Core Curriculum Evaluation Report
April 21, 2008
As of October 2007, Courtney Carter and Elaine Cho took on the role of co-chairing the Eastfield College Core Curriculum Evaluation Steering Committee. The first committee meeting for the 2007- 2008 academic year was on October 25, 2007 with interim VPI, Zena Jackson. In January 2008, the eCampus shell for the EFC Core Curriculum Steering Team was created. The minutes and necessary materials are posted on a continual basis.
In Spring 2008, the committee met twice. During the February 13th meeting, each core discipline representative provided assessment plans or updates. Software options, assessment update from each core discipline, and website changes were discussed during the April 10th meeting.
Furthermore, two members of the committee, Elaine Cho and Jackie Porter, attended the Annual Assessment Conference at Texas A & M University, February 17-19, 2008. Each member brought back materials and ideas from the conference. The highlights from the conference were shared with the committee. On February 22, 2008, the co-chairs attended a meeting to review four Software Options: True Outcomes, WEAVE, Task Stream, and eLumen. The websites of the four vendors were added to the eCampus shell. The highlights of the software options were shared with the committee.
In continuation of the Core Curriculum assessment, the approach to assessment has been concentrated on evaluating the students’ learning outcomes by connecting them to the Exemplary Educational Objectives (EEOs) and Intellectual Competencies (ICs), which are listed in the Core Curriculum course syllabi. The next step is finding the right software to implement the data collected from the assessments and evaluating the assessment results.
Near the end of the Spring 2007 semester, the Speech Communication Department piloted the assessment activity of evaluating students’ Persuasive Speeches in SPCH 1311 and SPCH 1315. The Persuasive Speech activities included selecting a controversial topic, researching and developing a works cited page, rough and final draft outlines, producing a visual aid and presenting the speech with the visual aid.
The Department identified students in their classes who had completed ENGL 1302 and/or were co-currently taking ENGL 1302 as the study’s sample.
The EEOs assessed were “to understand and demonstrate writing and speaking processes through invention, organization, drafting, revision, editing and presentation; to understand the importance of specifying audience and purpose and to select appropriate communication choices; to understand and appropriately apply modes of expression, i.e. descriptive, expositive, narrative, scientific, and self-expressive, in written, visual, and oral communication; to understand and apply basic principles of critical thinking; problem solving and technical proficiency in the development of exposition and argument; to develop the ability to research and write a documented paper and/or to give an oral presentation;”.
Each instructor had students sign media releases before they were videotaped by their instructors. The students were also notified of the use for the recorded speeches. During the Fall 2007 semester, Speech instructors selected 5 recorded speeches each to evaluate using a Department created rubric.
The instructors identified a variety of gains and losses among the student speeches viewed, in which each instructor developed improvement measures for increasing students’ successes with their public speaking skills such as targeting speech anxiety.
In an effort to address speech anxiety, during the Spring 2008 semester, the Department launched the PRCA Test (Personal Record of Communication Apprehension). The longstanding discipline anxiety test measures the following communication areas to determine students’ higher anxiety areas: public speaking, group, meetings and interpersonal. The PRCA Test has a pre and post test to hopefully show a decrease in students’ anxiety in one or more of the four areas after the Speech course has been completed.
The Science Department assessed students taking BIOL 1409 (Non-majors) starting Spring 2007 using a pre and post test each subsequent semester. The pre and post test include both a final comprehensive exam and a lab practicum.
The pre-test was created by taking pre-test questions from the test bank for each chapter. Two questions per chapter were chosen. The post-test was created by taking basic knowledge multiple choice questions and an application question where the students needed to connect multiple topics to be able to answer it correctly.
The pre and post tests consist of questions that meet all EEOs and the ICCs of reading, writing, and critical thinking.
In the Spring 2007 semester, the English Department initiated a pilot study of an evaluative instrument for English 1301. At the start of the semester, 262 students participated in taking the post test. At the end of the semester, 180 students took the post test.
Both the pre and post tests consisted of nine questions. The nine questions were formulated by a committee of Eastfield English faculty and met the Disrtict’s IO’s and EEOs. The post test response was significantly higher. The responses improved from an average response on the pre test of 3.5 to an average response on the post test of 4.2, which showed a 20% improvement.
For Spring 2008, 4 English instructors expressed interest in administering the pre test. The post test will be administered at the end of the semester.
Since the of Fall 2006, the Mathematics Department has administered departmental final exams at the end of each semester. The EEOs of the College Algebra course were evaluated by providing targeted questions on the final exam in order to identify areas where students have not been successful.
For Spring 2008, a departmental final exam for MATH 1314 (College Algebra) will be administered to measure students’ learning outcomes. The final exam questions comply with the EEOs of the course, and each student will answer the questions by using a scantron sheet.
The computer science department will begin the assessment for COSC 1300 (Computer Literacy) this summer. A pre and post test will be administered on eCampus.
The Humanities discipline committee designed the pre and post test for Art Appreciation, ARTS 1301, and it was first administered in Fall 2006.
The tests include multiple choice questions and an essay component. The EEOs that are assessed include "elements of art (i.e. color, line, space, etc.), cultural and historical perspectives and addressing the value of art and a need for public funding." The essay component focuses on "addressing the value of art and a need for public funding."