Friday, May 25, 2012

Survey Results

by Shirlee

ConversationMap Thank you to all who participated in our "big conversation" this year. We got many thoughtful and considered responses to our questions. We have made a "map" of the most common thinking we encountered -- just short representations of more nuanced and rich comments, but hopefully of help in representing the range of thinking among PCC faculty and staff. The Learning Assessment Council will use this to guide our recommendation to the college.

Conversation Map: The Big and Very Big Questions
Here is a map to the most frequent REASONS for answering our questions

I)  For purposes of continual program improvement of instructing and learning:

Should all SACs address and address and assess all core outcomes? (And if not, then what?)

  • college is not just job-training AND the core outcomes are what marks the difference 
  • the core outcomes are what pull us together as a faculty and help students have an integrated educational experience
  • the process of assessing for core outcomes is time-consmuing, annoying, frustrating.... and valuable
  • we need, however, to distinguish between graduates with 2 year degrees and graduates with certificates -- the core outcomes should only apply to degrees
  • our recent accreditation visit shows that by holding all SACs accountable for all core outcomes, we are on the right track; don't mess with success
  • all SACs do address all core outcomes at some level.... but they should only assess for the ones that are addressed in a major way 
  • limiting the scope of and responsibility for core outcomes 'guts the intent of th process' -- to guide us ALL in our planning and thinking
  • each CCOG should be linked to a college core outcome (so that we know where they are being addressed) BUT assessment should only be done where it can be done well, and the information used to feed program/discipline improvement

  • SACs are responsible for lots and lots content... if we add curriculum for core outcomes, what will get bumped?
  •  Instructors are experts in their fields -- let us do what we know how to do!
  • some core outcomes have absolutely no relevance to some SACs or classes OR are impossible to assess given skill level (e.g. ESOL or ABE)
  • some core outcomes are more core than others -- we should all be responsible for only the core of the core (most often mentioned: communication, critical thinking and self-reflection)
  • we have gen ed requirements and should use those to make sure graduates meet core outcomes -- then let others teach in their own disciplines
  • CTE SACs already have lots and lots and lots of assessments... why add more?
  • when the core outcomes were first introduced at PCC, we were promised that not every SAC would be responsible for all of them (only those relevant to field)
  • requiring all SACs to assess all core outcomes is guaranteed to make the assessment process meaningless -- broad and shallow, or else just done in order to keep administrators off instructor backs

II)  For purposes of  accountability (reporting to outside stakeholders):

Should all SACs address and address and assess all core outcomes? (And if not, then what?)

  • we shouldn't add a whole new layer of assessment to our process -- we have enough already!!
  • any additional hurdles (like exit tests or portfolios) will put a new block in from of students and depress graduation rates

  • it makes no sense at all to assess at the SAC level -- especially for LDC SACs that offer classes that are not required -- an institution-level assessment needs to be a th the institution level
  • if outcomes are 'out there" then assessments inside classes are irrelevant -- we need to track graduates
  • other colleges are doing more meaningful assessments, especially portfolios; we should, too

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