MINUTES OF THE GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE

April 5, 2004

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:  Emily Johnson (chair), Mike Winfrey, Sandra Grunwald, Jess Hollenback, Mary Leonard, Jean Hindson, Bruce Riley, Brian Udermann,    
CONSULTANTS PRESENT:  Diane Schumacher, Terry Beck

GUESTS PRESENT:  Eric Kraemer, Chris Bakkum


The meeting was  called to order at 3:30 p.m.

 

Emily shared the following information with the committee:

 

 - The Cleary Center has been reserved for the April l6th Gen Ed lunch

 - There has been interest from at least one person in creating a UW-L 100 learning community.

 - There is some interest on campus to create a financial education component of Gen Ed

 - Emily is trying to find a way to get a recording secretary for the committee.

 

M/S/P to approve the minutes of the meetings on Mar. 1 and Mar 29.

 

Item 1 on the agenda:  INS proposal

 

Eric Kraemer, director of INS was present to answer questions.  He justified the inclusion of INS 250, 251 and 252 in General Education base on their adding of academic rigor to the experience abroad.  Questions that came up in the discussion include:  Making learning outcomes transparent to students, listing Gen Ed outcomes on syllabus, when assessment occurs? (some outcomes to be assessed after graduation), the extent to which all outcomes are addressed and assessed (how much polished writing expected in a journal), the possibility of putting this course on a 2-year cycle and reviewing it in two years to see what learning objectives were focused on most and what students achieved  

 

M/S/P to approve the first reading.  The committee asked that before the second reading the following be addressed:

 l)   Incorporate Gen Ed outcomes being addressed into the syllabus such that it is clear  to the students which Gen Ed outcomes are being covered;

2)      Show how outcomes are connected to specific assignments; 

3)      Look at the number of outcomes in category 3 (outcome is a major emphasis) in terms of how much time (instructional effort) is actually devoted to developing those outcomes and when and how instructor assessment effort will be directed to all the outcomes;

4)      Make clear that for Gen Ed credit, students must take all 3 courses in sequence

 

Agenda item:  Gen Ed Grant proposals

Emily provided us with the following criteria for reviewing the grants:

 

·         Appropriateness of Project vis-à-vis the movement of the Gen Ed Program in the     direction of outcome based instruction and assessment

  • Soundness of the proposal:  Does it directly impact student learning
  • Does assessment plan measure learning outcomes
  • Appropriateness of the budget
  • Quality of written proposal

 

After a discussion of suggestions for limiting faculty stipends,

M/S/P to set a maximum stipend of $1500 per person with $3000 as a maximum per proposal.

 

Sandy Grunwald expressed concern about whether proposal limits might devalue faculty work if they do not properly compensate the amount of work done.  This concern was echoed by other committee members.

 

M/S/P  to approve the three proposals with the following proviso.  The theater arts proposal was approved with the expectation that the proposers provide more information on how activities, assignments and assessments related to the human rights theme will be carried out (i.e., more clarification on process needed)

 

Agenda Item:  Subcommittee reports

The assessment committee will meet in 4027 Cowley on Tuesday, April 6 , 3:30-5:00.  Bill Cerbin give them an update on the critical thinking assessment and his ideas in general about where we are in the assessment process on campus.  Plans to send out the writing assessment instrument for Writing Emphasis professors will be finalized.

 

Jess Hollenbeck summarized the results of discussion in the FYE subcommittee;  it has been suggested that some Innovation for Gen Ed Funds be used for possible learning community pilots or for establishment of a second semester freshmen seminar; results of the discussion on core courses that freshmen should take early in their academic career include:  Eng 110, 2 courses in global perspectives (1 history, 1 diversity), at least one of the following:  math, MLG, logic, philosophy, computer science, one lab science course, speech). The Structure subcommittee will be looking further at this issue.

 

Jean Hindson recommended that the structure and FYE committee look very seriously at the idea of establishing a learning community pilot which would target elementary education majors (due to the importance of Gen Ed curriculum in providing important content for future elementary ed teachers)

Continuing issues for FYE:  What would a 2 credit Gen Ed Freshman experience course look like?  Where would the money come from to support it?  Faculty needed to teacher such a course?  (Content, funding, staffing issues); how would reshaping of freshman year be reflected in the freshman orientation and registration which goes on during the summer?   How will the freshman experience hall program be different next year in that it will involve two times the number of freshmen (All of Coate Hall will be freshmen except RA’s and their roommates)

The Structure committee will be meeting in Cowley hall on Friday, April 9.

 

Future meeting dates:  Committee members were adamant on adhering to the previously agreed upon schedule and not scheduling additional meetings or work for the summer, unless any additional proposals for Innovations come in and need to be dealt with.  Emily will look into having a startup meeting in August to get a jumpstart on the fall’s agenda.  She also asked for committee input on her work priorities for the summer.

 

The next meeting will be April 19.

 

Meeting adjourned at 5:40. 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jean Hindson, recorder