NEWSLETTER FROM THE OFFICE OF INSTITUTIONAL EFFECTIVENESS AND ASSESSMENT
After attending this year’s conference, Provost Dawkins
offered the following reflection: "My experience at SACS reaffirmed the
importance of accountability and effectiveness as we work to provide a quality
education for our students." As I thought about the increased emphasis on
institutions’ capacity to document their impact on General Education,
educational programs, faculty load and such, I realized that the accountability
movement will continue to evolve, especially in these lean economic times. It
is not going away, so we must align ourselves in ways that enable us to
effectively tell our own story.
Consequently, it is imperative that we become much more
vigilant in submitting materials as we understand whether our student learning
outcomes (SLO’s) are having the intended impact AND as we prepare for our SACS
Fifth-Year Interim Report. The following documents are very useful:
·How to Become An Evaluator (http://sacscoc.org/pdf/commres/How%20to%20Become%20an%20Evaluator.pdf)
explains the role and importance of SACSCOC Evaluators, for anyone interested
in serving on a reaffirmation committee. This form must be signed by the
President. Anyone who has served on a committee can share that it is a very
collegial, eye-opening and productive experience.
EFFECTIVENESS REPORTS WERE DUE DECEMBER 13, 2012
To date, I have no grids for Fall 2012 (reports are not due
until May 2013) and only the Department of Mass Communications has scheduled a
workshop. The assessment grid (academic and administrative) templates are
attached for your review and use. Feel free to contact me (until Wednesday of
this week) with any questions. I’d be more than happy to help.
EVALUATION OF FACULTY ENDS DECEMBER 20, 2012
Faculty members are reminded about the importance of
emailing your students repeatedly regarding their participation in the process.
Given the challenges with the process this semester, the reports will roll out
in several phases. Courses that received 5 or more responses during the first
run will receive their reports as grades are submitted. Other reports will be
part of a manual process and will take longer. I am preparing now to develop a
spring 2013 lab schedule, giving smaller classes the priority. Thank you for
your patience and support.
ENHANCEMENT PLAN (QEP) WORKSHOP: JANUARY 9, 2013 (SAVE THE DATE)
During our last meeting, the group agreed that we should
focus on the first three critical thinking indicators, given our students’
needs. In the interest of moving forward, we will discuss this in more detail
at the next QEP Workshop scheduled for Wednesday, January 9, 2013, from 8:30am
– 4:30pm. The workshop will focus on results from the Fall 2012 Integrated
Assignment and Collegiate Learning Assessment (CLA), along with the Spring 2012
NSSE results. We will also provide additional training on the Integrated
Assignment as well as the inter-rater exercise. As a reminder, all majors are
required to include a sophomore and junior-major course for inclusion in the
QEP (see attached template). Feel free to contact me with any questions or need
Dr. Carla L. Morelon
Director of Institutional
Effectiveness and Assessment
Interim Director of the Quality
Enhancement Plan (QEP)
Do you think you’ve thought of all possible uses for Dropbox? You haven’t. Neither have I.
Writers like me will never get sick of dreaming up new ways to use Dropbox, because this seemingly simple tool can be used to accomplish so much. It’s a program that provides a simple service – sync a particular folder on your computer with all of your other computers and a web service. But you can use this to trigger actions on other computers, keep a copy of your favorite software ready on other machines, sync your entire eBook library and much, much more.
Here are just a few ideas that changed the way I use Dropbox; maybe they’ll change the way you use it too. And as always, fill me in with your ideas below.
Always Have Access To Your Portable Apps
Whether you’ve downloaded everything from our list of the best portable apps or have your own carefully crafted collection, Dropbox is a convenient way to access your collection from any computer you own. Just keep your favorite portable apps in your Dropbox and you’ll have access to them everywhere.
Even better, in many cases your settings will sync, meaning you can use your program on one computer just as you set it on another.
Sync Your eBook Library
Have access to your eBook collection, everywhere. If you use Calibre to manage your eBook collection, good news – with Dropbox you can keep your library in sync everywhere, easily. It won’t work for proprietary, DRM-based ebook apps like Kindle or Nook but it’s perfect for your open books.
The amount of space Dropbox provides probably isn’t massive enough for your music collection and certainly isn’t enough for your videos, but you’d be surprised how many eBooks you can fit into your Dropbox without trouble. Sync your entire Calibre library folder and your settings and metadata will follow.
Read more about combining Dropbox and Calibre here, if you’re interested.
Also noteworthy, this provides you with an easy way to access your eBooks on your tablet or smartphone. Simply download the EPUB files from your Dropbox app and import them to your e-reading app of choice.
Monitor Your Computer Remotely
Do you want to know what’s going on with your computer while you’re away? Why not set up a program to take screenshots every minute and save them to your Dropbox? This simple trick lets you watch what’s happening on your machine, useful in case of theft. Labnol outlines the process for Windows here, which requires a download and a simple Autokey script.
Bonus idea – set up a webcam with an open window and you’ve got a makeshift security camera.
Your professor requires you to send in your essay by midnight, but will she really look at it then? If you’re skeptical, and need a few extra hours to make edits, share a link to your essay on Dropbox instead of emailing it to her directly. Any changes you make will automatically be updated, so assuming she downloads it the next day you’ll be able to make the deadline while still making corrections (via Lifehacker).
Host a Website
Why not? With Dropbox you can offer public access to any file, including an HTML document. It’s easy to use this to build and host a quick website, as outlined on the Dropbox wiki. Whether you want to build yourself a custom homepage or test your HTML skills, this is a great way to quickly get something onto the web.
I, personally, used this to create a page for quickly accessing articles and information on my Kobo e-reader:
(The NHL Scores section just depresses me. I don’t know why I haven’t deleted it #firebettman).
Come to think of it, Dropbox is also a great way to directly share any photo or text document. Just remember: add ?dl=1 to the end of any file you want to share directly; without that, users will be taken to a download page for the file.
Print Files From Anywhere
Use Dropbox to print files from your mobile phone. You’ll need to set up a folder in your Dropbox that sends files to a print queue, then add files to that folder when you want something printed. It requires you to have a computer at home that’s turned on and connected to your printer, but it’s an interesting idea. Read more on the Dropbox wiki (Windows only, though I’m sure clever people could find workarounds).
But Wait, There’s More!
Are you looking for more? We’ve published articles listing uses for Dropbox in the past. Here are just a few:
Lilly Conference on
College & University Teaching – West
on Critical Thinking
now includes both
Craig Nelson & Tom Angelo!
March 14, 2013
Improving Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum: Transformative
Course Design, Teaching, Assessment and Feedback Strategies
Lilly West is delighted to
announce that these two guys are working together again just for us! We have
seen this combo work before and the atmosphere is always electric and
The workshop will combine Angelo’s expertise in Classroom Assessment Techniques
(CATs) with Nelson’s teaching moves for fostering critical thinking.
They will provide spurts of
learning theory (from cognitive development, for example) with example
applications and with CATs. Writing and peer discussion will help make sure
that each participant goes home with new ideas that can be implemented in class
Why do so many of our
students resist higher-order critical thinking (CT)? When they do try, why do
so many find CT so difficult? And why, despite our best efforts, do our
curricula and teaching typically have so little impact on CT? This workshop
will offer research-based answers to these question, as well as practical,
transformative strategies for promoting and improving critical thinking.
Cognitive development theories and research (e.g. Perry, Belenkey, et al.,
Biggs, and Kitchener & King) can help us understand their
resistance/difficulties and distinguish the typical levels of CT students
engage in, running from "naive realism" through "rampant
relativism" to "constrained social constructivism." Research
demonstrates that the most dramatic gains in CT -- for example, no Fs in
college calculus classes-- come from combining intentional design, structuring
of social dynamics ,and step-by-step teaching of analytical tools with
effective assessment and feedback. This workshop highlights Nelson's expertise
in teaching "moves" to foster CT with Angelo's experience in course
design, assessment and feedback. It will include and demonstrate:
mini-lectures, videotaped examples, individual reflection and writing,
small-group work, and structured peer discussions. Participants can expect to
gain at least three new strategies they can adapt and use immediately to
improve critical thinking in their courses -- as well as references and
resources for follow up.
Employing What We Have Learned From the Faculty Learning Community
Movement to Build and Sustain Effective FLCs Today
communities (FLCs) were initiated in 1979 and have now been implemented at
hundreds of institutions, including two-year colleges, four year liberal arts
colleges, comprehensive and research universities, and medical schools. FLC
programs have been initiated by individual entrepreneurs, teaching and learning
centers, and system-wide consortia. We will begin our workshop with an overview
of FLCs, some of the results about them reported in the Learning Communities Journal, and
the experiences Milt has encountered in his work with colleagues engaged in
starting and sustaining FLCs. We will discuss the descriptions of and research
about successful and unsuccessful FLCs and faculty learning community programs,
including assessment designed to determine the FLC-related outcomes of faculty
development and student learning. Because the culture and needs of an
institution influence the approaches that it takes to initiate and implement
FLCs, we will customize our approach to the needs of our participants. Which of
the 30 FLC components will help meet your objectives and will work for you?
This workshop will be of interest and import to those engaged in any stages in
the development and sustainability of faculty learning community programs.
Linking Cooperative Group Work to the Research on Deep Learning
Deep learning emerges
from the careful sequencing of assignments and activities “orchestrated” by a
teacher committed to student learning. The research on deep learning has been
ongoing, systematic, and convergent. It involves motivating students to acquire
a solid knowledge base through active, interactive learning. As James Rhem has
noted, “Those who take a deep approach understand more, produce better written
work containing logical structures and conclusions rather than lists, remember
longer, and obtain better marks and degrees than those students who take a
surface approach.” This interactive workshop will help instructors understand
how to sequence structured assignments and activities to foster deep learning
approaches. Students complete relevant assignments outside of class—for which
they are accountable—that help them learn new knowledge by connecting it to
what hey already know. Because students come to class prepared, class time can
be spent productively by having students in pairs or small groups compare their
out-of-class products to foster critical thinking and constructive feedback.
Assessment for both students and teachers arises naturally out of the