GSA Connects 2021 in Portland, Oregon

Paper No. 183-4
Presentation Time: 2:20 PM


KOZIOL, Andrea, Dept. of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, University of Dayton, 300 College Park, Dayton, OH 45469-2364

At the University of Dayton, a Catholic & Marianist university, the Common Academic Program (CAP) promotes knowledge, skills and dispositions through engaging, developmental and integrated courses and experiences that are necessary for 21st century graduates. Course offerings are informed by the seven institutional learning goals (ILG’s): scholarship, faith traditions, diversity, community, practical wisdom, critical evaluation of our times, and vocation. Several years ago our non-majors course, GEO 109: Earth, Environment, and Society, needed to be aligned with the CAP ILG’s. The original course goals were too general and difficult to measure. The course is taught every semester by 3 – 5 instructors. 5 student learning outcomes (SLO’s) were developed that were measurable and that mapped to several of the CAP ILG’s. A general assessment plan was all that was required at that time (2016) with no assessment reports.

In 2018 I became “Special Advisor to the College of Arts and Sciences on Assessment” and attended an Assessment Institute at IUPUI. What I learned became very important as now the CAP committee was requiring annual assessment reports. The Geology Department has a culture of allowing instructors independence in teaching and evaluation. At the same time best practices in assessment were being encouraged, and the other instructors were not educated in these practices. In 2019 a colleague and I developed an assessment plan and discovered the need to train instructors in assessment techniques, and for a well-structured/department-level assessment to be able to compare between/among instructors' results. As department head of assessment I emphasize that student responses to multiple choice questions may indicate learning of content but not necessarily the SLO’s. Teaching of authentic assessment techniques to faculty is an on-going process, made more difficult by the COVID pandemic. Current progress in this area will be presented.