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CSUF GE Forum Day 2009


... 48 units for entire GE program ... apply learning from study abroad experiences to GE areas; ... Student Learning Objectives were developed for each GE Area. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: CSUF GE Forum Day 2009

CSUF GE Forum Day 2009
The Role of General Education in Preparing
Students for the 21st Century Gail G. Evans,
Dean, Undergraduate Studies San
Francisco State University
Plan for Todays Session
  • Executive Order 1033 and the AACU LEAP
  • Examples of GE revisions at SJSU and SF State
  • Program and course-embedded assessment
  • Implementation strategies

  • As stated in the 2007 LEAP Report, American
    students already know they want a degree. The
    challenge is to help students become highly
    intentional about the forms of learning and
    accomplishment that the degree should represent.
  • How can we as educators rethink General Education
    to achieve this goal?
  • How do we effect the change in culture on our

General Education in the California State
University System (EO 1033)
  • Minimum of 39 units in lower division GE
  • Area A - English Language Communication and
    Critical Thinking (9 units)
  • A1 - Oral Communication (3 units)
  • A2 - Written Communication (3 units)
  • A3 - Critical Thinking (3 units)
  • Area B Scientific Inquiry and Quantitative
    Reasoning (12 units)
  • B1 Physical Science (3 units)
  • B2 Life Science (3 units)
  • B3 Laboratory Activity associated with a course
  • B4 Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning (3 units)

Executive Order 1033
  • Area C - Arts and Humanities (12 units)
  • C1 Arts Arts, Cinema, Dance, Music, Theater
    (3 units)
  • C2 Humanities Literature, Philosophy,
    Languages Other than English (3 units)
  • Area D Social Sciences (12 units)
  • A minimum of 12 units dealing with human social,
    political, and economic institutions and behavior
    and their historical background
  • Area E Lifelong Learning and Self-Development
    (3 units)
  • A minimum of 3 units in study designed to equip
    learners for lifelong understanding and
    development of themselves as integrated
    physiological, social, and psychological beings.

Executive Orders 1033/405
  • Minimum of 9 units in upper division
  • Total minimum of 48 units for entire GE program
  • EO 405 Graduation requirements in United States
    History, Constitution and American Ideals
  • Significant historical events covering a minimum
    of 100 years
  • US Constitution
  • California Government
  • Usually completed as part of Area D in General

EO 1033 and the AACU LEAP Essential Learning
  • Executive Order approved in June 2008
  • 3.2 CSU Student Learning Outcomes
  • Each CSU campus shall define its GE student
    learning outcomes, to fit within the framework of
    the four Essential Learning Outcomes drawn from
    the Liberal Education and Americas Promise
    (LEAP) campaign, an initiative of the Association
    of American Colleges and Universities.

LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes Framework
  • Knowledge of Human Cultures and the Physical
    and Natural World
  • Intellectual and Practical Skills
  • Personal and Social Responsibility
  • Integrative Learning

Examples of Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)
from LEAP
  • Upon completion of the General Education
    curriculum, students will be able to
  • think clearly and logically
  • demonstrate information competency
  • carry out effective oral communication
  • write effectively
  • apply quantitative reasoning concepts and skills
    to solve problems
  • make informed, ethical decisions
  • understand and apply the scientific method
  • apply learning from study abroad experiences to
    GE areas
  • utilize technology in pursuit of intellectual
    growth and efficacious human interaction

The San José Story of GE Reform and Assessment
  • Fall 1998 Implemented new GE Guidelines that
    were predicated on course-embedded assessment, as
    well as a diversity requirement across the
    curriculum. Student Learning Objectives were
    developed for each GE Area.
  • 1998-2001 Approximately 280 courses were
    submitted for re-certification. Course proposals
    required a plan to assess student learning based
    on evaluation of Student Learning Objectives.
  • http//www.sjsu.edu/ugs/ge/

Certification Continuing Certification Processes
  • 2001-2008 Course coordinators submitted
    assessment summaries and course syllabi
    indicating how students were assessed, the
    results of those assessments, and appropriate
    course modifications based on the assessments.
  • 2004 Eliminated a check the box format in
    relaying GE requirements to students and faculty.
    (see handout)

Governance of General Education Board of General
Studies and GE Advisory Panels
  • Solicits courses and curricular proposals
    designed to satisfy GE requirements from all
    colleges and departments of the University.
  • Reviews, approves, and authorizes courses and
    curricular proposals for GE.
  • Evaluates courses and curricula (including
    assessment) it has approved.
  • There are now more than 80 faculty members
    participating in the assessment and review
    process each semester.

Core General Education
Basic Skills of an Educated Person These courses
help build key skills for learning
communication and critical thinking. An educated
person can communicate ideas effectively both
verbally and in writing. Being able to organize
and express ideas is a key part of learning. An
educated person must also have strong reasoning
powers in order to analyze critically all types
of information. The skills courses within General
Education provide an opportunity for students to
gain and enhance critical communication and
analytical skills. Oral Communication (A1) (3
units) Written Communication 1A (A2) (3
units) Critical Thinking (A3) (3
units) Mathematical Concepts (B4) (3 units)

Basic Knowledge of an Educated Person These
courses help students gain the fundamental
knowledge of an educated person. Students will
have an opportunity to demonstrate an
appreciation of the fundamentals of science, arts
and letters, and the forces that shape the
individual and modern society throughout the
lifespan. This fundamental knowledge is crucial
to understanding more advanced topics, including
a major field of study. Physical Science (B1) (3
units) Life Science (B2) (3 units)
(one lab course in science required) Arts (C1) (3
units) Letters (C2) (3 units) Written
Communication IB (C3) (3 units) Human Behavior
(D1) (3 units)
Comparative Systems, Cultures Environments
(D2) (3 units) Social Issues (D3) (3 units)
Human Understanding Development (E) (3
SJSU Studies
Integrated Knowledge of an Educated Person These
courses will help students become integrated
thinkers who can see connections between and
among a variety of concepts and ideas. An
educated person will be able to apply concepts
and foundations learned in one area to other
areas as part of a lifelong learning process.
These courses will help students to live and work
intelligently, responsibly, and cooperatively in
a multicultural society and to develop abilities
to address complex issues and problems using
disciplined analytical skills and creative
techniques. Earth and Environment (R) (3
units) Self, Society Equality in the U.S.
(S) (3 units) Culture, Civilization Global
Understanding (V) (3 units) Written
Communication II (Z) (3 units)
___________________________________ Graduation
Requirements American Institutions (may be
satisfied in Core) (0-6 units) Physical
Education (0-2units)
(may be satisfied by two different activity
courses) ________________________________________
_____________________________________________ TOTA
L UNITS 39 Units CORE 9-12 Units SJSU Studies
Assessment Challenges in a Large GE Program
  • Menu of more than 200 courses in 18 different GE
  • More than 300 instructors teaching GE, a large
    portion of whom are part-time
  • More than 500 sections of GE courses in any given
  • Standardized tests arent always the best means
    for assessing our goals

How Course Embedded Assessment Meets the
  • Articulates well defined GE Student Learning
    Objectives (SLOs)
  • Provides a great deal of flexibility for faculty
    in developing their assessment plans
  • Allows faculty to use existing assignments and
    exams for assessing student outcomes
  • Eliminates students from having to take
    additional tests outside of class
  • Provides more immediate and focused feedback
    leading to faster implementation of course

Example for One Area of SJSU Studies Culture,
Civilization, Global Understanding
  • Goals
  • Students should gain an appreciation for human
    expression in cultures outside the U.S. and an
    understanding of how that expression has
    developed over time.
  • Students should also increase their understanding
    of how traditions of cultures outside the U.S.
    have influenced American culture and society, as
    well as how cultures in general both develop
    distinctive features and interact with other

Student Learning Objectives
  • Students shall be able to
  • compare systematically the ideas, values, images,
    cultural artifacts, economic structures,
    technological developments, and/or attitudes of
    people from more than one culture outside the
  • identify the historical context of ideas and
    cultural traditions outside the U.S. and how they
    have influenced American culture and
  • explain how a culture outside the U.S. has
    changed in response to internal and external

Content Objectives
  • Diversity. Issues of diversity shall be
    incorporated in an appropriate manner.
  • Writing. Written assignments should include both
    in-class and out-of-class writing, giving
    students practice and feedback throughout the
    semester. Evaluative comments must be
    substantive, addressing the quality and form of
    writing. A single final term paper would not
    satisfy the requirement. A minimum of 3000 words
    of writing is required in a language and style
    appropriate for the discipline.

Content (continued)
  • Civic Learning. Courses shall address the civic
    relevance of the topic in an appropriate manner.
  • Values Clarification. Students should
    demonstrate their ability to articulate and
    discuss their values and engage in civil
  • Courses will address significant achievements of
    the human intellect and imagination in a
    comparative context to understand and appreciate
    different ideas, cultures, values, religions,
    institutions, languages, and peoples of the world.

  • Prerequisites
  • Passage of the Writing Skills Test (WST)
  • 100W is prerequisite or co-requisite to all
    Culture, Civilization and Global Understanding
  • Upper division standing (60 units)
  • Completion of CORE General Education
  • Class Size. Class sections shall normally be
    limited to 40 students.
  • Pedagogical Approach
  • Courses shall focus on issues or present
    perspectives from different academic disciplines.
  • Courses shall require students to apply basic
    skills (reading, writing, speaking, critical
    thinking, research, and mathematics) and to
    utilize knowledge gained in Core General
    Education courses.

Support (continued)
  • Active Learning
  • Each course shall provide for active student
    participation. The course may not be exclusively
    lecture format.
  • Assignments must utilize library research and
    oral and written communication skills.
  • Courses should promote reflective processes and
    critical analysis.
  • Primary sources
  • Course materials (readings, research) must
    include primary sources.

Support (continued)
  • Assessment
  • Writing shall be assessed for grammar, clarity,
    conciseness and coherence.
  • In accordance with the approved assessment plan,
    the course coordinator/department chair will
    summarize the assessment results according to the
    procedure for submitting courses for continuing
    certification in General Education.

GE Assessment Example of a Typical Plan
  • Example for an Oral Communication Course
  • Diagnostic survey first week (self report on
    abilities and attitudes)
  • Peer and instructor feedback on persuasive speech
  • Peer and instructor feedback on first debate
  • Midterm and final with questions related to SLO
    and content objectives
  • Summative survey (repeat of diagnostic)

Content of Assessment Data Reports
  • Standardized Format with Several Parts
  • Response to concerns from certification letter
  • Mastery of Student Learning Objectives
    (quantitative and qualitative)
  • Modifications to improve student learning
  • Effectiveness in meeting Content Objectives
  • Effectiveness of coordination activities
  • Evaluation of assessment activities
  • Copy of instructor summary form or report format
  • Course syllabi

Sample Assessment Question
  • Learning Objective 1 Students should be able to
    distinguish between reasoning (e.g., explanation,
    argument) and other types of discourse (e.g.,
    description, assertion).
  • Out of approximately ______ students assessed,
    what percentage would you estimate
  • Mastered L01 at a high level ____ (averaged B
    or better on assessment activities)
  • Mastered L01 at an average level ____ (averaged
    between a C and a B on assessment
  • Either failed to master L01, or did so at a
    marginal level____ (C- or below on assessment
  • Briefly summarize 2 or 3 examples of
    activities/assignments that have been successful
    in helping students meet GE Student Learning
    Objective 1.

  • Fall 2001 received assessment summaries for 70
  • After reviewing the first set of summaries we had
    a better understanding of the process
  • Unanticipated and new challenges
  • (incomplete assessment, drifting of courses off
    GE objectives, inadequate response to previous
  • Developed new philosophy

Course Continuing Certification Philosophy
  • Assessment as pathway to success vs. gateway
  • Mentoring of faculty
  • No decisions until the decision is YES
  • Education of faculty regarding GE objectives and
  • Sharing of best practices

2005 Revision of GE Guidelines
  • When the 1998 Guidelines were approved by the
    Academic Senate, there was a stipulation for
    campus review in 2005.
  • To ensure campus buy-in for the continued culture
    change from solely teaching-centered, to both
    learning and teaching-centered, many strategies
    were utilized.

2005 Revised GE Guidelines
  • Included overall GE program learning outcomes
    that are tied to the SJSU mission statement, the
    AACU Greater Expectations Report, and the LEAP
    Essential Learning Outcomes
  • Changed name of upper division GE from Advanced
    GE to SJSU Studies. All courses in SJSU Studies
    must be from a different department, so one
    course could be double-counted in the major
  • Student learning objectives added across SJSU
    Studies courses for
  • Information literacy
  • Values clarification
  • Civic Learning

GE Program Objectives
  • Students who complete the General Education
    curriculum should be able to demonstrate
  • A broad understanding of the sciences, social
    sciences, humanities, and the arts (LEAP 1)
  • An ability to communicate ideas effectively both
    in speaking and in writing (LEAP 2)
  • The capacity for critical and creative thinking
    (LEAP 2)

GE Program Objectives (continued)
  • An understanding of ethical choices inherent in
    human development (LEAP 3)
  • An ability to assess information (information
    literacy) (LEAP 2)
  • An ability to address complex issues and problems
    using disciplined analytic skills and creative
    techniques (LEAP 2)

GE Program Objectives (continued)
  • Multicultural and global perspectives gained
    through intellectual and social exchange with
    people of diverse backgrounds and experiences
    (LEAP 3)
  • The characteristics of intentional learners who
    can adapt to new environments, integrate
    knowledge from different sources, and continue
    learning throughout their lifetimes and (LEAP 4)
  • The capacity to participate as a socially
    responsible member of civic, professional,
    cultural, and other communities. (LEAP 3)

Mapping Course- Embedded Assessment to Overall
Program Objectives
  • Take data for course-embedded student learning
    objectives and map to overall program
    objectives (see handout)
  • Yields first set of data for assessing the
    overall Core GE and SJSU Studies programs
  • Developing a process to move from course-embedded
    to assessment of program objectives for all
  • Will add additional measures such as
    e-Portfolios, Wabash Study, capstone course

Successes to Date
  • Completion of Assessment of GE Assessment
    (surveys and focus groups overview prepared for
    WASC re-accreditation)
  • Identification of model assessment summaries
    posting on web
  • Identification of models of the diversity
  • Identification of common problems in GE courses
  • 3 roundtable discussions in spring 2002 (active
    learning, course coordination, under-prepared
  • Surveys from GE Course Coordinators, Deans,
    Chairs prior to drafting 2005 GE revisions
  • 4 focus groups in 2005 on proposed revisions
  • Sharing of best practices for SJSU Studies

Remaining Challenges for SJSU
  • Continue assessment of overall GE Program
  • Continue to improve assessment procedures,
    including going paperless with all documents
    being submitted electronically and simplifying
    process for faculty, without losing the integrity

General Education Revision at SF State
  • Graduation Requirements Task Force working on
    baccalaureate degree requirements, including GE
  • Spring 2008 adopted baccalaureate goals
  • (www.sfsu.edu )
  • Developed student learning objectives for each
    area and draft structures for lower and upper
    division requirements
  • January 2009 distributed draft revisions for
    campus input

  • Option 1 Topical Perspectives (9 units)
  • Choose one Topical Perspective

Steps to Campus Change
  • Get campus involvement from all constituencies
  • Link your proposed changes to other campus
  • Ensure the support of your administration
  • Develop a road map or timeline for

Steps to Campus Change (cont)
  • Determine the impact on Existing Policies and
  • Develop an assessment plan

Thank You!
  • Questions/Comments

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