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 Faculty Senate

The University of Montana

ASCRC Minutes 9/11/07

 

Members Present: J. Cox, I. Crummy,  J. Graham, S. Gauthier, J. Luckowski, P. Muench, K. Nalty, M. Nielsen , P. Silverman, L. Tangedahl, H. Thompson, G. Weix

Members Absent/Excused: L. Economides, T. Hunter

 

Ex-Officio Present: M. Hoell, D. Micus, A. Walker-Andrews

Guest: Associate Dean Tompkins, Keith Lynip- Director, UMOnline


Chair Thompson called the meeting to order at 2:10 p.m.

The minutes from 9/5/07 were amended and approved.  

Communications:

 

  • New members were welcomed.
  • Chair Thompson asked faculty members whether they received request for proposals for Freshmen 14 or Freshmen Adventure courses. Some faculty who might have submitted proposals did not receive the RFPs, and there were no proposals submitted for the freshmen adventure courses. The suggestion was made that perhaps the RFPs went to academic advisors, a subset of all faculty.
  • Last semester there were several committees working on embedded assessment for general education courses in preparation for next year's accreditation visit. At some point their work will need to be merged with the efforts of the subcommittees working on revised criteria and learning outcomes. One approach would be to have the subcommittees that develop criteria and learning outcomes for the gen ed groups also work on criteria for the embedded assessment.

Business Items:

Online Course Standards

  • The standards for online courses were developed last academic year by an Ad Hoc Committee of ASCRC. The committee met last week with the new Director of UMOnline to see whether he wanted to change the document. He was supportive of the document as a starting point. It is important to establish a baseline for the online program to grow in a managed way. The next step would be one of procedures to assure courses meet the standards. He recommends adopting a similar rubric to ‘Quality Matters' developed by the University of Maryland, which have acquired nation-wide recognition. These will be sent to the committee as information. Once these initiatives are approved by faculty governance and the administration, then a migration strategy will need to be formed with adequate support for instructors.

    ASCRC discussed the draft Online Courses Standards. It was suggested that ‘best practices' might be a more appropriate term, because ‘standards' may be perceived as infringing on academic freedom, and that a guide to ‘best practices' might be appropriate for all courses. Clarity of expectations would be helpful, particularly for new faculty or faculty new to the online format. A student member that has taken three online courses commented that in her experience online courses are easier than traditional courses. Setting up standards would be helpful. Instructors don't always use the discussion board effectively and may not be aware of how to set up timed exams in order to prevent cheating. She recommends that a student who is familiar with online courses be added to the ad hoc committee.

Certificate Guidelines 

  • The directors of the College of Technology certificate programs were provided with the proposed certificate guidelines and invited to today's meeting. None were able to attend the meeting, but several responded that the proposed guidelines would not impact their programs. The committee will need to vote on the guidelines soon and then consider the Certificate for Multicultural Awareness.

 

Nursing Courses 

  • One of the members from the Forestry, Pharmacy and Health Science Curriculum Subcommittee is on sabbatical. The chair is contacting Forestry and Conservation departments to find another member. Two members of the committee reviewed the nursing proposals favorably. The changes were approved unanimously.

Professor Weix agreed to serve as acting Chair-elect, meaning she will serve on the Graduation Appeals Committee and will chair committee meetings if Chair Thompson is unavailable.  However, she is applying for sabbatical next year and will likely not be available to take over as chair.   This year the ASCRC chair was provided with a $1,000 research stipend in recognition for their service commitment.

Professors Silverman and Nielsen were nominated to Academic Court.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m. 

Faculty Senate

The University of Montana

Missoula, MT 59812