Meeting Minutes for October 5, 2016


The Academic Senate Committee on Academic Development/Elective Academic Programs met on October 5th, 2016, at 1:00 pm in S-421

Committee Members in Attendance:

Emily Berry (Faculty); Jodi Van Der Horn-Gibson (Faculty); Tirandai Hemraj-Benny (Chairperson); Mirna Lekic (Faculty); Vazgen Shekoyan (Faculty); Anuradha Srivastava (Faculty); Yusuf Gurtas (Faculty); Nicole Lopez-Jantzen (Faculty)


The meeting was called to order at 1:00 pm

1. The chairperson began the meeting by sharing the 9/7/16 minutes and the agenda for today’s meeting. The agenda included the following: a) discussing a new meeting time for spring semester, b) promoting events related to academic development, c) discussing ways to improve student evaluations of faculty, and d) updating committee’s charges.

2. Following the advice of Dr. Landy, the committee agreed that organizing student activities does not fall under the charges of the Academic Development Committee.

3. The committee agreed that a new meeting time for spring semester is necessary and that it will be decided in January 2017, once all faculty members have their teaching schedules.

4.Workshops to be offered in collaboration with CETL were discussed:     

a) The committee agreed that four faculty workshops would be organized and offered this academic year (one on December 2, 2016 and three in the spring):

            ---two workshops on helping faculty develop better presentation skills at conferences                        (these would address public speaking, use of visual aids, etc.),

            ---one workshop on structuring feedback to improve student writing, and

            ---one workshop on detecting and avoiding plagiarism.

It was agreed that the committee members would be active participants in these workshops (sharing rubrics, useful experiences, suggesting speakers, etc.).

b) The sub-committee on workshops (Van Der Horn-Gibson, Berry, Lekic) will contact CETL for available dates (Wednesdays preferred by the committee), provide descriptions of the workshops, and recommend speakers/facilitators.

c) Dr. Srivastava suggested offering a workshop on HIP implementation, and after the suggestion of Dr. Lopez, it was agreed by all members that this particular workshop should feature HIP faculty rather than HIP coordinators, who would share their experiences either in a panel or poster session (as suggested by Dr. Hemraj-Benny).

5.  A discussion on improving the current student evaluations of faculty forms followed.

 --Dr. Shekoyan suggested tabulating our forms in order to provide a better analysis of the current system. He also pointed out that some forms from other institutions are less positive/negative biased, and instead ask the students to circle qualities that best describe a professor.

--Dr. Lopez noted that using a number system to evaluate a professor, as was suggested at some point at QCC, would only highlight any inherent prejudices.

--Dr. Gurtas suggested including more open-ended questions, an idea supported by all members.

Dr. Gurtas also suggested that the form include questions that show student learning. He mentioned that some schools like Cornell University offer mid-semester evaluations, which ask the students: “What is working? What needs to be changed?” These are questions that would be of use to the faculty.

--Dr. Hemraj-Benny read suggestions made by Ian Beckford, which included eliminating the “Would you recommend this teacher?” question.

It was agreed that at our next meeting (on November 2, 2016) the committee would examine several student evaluations of faculty from various institutions in order to come up with various ways of improving our own. Dr. Berry who has access to many of these forms, will provide some for members at our next meeting or via email.  

6. Dr. Hemraj-Benny and Dr. Srivastava will continue working on updating the committee charges and will inform the committee at its next meeting.

7. The meeting adjourned at 2p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Mirna Lekic
Committee on Academic Development/Elective Academic Programs, Secretary

Minutes typed on 10-05-16

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