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Academic Affairs Council

April 29, 2005

Present:  Ken Gilbertson, Randy Gordon, Dan Glisczinski, Jackie Millslagle.

Absent:  Cindy Spillers

The only agenda item was to discuss how the Council could better define its role to faculty, particularly as it relates to curriculum.  The description of AAC from the Constitution was reviewed, as well as the current course proposal form.  The term, "gatekeepers" of the curriculum guided the discussion.  As curriculum is reviewed, the Council focuses primarily on course objectives/outcomes, on how the outcomes are to be assessment, and on the expertise of the faculty sponsor.  Faculty who propose courses should be advised to write proposals that clearly link the evaluation methods (assessments) to the anticipated student outcomes, and to include a brief statement describing the essential qualifications for those who would teach the course [edited to reflect Dan's input].

Jackie explained that an online course proposal process is being developed and agreed to forward the following recommendations to Linda Rolfe.  These items on the proposal form are suggested to be changed as follows:

  • Course objectives/outcomes:  add  State in terms of student outcomes.
  • Conceptual outline/topics:  Redundant; can be deleted.  [From Dan’s response to draft minutes:  Additionally, I think the conceptual outline/topic element is valuable in proposals.  I move that it be listed after Jackie's well revised objectives/outcomes and methods of evaluating student achievement.]
  • Methods of evaluating student achievement:  add How will the outcomes be measured?

There was also discussion about the role of the Associate Dean on the Council, as there is no mention of membership in the Constitution.  The Council agreed that it was appropriate the Associate Dean participate ex-officio to be in a better position to move recommendations forward to the Dean.  In addition, the Council agreed it was appropriate for the Associate Dean to bring academic-related issues to AAC for discussion and recommendation, as the primary vehicle for faculty inclusion in academic decision-making. 

Jackie Millslagle, Recorder

[From Dan: Attached is a the Understanding By Design template -- courtesy of Helen Mongan-Rallis and Julia Williams. While it's not a perfect match for an entire course proposal, it suggests a direction in which we might consider moving per Julia's expertise.]

Understanding By Design – Backwards Design Process

(Developed by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe, 2002)

Stage 1 – Desired Results

Content Standard(s):

  • [Comes from professional standards in your field]

Understanding (s)/goals

Students will understand that:

  • [this is a goal, not an objective.  List the big ideas or concepts that you want them to come away with, not facts that they must know]

Essential Question(s):

  • [What leading questions can you ask of students to get them to understand the Big Ideas?]
  • [Address the heart of the discipline, are framed to provoke and sustain students interest; unit questions usually have no one obvious “right” answer

Student objectives (outcomes):

Students will be able to:

  • [These are observable, measurable outcomes that students should be able to demonstrate and that you can assess. Your assessment evidence in Stage 2 must show how you will assess these.]
  • [Your learning activities in Stage 3 must be designed and directly linked to having students be able to achieve the understandings, answer the essential questions, and demonstrate the desired outcomes

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence

Performance Task(s):

  • [Authentic, performance based tasks that have students apply what they have learned and demonstrate their understanding.]
  • [designed at least at the application level or higher on Bloom’s Taxonomy. ]
  • [Rubrics can be used to guide students in self-assessment of their performance]

Other Evidence:

  • [includes pre-assessment, formative assessment, and summative assessment evidence]
  • [Can be individual or group based]
  • [Can include informal methods (such as thumbs up, thumbs down, and formal assessments, such as quiz, answers to questions on a worksheet, written reflection, essay]

Stage 3 – Learning Plan

Learning Activities:

[This is the core of your lesson plan and includes a listing describing briefly (usually in bullet or numbered form so easy to follow) what:

  • the students will do during the class to prepare them for the outcomes you expect of them.]
  • the teacher will do to guide the learning]