CANs List

Curriculum Action Notice


Academic Affairs Committee


April 2, 2002 (a)

This is a bulletin from the Academic Affairs Committee concerning proposed curriculum actions. Within the next 10 days, please forward any comments or concerns to the AAC Chair, Helen Biblehimer, Elliott Hall 203, x4521,

The General Education Subcommittee of AAC has submitted the attached GE assessment plan for approval. It is strongly suggested that you read the plan, which is attached, carefully. It will be voted on by AAC on April 16, 2001. An abbreviated version of the plan follows.


Action: Approve the creation of electronic portfolios as a graduation requirement.

Purpose and Nature: The electronic portfolios will be used to assess the General Education Program. An explanation of the process follows.



Mansfield University General Education Program

I. Statement of Purpose

Mansfield University is dedicated to providing an environment that promotes academic and personal growth as well as intellectual, ethical, and aesthetic values. General Education provides students with the foundation for lifelong learning and to enable them to function as responsible citizens in a rapidly changing world. It is designed to broaden and deepen students' intellectual growth and awareness. General Education requirements work in conjunction with students' major programs of study to provide expanded knowledge from diverse perspectives outside their central area of study.


II. General Education Program Outcomes

General Education courses represent multiple disciplines and meet the general education requirements. Specifically, general education is designed to develop student competency across the core and general education blocks in the following:

  • thinking skills including critical thinking, problem solving, and analysis
  • communication
  • an introduction to the principles, substance, and methodology of humanities, language and literature, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences, in addition to their majors.


III. General Education Program Assessment

Students seeking a baccalaureate degree from Mansfield University are required to take General Education courses in addition to the required core courses. The distribution of required general education courses are selected from the following five blocks:

  • Humanities
  • Languages and Literature
  • Mathematics
  • Natural sciences
  • Social sciences

Upon completion of each general education course, students must select one piece of work that exemplifies their best work in that course. Students will place the selected work into an individual electronic portfolio. As students progress through the general education program, they must continue to accumulate artifacts from each course. One semester prior to graduation, students who began their coursework at Mansfield University (students without transfer credits) will be required to submit a portfolio of works. Each portfolio must contain six artifacts, one from each GE block and the designated paper from ENG313. Taken as a whole, the six artifacts must demonstrate each of the general education outcomes-thinking skills, communication, and subject knowledge in humanities, languages and literature, mathematics, natural sciences, and social science. The following chart illustrates the cover sheet that is to be attached to each artifact in the portfolio.


Guidelines for Implementation of General Education Assessment

It is in the interest of Mansfield University to evaluate the effectiveness of its general education program. This recommendation provides an opportunity for students to integrate general education goals in assignments that are discipline specific and for faculty to demonstrate to students that such integration is an essential mark of one who has received a liberal education. The following guidelines list the responsibilities of each group.

The General Education Subcommittee will

  1. Develop, pilot, and revise the General Education Assessment;
  2. Identify courses that meet General Education status;
  3. Examine the assessment data summary sheets and the Summer Team report;
  4. Make a formal report with recommendations to AAC;
  5. Forward program change request form to the Academic Affairs Committee; and
  6. Forward assessment process change request to the Academic Affairs Committee.

Departments will

  1. Present courses for General Education Status. For a course to receive general education status, the syllabus must indicate its contribution to general education learning goals. Therefore, when a course is submitted to the General Education Subcommittee, a syllabus must be included that specifies the General Education goal(s) that it addresses.
  2. Identify general education learning goals that are met as part of the course objectives, and
  3. Artifact(s) suitable for the General Education Portfolio. The artifact shall enable students to exhibit a general education perspective while demonstrating proficiency in the course. Examples of suitable artifacts are essays, exams, lab reports, performance reports, research papers, multimedia projects, PowerPoint presentations, work of art reports, field experiences reports, logs, and case studies.

Instructors of General Education Courses will

  1. Identify a minimum of one piece of coursework appropriate for the electronic portfolio, and
  2. Remind students to place the assignment or exam into their electronic portfolios.

IT will

  1. Develop the student interface for the web-based portfolio system to allow for the electronic submission process;
  2. Distribute student passwords to advisors; and,
  3. Place a reminder of the portfolio requirement onto Web Advisor.

Students will

  1. Place one artifact from each general education course in their electronic portfolio. When students achieve senior status, they will select from the portfolio six artifacts that provide evidence of achievement of the general education goals. One artifact must be from each general education designation and the sixth artifact is the designated paper from ENG313. Within these six artifacts, each of the general education outcomes- thinking skills, communication, and subject knowledge in humanities, languages and literature, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences-must be demonstrated.
  2. Complete a cover sheet for each artifact in the portfolio
  3. One semester prior to graduation, submit a portfolio of works electronically.

Advisors will

  1. Remind students of the portfolio graduation requirement.

Graduate Assistants in the Provost Office will

  1. Check each the contents of each graduating senior's portfolio who is in the cohort group. The check is for completion of the six requirements.
  2. Notify the student of any omissions.
  3. Notify Records when the student has completed the portfolios requirement.

Records will

  1. Include the portfolio requirement in the graduation requirements;
  2. Post completion of the requirement when notified by a degree audit.

The University Assessment Committee will

  1. Identify a summer team of faculty to score student portfolios;
  2. Train the summer team;
  3. Select two days in May for the summer team to score the portfolios.

The Associate provost will

  1. Obtain two-day summer stipends for faculty interested in participating in scoring portfolios;
  2. Ask department chairs to submit names of faculty who are interested in participating;
  3. Randomly select a sample of student portfolios to be scored;
  4. Provide results of the assessment in the form of summary tables to the General Education Sub-Committee, AAC, and department chairs.

Summer team will

  1. Attend training;
  2. Spend two days in May scoring portfolios;
  3. Submit the scores to the Associate Provost;
  4. Recommend to the General Education Sub-Committee improvements for the portfolio scoring process;
  5. Recommend to the General Education Sub-Committee program changes that are based on results of the assessment.


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