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Bush Faculty Development Committee

Augustana College
Sioux Falls, SD

Bush Faculty Development Grant
March 1999 - 2002

Abstracts of Projects Awarded in Spring 2002

Computer-Based Testing (CBT) Assessment of Education Majors' Technology Skills

Sharon Andrews, Sharon Gray, Perry Hanavan, Bob Kiner

It is generally assumed that students leaving high school come to college with a basic productivity software proficiency, such as the ability to do word processing, use spreadsheet applications, navigate the Web, and create computer presentations. That proficiency, however, is much less uniform than one would expect. There are often differences between what we think students should know and what they actually do know.

It is not possible for faculty members to personally assess each individual student's skills, yet such assessment is necessary to adequately target course content. Individual assessment would be overly time-consuming and would require practically one-on-one work with an instructor. With roughly 400 students in the Education program, this would require additional employees. This is where CBT comes in. Such programs can assess individual student's technology skills and find how they compare to a pre-determined standard. They can provide individual assessment reports and suggested guides for remediation. In some cases, the products themselves can provide the supplemental training. Using an objective, unbiased tool will provide a consistent measure. Using those results, we can determine how best to integrate technology instruction into the curriculum.

Through this Bush Grant, Dr. Sharon Andrews, Perry Hanavan, Dr. Robert Kiner, and Sharon Gray plan to implement a Computer-Based Testing (CBT) program for assessing pre-service teachers' technology skills. The proposed project will involve product investigation and comparison, and will culminate with integration of the chosen technology skills assessment program into EDUC/SPED 110.

Engaging Undergraduate Students in the Study of Cognition, Pedagogy, and Assessment

John Clementson, Sherry Feinstein, Josh Hanson, Amy Neary, David Olson

This innovative and collaborative project seeks to involve three sophomore level secondary education (Social Studies) majors and two education faculty in research focused on appropriate teaching strategies for addressing the cognitive developmental needs of adolescent students. The project focuses on the theoretical and pedagogical dimensions of the following areas of cognitive development: sensory input, information storage, episodic memory, procedural memory, automatic memory, and emotional memory. Additionally, the project seeks to investigate the instructional strategies appropriate for the adolescent. Furthermore, the project seeks to develop assessment tools that mirror the aforementioned instructional strategies.

A Competency-Based Approach to Curricular Revision of the AD-to-Baccalaureate
Track in the Nursing Major

Karen Dorn, Deborah Letcher, Margot Nelson

This proposal focuses on curriculum redesign with emphasis on assessment of competencies for AD-to-Baccalaureate nursing majors. Major objectives include 1) curricular redesign guided by national competency standards, 2) incorporation of innovative delivery methods appropriate to non-traditional, part-time students and 3) development of an assessment plan based on competency standards. Comparison of competencies defined for Associate Degree and Baccalaureate prepared graduates will be used to identify those competencies unique to the baccalaureate-prepared nurse and to incorporate these competencies into existing or new courses in innovative ways. It is crucial that the curriculum be delivered in a manner that is meaningful to practicing nurses, values their previous learning, and provides opportunities for pursuit of projects relevant to their clinical practice arena. Delivery methods will consider appropriate technology-enhanced instruction; alternative, flexible scheduling options; and modular instructional units. The assessment plan will be developed based on broad national competencies and will build upon prerequisite courses and the liberal arts consistent with the existing baccalaureate nursing program at Augustana College. Assessment strategies will include developing a rubric for mapping competencies across courses and/or modules with supporting evidence from student projects, papers and clinical work. This project fits closely with vector 1 and secondarily, vector 3 of the Bush faculty development project grants: diversified teaching methods and technology in teaching, respectively.