitive science principles, using interactive exercises grounded in research. The facilitators will describe the work of a faculty learning community that applied cognitive-science research to course revision, and in small groups, participants will develop strategies to use what is known about principles of learning to facilitate faculty engagement in the curriculum review process.
Laura L. Edelman, Professor of Psychology and Kathleen E. Harring, Associate Dean for Institutional Assessment—both of Muhlenberg College; and Lisa Perfetti, Associate Dean for Faculty Development—Whitman College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 14: Involving Faculty in Assessing Student Learning Outcomes Across Three Schools
Session facilitators will describe how a small private university designed and implemented a new general education assessment system across the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Business Administration, and School of Music. With a new curriculum structure and general education model as the starting point, they will describe how university faculty developed eight General Learning Outcomes (GLOs), mapped the outcomes onto the general education curriculum, and designed and implemented rubric-based assessments for the GLOs. Special challenges in designing the assessment system will be discussed, and facilitators will include faculty members from business, humanities, music, and social-sciences areas of the university. The assessment cycle for one GLO, oral communication, will be presented, from outcome definition to rubric development to actions based on assessment results.
Toni L. Blum, Associate Professor of Psychology and Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and John M. Tichenor, Associate Professor of Decision Sciences—both of Stetson University

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 15: Continuing to Make Learning More Visible (ppt)
This session will provide a case study of the development of a comprehensive general education assessment system, focusing on the lessons learned in establishing a portfolio culture with students, faculty, and administration. The session will present a successful, comprehensive assessment model for a two-year interdisciplinary general education program, based on the use of e-Portfolios and self-assessment assignments. The BU team will describe the process and products of their innovation, “Making Learning Visible,” for multiple stakeholders concerned about growth and achievement. Through e-Portfolios, which allow students to view their work in multiple courses and then reflect on their progress, the College of General Studies is now documenting students’ full program of study in all courses, extracurricular activities, and capstone projects. Participants will see how students' reflections, in turn, enable faculty to target areas of students' work to analyze when assessing student learning in general.
Lynn O'Brien Hallston, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, Natalie McKnight, Associate Dean for Faculty Development, Gillian Pierce, Assistant Professor of Rhetoric, and Evangeline D. Harris Stefanakis, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership, Director of the Making Learning Visible-ePortfolio Project—all of Boston University

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 16: Institutionalizing Interdisciplinary Learning Through General Education
Lumina's Degree Qualifications Profile challenges institutions to develop learning outcomes that require the baccalaureate student to make intentional, interdisciplinary connections between the major and at least one other discipline. Are educators missing the point about interdisciplinarity? If educators are not intentionally designing learning experiences to help students make the connections between disciplines, are they really fostering students' abilities to synthesize those disciplines? This panel will share perspectives from both a midsize private institution and a large state university system on the theme of interdisciplinarity. How faculty and administrators define it, institutionalize it, suggest learning experiences to make it intentional, and perhaps most challenging of all, assess whether or not students are getting it, will all be considered in this interactive session.
Ken O'Donnell, Associate Dean, Office of the Chancellor—California State University; Joe Slowensky, Director of Assessment and Strategic Curricular Initiatives, Professor of Film and Media Arts—Chapman University; and Wayne Tikkanen, Faculty Director of General Education, Professor of Chemistry—California State University-Los Angeles

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 17: An Uncommon Approach to Common Assessment of General Education
Academic institutions are struggling to develop and implement comprehensive general education assessment that demonstrates student achievement of general education outcomes and, in turn, meets accreditation requirements. This session will provide participants with a process for campus-wide assessment of general education based on a common set of learning outcomes, common assignments, and an evaluation process using TaskStream and rubrics from AAC&U. The facilitators will share guidelines for developing a multi-year process for general education renewal that addresses issues of inclusion of faculty, students, and other stakeholders, and will discuss how these guidelines could be used at other institutions. The facilitators will also share lessons learned from their experience, as well as the benefits of implementing a common general education assessment process at other institutions.
Jeanne Butler, Director of Assessment—University of Nebraska-Kearney; and Ben Coulter, Manager, Systems Implementation—TaskStream
Sponsored by TaskStream

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 18: General Education Capstones: Getting Maximum Mileage from a High-Impact Practice
Capstones are a high-impact practice, and they are especially valuable when used as a component of a general education (GE) program. They provide a venue for vertical integration across the general education program and serve as a curricular bridge that connects general education with the major. Capstones serve to review and refresh general education learning at a critical point in students’ development—the finish of the undergraduate experience. They also become a site for assessment of GE program outcomes, and in many cases major outcomes as well. They represent a shared commitment to the kinds of learning valued across departments and disciplines. Facilitators will examine the benefits of a GE capstone and consider strategies for designing, implementing, assessing, and supporting capstones to maximize their value both within the GE program and across campus generally.
Joan Hawthorne, Director of Assessment and Accreditation, Anne Kelsch, Director of Instructional Development, and Tom Steen, Director of Essential Studies—all of University of North Dakota
Liberal Education and America’s Promise

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 19: Assessing Critical Thinking and Effective Communication Across General Education (ppt)
Handout (pdf)
Since 2004, Widener University, a regional metropolitan university serving primarily undergraduates, has been designing an assessment plan for its general education program and piloting components of that plan across programs. In academic year 2010-2011, the College of Arts and Sciences' Assessment and General Education Committee implemented a full-scale assessment of the general education goals of effective communication and critical thinking. Student learning was assessed at the first-year and senior level using two interdisciplinary courses (first-year writing and a college-wide senior capstone experience), faculty-designed rubrics, student artifacts, and qualitative analysis. This session will model one aspect of the program, examine sample student artifacts and assessment instruments, and present results within the context of this particular institutional culture. The session will also include discussion of strategies for transferring these practices to other contexts. This session will be suitable for faculty and administrators who want to develop meaningful criteria and methods for assessing student work.
Karen Rose, Associate Professor and Chair of Psychology, Janine Utell, Associate Professor and Chair of English, and Scott Van Bramer, Professor and Chair of Chemistry—all of Widener University

Theme 4: Engaging Real-World Problems: General Education for a Global Century
CS 20: Engaging Students in Real-World Problems
This session will share approaches two universities have taken to engage students in real-world problems. Clemson University’s Creative Inquiry program supports undergraduate student research that spans all disciplines on campus and connects the university, local communities, the state, and the world. Creative Inquiry will be presented as an example of a general education model that involves diverse teams of students and faculty in thinking about real-world problems. Presenters from Ohio Wesleyan University will share the university’s Connections program, a model to expand active learning into an active curriculum and engage students, faculty, and staff in the design of learning experiences based on real-world problems.
Barbara J. Speziale, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies—Clemson University; and Barbara Andereck, Associate Dean of Accreditation and Assessment and Charles Stinemetz, Dean of Academic Affairs—both of Ohio Wesleyan University

2:15 – 3:45 p.m.           Plenary      

Podcast

Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement
Faculty members share a common stake in the quality and outcomes of the general education that their students experience. This plenary provides an opportunity for faculty members to share their visions for and experiences with re-conceptualizing general education. They will talk about strategies that are effectively weaving general education outcomes throughout the undergraduate experience, with an emphasis on the relationships between faculty, core curricula, and the structures necessary to advance faculty members’ innovation and leadership.
Robert Collins, Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Public Policy and Dean, College of Arts and Sciences—Dillard University; Michele Cuomo, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, City University of New York Queensborough Community College; Cynthia Gomez, Instructor—Portland State University; Norman Jones, Professor of History—Utah State University; and Gary Rhoades, Professor of Higher Education—University of Arizona
MODERATOR: Susan Gano-Phillips, Professor and Chair of Psychology—University of Michigan-Flint

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.           Workshop Sessions

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 21: Engaging and Mentoring Faculty Online: Building Context, Culture, and Community
This session will share strategies two online universities have used for faculty engagement and development. Session facilitators from American Public University will discuss strategies for building a sense of scholarly community that overcomes the isolation sometimes associated with online faculty commitments. These strategies include well-established forms of communication and consider innovative and flexible multimodal online environments. Facilitators from American Intercontinental University will describe the university’s online Faculty Training and Resources Lab. They will discuss how elements are used, share tips and lessons learned from facilitation of the lab, and discuss best practices.
Kathryn A. Broyles, Program Director of General Studies and Kimberly Jacobs, Director, Art, Music & Literature Programs—both of American Public University System; Jeannette K. Jones, Lead Faculty Education/Professor, Susan Malekpour, University Dean of Education, and Glenda Miles, Director, Learning Center—all of American Intercontinential University

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 22: Engaging Faculty in Curricular Reform and Learning Outcomes Assessment
Engaging faculty in general education reform and learning outcomes assessment requires that those leading the efforts both capitalize on existing conditions and structures, and cultivate new ways for faculty to be involved in the process. The processes of core reform at Boise State University and college-wide student learning outcomes assessment at Miami Dade College have both been marked by significant levels of faculty engagement. This session will focus on how two different institutions used institutional strategies to build and sustain a culture of faculty engagement. The facilitators will share strategies used to meaningfully engage faculty, including professional development opportunities, recruitment of in-house faculty experts, engaging faculty in action planning, and building collaborations across campus administrative units. As a result of this workshop, participants will be able to identify institutional strategies, conditions, and structures that will foster faculty engagement on their own campuses.
Sharon McGuire, Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and Susan Shadle, Director, Center for Teaching and Learning—both of Boise State University; and Jose A. Donis, Professor of Humanities, John G. M. Frederick, Senior Assessment and Planning Associate, and Marina Rodriguez, Professor of College Preparatory Reading—all of Miami Dade College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 23: Forging Successful, Strategic Partnerships: Faculty Development and Core Curricula
What might a meaningful collaboration look like between those responsible for the core curriculum and those responsible for faculty development at an institution? What kinds of professional development might establish fertile ground for reform and what kinds may prepare faculty members to teach effectively in new ways? The deep and long-term collaborations between the core curriculum and the Center for Teaching and Learning at Otterbein University will provide a point of departure for this session as facilitators share insights from their experience co-sponsoring learning communities, fostering faculty-administrator team involvement in AAC&U initiatives, and creating opportunities for faculty to imagine how global learning and integration can enrich a core curriculum based on learning outcomes. Session participants will reflect on their own institutional contexts and envision how ongoing collaborative work around faculty development might help foster faculty investment in general education.
Leslie Ortquist-Ahrens, Center for Teaching and Learning Director and Sarah Fatherly, Integrative Studies Program Chair and Interim Dean of University Programs—both of Otterbein University

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 24: Immersion, Intervention, and Intercultural Development: Learner-Centered Study Abroad
Attitudes and beliefs about study abroad are changing rapidly, as we shift from a traditional teacher- and content-based paradigm to an emerging learner-centered one. Until recently, most faculty and staff believed that U.S. undergraduates normally learned abroad when left to their own devices, simply through being exposed to new and different experiences. However, recent research findings—including the Georgetown Consortium study, which measured student intercultural development at 61 programs abroad—and theoretical insights from cultural anthropology, education, communications, and psychology are challenging that assumption. Faculty and staff are increasingly asking how they can intervene to help their students learn more effectively abroad. This train-the-trainer workshop responds to that question. Following a brief review of recent research, participants will work in small groups as they learn how to help students develop the knowledge and skills outlined in the AAC&U Intercultural Knowledge and Competence VALUE rubric.
Janet M. Bennett, Executive Director—Intercultural Communication Institute; and Michael J. Vande Berg, Vice President for Academic Affairs—CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange
Sponsored by CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 25: Beginning with the End in Mind: Mapping Student Learning Outcomes to General Education
To further advance AAC&U's essential learning outcomes, the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (KY CPE) has maximized the use of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise initiative (LEAP) to foster intentional faculty collaboration across institutions and disciplines. With a push from Kentucky state legislation, faculty committees joined to establish common student learning outcomes for general education, advancing a seamless transfer framework for students. Through collaboration with an educational partner, the College Board, KY CPE also mapped student learning outcomes and course competencies to what students should know and be able to demonstrate through Advanced Placement and CLEP examinations. Participants will gain insight into this process, including how to deeply engage faculty in setting system-wide policy and serve as a model of success for others.
Pamela Kerouac, Senior Policy Analyst—The College Board; and Adina O'Hara, Project Coordinator, Tuning USA—Institute for Evidence-Based Change

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 26: Assessment for Accreditation: Engaging Faculty in an Effective Process
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools requires a Fifth-Year Interim Report to meet federal requirements that accrediting bodies: (1) continuously monitor institutions to ensure compliance; and (2) have a mechanism for reviewing multiple sites initiated since last reaffirmation. The report addresses issues identified at the completion of the institution’s last visiting committee review, and requires that these issues be monitored to verify their continued compliance with national and regional standards. To prepare this report, an institution must be certain its culture and process of assessment within departments, programs, and university-wide is consistent, accurate and, above all, working. During this session, the presenters will share Baton Rouge Community College’s process of assessment and the methods used to collect accurate data and ensure that faculty members actively participate in the process. This includes how the institution provides a narrative that supports compliance and explains its use in meeting the standards, specifically with regards to demonstrating student achievement.
Renee Hicks, Executive Director, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness—Nicholls State University; Chuck Maher, Education Field Solutions Consultant—LiveText; and Ann Zanders, Executive Director for Institutional Advancement—Baton Rouge Community College
Sponsored by LiveText

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 27: Engaging Faculty and Administrators in Assessment (pdf)
Engaging faculty and administrators in assessment is both increasingly important to satisfy an institution’s many constituents and increasingly difficult in a time of tighter budgets. Depending on the type of institution, faculty members often face increasing demands to do research and/or teaching, and assessment seems less important. Administrative faculty are also challenged to do more work with fewer resources and sometimes do not see how assessment will help them. Thus, changing the institutional culture to give more weight to evidence-based decision making (assessment) can cause conflict and resistance and requires development of a thoughtful strategy for change and leadership skills. Changing the culture also requires the ability to identify resistance and create a plan to address it. Participants will discuss how to use the concepts of conflict management, change theory, and leadership to advance campus cultures that support assessment of student learning.
Tisha M. Paredes, Senior Research Associate and J. Worth Pickering, Assistant Vice President of Institutional Research and Assessment—both of Old Dominion University; and Stephen C. Zerwas, Associate Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness—Georgia Southern University

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 28: Measuring General Education Outcomes Through Convergent Lenses
In the General Education Whole Person Assessment (WPA) program at Oral Roberts University, students can document, through reflection papers, quizzes, or surveys, over 100 connections with co-curricular activities including clubs, community outreach, and honors societies. Since 2004, co-curricular activities have been included as a part of ORU’s General Education WPA Handbook. However, in 2010 a separate co-curricular handbook for students was created. This has become particularly important because in 2008, ORU began offering Whole Person Scholarships partially based on and maintained by the students’ WPAs rather than their GPAs alone. Thus, by streamlining the co-curricular system, students can complete many more artifacts for such activities. Students track how well they are fulfilling academic proficiencies while documenting that their general education experience encompasses more than academics. Participants in this session will break into groups and discuss the connection between academics and co-curricular activities at their respective institutions.
Mark R. Hall, Coordinator of General Education and Bobby Parks, Director of Community Outreach—both of Oral Roberts University

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 29: Designing Authentic Assessments for Prior Learning
Increasingly, students come to colleges and universities with prior learning experiences. Online opportunities such as open learning resources provide knowledge to students outside of the traditional classroom setting. Further, recent research (e.g., CAEL, 2010) indicates that students who participate in prior learning assessment have higher graduation and persistence rates than students who do not participate. One challenge institutions face in assessing prior learning is how to efficiently assess which learning should be incorporated into college degrees. Based on recent research on college-level learning (e.g., Travers, 2011), this workshop will invite participants to explore multiple assessment strategies of prior learning that could be utilized at their institution, such as concept maps and e-Portfolios. The purpose of this hands-on workshop is to challenge traditional practices in assessing college-level prior learning in light of emerging definitions of an educated person.
Maria S. Panayotou, Senior Academic Review Specialist, Viktoria Popova-Gonci, Assessment Specialist, Long Island Center, and Nan L. Travers, Director, Office of Collegewide Academic Review—all of State University of New York Empire State College

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 30: Making Assessment Evidence Engaging and Actionable for Faculty
Most institutions have rich stores of assessment evidence that never make it to the faculty in a form that stimulates reflection and action. After a quick primer on assessment lingo and acronyms, participants in this session will discuss actual assessment evidence from several functional levels including the institution, department or program, and course. Based on this evidence, participants will identify successes as well as areas of concern, and formulate basic action plans for further improvement at each level. Participants will come away with practical approaches to generating dialogue about assessment evidence from various sources (e.g., NSSE, CIRP, SALG, class exams and projects). They will also see how positive, non-punitive discussions can inspire the use of evidence to guide continuous improvement towards personal and institutional objectives.
Ellen Goldey, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor and Chair of Biology—Wofford College

Theme 4: Engaging Real-World Problems: General Education for a Global Century
CS 31: Communicating Effectively About the Aims and Outcomes of Liberal and General Education (ppt)
This session will draw on research and campus communications practices developed as part of AAC&U’s Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative. The facilitator will: (1) provide an overview of what employers say about college graduates’ skills and readiness for success in the global workplace; (2) discuss public opinion research that highlights how students, recent graduates, policy leaders, and business leaders view what really matters in college learning and what the civic and professional-development aims of education should be; and (3) share ways that LEAP campuses have used this research to communicate more effectively with various constituents. Participants will be introduced to messages and language proven effective in making the case for liberal and general education. The session will also focus specifically on how to effectively make the case for civic learning and democratic engagement as essential outcomes of college.
Debra Humphreys, Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs—AAC&U

8:00 – 10:00 p.m.         Film Screening    

Veins in the Gulf will be shown in its entirety and followed by a conversation with the filmmakers. The documentary traces the history of rapidly disappearing bayous, the environmental crisis of southern Louisiana, and the international impact of Cajun culture, which is quickly losing ground. Through interviews with fishermen, engineers, poets, and scientists, viewers bear witness as Louisiana residents confront the mortality of their cultureand a community tries to solve its environmental crises.
Elizabeth Coffman, Environmental Curriculum Developer and Program Director, International Film and Media Studies program—Loyola University Chicago; and Ted Hardin, Film and Video Professor—Columbia College Chicago

Saturday, February 25

8:00 – 9:00 a.m.           Plenary   

Podcast       

One Word That’s Powering General Education Reform (It’s Not “Plastics”)
In the light of epiphanies that continue to inspire the reform of general education, this plenary will focus on greater intentionality as the essential platform for improved quality. A commitment to intentionality requires the clarification and pursuit of explicit incremental student learning outcomes, as well as assiduous assessment to measure the effectiveness with which they are accomplished. Faculty must express through the design and evaluation of general education the same scholarly values implicit in their scholarship: clarity of objectives, thoughtful congruence between method and desired results, and receptivity to constructive advice. The result should be more integrative and developmentally nuanced general education programs designed to lead students to clear goals. Gaston will offer a new vision for general education that is ironically the oldest of visions: Students learn more effectively when they understand and appreciate the priorities that structure their work.
Paul Gaston, Trustees Professor of English, Kent State University

9:15 – 10:30 a.m.         Promising Practices, Workshops, and Rubric Analysis Sessions

Theme 1: Changing Students: Demographic Trends and General Education
CS 32: Integration, Innovation, and Internationalization: General Education and Mission Alignment (ppt)
Facing increasing pressures to deliver effective undergraduate education to changing student populations, higher education institutions need innovative ways to align general education with their unique missions. City University of Seattle's mission focuses on expanding access to higher education both in its Pacific Northwest region and around the globe. The university's undergraduate curriculum model is informed by research in knowledge management and outcomes-based learning design, and builds on the Lumina Foundation’s Degree Qualifications Profile and AAC&U’s VALUE Project rubrics. Facilitators will demonstrate how the model provides: (1) clearly articulated learning outcomes; (2) multiple paths to degree completion that serve incoming freshmen, transfer students, adult students, international students, and students seeking accelerated programs; and (3) an integrated implementation framework using collaboration technologies to support student achievement across various populations and academic systems. In small groups, participants will examine the model’s potential for solving problems at their own institutions via examples and lessons learned.
Elizabeth Fountain, Associate Provost and Director, Office of Institutional Effectiveness, David Griffin, Dean of Academic Affairs, European Programs, and Melissa Mecham, Vice President, Admissions and Student Services—all of City University of Seattle

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 33: Sustaining a Seminar Sequence Across the Curriculum (pdf)
Entering students at Allegheny complete a three-semester sequence of seminars that emphasize critical thinking and communication. Several elements of the First Year/Sophomore (FS) program are notable and distinctive: (1) linkages among these classes that lead to the required junior seminar and capstone senior project; (2) integration of writing and speaking in each course; and (3) widespread commitment confirmed by faculty vote after a rigorous self-study. In this session, three leaders at different stages of their professional careers will facilitate discussion. The directors of college writing and speech will share practices for training faculty and creating program coherence through innovative lunchtime workshops as well as a popular “mini-conference.” The program director, a former dean, will share administrative strategies for sustaining faculty support and enhancing success, including periodic communications designed to reinforce consistency and intentionality, the FS Faculty Mentor program, and comprehensive assessment. The session, like the FS workshops on campus, will center on information sharing and problem solving.
Terra Caputo, Director of Writing, Lloyd Michaels, St. Clair Professor of English, and Vesta Silva, Director of Speech—all of Allegheny College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 34: Effective Engagement Strategies at Large Institutions: Adjusting Administrative Styles
Engaging faculty at large institutions in assessment of general education requires that administrators understand the important yet often competing initiatives on campus. This session will help assessment leaders identify ways that administrators may be closing doors to general education assessment and reform. Participants will develop action plans to implement strategies that lay the groundwork for campus-wide engagement. Facilitators representing a dean's perspective, a faculty member's perspective, and an assessment director's perspective will guide participants through a series of questions addressing budgets, research dollars, feedback, use of data, chains of command, requests for accreditation evidence, reward systems, value, and respect—before any mandates for assessment reports are announced by upper administration. Participants will develop treatment plans and follow-up strategies after evaluating the effectiveness of administrative styles employed at their universities.
Deborah Chappel-Traylor, Associate Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Melodie Philhours, Associate Professor of Marketing, and Josie A. Welsh, Director of the Office of Student Learning Outcomes—all of Arkansas State University

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 35: Sustaining Faculty Development Programs in General Education
This session will consider two common challenges facing faculty development efforts. First, it will examine a community of practice in a general education program where contingent faculty members actively pursue professional-development opportunities. In so doing, these faculty members apply their learning via reflective practice with measurable effects on teaching, as evidenced by assessment of their students’ work. However, their “defensive” practice as contingent faculty seems to limit positive effects on student learning. Next, the session will explore painful choices connected to the expiration of external funds for innovative faculty-development programs. Grant proposals must include the means of sustaining new programs, yet conditions on the ground may cause an ethical and financial crisis. For both cases, remedies will be offered and further experience solicited from the audience in small-group discussions.
William Condon, Professor of English—Washington State University; and Carol Rutz, Director, Writing Program—Carleton College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 36: Ensuring the Integrity of Transfers from Community Colleges to Public Universities (ppt)
Since 1991, New Jersey Community Colleges’ faculty and academic officers have developed general education goals, guiding principles, and course criteria to determine the general education course requirements for associate degrees. State legislation in 2007 accelerated the review of the general education requirements and also set up a provision to ensure that courses completed as part of the associate degree could be transferred to a public university. Session leaders will discuss this process, and the statewide general education course-approval process initiated in fall 2010 will also be presented. Integration of the General Education Foundation, Unified Course List, and Guiding Principles criteria into the Academic Officers General Education Committee's general education category rubrics will be demonstrated. Session attendees will then be asked to use the category rubrics to review a proposed general education course. Future statewide issues surrounding general education will also be discussed.
Nancy Kegelman, Dean of Academic Affairs—Brookdale Community College; Dwight Smith, Vice President of Academic Affairs—County College of Morris; and Art Wexler, Vice President of Academic Affairs—Atlantic Cape Community College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 37: Walk, Run, Jump, LEAP: Moving Essential Learning Outcomes Center Stage (ppt)
Institutions of higher education are increasingly intent on defining and assessing the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students should possess as a result of their educational experience. To accomplish the change in educational culture needed for the adoption of effective assessment practices, and to encourage the curricular changes that facilitate student learning, faculty must engage in and support the philosophy and practice of outcomes-based assessment. This facilitated discussion will focus on identifying strategies that result in greater awareness of general education (GE) essential learning outcomes (ELOs) and a culture of assessment among faculty. The presenters will identify common challenges across institutions related to this topic, such as lack of consistency in assessment across sections of a GE course or failure to understand GE program goals. They will share how they are moving their institution’s ELOs center stage with a four-step process and related strategies, and engage attendees in discussing associated issues.
Maureen Andrade, Associate Dean, University College, Kathie Debenham, Associate Vice President, Academic Programs, and K.D. Taylor, Interim Dean, University College—all of Utah Valley University
Liberal Education and America’s Promise

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 38: Using Existing Information About Student Learning to Inform Curricular Reform (ppt)
Nazareth College is presently implementing a "high-impact" core curriculum. While similar to the existing core, the new curriculum will intentionally and explicitly focus on essential student learning outcomes (SLOs), promoted and assessed within an Enduring Questions framework and achieved via integrative and experiential learning. But while the school has a clear idea of the intended outcomes of its new core, its direct assessment of SLOs in the past has been limited. Consequently, it is using existing, indirect assessment data (e.g. NSSE, IDEA, HERI) as both a baseline and starting point for a comprehensive system of assessment. In this session, participants will have a chance to familiarize themselves with strategies to mine existing data and apply these strategies to their own SLOs.
Diane M. Enerson, Professor of Psychology and Director, Center for Teaching Excellence and Heidi Northwood, Professor of Philosophy and Director of Core—both of Nazareth College of Rochester

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 39: From Holistic to Analytic: Adapting VALUE Rubrics to Individual Campus Contexts
AAC&U VALUE rubrics provide a holistic framework for assessing LEAP essential learning outcomes. While these rubrics are useful for coordinating shared outcomes across campuses, assessment on individual campuses sometimes requires a more analytic approach. To assess student learning in a specific curriculum, culture, or other campus-specific context, higher-education professionals may need to adapt VALUE rubrics to fit their specific needs. Project RAILS (Rubric Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) takes up this challenge by examining the adaptation, use, and results of the VALUE rubric for information literacy on 10 campuses. Facilitators will: (1) demonstrate how to tailor VALUE rubrics to analytic purposes; (2) recommend strategies for norming adapted rubrics for multiple raters; and (3) share study results including adapted rubrics from five institutions. Participants will engage in a mini-adaptation exercise and discuss benefits and barriers to “holistic to analytic” rubric transformations.
Jackie Belanger, Reference and Instruction/Arts and Humanities Librarian—University of Washington Bothell; Jametoria Burton, Chair, Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning—Florida State College-Jacksonville; Jenny Rushing Mills, Coordinator of Reference Services—Belmont University; Megan Oakleaf, Assistant Professor of Information Science—Syracuse University; Carroll Wilkinson, Director of Instruction and Information Literacy—West Virginia University; and Ning Zou, Library Instruction Coordinator—Dominican University

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 40: Using ePortfolios to Align Institutional and Programmatic Goals (ppt)
Often, students are asked to demonstrate general education competencies by passing pre-designated courses, with little attention paid to their course work. This session illustrates how the University of Delaware implemented ePortfolios to help faculty structure student learning opportunities, ensure that students obtained general education competencies, and integrate institutional and programmatic goals with instructional objectives. UD ePortfolio outcomes include students’ increased recognition of general education goals, increased connections between course work and programmatic goals, and an authentic measurement of general education competencies. The ePortfolio allows program leaders to think about the type of student they want to cultivate by designing a developmental curriculum that clearly identifies where learning opportunities exist. In this hands-on workshop, participants will assess a general education competency using a VALUE rubric, and recognnize how student performance can be guided by departmental and institutional goals for academic performance.
Kathleen Langan Pusecker, Director of the Office of Educational Assessment and Manuel R. Torres, Assessment Research Analyst—both of University of Delaware

Theme 4: Engaging Real-World Problems: General Education for a Global Century
CS 41: Integrating Global Learning into the Curriculum
Facilitators will share how the general education curricula at St. Edward’s University and University of South Florida address global learning. The presenters will begin with an overview of the programs’ development, implementation, and assessment. They will share tools including a rubric created to integrate global preparedness and assessment throughout the curriculum and co-curriculum. Small group discussions will emphasize the LEAP essential learning outcomes while adapting the rubric and global education models to participants’ home institutions.
Richard J. Bautch, Associate Dean, Associate Professor, Humanities, David A. Blair, Director of Institutional Assessment, and Christie Sample Wilson, Associate Professor, Behavioral and Social Sciences—all of St. Edward's University; and Karla Davis-Salazar, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Chair, General Education Council, Janet L.S. Moore, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, and Stephen RiCharde, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment—all of University of South Florida

10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.            Promising Practices, Workshops, and Rubric Analysis Sessions

Theme 1: Changing Students: Demographic Trends and General Education
CS 42: Coordinating Essential Learning Outcomes and High-Impact Practices Statewide
North Dakota colleges and universities are coordinating general education reform efforts among all state institutions, which include 11 public two-year colleges and four-year universities, five tribal colleges, and two private colleges. Discussions among representatives from state institutions have resulted in a general agreement to emphasize LEAP learning outcomes and high-impact practices in state institutions. This includes efforts centering on how to coordinate and assess these outcomes and practices, as well as how to consider the role of both transfer students (North Dakota's General Education Transfer Agreement) and students entering higher education with high school general education credits (North Dakota's Dual Credit Program). This session will address the process North Dakota went through to coordinate its state general education reform, the tools utilized to collect data and coordinate information, and how North Dakota's efforts can be effective in other institutions and states.
Andrea Elizabeth Donovan, Assistant Professor of Art History—Minot State University; Larry R. Peterson, Professor of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies—North Dakota State University; and Tom B. Steen, Director of Essential Studies—University of North Dakota                       
Liberal Education and America’s Promise

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 43: General Education Reform Through Faculty Curriculum Groups (pdf)
At some point, general education reform moves from conceptual, overarching plans to small-scale, in-the-classroom specifics. Often, this transition involves handing an overall framework, with buy-in from faculty and institutional governance, to groups charged with implementing it on the ground. How can we best structure this transition while enhancing faculty engagement, continuing professional development, and widening the circle of stakeholders who are prepared to implement changes? This session focuses on Curriculum Innovation Communities as one way to delegate the responsibility for general education reform effectively, smoothly, and with appropriate support and accountability. These faculty learning communities focus on coherent thematic areas within general education, and are charged with developing strategies for implementing components of the general education program (e.g., writing/communication, diversity, quantitative literacy). Facilitators will discuss mid-year assessment data on three such groups (including work products and faculty participant surveys), apply the approach to diverse institutional settings, and analyze shared challenges of passing the general education baton.
Cassandra Volpe Horii, Dean of Faculty and Robert MacDougall, Associate Professor of Communication and Faculty Center Coordinator—both of Curry College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 44: Redesigning Assignments to Connect Course Content and Institutional Goals
At many institutions, encouraging advanced faculty to engage in new practices can be challenging, yet creating procedures and incentives that promote their participation in assignment redesign can reap rewards. This session will discuss an assignment revision project designed to improve delivery of core goals at the facilitators’ institution. Faculty members were invited to participate in a project to redesign class assignments using criteria outlined in core competency rubrics (including various VALUE rubrics). Ultimately, 90 percent of the participants were senior faculty from disciplines as diverse as accounting, chemistry, and literature.In particular, the session will highlight three strategies to enhance project value: (1) providing feedback and discussion of assignment design; (2) creating structures that encourage faculty to embed core competencies in their assignments; and (3) generating opportunities for reflection on how redesign influenced faculty approaches to classroom delivery.
Erica Frisicaro-Pawlowski, Assistant Professor of English and Intisar Hibschweiler, Core Director and Associate Professor of Mathematics—both of Daemen College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 45: Institutional Investment in a New Culture of General Education
Renewing a faculty’s passion for general education and the teaching of general education courses is a challenge that sometimes requires a wholly new context in which rejuvenation can occur. In this workshop, two facilitators and one student will demonstrate how two distinctly different institutions (Oxford College of Emory University and Georgia Gwinnett College) renewed faculty enthusiasm for the general education program of the institution. Using the results of a college-wide faculty survey, the first facilitator, Oxford College’s Director of the Center of Academic Excellence, will describe the 18-month journey that this college took into Inquiry-Guided Learning courses. Georgia Gwinnett College’s development of eight institutional learning outcomes has forged connections based on shared outcomes across campus, both between general education courses and courses in the major, and in faculty-to-faculty relationships. The linchpin for the renewals at these two institutions has been intentionally-designed initiatives with faculty leadership, participation, and guidance throughout.
Jeffery Galle, Director of Center for Academic Excellence and Diana Chen, Student—both of Emory University; and Jo Galle, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs—Georgia Gwinnett College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 46: Examining a Professional Development Model for Adjunct Faculty
As post-secondary education becomes more and more reliant on the efforts of adjunct faculty, institutions are increasingly re-examining the critical role part-time instructors play in student success. This session details the development and implementation of the Adjunct Faculty Professional Development Program (AFPDP), a blended online and face-to-face workshop series for adjunct educators at North Shore Community College in Danvers, Massachusetts. This hybrid model of faculty development has transformed pedagogy, built a more student-centered and creative learning environment, developed collegial relationships, and strengthened the college as a community. Research and anecdotal information suggest that AFPDP has contributed to establishing a stronger and more creative adjunct faculty team by helping adjuncts understand student-centered classroom strategies and feel more connected to the college community.
Laurel S. Messina, Assistant Dean of Liberal Studies and Dawne Spangler, Director, Center for Teaching, Learning and Assessment—both of North Shore Community College

Theme 2: Building Cultures of Faculty Engagement: Institutional Strategies
CS 47: Integration and Assessment of General Education Using LEAP and VALUE Rubrics
While general education is at the heart of a university’s core values, individual faculty members may approach it with ambivalence. Moreover, general education courses can become isolated without a clear connection to the entire general education sequence or to an institution’s mission. In this session, facilitators will share tools for vertically integrating the general education curriculum and promoting a campus culture that understands the importance of a general education program. A series of Blackboard-based matrices provides a visual representation of the ways essential learning outcomes are developed throughout the curriculum. Each matrix focuses on a particular outcome and was developed using the AAC&U VALUE rubrics as models. Participants will learn how to create their own matrices, thus gaining a vertical integration tool, insight into how to apply the essential learning outcomes to their own general education courses, and a model for general education advancement projects.
Cory Lock, Associate Professor of University Programs, Dave Rozeboom, Director of Residence Life, and Bob Strong, Associate Dean of University Programs—all of St. Edward's University
Liberal Education and America’s Promise

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 48: Assessment, ePortfolios, and Experiential Learning: Expanding the Model (link)
This session focuses on the collaboration between Loyola’s Office of Learning Technologies and Assessment (LTA) and its Center for Experiential Learning (CEL), including a detailed look at the CEL assessment plan and the decision to incorporate ePortfolios. Facilitators will discuss the CEL’s development and use of assessment rubrics and its connection to a re-accreditation project with the Higher Learning Commission. Through small-group discussions, the session will engage participants with templates for assessment plans and potential ePortfolio projects applicable to their home campuses. After attending this session, participants will be able to: (1) articulate how examples may be applied to other projects; (2) identify programs at their own institutions where information presented could be applied; and (3) recognize the presented models' potential to integrate ePortfolio and assessment planning on their own campuses.
Patrick M. Green, Director of Experiential Learning, Ashley Kehoe, ePortfolio Program Manager, Shannon Milligan, Coordinator of Assessment, and Carol Scheidenhelm, Director of Learning Technologies and Assessment—all of Loyola University Chicago

Theme 3: Building Cultures of Assessment: Improving Student Learning
CS 49: Authentically Assessing Students' Global and Cultural Awareness (pdf)
Texas Christian University's mission is “to educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.” To determine how well the school is achieving this mission, the facilitators assessed the learning of students who took courses designated as Global Awareness or Cultural Awareness classes. In this session, they will present their methodology, results, and lessons learned. Through small-group discussions, session participants will share and reflect on new tools and methodologies their institutions are using or could use to authentically assess students’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes regarding global issues and people from diverse socio-cultural backgrounds. Participants will receive a survey instrument which prompts responses to hypothetical real-world scenarios and asks general attitudinal questions. They will also receive a handout that presents method and scoring rubrics as well as selections from other relevant instruments.
David Aftandilian, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Manochehr Dorraj, Professor of Political Science, and Janice Elliott, Director of Neeley School of Business Assessment—all of Texas Christian University

Theme 4: Engaging Real-World Problems: General Education for a Global Century
CS 50: Practicing What We Preach: Moving Real-World Problems to the Center of General Education
If educators take to heart the LEAP principle of excellence recommending that “educators make the essential learning outcomes a framework for the entire educational experience, connecting school, college, work and life,” they must develop strategies to realize this goal. In this session, facilitators will offer three promising practices that build on general education outcomes to help students connect knowledge with action, confront real-world problems, and develop lifelong habits of civic engagement. The models from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln demonstrate how institutions might reinforce general education learning outcomes and address “Big Questions” through civic education, study abroad, and the application of systems thinking approaches. Participants will be asked to identify and discuss practices on their campuses that might be developed to improve their own general education learning outcomes and students' level of civic engagement.
Brooke Glenn, Program Coordinator for General Education and Assessment and Nancy Mitchell, Director of General Education—both of University of Nebraska-Lincoln                    
Liberal Education and America’s Promise

 

 

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