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The Great Books
Executive Committee Minutes

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Minutes of the Great Books Committee

Members: Assoc. Dean Michael Brown, Anne Bunnell, Helena Feder, John Given, Thomas Herron, Su-Ching Huang, Anne Helene Miller, Kevin Moll, Frank Romer, Mona Russell, David Smith, Nancy Spalding, John Stevens, Anoush Terjanian, Edmund Wall, David Wilson-Okamura, Tricia Wilson-Okamura

Members Present: Professors Anne Bunnell, John Given, Mona Russell, David Smith, Nancy Spalding, John Stevens, Ed Wall, David Wilson-Okamura

March 1, 2011, Meeting #3, 3:30pm, Bate 3321

Agenda Item 1. Discussion of Generic Assessment tool for Great Books courses
this tool needs to address different teaching methods, whether based upon writing or discussion. The common factor between the two methods are (1) textual analysis (2) critical questioning (3) persuasive argument. One suggestion was to look for improvement, as in the model proposed by David Wilson-Okamura; however, Ann countered that such assignments would need to be the same. Smith emphasized the need for the second one to come at the end of the semester. The question of whether the teacher him/herself could be the single assessor was also raised, and it was concluded that in a program of this size it was not an issue. For papers we can keep a written record, but for oral exams, we will have no record. Discussion also centered upon what else could be included in the assessment instrument—reading comprehension? Identification of important passages? See new document. A motion was passed by 6 of the 7 people present, (the seventh being an abstention) to approve the amended document. John Stevens said he would contact others by email.

Agenda Item 2. Discussion of Fall 2011 Seminar on Great Books of Love.
John Stevens informed the group that book orders for fall are due Friday, and asked for suggestions. Mona Russell requested to teach Kahlil Gibran's Broken Wings. Russell also suggested looking at previous syllabus. Other suggestions included Plato's Symposium and Waugh's Brideshead Revisited. Interested faculty should contact John Stevens with their suggestions.

Agenda Item 3. Discussion of David Smith's assessment tool for GRBK 2500.
We discussed the difficulty of the research methodology in a course, e.g. GRBK which uses only primary sources. Ed Wall raised the question of whether Smith's tool would set a standard for other GRBK courses, which it does not. A motion was passed by 6 or the 7 people present (the seventh being an abstention) to implement this assessment tool.

Agenda Item 4. Announcements/Misc.
Spring schedule needs to be done; however there is uncertainty about planning, buy-outs, etc. Perhaps there should be another meeting late spring. Great Books pleased at turn-out, scholarly level, etc. of Fantazzi-fest.

The meeting was adjourned at 4:30pm

Submitted by Mona Russell