Committee on Academic Development/Elective Academic Programs

Annual Report for 2018-19

Telephone: 718-281-5494
Email: themrajbenny@qcc.cuny.edu

To: Jannette Urciuoli, Secretary, Steering Committee, Academic Senate
From: Tirandai Hemraj-Benny, Chairperson
Date: August 23, 2019
Subject: Annual Report for the Committee on Academic Development/Elective Academic Programs for 2018/2019


I) Committee Members (2018-2019)

  • Rezan Akpinar, Health, Physical Education and Dance
  • Merlinda Drini, Engineering Technology
  • Tirandai Hemraj-Benny, Chemistry
  • David Pham, Mathematics and Computer Sciences
  • Renee Rhodd, Academic Affairs
  • Susan Riekert, Nursing
  • Ilse Schrynemakers, English
  • Anuradha Srivastava, Biological Sciences & Geology
  • Jodi Van Der Horn-Gibson, Speech Communication & Theatre Arts
  • Michael Pullin, Academic Affairs, President's Liaison
  • Randy Vergara, Student Veterans
  • Linsong Dong, Asian Society

II) Meeting Times

The committee members met five (5) times during 2018-2019: August 29th, 2018, October 3rd, 2018, November 28th, 2018, February 13th, 2019 and April 17th, 2019.

III) WEBPAGE

All agenda, minutes, and year-end reports have been updated on the college website for the academic period of 2015-2019 by the Chairperson, Dr. Tirandai Hemraj-Benny.

IV) ACTIVITIES:

  1. Bylaws. On March 26th, 2019, Drs. Tirandai Hemraj-Benny and Rezan Akpinar drafted and submitted a memorandum to the Academic Senate Bylaws Committee to approve the following changes to the Academic Development Committee Bylaws:

    • From “Arrange for the presentation of lectures, seminars, workshops, and exhibits to specifically include effectiveness of instruction” to “Promote and/or arrange for the presentation of lectures, seminars, workshops, and exhibits to specifically include effectiveness of instruction.”

    Rationale: We believe that Academic Development & Elective Academic Program committee should work with Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL)which is “established to foster faculty innovation and effectiveness through faculty development lectures and workshops.” Having a charge which includes “promote and/or arrange” will give both entities a chance to fulfill their responsibilities.

    • From “Oversee and promote activities beneficial to elective programs such as the CUNY-BA/BS, International Studies, and Honors program” to “Review and/or promote activities beneficial to elective programs such as the CUNY-BA/BS, International Studies, and Honors program.”

    Rationale: The Academic Affairs Office of QCC currently oversees academic programs and faculty. The College supports ten dual/joint programs, 23 transfer degree programs, 15 career programs, and five certificate programs. We believe that to “oversee” implies to supervise or manage the elective programs that may not be in our scope of expertise. Review and promote is a more realistic goal for the committee, where review implies we assess and examine content prior to promoting.

    These changes were approved by the Academic Senate Bylaws Committee on April 3rd, 2019.

  2. Committee Guide. Dr. Tirandai Hemraj-Benny updated “A Guide for Committee on Academic Development/Elective Academic Programs Members” and has uploaded the document on the college website.

  3. Faculty Development Workshops.

    • The Academic Development Committee sponsored the following workshop:

      • - Less Stick, More Carrot: Increasing Student Motivation in Your Classroom by Dr. Michael Pullin-04/10/19.

    • The Academic Development Committee co-sponsored the following workshops:
      • - Breast Cancer Prevention: An Eastern View by Dr. Rezan Akpinar- 10/10/18

      • - Finding a Journal for Publication by Christine Kim- 10/12/18.

      • - Education and Career Opportunities in Public Health- 10/17/18

    • During Fall 2018, the QCC faculty were surveyed by the Academic Development Committee to understand their interest in faculty developmental workshops. There were 65 responses.

      • 46 faculty are interested in increasing student motivation in the classroom.

      • 27 faculty are interested in writing for publications and/or grants in the Sciences.

      • 25 faculty are interested in building student-teacher relationships in a diverse student population.

      • 18 faculty are interested in teaching strategies for adult learners/non-traditional students.

      • 18 faculty are interested in teaching students effective reading strategies in credited courses.

    Tirandai Hemraj-Benny, Susan Riekert, Ilse Schrynemakers and Anuradha Srivastava assisted with organizing the events, creating promotional flyers and surveying the faculty.

  4. Student Development Workshops.

    • The Academic Development Committee co-sponsored twelve (12) General Chemistry Workshops in collaboration with the Science Research Alliance Club during fall 2018.
    • The Academic Development Committee co-sponsored a workshop titled “Education and Career Opportunities in Public Health” on 10/17/18 in collaboration with the Women in Science Club.
    • The Academic Development Committee co-sponsored a workshop titled “Public Health: What It Is and How To Be Part of It.” 04/03/19 in collaboration with the Women in Science Club.
  5. Student Evaluation of Faculty.

    During spring 2017 and spring 2019, QCC faculty were surveyed by the Academic Development Committee to determine their satisfaction with the content of the current student evaluation of faculty form. Dr. David Pham assisted in the preparation of the survey during spring 2019. Dr. Victor Fichera of the Office of Institutional Research assisted in analyzing the results obtained from both surveys. A summary is provided below.

Spring 2019

What is your title? Answered: 101 Skipped: 2

Adjunct (12.9% - 13)
Lecturer (18.8% - 19)
Assistant Professor (30.7% - 31)
Associate Professor (23.8% - 24)
Full Professor (13.9% -14)

How satisfied are you with the current format of the Student Evaluation of Faculty form? Answered: 102 Skipped: 1

Satisfied (61.8% - 63)
Not satisfied (38.2% - 39)

The instructor always begins class on time. Answered: 98 Skipped: 5

Useful (74.5% - 73)
Not useful (25.5% - 25)

The instructor is available for a full class period. Answered: 100 Skipped: 3

Useful (75% - 75)
Not useful (25% - 25)

The instructor uses class time efficiently. Answered: 100 Skipped: 3

Useful (78% - 78)
Not useful (22% - 22)

The instructor provides well-organized and logical explanations. Answered: 100 Skipped: 3

Useful (91% - 91)
Not useful (9% - 9)

The instructor provides clear objectives for the course. Answered: 9 Skipped: 5

Useful (80.6% - 79)
Not useful (19.4% - 19)

The instructor has increased my knowledge of the subject matter. Answered: 98 Skipped: 5

Useful (79.6% - 78)
Not useful (20.4% - 20)

The instructor encourages students to ask questions and participate in class. Answered: 98 Skipped: 5

Useful (91.8% - 90)
Not useful (8.2% - 8)

The instructor maintains a classroom atmosphere of respect towards differing viewpoints. Answered: 99 Skipped: 4

Useful (89.9% - 89)
Not useful (10.1% - 10)

The instructor is willing to help students outside the class. Answered: 99 Skipped: 4

Useful (78.8% - 78)
Not useful (21.2% - 21)

Assignments and exams are closely related to the course content. Answered: 95 Skipped: 8

Useful (83.2% - 79)
Not useful (16.8% - 16)

What did you like best about this class? Answered: 97 Skipped: 6

Useful (81.4% - 79)
Not useful (18.6% - 18)

Would you or would you not recommend this instructor to a friend? Why? Answered: 97 Skipped: 6

Useful (72.2% - 70)
Not useful (27.8% - 27)

Is there any way that you would like to see the Student Evaluation of Teaching Form improved? Answered: 57 Skipped: 46

Qualitative Analysis of the 2019 Student Evaluation of Faculty Form Open-Ended Question Results written by Dr. Victor Fichera:

A survey was administered to QCC faculty in spring 2019 to obtain feedback about their thoughts on the student evaluation of faculty form. The faculty were asked about the questions and the form. This survey included an open-ended question asking “Is there any way that you would like to see the Student Evaluation of Teaching Form improved?" There were 57 responses to this question. A qualitative analysis was performed on the responses in order to enhance the interpretability of the responses. This analysis categorized the responses. There was a fairly wide variety of responses, however, several themes emerged. Categories were formed around these themes.

Table 1 shows the categories created by the qualitative analysis process and the number of responses that fit within each category. Of the 57 responses to the open-ended question, 7 responded to the negative (e.g., “no.”) The most frequent type of response was to suggest the addition of one or more new questions and in some cases to replace or remove some questions. A relatively large number of respondents felt strongly that the survey needed to be changed in many ways. Many responded that the survey be administered online and many suggested that more open-ended questions be added to the survey. Several respondents would have liked to see some statistical work done with the survey responses so that the results could be more easily digested. Within this qualitative analysis, a minimum of 4 responses was considered as a cutoff for creating a category.

Table 1. Response Categories and Response Counts within each Category for the Question “Is there any way that you would like to see the Student Evaluation of Teaching Form improved?”

Response Category Count
Suggested additional or revised questions. 18
Made a negative evaluation of the survey. 13
Have more open-ended questions or opportunities for respondents to elaborate. 12
Suggested that the survey be done online. 10
Answered questions that the respondents made up for themselves. 6
Suggested questions about the student (e.g., How much time did you spend on the course?). 4
Made statements that the students cannot properly/fairly evaluate faculty. 4
Suggested that statistics be made of the survey results to aggregate the findings. 4
Responded with: no, not sure, N.A. 7

One notable suggested question re-wording was “Revise the question "Was the professor available to help outside of class?" so that it reads, "Was the professor available during her/his stated office hours?" Other survey respondents also sought to change this question as they complained that some students give poor ratings only because they were unaware of the hours, or did not come into QCC on the days when the faculty were available or that adjuncts do not have the same availability as others. Given that some felt that this question was problematic, the suggested re-wording might improve the survey.

Spring 2017

Qualitative Analysis of the 2017 Student Evaluation of Faculty Form Open-Ended Question Results written by Dr. Victor Fichera:

A survey was administered to QCC faculty in spring 2017 to obtain feedback about their thoughts on the student evaluation of faculty form. The faculty were asked about the questions and the form. This survey included an open-ended question asking “What additional items would you like to add to the current Student Evaluation of Faculty form?" There were 124 responses to this question. A qualitative analysis was performed on the responses in order to enhance the interpretability of the responses. This analysis attempted to categorize the responses. There was a very wide variety of responses so it was difficult to form categories.

Of the 124 responses to the open-ended question, 35 responded with nothing “e.g., none, N.A., nothing”. The responses of “nothing” are clearly interpreted to mean that nothing needed to be added. However, the responses of “N.A.” did not have clear interpretations. There were only two categories where a somewhat large number of faculty made the same type of response. One category was that the form should include more open-ended questions or questions that were suited to qualitative analysis. 13 responded this way. The other type of response was one where the faculty (12 of them) stated that there should be a question(s) about the student. Respondents suggested questions such as “How well are you doing in this class?” or “How much time do I (student) spend per week preparing for this class?” Besides responses that fell within these two response categories, there were very few responses that fell within a category. The ranges of responses to categories spanned from 3 to 13. Within this qualitative analysis, a minimum of 3 responses was considered as a cutoff for creating a category. Table 1 shows the categories created and the number of responses that fit within each category.

Table 1. Response Categories and Response Counts within each Category for the Question ”What additional items would you like to add to the current Student Evaluation of Faculty form?”

The information in table 1 shows that there was a wide-variety of responses to the question. There were many other responses, which were very unique, not shown in the table. Thirty-four responses were classified as having unique content. Some of these responses included multiple ideas, so some were categorized as fitting in a category and also considered as unique. Since 35 respondents stated that nothing needed to be added and 8 responded that the form was good, the survey revealed that many of the faculty were satisfied with the evaluation form in its current state. Only 7 respondents gave a negative comment about the form. The fact that there were few responses that belonged in the same category provides some evidence that there was no consensus about anything that needed to be changed in the survey. Overall, the content of the survey responses and the response patterns could be interpreted to indicate that the evaluation form had no serious deficits.One of the unique responses, categorized as a suggestion for an open-ended question, might be very useful. This suggestion was for adding the question “What is one thing that could be improved about this class?” This simple question was deemed noteworthy among the many responses because it seems to have tapped into the essence of the evaluation. This question can serve two functions by revealing what students find to be less than ideal and by collecting suggestions from students for constructive ideas about course improvement. Given that the most frequent category of responses (as seen in Table 1) was that there should be more open-ended questions, this suggested open-ended question about what could be improved would be desirable if the survey were to be modified. This type of question is frequently used in many surveys used at QCC and it often yields useful information that can be easily interpreted and acted upon.
Response Category Count
Have more open-ended questions or more qualitative questions 13
Suggested questions about the student (e.g., How much time did you spend on course work?) 12
Made a negative comment about the survey 7
Judged the evaluation form to be good 6
Suggested a question asking the student if she/he learned from the course 5
Suggested a question asking if the instructor was motivating/inspiring 4
Made statements that the students cannot do a good job at evaluating faculty 4
Suggested a question asking if the instructor gave feedback 4
Stated that the form should be more objective, quantifiable, not open-ended, scaled 4
Suggested a question about the instructor’s availability 4
Suggested a question if the course material was useful or relevant 4
Suggested a question asking if the course was challenging 3
Suggested a question asking if the instructor made the subject interesting 3
Suggested a question asking what was learned or what was the takeaway from the course 3
Should add questions about online courses 3
Suggested a question asking if the instructor returns grades promptly 3
The faculty respondent answered their own question in the open-ended space 3
Responded with: nothing, N.A., none 35

V) COMMITTEE MEMBERS (2019-2020)

  • Rezan Akpinar, Health, Physical Education and Dance
  • Joanne Chang, Music
  • Merlinda Drini, Engineering Technology
  • Crystal Moscat, Academy Advisement
  • David Pham, Mathematics and Computer Sciences
  • Susan Riekert, Nursing
  • Rex Taibu, Physics
  • Renee Rhodd, Academic Affairs
  • Ilse Schrynemakers, English
  • Michael Pullin, Academic Affairs, President's Liaison

VI) ELECTIONOn April 17th, 2019, elections for Chairperson and Secretary were held. Elections were held by secret ballot. Eight (8) voting committee members were present.

  • Chairperson: 8 votes for Rezan Akpinar
  • Co-Chair: 8 votes for Renee Rhodd
  • Secretary: 8 votes for Ilse Schrynemakers
VII) ACTION PLAN FOR 2019-2020The committee members propose the following action plan for 2019-2020:
  • The committee will continue to review, evaluate, and report to the Academic Senate on the system of student evaluation of faculty.
  • The committee will continue to collaborate with CETL and Office of Academic Affairs to promote and expand on faculty and student development programs.

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