Two years after its implementation, the 2017 General Education Program is on its way to be evaluated. The UPD GE Program Assessment Forum held last January 27, 2020 marked another step closer towards its assessment.
The Forum was divided into two parts: one for the resource speakers’ presentations and the other for the plenary discussion. Led by GEC Director Venice Oyzon as master of the ceremonies, the morning session officially began through Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (VCAA) Evangeline Amor’s overview of the program and the process that led to the commencement of the forum.
Thereafter, Professor Fernando Paragas began with his presentation on the UP GE Program Evaluation being conducted by the UP System Technical Working Group. The evaluation has different components, but he focused on the Course Exit Surveys answered by students and GE faculty alike.
On the other hand, Professor Julienne Baldo-Cubelo shared UP Diliman’s Campus Report on the Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) held last September 2019, as part of the UP System GE Program Evaluation as well. The FGDs aim to surface the GE experience of the students in comparison to their other courses and their Senior High School subjects, and their significant learnings, in relation to their respective degree programs.
Professor Francisco De Los Reyes then presented his API Project “Towards Improving Student Retention and Graduation Rates (Phases 1 and 2),” which he accomplished together with University Registrar (UR) Theresa Payongayong and VCAA Evangeline Amor.
One of the project’s highlights is that for Phase 2’s Exit Survey, the recent graduates elicited feedback on the GE program of the university. The results reveal that the net agreement in all statements on the GE program were excellent, which means that there is strong positive perception about the GE program. They particularly like that they are “learning things outside of the degree” and it “instills nationalism.” On the flipside, they also disclosed their dislikes such as the large class size and the difficulty to enlist. Following each of the presentations, the participants were given the chance to ask questions.
After a sumptuous lunch, Professor Norma Cajilig set the wheels in motion for the plenary discussion on how to assess the GE program. She talked about the mechanics of assessment and the GE program assessment experience of 2 institutions in the United States. Then the participants were posed with three key questions: “Where do we go from here?” “What metrics/assessment tools do we use in assessing the GE Program/courses?” and “How do we assess the GE Program/courses?”
Professors from the Department of English and Comparative Literature shared that they have started assessing their GEs, specifically Eng 13 in relation to the old course, Eng 10. VCAA Amor noted this and tasked the GE Center to come up with a proposal on a GE Symposium, where GE Faculty would share their best practices in handling GE classes.
A GE Evaluation Workshop was also suggested to build the assessment tool. Dr. Amor hopes that the congregation can lay the groundwork for the evaluation, especially the instrument that will be used for the task.
This assessment forum is part of the UPD General Education Committee’s, supported by the General Education Center, efforts in evaluating the UP Diliman GE Program, especially the Diliman-21 core subjects. An exploratory qualitative assessment was already piloted by the GEC Director, who tapped 28 freshmen and 21 graduating students to participate. The GE program’s presence was also established through the Freshmen Welcome Assembly and the Freshmen Orientation Program, where brochures were distributed and a tarpaulin was displayed which both contained pertinent information on the 2017 General Education Program.