Friday, September 28, 2007

Chancellor to hold public session on VSA

The plot thickens! For those of us who want to find out more about how we will soon be tested to death, the Chancellor awaits. . . .

A web site designed to help facilitate early adoption of the Voluntary System of Accountability (VSA) College Portrait is now available

Chancellor Richard Wells is meeting with governance and administrative groups who have been asked to share these materials on VSA with their constituents. He will host an open forum on the VSA College Portrait on Monday, October 15 from 3:30-4:45 PM in Reeve Memorial Union room 227C.


Bill Wresch said...

Maybe I am getting too old to get too excited about the latest doings in Dempsey. It seems to me the upside for Wells is he gets some national exposure that might help his career. What's the downside for us? It is hard to argue a public university should not tell the public what is going on here. Wells is great at coming up with names, so we will have a fancy title for all this, but basically, I see this as finally getting around to telling people what we should have been telling them all along.

Will this new effort in Dempsey mean that we will give our students tests we have not given them before? I suppose that could happen, and I suppose we might find some such test not very valid. Maybe. Bit I think it more likley a task force will be organized, it will meet for years, there will be a glossy booklet down the road declaring how great we are, and life will go on pretty much as usual.

Too bad. There really are some things around here that could be improved, and having good data could help us direct our efforts. But if glossy booklets is the result, well then glossy booklets will be the result, and the rest of us can go on grading papers and teaching students the best we can. I can live with that.

Lake Winneblogo said...

I am not opposed at all to increased transparency that this initiative proposes.

I worry, however, about both the survey component and the testing component. Our NSSE scores are dismal, but the sample was small and skewed, so it is hard to say that the are representative.

The tests may only be for information now, but imagine a few years from now, if the results are not progressing or high enough, or something else. Will all senior courses have to have a test-prep component?

Standardized tests have huge flaws and are manipulable--why wouldn't there be pressure to game the system, just like many colleges do with the U.S. News reports?

I don't think that would truly serve the educational mission of our university!