The below FAQ is intended to answer faculty questions about their participation in the General Education (GE) assessment process.
No, this is not a mistake. Our new GE assessment model gathers information from students later in their studies. Our goal is to collect data about students’ entire education, rather than getting a snapshot from one class. Students tend to take GE courses during their first two years, so we now select students in capstone seminars because these courses happen near the end of a student’s education.
As a capstone instructor, you are responsible for encouraging students to complete GE assessment, distributing the assessment, and submitting the completed assessments to a Sharepoint folder. Classroom instruction is a student’s primary point of interaction with the university. This means you can shape student understanding about the importance of assessment more than anyone else. Your encouragement of student participation ensures that our assessment process will be successful.
Please set aside time in your class for students to complete the assessment. We have found that completing assessment during class is the most effective way to get students to participate.
The assessment should take students no longer than 30-45 minutes to complete.
You do not have to evaluate the assessments. A committee of faculty who teach in the GE category being assessed will evaluate the assessments and share the results with the campus. Your role is to encourage students to complete the assessment.
You will be provided with a link to a Sharepoint folder for the category being assessed. There will be a subfolder for your class that is clearly marked with the course number and your name. Please upload student assessments to this folder.
No, assessment responses will not count toward students’ grades. Assessment is entirely separate from grades assigned by you, the instructor.
The GE Board wants students to complete assessment by February 25.
No, each assessment is unique to reflect the knowledge and skills area being assessed.
We have switched to a new assessment model that has students in capstone courses write short essays (with the exception of Math) so that we can get information directly from students and so that we can see how their entire education, rather than just one course, has contributed to the GE student learning outcomes. General education is meant to support all disciplines at New Paltz by grounding students’ intellectual development in the essential skills and subject matters that are shared between all the liberal arts and sciences and encouraging them to make connections between the different classes they take throughout their education. We hope that our revisions to the assessment process will improve our ability to evaluate how well our university serves these goals and encourage innovations in teaching.
The new procedure is more interdisciplinary and collaborative because it requires groups of faculty who teach GE in different disciplines to discuss the development and evaluation of assessing SLOs. Moreover, we have shifted the labor of assessment to paid volunteers instead of adjuncts, lecturers, and junior faculty, who teach the majority of GE classes. Additionally, students participate directly in assessment now, which means it can also serve as an occasion for them to reflect on their education.
The GE Assessment Plan was approved by the faculty senate at the 4/19/2019 meeting and implemented for the first time last year.
Yes. We will send you a survey when assessment is complete so that you can share your observations, concerns, and suggestions. If you teach in one the GE categories being assessed this year, we will also send you a survey asking you about your class. Associate Provost Laurel Garrick Duhaney will gather all of this information into a report that will be distributed in the Fall. Additionally, the GE Board holds a forum every semester to encourage feedback and conversation.