After a lengthy and inclusive review of the existing general education program at Washburn University, the initial phase of the new general education program was approved by General Faculty in April 2012. Phase 1 of the general education refinement will replace the existing 9 skills with 5 student learning outcomes (SLOs) and each general education course will be required to identify one student learning outcome to emphasize and to assess. As the recently approved modifications are implemented, updates to the progress will be posted on this web site.
Approved Implementation Plan
The Torrance Tests for Creative Thinking were administered to 55 students and additional tests will be conducted during the Spring 2015 semester. In addition, the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership was identified as a potential instrument for the assessment of global citizenship, ethics, and diversity and will be administered during the Spring 2015 semester.
At the end of the Spring 2014 semester, a pilot of the Critical Thinking campus-wide assessment was completed. Fourteen faculty members from several varied academic units joined nine of their colleagues from the English Department who facilitated a training session in using the AAC&U critical thinking VALUE rubric to assess artifacts submitted by students completing EN 300 - Advanced Composition that semester. After receiving training and completing the assessment of student artifacts, the faculty assessors were asked to evaluate the training they received and offer suggestions for improvement. These recommendations will be incorporated into the actual campus-wide critical thinking assessment which will occur at the end of the Spring 2015 semester.
Additional outcome assessment discovery committees were formed to research and evaluate the various instruments (e.g., rubrics, standardized test) that would best assess the communication and information and technology literacy student learning outcomes of our graduating (exiting students). The following conclusions were reached:
Given the existence of clear preferences by the committees for the AAC&U rubrics for written and oral communication as well as SAILS for information literacy, it seems prudent to adopt these instruments. The details of the faculty committee reviews of the various instruments can be accessed at the following links:
(PHASE 1) The General Education Committee will meet to review the courses submitted for general education with their proposed student learning outcome and associated assessment plan. The reviews will be completed by the end of March 2013.
(PHASE 2) Additional outcome assessment discovery committees will be formed to research and evaluate the various instruments (e.g., rubrics, standardized test) that would best assess the quantitative and scientific reasoning and global/ethics/diversity student learning outcomes of our graduating (exiting students).
(PHASE 1) The Assessment Committee will continue to work with departments and individual faculty members to craft appropriate assessment plans for their chosen SLO for each general education course. Please contact Dr. Donna LaLonde to make arrangements for these individual meetings. The revised general education course proposals will be submitted to the General Education Committee for review and approval. Once approved, courses will be included in the 2013-2014 University Catalog. Submission Deadline: 31 January 2013
(PHASE 2) During the fall semester, the Critical and Creative Thinking Student Learning Outcome Assessment Discovery committee was formed and included thirteen faculty from around campus. The task of this group was to research and evaluate the various instruments (e.g., rubrics, standardized tests) that would best assess the critical and creative thinking abilities of our graduating (exiting) students. The committee has completed its task and presented recommendations to the faculty at large in focus groups held during the first week of December. Participants were asked to provide feedback regarding their preferences about which assessment instruments they believe would best assess Washburn's definition of critical and creative thinking. Please review the PowerPoint slides for the focus groups if you were unable to attend and contact Dr. Mike Russell to provide your feedback. Critical Creative Thinking Discovery Committee developed the following Recommendation report.
(PHASE 2) A General Faculty meeting was held on Thursday, November 29, and approved the following changes to the core requirements effective Fall 2013:
(PHASE 2) The General Faculty also approved the modification of the make-up and charge of the General Education Committee effective immediately:
(PHASE 1) The Assessment Committee hosted a series of drop-in sessions for faculty who want to begin migrating their general education courses from the existing skills model to the proposed learning outcome model. The deadline for revising all existing general education courses and submitting them for approval is January 31, 2013.