FS GENERAL EDUCATION COMMITTEE

December 7, 2006

MINUTES

Library 2305

 

 

 

The meeting was called to order by Dr. Dan Schierenbeck, Chair, with the following members present:  Dr. Nicholas Baeth, Ms. Rochelle Barabas, Dr. Kelly Boyd, Dr. Karen Bradley, Ms. Kelly Edmondson, Dr. Victoria Jackson, Dr. Qingxiong Ma, Ms. Joanne Reinke, Dr. Mike Grelle, FSUAC liaison, Dr. Stefan Cairns, Chair, FS University Curriculum Committee (liaison), Mr. Travis Bingham, SGA Representative, Dr. Peter Viscusi, ex-officio and Ms. Traci Butler, Secretary. 

 

Approval of Minutes

Minutes from the November 30, 2006 meeting were not ready to submit for approval. 

 

Announcements

The committee decided they prefer meeting in the Union instead of the Library.  Traci will look at room availability in the Union for next semester.  The meeting time will remain on Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. 

 

Considerations of Motions from Edmondson/Barabas, Ma and Bradley

Motion by Dr. Ma

Dr. Ma moved that the Technology section be moved to Area D.  Area D should be renamed as Interaction and Technology, including Cultural Interaction, Personal Interaction, and Technology.  The credit hours for each section would be: Area A (7), Area B (6), Area C (9), and Area D (8).  The benefits of this arrangement:

a. No course will be dropped from the Division II list.  For any course to be in General Education, both the department and this committee will spend lots of effort and meet several times.  We should appreciate our past work by not removing the course as long as we have some other arrangement option.  b. Keeping the Technology courses in the list gives token recognition to our University mission and strategy.  c. Eliminating the misunderstanding or redundancy between interaction and Technology and Change.

 

Discussion

Ms. Edmondson thinks the new area would include three very different invaluable skill sets and the competencies do not mesh with the classes there, and she doesn’t feel departments would want to revamp classes.  Item b. seems to be a token as stated, and she also doesn’t understand the title and does not see this as a benefit to their area.  She also said Paul Rorvig thought Social and Behavioral Sciences would be a good fit.  Ms. Reinke thinks it would be more for a major requirement than for General Education.  Dr. Bradley is concerned about reducing the Social and Behavioral Sciences section.  Dr. Boyd feels we need to simplify so it doesn’t get convoluted in the future. 

 

Dr. Ma moved to accept the motion but there was no second.  Motion failed.

 

Motions by Ms. Edmondson and Ms. Barabas

Motion 1:

Remove the Technology section from General Education, with the requirement that all incoming students be assessed for a minimum level of proficiency in software application and online literacy, and that those who do not meet the minimum level will be directed to appropriate remediation courses and/or modules until the minimum level of proficiency is met.  Proficiency assessment and remediation courses and/or modules will be available to incoming students the same semester that the Technology section is no longer part of the General Education.

 

Motion 2 (assuming Technology section is removed):

Move T&OE 2000 Technology and Change to the Social and Behavioral Sciences section without requiring the course to reapply, since it was already evaluated by the FS General Education Committee within the last three years and was approved (as one of the primary competencies listed is "Draws on history and/or the social sciences to evaluate contemporary problems").

 

Discussion

Dr. Jackson can see how the motions are built on each other.  She suggests we discuss a motion in general and then compose a motion to vote on.  Dr. Bradley said if students don’t have the skills, they shouldn’t be able to pass the classes and we should embed competencies in other classes.  She also mentioned that the Department of Academic Enrichment already offers several remedial classes.  Ms. Reinke pointed out that they have assessment for reading, writing, and math.  Dr. Jackson feels instructors will be blamed for their students not understanding technology and that students have a hard enough time accepting that they need remedial help. 

 

Dr. Viscusi sees two issues: one is the movement of T&OE 2000 and whether students will be tested for proficiency.  We have Planned Placement, but it is almost voluntary, because students can elect not to take the lower course.  He thinks we will have to have a computer proficiency exam in the near future.  If we separate those issues out, the movement of that course is also in the next motion.  We need to be focused on separate issues and these motions rely on both. 

 

Ms. Edmondson is concerned that there seems to be a lack of respect for the importance of that course, and if it is removed from General Education, she is afraid it will be lowered on priority.  Dr. Viscusi said if we accept the fact that people need basic University skill levels, we all know they need computer literacy.  The question is how do we accomplish that?  This is a similar situation to the C-Base exam.  We have been actively trying to find a computer proficiency exam.  Ms. Barabas thought computer literacy is basically connected to BE&O, not T&OE.  Ms. Edmondson is worried about where it is getting buried. 

 

Dr. Bradley believes learning in the context of the student’s subject matter is more useful than separating it out as an independent skill.  Ms. Edmondson agreed with Dr. Jackson’s statement earlier about how students find out how to use Blackboard, Excel, etc.  She is not confident about the technology proficiency of our instructors to have them teach the students within the course subject matter. 

 

Dr. Viscusi suggested separate motions.  Dr. Schierenbeck suggested we make a motion to move Technology from General Education, move courses to other categories and urge a computer proficiency assessment. 

 

The question was asked: What percent of the student body will need some form of technology instruction?  Ms. Edmondson said that only 9% passed all three parts of the IC3 assessment, but she admitted one section is not very critical.  Dr. Bradley only sees about 1/3 of students out of 50 as needing help.  Dr. Jackson noted that in her case 1/3 is out of 100 students, and that’s a lot of students to try to teach basic computer skills to plus her class material. 

 

Dr. Bradley suggested we vote on the first part.  Ms. Edmondson is concerned that the push is on to get to 42 credit hours and that technology won’t be a priority.  She also doesn’t know if Business required technology for their major only because it was in General Education.  Ms. Edmondson asked Ms. Reinke if the classes in AE taught students how to do searches, and she said they do not.  Dr. Viscusi pointed out that searches can be incorporated into AE 1400 classes and can be tailored to specific subjects.  Ms. Reinke said only 20% of the AE 1400 sections are general in nature while the rest are in specialized Learning Communities or connected to specific majors.  Dr. Viscusi then noted there are also prefixed courses in departments within majors that can incorporate an embedded LIS module on technology issues. 

 

Dr. Schierenbeck felt there was an agreement to move the Technology category out of General Education but that we have to decide how much wording we want to attach to the motion.  Ms. Edmondson asked what will happen to BE&O 1210, LIS 1600 and MMGT 1012.  The answer was they will continue to be offered by their departments.  Dr. Jackson strongly urged that an assessment be developed and that Dr. Bradley’s point A could be a compromise.  Dr. Boyd agreed but would like to see the language softened.

 

Motion by Dr. Bradley

BRADLEY MOTION, 12-7-06.  I move we take the following steps in order to minimize the Additional Institutional Requirements that stand outside of the state requirements for the General Education Program as we were asked to consider by the Provost (while keeping the integrity of the General Education Program in tact):

 

A) Eliminate the separate category of “Division II, Area A, Part II Technology” from General Education;

 

This has limited impact on the courses being removed in that they will still be offered and /or required by departments.  Similarly, there would be minimal impact on faculty loads within departments.

 

The category of “technology,” while clearly important to the University mission, remains ambiguous relative to the state category of “Information Management.”

 

There are courses that will continue to be available for students who are not proficient in technology use as well as free opportunities to improve their skills on campus.   

 

B) Modify the guidelines for courses within Division II, Area A, B, C, D and E to specifically require that these courses address the issue of information management;

 

Technology (or information management) is best learned within a subject context.  Our goal would be to raise the level of expectation about integrating Information Management into General Education courses.

 

C)  Move T&OE 2000 to Area B: Social and Behavioral Sciences;

 

This course has a distinct orientation that differs significantly from the other courses in the Technology area.  It is not intended to be an applied course but is rather an overview of how technology has evolved in society.  The course is in line with UCM’s emphasis on technology and should remain an option for students. It self-identifies as “drawing on social science.” 

 

D) Create a Division II, Area E and list the courses currently identified under Division III, Personal Interaction in this new category;

 

These courses have significant enrollments that are dependent on being General Education courses.

 

These courses are focused on personal well-being and are considered centrally tied to student success.

 

D.) Name this new category in Area E “Civic Engagement and Personal Well-being.”

 

The opportunity to expand the category to include “Civic” well-being is in line with the current effort on campus, The American Democracy Project, and the on-going role of the University in shaping an informed citizenry.

 

Discussion

Dr. Viscusi said if it is the general agreement to create a motion regarding assessment, then we need to create the essence of the agreement and wordsmith later.  Dr. Cairns said this committee can recommend to the FSUAC and make an official charge from our committee to theirs. 

 

Dr. Jackson made the motion to accept Dr. Bradley’s point A and charge the FSUAC to find a viable assessment.  Dr. Viscusi questioned that courses in that category would need to be cognizant of what’s expected.  We would not be abolishing courses, just moving them around.  Dr. Schierenbeck suggested modifying our evaluation form to address how courses are integrating technology.  Dr. Cairns noted that we don’t need approval for our internal process.  Ms. Edmondson pointed out that putting it in the motion is a reminder to us.  Ms. Reinke asked which courses would meet Civic Engagement and Dr. Jackson suggested that could be developed later.  Ms. Edmondson doesn’t like the title of Personal Interaction.  She likes Dr. Bradley’s title, but is afraid it could create a long list of courses.  Dr. Viscusi noted that anything added will be put into a category.  Dr. Boyd listed a few titles found at other institutions; People in the Environment, Personal Wellness and Human Institutions and Personal Relations.  Ms. Reinke is concerned about moving T&OE 2000 and IGEN 3116 and not saying anything about the other courses.  Dr. Viscusi pointed out the impact on those departments is minimal based on low enrollment but that IGEN 3116 is in a unique position.  Dr. Bradley also mentioned that anybody can re-petition that their course be included in General Education. 

 

Dr. Jackson moved to accept the motion presented by Dr. Bradley A through D as amended per our discussions (listed below).  Dr. Boyd seconded the motion and it unanimously passed. 

 

BRADLEY MOTION AMENDED, 12-7-06, A through E.  I move we take the following steps in order to minimize the Additional Institutional Requirements that stand outside of the state requirements for the General Education Program as we were asked to consider by the Provost (while keeping the integrity of the General Education program in tact):

 

A. Eliminate category “Division II, Area A, Part II Technology” from General Education;

 

B. Develop a strategy for courses within Division II, Area A, B, C, D and E to specifically require that these courses address the issue of Information Management;

 

C. Move T&OE 2000 to Area B: Social and Behavioral Sciences without the department having to go through the process of resubmission;

 

D. Create a Division II, Area E and list the courses currently identified under Division III, Personal Interaction along with IGEN 3116.  IGEN 3116 will be grandfathered in without having to go through the process of resubmission in this new category.   Division II thus will be eliminated;

 

E. Name the new category in Area E “Civic Engagement and Human Well-being.”

(Category title to be finalized at another time.)  We also charge the FSUAC to offer a computer literacy proficiency assessment in software applications and online competency.

 

This is the last meeting of the semester.  The first meeting next semester will be on January 18, 2007 from 8:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.  You will be notified of the room location. 

 

The meeting was then adjourned.

 

Respectfully Submitted,

Traci Butler, Secretary