Assessment of Student Learning

General Education Subcommittee

Spring 2009




Meeting #1: Feb. 4, 2009 – 9:30 a.m.

Present: Julie Eckerle (convener), Tom Johnson, Laura Thoma



Meeting #2: March 4, 2009 – 2:15 p.m.

Present: Julie Eckerle (convener), Tom Johnson, Laura Thoma



Meeting #3: March 11, 2009 – 2:15 p.m.

Present: Julie Eckerle (convener), Kristin Lamberty, Jeff Ratliff-Crain, Laura Thoma



Jeff’s “Report”:

There was a partial evaluation of Gen Ed at the time of semester conversion, but there has been no substantive assessment of Gen Ed since.  The conclusion: we need to evaluate and assess Gen Ed.


The Gen Ed subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee was disbanded a few years ago.  Conclusion: there is no group on campus specifically charged with the assessment of Gen Ed.


Jeff’s position as Assistant Dean encompasses Gen Ed.  Conclusion: His job is to head up a thorough assessment of Gen Ed.  When he realized that this committee was also thinking about the assessment tools currently used to evaluate Gen Ed, he realized it might be useful for us all to work together.


Jeff has developed a 4-part plan for beginning to assess Gen Ed:

(1) Get a better sense of what courses students are using for Gen Ed. (Clearly this step intersects with this subcommittee’s request for information from the registrar—see above).

(2) Look at enrollments within each Gen Ed designator.

(3) Bring together 5-10 faculty who teach courses within each Gen Ed designator to have a conversation about what they are trying to accomplish, what is working, etc.  This step is essential because we need to be able to say what we’re doing and why before we can say how we’re doing it.  [Julie agreed by pointing to a discrepancy in the current catalogue about whether Gen Ed is intended to enable students to meet particular thresholds in their knowledge of a subject or simply to progress in their knowledge of that subject.  See minutes for Meeting #2 above.]

(4) Provide evidence leading to evaluation and revision.  Questions to be considered include the following: