Showing posts from December, 2015

Closing the loop on assessment

During the time between terms is when I am reminded of the keystone that keeps my assessment loop closed. Once I finish my term end assessment I go to work on my calendar and syllabus for the next term.

Not an HTML table: an SVG graphic with every element a hyperlink
My combination calendar-syllabus is actually an HTML5+SVG page built using only text editors. This allows me to tuck comments directly into the code. As the term progresses I make notes in the comments of the actual web page.

SVG code with comments underneath the pseudo-table seen above
What I did when, and why, are in those comments. I also slip in links to blog articles with more details on what I attempted and whether it worked. Thus assessment is fresh in mind when I work on the syllabus, and all the notes from prior terms are there before me in my code as I work on designing the next run of the course. Coupled with a statistics text that I also control and the course evolves and improves term after term based on assess…

A New Twist on End-of-Semester Evaluations

Just about a month ago the administration shared a Faculty Focus article titled A New Twist on End-of-Semester Evaluations. The article suggests shifting from summative scalar evaluations such as are used at the college at present (Was the instructor on time most of the time, some of the time, rarely, never...) to exploring the course experience for the students. The evaluation produces a qualitative result rather than a quantitative result. Qualitative data does not reduce down to an average or median score, and the answers to instructional quality questions are embedded in the details of the individual answers. This takes more reading time than "Instructor Sigrah has an average of 4.5 on the year end evaluation." Yet in the details are a richer and more nuanced view of the course, the material, the instructor, and the students.

Exploring whether longer lines of stationary marbles affect the number ejected
The eleven prompts are used as headers below, the students answers we…

Assessing Learning in Ethnobotany

SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany proposes to serve four program learning outcomes through three course level outcomes. The course serves learning outcomes in general education, the Micronesian studies program, and the Agriculture and Natural Resources program.

PLO SC/SS 115 CLO GE 3.4 Define and explain scientific concepts, principles, and theories of a field of science. 1. Identify local plants, their reproductive strategies, and morphology. GE 4.2 Demonstrate knowledge of the cultural issues of a person’s own culture and other cultures.

MSP 2 Demonstrate proficiency in the geographical, historical, and cultural literacy of the Micronesian region. 2. Communicate and describe the cultural use of local plants for healing, as food, as raw materials, and in traditional social contexts. ANR 2 Demonstrate basic competencies in the management of land resources and food production. 3. Demonstrate basic field work competencies related to management of culturally useful plant resources and foods.


Assessing learning in physical science

SC 130 Physical Science proposes to serve two institutional learning outcomes (ILO) through four general education program learning outcomes (GE PLO) addressed by four course level student learning outcomes (CLO). Not listed are proposed specific student learning outcomes that in turn serve the course level learning outcomes.  This report assesses learning under the proposed course level learning outcomes which in turn supports program and institutional learning outcomes.

ILO 8. Quantitative Reasoning: ability to reason and solve quantitative problems from a wide array of authentic contexts and everyday life situations; comprehends and can create sophisticated arguments supported by quantitative evidence and can clearly communicate those arguments in a variety of formats.

GE PLO SC 130 CLO 3.5 Perform experiments that use scientific methods as part of the inquiry process. 1. Explore physical science systems through experimentally based laboratories using scientific methodologies 3…

Assessing learning in introductory statistics

MS 150 Introduction to Statistics has utilized an outline based in part on the 2007 Guidelines for Assessment and Instruction in Statistics Education (GAISE) and on the ongoing effort at the college to incorporate authentic assessment in courses. The three course level student learning outcomes currently guiding MS 150 Introduction to Statistics are:
Perform basic statistical calculations for a single variable up to and including graphical analysis, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing against an expected value, and testing two samples for a difference of means.Perform basic statistical calculations for paired correlated variables.Engage in data exploration and analysis using appropriate statistical techniques including numeric calculations, graphical approaches, and tests. The first two outcomes involve basic calculation capabilities of the students and are assessed via an item analysis of the final examination (original was a test inside 54 students in three secti…

SMART Board Interactive Flat Panel arrives

The failing SMART projection unit in A204 was replaced this week with a SMART board LCD flat panel display. To celebrate the arrival of the new hardware, I had the students prepare statistical analysis presentations and present to their findings to the class. The following is a photo essay of the students and their presentations.

Kazuki led off the presentations
Meigan obligingly demonstrated that the board was at an appropriate height for student presentation use
Meigan presenting using PowerPoint
Kerley presenting using a Microsoft Word document
Unlike the projection unit, the panel is bright and clearly visible with all lights on in the computer laboratory.
Zerolyn presents using PowerPoint.
JS presenting
Zerolyn advancing a slide
Maridell and Praislyn
Shinita and Kasilda taking advantage of the high resolution to display data tables
Gayshalane and Seledonia presenting their findings
Eliza and Neil using PowerPoint
Dominic and Quincy
Lucia and Sucy-ann. Again, the board is clearly …

Cultural ceremony in uniquely Micronesian ethnobotany

Up until four years ago the college mission statement included the phrase "uniquely Micronesian." Although for some the phrase was vague and open to misinterpretation, for those who have lived, worked, raised a family, and spent two decades on island, uniquely Micronesian was a set of shared sociocultural views and approaches that guided classroom interactions, student advising, counseling, and committee decisions in the participatory governance system.

Piper methysticum (sakau) enters the nahs with at least one branch intact, often pairs of intact branches
SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany was a course designed in part to serve the uniquely Micronesian mission of the college, and was a course offering that really could not be offered elsewhere, not in the manner in which the course is conducted. The capstone cultural ceremony is a splendid example of the uniquely Micronesian nature of the course. Where an ethnobotany course in the states can only lecture on kava ceremonies, or, at best…