Our friends at the National Association for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) have released a survey to learn what kinds of efforts at curricular improvement are underway on college campuses, and to see what kinds of resources and support for this work would be most useful to faculty and others. Please take five minutes to complete this survey if you can. Your response would be helpful to help funders and administrators recognize the need for and value of discussion and collaboration on teaching, learning, and broad-based curriculum projects across institutions.
They say, "Your participation will help us to better understand how institutions are using the DQP/Tuning and advance student learning improvement efforts. The questionnaire should take approximately 5 minutes to complete. To complete the DQP/Tuning survey, click here. Thank you for your participation!"
In reviewing the survey, it appears that completion requires some familiarity with the "Degree Qualifications Profile." I have no idea what a "Degree Qualification Profile" is, what it does, or how it applies to me and my role as an educator. Help?
Thanks for trying to fill out the survey! I think the survey is structured in part to see how familiar respondents are with the Degree Qualifications Profile, so there should be a simple way to indicate that you have no awareness of it, no? So just go with that in your answers and be confident that they need to know the truth, would be my suggestion.
As for what the Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) is, I will make an attempt to describe it, although there are others in the community who I know could do a better job. The DQP has been a project of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the National Institute [not Association, as I got it wrong before] for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA). There is a document (you can read online) and a set of related processes and resources to implement the underlying ideas. It is sort of the general-education equivalent of a Tuning process, which focuses on articulating the disciplinary core of a particular field of study and to defining what a student should understand and be able to do at the completion of a disciplinary degree program. The idea is for faculty to define what students learn to do as a result of their whole experience in a program, and go beyond pointing to a certain number of credit hours, seat time, or course titles.
The DQP is a parallel effort to define the part of college learning that lies beyond the major field of study. As they put it on the website:
"The Degree Qualifications Profile (DQP) outlines a set of reference points for what students should know and be able to do upon completion of associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees – in any field of study. There are five broad categories of proficiencies which provide a profile of what degrees mean in terms of specific learning outcomes. Through focusing on broad areas of learning and the application of that learning, the DQP illustrates progressively challenging performance expectations for all students."
If you are at an institution that has attempted to define degree-level or institution-wide learning outcomes, the DQP might be one of the tools that your institution has been using to guide that process. The DQP project has also been sponsoring a lot of opportunities for faculty to work on classroom assignments, including assignment charrettes around the country and an online repository of peer-reviewed assignments called the Assignment Library.
As far as the AHA has been involved, we have been encouraging history faculty to think about how their general education courses contribute to learning across the curriculum, and, in turn, what contributions general education and other programs make to our history students. Our tuning project started before the DQP really got going, and has remained anchored at the disciplinary level, for obvious reasons. But especially because most history faculty teach a majority of students who are not history majors, it is valuable to engage with these broader trends and ideas that are reshaping general education across the country.
Sorry for any confusion.