MINUTES-1998-99 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #13
May 12, 1999; 8:00 a.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Cerar, Farrell, Frenier, Haugen, Kissock, Korth, Lee,
Leroux, McIntosh, Neuharth, Taylor,
Guest(s): Karen Johnson, Roger McCannon, Mooney
Absent: Busch, Thielke, Utoft
[In these minutes: Political science curriculum change proposals,
APPROVAL OF MINUTES: Korth asked for corrections or additions
to the previous minutes. There were none.
MOTION (Kissock, Understood) To approve the minutes of
the 4/14/99 Curriculum Committee
VOTE: Unanimous in favor (10-0-0)
POLITICAL SCIENCE CURRICULUM CHANGES: Korth referred CC
members to the Forms A, B, and C for the political science discipline.
He understood that the requirements for the major were being changed
and that Pol 3101 was being added. He asked if Pol 2101 was also
being deleted. Lee said that it was. Korth noted that the phrase
"within political science" should be deleted from the
second sentence of the requirements for the major since mathematics
courses were being added and the phrase was no longer accurate.
Korth asked if there were other questions regarding the political
science curriculum proposal. There were none.
MOTION (Understood) To approve the changes to the political
science major requirements, the
addition of Pol 3101-Political Science Analysis and the deletion of Pol 2101-Introduction
to Political Science Analysis.
VOTE: Unanimous in favor (10-0-0)
GENEDWEB REPORT: Korth indicated that McCannon and Johnson
were present at the meeting to respond to questions about the
GenEdWeb (General Education for the Liberal Arts Online) Evaluative
Report dated March 22, 1999. He asked if McCannon or Johnson had
any introductory remarks.
McCannon said he trusted that CC members had had time to read
the report which was sent out with the agenda. He said Johnson
has supplied operations and liaison for the program. Kissock is
serving as a contact on the steering committee, along with Bowers
and McRoberts. When the GedEdWeb program was created, it was thought
that an evaluation should be done in a couple of years. We now
have two years of experience with the GenEdWeb program. There
are issues related to services, marketing, and finances which
should be addressed. He is gratified that faculty have experimented
with creating courses for the program.
[Farrell arrived at the meeting at this point.]
McCannon noted that Interim Chancellor Schuman continues to view
GenEdWeb in a positive way. In a meeting of Division Chairs (Korth
was not at that meeting), it was clear that they also continue
to support the program. Some faculty are leaving the program because
they are leaving UMM (Buckman and Rosch) and so UC will need to
find replacement faculty. McCannon has met with the Consultative
Committee and will meet next week with the Campus Resources and
Planning Committee. McCannon asked for reactions to the recommendations
on page 7 of the report.
Frenier asked if they had found someone to teach College Writing.
McCannon said no. They are searching for someone as this has been
one of the more popular GenEdWeb courses. McCannon met with the
Division Chairs to see if there are other faculty he should approach
about teaching in the GenEdWeb program. Frenier wondered about
approaching retired faculty members. McCannon said there is no
policy against using retired faculty. However, the Consultative
Committee asked that only full-time faculty be involved in the
Korth wondered how they envisioned it working when one faculty
member leaves the program and another needs to teach the same
course. Does the material developed for the course belong to the
faculty member? McCannon said that is one of the issues surrounding
online courses. Morris UC is following all-University policy that
is being developed as time goes along. Chris Maziar, Vice President
for Research and Dean of the Graduate School, has reformulated
the policy in the past year. According to the draft policy, course
materials belong to the faculty member. This policy has not yet
been approved by the Regents. The institution owns the web site,
but the course materials belong to the faculty member.
Lee commented that, when the program was launched, the assumption
was made that UMM needed to "hop on the gravy train."
One of the goals should be to make the GenEdWeb program self supporting.
We need a new approach to marketing and clientele analysis. Our
concern is whether regular course funds might be diverted to teach
GenEdWeb courses. Outside funding for the program is dwindling.
Kissock said one of the lessons already learned is that GenEdWeb
must offer courses that students want to take. Working with Rod
Oto, Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, he sees students
taking advanced placement courses. Two students in Kissock's GenEdWeb
course are planning to come to UMM. Frenier noted from the report
that all of the successful courses have been at the 1000 level.
The 3000-level course did not make it. McCannon said the program
was designed to offer general education courses which are usually
at the introductory level.
Leroux wondered if there were student evaluations of the GenEdWeb
courses. He was especially interested in the evaluations from
high school students. McCannon said they have data on completion
ratios and grade distributions. Johnson added that not many of
the student evaluation forms were returned. A lot of students
were appreciative of the opportunity to take the courses online.
Several desired increased interaction. Frenier wondered how UC
intended to address those issues. Johnson said UC lets faculty
conduct the courses in whatever way they think is most appropriate.
There are all sorts of options for online interaction available
to faculty, including real time chats, distribution lists, etc.
Full-time faculty have a lot of demands on their time and that
is one of the obstacles to more interaction.
Kissock noted that one of the principles for GenEdWeb has been
to limit class size to 20 students. Other institutions will let
class size for online courses go up into several hundred students.
Johnson said it is up to faculty if they want to let in additional
Leroux asked if the desire for interaction was for human face-to-face
contact. Also, was the desire for more interaction from the same
people who expressed appreciation for the opportunity to take
online courses? Johnson said that nontraditional students are
in the same classes as high school students. There are differences
in the way the two groups approach the class. Students need to
be technologically and academically prepared to do a class online.
Leroux wondered if "interaction" included guidance from
the instructor. Johnson thought there was some desire for more
McCannon noted that the completion rate for GenEdWeb classes is
81% overall. That is high compared to correspondence courses which
nationally average a 30-40% completion rate. Johnson said there
are contact people for students. We lose the people when they
don't reach out. But that is also true for traditionally taught
courses. Students in regular classes do not always complete the
courses either. Actually, it is extraordinary that high school
students are able to complete courses this way. Digitized videos
and other means can be used to "see" the faculty member
for the class.
McIntosh was concerned about the class size. A class size of 20
is too small. The average class size at UMM needs to be 27. The
on-campus version of one of the GenEdWeb courses is limited to
75 students. Are we taking resources away from the on-campus program?
McCannon said the normal approach for offering GenEdWeb courses
is to have faculty teach them on an overload basis and pay the
faculty extra to do it. Faculty have the prerogative to use their
free time as they wish, just as they would if offering an evening
class. McIntosh said it is different because UMM students are
excluded from taking the GenEdWeb courses. McCannon said some
UMM students want to take the GenEdWeb courses. Which way do we
want it? We were advised to target students at a distance from
the campus. Farrell said the GenEdWeb courses are different from
the regular versions of the course. A lot more work is involved
for the faculty member. Johnson said that traditional students
are not interested in taking classes online. They prefer to be
in the classroom.
Farrell noted that it would be difficult to make the GenEdWeb
program self supporting because of the small number of courses
offered. Kissock thought a blurring was occurring because on-campus
courses are beginning to use the same technological tools as the
online courses. Faculty have enriched their on-campus coursework
with the web, etc. It is hard to determine where to draw the line
for what defines an online course.
Korth thought the distinction needed to be clear from the objectives.
He is concerned about a shifting of objectives for the GenEdWeb
program. The appearance is that the program has failed to meet
its objectives to reach a certain group of students. Now it seems
that the objectives might shift to allow the program to continue.
Several people share this concern. Johnson said the market is
hard to define at this point. The Minnesota Virtual University
will have a web site beginning this summer and thousands of online
courses will be listed there from various institutions throughout
Minnesota. It will be interesting to see how that web site affects
enrollments in GenEdWeb.
Leroux thought that nontraditional students may not be the right
target group for general education courses. High school students
wanting to get a head start on college might want general education
while nontraditional students might be looking for something different.
Johnson noted that the Minnesota transfer curriculum applies to
everyone. Frenier commented that high school students might be
more comfortable with the technology than nontraditional students.
Johnson said that high school students have the credits paid for
by the State. If a high school student is too far away from a
college to attend courses as a PSEO student, then they are attracted
to online college courses. Neuharth noted that the tuition revenue
dropped for GenEdWeb the second year of operation. Is that because
of the PSEO students? Johnson said the State reimburses UMM for
the tuition of PSEO students. The State pays for both tuition
and books for high school students.
Kissock said he wanted to challenge some of the premises Korth
had put forth earlier. He feels that the objectives of GenEdWeb
have stayed the same, namely, to offer quality undergraduate experiences
to students who cannot come to campus for them. What has changed
is that we have not been able to offer all ten courses to complete
the transfer curriculum.
Leroux wondered if the University has a policy on residency. Kissock
said he is concerned when a transfer student from a Bible college
is able to transfer to UMM all of the credits necessary to complete
the entire general education requirements. Issues involving transfer
of credits comes from other areas as well. Korth said he is concerned
about other students coming in with PSEO credits. Where did they
get those credits? It could have been from a course taught in
the high school by a high school teacher. As long as an accredited
institution is behind the course, we have to accept it.
McCannon said they had expected GenEdWeb to be a 3-5 year experiment.
At the beginning, there was a lot of interest from within the
University, including President Yudof and Ann Hill Duin. During
the recent Technology Fair at UMM, Duin reiterated the fact that
the University wants to continue to be involved with virtual learning.
It is to our advantage to be "on the train" rather than
be left behind. Duin said our program could fit in with other
UM programs, like General College or Rochester. She encouraged
us to stay in the program. Korth wondered if she had her checkbook
handy. McCannon said Duin was asked about funding and said she
would know more after the legislative session was over.
Lee commented that competition is so keen. He didn't know how
we could expand our market. Maybe Radio Europe? Frenier thought
Radio South Dakota was a more likely prospect. Johnson said most
institutions are doing upper level courses while UMM is doing
introductory level courses. Korth said the question of why we
should be on this train is still there. Where is this going? Kissock
thought the people who started UMM 40 years ago probably had the
same question. So far it is having a positive impact on the campus
by keeping us aware of changes. We don't know where it is taking
us. Kissock said he has personally learned a lot through the GenEdWeb
program. Leroux thought it was probably a positive experience
for the faculty involved. He wanted to keep that issue in mind.
There are benefits to students and benefits to faculty which are
related but different.
Johnson said she should like to hear from the students on the
CC. Woll didn't see a need to open GenEdWeb courses to traditional
students on campus. It is better to take those courses on campus
and get the advantages of the technological tools within the on-campus
courses. Cerar agreed that it is best to be an on-campus student.
GenEdWeb courses need not be opened up to on-campus students.
Taylor said, as of yet, he had not had the desire to take any
of the GenEdWeb courses that were being offered, but believes
that any student at UMM should be allowed to take GenEdWeb undergraduate
level courses. If courses are not equivalent but appear to be
equivalent on the transcript, that makes him nervous. Why are
on-campus students not allowed to take GenEdWeb courses? Because
they are not equivalent? Kissock gave an example of the drug education
requirement in teacher education programs. The Health Department
is offering a 5000-level course through CDs and the web. A UMM
student could take that online course instead of the on-campus
offering and that would allow the student to do other things on
campus. Taylor said he would like to have online upper level course
options that are not available at Morris.
Korth said the meeting had to end at this point. Should we continue
the discussion at the final meeting for the year? No clear consensus
Meeting adjourned 8:50 a.m.
Submitted by Nancy Mooney