Monday, September 19

No events scheduled

Tuesday, September 20

10:45 AM - Voice Seminar
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building

11:30 - 11:50 AM - Tuesday Reflections - Evelyn Campbell
Ascension Chapel, Founders Hall, 2nd floor

12:00 - 4:00 PM - Profair
PepsiCo Recreation Center

4:30 - 5:30 PM - Ekklesia Study Group
Old Main 121

7:00 - 8:30 PM - Banned Books Reading
Brew by the Slough, Tredway Library, 4th floor

Wednesday, September 21

9:30 - 10:30 AM - Coffee and Conversation
CEC Conference Room, Sorensen Hall, 1st floor

12:00 - 1:00 PM - Bible Study Group "What if Jesus Meant the Stuff He Said?
led by Pastor Priggie, for faculty, staff, and administrators
Bring your lunch and a Bible
Chicago Room, College Center

Thursday, September 22

2:30 - 3:30 PM - Ingenuix CMS Training
Olin 110

6:30 PM - Unlikely Heroes - The True Stories of Three Jewish Women Spies featuring Elaine Rembrandt
Rock Island Library, 401 19th Street, Rock Island, IL

7:00 - 8:30 PM - Heads vs Feds - Steve Hager & Robert Stutman
Steven Hager, longtime editor of High Times magazine, takes on DEA veteran Robert Stutman on the multitude of issues surrounding marijuana legalization
Free Admission
Centennial Hall

Friday, September 23

11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Ingenuix CMS Training
Olin 110

2:30 - 3:30 PM - Ingenuix CMS Training
Olin 109

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Friday Conversations: "The Learning ePortfolio" presented by Jon Clauss
3:30 PM - Refreshments
Olin 109

4:30 - 6:30 PM - Opening Reception for Augustana College Studio Art Faculty Exhibition
Music provided by Veronica Smith '12 and friends: Carlisle Evans-Peck (piano and voice); Flute Choir; Sassy Pomegranates (piano, guitar, hand drums); Vernon Meidlinger-Chin (guitar).
Free Admission
Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts, Lower Level

Saturday, September 24

12:00 - 4:00 PM - Augustana College Studio Art Faculty Exhibition
Free Admission
Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts, Lower Level

8:00 PM - Augustana Symphonic Band Tsunami Relief Benefit Concert
The Augustana Symphonic Band performs this concert in preparation for director James Lambrecht's departure for a guest residency in Japan, where he will guest conduct the Musashino Academia Musicae Wind Emsemble in Tokyo, Japan. A goal of this concert is to raise money for Lambrecht to help furnish several new trees in one of the devastated areas of Japan.
Centennial Hall

Sunday, September 25

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Travel Reads Book Discussion - "The Motorcycle Diaries" by Ernesto "Che" Guevara
Evald Great Hall

Volume 9, Issue 5 - September 19, 2011

Delicious Ambiguity

Like most colleges and universities, we believe that we should establish an educationally rigorous environment. Unlike a lot of colleges and universities, we have a healthy body of quantitative and qualitative evidence from which we can explore, 1) whether this is in fact the case, and 2) whether appropriate academic rigor is experienced by students across the board or only in certain situations.

As you may know, for well over a decade we have been using various assessment mechanisms to measure student learning and academic rigor. It seems that our efforts to increase our educational effectiveness and academic rigor have borne some fruit - especially on our National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Academic Challenge scores among freshmen. Those numbers have jumped markedly since we first used NSSE back in 2003.

Yet one of the hallmarks of a college that is truly focused on continual improvement is a perpetual inclination to ask questions, to compare findings with what we might already suspect or know by different means, to face what we uncover, and to take action.

With that in mind - and in light of my perpetual effort to help us all embrace a formative spirit, I'd like to present two data points from the 2006 and 2009 NSSE survey that seem especially worthy of further consideration.

In both 2006 and 2009, Augie students were asked how often they "come to class without completing readings or assignments." (The response options are 1=Never, 2=Sometimes, 3=Often, and 4=Very Often.) I would propose that the one thing we would not want to see is that seniors come to class unprepared more often than freshmen. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be the case. And if you were wondering, the difference between the average freshmen and senior response is large enough to be significant.

NSSE Year Freshmen Seniors
2006 1.91 2.13
2009 1.84 2.20

To add insult to injury, the change from freshmen to senior year looks worse when comparing our 2009 data to other small liberal arts colleges. In this context, our freshmen actually come to class prepared significantly more often than freshmen at comparable institutions. However, our seniors come to class prepared significantly less often than seniors at comparable institutions.

Does this match what we already suspect? Are we ok with it? How might we address this issue?

Make it a good day,