Pre-conference Workshops

Thursday, February 20, 2:00–5:00 p.m.

Separate registration and fee required ($125 members; $195 non-members); seating will be limited, so register early.  

Workshop 1: Maximizing Learning Within Your General Education Curriculum
At the heart of most general education programs is what takes place in individual courses and individual classrooms across campus.  A well-designed general education curriculum is ultimately only as good as the teaching and learning practice that takes place within the courses that comprise the curriculum.  The workshop will focus on this reality by considering general education learning from multiple perspectives.  It will begin by highlighting programmatic opportunities provided by different models of general education along with the learning outcomes that each model is designed to foster.  The session then will investigate what we know empirically about how students learn and consider practical pedagogical strategies that leverage that foundation.  Course design and leveraging high impact practices (HIPs) will be included within the scope of this pedagogical discussion.  Attendees also will consider data-driven sources for course improvement efforts, including end of semester evaluations and the results of learning outcomes assessment activities, as well as how to best utilize that information. Individuals are encouraged to bring materials (e.g., course syllabi, assignments) as time will be provided to engage in course revision activities. Participants will leave this interactive workshop with concrete, evidence-based strategies they can employ in their general education curriculum and courses.
C. Edward Watson, Associate Vice President for Quality, Pedagogy, and LEAP Initiatives and Chief Technology Officer—AAC&U

Workshop 2: Creating Opportunities for Meaningful and Intentional Assessment
As stakeholders (including faculty) engage in assessment, a question that repeatedly arises is how faculty work can be effectively and efficiently included in general education assessment processes. This workshop will share how the All-In-One-Assessment (AIOA) model answers that question by centering assessment efforts on assignments faculty develop within their classes based on AAC&U VALUE rubrics. The presenters will introduce the AIOA model, provide an overview of how it has been implemented, and guide participants through how it may be useful on their campuses. The AIOA model allows assessment to address the core goal of improving student learning while also monitoring students’ skills over time and simultaneously across courses. All components of the assessment process, including grading and reporting at the program-level, are collected through an efficient process that emphasizes the connections that lead to an aligned system of curriculum, outcomes, and assessment.
M. David Miller, Professor of Research and Evaluation Methods—University of Florida; and Tammie Cumming, Associate Provost of Institutional Effectiveness and Assistant Vice President; and Isana Leshchinskaya, Assessment Specialist—both of City University of New York Brooklyn College

Workshop 3: Fostering and Assessing Reflective and Integrative Learning, Together
In 2010, the University of Massachusetts Amherst implemented an upper-division general education requirement, the integrative experience (IE), designed to provide a structured context for students to reflect on their own learning and explore the connections between the broad exposure of general education and the more focused exposure of their major. Instructional development and formative assessment have been imbedded in the IE program from its inception, and in spring 2019, the General Education Council conducted its first full review of the IE program. The results of this review, in combination with evidence from the ongoing assessment conducted throughout the early years of the program, have generated important insights into how to advance and improve the campus’ efforts to foster reflective and integrative learning. These insights are informing formative feedback to departments, ongoing review processes, and instructional support.  In this workshop, participants will draw from the results of the UMass Amherst experience, as well as their own and each other’s efforts, to identify methods to enhance their own campus initiatives to foster and assess reflective and integrative learning. We will focus on each of the following: defining reflective and integrative learning, curricular design and review processes, tools for assessment, and using results to design instructional development tools and opportunities.
Martha L. A. Stassen, Associate Provost and Director, Office of Academic Planning and Assessment, Rebecca Petitti, Doctoral Candidate and General Education Council Graduate Assistant, and Claire Hamilton, Associate Provost and Director, Center for Teaching and Learning—all of the University of Massachusetts Amherst

Workshop 4: Making VALUE Work on Your Campus: Successful Strategies and Lessons Learned
For more than a decade, AAC&U VALUE rubrics have helped campuses engage in authentic assessment of their students’ learning and development. The challenge of any assessment rests with how the results actually can be used in practice for improvement. This interactive workshop will empower participants to fully utilize the VALUE rubrics on their campuses. Informed by the empirical evidence from the VALUE Institute highlighting key aspects of assignment work and design,  this workshop will employ a “train the trainer” modality not only to expose participants to best practices and resources using the VALUE rubrics, but also to empower them to return to their campuses primed to lead implementation of the VALUE assets-based approach to assessment within their own institutional culture and context, including related faculty development. The workshop will highlight examples of how the VALUE approach to assessment has been used to support accreditation.
Tara Rose, Director of Assessment—Louisiana State University, and Kate Drezek McConnell, Assistant Vice President for Research and Assessment—AAC&U