Assessment Impact
University of South Alabama
Foreign Languages and Literature Department


A. Student learning - GOAL #1. To achieve the student learning objectives of the B.A. program in Foreign Languages.

Objective: OBJECTIVE 1.1 (A). Linguistic proficiency - Graduates will demonstrate a proficiency in the four linguistic skills comparable to reference level B2 (High Independent User) of the Common European Framework: "Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussion in his/her field of specialization. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options."
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
1 a. French and German: placement and final exams administered at the study-abroad institutions.
1b. Russian: Test of Russian as a Foreign Language (TORFL) administered on-line to graduating seniors. A TORFL Level one certificate (above basic and elementary) is a prerequisite for entering Russian institutions of higher learning with obligatory further studies of the Russian language. (See <http://www.alte.org/members/russian/st_petersburg/level_one.cfm>.
1c. Spanish: plan the development of tests to be administered by University of Veracruz or before graduation at USA.
View Measurement Link
a, b: 2005-2006
c. 2006-2007
Assessment Committee
2. Portfolio containing work done in upper-level classes, including such items as audio- and video-taped oral presentations, formal and informal written material such as papers, letters, e-mail, journals, and exams, assessment by native speaker. Evaluated by the respective language section and approved by the departmental assessment committee on the basis of a checksheet for evaluating portfolios according to the desired criteria.
View Measurement Link
2005-2006 Assessment Committee
3. Surveys of graduating seniors: self-assessment of the language skills acquired at USA and perceptions of the overall quality of the foreign language program
2005-2006 Assessment Committee
4.Alumni survey
2006-2007 Assessment Committee
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
08/03/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: 1a. French and German: placement and final exams administered at the study-abroad institutions.
1c. Spanish: plan the development of tests to be administered by University of Veracruz or before graduation at USA.
TYPE: Problem / Limitation
NOTES: No test was administered in Russian this year as we did not have students traveling to Russia.
  No

06/11/2007 -- Result #3
DESCRIPTION: See also Result #2 2007. A self-assessment covering these topics is part of 480 and the portfolio. The section and department committees found that the self-assessments in the completed portfolios in Fall 2006 and Spring 2007 reflected adequate progress by the students in developing language skills and an appropriate level of awareness by students of their objective skill levels.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength

Related Data:
   View File - Student Self-Assessment Sample Spanish
   View File - Student Sefl-Assessment Sample German
06/11/2007 -- No changes recommended at this time as a result of self-assessments.

06/11/2007 -- This will be an ongoing concern, and students' self-assessments of their linguistic skills should continued to be monitored from year to year.

No

06/11/2007 -- Result #4
DESCRIPTION: Not yet completed. The sample attained in the Arts & Sciences alumni survey "does not appear to be large enough to allow for meaningful analysis by department or academic program."
TYPE: Problem / Limitation
NOTES: We plan to conduct yearly informal surveys of our alumni. Please also see result # 4 under objective 1.3(A).
06/11/2007 -- This should continue to be monitored.

06/11/2007 -- See action.

No

06/01/2007 -- Result #2
DESCRIPTION: Portfolios met expectations. The 1 French, 1 German, and 4 Spanish portfolios submitted in Fall 2006 and Spring 2007 were judged satisfactory by the committee using the evaluation form that was developed last year. Native informants, in the required oral language evaluation in LG 480, attested to satisfactory oral performance by students with respect to participation, comprehension, vocabulary, pronunciation, and fluidity: all students received marks of "good" or "excellent" in these categories. Written skills are assessed separately under Objective 1.4.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/01/2007 -- See result.

06/01/2007 -- This will be an ongoing concern, and linguistic skills of students should continue to be monitored from year to year.

No

06/12/2006 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Met expectations: satisfactory performance at level by all students taking these exams.
The three Russian students taking the TORFL I (Certificate) test made the following scores on the Lexicon, Grammar portion: 86%, 95%, and 85%. On the reading portion they made scores of 95%, 100%, and 95%.
The German student who studied at the Goethe Institute placed into level C.1.1, at or above the expected level, after completing LG 361 and LG 368 at USA. On completing her studies there, she took the Zentrale Mittelstufenprüfung, on which she also achieved a satisfactory result ("gut, befriedigend"). The Zentrale Mittelstufenprüfung "is an examination at an advanced level, requiring competence in all the language skills. It is recognized as fulfilling the language entry requirement for technical colleges and Studienkollegs in Germany."
Three students who studied in Dijon, France, all placed at their expected level (level four). During the second term all moved up to level five. Final exam scores were satisfactory in all cases.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/12/2006 -- The French and German sections added general language and specific oral components to LG 394 to further prepare students for the study-abroad experience: one-half hour session per week in conversation in the target language with a native informant. The French section now requires that all written work for LG 394 be done in French. Russian has added a written assignment to its section of LG 394. Spanish has added an additional assignment to LG 334, Grammar and Composition.

06/12/2006 -- This will be an ongoing concern, and linguistic skills of students should continue to be monitored from year to year. Development of Spanish exam will need to be completed.

No

06/12/2006 -- Result #2
DESCRIPTION: Portfolios met expectations. 1 French, 1 Russian, and 3 Spanish portfolios submitted in Spring 2006 were judged satisfactory by the committee using the new evaluation form for the first time. Native informants, in the required oral language evaluation in LG 480, attested to satisfactory oral performance by students with respect to participation, comprehension, vocabulary, pronunciation, and fluidity: all students received marks of "good" or "excellent" in these categories. Written skills judged satisfactory by section and department committees.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength

Related Data:
   View File - Oral_Language_Evaluation.doc
06/12/2006 -- See result. New portfolio checksheet devised and implemented for better assessment.

06/12/2006 -- This will be an ongoing concern, and linguistic skills of students should continued to be monitored from year to year.

No

06/12/2006 -- Result #3
DESCRIPTION: See also 2 above. A self-assessment covering these topics is part of LG 480 and the portfolio. The section and department committees found that the self-assessments in the five completed portfolios in Spring 2006 reflected adequate progress by the students in developing language skills and an appropriate level of awareness by students of their objective skill levels.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength

Related Data:
   View File - Self-Assessment Document - Spanish
   View File - Self -Assessment Document - German
06/12/2006 -- No changes recommended at this time as a result of self-assessments. But see action under Result #1.

06/12/2006 -- This will be an ongoing concern, and students' self-assessments of their linguistic skills should continued to be monitored from year to year.

No

06/12/2006 -- Result #4
DESCRIPTION: Not yet completed.
TYPE: Problem / Limitation
06/12/2006 -- Not yet completed. The College of Arts & Sciences is developing an alumni survey for selected departments in 2006. When this has been completed and tested, it will be adapted for our department in future years.

06/12/2006 -- See action.

No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 1.2 (A). Knowledge about the target language - Graduates will demonstrate knowledge about the target language, including major grammatical elements and discourse features, differences in varieties of contemporary usage and the major changes that have occurred in the language over time, and similarities and differences between the target language and other languages.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
1. Portfolio containing work done in upper-level classes, including such items as formal and informal papers, technology-enhanced presentations, and exams on literary and cultural topics; journal reflecting experiences during study-abroad. Evaluated by the respective language section and approved by the departmental assessment committee on the basis of a checksheet for evaluating portfolios according to the desired criteria.
View Measurement Link
Spring 2006. Departmental Assessments Committee.
2. Content mapping: examination of syllabi by departmental assessment committee to determine their content in reference to the departmental goals and objectives.
Spring 2006 Departmental Assessments Committee
3. Surveys of graduating seniors.
Spring 2006 Departmental Assessments Committee.
4. Alumni Survey
Spring 2007 Departmental Assessments Committee
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
08/06/2007 -- Result#1
DESCRIPTION: Content mapping will be an area that the assessments committee will review every three years. There will be no content mapping carried out in either 06-07 or 07-08.

Portfolios that are turned in by seniors during the semester that they are graduating, include an evaluation by native informants, samples of their writing in the target language, (term papers, essays, journals, etc.), their CV in the target language and the results from their study abroad experience including transcripts and certificates from the foreign institutes. The portfolios also include a six page typed essay on the foreign study experience and a self-assessment of the student's language skills. This is an ongoing project.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
  No

07/24/2007 -- Result #4
DESCRIPTION: Not yet completed.
TYPE: Problem / Limitation
NOTES: We plan to conduct informal interviews with alumni. Please see result#4 under objective 1.3(A)
06/05/2006 -- Not yet completed. The College of Arts & Sciences is developing an alumni survey for selected departments in 2006. When this has been completed and tested, it will be adapted for our department in future years.

06/05/2006 -- See action.

No

06/07/2006 -- Result #1.
DESCRIPTION: Portfolios met expectations: 1 French, 1 Russian, and 3 Spanish portfolios submitted in Spring 2006 were judged satisfactory by the committee using the new evaluation form for the first time. Tests and papers included in the portfolios and judged satisfactory by the section and department committees demonstrated that students had attained this knowledge.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/07/2006 -- No changes recommended at this time concerning knowledge about the target language . The self-assessment will continue to be a part of LG 480, where small and large group discussions also contribute to the students' awareness of cultural differences.

06/12/2006 -- The portfolios of graduating seniors will need to be monitored each year to insure that this objective continues to be met.

No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 1.3 (A). Knowledge of target culture and literature - Viewing the target culture and its literature as dynamic systems in which cultural perspectives are reflected through practices and products, graduates will demonstrate knowledge of the target culture ranging from daily living patterns and societal structures to geography, history, religion, the media, etc.; identify the contributions of major writers, thinkers, artists, and cultural icons, the roles they play, and references made to them in the culture; demonstrate familiarity with texts in a variety of discourses; and read at the level of analysis, interpretation, and synthesis.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
1. Portfolio containing work done in upper-level classes, including such items as formal and informal papers, technology-enhanced presentations, and exams on literary and cultural topics; journal reflecting experiences during study-abroad. Evaluated by the respective language section and approved by the departmental assessment committee on the basis of a checksheet for evaluating portfolios according to the desired criteria.
View Measurement Link
Spring 2006 Departmental Assessment Committee
2. Content mapping: examination of syllabi by departmental assessment committee to determine their content in reference to the department goals and objectives.
Spring 2006 Departmental Assessment Committee
3. Surveys of graduating seniors: self-assessment of the literary skills and cultural knowledge acquired at USA and perceptions of the overall quality of the foreign language program.
Spring 2006 Departmental Assessment Committee
4. Alumni survey
Spring 2007 Departmental Assessment Committee
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
07/26/2007 -- Result #2
DESCRIPTION: Not yet completed. The sample attained in the Arts & Sciences alumni survey "does not appear to be large enough to allow for meaningful analysis by department or academic program."
TYPE: Problem / Limitation
NOTES: We plan to institute yearly informal interviews with our alumni. Those that are locally based will be invited to a lunch and those that have moved elsewhere will be contacted by telephone. The interview will be used to determine: 1) How the alumnus has used the foreign language major and 2) how the alumnus feels about USA Foreign Language major in retrospect.
05/22/2007 -- This should continue to be monitored.

05/22/2007 -- See action.

No

05/22/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Portfolios met expectations. Tests and papers included in the portfolios and judged satisfactory by the section and department committees demonstrated that students had attained this knowledge.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
05/22/2007 -- No changes recommended at this time concerning knowledge about the target culture and literature. The self-assessment will continue to be a part of LG 480, where small and large group discussions also contribute to the students' awareness of cultural differences.

05/22/2007 -- This is an ongoing concern: periodic monitoring will occur to make sure that the objective continues to be met.

No

06/05/2006 -- Result #4
DESCRIPTION: Not yet completed
TYPE: Problem / Limitation
06/05/2006 -- The College of Arts & Sciences is developing an alumni survey for selected departments in 2006. When this has been completed and tested, it will be adapted for the Department of Foreign Languages in future years.

06/05/2006 -- See action.

No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 1.4 (A) Writing, Critical Thinking, Research - To improve performance in writing, critical thinking, and research skills.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
1. Portfolio containing work done in upper-level classes, including such items as formal and informal papers, research papers, and exams on literary and cultural topics; journal reflecting experiences during study-abroad. Evaluated by the respective language section and approved by the departmental assessment committee on the basis of a checksheet for evaluating portfolios according to the desired criteria. To insure uniformity of writing and research skills for all majors, LG 480 includes a major research project, including both a paper and a multi-media presentation of the research. Papers are written in English, but include a variety of source material in the target language as well as English. The paper is included in the portfolio and members of the target language section (& on some occasions members of affiliated departments) attend the students' presentations.
View Measurement Link
2005-2006 Department Assessment Committee
2. Content mapping: examination of syllabi by departmental assessment committee to determine their content in reference to these specific goals.
2005 Department Assessment Committee
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
06/12/2006 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Portfolios submitted in 2006 (1 French, 2 Russian, 3 Spanish) met expectations. Tests and papers included in the portfolios as well as the students' introductions to their portfolios demonstrated critical thinking, writing, and research skills. They were judged satisfactory by the section and department committees, using the new checksheet for the first time. The research papers were graded by the LG 480 instructor. All but one (submitted in incomplete form) demonstrated critical thinking and research skills commensurate with the learning goals. The section and department committees seconded the instructor's judgment in their review of the portfolios in which the research papers were included.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/12/2006 -- None recommended, except for following student suggestions at the end of LG 480 that the instructor set intermediate deadlines to help students pace their progress throughout the course.

06/12/2006 -- This will need to be an on-going evaluation, conducted from year to year. Please note: Objective 1.4 was reworded and replaced by 1.4.07 for 2006-2007.

No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 1.4.07 (A). Writing, Critical Thinking, Research - Graduates will demonstrate skills appropriate to their field in writing, critical thinking, and research. They will be able to write papers in the language of their major concentration that express a clear central point, logically develop ideas that are well-organized and supported by details, and communicate clearly. They will show a mastery of basic grammar of the target language and an ability to use more complex structures when writing letters, summaries, and papers on more advanced topics. Their research papers will demonstrate a proper use of secondary sources with bibliography and citations in the correct format.
Academic Year: 06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Portfolio containing work done in upper-level classes, including such items as formal and informal papers, research papers, and exams on literary and cultural topics; journal reflecting experiences during study-abroad.
2006-2007 Department Assessment Committee
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
07/24/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Three French majors studied in Dijon during the summer of 2006: they placed into courses at the B1, B2, and C2 levels of the Common European Framework. They completed these courses and moved into the next course at levels B2, B2, and C2 of the CEF. All thus reached the level of B2 which the Department expects its graduates to obtain.
Two German students studied abroad during the summer of 2006: one at the Freie Universität Berlin and one on the University of Kansas program near Munich. The former took literature and culture courses in German, for which no placement test was given. The student was able to complete the courses, which required both oral and written work in German, scoring at a level well-above average. This indicates that she had attained an adequate level of language preparation. The University of Kansas did not give a placement test either, but the student attending that program took an upper-level grammar course and upper-level courses in German culture and literature. The student scored above average, indicating that the student's language ability compared favorably with students from other institutions.
No Russian students studied abroad during the summer of 2006, so we do not have any placement tests results for Russian majors for this year.
The Spanish proficiency exam, a compilation of vocabulary, grammatical, and cultural questions, has now been developed and will be administered for the first time to both majors and minors participating in this year's Study Abroad Program in Mexico on 11 June 2007, their first day of class. Giving the test to a larger group will provide a broader basis of comparison. The same exam will be administered again to the majors during their last semester at USA. The grades of the two exams will then be compared to gauge changes.Overall we are very pleased with how our majors perform on proficiency language exams. Their ability to "hold their own" so to speak in standardized tests is to be commended.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/01/2007 -- Department faculty are always looking for ways to improve the the curriculum of individual classes and whole sections and to incorporate new teaching methods that will enhance student achievements in language learning. The instructors of the various intermediate Spanish sections decided this spring to introduce skits that required groups of students to work together to produce scripts in Spanish that they then performed for the others. These involved the development of both written and oral skills, and the nature of the project provided a motivational factor that resulted in improved results, according to the other instructors who attended the performance.

06/01/2007 -- This will be an ongoing concern, and linguistic skills of students should continue to be monitored from year to year. Now that a Spanish exam has been devised, the results of its administration can assessed.

No

05/18/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: The assessment committee reviewed the eighteen research papers submitted as part of the requirement for LG 480, the Department's capstone Senior Seminar course and evaluated them according to a formula based on the Rubric for Scoring Students' Advanced Writing Skills suggested by the university's assessment office. This rubric contains five categories: (1) Thesis/Focus Content; (2) Organization; (3) Style; (4) Mechanics and (5) Appropriate Use of Evidence/Data Sources. Within these categories there are sub-categories; the committee added a third subcategory to category (5), which it described as: "The writer applied evidence and sources in a critical and interpretive manner." (See related data for full description and evaluation criteria). The papers were graded according to the following scale: Exceptional=4; Averate=3; Minimal=2; and Unacceptable=1.

The results of the 18 papers submitted were as follows:
I. Averages for each category
Thesis/Focus/Content 3.4
Organization 3.5
Style 3.2
Mechanics 2.7
Appropriate Use of Evidence 2.9

II. Individual Overall Scores for each student
4.0=2
3.8=1
3.6=2
3.5=1
3.4=2
3.0=1
2.8=1
2.6=1
2.2=2
1.8=1

The Committee's conclusion is that our students are doing well in terms of fulfilling the department's writing expectations in that 13 of the 18 scored average or above. The weaknesses are in the areas of mechanics (target language grammar and expression) and in the proper use of research tools.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength

Related Data:
   View File - Assessment Report of Writing Skills - Assessment Committee Members: Britt, Brown, (Chair) Fantoni, Roddy
05/18/2007 -- The results will be reported to the faculty, and instructors will be encouraged to concentrate on the areas of weakness in courses that involve writing. The rubric and evaluative method will also be shared, so that instructors can also incorporate them into other courses as advisable.

05/18/2007 -- A similar assessment of writing skills of the LG480 papers will be carried out in 2007-2008. The Assessment Committee will also investigate whether the actions have been fully carried out.

No

 

 


A. Student learning - GOAL #2. To achieve the student learning objectives of the Alternative Master's program with certification in Foreign Languages.

Objective: OBJECTIVE 2.1 (A). Alternative Master's Degree - Improve the skills of students pursuing an Alternative Master's Degree in Education in foreign languages at the K-12 level with respect to linguistic competency in the four skills, critical thinking and research skills, and cultural knowledge (paralleling the undergraduate expectations), as well as pedagogy
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
1. Use content mapping to review USA graduate foreign-language curricula and courses pursued by students. Examine undergraduate records more closely to determine what is needed for success in the graduate program.
Spring 2006 Departmental Assessments Committee; individual language sections
2. State Praxis exams, which are were given in 2005 for the first time, can now provide an assessment of our graduates.
Spring 2006 Departmental Assessment Committee; individual language sections
3. Departmental Exit Exams.
Spring 2006 Departmemental Assessments Committee; individual language sections
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
05/18/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Five students took the Praxis Exam. The passing score for Spanish is 147 and for French 148 (out of 200). All of the students who took the Praxis Exam this year passed it.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength

Related Data:
   View File - Exact Praxis Exam Results
05/18/2007 -- None needed. The results of the Praxis test will be monitored from year to year on an ongoing basis.  
No

05/18/2007 -- Result #2
DESCRIPTION: Both students passed the exit exam in French. Three passed on the first try in Spanish, and the fourth passed on the second try. All graduated.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
05/18/2007 -- None taken.

05/18/2007 -- It was recommended that the follow-up from the previous year be carried over: The Spanish section should contact the College of Education to see what can be done concerning strengthening the admissions requirements to the program with respect to the content area (language, literature, and culture). All sections should record results of different sections of the exit exam to note weaknesses in specific areas: the four language skills, knowledge about the language, and knowledge about the culture.

 
08/31/2007 -- When reviewing the overall results in Spanish, however, and students' performances in the various classes that they took as part of their program, the Spanish section decided that all applicants be required to have taken a literature course as part of the 33 hours undergraduate credit required for admission. Many native-speaking Spanish students, who received their degrees in other countries and in other fields are lacking this. Insuring that they enter the program knowing how to approach literature would improve their performance.  
No

06/05/2006 -- Result #2
DESCRIPTION: The cut-off score for French was 148 and for Spanish 144. Two students that had been through our graduate courses in French made a 197 and a perfect score of 200. The five students that had been through our program in Spanish made scores of 189, 177, 150, 149, and 140. This represents a passing rate of 100% for French and 80% for Spanish. (One student who took the test in German, but who has never enrolled in any of our language courses, did not make the cut-off, and an additional student in French, who has also not yet taken any of our courses, made above the cut-off score).
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/05/2006 -- The one student who failed in Spanish also failed the Department's own exit exam on the first try. The Spanish section will further investigate admissions requirements to the program.

06/05/2006 -- See action. The results of the PRAXIS test will be monitored from year to year on an ongoing basis.

No

06/05/2006 -- Result #3
DESCRIPTION: Four Spanish students took the Exit Exam. Three passed the first time; the fourth passed on the second attempt. One student who took the exam in French passed.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/05/2006 -- A recommendation was made that the Spanish section further investigate admissions requirements to the program. No changes recommended for French.

06/05/2006 -- The Spanish section should contact the College of Education to see what can be done concerning strengthening the admissions requirements to the program with respect to the content area (language, literature, and culture). All sections should record results of different sections of the exit exam to note weaknesses in specific areas: the four language skills, knowledge about the language, and knowledge about the culture.

No

 

 


A. Student learning - GOAL #3. Continue to strive for excellence in all phases of the teaching and learning process.

Objective: OBJECTIVE 3.1 (A). Study-Abroad Programs - To ensure the quality of instruction in study-abroad programs and the continued progress of the students in the target language.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications: To ensure the highest quality of instruction and cultural experience it is recommended that the accompanying instructor's stipend for this trip be doubled, from the current $5,000 to $10,000.
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Observation of study abroad experiences by instructor in LG 480, the director of the Xalapa program, and the department chair. Student self-assessment in LG 480, included in portfolio; native informant's assessment in LG 480, included in portfolio.
2005-2006 Departmental Assessments Committee
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
08/06/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: The instructor in LG 480, which deals with the study-abroad experience, the director of the Xalapa program, and the Department Chair all determined that the study-abroad programs and the overall experience with respect to students' curricula and attainment of skills were successful and a valid part of the major requirement. All students completed their study-abroad programs without serious academic, emotional, or other difficulties, and all displayed the expected linguistic development and cultural knowledge as seen in the results to Objectives 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 Student self -assessments in the portfolios also bore this out.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
NOTES: From this year forth, one instructor to be in charge of the Xalapa program, instead of sending a different each year. This person is also going to be in charge of teaching LG 394, our Pre-Study Abroad course every year. This will lend stability and continuity to an already successful program
08/31/2007 -- Direct Student Feed-Back in the form of a quick survey regarding their Study Abroad Experience will be initiated as of Fall 2007.  
No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 3.2 (A). Lower-level instruction: classroom observation - To continue to evaluate systematically the instruction in lower-level courses, especially those taught by part-time instructors
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Class visitation by senior instructors using evaluation form to be be developed
View Measurement Link
Spring 2006 Section leaders, department chair
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
05/18/2007 -- Result #2
DESCRIPTION: Observation of non-tenured tenure-track, new visiting, and part-time instructors continued to be practiced by section leaders and other members of the Department. Two instructors were evaluated as part of the pre-tenure review process. There were no new part-time applicants this academic year, so there were none in this category to give teaching demonstrations as part of the application process.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
05/18/2007 -- Results of the observations were recorded noting any deficiencies, and results were communicated to the instructors and the department chair. In the case of deficiencies, specific areas were pointed out and recommendations given for further mentoring during the coming academic year.

05/18/2007 -- Observation of instructors in these categories will continue to be carried out from year to year. Mentoring of instructors with deficiencies will be put in place during 2007-2008.

No

06/06/2006 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Form developed and used in evaluating part-time and tenure-track, non-tenured faculty. More systematic observations of faculty were carried out.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/06/2006 -- 1. A form was developed this year based on forms developed at the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania and modified for our purposes. Senior faculty/instructors visited classes in all four language sections and provided reports to the section leader and chair.

06/06/2006 -- 1. Instructors will need to be evaluated on an on-going basis.

 
06/07/2006 -- 2. Based on deficiencies revealed in the teaching of some part-time instructors, the Spanish section and the Department Chair decided to require that part-time applicants give a sample teaching demonstration, a practice that has long been the case for all full-time applicants. This was carried out for two applicants in the spring semester: one of them was hired on this basis and one was not.

06/12/2006 -- 2. The practice of requiring applicants for part-time teaching positions to give teaching demonstrations will be continued in the future.

No

 

 


B. Degree completion - GOAL #4. To improve student success rates and retention in lower-division classes, especially those with low success rates and large numbers of unsuccessful students (as measured by students earning grades of D, F, or WD).

Objective: OBJECTIVE 4.2 (B) Study skills information - Provide study skills information in the beginning foreign language classroom.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Determine whether study skills information has been provided.
2005-2006 Assessments Goals and Objectives Committee
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
06/12/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Instructors and sections continued to place study skills materials in the rack in the LRC for students and tutors to use. Materials were also placed on the various language sections' websites.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/12/2007 -- See result.

06/12/2007 -- Instructors should be encouraged to keep this practice up to date, to put more materials on the web, and to alert students, especially the weaker ones, about how to access it.

No

06/09/2006 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Individual instructors devised study skills materials, distributed them in the classroom, and placed them in a special rack for that purpose in the LRC. Tutors thus had ready access to them as well when helping students. The French section implemented more computer-assisted assignments, which encouraged more students to do homework: a higher percentage tended to do the computer-assisted homework than the written homework in the workbook, because the instant feedback from the computer helps the students be responsible for their own learning.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/09/2006 -- See result.

06/09/2006 -- Now that these practices have been initiated, they will be continued on an ongoing basis, and efforts will be made to better alert weaker students to the possibilities available to them.

No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 4.5 (B). Class size - Reduce class size in introductory language sections. Classes are currently capped at 28 (with overrides occasionally taking some initial enrollments to 30), realizing that they tend to settle out after a few days at 25. Because of this large number of students, it is difficult to give students the active practice in the four skills or the individual attention that they need, and the successful completion rate is probably lower as a result. The Association of Departments of Foreign Languages policy statement says "that the maximum class size for foreign language instruction where all four skills are equally stressed should not exceed 20. We hold that the optimum class size is 15."
We are also finding that enrollment in upper level Spanish classes is above the recommended level of 15 students for maximum benefit. All indications are that this trend will continue, leading us to create second sections of those same courses and thus straining resources for other classes.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications: This would involve the cost of hiring new instructors. In the fall of 2005 we taught 35 introductory sections in the four major languages plus Latin, with an average enrollment of 24.7 per section on the second day of class. If we reduced the average to 20 students per section, we would need to add 8 sections. To hire part-time instructors with M.A. degrees, would cost $16,200 for the fall semester. Involving full-time faculty in introductory sections adds to the health of the program and student success: hiring two full-time instructors with a 4-4 load would cost approximately $70,000 plus benefits.
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Measure reduction in class size.
When feasible. Department Chair.
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
05/18/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: This was not carried out this year because of the cost. The additional full-time instructor that was hired in Spanish on a one-year temporary basis for 2006-2007 led to a temporary reduction in the number of part-time instructors rather than in class size. The number of classes taught by part-time instructors will rise again in Spanish in 2007-2008.
TYPE: Problem / Limitation
05/18/2007 -- The Department will attempt to steer more students into Russian, Latin, German, and French to balance enrollments to the extent possible.

05/18/2007 -- The feasibility of pursuing this will need to be monitored in future years.

No

06/09/2006 -- Result # 1
DESCRIPTION: This was not carried out this year because of the cost. An additional full-time instructor was hired on a one-year temporary basis for 2006-2007, but this will lead more to reduction in the number of part-time instructors than in class size.
TYPE: Problem / Limitation
06/09/2006 -- See result.

06/09/2006 -- The feasibility of pursuing this will need to be monitored in future years.

No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 4.6 (B). Graders - To provide instructors with graders so that written homework is collected frequently and returned in a timely manner. Active practice of language skills is important for successful learning to occur, and frequent feedback on students' performance helps them gauge the development of those skills: instructors would be better able to provide more of each if they had graders to assist them with regular homework assignments.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications: Money would have to be budgeted for graders, most likely upper-level students or native speakers who would be paid $7.00/ hr. If 800 introductory students received additional assignments each week, and graders spent 5 minutes per student-assignment, 67 hours per week or 938 for 14 weeks would be needed, for a total of $6566 per semester.
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Determine whether graders are hired.
When feasible. Department Chair.
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
05/18/2007 -- Result # 1
DESCRIPTION: None were hired, except for a few tutors that were used when they happened to have free hours when students were not seeking help.
TYPE: Problem / Limitation
05/18/2007 -- See result.

05/18/2007 -- The feasibility of pursuing this will need to be monitored in future years.

No

06/09/2006 -- Result # 1
DESCRIPTION: None were hired, except for a few tutors that were used when they happened to have free hours when students were not seeking help.
TYPE: Problem / Limitation
06/09/2006 -- See result.

06/09/2006 -- The feasibility of pursuing this will need to be monitored in future years.

No

 

 


C. Research - GOAL #5. To continue to pursue and maintain excellence in research and professional development.

Objective: OBJECTIVE 5.1 (C). Research. - To continue the level of respectable scholarly activity.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Faculty productivity to be assessed at the end of each spring semester and compared with the activity of the previous five years in terms of publication of refereed articles and books, other articles, presentations at scholarly conferences, editorial activity, book reviews, and other recognized forms of scholarly activity.
Spring 2006 Departmental Chair
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
05/18/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: The faculty in the department performed at or above the five-year average in almost all categories. This year's figures with the previous five-year average in parentheses, are as follows:
Books 2 (.4), refereed articles 5 (1), other articles 5 (1.4), reviews 2 (2.2), conference papers 13 (10), external grants 0 (.4), internal grants 3 (2.8), chair conference session 4 (1). The external survey taken at the outset of the previous 5-year period showed the department to rank favorably with those in peer institutions.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength

Related Data:
   View File - FLL Research and Service Activitiy
05/18/2007 -- Results distributed to faculty who were encouraged to continue to take advantage of grant and travel-funding opportunities and to remain active in their scholarship and professional contacts.

05/18/2007 -- This will of necessity be an on-going process. It will be desirable to conduct another survey of faculty research at peer institutions in the next two years.

No

06/06/2006 -- Result # 1.
DESCRIPTION: The faculty in the department performed at or above the five-year average in all but one category, even though two faculty members were on one-year appointments and not expected to be active in this area (see attached document). This year's figures with the previous five-year average in parentheses, are as follows:
Books 1 (.8), refereed articles 6 (3.4), other articles 3 (1), reviews 2 (2.75), conference papers 11 (9.4), external grants 1 (.2), internal grants 4 (2.4). The external survey taken at the outset of the previous 5-year period showed the department to rank favorably with those in peer institutions.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength

Related Data:
   View File - FLL_Research.doc
06/06/2006 -- Results distributed to faculty who were encouraged to continue to take advantage of grant and travel-funding opportunities and to remain active in their scholarship and professional contacts.

06/06/2006 -- This will of necessity be an on-going process. It will be desirable to conduct another survey of faculty research at peer institutions in the next two years.

No

 

 


D. University service - GOAL #6. To continue to meet the needs of the university community by engaging in profession-related service activities appropriate to the discipline.

Objective: OBJECTIVE 6.1 (D). Service - To continue the level of respectable profession-related service in the department, college, university and community.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
To measure the degree of success faculty productivity will be assessed at the end of spring semester 2006 and compared with the activity of the previous year.
Spring 2006 Department Chair
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
05/18/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: The faculty remained close to the average of the previous five years in most areas, serving on slightly more committees than in the previous year . The results are as follows, with the previous five-year average in parentheses:
Departmental committees 40 (38.8), college and university committees 26 (27.6), professional organizations 5 (1), community 4 (7.4), professional offices held 4 (1.8), other 1 (2.2), student club sponsorships 7 (4.2).
TYPE: Distinction / Strength

Related Data:
   View File - FLL Research and Service 2007
05/18/2007 -- The results were distributed to the faculty, who were encouraged to continue their service contributions at various levels.

05/18/2007 -- This will necessarily be an on-going process.

No

06/06/2006 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: The faculty served on slightly fewer committees than in the previous year but remained close to the average of the previous five years in many areas (see attached document). The results are as follows, with the previous five-year average in parentheses:
Departmental committees 37 (36.8), college and university committees 20 (24), professional organizations 1 (1), community 5 (8.2), other 4 (1.4), student club sponsorships 5 (4).
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/06/2006 -- The results were distributed to the faculty, who were encouraged to continue their service contributions at various levels.

06/06/2006 -- This will necessarily an on-going process.

No

 

 


M. Use of technology - GOAL #7. To continue to improve the use of technology in the instructional process.

Objective: OBJECTIVE 7.1 (M) Materials - To purchase additional materials as needed.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications: The cost of the items purchased fell within the LRC fund (152067) that is funded by student fees, and future purchases will be budgeted to remain within the amounts available in this fund.
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Monitor purchase of equipment and materials.
2005-2006 LRC Director, Technology Committee, Department Chair
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
05/22/2007 -- Result # 1
DESCRIPTION: A big screen television was purchased and is in the college technician's queue to be installed in the Media Lounge. Foreign films, language interest films, and books were also purchased this year
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
05/22/2007 -- Purchased materials were installed and are in queue to be placed into use.

05/22/2007 -- This will be an ongoing process, since outmoded equipment will have to be replaced and the LRC should keep pace with the latest developments and learning materials.

No

06/08/2006 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: The following equipment and materials were purchased: 21 computers; large screen television; a subscription to TiVo; two boomboxes; French audio program; language tutorial programs for Russian, German, Spanish, and French; multiple foreign films, language interest films, and books.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/08/2006 -- Purchased materials were placed into use.

06/08/2006 -- This will be an ongoing process, since outmoded equipment will have to be replaced and the LRC should keep pace with the latest developments and learning materials.

No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 7.2 (M). Technology in the Classroom - To incorporate media- and computer-assisted technology more effectively into classroom instruction and student assignments.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications: The need for a full-time supervisor for the LRC is becoming more pressing. Ideally the position would be full-time instructor position whereby the instructor teaches two classes per semester and one or two in the summer. The rest of his/her time would be spent on developing the LRC.
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Gather information about latest developments and usage through conferences and practices at other institutions. Monitor the use of this technology in instruction through discussions at meetings of the Audio-visual/Technology Committee and the Department as a whole.
2005-2006 LRC Director, Technology Committee, Department Chair
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
05/22/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: The LRC Director attended one language-learning technology conference and visited the language-learning center at Georgia State University. Two department members presented a three-hour workshop at the conference to inform faculty at other institutions about web resources. The two department members also presented to our own faculty a one-hour version of the workshop and placed this information on the departmental website. Media and computer-assisted technology usage increased in classroom instruction and student assignments. Also student traffic in and usage of Language Resource Center increased. Plans were finalized to order podiums and equipment to replace the closets in the back of each classroom. This will make technology and media use more accessible and feasible.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength

Related Data:
   View URL - New Bag of Tricks: Technology in the Classroom
05/22/2007 -- See result.

05/22/2007 -- This will be an ongoing process since the Language Resource Center should keep pace with the latest developments and student usage should continue to be encouraged.

No

07/10/2006 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: LRC Director attended three language learning technology conferences and visited four other university Language Resource Centers (Brigham Young, Georgia State, Middle Tennessee State, and College of Charleston.) Two department members presented papers at the last two conferences to inform faculty at other institutions about practices in use at our LRC. Communicated conference findings and language-learning trends to the Department. Media and computer-assisted technology usage increased in classroom instruction and student assignments. Also student traffic in and usage of Language Resource Center increased.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
07/10/2006 -- See result.

07/10/2006 -- This will be an ongoing process since the Language Resource Center should keep pace with the latest developments and student usage should continue to be encouraged..

No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 7.4 (M). Usage of LRC - To evaluate the usage of the Language Resource Center by having students log in the purpose of their visit.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Collect data on student usage of Language Resource Center and distribute information weekly to faculty for analysis.
2005-2006 LRC Director, Technology Committee, Department Chair
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
05/22/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: As requested by the faculty, data listing each student's lab visits and the purpose of those visits were distributed weekly rather than montly. During the spring semester there were 3489 total visits to the LRC, which was an increase over last year.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
05/22/2007 -- Installed for summer, fall and spring this year. Some of the software options were expanded to better detail purposes of student visits.

05/22/2007 -- This will be an ongoing process, since information gathered will be compiled for pinpointing trends, strengths, and weaknesses.

No

07/10/2006 -- Result # 1
DESCRIPTION: Data were collected and the purpose of each student's visit to the Language Resource Center was chronicled. See also Objective 7.5 Result #1 and Objective 4.1 Result #1.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
07/10/2006 -- Installed user log-in software in Language Resource Center to survey spring and summer semester users.

07/10/2006 -- This will be an ongoing process since information gathered will be compiled for pinpointing trends, strengths and weaknesses.

No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 7.5 (M). Community of learners - To aid in retention and expand language interest by promoting a community of learners in the Language Resource Center through the creation of a supportive educational environment.
Academic Year: 05-06
06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications: Purchase of equipment, materials, and furnishings, as well as the employment of student tutors. All can be financed through the student fees collected for this purpose by the department. The cost of any items purchased will be budgeted to fall within the amounts available in the LRC fund (152067) that is funded by student fees.
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Determine the extent to which the various LRC functions are implemented and oriented toward this goal. Have faculty employ usage data (see Objective 7.4) to assess LRC use in general and especially with respect to low-performing students as compared to other students.
2005-2006 LRC Director, Technology Committee, Department Chair
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
05/22/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Encouraged all students to make use of the Language Resource Center while also increasing the services and resources offered in terms of instructional materials, media lounge, resource materials, technical support, and tutoring. According to the records kept (see Objective 7.4), student use of the LRC increased this year. The Spanish LG131/132 sections implemented an incentive policy this spring that was really used by the students. Several faculty members noticed a correlation of increased student usage in proportion to increased student performance.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
05/22/2007 -- See result.

05/22/2007 -- This will be an ongoing process since the Language Resource Center hopes to retain more students and spark more interest in not only the individual student visitor's target language, but also in other languages.

No

07/10/2006 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Encouraged all students to make use of the Language Resource Center and made the facility's physical appearance distinctive to the department while also increasing the services and resources offered in terms of instructional materials, media lounge, resource materials, technical support, and tutoring. According to the records kept (see Objective 7.4), student use of the LRC increased this year.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength

Related Data:
   View File - LRC- A Community of Learners.ppt
07/10/2006 -- See result.

07/10/2006 -- This will be an ongoing process since the Language Resource Center hopes to retain more students and spark more interest in not only the individual student visitor's target language, but also in other languages.

No

 

Objective: OBJECTIVE 7.6.07 (M). Update Website - To improve the department's website by assigning oversight of sections to particular individuals and including better access to information and learning materials.
Academic Year: 06-07
07-08
Start Date:
End Date:
Status: Open
Budget Ramifications:
Assessment Methods
Method Criterion Schedule Feedback Loop
Determine whether oversight functions have been assigned and monitor inclusion of learning materials and information on the various pages.
2006-2007 Audiovisual/Technology Committee; Assessments Committee
Results
Result Action Follow-Up Resolved
06/15/2007 -- Result #1
DESCRIPTION: Normal updating occurred during the year for faculty listings, scholarship information, LRC hours, film series, job openings, policy and forms, etc. in order to keep information current. Sections began adding more information to the course pages: the Spanish section in particular began adding more worksheets and study skills information.
TYPE: Distinction / Strength
06/15/2007 -- See result.

06/15/2007 -- All sections should be encouraged to make better use of the Course Materials pages to provide information to students. A new Webmaster should be appointed when the current one retires in the spring of 2008.

No