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Center for Teaching and Learning

Focused Inquiry Groups (FIGs) - Title III

Business Student Learning Outcomes Assessment for Adjunct Faculty
Area of Inquiry
Our goal in this study was to recruit, train, and mentor 9 adjunct faculty and 2 full-time faculty in other disciplines who teach business courses as overload in the development of SLOs, rubrics, and assessments, and to assess as many courses as possible in Fall 2009. The adjunct faculty recruited for this project are the only faculty that currently teach 25 of our 51 business courses; we thought it critical to have the actual instructors for these courses lead the development and assessment of SLOs.
Methodology

Given that most of our adjunct faculty have full-time jobs, we designed an approach that consisted of a series of early evening 1-hour webinars (using CCC Confer) followed by Blackboard discussions to share and critique each other’s work. This would enable our faculty to fully participate in all aspects of the process. Almost all of these adjunct faculty teach online, and were familiar with and comfortable using Blackboard.

The webinars were conducted at 2-4 week intervals, with the following topics:

  • Webinar 1: Overview of the project—the purpose of SLOs, the SLOA process, examples of business SLOs, and training on SLO writing. Following this webinar, participants drafted SLOs, shared them on Blackboard, and received feedback from each other and the FIG leader, Jan Novak. Participants then revised their SLOs as they saw fit.
  • Webinar 2: Recap of SLOs, followed by a discussion of rubrics. Examples of business rubrics were shared, and suggestions on how to approach rubric writing were provided. Rubric writing resources were identified in both the webinar and on Blackboard. Following this webinar, participants drafted rubrics, shared them on Blackboard, and received feedback from each other and the FIG leader, Jan Novak. Participants then revised their rubrics as necessary.
  • Webinar 3: Recap of SLOs and rubrics, followed by a discussion of assessment. Examples of business assessments were shared, and suggestions about how to identify appropriate assessments were provided. Following this webinar, participants drafted assessments, shared them on Blackboard, and received feedback from each other and the FIG leader, Jan Novak. Participants then revised their assessments as necessary.
  • Webinar 4: Recap of all work to date, followed by training on eLumen. Following this webinar, participants continued to refine their SLOs, rubrics, and assessments, and shared questions about eLumen.
  • Webinar 5: Reflection on the SLOA process, and our work together. Following this webinar, participants posted their final reflections on a Blackboard discussion forum.

SLO/rubric Completion Results

Eight adjunct faculty and two full-time faculty that teach overload in business participated in the project. We had hoped that two others would participate, but due to a death and a serious illness in the families of those two other adjuncts, they were unable to participate.

We developed SLOs, rubrics and assessments for 21 business classes. Not all of the SLOs were assessed in the fall semester. Not all classes were offered, and in some cases, the learning from this process will require the development of new assignments/assessments that will be implemented in future semesters.

Conclusions

The adjunct faculty were very engaged in this work, and appreciated the opportunity to get more involved. They were, to a person, dedicated and interested. It was a great opportunity for me to work with them more intensively, and for them to get to know each other. I found it interesting that adjunct faculty find this work more important and interesting than do many of our full-time faculty. It is, perhaps, because they have fewer opportunities to discuss teaching and learning with colleagues than do full-time faculty.

We conducted five webinars, which proved to be a great way to connect with very busy people. While there were some issues with webinar technology, I think all participants would agree that it worked well when meeting in person would not have been possible for this group. I think this is something we should develop as a college as a way to conduct staff development workshops, to connect with adjunct faculty, and to connect with students.

The Blackboard website was also very useful in this project. It provided a means to continue the dialogue beyond the webinars, and to share with each other the work we were doing. I was also able to provide many additional resources on SLOA, and Blackboard was a convenient way to house those resources.

In hindsight, I regret not asking the participants to develop additional SLOs for each course. Eleven of these courses are 1-unit courses, and one SLO may be appropriate. For the other 10 courses, more than one SLO was developed for three courses. As I've learned more about SLOs, it's clear that one SLO for a 3-unit course is inadequate, so we'll need to do additional work.

We need to find a way to more easily replace SLOs. In a FLEX day activity, we were required to develop SLOs for many courses that full-time faculty had never taught, and those were inputted into eLumen. Those should be deleted as the faculty experts develop SLOs. Beyond that, as we all develop SLO expertise, we need to ensure that eLumen easily accommodates the transition to "better" SLOs.

Overall, this project really accelerated our discipline's SLOAC work. It also built stronger relationships among our adjunct faculty. Our challenge now is to build on our momentum and to continue to nurture those relationships.

 

Members

  • Jan Novak - FIG Leader
  • Terry Barton
  • Mary Dermody
  • Jeannie Hunting
  • Rae Ann Ianiello
  • Noureddine Lalami
  • Charlotte Lofft
  • Iryna Oreshkova
  • David Pava
  • Sandi Raeber
  • Terrance Thompson

Documents

Proposal

 
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