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  1. 1. Minutes of the Ninth AMCOA Meeting, March 26, 2012Prepared by Kerry McNallyHost Campus: Bunker Hill Community CollegeI. AttendanceThe ninth AMCOA meeting was hosted by Bunker Hill Community College(BHCC) from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. on March 26, 2012. Representatives from22 institutions attended the meeting (See list in Appendix A), and Peggy Maki,Consultant under the Davis Educational Foundation Grant awarded to theDepartment of Higher Education, opened and chaired the meeting.Peggy thanked BHCC for hosting the meeting.II. Welcome: Vice President of Academic Affairs & Student Services James F.Canniff, Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC)Vice President James F. Canniff welcomed AMCOA Team members to BHCCand this month’s working session focused on scoring student work thatdemonstrates critical thinking. He scanned the list of participants andcommented on the broad representation of faculty coming together over themost critical of issues – assessment. He was happy that BHCC could host this- 1 -
  2. 2. session and praised the AMCOA members and faculty for taking the time toattend this meeting. Faculty and assessment personnel will help studentlearning. This is not a fad; it is not going away. AMCOA and SLOAP (StudentLearning Outcomes Assessment Project) at BHCC are programs grounded onfaculty leadership. We need to think about rubrics and methodology. Weneed more work in the disciplines, and we are progressing. We havewonderful leadership from the DHE. Peggy Maki visited all the schools in theMassachusetts Public Higher Education system, and it is great to have herleadership and expertise.Dr. Canniff said that he came to BHCC from New York, where faculty feared“the test.” He said: “We cannot let that happen here. The faculty cannot letthat happen. The faculty have to be leading this process of developingrational rubrics for student assessment and improved student learning.Welcome and thank you.”III. Initial Discussion about Dates and Times and Foci for Four AMCOA Meetings in2012-2013, Three Conferences, and Identification of Areas of Assessment You AreWilling to Address for Campus Visits or Assessment Days: Bonnie Orcutt andPeggy MakiA. Survey MonkeyPeggy Maki said that Mo Melvin Sowa created an electronic survey in SurveyMonkey to find out which dates would be best for meetings and conferencesnext year. Response was very light; there were only 14 replies, which is too- 2 -
  3. 3. small to make a consensus. The survey will be kept open. Peggy asked theTeam to please reply to it by April 20th, and then she will report the results tothe Team at the May meeting.B. Form to Identify Areas of Expertise for CampusesPeggy distributed a rough draft of recommendations, resources, and thornyissues that Bonnie Orcutt assembled based on AMCOA team members listingpotential ideas. Bonnie asked that people think of teams that might visitcampuses; alternatively, she can look at responses and suggest teams. Sincethere were no suggestions for changes from the group at the meeting, Bonniewill prepare a form to send out to AMCOA team members asking them toidentify their areas of expertise. This form should be returned to her by April20th.C. Initial Plans for Next Academic Year’s MeetingsPeggy is working with Worcester State University and Framingham StateUniversity to have them serve as centralized locations for next year’s AMCOAmeetings. In the Survey Monkey responses she has seen, Mondays andFridays are the most open days to hold meetings and conferences among thepeople who responded. She again emphasized that team members shouldrespond to the survey by April 20th.IV. Update on the Fourth Statewide Assessment Conference: Jim Gubbins- 3 -
  4. 4. Jim Gubbins announced that the electronic registration site for the April 23rdAMCOA Conference at UMass Boston is open and requested that peopleregister. He said that there would be two sets of five presentations in themorning and that the campuses that received funding for assessmentexperiments would report on a panel to the full conference in the afternoon.His understanding is that all or a large number of the community collegepresidents plan to attend. The Boston Globe may also be there to report onthe event. Pat Crosson will close the conference with a talk on “The year thatLies Ahead.” There are 200 seats available in the Ballroom at UMass Boston’sCampus Center for conference attendees and free parking for the first 100registrants. He again reminded presenters, as well as attendees, to register.V. Summaries of Two Assessment Experiments: Ellen Wentland, Associate Dean ofAcademic & Institutional Effectiveness, Northern Essex Community College, andKristina Bendikas, Associate Dean for Assessment and Planning, MassachusettsCollege of Liberal ArtsElise Martin from Middlesex Community College was on the Agenda to presentthis report, but was not able to attend. Ellen Wentland from Northern EssexCommunity College, one of the other campuses participating in theexperiment, agreed to speak about their progress.“Using Assessment to Develop Interdisciplinary Writing Standards AcrossCollege Levels: A Collaborative Model for Two- and Four- Year Institutions”- 4 -
  5. 5. The University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML along with two feedercommunity colleges, Middlesex Community College (MBCC), and NorthernEssex Community College (NECC), are collaborating on an assessmentexperiment that focuses on transfers from 2-year schools to UML, particularlyin the three majors of Criminal Justice, Ecology, and Business based on scoringof students’ written work. There might be some variation in outcomesdepending on the program, but they are comparing students from the samemajors. NECC and MBCC are looking at students with 15-29 credits at theend of the first year, and 45-59 credits at the end of the second year. UMLwill look at students with the same credit-hour levels and majors, but also thejunior year students.Using the VALUE rubrics on an existing assignment, institutions are reviewingstudents with the same credit hours. When the student work samples areused, the raters will not know which school or major is involved, althoughthey may be able to guess the major by the subject matter of the paper.The institutions are now having a norming session this week to look at therubric and adjust it. Once there is some consensus on the rubric, they canproceed to rate the work product. The goal is that no matter the major,faculty and administrators can establish norms for particular credit hours andset standards for end of first year and second year writing performance withrespect to skills achievement of University students.- 5 -
  6. 6. “Writing Assessment Experiment: Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts,Berkshire Community College”Faculty from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and BerkshireCommunity College (BCC) have been working with Dr. Kathleen Yancey, anationally known expert in college writing, to develop scoring guides forwritten communication at the sophomore/AA level and for thesenior/bachelor’s level. Both groups will review student artifacts, as well asNSSE/CCSSE data, and determine action steps for coordinating writingexpectations within their own institutions, and increasing student success inwriting for those that transfer. The experiment also includes the creation ofan intranet or internet sites at MCLA and BCC where students can go to accessand view the writing rubrics and models of student work.Kristina Bendikas was on the Agenda to speak about this experiment, but didnot arrive from Western Massachusetts until later in the meeting, so she wasnot able to present her report. However, she has given us a written updatebelow:On February 28 each of the taskforces (MCLA-BCC and MCLA) worked for ahalf-day with Dr. Kathleen Yancey on determining values that would beincorporated into a rubric for the assessment. Members reviewed samples ofstudent work and discussed the merits of criteria and formats for their scoringguides. There was more agreement in the MCLA-BCC group than in the MCLAgroup where disciplinary perspectives came into play. Each of the taskforceshave meetings scheduled to further develop their rubrics (MCLA on March 27,MCLA-BCC on April 2) while the samples are being collected.- 6 -
  7. 7. VI. Summary of February Worksheets (posted on Yammer as of March 12, 2012)Peggy Maki summarized the worksheets from the February 29thworkshop onwritten communications. These summaries were posted on Yammer onMarch 12, 2012.Some of her findings are:• Many people said that there should be a “0” column, which Peggy saidwas a good idea and could easily be incorporated.• The institutional rubrics are much more specific whereas the VALUErubric is a meta-rubric. Perhaps as we continue to use the VALUErubric, we may need to train raters with the meta-rubric supported bymore detail about the criteria encompassed within each of the VALUEcomponents.• Having consulted with AAC&U about the typical audience for studentwork that we score, Peggy reported that AAC&U said that audienceshould be “an educated person walking down the street” because weare assessing at the level of general education. Further, AAC&U statedthat disciplines are refining or adapting the writing VALUE rubric basedon a more in-depth disciplinary assessment of student work.- 7 -
  8. 8. • The results of the writing workshop indicate that people scored paperssimilarly—at the lower end of performance based on the VALUE rubricand even on the institutional rubrics used.Tom Curley, Berkshire Community College, said that his school is interested inthe 2ndlevel, but they are also looking at the 4thlevel. At the 4thlevel theylook more rigorously at ability to write, etc.VII. May 1 AMCOA Meeting at Framingham State UniversityRegarding the May 1stMeeting at Framingham State University, Peggy Makiannounced that she is inviting six to eight teams with representatives fromdifferent campuses to speak on how they are assessing QuantitativeReasoning. This will create a good grounding on how Quantitative Reasoningis being evaluated on the campuses. She asked Team members to volunteerthemselves for this panel discussion. She said that the Team can furtherdiscuss this topic in the fall. At issue is reaching agreement about what weare seeking as evidence of QR in exit-level work. Further, she stated that sheintends to invite a representative from AAC&U to meet with the AMCOA teamin Fall, 2012.At the May 1stMeeting Pat Crosson will discuss with the Team the year aheadregarding the Davis Grant.- 8 -
  9. 9. Finally, there will be some formal planning for next year at the May 1stmeeting.VIII. Introduction of Faculty Participating in Today’s Working Session and GroupLeaders; Orientation to Today’s Working Session Focused on Assessing Exit-LevelCritical Thinking: Peggy MakiPeggy reviewed AAC&U’s Critical Thinking (CT) VALUE rubric in preparation forscoring student work at the meeting. She noted that numerous teamscomposed of both four-year and two-year faculty and other educators wereinvolved over two years in reaching consensus about the criteria included inthe CT rubric. The rubric addresses the range of thinking that is involved inCT, including analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.Once AMCOA team members and invited faculty scored a student example,Natalie Oliveri, BHCC, distributed and described the scoring rubric developedat BHCC; then, team members applied that to the same sample they scoredusing the CT VALUE rubric.Peggy said that she will summarize results of scoring student work using boththe VALUE and the BHCC CT rubric and post the results on Yammer for theTeam. Going forward Peggy will be seeking input from faculty andassessment professionals on the campuses.Peggy introduced the group leaders and assigned participants to groups:Group 1: Lisa Plantefaber, Westfield State University, served as Group LeaderBill Berry, Cape Cod Community CollegeMay Callahan, Northern Essex Community College- 9 -
  10. 10. John Cunningham, University of Massachusetts Presidents’ OfficeKate McLaren, Massachusetts Maritime AcademyTom Curley, Berkshire Community CollegeGroup 2: Ellen Zimmerman, Framingham State University, served as GroupLeaderKate Finnegan, Greenfield Community CollegePeter Johnston, Massasoit Community CollegeHolly Noun, Westfield State UniversityTom Curley, Berkshire Community CollegeMartha Stassen, University of Massachusetts AmherstGroup 3: Susan Chang, Framingham State University, served as Group LeaderMark Patrick, Massachusetts Maritime AcademyCharles Prescott, Berkshire Community CollegeDawne Spangler, North Shore Community CollegeNatalie Oliveri, Bunker Hill Community CollegeDonna Kuizenga, University of Massachusetts BostonGroup 4: Bonnie Orcutt, Worcester State University, served as Group LeaderSeverin Kitanov, Salem State UniversityElizabeth Johnston O’Connor, Cape Cod Community CollegeJohn McColgan, Roxbury Community CollegeRuth Slotnick, Mount Wachusett Community CollegeJudy Raper, Greenfield Community CollegePaula Haines, University of Massachusetts LowellGroup 5: Yves Salomon-Fernandez, MassBay Community College, served asGroup LeaderKristina Bendikas, Massachusetts College of Liberal ArtsJavad Moulai, Roxbury Community CollegeSusan Taylor, Mount Wachusett Community CollegeEllen Wentland, Northern Essex Community CollegeDavid Leavitt, Bunker Hill Community CollegeMary Fowler, Worcester State UniversityGroup 6: Carol Lerch, Worcester State University, served as Group LeaderStephen Sutherland, Presenter of UMass Boston RubricTim McLaughlin, Bunker Hill Community CollegeJudy Turcotte, Holyoke Community CollegeMargaret Stephenson, Berkshire Community College- 10 -
  11. 11. Saradha Ramesh , North Shore Community CollegeJames Gubbins, Salem State University- 11 -
  12. 12. Appendix A: Institutions Represented at the AMCOA March 26thMeeting:Berkshire Community CollegeBunker Hill Community CollegeCape Cod Community CollegeFitchburg State UniversityFramingham State UniversityGreenfield Community CollegeHolyoke Community CollegeMassachusetts College of Liberal ArtsMassachusetts Maritime AcademyMassasoit Community CollegeMassBay Community CollegeMount Wachusett Community CollegeNorth Shore Community CollegeNorthern Essex Community CollegeRoxbury Community CollegeSalem State UniversityUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstUniversity of Massachusetts Boston- 12 -
  13. 13. University of Massachusetts LowellUniversity of Massachusetts President’s OfficeWestfield State UniversityWorcester State University- 13 -