One of the major tasks on my agenda as Coordinator of General Education is to figure out how to appropriately assess the Gen Ed program without adding too much to anyone’s work load. As an institution, we have made progress on this task.
For example, I was part of a Gen Ed Outcomes Task Force in 2017 and we developed the learning outcomes for the Gen Ed program. We expressed these outcomes as a set of four habits of mind that we want all PSU graduates to have progressed on. Notice I don’t say that we want our graduates to have “mastered” these habits of mind. That’s because I think these are ways of thinking about and engaging with the world that one is never finished developing. We can all always get better at each of these habits. At a University Days session earlier this month, some participants said that the original conception of the habits of mind (which can be seen here) is “wordy” and “a lot of text.” I think wordiness and a lot of text are necessary for some purposes and some audiences but recognize that sometimes people just need to know the gist of what we’re talking about. So I tried to capture the gist of the habits of mind in the following infographic. I’d like to know what you think.
I’m working on an explanation of how we expect to use the benchmarks that we created for the habits of mind in assessment and how that differs from something we might create for grading. I’ll have that ready by the end of the week and will be looking for feedback from people who know more about assessment than I do (which is a whole lot of you!).