MINUTES: 1999-00 CURRICULUM COMMITTEE MEETING #4
October 26, 1999; 4:00 p.m.; Behmler Conference Room
Present: Carlson, Evans, Farrell, Gooch, Kissock, Korth, Lee, Neuharth,
Guest: Kathy Benson, Mooney, Jeri Mullin
Absent: Busch, Finzel, Haugen, Kolle, Richardson, Thielke
[In these minutes: curricular change forms for IS 2101, IS 3010, IS
3020, IS 3110, Pol 3461, and
Psy 2401; Educational Development Program discussion.]
To approve the minutes of the September 28, 1999 and October 12,
1999 Curriculum Committee meetings.
VOTE: Unanimous in favor (8-0-0)
CURRICULAR CHANGES: Mooney noted that changes had been made to IS 3010 and IS 3020 after the copies were sent to committee members with the agenda. The parenthetical of IS 3010 - UC: UMM Intersession in Russia was changed to read "repeatable to x cr 8 cr." Likewise, IS 3020 - UC: Brunnenburg and Beyond, was changed to "repeatable to 16 cr 8 cr."
It was noted that all six Intersession courses had been approved for a one-time offering through the provisional approval process, but now needed approval through the regular approval process for permanent approval. A committee member noted that IS 3010 and IS 3020 had the same instructor, Jenifer Cushman, listed for both courses. It was explained that Cushman would not be conducting two Intersession courses at one time, but would be teaching the courses on an alternating basis with the other listed instructors.
A committee member asked who was signing off as chair of the IS division. It was answered that Sam Schuman, as Dean, signed the forms. The committee member then asked how a credit was defined; are the credits granted for Intersession courses equivalent to credits granted for academic year courses? It appeared to the committee member that some of the course descriptions did not look like four credits worth of work. Was there a standard for determining credits for a course? Korth stated a credit represents one hour in class with two hours of preparation outside of class. Therefore, in a 15-week semester, a student is putting in 180 hours of work to earn four credits. In the case of Intersession, a three-week program, a student would need to work 60-hour weeks to accumulate 180 hours for the course. He also registered surprise that some of these courses were worth four credits.
It was noted that some of the courses are full-time travel experiences that require 24-hour days for 21 days. A member asked if the students would also have assignments along with the travel; was the experience more than just a trip? It was noted that one of the travel experiences, the Geology course, was for only ten to fourteen days. The committee member wondered about the course assessment section of the proposal, which stated that the students would complete a journal and a three to five page report. A three to five page report did not seem equivalent to the workload of a four-credit course.
Korth responded that the journal the Geology students would complete would be about 100 pages long in addition to the three to five page report, which seemed like a sufficient workload to him as the division chair. Korth wondered if the committee would like to request that the faculty list the reasons that they feel the courses are worthy of four credits. For example, would the committee like the faculty to list the number of places the students will visit each day?
A committee member stated that the CC was typically generous with the credits for courses of this nature, since students need different types of experiences. The member felt the CC is not as strict with the credits as they would be for a day-school course. However, there should still be a limit to the number of credits granted for certain amounts of work. Korth advised the CC to question the credits granted now, since these were the first Intersession courses submitted and the CC was setting a precedent.
A point was made that students can only take one course per Intersession.
If a course was offered as a one-credit course, what would motivate a student
to stay in Morris to take that course? A committee member added that
two of the six proposed courses can be applied to a major. If the
courses were offered as
three-credit courses, the student would be required to pick up an additional credit in order to graduate. There are not that many one-credit courses available. In addition, offering a course as a four-credit course enables the student to see the course as a relevant course. A student would naturally assume the course was going to be intensive to be worth four credits in three weeks. Another committee member mentioned that the courses have been approved provisionally for a one-time offering this year. The CC should consider carefully before lowering the number of credits of the course since it will be difficult to explain to a student why the course has been offered at fewer credits for future offerings.
It was mentioned that the CC should have the expectation of the faculty that the courses will be intensive experiences that are worth four credits, like the summer session courses where faculty are lecturing three or more hours per day. Another committee member noted that the teaching and learning that occur in these courses is more experiential and less classroom learning. A member agreed, saying the lecture would probably be interwoven into other experiences rather than a traditional classroom lecture. That is one aspect of the Intersession courses that is attractive to the students; they offer an alternative method to learn. It was suggested that possibly some library-based research could become an integral part of the course when the students return from their trip to supplement the touring experience. A member said that, especially with the ten to fourteen day field trip, there would be time for this either before or after the travel experience.
A committee member observed that IS 3020 - UC: Intersession in Russia had no expectations included in the assessment section of page two. Therefore, the CC has no idea what the expectations are. Was there a rush in getting these courses approved? Could the CC delay approving the courses until the CC receives more clarification? Korth responded that the provisional approvals have already been granted; the courses are going to be offered in May 2000. Therefore, there was no rush to get the courses approved at this meeting. The CC could postpone a decision and request more information from the faculty who are offering the courses. A member recommended that along with the assessment section of IS 3020, the CC should request justification for the number of credits offered for some of the other courses.
A suggestion was made that the CC could ask the Intersession Committee if there were any requirements set up for Intersession courses that were to be offered. A member stated that Tap Payne had brought a one-page document to the CC last year that listed the expectations for Intersession courses, one being that a course provide a deep submersion in the subject matter.
Korth stated that it seemed the CC was feeling uncomfortable with the credits earned for these courses since they were not standard courses. Another member agreed, but felt the CC should trust their colleagues to provide four credits worth of work just as the CC trusts the faculty in day-school courses. Another member agreed that the CC should trust the faculty, but felt the CC should ask the faculty to elaborate on the student workload that allows the student to earn four credits for some of these courses. Then the CC can feel more comfortable about the value of the courses. Korth asked how the CC would determine what is worth four credits; what would the CC measure? What would the student need to produce? Was there a certain product the CC was interested in seeing?
Motion: (Lee, NO SECOND) The CC should
delay acting on the four Intersession courses until more information about
of the credits assigned and the work expectations of the students is received.
A committee member had a high degree of comfort with the credits offered for IS 3010 - UC: Intersession in Russia and IS 3020 - UC: Brunnenberg and Beyond. The question was again raised as to how to measure the value of the learning that takes place. The member urged the CC to approve the courses and state the committee's expectation that the experiences will be at the four-credit level.
A committee member disagreed with approval, saying the CC should give the faculty members another opportunity to justify the four-credits for the courses. In response, a member asked if the CC was not holding the Intersession courses to a different standard than the regular day-school courses. Was the standard different because the courses were offered in a different format? Korth felt the committee members' questions did indeed arise because of the different format, but also because of the compressed timeframe for Intersession.
The motion on the floor died for lack of a second. A new motion was proposed in its place.
Motion: (Kissock, NO SECOND) Return
IS 2101 - UC: Geology and the Human Experience in the American
Southwest to the instructor
for further explanation, since it appears that it is less than a three-week experience. Approve IS 3010 - UC: UMM Intersession in
Russia, IS 3020 - UC: Italy and Austria: Brunnenburg and Beyond, IS 3110 - UC Applied Field Project: Center for Small Towns,
Pol 3461 - UC: Diplomatic Negotiations, Psy 2401 - UC: Stimulating Infant Development, with the understanding that the
expectation is that the courses do require four credits of learning.
The motion on the floor died for lack of a second. A new motion was proposed in its place.
MOTION: (Korth, Gooch) That
the CC approve the courses, but request IS 3010 - UC: Intersession
in Russia to complete the assessment
portion before the course proposal is forwarded to Campus Assembly. In addition, a note should be sent to all the instructors
that the CC is concerned about the quality of the proposed Intersession courses.
AMENDED MOTION: (Gooch, Korth)
That the CC approve the courses, but request IS 3010-UC: Intersession in
Russia to complete the
assessment portion before the course proposal is forwarded to Campus Assembly. Also, the CC requests that IS 2101 - UC:
Geology and the Human Experience in the American Southwest submit a statement to indicate if the course is a three-week
course or simply a ten to fourteen-day field trip. In addition, a note should be sent to all the instructors that the CC is concerned
about the quality of proposed Intersession courses.
EDUCATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM: A committee member stated he would like to complement the chair on his successful efforts to increase the EDP funds to $10,000 for the next academic year. While the committee recognizes this is not yet where the CC would like the level of funds to be, it was an improvement.
Korth referred to the old EDP document and the draft of the memo calling for proposals sent out with the agenda. The documents were included as guidelines for discussion. Korth mentioned that some members of the 1998-99 CC felt the issue of using EDP funds for equipment purchases should be addressed. Korth then read the second paragraph of the draft memo dated 2/11/2000, which reads, " EDP funds ...will not normally support the acquisition of equipment. A very strong case must be made to justify such expenditures."
A committee member wondered how much of an issue the equipment purchase was. How frequently were equipment purchases made? Korth stated that last year there were four to five proposals that included the purchase of materials. A member stated that there are some EDP projects that could not be carried out without the purchase of specific equipment. Another member noted that page six, item #16 of the guidelines did not exclude the purchase of equipment, but stated that the proposal should include the justification for the purchase and documentation that all other means of purchasing the equipment had been pursued.
A committee member wondered what the initial purpose of the EDP funds were for. Korth stated the bulk of the stipend was meant to fund the redesign of a course. If the money is spent on equipment, the EDP funds would not be spent in supporting the development of a course. EDP is intended to be used to keep the curriculum progressing forward.
Korth requested that this discussion continue at the next meeting since the time had expired.
Meeting adjourned 4:57 p.m.
Submitted by Melody Veenendaal
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