Course Proposal Submission
MORATOrium on new bgp course submissions:
A moratorium currently is in place regarding the submission of new BGP course proposals. As we work to create an intentional general education program, it is necessary to determine how the instructional and assessment components of the courses of the recently-revised program will function before we consider adding additional courses to the program.
ONLINE SUBMISSION PROCESS FOR BG PERSPECTIVE COURSE PROPOSALS
Department or program faculty who would like to have a course considered for inclusion in the BG Perspective Program will need to submit proposal materials to the BG Perspective Committee via an online process. Information that will guide the preparation of BGP course proposal materials is provided in the links below. Questions regarding the creation and/or submission of course proposals should be addressed to BGP Program Director Donna Nelson-Beene (email@example.com or 419-372-4864.)
General education courses are typically lower-division courses which provide students with a solid foundation for moving into their upper-level courses. General education courses should be available to all undergraduate students, rather than courses which are designed to fulfill the requirements of a specific program. These courses may not be developmental or remedial, and they may not be “special topics” courses which have variable content. As a program, general education courses should provide students with intellectual skills that include the ability to think critically and communicate effectively; the ability to understand different cultures, modes of thought, and multiple values; and the ability to investigate forces that shape the social, scientific and technological complexities of contemporary culture.
If units are hopeful of submitting a course proposal for a course that does not meet these guidelines, they should contact Donna Nelson-Beene, BGP Director, to discuss their rationale.
Departments/programs must submit an electronic BGP course proposal form and additional materials for each course they would like to have considered for inclusion on the BGP course list. For assistance with completing the proposal submission process, faculty should contact Donna Nelson-Beene, BGP Director.
A BGP course proposal consists of a proposal form that is to be completed and submitted online, and three attachments: a Course Master Syllabus; the assessment documents/tools that will be used in the assessment of BGP learning outcomes; and a Signatures Page. (Information regarding the attachments is provided in subsequent sections.)
Rather than immediately starting to complete the online course proposal form or create the three attachments, it is recommended that faculty prepare for the process by understanding the overall procedures and gathering the information and materials they will need. To this end, please note the following:
- BGP Director Donna Nelson-Beene (firstname.lastname@example.org) encourages individuals or groups to meet with her to review the course submission process before the process is even begun.
- The BGP Committee is hopeful that the creation of course proposals will create a collaborative spirit among those who are teaching the same BGP courses. To this end, it is recommended that units collaborate as they consider the BGP’s learning outcomes, think about how the course will be taught in the future, and design methods of assessing BGP outcomes within the course. If colleagues at the Firelands campus also teach the course, they should be included in such discussions and decision making.
- It might be useful to do initial drafting of course proposal information on a course proposal worksheet which is in MS WORD format. If the worksheet is used, it is an easy matter to cut and paste the information into the online form at a later time when ready to do so.
Click this link to access the BGP Course Proposal Worksheet.
Note: If you do not use the worksheet, preferring to enter information directly into the electronic form, please be sure to save your work regularly throughout the process.
Because the BGP Committee wants to ensure that BGP faculty are employing "best practices" in their classrooms, the BGP course proposal form asks for information regarding the interactive engagement activities (sometimes called "active learning" activities) that will be used in the courses being proposed. The list of possibilities for such activities is endless, including any methods that are designed to promote conceptual understanding as students interact with their peers, with the instructor, or with course materials in meaningful ways.
Interactive engagement activities or tools might include the use of course blogs or wikis, small group work, group projects, presentations, lab components, video projects, online discussions, star gazing activities, clickers, plays and films, classroom improvisations or role playing, reflection assignments, creative writing assignments, contests, think-share-pair, brainstorming activities,small whiteboards, short writes, simulations, and interactive lectures--to name just a few of the myriad possibilities. The BGP Committee understands that there will be differences from course to course, depending upon the nature of the content, the number students enrolled in the sections, and so on.
A required component of the course proposal is a master syllabus which provides the framework from which individual faculty members will build the syllabus for their own sections of the course. BGP faculty should include the components of the master syllabus in their own course syllabus, but the faculty are encouraged to customize the document to their own instructional preferences and purposes. There should be one master syllabus for each course, and it should contain the following components:
- Course aim
- Course learning outcomes
- BG Perspective learning outcomes
- Topics covered
- Instructional strategies
- Student learning activities
- Methods used for determining grades
- An explanation of how each learning outcome will be assessed in the course
- Kinds of assignments and as much detail as possible about each of these assignments. If desired, assignment sheets may be attached to the syllabus
- Examples of instructional materials such as textbooks, internet websites, electronic media, videos, films, recordings, and/or exhibitions
- Example of a calendar showing the topics and activities to be covered in the course
- Course policy statements
It is also recommended that the Master Syllabus reflect principles of effective syllabus construction, including a welcoming tone which indicates that the instructor is approachable; an opening statement about the course that will help students become excited or intrigued about what is to come; an explanation of the instructor's office hours and encouragement for students to meet with the instructor outside of class; very brief explanations of the rationales underlying specific course rules; and recommendations, tips for success, or resources that might be useful to students taking the course.
As previously stated, the mission of the BG Perspective course review process is to ensure that each BGP course will be taught with effective learning strategies; that pedagogical decisions will be guided by evidence of student learning; and that each BGP course will contribute to providing students with an excellent foundation for moving into upper-level courses. Further, the review process needs to ensure that the departments or programs submitting a course proposal have developed a coherent and integrated plan for actually measuring student learning within all sections of the given course.
At the end of each semester beginning in Fall 2015, academic units will be required to submit the results of their BGP learning outcomes assessments, which will allow the results to be compiled by BG Perspective domains. Through using the results of these assessments, we will obtain a snapshot of how our institution is faring overall with student learning within each of the domains, we will be able to modify our general education program and learning outcomes where doing so appears to be necessary, and we will be able to establish goals.
The ongoing, routine measurement of students’ success in achieving general education outcomes has become essential in today’s culture of assessment. Future re-accreditation evaluations, in fact, will require BGSU to submit evidence regarding the quality of student learning in our general education courses to HLC (Higher Learning Commission).
Because of how important BGP assessment data has become, academic units will need to maintain—and provide upon request—concrete data regarding their BGP assessment results. Furthermore, the timely submission of requested data will be necessary for continued BGP course approval.
Plans for BGP learning outcomes assessment need to include careful alignment of course assignments with BGP outcomes—and a subsequent assessment process—that will help the units address and assess BGP expectations for student learning in each BGP course they offer. For assistance with creating a BGP assessment plan, please contact BGP Director Donna Nelson-Beene (email@example.com). As well, please refer to the following guide, written by Julie Matuga, Director of Academic Assessment and Institutional Effectiveness.
The final attachment that is a necessary component of the BGP course proposal is a one-page Signatures Page, which can be printed from the online proposal form. Signatures should be obtained from the Chair/Director and College Dean, indicating their approval of the course proposal. It is necessary that those who sign the Signatures Page have seen the course proposal in entirety, including the attachments. After the signatures have been obtained, the Signatures Page should be scanned so it can be attached to the course proposal where directed to do so.
The Signatures Page will then move on to others for their endorsements. For a course to be approved for the new BGP Program, the BGP Committee must approve the proposal; the Director of Academic Assessment, must approve the plan for assessing the BGP learning outcomes; and the Provost will provide the final approval of the course, taking into account a review of historical data and fiscal sustainability.
Please remember that Donna Nelson-Beene and the BGP Committee are available to answer questions and to assist you with understanding the new BGP Program and with the process of submitting a BGP course proposal.
Although the online form is not complicated, it will be very useful to use these step-by-step instructions as a guide when completing and submitting the form. Please remember to SAVE often and not to SUBMIT the form until you are sure that you are ready to do so.