Quality in Undergraduate Education Georgia State University
A Projet by the Education Trust & the National  Association of System Heads (NASH) in Association with Georgia State University

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Quality in Undergraduate Education (QUE)
Spring Meeting 2004
April 16, 2004

Collecting the History of QUE: Cluster Meetings

For the rest of the day, we would like you to meet in your clusters and assemble individual and collective reflections on QUE. A member of your cluster will keep notes, either on chart paper or on a computer.
You may wonder why we have set aside so much time for this activity, especially because simultaneously our colleagues from PSA will be conducting small group interviews. We have assigned this time because we want to capture the history of QUE in detail and in depth. We'd like to spark some lively discussions not only about QUE, what it is and what it might have been, but also about the profession of postsecondary teaching and where it might be going.
Please comment freely as we are open to constructive criticism as well as praise. We will be producing a long publication, perhaps a book, because we think we have all been engaged in an important reform for the past seven years and we want the picture to be as complete as possible.
The following are guiding questions. Please consider them how you wish-in order, or not; in small groups, or not. Add to the topics, but please don't omit the ones we've suggested.

Personal questions
When did you become aware of QUE and how?
Why did you become part of QUE?

Do you know how funding for QUE was used in your cluster?
Did the funding make a difference to your participation?

What did you expect from QUE?
What did you expect to learn from QUE?

Did your understanding of your discipline and your disciplinary identity change because of your participation in QUE?

How have your perceptions of QUE, its aims and activities, changed during your participation?

Has QUE taught you anything about yourself as a learner?
How might you use this knowledge in your own teaching?

Institutional issues
In Barr and Tagg's terms, is your institution and/or your department teaching or learning centered?

Have you seen any changes in the programs or courses at your institution or in your department that would indicate a movement towards an emphasis on student learning outcomes? Are these attributable to QUE?

Did your institution support your participation and work in QUE?
If so, how?
If not, why not?

Did your institution make it possible for you to share the QUE work with colleagues?
In what ways?

Did your institution/department assist you in advancing the goals of QUE-establishing standards, designing assessments, aligning curricula with standards, improving student learning?

Has QUE provided you with tools that you can use as an agent of change?

How will you use those tools in future situations at your institution or in your department?

Obstacles
What obstacles do you encounter in disseminating the ideas of QUE among your colleagues?

How would you characterize these obstacles? For example: personal or institutional resistance to change? Lack of administrative support? Fear of losing a favorite course? "Academic freedom" protests?

What might have helped to overcome theses obstacles?

Results
Did the project enable you to make significant conceptual or paradigmatic leaps (Aha!) in your thinking about your courses and your program?
What was the insight?

Has your view of the dynamics of the classroom changed as a result of your participation in QUE?
If so how?
If not, why not?

Has the curriculum been analyzed to see whether it is a logical, coherent, unified experience for the student?
Has your participation in QUE resulted in any changes in the curriculum for the major? E.g., courses added or dropped?

To what degree has your work in QUE become part of your institution/department?
How will the work continue and be sustained after the formal ending of QUE?

Two-year and four-year relationships
Describe the relationship between the two- and four-year institutions in your cluster.

Has the relationship between/among the two-year and four-year institutions in your cluster changed?
If so how?
If not, what would be needed to make the relationship work better?

Have transfer students benefited from faculty cooperation between two and four-year institutions on identifying student learning outcomes?

Assessments
What assessment techniques do you use now that you did not use before QUE?

What kinds of new information about student learning have been provided by these assessments?

Have you designed assessments or other means of discovering whether each and every student has reached proficiency in the learning outcomes for the major?

Who has used the assessment information?

Were any changes made in the curriculum as a result of the assessment?

Successes and Challenges
What have been the greatest successes of the QUE project? What have been the greatest challenges or unfulfilled expectations? How could these have been addressed?

Your Vision of Postsecondary Education
By focusing on standards and assessments, QUE endorses a particular view of postsecondary education. Has participation in QUE persuaded you to embrace that view? Did you have it already and that was the reason for your participation? Or do you reject that view and hold another? If so, what is it?

Where do you think postsecondary education in the U.S. is going?

What do you see as your role for the rest of your career?

Retrospective
Reflecting upon your QUE experience, if you were in charge of developing a similar project in the future, what would it look like? How would it be organized? How similar to QUE would it be? How different? Why?