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Vanguard Learning College

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Vanguard Learning College



Institutional Profile

Outstanding Features of Learning College

Project Plans

Solutions to Problems and Issues

Advice to Our Colleagues




Solutions to Problems and Issues—Compiled Spring, 2002


For further information contact Sharon Katterman at katterman@morainevalley.edu

Part A.
Defining and Teaching Learning Outcomes

1. At what levels (course, program, institution, other) have learning outcomes been identified and defined at your college?
Learning outcomes are primarily identified and defined at the course and program level.  General education learning outcomes have been defined for the institution, but no institution-wide assessment of these learning outcomes is occurring at this time.
 2. In what ways are stakeholders at your college involved in identifying and teaching learning outcomes, and which stakeholders are involved?
Department chairs, full time faculty that are awarded release time to serve in this capacity, coordinate the identification and teaching of learning outcomes within each department.  Assessment plans for all academic departments have been created by each department's faculty.  All faculty are stakeholders in this process. 
3. In what ways do learning facilitators throughout the college design learning activities that provide students with opportunities to achieve these outcomes, and what training do they receive?
Faculty design their own learning activities to provide students the opportunity to achieve learning outcomes.  Faculty members in each department determine appropriate activities to use for course and/or program assessment.  Each faculty member determines appropriate activities for classroom assessment techniques/CATs.

As part of their first year orientation program, new full time faculty are introduced to the college's Assessment Plan and their department's plan, and receive a copy of Cross and Angelo's Classroom Assessment Techniques.  Ongoing programs on conducting/refining assessment are provided for all faculty by the College's Center for Faculty and Program Excellence.

4. What strategies (e.g., outcomes-based curriculum design models, alignment of learning outcomes with institutional mission and values, outcomes-based professional development activities) have been used to embed outcomes-based learning and teaching in the culture of your college?
Specific initiatives have been implemented to support and further a culture of teaching and learning:
  1. Director of Resource Development/Institutional Effectiveness - a professional staff member was assigned responsibility for institutional effectiveness - hired 2/99

  2. Faculty Professional Development Day - focused on Assessment - 2/00

  3. Instructional Excellence and Learning Outcomes included in 2000-2002 Institutional Priorities and strategic planning process

  4. Institutional Effectiveness (IE)/Assessment of Student Academic Achievement (ASAA) Plan Updated - 12/00

  5. Assistant Dean, Teaching and Learning - this staff member is responsible for establishing a Center for Teaching and Learning: a staff development center/program focused on advancing teaching and learning - hired 1/01

  6. Collegewide measurement of student learning occurs with comprehensive departmental exams.

  7. College-101 - Freshman Seminar Course

  8. In addition, specific departments within the college have developed successful strategies to embed outcomes-based learning and teaching.  For example:

  9. The communications department is using coursebooks to comprehensively document all assessment (classroom and course) being conducted.  These pieces include a complete overview of course content, assessment conducted, results, and use of results for continuous improvement.

  10. The Information Management Systems department uses a three-prong approach to assessment:  1) to place students in appropriate courses, 2) to assess learning in the course, and 3) to collect student feedback on a continuous basis to assess student learning issues.

Part B.
Assessing and Documenting Learning Outcomes

1. What plans or processes are under way at your college to build or adopt assessment methods capable of determining, with consistency across the institution, the level at which each student achieves each relevant course, program, and institutional learning outcome?
The IE/ASAA plan updated in fall 2000 is fully operational in spring 2001. This initiative is designed to report on assessment activities and measurement of learning outcomes collegewide. The first collegewide report, a compilation of departmental reports, will be completed in August 2001. All departments will use the same report form to document their activities during the 00-01 academic years, including the following items:
  1. course/program assessed,

  2. assessment conducted,

  3. assessment results, and

  4. how results document student learning, and how results have been/will be used for continuous improvement

2. What plans or processes as are under way at your college to expand methods of documenting student learning beyond the traditional transcript (e.g., annotated transcripts, electronic portfolios)?
Moraine Valley has initiated portfolios, web-enhanced assessment measures, and other significant measures to document student learning at the course level, but hasn't yet developed any, such as a portfolio, to serve in lieu of a transcript.
3. In what ways is your college addressing faculty, staff, and student resistance to and fear of assessment and documentation of student learning?
Moraine Valley has incorporated assessment into the new faculty orientation program.  This introduces all new full time faculty to the college's and their department's assessment initiatives early on in their teaching experience.

The college's fall 2000 update to the IE/ASAA plan was spearheaded by a task group made up of individuals from all campus divisions.  This group worked for 18 months to finalize the existing plan, and during this time periodic updates on their progress were provided to the college community.

4. What strategies have been effectively used to promote development of a culture of evidence at your college?

Strategies used to promote a culture of evidence include recognizing faculty members that have excelled in assessing student learning outcomes and promoting their successes.  For example:

  1. Faculty have made presentations describing their assessment initiatives at local, regional and national conferences.

  2. Communications faculty served as panel presenters at the Faculty Professional Development Day held on campus in February 2000.  These faculty were recognized for their accomplishments in assessing student learning, and served as role models for other faculty.