Wednesday, October 17, 2007

lose some, and lose some...

The BICC meeting didn't go all that well for me today.

They picked nits that oughtn't have been picked. They took time to criticize the wording of their OWN f-ing form and they tried to bring up settled issues.

and, my course size reduction plan didn't work out.... although I was pretty sure it wouldn't.

The fact of the matter is that there is some terrible logic going on in terms of class sizes at BNCC. I'm not sure other disciplines are as messed up as philosophy, but when we have a medical ethics class that is limited to 30 and a regular ethics class with a class size of 50, something is messed up.

When we first started wanting to change class size, the administration told us that it was up to the BICC to change them. Today we were told that the BICC could make a recommendation, but that it was ultimately an administrative decision. I'd like to know which it is. What I do know is that I'm trying to teach material that needs to be written about in order to assess learning and I have classes of 50 students. Those things don't mix and it may be my project to fight this fight.

I have a funny feeling that I'm going to fight this fight this spring. First, I'm going to have to figure out what "writing intensive" means --- if y'all want to tell me what that means at your school, it would be lovely...

Then I'm going to have to figure out what that looks like for our Ethics course and persuade the philosophers that we need to do some version of it... I'm even contemplating a new model, with an assessment method either being revised writing or an oral presentation on a philosophical topic.

hmmm... lots to think about.

Thank goodness for our 1 day "Fall Break".


timna said...

Sorry it went so badly today.

"Writing intensive" has some pretty clear-cut definitions in our articulations with transfer institutions in WS, esp since the U requires a certain number of writing intensive classes. Some of the demands: approximately 20 pages of writing, some of it has to be revised, not sure about research requirements.

dr four eyes said...

My last university went through the process of designing a WI program, so I picked up some good resources there. If you send me an email, I can pass them on to you: drfoureyes [at] gmail [dot] com.