BEVI and AAC&U Global Learning VALUE Rubric

NAFSA presented a webinar on the Assessment of Global Learning this week that was attended by some members of the Liberal Education committee. Two assessment items were presented: the Beliefs, Events, and Values Inventory (BEVI) and the AAC&U Global Learning VALUE rubric.

The BEVI exists as an analytic tool for assessing global learning. As a pre-/post- tool, the BEVI is excellent at evaluating “who the person is” and then “how the person changes” as a result of the educational experience.

The Global Learning VALUE rubric was presented in the context of Dominican University of California’s context for how they chose to assess global learning.

This rubric can help shape a discussion of learner outcomes in this area for FHSU.

In the related area of intercultural knowledge and competence, we learned about the resources offered by the Intercultural Communication Institute .


Liberal Education and Employment

When we think of liberal education skills, we often consider their value in encouraging the development of our students into broadly knowledgeable, well-rounded, thinkers who contribute to their communities and world, and rightly so.  However, it is also important to consider the value of liberal arts competencies through the framework of employment, as preparing students for this is also one of our tasks.  Attached is a report commissioned by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, indicating the importance that employers place on liberal arts proficiencies, alongside specialized skills learned in particular majors, in the employees they hire and hope to retain.  No matter the particular fields, employers want critical thinkers, who express themselves well in both written and verbal form, and are able to collaborate in groups, etc.  The report attached indicates important liberal arts skills that employers seek, as well as some of the discrepancies in how prepared students thinl they are in these area vs. employers.  An interesting read!

Outcomes, Goals, and Objectives?

As the Liberal Education Committee begins developing Expected Learning Outcomes as part of the first phase of our Liberal Education Review process, we’ll be holding events to listen to your thoughts about what is needed in FHSU’s  Liberal Education Program.

But… what are learning outcomes? Are they different from learning goals? What about objectives?  How do student goals and objectives tie into larger programs, and the mission of a university?  Are all these measurable?

The University of Connecticut offers an Assessment Primer, defining these terms, and illustrates their connectivity in an Outcomes Pyramid.

UCONN Assessment Primer: Goals, Objectives and Outcomes

And don’t forget to come to our sessions to give us YOUR opinions about what our Liberal Education Program needs.

·    Tuesday, November 3rd.  Noon.  Trails Room, Memorial Union
·    Friday, November 13th.  8:30 a.m. Stouffer Lounge, Memorial Union
·    Monday, November 16.  3:00 p.m. Stouffer Lounge, Memorial Union
·    Thursday, December 3rd. Noon. Trails Room, Memorial Union

Attendance is open, but to assist us in planning please rsvp to at least one day before the beginning of the session.  When you RSVP, in addition to your name, please indicate which session you plan to attend.

AAC&U’s Integrative Liberal Learning and the CAS Standards: Advising for a 21st Century Liberal Education

Abstract: The Association of American Colleges and Universities presented and promoted integrative liberal learning as a collaborative goal that all institutions of higher education must strive to achieve. The similarities between the goals of integrative liberal learning and the Standards for Academic Advising by the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education are discussed with emphasis placed on the critical role that academic advising plays in support of an integrative liberal learning education, and in turn, future success for all students.

Great article. Click here for full access.

Global Learning and Liberal Education

Both DQP and LEAP emphasize the value of global learning in liberal education.  That fits extremely well with FHSU’s commitment to preparing students who are Forward Thinking and World Ready.  You will all recall the expression of this value in our institutional mission:

Fort Hays State University provides accessible quality education to Kansas, the nation, and the world through an innovative community of teacher-scholars and professionals to develop engaged global citizen-leaders. 

As we think about global learning in the context of our revision of the liberal education/general education program at FHSU, you might find it valuable to read the summer 2015 edition of AAC&U’s magazine, Liberal EducationThe entire issue, linked here, is dedicated to the topic of “Global Learning for All.”  Relatedly, you may want to read AAC&U’s summer 2015 edition of another of their magazines, Diversity & Democracy:  Civic Learning for Shared FuturesThat issue, also linked here, is focused on the topic, “Engaging Global Challenges.”  And in a previous issue of AAC&U’s Diversity & Democracy:  Civic Learning for Shared Futures, also linked here, you can read more about FHSU’s related work on the AASCU Global Challenges project in Shala Mills’ article, “A Collaborative Alternative to MOOCs: AASCU’s Global Challenges Project.”

You may also want to mark your calendars for AAC&U’s 2016 Global Learning in College Conference (Denver, October 6-8, 2016).  Yaprak Dalat Ward, Jill Arendsdorf, and Shala Mills attended a planning meeting in Denver yesterday (October 22, 2015) to assist AAC&U in preparing for next year’s conference.

The Federal Push for Assessable Outcomes

At our first Open Forum of Fall 2015, we received some questions about why we are beginning our process with expected student learning outcomes.  While best practices make is a good idea, the fact that the Obama Administration plans to pressure accreditors into greater focus on learning outcomes means it is absolutely essential for us to construct our new liberal education program around quality outcomes.

As proficiency-focused learning like the DQP model become more widespread in higher education use, the ability to assess based on specific skill sets and knowledge bases become possible as well.  Learning outcomes also encourage students to think beyond the individual classes they take during a given semester and expand their knowledge in multidisciplinary areas.  Finally, a focus on outcomes lets creative faculty members and departments develop new ways to meet those outcomes as they update their general education courses for the future.