VSA Power Point Presentation

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Information about VSA Power Point Presentation

Published on February 26, 2008

Author: Manuele

Source: authorstream.com

College Portraits: Holding Ourselves Accountable:  College Portraits: Holding Ourselves Accountable Presented by Richard H. Wells, Chancellor, UW Oshkosh and Chair, VSA Student Engagement Task Force September 2007 Slide2:  Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) Goals Redefine what is important when choosing a college Make it easy to find this information Respond to concerns raised by the Spellings Commission Standardize presentation to ease criticisms about comparable information availability Add process and outcome measures to what is reported Slide3:  2 Associations 83 Participants 110 Monitors 4 Meeting Rounds & High Transparency Funded by a Lumina Foundation Education grant VSA Web Page :  VSA Web Page VSA will include transparent information about each participating university and its programs utilizing common definitions and format.   Each university’s VSA web page will include: descriptive data about the university, the programs offered and characteristics of its students,  a mechanism for the students to calculate their estimated net cost of attendance,   various success measures such as graduation rates and continued enrollment of students who transfer into other universities, a measures of post graduation plans, direct learning outcome measurement of the value-added by the university to undergraduates in the areas of critical thinking, analytic reasoning and written communications ability, indicators of the engagement exhibited by the campus’ students in several strategic areas. Student Engagement Task Force :  Student Engagement Task Force A large body of research clearly documents the types of student engagement activities and programs that are known to contribute to student learning and development: Active learning experiences Group learning experiences Institutional commitment for student learning and success Educationally purposeful student interaction with campus faculty and staff Experiences with diverse groups of people and ideas Student satisfaction with overall undergraduate experience Model of Factors that Impact Student Learning and Growth:  Model of Factors that Impact Student Learning and Growth Student Engagement:  Student Engagement Student engagement occurs at the intersection of student behaviors and institutional conditions. Assessment of student engagement experiences will require periodic (at least once every 3 years) administration of NSSE CIRP CSEQ or U-CUES. Instrument choice is up to the institution. Administration is for new freshmen and about-to-graduate seniors. Student Behaviors*:  Student Behaviors* Interaction with Faculty Student-faculty interaction is important because it encourages students to devote effort to other educationally purposeful activities. Both the nature and the frequency of the contact matter. The evidence suggests that student-faculty interactions outside the classroom that reinforce or extends the formal academic experience or that focus on issues of student development can have positive effects on dimensions of general cognitive development - for example, working on a professor’s research project. Student contact with faculty members outside the classroom also promotes student persistence, educational aspiration, and degree completion even when other factors are taken into account. Informal, social interactions between faculty and students appear to have less of an impact on student learning. * The material presented in this and the next 10 slides is taken directly from Christine Keller’s white paper, “Student Behaviors and Institutional Conditions that contribute to Student Learning,” which provides a broad overview of the literature. Student Behaviors:  Student Behaviors Peer Interaction Peers are the “single more potent source of influence on virtually every aspect of development – cognitive, affective, psychological, and behavioral” (Astin 1992, p. 398). Peer influence is a statistically significant and positive force in student’s persistence decisions. Interaction with peers that extend and reinforce broad ideas introduced in the academic experience and that confront the individual with diverse interests, values, political beliefs, and cultural norms appear the most salient for positive impact on critical thinking, analytical skills, and post-formal reasoning. Specific peer interactions that foster learning include the following (Kuh et al. 2007). Discussing core content with other students Working on group projects with other students Teaching or tutoring other students Participating in intramural sports Discussing racial or ethnic issues Socializing with someone from a different racial or ethnic group Being elected to a student office Student Behaviors:  Student Behaviors Experience with Diversity Student involvement in diversity experiences has a positive effect on dimensions of general cognitive development such as critical thinking, analytical competencies and thinking complexity as well as academic subject matter for students of all racial groups. However, there is evidence that White students benefit more from diversity experiences than African American or Hispanic students. Salient diversity experiences include informal interaction with racially and culturally diverse peers as well as involvement with more formal programs such racial cultural awareness workshops and coursework focusing on social cultural diversity and interracial relations. Research suggests that formal programs and coursework have a more significant effect on White students than informal interactions. Student Behaviors:  Student Behaviors Service Learning Involvement in academically integrated service learning has a unique positive impact on dimensions of general cognitive development such as critical thinking, analytical competencies and thinking complexity as well as academic subject matter knowledge The most effective service learning experiences appear to be those that integrate service with course content, provide for reflection about the service experience and permit the student to apply subject matter learning to the service experience and vice versa. Not only does participation in academically integrated service learning increase general and subject matter knowledge, it has also been shown to enhance a student’s grade point average and aspirations for advanced degrees. It is also associated with increased time devoted to homework and studying and increased contact with faculty. Student Behaviors:  Student Behaviors Academic Effort and Involvement Non-classroom interactions with peers and faculty that extend and reinforce what is happening in one’s academic experience appear to have the most consistent positive impact. A student’s level of academic effort and involvement has an important net influence on growth in general cognitive skills and intellectual development. The level of individual effort or engagement in areas such as hours studied per week, the number of non-assigned books read, writing experience, library use, and course learning activities appear to have a unique positive impact on standard measures of critical thinking as well as on self reported gains in critical thinking and intellectual development. Student Behaviors:  Student Behaviors Co-curricular Activities and Involvement The nature of students’ social and cocurricular involvement has a unique impact on learning - in addition to more formal classroom instruction. Co-curricular involvement is also positively related to persistence. Co-curricular activities such as involvement in clubs and organizations may foster critical thinking. Participation in intercollegiate athletics, particularly men’s revenue producing sports, appears to have an inhibiting impact on the development of critical thinking skills as well the acquisition of subject matter knowledge. Greek affiliation has a negative impact on subject matter knowledge and cognitive development during the first year. However, the negative effect diminishes in future years. On or off campus work during college, particularly part time, has a trivial influence on student learning and cognitive development. There is no consistent evidence to suggest that living off campus and commuting directly inhibits acquisition of subject matter knowledge or cognitive development. However, living on campus appears to exert an indirect positive influence on learning by enhancing academic and social engagement. Students who live on campus are more likely to persist and graduate than students that commute as living in a residence hall facilitates students’ social and academic involvement with other students, with faculty members, and with their institution. Student Behaviors:  Student Behaviors Differences in Engagement among Student Groups First generation students tend to be less engaged than other students, perhaps in part because they have less tacit knowledge of and fewer experiences with college campuses and related activities, behaviors, and roles models (Kuh et al. 2007). NSSE results demonstrate that transfer students share many characteristics with both older students and commuters, but differ in marked ways from students who start and graduate from the same college (Kuh et al. 2007). Interact less with faculty Participate in fewer educationally enriching activities Did more active and collaborative learning Viewed the campus as less supportive Were less satisfied overall with college Academic-social engagement in college may have stronger positive effects on general cognitive development for student with relatively low tested academic ability than for their counterparts with relatively higher academic ability. Further, grades of lower ability students are positively affected by engagement in educationally effective activities to a greater degree as compared with higher ability students. Institutional Conditions:  Institutional Conditions Faculty-Student Interaction Replicated evidence that suggests that student critical thinking, analytical competencies, and general intellectual development are enhanced by an institutional environment that stresses close relationship and frequent interaction between faculty and students and faculty concern about student growth and development. Several studies suggest that students’ perception of faculty members’ availability and interest in them may be enough to promote persistence. The relationship between faculty and students appear to facilitate two processes. One is the socialization of students to the normative values and attitudes of the academy. The other is the development and strengthening of the bond between student and institution. Institutional Conditions:  Institutional Conditions Academic Programs and Services Academic programs and experiences that actively engage students and foster academic and social integration are positively linked to student learning – first year seminars, effective academic advising, peer mentoring , advising and counseling, summer bridge programs, learning communities, living-learning centers, and undergraduate research programs. Studies uniformly demonstrate that first year seminars, effective academic advising, and comprehensive support and retention programs (e.g., the TRIO programs) have positive effects on student persistence and graduation. The combination of faculty-student contact and active learning within undergraduate research programs appears to be particularly potent in increasing persistence and degree completion rates. Institutional Conditions:  Institutional Conditions Classroom Learning Environments Environments that stress high standards and expectations for student performance are linked to increased student learning. Pedagogical approaches that appear to improve subject matter learning over traditional approaches include: learning for mastery, computer assisted instruction, active learning, collaborative learning, cooperative learning, and small group learning. Problem-based learning and learning communities appear to foster improved subject matter learning and the development of general cognitive skills such as critical thinking. Certain teaching behaviors have a positive effect on the acquisition of subject matter knowledge – e.g., teacher preparation-organization, quality and frequency of feedback, teacher availability. Moreover, teacher preparation and organization also appear to have positive impacts on more general measures of learning not tied to specific courses Little consistent evidence to suggest that a student’s major field of study in and of itself leads to different effects on general measures of critical thinking. Intellectual training in different fields of study leads to the development of different reasoning skills. Evidence to suggest that coursework in natural science courses may positively influence growth in critical thinking skills. Learning a computer programming language provides advantages in general cognitive skills such as planning, reasoning, and metacognition. Coursework requiring students to learn to use computers to analyze data, make visual displays, and search the internet for course material also contributes to greater growth in general cognitive skills. Critical thinking is enhanced by curricular experiences that require the integration of ideas and themes across courses and disciplines. Interdisciplinary or core curriculum that emphasize making explicit connections across courses and among ideas and disciplines positively influence students’ ability to solve ill-structured problems. Institutional Conditions:  Institutional Conditions Institutional Structures and Environments Institutional structure is less important to positive educational outcomes than the kinds of peer groups and faculty environments that emerge across different types of institutions. For example, the underlying importance of peer groups is that students in “similar circumstances and with common needs and interests have been afforded an opportunity to interact and learn together” (Astin 1992, p. 415). Such peer groups may happen more naturally at a liberal arts residential campus, while other types of campuses may have to be more deliberate in creating such opportunities and environments. Institutional resources and reputation (e.g., as reported in U.S. News) are largely irrelevant to high quality educational experiences as measured by student engagement in educationally enriching activities (Kuh et al. 2007). College “quality” has less important implications for intellectual and personal growth during college than for career and socioeconomic achievement. Net of confounding influences (pre college abilities or cognitive level) attending an academically selective institution has a negligible effect on knowledge acquisition or general cognitive development (Pascarella & Terenzini 2005). Studies consistently indicate that students attending private institutions have an advantage over their counterparts at public colleges in terms of persistence and degree completion. Although with controls in place for precollege characteristics, the private institution advantage is muted or disappears. The effects of attending a private college are likely indirect and influenced by other institutional traits such as size, selectivity, emphasis on undergraduate education, and faculty and peer relations. Slide19:  Learning Outcomes Reports of Learning Outcomes will be based on administration of one of three VSA approved instruments: College Learning Assessment (CLA) Motivational Appraisal of Personal Potential (MAPP) Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) The same instrument must be administered to students during their first semester of attendance and also during their last semester of attendance. Learning Outcomes:  Learning Outcomes Analysis will be cross-sectional and the results will be displayed as gain scores (senior scores – freshman scores). All of the Test Providers have committed to providing the data in the same above fashion. This is a made-up CLA example. The National Comparison comment is based on distance from expected score for the institution. A result of +/- 1 standard error is reported “As Expected.” Next Steps:  Next Steps UW Oshkosh Timeline for Achieving VSA “Early Adopter” Status September and October 2007: Presentations to all governance groups Campus-wide Open forums November 1, 2007 UW Oshkosh makes decision about becoming an “Early Adopter” of VSA Proposed VSA Rollout Schedule

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