Collective Table Response

 

  1. What are the strengths of the learning communities' proposal?

 

•  Service learning – neat idea, not sure how to implement. Applied learning – neat idea, not sure how to implement. Might be good to apply some of these concepts – idea of community to other approaches/proposals.

•  Identify need for developmental instruction early on. Good for people in group seating – learning preferences. What about people who are more individualistic. Consider case of transfer student. Supported by existing research.

•  Gateway course – the moving from a freshman to a major focused level. Health and Personal Wellness objective. Quantitative literacy introduced at skills level. Student centered. Team teaching provides a more diverse perspective. Student collaboration and cooperation. Creation of intellectual atmosphere.

•  It's idealistic. Offers student support and familiarity.

•  Integration, clear connection to nursing program.

•  Tries to create interdisciplinary environment (perhaps forced too much).

•  Its vision, especially regarding ethics and the integration of knowledge, is innovative and would likely make SIUE a standout at the Metropolitan comprehensive university level.

•  Lower class size for freshmen. Service learning and Health and Wellness important (some concern for room for additional courses). Good idea of having learning community.

•  Community formation

•  Provides students with difficult views of the world. Linked courses and service learning requirement would facilitate faculty collaboration. The required service learning component. Builds cooperation and communication among potentially diverse group of students (within the community).

•  Service learning, interdisciplinary, small class size.

•  Gateway courses would help retain students like emphasis on ethics. Small class size in freshmen seminar (40 students) with 2 instructors. Already have some learning communities.

•  Information literacy. Good philosophy. Most innovative idea among the four.

•  Some linking of courses good. Might force students to finish in four years. Ethics course a good idea but confusing as to whether it's major specific or not. Service component good.

•  Each class is learning community. Idea of service learning is good, but implementation is very difficult.

•  Service learning. The gateway course. Four year plan instead of a two year plan. Addresses information literacy.

•  None

•  Service learning component. Information literacy component.

•  Service learning component. Pg 29 one hour seminar for transfer students. Integration of skills and content.

•  Links upper and lower division courses. BA & BS distinction is good – make more equal. Smaller class size for interdisciplinary classes. Considers the entire BA/BS degree. Refocused the entire BA/BS degree.

•  Gateway course as a useful means of preparing students for the senior assignment. Reinforcement of student self-sufficiency as a life long learning skill. Lends itself nicely to on-line and distance education formats.

•  We found no strengths in this proposal.

•  Quantitative literacy addressed. Possibility of course reduction (is this true for all majors?).

•  Service learning should be in any program. Feminist. Health requirements. Limits class size and pre reqs for IS. Is more advanced. Sounds like fun to be a student taking it. Interesting course topics. Technology course – big problem for students in upper classes particularly. Quantitative literacy – use numbers regardless of field. Foreign language for BA – can test out. Welcoming for now students and for transfer students – helps them connect to other students. Unique program. Links skills and content courses.

•  None! Where are the communities?

•  Not, as a table, seeing this proposal as workable. Some good pieces for individuals – e.g. service learning or gateway.

•  We all like the idea of a learning community as a concept, but are concerned that this may be difficult to implement.

•  Innovative. Gateway course. Increase in student faculty interaction. Integrating requirements with major. Flexibility.

•  Ethics course seems to be a good addition to the curriculum. Value in linking skills and topics.

•  Not overly fond of this proposal, but we like gateway courses though.

•  Gateway courses. Quantitative literacy.

•  Clear opportunities for overlap and connection among disciplines. Gateway course good idea.

•  Builds on the highly creative and effective CIV model. Focus on ethics. Skills courses concluded before Gateway. Gateway course. Freshmen seminar. Addresses III drift – very important. Building a diverse community is positive and important (guys!).

•  Innovative. Appreciate – cohort concept, service learning, group focus, health focus.

•  Idea has a lot of appeal – people construct knowledge together; concept seems like what university should be about. Doesn't rely on faculty to make interconnection; structure enforces interconnection. Gateway course is a good idea.


  1. What would make the learning communities proposal even better?

 

•  Learning community – might be a good application, at class/program level, but difficult or impossible to implement at university level.

•  Increasing health objectives from 1 to 3 hours. Assumes everyone comes in as freshmen – what about transfer students? Keeps people in one cohort – how do they branch out and meet more people? Few “forced” into group – strained sense of community.

•  Allow individual departments to determine what intro courses could be accepted as part of the major credits. Do not remember courses unless absolutely necessary.

•  It's not clear how the program would be implemented – gateway courses could tax small departments. It needs to be more flexible for professional majors.

•  How do we insure faculty involvement?

•  Too far too fast. Have volunteer faculty pilot test concepts, discover problems. See how it affects specific fields, how faculty responds, and students accept. Logistical problems for some majors such as music, where heavy major requirements begin year 1. Problems with transfer students. Leave gateway courses to major.

•  It has to be transfer friendly or else SIUE's mission will be significantly underminded.

•  Concern with additional required courses. Should have flexibility to take linked courses. May not meet teacher or nursing certification courses.

•  Old model – community formation is forced, logistics of linking courses, difficulty for transfer students, prescriptive: seminar format/content in “gateway” course

•  Students would need to be introduced to the concept and benefits of learning communities during a university orientation session. A clear plan or set of policies would need to be developed related to administrative issues like student withdrawals from linked courses, fulfillment of service learning requirements, etc.

•  Concerns

•  Better logistics – we need to see how it would be implemented. Service learning details – significant details needed across the board.

•  Less confusing. Most of us find it very unclear. Too rigid. Needs more flexibility.

•  Make the learning community on the university level. Implementation of service learning is difficult.

•  Get rid of linked courses. Get rid of team teaching.

•  Transfer student leaving SIUE might face difficulties going elsewhere. Not all disciplines could accommodate to “gateway” course.

•  Start over. Faculty who never gets tired of looses their energy. Application of content is “weak.” Confusing. Cut back on the number of courses transfer students take.

•  The plan should address how non-traditional students can deal with the links. Transfer student would have problems in this. Gateway classes should be an option for the major. Major already know what they need to take. Possible scheduling difficulties.

•  How is this going to be implemented – with what resources? How can we make more elegant, that easier to understand? (by both students and their advisors) Service learning component as a requirement may back fire.

•  More faculty, more building space, higher ACT – better prepared students, lower enrollment.

•  Reconcile transferability with chancellor's objectives for welcoming transfer students. Clarify, provide more details. Identify resources for health and wellness requirements. Reduce transfer requirements. Consider part of students who commute, work. Develop/organize so that students/faculty/staff can understand this.

•  Concerns that communities too limiting, not diverse. Could keep out some disciplines from learning communities (ex: pre reqs needed). Could just say recommended pre reqs or some with pre reqs and some don't. Hurts students taking courses in upper level courses for non majors – add upper level courses to meet requirements. No upper level courses hurts the department especially in CAS – need non majors. Concern about taking on integrated courses and hurting majors need depts. to stay strong.

•  Need to address the following weaknesses: 1)Lack of focus on requiring any upper level courses – requires only three intro classes, will wipe out certain departments. 2)Gateway courses not really gen. ed. 3)No foreign language requirement 4)No technology component, i.e. no requirement for or credit for computer literacy course 5) No one can guarantee smaller classrooms. 6)Very week gen. ed. Program 7)IBHE standards will be met by transfer credits, but not clear they will meet these gen. ed. requirements

•  More practical view of how it will work with university. Computer proficiency exam with coursework only if needed.

•  Can this be successfully implemented? May be very expensive. This model could adversely impact departments. Requirements for this model are too extensive and time consuming – interfere with the courses that students need for various majors.

•  Address potential difficulty for transfer students. Reduce challenge of implementation. Reduce confusion. Costly?

•  Seems that the proposal is not effectively presenting a real learning community. Seems very complex logistically. Could create barriers to completing degree in prescribed programs like nursing and education.

•  Prerequisites for IS courses would make them less available/practical for students who wanted to take certain courses that are beneficial for his/her major, yet regret not to have taken the prerequisite INTRO course TWO years before!

•  The proposal needs to more explicitly state how the community learning teams and course content will executed

•  Registration problems. Difficult to implement. Needs degree guidelines.

•  Modify model to allow more discipline – specific courses in freshmen/sophomore year. Requires much more faculty time, so compensation/course release must be co measurement with effort. May take one semester to put together. ESI course probably unnecessary – integrate that material into existing courses.

•  So abstract, it seems unclear regarding implementation. Doesn't address environmental stewardship. Would want to make sure a co-taught class would be truly integrated. Practicalities of implementing course loads, scheduling. Students might think it's “too social”.

•  Confusing, potentially highly impractical or unnecessarily cumbersome. Scared of potential problems with Gateway. No BA/BS distinction.

•  Imagine lots of problems with transfers in both directions. Unclear costs. Potential significant burdens on some faculty. Not enough “learning community” to really achieve goals of community.

•  Proposal will be very difficult for some disciplines – gateway course might be very difficult.

•  More detail on gateway courses per discipline needs.

•  There are many uncertainties in the proposal: 1.Extra courses 2. Gateway courses – one course per department? Or two or three gateway courses per department? Team teaching will create another problem.

•  Will Kimmell Leadership Program be able to handle 100's of students? Service learning could be expensive to implement. What is a one-hour transfer student seminar? Gateway courses will be difficult to implement for professional programs where students do not take a course in their major for the first two years. Expensive for departments costs.

•  How on Earth could this be explained clearly to students? In current proposal students are penalized for transferring in or out. Not true learning communities that other small school have successfully implemented. New courses create a huge burden on faculty. How will we ensure students aren't bewildered by this plan? Needs more flexibility to avoid headaches for advisors. This radical a shift could be expensive.

•  How do transfer student complete their course work ( our gen ed program required in your proposal) and graduate in a timely manner which is the goal of the chancellor. Not have the “links” requirement (expensive!). Make it easier to understand!!

•  Transfer student requirement is outrageous = No student will want to transfer to SIUE. Make it more clear.

•  Most faculty will probably find this model hard to accept and understand particularly those who consider themselves “subject experts” and appreciate lineorty rather than the more “ messy ” way we actually learn – and will throughout the remainder of their lives. Most departments have their own gateway courses – need to better help departments understand how this model would develop these or integrate theirs into this gen ed model. Complicated for students to understand.

•  Less confusing – not a very elegant design.

•  Some students need directions – because of familiarity on how to research. Seeks out answers.

•  Eliminate mandated team teaching.

•  ?

•  Eliminate team teaching. Eliminate linked courses.

•  Remove it from the list of options.

•  Get rid of mandated team teaching. Include technology. Eliminate linked courses.

•  Better clarity regarding definition and execution of “communities”?

•  No mandatory team teaching

•  Not having it at all. You cannot mandate team teaching.

•  Community is nice idea but might be hard to implement in practice. Courses should match (roughly) courses in other places for transfer purposes.

•  The logistical complexity of the LC classes may be a problem. It is difficult to understand how a student could fail one part of the course and repeat, but fail the other part.

•  The concept of linking – what happens when students fail? Not as flexible. Lack community .

•  Make it more user-friendly for transfer students. Linking seems a bit awkward. Community, itself, seems lacking.

•  Does not articulate well with IAI. Link between skill and CIV courses not clear and could place students at disadvantage for successful completion of courses. May create barriers to graduation for students in some programs.

•  There seem to be many permutations of this plan that haven't been fully thought out. Really need to be clarified. Too much burden on departments to “fit in” to plan.

•  The plan as written seems to make choosing courses very confusing! Transfer students will have A LOT of difficulty! Does not completely require computer literacy of all students.

•  Tie to articulation agreement. Hard to see how benefits outweigh the difficulties in implementation, monitoring and managing students. Problems with computer skill too. Easy for students to get “trapped” if change majors after freshman.

•  Will be bad for transfer students. It's innovative but courses at a high cost to our departments. Will be difficult to implement. Will be more of a challenge to implement.

•  May need to better accommodate transfer students.

•  Effect on transfer students not clear.

•  Students need evidence supporting why learning communities are valuable over other models.

•  Health and wellness should be self-selected by students so they can develop lifelong sustained habits while here at SIUE. A more straight forward model – not sure students will “get” your model. (most students want to understand a straight forward sequence and/or logical sequence of their program) If we move to this, articulate what the gateway courses are. It was said to us, ethics is just “in” your already existing courses…that the ethics of their model is not another course…this is very confusing to have it on the list then…what program on this campus doesn't promote ethical standards for its discipline? None that I know of.

•  More flexibility for the various majors that already provide the essence of the learning communities philosophy through the sequential nature of their programs (i.e., all students in the major form a tight – knit community as they progress through the courses as a cohort)

•  This will be difficult to implement. Should require science labs for all students.

•  It is the most confusing of the 3. Would be difficult to implement.

•  Organize around topics/interest to the residence hall majors? More clear plan for implementation. Why only lab sci in BS?

•  If selection of students interest were appropriately matched with a learning community. Confusing. Implied direction toward professional preparation/connection. No lab science requirement in BA.

•  Allow the natural evolution of communities.

•  Too hard to implement. I see objectives, but not a clear consideration of the mechanisms to accomplish them too top down.

•  A budget that would allow it to be implemented. Recognition that for some majors, gateway course must happen either at freshman level or after some major courses have occurred. For majors that have 2 semester senior projects, ethics course would happen in parallel with first senior project course.

•  Discipline specific is too weighted to last year. Hardest to implement due to faculty requirements.

•  Least developed of all models. Doesn't go far enough with integration. Doesn't address environmental stewardship.

•  Least developed of models.

•  More format needed to guide learning. Model needs more development. Needs environmental content. Co-taught classes should not be mini specialty classes.

•  Practicality of this? How will we team teach together? How will it count in terms of load? How will course evals work? Scheduling issues. In terms of anecdotal evidence from current students, our current IS classes do not integrate – it's like 2 mini, separate courses. So this model, at least currently, doesn't do as much true integration as planned. Students did not like it. What exactly is the purpose of the service learning course?

•  Least well-developed component to other 2 models. Doesn't address environmental stewardship. Course load assignment

•  This proposal seems the least well developed. The lack of student enthusiasm for this model does not bode well. Some of the CIV courses have revealed problems that might only be magnified if this is generally adapted.

•  Very problematic administrating. Likely to need higher resources, where will they come from? Articulation agreements with junior colleges present difficulties in homogenizing students as Jrs. And Srs. – The greater the “uniqueness” of our gen ed relative to other more “traditional ones” credits earn a greater likelihood that our Jrs. and Srs. will be bi-modeled in their capabilities and hence the expectations of students by faculty will be very difficult to establish.

•  Program is too oncious for transfer students. Gateway seems ill-fitted for some disciplines.

•  Philosophically based critical thinking should be required. People should not be able to transfer in credit for the gateway course – If the gateway course is to be a gateway, it must be taken here (perhaps it should be 300 level not a 200 level course).

•  Clarification of how someone entering at mid year or transferring in at some point in the program fits in to a learning community and is not considered an outsides. Concern about how this will work for nurses with associates degree coming to complete BS. It seems like all the connections are not in peace. I'm still confused as to what this proposal includes.

•  Confusing. Nice idea in theory but cannot fathom how this would work practically…i.e. what/how would cohorts be assigned, follow through? Co teaching again, logistically, how would this work? How figure in faculty load? No real distinction between BA &BS. Ethics adds a sequencing backlog to our current sequencing requirements. Gateway course is not though through will or flexible for specific discipline needs.

•  Seems like it will create huge, unacceptable logistical challenges as have similar initiatives in the past. Hard to transfer out or in. Gateway often equals bottleneck – enough stuff, enough space, enough money to cover? Potentially “crowds” Jr. and Sr. years for transfer students who will need to do major, minor, gateway and IS all in 2 years. Cost is least clear with this proposal. Seems to create big disciplines between transfer and non-traditional students. What else do students do their sophomore year?

•  Make it easier for transfer students to complete degree in 4 years. Ensure that an undue teaching burden is not placed on disenfranchised instructors. Clarify implementation issues. Make sure gateways are not bottlenecks.

Make learning communities more discipline-oriented.