How would this plan work?
Why does Millsaps need this plan?
What are the learning outcomes for this plan?
How could we assess these learning outcomes?
Which students would this plan affect?
Would this replace or augment other programs on campus?
What resources would this plan require?
Are there any particular obstacles to this plan?
Contact person: Patrick Hopkins
For a copy of the proposal, click here.
1. Students would be divided up into Core 1 classes of 15-18 students as happens now. However, the home class professor is not there to teach everything we want from Core 1. They are there for guidance, working on exercises, advising, and helping with revision of projects.
2. Instead of the home professor teaching everything, students would attend a series of workshops, lectures, demonstrations, or classes (whatever is most appropriate for the subject matter) taught by faculty trained in the specific skill at hand. Thus, faculty would teach what they know and students would get the same training and shared experience across the entire freshmen class.
3. The skills focused on in this course would include:
a) Analyzing arguments (critical thinking skills focused on listening, reading, and watching persuasive or informative speech and understanding the structure of the argument, detecting assumptions, identifying rhetoric, identifying fallacies, judging evidence, and determining the strength of the argument)
b) Analyzing scientific and statistical information (learning how to be a critical consumer of scientific and statistical information, understanding key components of experimental design and statistical reporting, learning to judge the generalizability and strength of studies, learning to detect errors in reporting of data)
c) Research (learning to search for information and how to judge the relevance and quality of the information found)
d) Communicating through writing (learning how to write clear, concise essays, reports, summaries, reviews, or outlines that correctly document sources and support claims)
e) Communicating through oral and visual modes (learning how to present one's research and arguments visually and orally)
4. After going to a special class/workshop/presentation on the skill being developed, students would receive exercises practicing those skills and a project based on applying those skills. They would then return to their home class where they would discuss what they had been taught, practice exercises, and develop a plan for working on the project associated with that particular skill set. They would then start working on the project. When one project was completed and revised, they would move on to the next project. The hope is that the skills they learn from one module and project would be applied to future projects and coursework.
5. This course could work either of two ways. First, it could simply replace the Core 1 course we have right now, lasting one semester. This would be useful, but would limit the training in core abilities we could effectively teach. Second, it could be spread out over a year, focusing on analysis and research in the first semester and writing and public communication in the second. This would provide much greater opportunity to train in the relevant skills, but would be a greater logistical change to our current schedule. Whether ARC was done in one semester or two could be decided later if the concept was considered valuable enough to merit QEP status.
Goal: Students will be able to read and listen to persuasive or informational writing and speech and a) recognize the issues, b) recognize assumptions, c) distinguish between argument and non-argumentative persuasion, d) outline arguments, e) determine credibility of claims, f) evaluate the strength of arguments, and g) determine what conclusions are warranted.
Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs): Outcomes for this skill could vary, but might include, for example, that 75% of students improve their scores on assessment measures 10% from pre-test to post-test, or that 75% of students achieve post-test assessment measures of "average" compared to normed 1st year university students.
Goal: Students will be able to a) define research needs for particular purposes, b) identify appropriate resources, c) access resources, d) evaluate resources, and e) utilize resources ethically, legally, and effectively.
SLOs: Outcomes for this skill could vary, but might include, for example, that 75% of students improve their scores on assessment measures 10% from pre-test to post-test, or that 75% of students achieve post-test assessment measures of "satisfactory" according to standards judged as appropriate for our college freshmen.
Goal: Students will be able to a) develop a clear and focused purpose for oral and written communication, b) identify the relevant audience, c) develop a clear and well-argued text or presentation, d) identify and adopt appropriate voice, tone, and level of formality, e) make effective use of visual aids, and f) for oral presentations, demonstrate vocal qualities that augment and transmit content.
SLOs: Outcomes for this skill could vary, but might include, for example, that 75% of students achieve post-test assessment measures of "satisfactory" according to standards judged as appropriate for our college freshmen.
Comments and Discussion