Effectiveness Evaluation

Mission Statement
Goals, Objectives and Assessment
Learning Outcomes
     Outcomes for PHIL 2100
     Outcomes for PHIL 2110
     Outcomes for PHIL 2120
S.W.O.T.
Contribution to UWG's Bread and Butter Goals
Contribution to UWG's Mission Goals
Program Highlights



 

Mission Statement

 

It is the purpose of the Philosophy program to expose students to the distinctive ways in which different philosophical traditions have examined the basic issues of life.  Our aim is not only to examine these diverse philosophies, but to teach students a unique method of inquiry that has at its basis the belief that confronting deep-seated convictions, prejudices and beliefs is worth thorough scrutinization. It is our goal to help students focus on the meaning of an idea, its basis, coherence, and relation to other ideas; to understand the role of premises and inference in ordinary discourse as well as in philosophical argumentation; to recognize and define different world views; and to comprehend the history of philosophy in particular. In the process, we strive to teach students general problem solving skills and critical thinking skills, help them develop communicative, analytical and persuasive skills, and sharpen their writing and synthesizing skills.  All of this is done to enhance the lives of our students and to prepare them for success in academic and workplace environments.




 

Philosophy Program Goals, Objectives and Assessment

 

Goal 1:            Provide high quality curriculum that emphasizes disciplinary rigor and ensures the transmission of a unique method of inquiry.

 

Objectives

·        To advise students rigorously to ensure appropriate selection of courses

·        To maintain class sizes that allow for quality faculty-student interactions

·        To review the curriculum on an annual basis for a reconsideration of courses which best reflect the appropriate method of inquiry

·        To participate in university and college activities that enhance opportunities for high quality curriculum

 

Assessment

·        Students are assigned an advisor at declaration of major. Advising records of all majors are on file in adviser’s office.

·        Records of class size on a semester-by-semester basis are on file in program office.

·        Catalog changes that reflect curriculum development are on file in program office.

·        All faculty participate in special initiatives, including the Advanced Academy, the Honors Program, XIDS program, and Learning Communities. Records of these initiatives are found in faculty annual evaluations and are on file in program office.

 

 

Goal 2:      To provide high quality instruction that promotes the development of effectiveness in communication, critical and independent thinking, problem solving, and the use of technology.

 

Objectives

·        To require extensive writing in courses that enhances disciplinary rigor

·        To require oral presentations in courses offered in the program

·        To require critical thinking exercises in courses offered in the program

·        To incorporate the use of technology in courses offered in the program

·        To evaluate students through methods that require critical thinking and writing skills

 

Assessment

·        Course outlines are on file in program office and indicate the following:

Written components

Oral components

WAC Assignments

Critical thinking exercises

Technology component

Quantitative and qualitative research paper assignments

·        All faculty are WAC certified.

 

 

Goal 3:      To promote student research, scholarship, and creative endeavors which enhance an understanding of philosophical argumentation and prepare our students for success in the academic and workplace environments.

 

Objectives

·        To involve students in faculty research and publication projects

·        To assist students with individual research projects

·        To encourage students to participate in professional meetings

·        To encourage students to participate in professional activities

·        To encourage students to participate in scholarly competitions

·        To enhance students’ participation in community service activities

 

Assessment

 

·        Number of students included in faculty research and publication projects

·        Number of students being assisted by faculty with independent research projects

·        Number of students participating in professional meetings

·        Number of students participating in ARCH and Meeting of the Minds

·        Number of students receiving research awards

·        Number of students participating in community service activities

 

# Students

included in

faculty

research

# Students

assisted with

research

projects

# Students

participating

in profession

meetings

# Students

participating

in ARCH &

Meeting of

the Minds

# Students

receiving

research

awards

# Students

participating

in community

service

activities

 

 

        6

 

 

        0

 

 

        3

 

 

 

        8

 

 

 

        3

 

 

        0

 

 

Goal 4:      To enhance faculty research, scholarship, and creative endeavors which enhance professional development and contribute to quality instruction.

 

Objectives

·        To strengthen faculty members’ scholarly activities

·        To strengthen faculty members’ ability to obtain internal and external funding for creative activities

·        To support faculty participation in professional meetings

 

Assessment

·        Records of faculty members’ publications and presentations

·        Records of faculty members’ application for funding

·        Records of faculty members’ receiving funding

 

 # Faculty

Publications

# Faculty

Presentations

# Grants

Applied For

# Grants

Received

 

        1

 

        7

 

        6

 

        3

 

 

Goal 5:      To reaffirm the equal dignity of each person by valuing cultural, ethnic, racial, and gender diversity.

 

Objectives

·        To review curriculum to design courses which reflect issues of diversity

·        To encourage all students to participate in program initiatives

 

Assessment

·        Number of courses reflecting issues of diversity

·        Number of minority faculty

·        Number of minority students

 

 

# Courses

Reflecting issues

Of Diversity

# Female

Faculty

# Female

Students

# Minority

Faculty

# Minority

Students


9

    

        2


11

    

        0

 

        7




 

Philosophy Program Curriculum Learning Outcomes

 

Every graduate of the Philosophy program will be able to:

 

·        Discuss the general historical development of the discipline of philosophy;

 

·        Discuss three major historical figures of philosophy;

 

·        Ask philosophical questions and differentiate their types;

 

·        Incorporate a philosophical position in oral and written communications;

 

·        Critically outline and analyze a philosophical question.

 

 

Curriculum Learning Outcomes for Philosophy 2100

           

By the end of the semester, every student will be able to:

 

·        Understand the distinctions among epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics as comprising basic branches of the discipline;

 

·        Recognize how philosophical inquiry applies to ‘real-world’ circumstances and to individual reflection on the meaning of life;

 

·        Become conversant with the history of Western philosophy in particular, including such significant developments as idealism, rationalism, pragmatism, and existentialism;

 

·        Recognize and define different world views, adopting a reasonably viable one and justifying it in a philosophically informed way;

 

·        Demonstrate the ability to discuss in both oral and written discourse the philosophical issues explored in the course.

 

 

 

Curriculum Learning Outcomes for Philosophy 2110

 

By the end of the semester, each student will be able to:

 

·        Develop and demonstrate the ability to recognize logical consistency, following deductive as well as inductive patterns, in both oral and written discourse;

 

·        Develop and demonstrate the ability to separate fact from mere opinion in a variety of argumentative contexts;

 

·        Develop and demonstrate the ability to follow logically valid conclusions from raw data;

 

·        Develop and demonstrate the ability to organize evidence and arguments in a persuasive manner, both orally and in writing;

 

·        Acquire skills in problem-solving strategies, specifically in the adaptation of oral and written communication to specific audiences and for specific purposes.

 


Curriculum Learning Outcomes for Philosophy 2120

           

By the end of the semester, every student will be able to:

 

·        Recognize and apply basic patterns of logical reasoning within ethical contexts;


·        Describe selected theories within meta-ethics and normative ethics, as well as selected arguments for and against those theories;


·        Describe positions and facts relevant to selected issues within applied ethics (such as abortion, human cloning and homosexuality);


·        Summarize the contributions of historically important figures (such as J. S. Mill and Immanuel Kant) to ethical thought;


·        Discuss in both oral and written discourse the ethical theories and issues explored in the course.


 

 

 

 




S.W.O.T.

 

Strengths

 

Faculty involvement with students

Student Advising and Mentoring

Contributions to the Core

Rigorous programs

High faculty productivity

 

 

Weaknesses

 

Demands upon the faculty to teach courses

  in the Core

Low community service activities by

  students

Opportunities

 

Increase student participation in faculty

  research, publications and community

  service

Increase in grant monies for research

Student Recruitment

Program growth

Increased participation in university

  initiatives

Increase in use of technology

 

Threats

 

Increase in class size

Increasing demands to teach more courses

  in the Core

Limited financial resources




Philosophy Program’s Contribution to UWG’s Bread and Butter Goals:

 

Contributions to Enrollment Management include:

·        Participation in University recruitment efforts

·        Participation in advising activities sponsored by the Excel Center

·        Actively mentoring students in the program

·        Active and thorough advising of students in the program

 

Contributions to Academic Programs include:

·        A contribution of courses to the General Core

·        A major program that is mission-driven

·        An allocation of resources for the improvement of the program

·        An annual revision of the major and minor programs

·        Faculty-directed student research and professional activities

 

Contributions to Student, Faculty, and Staff Morale include:

·        A clearly developed faculty workload, promotion, and tenure policies

·        A system of faculty governance

 

Contributions to Information Technology include:

·        Inclusion of technology into courses to enhance student learning

 

 




Philosophy Program’s Contribution to UWG’s Mission Goals:

           

Faculty-Directed Student Research And Professional Activities

The Philosophy faculty have sponsored several students who presented their scholarly work at local, state, regional, and national meetings. 

 

The Honors College And The Advanced Academy

Faculty within the Philosophy program offer honors courses at both the lower and upper division level.  Most notably is Phil 2110: Critical Thinking that has been taught since the inception of the Honors College.  Too, the faculty have taught Phil 2100: Introduction to Philosophy and have recently proposed to offer upper level special seminars, including Asian Philosophy and Philosophy Through Film.

 

The First-Year Program

The Philosophy faculty have been, and continue to be, actively involved in the Excel Center.  Members of the philosophy faculty have offered WGC 101: Freshman Seminar, given presentations on critical thinking skills every semester for the past two years, actively advised students, and participated in summer orientations.

 

Technology Across The Curriculum

The Philosophy faculty continue to incorporate technology into many courses taught within the program. 

 




Philosophy Program Assessment: Program Highlights

During the academic year 2002-2003,

 

·         There was yet another increase in students declaring Philosophy as their major.  Total number of majors: 26.

 

·         There was yet another increase in students declaring Philosophy and Religion as their minor area of study.  Total number of minors: 18

 

·         There was a restructuring of the degree program in an effort to better reflect both challenges to and changes in our field of study.  For example, Asian Philosophy and Senior Seminar have been added to Ancient and Medieval Philosophy and Modern Philosophy as part of the required courses for a student majoring in Philosophy.

 

·         There was a restructuring of the minor in religion in an effort to better reflect both challenges to and changes in our field of study.  For example, the creation of new courses, such as Religious Texts (once Biblical Studies and Christian Theology) and Hermeneutics (once Biblical Hermeneutics) has resulted in a more diverse area of study.

 

·         The faculty reviewed all courses to reconsider both content and level of study.  Some existing courses were re-sequenced to better reflect a progressive form of study.

 

·         All majors were assigned an academic advisor immediately following the declaration of the major.

 

·         Six of our students were included in faculty research projects; 12 were included in professional activities.

 

·         One-half of our faculty taught in the Honors College.

 

·         Our faculty of four published five peer-reviewed articles and made 15 professional presentations.  Two faculty members continue to hold offices in professional organizations.

 

 

Example of how our department used the assessment of goals and outcomes to change/improve the process:

 

Assessment Activities

 

  • Assessing and evaluating our mission statement;

 

  • Assessing and evaluating our Philosophy major, including the content, level of study, sequencing, and types of courses offered;

 

  • Assessing and evaluating our Philosophy minor, including the content, level of study, sequencing, and types of courses offered;

 

  • Assessing and evaluating our Religion minor, including the content, level of study, sequencing, and types of courses offered;

 

  • Assessing and evaluating our contributions to other majors;

 

  • Assessing and evaluating our contributions to the institution’s mission, goals, and strategic plan;

 

  • Assessing and evaluating our contributions to the critical needs of the state;

 

  • And, most importantly, assessing and evaluating the degree to which we fulfill the needs of our students.

 

Evaluative Tools

The evaluative tools used during these assessments were both many and varied.  For example:

 

  • The evaluative tools used to assess our mission statement were of personal and collective conversations, personal and collective writings, and personal and collective editing of our thoughts. 

 

  • The evaluative tools used to assess our Philosophy major, Philosophy minor, and Religion minor included a review of other degree programs within the state and the University system, an evaluation of current market trends and employment opportunities, and professional and discipline-related articles by the Officers of the American Philosophical Association.  Most importantly we engaged graduates and current students in both informal and formal discussions.

 

  • The evaluative tools used to assess our contributions to other majors included discussions with Department Chairs from a variety of programs and a review of other majors as presented in the Undergraduate Catalog.

 

  • Evaluating our contributions to the institution’s mission, goals, and strategic plan included a review of institutional documents and discussions among our colleagues.

 

  • Evaluating our contributions to the critical needs of the state included a survey of degree programs within the state and compilation of these results.

 

  • And, most importantly, evaluating the degree to which we fulfill the needs of our students included both informal and formal discussions with our current majors and a survey of a representative sample of incoming first year students.

 

 

Improvement/Changes as a Result of Assessment

  • The assessment and evaluation of “who we are” resulted in collectively organizing our writings into what now stands as our Mission Statement.  This statement can be found at our web site.

 

  • The assessment and evaluation of our Philosophy major, our Philosophy minor, and our Religion minor resulted in:
    1. the deletion of less inclusive courses, including Biblical Studies and Christian theology;
    2. the creation of new courses, including Introduction to Religion, Religious Texts, Asian Philosophy, Feminist Philosophy, Philosophy of Friendship and Love; 
    3. a re-sequence of five (5) existing courses;
    4. a reorganization of course options and selections;
    5. and, the development of new policies and procedures for assignment and assessment of advisors.

 

Perhaps most notable was the creation of our Senior Seminar and the policy that all graduating seniors must complete a portfolio in her/his final semester that includes an advising sheet, letters of recommendation, written work, an intellectual biography, and an exit survey

 

  • The assessment and evaluation of our contributions to other majors resulted in faculty from other programs recommending our courses as part of their curriculum and the tailoring of our courses to meet the specific needs of majors in these areas.  One example is adding a health and medical dimension to Introduction to Ethics for those students pursuing careers in the health and medical fields.

 

  • The assessment and evaluation of our contributions to the institution’s mission, goals, and strategic plan have resulted in an increase in sponsoring students who present their scholarly work, increasing the number of courses taught within the Honors College, participating in first-year initiatives, including Learning Communities, and incorporating technology into our courses.




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This page last updated 5/11/2009.