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CNS departmental Courses and Curriculum Committees are encouraged to carve out time to stratically evaluate undergraduate education efforts in the department. The following sets of questions can be used to help identify areas for consideration. Please reach out to TIDES if your committee would like help gathering data, researching evidence-based best practices or obtaining professional development resources for any of these issues.

RESOURCES

  • Is the distribution of resources amongst courses in the department fair and appropriate?
  • Are teaching laboratories (and computer labs) being fully utilized?
  • Are there appropriate educational technologies available for instructional use?
  • Are class seats being filled? Are the seat caps appropriate to the instructional capacity?
  • Might UGTAs be used in place of graduate TAs in any courses?
  • Are faculty teaching assignments optimal?

CURRICULUM

  • Are there recent changes in your field that should be reflected in the curriculum?
  • Is the department actually following the curriculum outlined in the curriculum map? (for departments that have completed their Curriculum Redesign work)
  • Is there adequate faculty expertise to cover the departmental curriculum?
  • Are professional skills/21st century skills being adequately addressed in courses?
  • Are the current prerequisites still needed? Are there missing prerequisites for courses?
  • Are current course textbooks and instructional materials the best choices?
  • Could your degree plan be simplified? Are all required courses needed or could some electives be added?

SCHEDULING

  • Are there adequate seats in courses for the student demand each semester?
  • Are there courses that are consistently under-enrolled?
  • Are the degree required courses offered frequently enough and with enough seats?
  • Are there key course timing conflicts that should be avoided within the department and across departments?
  • Are there ways to optimize course seats in the department (using shadow sections, block releases, over enrollment, etc.)
  • How does the final enrollment at the end of the semester compare to seats available? (ie. Are there courses/sections with extra high drop off?)

INNOVATION and INSTRUCTIONAL EFFICACY

  • Are peer institutions using innovative instructional approaches or new curriculum organizations worth considering emulating?
  • Are there ways to better support struggling students? (ex. Fall-back sections, online remediation resources, supplemental instruction, etc.)
  • Are exceptional students being adequately challenged and engaged?
  • How can courses include more experiential learning and authentic assessment?
  • Are there way to encourage faculty adoption of evidence-based teaching practices?
  • What professional development might be useful for department faculty?
  • What teaching conversations would be productive to have at a full faculty meeting?
  • Are there teaching practices or policies that should be adopted at the departmental level?
  • How is your department encouraging inclusive teaching practices?
  • Should the department consider offering online courses? Hybrid courses?
  • Are there courses/instructors with troublingly low CIS scores or high QDF rates? What can be done about those?

ADVISING

  • What feedback do the advisors have on common student concerns?
  • What feedback do the advisors have on course scheduling?
  • Are the advisors adequately informed about opportunities for extracurricular academic opportunities for students?
  • How can advising being better utilized to help struggling students? Exceptional students? Average students?
  • What professional development should the advisors be included in to keep abreast of activities in the department and opportunities in the field in general?
  • What advising messaging do you wish were happening?

ASSESSMENT

  • How is the department graduation rate and demographics changing over time?
  • What do students do after graduation?
  • Is your degree appropriately preparing students?
  • Are students acquiring the desired knowledge and skills in your degree?
  • Are students satisfied with their experience in your courses and degree?
  • How are your student outcomes in your service courses?
  • How is your overall department instructional performance?
  • Are departmental resources being used efficiently and effectively?
  • Is your department meeting your 21st Century Curriculum Redesign goals?