Carol Schuck, Dean, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Ivy Tech
Mel Wininger, Senior Lecturer in English, IUPUI
IUPUI (Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis) and the Indianapolis campus of Ivy Tech Community College (IVTC) are partnered in the AAC&Uâ€™s Quality Collaborative project (www.aacu.org/qc/index.cfm). Our Collaborative is investigating methods and forms of identifying the transfer of competencies between institutionsâ€”specifically, how can we partner to identify readiness for the movement from the first 60 hours of credit to the second, including the move into specific academic programs. We are investigating a general education competency, written communication, and program-specific competencies, readiness to move to upper-level Engineering and Technology courses.
We have begun our work by focusing on written communication competence. As we began, parallel work, done by writing program coordinators from both institutions, was already underway. That work was initiated partly in response to a legislative mandate to meet the statewide general education mandate known as â€œCore 30â€ and partly in response to Writing Program Directorsâ€™ desire to understand our expectations for studentsâ€™ competencies across the Indiana University and Ivy Tech systems.
In July 2012, we planned and implemented an inter-institutional workshop that applied the process of Dynamic Criteria Mapping (DCM) to student writing artifacts in order to foster dialogue among writing instructors on the characteristics of student work that they most value. (See Broad, Organic Writing Assessment.) Â This provided an excellent introduction to the Degree Qualifications Profile for faculty, and it also provided a forum for faculty from across IUPUI and Ivy Tech Central Indiana to share their experiences in teaching beginning students. Our discussion included the alignment of our values, the DQP, the Essential Learning Outcome and the Principles of Undergraduate Learning at IUPUI. A subgroup of our leadership team has developed a draft of a rubric for assessing writing based on the outcomes of the Dynamic Criteria Mapping process and the Degree Qualifications Profile.
Our DCM process revealed shared values that suggest that written competence extends across the DQP rather than being located only in the direct statements on written competency. So while our faculty understand their responsibility for teaching writing, they also insist that through writing competence they are always addressing other qualifications outlined in the DQP. In the field of composition studies, that realization is nothing new, but the DQP offers a chance to place written competence more consequentially in the larger profile of the first 60 hours.
In addition, the Quality Collaborative team held co-institutional discussions with faculty engaged in curricular work. Once again, the DQP served as a point of departure for future discussion of curricula aligned with the statewide transferable general education core and it focused discussion of learning outcomes specific to the associateâ€™s degree level.
Approaching the DQP as a set of descriptive outcomes, we are learning more about how our students demonstrate competence, how we demonstrate it, and how those create points of investigation for curricular and course and assignment development. We are also addressing the challenge of the Quality Collaborative project to see students not as â€œmineâ€ but â€œours,â€ both within and across institutions.