Academic Standard Committee


Meeting of November 12, 2001



Members Present:  J. Tilley, M. S. Ravi, M. Sharp, D. Neal, R. Bamberg, B. Christian

Guests Present:  Dorothy Clayton, Dorothy Muller


The meeting began at 3:00


The minutes of the September 17, 2001 meeting were approved.


John Tilley suggested a revision to the agendas for the Nov. 12th  and 19th meetings, moving reports on general education assessment from the 12th to the 19th.  Tilley also distributed course proposals for WOST 3510, WOST 3520, RELI 2500.


Dorothy Clayton addressed the committee on the two items of business carried over from the Teaching Effectiveness Committee: 1) Form a subcommittee to determine current faculty development activities for teaching effectiveness at ECU and at other institutions; 2) Address peer evaluation of distance learning.  The suggestion of a need to form a subcommittee to sample faculty development for teaching effectiveness at ECU and other institutions came as a request from an ECU faculty member.  The intention behind the request was to better support faculty members moving through the tenure and promotion stages of their careers.  Clayton noted that her office runs workshops and development activities for tenure-track faculty, and stressed that appropriate criteria for tenure and promotion are developed within departments.


On the second item, Clayton discussed the work of a subcommittee tasked with proposing peer-review techniques for on-line classes.  She noted that the on-line environment is very broad and myriad kinds of classes are run via distance education.  She also noted that terms, such as a class or a class meeting, need to be addressed.  Clayton reported that the finding of the subcommittee was that one instrument will not fit all on-line or distance environments.  The subcommittee concluded that existing tools and procedures are in place to allow departments to modify the faculty senate guidelines on peer review to fit a distance learning course.  Departments may create their own instruments with the appropriate Vice Chancellor’s approval.


Discussion followed on the purposes of peer review, whether it was primarily formative or summative.  Clayton noted that the faculty senate guidelines mandate that it be both formative and summative.  Since it is primarily tenure-track faculty who undergo peer-review, and that peer-review reports are required in personnel action files for tenure and promotion, the most salient purpose of peer-review is summative.


Discussion was opened on whether the Academic Standards Committee should take an active role in exploring peer-review for distance education and in developing a separate evaluation tool.


Dr. Dorothy Clayton presented a synopsis of the Teaching Effectiveness Committee’s efforts from last year to address the issue of student and peer evaluation of distance education courses at ECU.  The current situation is that programs/departments across campus are free to utilize the current SOI and Peer Observation of Teaching forms or modify them for use with distance education courses, with modifications approved by the appropriate vice chancellor.  As a quorum was not present at the time of this discussion, Drs. Bamberg and Christian were appointed as a subcommittee to examine this specific agenda item and to make a motion on the item at the next meeting on Nov. 19, 2001.


Dr. Clayton further enlightened the Committee as to past efforts at faculty development including workshops by recognized outstanding teachers at ECU, sending faculty to the NC institute for teaching effectiveness (though funds are not allocated this year for such travel), and other workshops offered by the Office of Faculty Development on promotion and tenure, advisement, and academic regulations.  Suggestions for items that the Committee may want to address at a future date included:  development of an archives of the videotaped teaching sessions of outstanding teaching award winners, co-sponsoring a seminar by these winners, and development of a more comprehensive new faculty orientation program.  Dr. Clayton also indicated that accountability for what goes on in a faculty member’s classroom will probably be even more of an issue in the future with the natural link to outcomes assessment.


The current SACS Assessment Committee was discussed, and it was decided by consensus that the Academic Affairs Committee should not duplicate or confuse this effort with their involvement, and should wait to see if the Assessment Committee desires any specific input or task by the Academic Affairs Committee.


Meeting adjourned at 3:52 p.m.



3:00 p.m. November 19, 2001



1.      Course proposals for general education credit (RELI 2500, WOST 3510,

WOST 3520).

2.      Report of the subcommittee on unfinished business from the former Teaching

Effectiveness Committee.

3.      Report from Don Neal and John Tilley from the last two meetings of the

General Education Assessment Committee.