University of Minnesota, Morris
MINUTES-1997-98 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #18
May 19, 1998; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Asmus, Ballou, Beiswenger, Ellis, Farrell, Frenier, Kissock, Korth, J. Lee, Leroux, McIntosh, Nylander, Schuman, Taylor.
[In these minutes: Curriculum proposals from Humanities Division, AAC, and History. Continued discussion on the labeling of classes using student assistants. ITV Guidelines and Application to GenEdWeb.]
Kissock moved approval of Russ 1100, 1101, 1102 (quarters) and Russ 1001, 1002, and a Form B for Russian (semesters). Frenier seconded. McIntosh then asked how many students would be involved if the courses were to be offered on campus. Schuman said the classes would allow for 20-25, but realistically 15-18 students would be enrolled. Schuman noted that the University may discover that many German majors are also interested in Russian courses, and that the University sends many students over to the Former Soviet Union area in conjunction with ELTAP.
Schuman also noted that he has the Major/Minor forms from History for quarters and semesters. They seem to be all in accord. There was a unanimous vote to accept the forms.
This was a continued discussion of labeling classes in which students participate in instruction. Schuman noted that the discussion today will hopefully lead to a recommendation to the Campus Assembly and to attempt to avoid any circular discussion. Schuman asked for comments.
Kissock opened stating his feelings of disapproval. He stated he believed intended or not, having this in the bulletin would serve as a warning. If every class with a teaching assistant were noted, then you would logically have to describe what methods every class uses for instruction. Something he has thought of, but does not propose and does not want implemented either, is to add a statement saying that the University uses its technology and resources to the best that we can in the front of the Bulletin. Kissock also questioned what would be done for teacher education and peer education courses. Each of these courses would have to state that the students present some of the content of the class.
Schuman noted that most of the conversation that has occurred so far in this meeting has referred to some type of warning. After getting responses to Nylander's comments from a previous meeting, from last week's UR article, and responses gathered for informal student surveys, Schuman has found students believe such a notification might entice students to consider a course; many students like the idea of other students leading and may not see this as a warning.
Frenier questioned how parents and prospective students would respond to such a statement in the Bulletin. Would people think UMM uses teaching assistants in the same way UMTC does? Korth stated that the motion only refers to when a student is in charge of the classroom, if the instructor is present, this motion does not apply. Lee stated no one has ever said that the student is in charge of the class and that the class is always to be supervised by an instructor. Schuman noted that this is where we run into the discussion on what "in charge" really translates to.
McIntosh stated that if this amendment to add notification about the use of teaching assistants is defeated, he would favor Ballou's idea of using the terminology of Student Facilitator or Student Assistant instead of Teaching Assistant. Lee commented by saying that the labor of teaching is intensive and that the "Assistants" will still do plenty of work.
Ballou stated that the concern about teaching assistants is connected to the quality of instruction at UMM. Students seem to accept this approach of instruction, if this were not the case, some evidence of this should appear on the course evaluations. She also stated that she was not sure who this "warning" would benefit--the students who take the courses or others. Possibly, division discretion could be used if teaching assistants are not doing a thorough job. She questioned if the use of teaching assistants were to be put in the Bulletin, would it make a difference in job performance.
Lee agreed with McIntosh's ideas. He also stated that the misuse of teaching assistants needs to be addressed.
Nylander then spoke of the MCSA meeting that was held the previous night. She announced that the MCSA had discussed this issue and had some concerns. One being that if labeling is used, students think it would be better to have this listed in the Class Schedule rather than in the Bulletin. The Schedule comes out more frequently so students can find out what the status of teaching assistants for any given quarter (and soon to be semester) will be. She also noted that most students are not discouraged to take a course with teaching assistants.
Korth agreed that it may be more appropriate to label classes that utilize teaching assistants in the Class Schedule. He made a move to amend the motion on labeling classes with student assistants to delete references to the course catalog and change it to course schedule.
Schuman questioned the Parliamentary Procedure of this process. He wondered what the Curriculum Committee could do to this motion since it was handed down to the committee. McIntosh stated that he would accept this amendment.
Lee's one reservation about labeling is that no one seems to have a clear understanding of how this will affect student choices. It is not intended to scare students.
Farrell stated that he has two main problems with teaching assistants. He has found that there are times where instructors wanted to hire teaching assistants, but have been unable to locate a student willing to do so. His other concern is teaching assistants performing a wide range of tasks. Farrell does not like the definition of the person "in charge" is the person present. Lee stated that if this motion is passed that it is a highly dangerous precedent that the University will be setting.
Korth asked how the course schedule would look. Currently there are many class sections that are labeled as "STAFF" in the course schedule. Frenier asked how the Chemistry discipline would look. Farrell stated that the same is done for College Writing 1301 courses. "STAFF" is used because the division is not yet ready to say who the instructor will be. Schuman noted that it would be easy to devise a symbol to denote classes where student assistants "might" be used.
Schuman asked for additional comments.
AMENDED MOTION: "Courses designed or expected to use undergraduate teaching assistants in charge of classroom, discussion, or laboratory instruction should indicate this use of undergraduate teaching assistants in the course schedule."
VOTE: In Favor: 3; Opposed: 8; Abstentions: 1
Schuman proceeded to suggest that the committee consider other ways to address this concern over the summer, so when school starts up next fall, there will be something to work with. Schuman also encouraged the committee to start to think about a policy on students grading other students.
Recently Mooney distributed copies of the ITV Guidelines that were set into effect in 1994, and were sent into oblivion in 1996. Schuman questioned whether there should be a sub-committee created for next year to review and update the current non-existing standards. This sub-committee would revise the guidelines and bring them up-to-date considering technology, distance, and other factors now present. Schuman noted that McIntosh is the only committee member who was present when these guidelines were created. McIntosh commented that he believed that it would be a positive move to reconsider the GenEdWeb policy during the 1998-99 academic year. McIntosh made this motion, seconded by Korth.
Schuman proceeded to ask if there was any new business. Seeing none, he thanked the committee for a good year of deliberations and service.
Meeting adjourned 8:40 a.m.
Submitted by Rebecca Weedman
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