COMMITTEE:   Academic Standards Committee      


MEETING DATE:   November 19, 2007




REGULAR MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE: Altman, Lorenzo, Richardson, Smith-Canter, Spaulding


EX-OFFICIO MEMBERS IN ATTENDANCE:   Bailey, Brown, Griffin, Sprague


OTHERS IN ATTENDANCE:  Ray Drake, Joe Norris, Jack Brinn, Matt Long






Agenda Item:     Approval of minutes from 10/24/07 meeting


Action Taken:  Approved


Agenda Item:   Approval of Stacey Altman (from Health and Human Performance) to replace Joseph Thomas as a regular member the Academic Standards Committee. 


Action Taken:  Approved



Agenda Item:   Discussion of ITCS proposal to change student e-mail


Discussion:   George Bailey, on behalf of the Academic Standards Committee, had initiated a survey with regard to the potential change in student e-mail provider from in-house to Microsoft Windows that had been proposed by ITCS.  Bailey had sent the results to the ITCS staff with a series of specific questions to be answered.  ITCS staff members in attendance came prepared with a written response to the questions raised in the Academic Standards survey.  They explained that the chief reason for the proposed change is to provide students with more e-mail storage space; each student currently only has 50 MG.  While ECU has the lowest technology fee in North Carolina, we are one of the most efficient in our computer labs.  Since the university does not have the budget in the student fees, the ITCS staff began investigating how the problem of limited student storage space might be resolved.  It was explained that the change would affect only the student e-mail accounts, not the faculty and staff who will continue to use Outlook and have more storage space than the students (also aided by the use of e-mail vaulting).  The student e-mail addresses will need to be changed, however, since the minimum length for passphrases are 6 characters for Windows LiveID while the minimum is 8 characters for PirateID.  Matt Long explained that this would not be difficult to change and could also be changed on Blackboard for the e-mail forwarding feature.  Additionally, the routine change of password for security would be synchronized with a change of the one on Windows Live@ecu.  The switch to Windows Live@ecu allows for outsourcing of the student e-mail with a reputable company that will service it and allow the students to have the storage ability and convenient features that they have on many of their off-campus e-mail accounts and maintain their ECU affiliation on their e-mail account.  One question was raised concerning whether students will be subjected to unwanted advertisements in using this new provider; the ITCS staff stated that Microsoft has promised that there will not be advertisements.  Another committee member asked if once we shift to this provider and we no longer maintain the ECU system, if Microsoft will be committed to maintain its service.  The ITCS staff responded that Microsoft has so many accounts and is trying to build more that it is unlikely that it will not support and continue this service—though they could add advertisements down the road.  ECU will need to revisit its commitment to the plan if advertisements are later added.  The e-mail will be secure and the e-mail accounts will NOT be given to advertisers.  ECU will still own the name space and could back out and return to an in-house system in the future.  Regarding the implementation, ITCS explained that there will likely be an opt-tin time period with full implementation by Fall 2009.  As explained by ITCS staff members, with the Microsoft Live option, students will actually have 2 physical accounts:  one for LiveID for student e-mail and one for PirateID for campus resources.  Access to student email will require the student to use their LiveID and LiveID passphrase, while access to campus resources (such as Blackboard and Onestop) will require students to enter their PirateID and PirateID passphrase.  George Bailey stated that it would be best if students did not know that they needed 2 password accounts.  It was explained that eventually they would just have one password account.  Matt Long explained that Blackboard actually pulls from the Banner accounts.  There will be a separate account for ECU alumni (, and graduates will be transferred to this account.  Students who did not graduate and were not enrolled would, after a time, be automatically removed from the system.  There is also the possibility for a person to have both a faculty/staff account AND a student account—in the case a staff member, for instance, is also enrolled as a student.  This is not possible currently. 


Action Taken:  The committee has agreed to ITCS’s proposal for the change to the Microsoft Live e-mail service for student e-mail accounts, and we will present a report to the Faculty Senate presenting the main concerns that we raised and that were answered by the ITCS staff as well as the results of our survey.







Agenda Item:  Discussion with Michael Poteat about SOIS on-line.


Action Taken:   Dr. Poteat is not available to attend today’s meeting, so discussion of this topic will be postponed for a future meeting.



Agenda Item:   Discussion of teaching outcomes and assessment.


Discussion:  The committee discussed revisions to the draft of the document prepared regarding the goals and the process of outcomes assessment of Foundations Courses.  The committee made the following revisions:


Page 1:  Before the numbered goals, the phrase beginning “To earn Foundations credit . . “ should be changed to “Foundation courses have the following learning objectives” and the “or” between numbered goals 3 and 4 should be removed.


Page 2:  Change the sentence “The purpose of outcomes assessment is to improve the quality of Foundations courses by improving student learning” to”The purpose of outcomes assessment is to improve student learning by improving the quality of Foundations courses.”


Page 2:  Item 3 has so many variables that this will need to be broken down into several categories.  George Bailey agreed to work on this answer to revise it.


Page 2:  With regard to Item 4 (frequency of assessment), it was explained that there must be 2 outcomes assessments between now and the SACS review.


Page 2:  With regard to Item 5 (what must be assessed), a question was raised regarding whether too many courses getting GenEd credit.  Should our committee evaluate Foundations courses that were in practice before our review?  George Bailey answered that the evaluation of prior GenEd courses would not be very productive right now; wait until they come up for scrutiny if assessed because they will be evaluated according to Foundations goals.


Page 3:  Under Goal 3 of Question 5, the three examples given might be better in an attachment to the document.  Perhaps there should be some examples of questions on each learning outcome.  Perhaps also there might be an example provided of a report as an answer to Question 8.


The assessment goals and procedure will go into a computer software program for the actual statistics.  Our committee is simply providing the procedures, while the administration will instigate the operations.  Assessment by the particular discipline involved should be easier since they are most knowledgeable.  One problem may arise in those courses that were taught long before the Foundations goals were determined.


ADJOURNED:   3:50 p.m. 


NEXT MEETING:  January 14, 2008



ITEMS TO BE DISCUSSED:    Courses for Foundations Credit:  ETHN 3501 and ETHN 3502; Continued discussion of teaching outcomes and assessment; Continued discussion with Dr. Michael Poteat regarding the SOIS.