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Natural ScienceThe 2007-2008 assessment results showed that more than 80% of the more than 2000 students assessed met or exceeded expectations. Based on these results, the natural science general education committee concluded that no changes in the N/ offerings or assessment plan were warranted.
"It is time for the Social Social Science Core to be revised. The basic leaning outcomes in the Social Science Core were established in 1998. They include the three outcomes assessed plus the writing requirement. A number of departments in the Social Science Core would like to see the writing requirement eliminated. When the college changes from a five course student load to a four course student load, the general education requirements will have to be revised. We should take this opportunity to use the evidence from the assessments to revise the Social Science Core to reflect the new situation and current practice."
Because the discussion of the switch from a five course to a four course load is incomplete and unclear, we did not pursue these three items in need of revision
- Number of courses in the social science core, 2 or 1
- Writing requirement , or not
- Clarification of the learning outcome on methods of social science
All three items depend on the structure of general education and will wait for some resolution of that before the loop will be finally closed. The last item is most closely linked to our assessment. Teaching of the methods of social science is not taught consistently or consistently well across the courses in the social science core. This in turn is related to the definition of a "social science" course. Making the methods of social science learning outcome stronger, implies that some courses currently in the social science core may not belong there.
Closing the loop in social science core must proceed along with revision of the general education curriculum for the college.
Critical Writing and Reading
The data from 2004-2005 demonstrates that approximately 50% of the students were meeting or exceeding standards for writing and revising coherent texts. By 2008-2009, this number has improved marginally through such efforts as:
1) individual faculty mentoring by the CWR Co-Chairs (including providing sample syllabi and assignments to new instructors, reviewing course syllabi, text and reading selections, advising on best teaching practices and grading standards and methods)
2) the expansion of library support to include plagiarism and more discipline-focused research workshops
3) the enhancement of the Writing Learning Center in Milne Library (including additional tutor training in ESOL, learning disabilities and stress management)
4) productive pedagogy discussions sponsored by the Teaching Learning Center
Based on the positive feedback following the summer workshops, there is no doubt that the return of such workshops would be welcomed by Intd.105 instructors and productive in improving the student assessment scores still further. Additionally, smaller class sizes would permit the individualized attention that coherent writing and meaningful revision require.
Closing the loop on these learning outcomes is especially difficult. Four of the five learning outcomes that Geneseo assesses are not taught by Milne Library, who is responsible for assessing the outcomes. Although Milne Librarians generally work with most INTD 105 classes, their sessions are more focused on research skills (Information Management outcome #4), and the INTD 105 course itself focuses on writing skills rather than computer skills.
Learning Outcomes in Information Management
Students will demonstrate the ability to
- Identify, access, and use the basic operating system features of a personal computer.
- Identify, access, and operate the appropriate software for a given task.
- Access and navigate the Intranet.
- Access, navigate, and evaluate information and resources on the Internet.
- Use a computer to communicate with others.
Because Milne Library's in-class efforts are focused on outcome #4, our closing the loop efforts have also been aimed at this goal. To this end, Milne Librarians have taken the following actions:
- Developed goals and objectives for the one-shot session the librarians teach in INTD 105 classes
- Conducted a pre- and post-assessment during the 2008-2009 school year, in order to determine the skill level of our entering students
- Revised our goals and objectives based on the 2008-2009 assessment to better meet the needs of students regarding their skills with accessing, navigating and evaluating information resources.
In addition, we also encourage INTD 105 faculty to include more than one library session, allowing us to reinforce certain skills and introduce additional skills to students.
There is some need for a discussion about how the campus teaches and assesses the information management learning outcomes. For example, outcome #3 asks students to navigate the Intranet. Does this refer to the Geneseo wiki? Does this refer to in and out boxes? And who is responsible for teaching students these skills?
Also, we may want to evaluate whether or not the freshman level (INTD 105) is the right place to evaluate these skills.