1Minutes of the Seventh AMCOA Meeting, January 19, 2012Prepared by Kerry McNallyHost Campus: MassBay Community College, Wellesley Hills CampusI. AttendanceThe seventh AMCOA meeting was hosted by MassBay Community College(MBCC), Wellesley Hills from 10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on January 19, 2012.Representatives from 23 institutions attended the meeting (See list inAppendix A), and Peggy Maki, Consultant under the Davis EducationalFoundation Grant awarded to the Department of Higher Education, openedand chaired the meeting.Peggy thanked MBCC for hosting the meeting.II. Welcome, Dr. John O’Donnell, President, MassBay Community CollegePresident O’Donnell welcomed the AMCOA Team to his campus and said thatit was fitting to have an assessment meeting on the same day that MBCC isholding a Strategic Planning Day for the campus. MBCC and AMCOA are bothdeveloping a culture of assessment.Massachusetts has the right policy statement with The Vision Project,encompassing student learning, but preparing them for careers needed byemployers. The message is that we will educate the best workforce in thenation. The Vision Project goal is: “We will produce the best-educatedcitizenry and workforce in the nation. We will be a national leader in researchthat drives economic development.”How do we bring this policy statement down to professors and students? Thisis the important work that AMCOA is doing. Dr. O’Donnell said that he
2recently went to the Pinning Ceremony at MassBay’s School of Nursing, wherehe heard three nurses say that they are practicing nursing based on viewingevidence. Empiricists look at data, literature, and draw conclusions. Studentassessment follows a similar path.Thank you for the time and work you are giving to this important project andwelcome to MassBay Community College.III. February Conference Update: Elise Martin, Conference Co-chairMore than 100 people as of January 19th had registered for the UMassLowell AMCOA conference on February 9th.There are 21 presentations.There are a number of institutions presenting: Bunker Hill CommunityCollege, Holyoke Community College, Massachusetts College of Art andDesign, Massachusetts Maritime Academy, MassBay CommunityCollege, Middlesex Community College, Northern Essex CommunityCollege, Quinsigamond Community College, University ofMassachusetts Boston, and University of Massachusetts Lowell.There are six session rooms that seat 30 people each, and there is oneroom that seats 15 people.Elise is holding off assigning rooms until about a week before theconference, when the number of people registered for each sessionwill become more apparent.There are seven concurrent full presentations, while there are twoPoster Sessions in the morning and two in the afternoon.IV. Update and Questions: Commissioner Richard Freeland, MassachusettsDepartment of Higher EducationThe Commissioner said that the important goal of higher education inMassachusetts right now is improving teaching and learning. He thanked thegroup for coming together on this issue, and specifically thanked Mo, Bonnieand Neal’s leadership and Peggy Maki’s guidance.
3Where are we now? How will we move forward? There are two phases tothe AMCOA Project:1) How can the system of public higher education support campuses toimprove education?2) The WGSLOA goal – Can we build on strong campuses to developassessment programs at a system level?Regarding the Phase 2 report on WGSLOA, the Board approved as a workingidea the State’s seeking status from the American Association of College andUniversities (AAC&U) to become a LEAP State and develop a system-wideprogram to improve the system’s education. Pat Crosson worked on ourapplication with the Presidents, Provosts and campuses. A draft proposal wassent to Presidents and Provosts asking them to let the Commissioner know ifour institutions should pursue LEAP status as a system. The question was:Will your campus participate? The overall response was positive. Noresponses were negative to the idea of seeking LEAP status. Some campusessaid that it is not appropriate for their type of work, but they had a positiveresponse to it.We will submit the proposal to the Board and then to LEAP. AAC&U is welldisposed to the work being done in Massachusetts. It sees Massachusetts asbeing well ahead of the curve. AAC&U doesn’t like standardized testsbecause they over quantify and simplify assessment. The question is: Howcan you report results of embedded assessment? AAC&U is interested in thisquestion. Pat Crosson and I will go to Washington, DC, to talk about our Stateassessment plans. I am confident that AAC&U will give Massachusetts apositive response.I am open to ideas on how to flesh out the LEAP role that Massachusetts willplay. The Presidents have said: “This is good, but it’s a lot of work.” We haveto figure out how to do it without getting in the way of campus teaching andlearning. Maybe an organizational body of the campuses that said they wantto be part of LEAP will be created. We need to organize all of this.
4In addition to that, we must coordinate with other states we have reachedout to. There are about seven or eight states that have the same questionsand concerns that Massachusetts has. After becoming a LEAP state, we willmove to a new level of work with a new level of complexity with other statepartners.AMCOA is doing its work. I am thrilled at the level of quality of thepresentations and the sharing. I am also pleased with Peggy Maki’s work.The AMCOA project’s goal is to foster true system-wide learning onassessment. We are doing it with conferences, meetings and Peggy’sconsulting.Now, how does this relate to Phase II of the AMCOA Project? We are at aninflection point. How do we keep going with this work? Do we have moremeetings and conferences, or is there another way to continue this work?Where do we go with the AMCOA group?The second big issue is: We have a genuine learning group in the AMCOATeam. In a way, we are preaching to the choir. Most of the AMCOA Team isstrongly invested in assessment. AMCOA’s goal now should be in influencingchange deeper into the faculty work system-wide. How do we do that? Howdoes AMCOA do it? For example, the Assessment Retreat at MassBayCommunity College on January 10th invited people from the publicMassachusetts campuses and from private institutions. How do we bestmove forward based on models such as MassBay’s? I would like the AMCOATeam to talk about this. It would help me to hear positive and constructivesuggestions as we plan next year’s work.There is a continuing role for the AMCOA group in Phase II, but it should beinteractive with the new LEAP organization. We are creating the proposal tothe Davis Foundation now for Phase II funding. Pat Crosson feels that AMCOAshould continue the work it is doing, supporting campus assessment andacting as a great sounding board for the new LEAP group.
5The Commissioner then asked the Team: Where do you see the AMCOAgroup moving forward?Chris Cratsley, Fitchburg State University: He envisions continuing to offerconferences and meetings because they are an opportunity to learn whatother campuses are doing. That has to continue, maybe in the form of anannual system-wide conference to share best practices. AMCOA is a source ofdetails about what others are doing on their campuses, including a forum toshare forms of resistances. The details are important. Maybe there could bepublished case studies or a website with courses and descriptions showinghow assessment works.Maureen Sowa, Bristol Community College: Mo suggested an assessmentdatabase and case studies with best and worst practices at the core level andin the courses. We should have a site with space for the 28 campuses to poston these assessment issues. It would be a way to consolidate and centralizethe ideas.Ellen Wentland, Northern Essex Community College: I would like a way tolink what the campuses are doing on assessment to my campus.David Leavitt, Bunker Hill Community College: AMCOA has done good workon assessment. The conferences are heavy on presenters though. It is hardto get faculty to take the time to go to conferences. Maybe AMCOA couldtravel to the campuses to reach faculty and particularly the adjuncts. AMCOAcould create a Professional Development Day around assessment for thefaculty, so they would not have to travel for hours across the state.Maureen Sowa, Bristol Community College: Maybe we could have betterscheduling of meetings. Faculty members in the community colleges areteaching five courses and have a very hard time scheduling meetings orconferences.Richard Freeland, DHE: How do you integrate assessment work into facultyworkloads?
6John Savage, Middlesex Community College: I see AMCOA as a resource toadvise other campuses on assessment.Roger Johnston, Massasoit Community College: There are 75-85% adjunctsteaching at the community colleges. The best assessment is done with thefull-timers. How do you bring the adjuncts into the process?Maureen Sowa, Bristol Community College: I am concerned abouttemplates. A one-size-fits-all template is not necessarily true. There aregateway courses, tool kits that include assessment methodologies. A one-size-fits-all template might cause resistance.Neal Bruss, UMass Boston: Spoken to Richard Freeland – Are you gettingwhat you need from us to write the Phase II Davis Grant? Our meetings andagendas have to be carefully planned and in sequence, so we know where weare going. Neal attended a UMass Dartmouth video conference, which hefound useful. He suggested that maybe it is time to use technologies such asvideo conferencing to spread the assessment message.Felix Wao, Bridgewater State University: I am pro-template. They reflectwhat the minimum requirement is. If they are measurable, show the possiblemeasures, outcomes, and close the loop, they can probably work. Whentemplates define general minimum standards, they are good.Elise Martin, Middlesex Community College: Elise said that SOTL (Scholarshipof Teaching, Assessment and Learning) and assessment are moving in parallelways. She recommended SOTL to the AMCOA Team as a possible worthwhileresource.Richard Freeland, DHE: So we could incorporate techniques; groups going toother campuses; and campuses helping each other.Maureen Sowa, Bristol Community College: Would it be possible to have anAMCOA site on the Department of Higher Education website? Yammer is
7dense and its feed style buries information as soon as new feeds are added. Ifthere were an AMCOA website focusing on assessment and learning, it wouldbe an easier way to find resources.John Savage, Middlesex Community College: To engage the faculty atMiddlesex CC the college had union reps help them so that this work becamecontractual.Richard Freeland, DHE: We will have an AMCOA and a LEAP structure.AMCOA has a realm of activity independent of LEAP, but there should besome overlap between the two. Some of the LEAP members should comefrom AMCOA.Maureen Sowa, Bristol Community College: AMCOA campus strategies flowup into a LEAP model.Richard Freeland, DHE: I want the best possible program on each campus.Then, we can build a system-level on top of that.David Leavitt, Bunker Hill Community College: AMCOA and LEAP need tocommunicate. That would involve more work.Richard Freeland again thanked the Team for all its work and said that he willcontinue to support AMCOA. He emphasized that he welcomed the inputfrom the Team and was always willing to hear it.Pat Crosson, Senior Advisor for Academic Policy, DHE: On the LuminaProject: There is some money, not a lot, for the DHE and two campuses thatwould be part of a dyad. We are entering this program late, so as not toconflict with AMCOA and the agenda of WGSLOA. Assessment is an importantissue for AAC&U’s April meeting. Every state and its team are represented. Itis important that we be there. It is a chance to have a voice in theparameters. I am pleased to learn that we have more flexibility in how weparticipate in the Lumina project. We choose one community college and onefour-year institution that are willing to be part of this process. I have heard
8from two schools already based on what has been written in the press. I openup this opportunity to the group and to all of the campuses. Each campus willreceive $40,000 each over the duration of the project.Pat Crosson’s memo to the AMCOA Team is attached as Appendix B.V. Presentation and Questions about PARCC: Francesca Purcell, AssociateCommissioner for Academic and P-16 Policy, Massachusetts Department ofHigher EducationFrancesca Purcell filled in for Aundrea Kelley, Deputy Commissioner for P-16Policy and Collaborative Initiatives, who is recuperating from kneereplacement surgery. A copy of the PARCC presentation and handouts areattached as Appendix C.Francesca opened by thanking the group for the opportunity to meet withthem. She said that the PARCC initiative intersects closely with the work ofthe Vision Project in the area of college participation and ultimately in thereadiness of our students to succeed as measured by the approaches tolearning assessment that the AMCOA Team is working on.1. The PARCC initiative provides a rare opportunity for states – individuallyand collectively – to reach a common definition of what it means to be collegeready and to come to agreement on an approach to assess college readiness.The presentation touched on why these goals are important and describeshow all of us can play a role in helping Massachusetts define college readinessand establish college-ready performance levels.2. Looking at national data, Massachusetts is doing fairly well in terms ofcollege participation and readiness. For the fourth year in a rowMassachusetts students have won or tied for first place in fourth and eighthgrade reading or math. And, Massachusetts is third nationally and second inthe northeast in college participation rates.3. However, we are finding that once students enroll in our colleges, morethan 30% are enrolling in remedial coursework, primarily at the communitycolleges where more than 60% of new students need at least one remedial
9course. This is a troubling statistic because remedial courses cost time andmoney, but don’t yield college credit. Further, only 25% of students whoenroll in remedial courses ever complete their degree.4. National discussions about what it means to be college ready link thedefinition of readiness to absence of the need for remediation. ACHIEVE, anational organization which has brought K-12 and higher education togetherto focus on college and career readiness, has articulated this commonlyshared definition: “Being ready for college and careers means that a highschool graduate has the core, foundational knowledge and skills―defined asthe mastery of English and mathematics, along with the critical thinking,communications, problem-solving and teamwork skills learned in thosecourses―necessary to qualify for and succeed in entry-level, credit-bearingcoursework―be it at a university, community college, technical/vocationalprogram, apprenticeship or on the job―without the need forremediation/remedial courses.”5. Massachusetts is one of many states without an official definition ofreadiness. So, how do we signal what it means to be ready for college? K-12has defined the MassCore Course of study. Higher education has outlinedadmissions requirements which differ somewhat from MassCore. Postenrollment, however, colleges administer placement exams. Students whoplace into remediation are usually surprised and disappointed to find thatalthough they may have been admitted to college, they are not deemed readyfor college-level coursework. Quite simply, the current signals aboutreadiness are confusing to students and to the adults who work to preparethem for college.6. To address the need for clear signals to students, the National GovernorsAssociation spearheaded the effort to develop a set of rigorous preparatorystandards. The Common Core State Standards have been accepted by 46states and the District of Columbia. The CCSS align closely withMassachusetts’s curriculum frameworks and are scheduled for fullimplementation in the Commonwealth’s public schools by 2013. Adistinguishing feature about the CCSS is that they are more focused, i.e.,fewer and deeper, than the standards that were typical in most states.7. From a national perspective, the common core state standards in English,mathematics, and eventually science are rooted in college and career
10readiness. Mastery of the core foundational knowledge and skills in thesestandards – along with the critical thinking, communications, problem-solvingand teamwork skill learned in these courses – would signal that a studentcould succeed in postsecondary education and training without the need forremediation.i. In Mathematics, the CCSS focus is on key topics at each grade level;there is a coherent progression across grade levels; and it addresseslong-heard criticism of mile-wide, inch-deep math curricula. Thereis an emphasis on procedural fluency and understanding ofconcepts and skills. Content standards require both conceptualunderstanding and procedural fluency.ii. For mathematical proficiencies students should:a. Develop, e.g., abstract reasoning, modeling, precision,perseverance, strategic use of tools, and making arguments.b. Be able to use mathematics to understand a problem, evenin new or unfamiliar contexts.iii. The CCSS standards are organized around conceptual categoriesthat promote various approaches to high school curriculum.Standards are organized into conceptual categories and models oftraditional, integrated, and advanced courses.iv. ELA/Literacya. Reading involves a balance of literature and informationaltexts with a focus on text complexity and student readingcomprehension.b. Writing emphasizes argument and informative/explanatorywriting. Writing about sources (evidence) answers questionsthat require students to have read the text.c. Speaking and Listening includes formal and informal talk.d. Literacy standards for history, science and technical subjectspromote the idea that teaching literacy skills is not just the
11job of the English teacher. It complements rather thanreplaces those subjects.v. Both Content Areas are anchored in college and career readiness.They explicitly define the knowledge and skills that students mustmaster to be college and career ready by the end of high school,and the knowledge and skills in each grade that build towards thatgoal.8. CCSS standards are critical, but only a first step. The development of thesenew standards will require the development of new assessment tools.9. Enter PARCC.10.Rather than having every state go it alone in the development of new“next generation” assessments based on the CCSS, the USDOE set aside RTTTfunds to encourage multi-state consortia to work collaboratively. The newassessments are intended to address five key goals.11.Goal 1 is high quality.i. The PARCC assessment system will:a. Better reflect the sophisticated knowledge and skills found inthe English and math Common Core State Standards.b. Include a mix of item types, e.g., short answer, richermultiple choice, longer open response, and performance-basedc. Make significant use of technologyd. Include testing at key points throughout the year to giveteachers, parents and students better information aboutwhether students are on track or need additional support inparticular areas.12.Goal 2 is to signal clearly whether a student is on track to be college ready.The PARCC assessment system will be aligned to the college- and career-ready, Common Core State Standards, and is being designed to challengestudents, help identify when they’re not meeting the standards, and
12provide targeted instruction, supports and interventions to help themsucceed.Students who score proficient on the assessments will know they are ontrack for the next steps in their education creating a more meaningfultarget.In high school, results will send an early signal about whether students areready for entry-level, non-remedial courses at higher educationinstitutions in all 24 PARCC statesStudents who are identified as not being on track, or who do not meet thecollege readiness score, will receive targeted supports and interventionsHigher education partners in PARCC – nearly 200 institutions and systemscovering over 850 campuses across the country – have committed to helpdevelop the high school assessments and set the college-ready cut scorethat will be used to place incoming freshmen in credit-bearing collegecourses.13.Goal 3 is to be supportive educators.The PARCC assessments will be built with the K-12 educator in mind around fourdifferent areas.A. Instructional Tools to Support Implementationi. Model content frameworksii. Sample assessment tasksiii. Model instructional unitsB. Professional Development Modulesi. Common Assessment 101-103: PD focused on the implementationof the new assessmentsii. Common Assessment 201-204: PD focused on how to interpret anduse the assessment results
13C. Timely Student Achievement Datai. Aligned performance-based assessments given throughout the yearii. Data reports will be available, designed with teacher use in mindD. Educator-Led Training to Support “Peer-to-Peer” Trainingi. Training for cadres of K-12 educators around the instructional tools,ANDii. Around training their peers to use the instructional tools14.Goal 4 is to be next-generation technology based.15.Goal 5 is to support accountability (at the discretion of the state).16.The PARCC assessment has the potential to send a clear signals on what it meansto be “college ready”; put students on a faster track to completion, with lessneed for remediation; and create a better assessment tool for 21stcenturylearning. In Massachusetts it will also help eliminate the disconnect betweenMCAS and Accuplacer.17.The PARCC grant has set an aggressive timeline. Ultimately, in order to setcollege ready performance levels for PARCC, we need to come to agreement onwhat college readiness is.18.The recent October Conference launched a discussion on an approach to fosterthe conversations that are needed to achieve a college readiness definition inMassachusetts. This approach would start with discussions among highereducation and K-12 faculty and administrators in every campus. Please look atthe organizing structure and timeline handouts.To conclude, we have had high standards and strong assessments before, but we stillhave gaps. We know that many students coming out of high school are not ready forcollege-level work.What’s been missing? It could be that we haven’t as a state had a systematic approachto faculty interaction across sectors: faculty from K-12 and higher education, comingtogether to examine syllabi, share examples of student work, and developing bridgemodules. We recognize that faculty have the most important seat at the table in
14determining what college readiness means and how college readiness will be assessedin the coming years and seek your input and support.VI. AMCOA Members’ Responses to Assessment Survey Prepared by AMCOA Co-ChairsBonnie Orcutt summarized some of the responses to the Assessment Survey. Somerespondents spoke of the networking advantages of the AMCOA Project. Somesuggested that there should be a central place for the meetings. There is not a clearanswer whether the Team could hold meetings at one school in the central region on amonthly basis. People were curious about what workshops would be given at theFebruary Meeting. Overall, people felt that the AMCOA Project was beneficial. Some ofthe responses must be tempered because there was a very small response from thegroup, only 13. Charlotte Mandell pointed out that it was not possible to nuance ananswer to some of the questions, give it a “yes” or a “no,” so it made it difficult toanswer. Some people feel that AMCOA should have a webpage with assessmentresources, complete with links, case studies, presentations, faculty bringing works inprogress, student development, and mentors (a list of people who could advise facultyor administrators on assessment).A small group exercise followed with members breaking up into groups to discuss therole of AMCOA going forward after the Phase I of the Davis Grant is completed.Appendix D has a copy of Peggy Maki’s “Small Group Discussion and Reports” andAppendix E has Bonnie Orcutt’s summary of the small groups’ discussion.
15Appendix A: Institutions Represented at the AMCOA January 19thMeeting:Berkshire Community CollegeBridgewater State UniversityBristol Community CollegeBunker Hill Community CollegeFitchburg State UniversityFramingham State UniversityHolyoke Community CollegeMassachusetts College of Art and DesignMassachusetts Maritime AcademyMassasoit Community CollegeMassBay Community CollegeMiddlesex Community CollegeMount Wachusett Community CollegeNorth Shore Community CollegeNorthern Essex Community CollegeQuinsigamond Community CollegeRoxbury Community CollegeSalem State UniversityUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstUniversity of Massachusetts BostonUniversity of Massachusetts LowellWestfield State UniversityWorcester State University
16Appendix B: Pat Crosson’s Memo to the AMCOA Team on the Description of theAAC&U Quality Collaboratives ProjectFor: AMCOA TeamFrom: Pat CrossonSubject: Description of AAC&U Quality Collaboratives ProjectDate: January 15, 2012Massachusetts will participate with the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) andseven other states in a Lumina Foundation supported project to test the Degree Qualifications Profile(DQP) in the context of student transfer from two year to four year institutions. AAC&U proposed andwill coordinate the $2.2 million three year project under the LEAP initiative, bringing together statesystem and campus representatives as well as national experts on transfer and assessment policy. ForCarol Geary Schneider, President of AAC&U, the project provides an opportunity to ensure that allstudents seeking to transfer from a two-year to four-year institution achieve the important outcomes ofa “liberating college education,” and also for building on their work on quality student learning, learningoutcomes assessment, curricular change and transfer. California, Indiana, Kentucky, Oregon, Utah,Wisconsin and Virginia are the other states participating in the project.For the Lumina Foundation the project is part of its beta testing of the value of a shared DegreeQualifications Profile and intended to contribute to its goal of increasing the proportion of Americanswith high quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. The DQP proposes specificlearning outcomes that benchmark the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, illustrating howstudents should be expected to perform at progressively more challenging levels. It could be a usefultool for campuses to use as part of transfer policy and practice.In the November DHE Newsletter, Commissioner Freeland announced the Quality Collaboratives Project,noting that it will “complement our assessment work with LEAP Essential Learning Outcomes and VALUERubrics and the work of the Advancing a Massachusetts Culture of Assessment (AMCOA) project. It willalso be helpful to continuing efforts to improve our transfer policies and practices.” He emphasized thatMassachusetts participation in the project will not change our focus on discussions about the use of theLEAP frameworks as a shared basis for assessing student learning and will not begin until the secondyear of the project (estimated January 2013) to ensure that there is ample time for ongoing internaldiscussions related to the assessment of student learning, LEAP and the Vision Project.Pat Crosson will serve as the DHE liaison for the project and Francesca Purcell and Jonathan Keller willalso be involved, contributing their expertise in areas of transfer and assessment. The actual testing ofthe DQP in relation to transfer will be undertaken by a “quality collaborative”—a dyad in which acommunity college and a four year institution work together. Within the parameters of dyads, transfer,the DQP, and the need for complementary approaches among participating states, there is flexibility forcampuses and state systems to develop a project that is helpful to their own work. For eachparticipating campus, the project provides a total of $40,000, not a great deal of money but enough tobe helpful to campuses that see benefit in this work for their own programs of transfer and learningoutcomes assessment.Although work in Massachusetts will not start before next year, selecting the Massachusetts dyad nowwill enable us to have an important voice in the overall project design and will give campuses an
17opportunity to begin planning together. AAC&U has already begun work with participating states andnational experts and is organizing an April 2012 meeting for all project participants. Since the meetingwill result in plans that will enable or constrain what we will want to do in Massachusetts, it will beimportant that campus personnel working on the dyad as well as DHE representatives attend the Aprilmeeting. It is time to select the Quality Collaborative dyad for Massachusetts.Given the time constraints, the small scale, and probable limited interest in this project, theCommissioner will use a low-key process to select the Massachusetts dyad. He will ask any campuspresidents with an interest in the project to be in touch with Pat Crosson. The Commissioner will alsoencourage any member of the AMCOA Team with an interest to discuss it with their provost and/orpresident. Pat Crosson will ask for a brief description about each dyad, an anticipated approach anddesign for the project and a statement about the significance for the campus and the QualityCollaboratives project as whole. She will review the material and make a recommendation to theCommissioner. If many campuses respond and the choice will be difficult, the Commissioner will ask thePresident’s Advisory Group working with him on matters related to LEAP, assessment and AMCOA tobecome involved in the selection of the Massachusetts dyad.Two campuses, each of which would form a dyad with another campus, have expressed interest in thisproject on the basis of the DHE Newsletter announcement. The level of interest among other campusesis not known. But many campuses have long histories of working together to implement transferpolicies and resolve transfer problems and might see testing the DQP as informative for their efforts.Additionally many of the current AMCOA experiments involve campus collaborations and focus both onassessment of learning and transfer issues. Follow-on projects might prove valuable to the campusesconcerned and both AMCOA experiment results and Quality Collaborative test results might contributeto the AAC&U project as a whole.If you would like more information on this project, or to express interest in it, feel free to contact PatCrosson (email@example.com) or 508-693-4148.
18Appendix C: PARCC PowerPoint Presentation (Please double-click the imagebelow to start the presentation. Single click each slide in thepresentation to move to the next slide.)PARCC – Partnership for the Assessmentof Readiness for College and CareerFrancesa Purcell, Associate Commissioner, Academic and P-16 PolicyMassachusetts Department of Higher EducationAMCOA Meeting| January 19, 2012
21Appendix D: Peggy Maki’s “Small Group Discussion and Reports”Small Group Discussion and ReportsAs we move into the last four months of our work under the current Davis Grant that supported thecreation of an AMCOA group and the identified work of the grant—campus visits, monthly meetings,statewide conferences, and assessment experiments—it is now time to consider how our efforts shouldevolve under a possible second Davis grant.To make recommendations for that next grant, we would like you to respond to two questions focused onhow we advance the work of AMCOA beyond the model we have followed this year. Please appoint arecorder for your group who will list the significant points that emerge from your group discussion andthen hand those results in before you leave today.1. Advancing a Statewide Culture of AssessmentTo advance a statewide culture of assessment, the goal of AMCOA, what recommendations would youoffer that you believe would effectively advance that goal across our public institutions? For example,developing and offering professional development workshops focused on assessment, establishingFaculty Learning Communities across the State, continuing to offer statewide or regionally-basedconferences, developing means to disseminate information about AMCOA and assessment initiatives?2. Reflecting on Your Role as an AMCOA Member
22a. How do you currently view your role as an AMCOA member on your campus or on othercampuses?b. How do you think your role as AMCOA member should change as we move forward?c. Should there be more specific criteria or other criteria established for appointment ofAMCOA members based on your response to “b.”?
23Appendix E: Bonnie Orcutt’s Summary of the Small Group DiscussionSUMMARY OF SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION January 19, 2012Question 1:To advance a statewide culture of assessment, the goal of AMCOA, what recommendations wouldyou offer that you believe would effectively advance that goal across public institutions:MEETINGS AND CONFERENCES:1. Fewer AMCOA meetings as move forward but continue to meet face to face but less frequently(limit the number of face to face meetings) with greater use of Skype conference meetings orvideo conferencing.2. Fewer meetings per semester will allow faculty to plan and build their course schedules toaccommodate these meetings. It is important that the meeting schedule be in place early enoughfor faculty to build their syllabus and schedule so as to accommodate the meetings. In addition,when selecting/soliciting faculty participants, the meeting schedule can be publicized. Addresscampus specific issues particularly with respect to scheduling3. Annual State-Wide Conference; fewer conferencesTECHNOLOGY USE TO SHARE ASSESSMENT INFORMATION, ACTIVITIES ANDINITIATIVES INCLUDING BEST/WORST PRACTICES:4. Seek support for an IT designer; use more technology: website and listservsInstitutional websites to share assessment ideas rather than a DHE website or a DHE site thatwould serve that function;Digital repository for both assessment data and analysis of results and examples of best/worstpractices;Perhaps a discussion board where there best/worst practices might be shared with immediaterespondersLocal websites do not work wellWebsite to post cases studies; how to assess campus and course level outcomes; share what hasand has not workedProvide links to well-established campus websitesPost video-taped presentations and sessionsCreation of a Frequently Asked Questions listserv that might address how we can integrategeneral education learning outcomes (LEAP outcomes) into the MassTransfer BlockPART TIME FACULTY:5. Identify models for integrating part time faculty into campus assessment efforts; engage part timefaculty in projects of meaning; that lead to meaningful change with respect to the curriculum andclassroom instruction practicesFACULTY AND INSTITUTION WORKLOADS:6. Explore how to integrate assessment efforts into overall faculty workloads; need to explicitlyrecognize the burden imposed on faculty particularly for institutions without an assessment
24office; do not want assessment initiatives to be barriers to accomplishing and continuing othercampus based initiatives and activities; need to recognize there will not be an influx of resourcesto support assessment results.PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT: AT AMCOA MEETINGS AND ON INDIVIDUALCAMPUSES:7. Workshops and Professional Development Opportunities:a. Workshops for faculty who are interested in assessment related topics but are not necessarilyexperts in this area;b. Professional development around assessment strategies; Professional development from listof options is most importantc. Targeted workshops aimed at specific campus constituencies: curriculum committees,specific academic departments, otherd. Faculty development days on assessment with outside experts, colleagues for colleges doingassessment well, AMCOA reps and staff; promote cross institutional efforts with focus onbest efforts; Full day professional development around assessment worke. Explore ways to explicitly link the SOTL with Assessmentf. Use of Faculty Learning Communities to bring the activity/discussion to individual campusesFaculty learning communities perhaps driven by discipline and or interest (topic based);Organize working groups by discipline or by topic;Integrate professional development with respect to student learning outcome assessmentwithin the discipline; disciplinary based conferences and/or general education important tolook for ways to integrate strategies for assessment of general education with assessment ofspecific programs“How to” processes; how to assess specific areasDepartment based groups getting together – example of the nursing presentations at theconferencesg. Identify models for developing college-specific outcomes and what to do with assessmentresultsh. Develop signature assignments (Salt Lake CC) that capture the full range of student abilitiesand, necessarily, how to scaffold learning to enable student successSHARING INFORMATION AND ENGAGING FACULTY, ADMINISTRATORS, ANDSTUDENT AFFAIRS PROFESSIONAL STAFF:8. Explore ways to provide more support for building assessment and generating faculty buy-in9. Faculty and others need multiple exposures; so keep talking10. Discussion and support for what is a case study and how to use consultant group work with aconsultantConsulting working groups drawn from membership; development of a resource foundation11. Possibly list the names of faculty and administrators in AMCOA that are available to speak onspecific topics on other campuses12. External report on comparative highlights from Peggy’s and the President’s reports: showingresources from campuses that are exemplars;OTHER:13. Impact policy issues and contract language
25Question 2:A. How do you view your current role as an AMCOA member on your campus or othercampuses?1. Conduits for information to and from the AMCOA group for faculty and administrators oncampus. Serve as the eyes and ears for our campuses; bring information back to administratorsand faculty, particularly those involved in assessment. Acquiring a broader perspective to bringback to campus committees; link between the our campus and statewide initiatives; sharinginformation from the state with our campus2. By presenting, we are a resource to other campuses.3. Responsible for engaging more people – but in many cases, able to generate interest but notengagement – future role should focus on engaging; how to engage faculty in projects that lead tocurriculum and pedagogical changes: changes to enhance student learning4. Learn from what others are doingB. How do you think your role as an AMCOA member should change as we move forward?NOTION OF TRAVELING ROAD SHOW:1. We think the role as resources to other campuses should expand through the travelling road showand digital repository initiatives. Promoting professional development on campuses through atravelling road show. It is important to bring assessment initiatives, strategies, support tocampuses; this may help to address adjunct issue; importance of people on campuses hearingrepeatedly the message2. We would like to increasingly be a resource for shaping the direction of the LEAP State initiativeif our campuses are amenable.3. AMCOA might serve as a support or resource group for institutions4. Institutions should consider providing faculty release and the group should consider schedulingthe meetings carefully to accommodate faculty.SHARING IDEAS; IDENTIFY WAYS TO POOL IDEAS5. Create ways to facilitate more dialogue between faculty from different institutions and ways ofpooling ideas; facilitate the exchange of ideas and practices across institutions; share institution-specific efforts6. Encouraging people to “buy in to a culture of assessment7. Made sure this group is viewed as a “bottom up” group; a non-clique group8. Establish professional development networks9. Future role should focus on engaging; how to engage faculty in projects that lead to curriculumand pedagogical changes: changes to enhance student learningOTHER:10. Group discussion:AMCOA group might serve as a vetting group; provide feedback for Phase II work and initiativesAMCOA group should continue the work it has been doing with respect to supporting campusand system-wide assessment
26C. Should there be more specific criteria or other criteria established for appointment ofAMCOA members based on your response to “b”?1. We do not need to set criteria, but the roles of AMCOA members should be clearlycommunicated to the campuses so that the best representatives can be selected, and in particular,so faculty involvement can be encouraged.