Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
for the
ractice cholarship
of science, engineering,
and mathematics students
Fo c a l P o i n t
Fall 2008/09
RosEvaluation Conference 2009 — New Focus Planned for Rose-Hulman’s
Continuing Leadership in Assessment
On April 17 and 18, 2009, presenters and attendees from across the country will return to RoseHulman for an assessment conference. As has been true in the past, Rose-Hulman continues to
be a leader in the field of assessment of student learning, a reputation earned in part by nine
years of hosting a national assessment conference. This year’s conference focus will have a
broadened scope; many of the engineering education assessment practices we have developed
here at Rose-Hulman are applicable to other disciplines. For that reason, the RosEvaluation
Conference will attract faculty and administrators from many different fields and institutions. Proposals for presentations and workshops on any topic related to assessment and
evaluation are being accepted now through mid-December. Please consider sharing your work
with assessment and evaluation with your colleagues by participating at the conference.
In this Issue:
What are your
colleagues up to?
In addition to a new, broader focus, the RosEvaluation Conference will highlight the use of the
RosEvaluation Tool, an assessment tool designed to be used in conjunction with the Angel Learning Management System and developed on the campus of Rose-Hulman. The RosEvaluation
Tool uses the methodology of the RosE Portfolio System but allows faculty to collect evidence of
student learning through Angel dropboxes. The dropbox contents are then evaluated by teams
of Rose-Hulman faculty who are trained to evaluate student learning against a set of preestablished rubrics. The RosEvaluation Conference will introduce the tool to interested faculty
and administrators, and there will be training offered in the tool’s use for program and institutional accreditation.
Places to go...
Things to read,
places to publish
Dr. Julia Williams
Executive Director, Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment Office
Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences
Navigating the
SoTL Landscape
View the conference website and call for proposals — due December 5, 2008 — by clicking here:
I hope you will consider submitting a proposal and join us for RosEvaluation Conference 2009!
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Fo c a l P o i n t
What are your colleagues up to?
Rose-Hulman faculty and staff present their educational research and projects at many professional conferences each year. Check out the range of some of the projects that were published in the Proceedings of the
2008 meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education, via the “100-word summaries” on the CPSE
website. A new project is featured every month. Summaries of work by Ed Doering, Mihaela Radu, Kevin Sutterer and Shannon Sexton are already online - in the next couple of months, watch for additional work by Pat
Ferro, Rick Stamper, and Wayne Sanders, as well as by John Aidoo, Shannon Sexton, Jim Hanson, Kevin Sutterer, and Robert Houghtalen.
You might also be interested in the “Faculty Spotlight” feature — currently showcasing Jim Hanson, who was
awarded the 2008 Outstanding Teacher Award from the Illinois/Indiana section of the American Society for
Engineering Education.
You can also take free reprints of articles about Rose-Hulman faculty educational work, on the second floor of
Moench Hall at the CPSE bulletin board.
As always, to have your work highlighted online or distributed in the form of reprints, just contact KC Dee:
Places to go...
In addition to the RosEvalution conference, you might consider attending:
The ASEE Illinois/Indiana section conference, March 27-28, 2009. Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana.
Undergraduate student poster presentations — abstracts due February 23, 2009.
Faculty/staff presentation abstracts due December 1.
Click the link for more information: http://www.valpo.edu/asee/paper_information.htm
The Polytechnic University Summit, July 16-17, 2009. University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, Wisconsin.
The goals of this meeting are for faculty, staff and administrators from polytechnic/technical institutions to:
• Build opportunities for collaboration and partnership with colleagues on research and classroom learning
• Share best practices specific to active, applied learning,
• Address future trends of the 21st century to be more competitive in the global market.
Planning Partners: Arizona State University Polytechnic; Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; Rochester Institute of Technology; University of Wisconsin-Stout; Virginia Tech.
Click the link for more information: http://www.uwstout.edu/outreach/conf/polytechnic/index.html
Association of American Colleges & Universities annual meeting, January 21-24, 2009. Sheraton Hotel, Seattle, Washington.
“Ready or Not: Global Challenges, College Learning, and America’s Promise”
Pre-meeting symposium: “Sustainability: Place, Responsibilities, and the Curriculum.”
Click the link for more information: http://www.aacu.org/meetings/annualmeeting/index.cfm
Did you know? Rose-Hulman is a Leadership Campus in the AAC&U VALUE (Valid Assessment of Learning in
Undergraduate Education) initiative. Rose-Hulman is one of twelve institutions sharing recommendations and
best practices with the AAC&U that will be disseminated to help other institutions articulate student learning
outcomes, foster their achievement, and use assessments to measure student progress and improve practices for achieving these outcomes. More information here: http://www.aacu.org/value/index.cfm
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Fall 2008/09
Things to read, places to publish...
The Journal of Engineering Education is great. But it’s a big wide world out there, with lots of things to read,
and lots of venues in which to publish your innovations and investigations. Just click a link to go to that journal’s website (full URLs provided in the text just in case the click-the-link thing doesn't work…)
Higher Education - The International Journal of Higher Education and Educational Planning
“Higher Education features contributions from leading scholars from different countries who tackle the problems of teachers as well as students, and of planners as well as administrators. It presents authoritative overview articles, comparative studies and analyses of particular problems or issues.”
Research in Higher Education - Journal of the Association for Institutional Research
“Among the topics covered in the journal are administration and faculty; curriculum and instruction; student
characteristics; alumni assessment; recruitment and admissions; prediction and student academic performance; campus climate; and retention, attrition, and transfer. The journal also publishes brief methodological
New Journal - starting in 2009! Engineering Studies
“Engineering Studies is an interdisciplinary, international journal devoted to the scholarly study of engineers
and engineering. Its mission is threefold:
1. to advance research in historical, social, cultural, political, philosophical, rhetorical, and organizational
studies of engineers and engineering;
2. to help build and serve diverse communities of researchers interested in engineering studies;
3. to link scholarly work in engineering studies to broader discussions and debates about engineering education, research, practice, policy, and representation.”
Studies in Science Education
“Studies in Science Education will be of interest to all those involved in science education including: science
education researchers, doctoral students and masters students; science teachers at elementary, high school
and university levels; science education policy makers; science education curriculum developers and text
book writers.”
Research in Mathematics Education
“The journal has three sections, covering research papers, book reviews, and current reports.
The Research Papers section contains reports of studies involving empirical investigation and theoretical argumentation from which conclusions and implications can be drawn for future research and practice. Such
reports are expected to show how the study builds on critical review of relevant literature and to provide an
account of the methods and procedures used. Reports on thoughtful replications or variations of key earlier
studies are welcome, as are critical reviews of some well-defined aspect of mathematics education. The journal welcomes high-quality research in any methodological tradition and is open to innovative and unusual
International Journal of Science Education
This journal “bridges the gap between research and practice, providing information, ideas and opinion. It
serves as a medium for the publication of definitive research findings. Special emphasis is placed on applicable research relevant to educational practice, guided by educational realities in systems, schools, colleges
and universities. The journal comprises peer-reviewed general articles, papers on innovations and developments, research reports and book reviews. Each volume contains a Special Issue devoted to a topic of major
interest and importance, guest-edited by an acknowledged expert. Recent Special Issues have featured environmental education and policy and practice in science education.”
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This graphic was made by pasting the text of the CPSE mission and vision into wordle. Generate your own word cloud graphic
— with modifiable fonts, layouts, and color schemes! http://www.wordle.net/
“Navigating the SoTL Landscape: A Compass, A Map, and Some Tools for Getting Started,” M. O’Brien, International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Vol. 2 No. 2, July 2008. Accessible online here.
The purpose of this paper is to provide an accessible introduction to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) field.
The “compass” provided in the paper is a set of four broad, directional questions that can be asked about enabling student
learning; the “map” is an overview of some of the major regions of SoTL scholarly inquiry. The summaries are concise, accessible, and useful to anyone trying to articulate their teaching/learning theories and practices. After reading the summaries you
will be able to raise your level of discourse from something like “I make students work with each other” to something on the
order of “Following a social constructivist view, I help students to learn by having them collaboratively engage with others.”
And you’ll know what you’re talking about!
The “tools” this article provides are questions, rather than techniques or tips. Each summary of an SoTL domain ends with a
number of questions within that domain that a teacher might ask about their own teaching and learning goals. For example:
“What are the ‘threshold concepts’ within your discipline? In what way are they foundational, transformative, and integrative
to other other concepts?” Questions like this are useful when thinking about undertaking an educational research project —
but they're also useful when developing a new course or learning activity, updating course material and activities, or describing
to others why you do what you do in the classroom. If you are in any of these situations, this article will likely be useful to you.
All unattributed articles in this issue of Focal Point were written by Kay C Dee: dee@rose-hulman.edu, for the Center for the Practice and
Scholarship of Education, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 5500 Wabash Avenue, Terre Haute, IN 47803. Contributions to issues of
Focal Point are most welcome!