Transcript Slide 1

How ePortfolio Transformed our Students,
Faculty and Program
Brooklyn College SEEK Program’s “Benchmarks for
Martha J. Bell
Tracy Daraviras
Longfeng Gao
Robert J. Kelly
Sharona A. Levy
SEEK Department
Brooklyn College / CUNY
Why are you here?????
What attracted you to this
What do you want to transform in
your program/classroom/college?
What’s missing? Lacking?
What do you wish you were
doing/doing more of/stopped doing?
What do you wish you knew?
What are the BC SEEK Benchmarks for Success?
All SEEK students must submit a
portfolio assessing their growth in
academic, college and personal
development at particular points
in their college career.
These Benchmarks detail the
behaviors and skills deemed
necessary by the SEEK
Department for student success
at Brooklyn College.
Each individual benchmark
requires a “Writing Response”
and “Supporting Evidence” of
BC SEEK Department, Benchmarks for Success – Freshman Benchmarks brochure, 2009
Why Benchmarks?
Makes goals of program transparent
Encourages students to evaluate their own
Provides guidelines for student success
Puts responsibility in the hands of the learner
Establishes forum for systematic, on-going
program assessment and evaluation
Builds consensus on what is important to
program and its constituents
Brooklyn College
The City University of New York
Brooklyn College
17,094 undergrads
4-star ranking for
academics in 2000 Fiske
Guide to Colleges
"America's Best Colleges
2001" by U.S. News &
World Report
2007 edition of America's
Best Value Colleges
2009 Princeton Review’s
Best 368 Colleges
3rd most diverse student
pop, Princeton Review
SEEK Program
= Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge
NYS legislatively-mandated higher education opportunity
program at CUNY’s senior colleges for educationally and
economically disadvantaged students
Est. 1966
Provides special academic, financial and counseling
assistance to entering, 1st-time students who graduate
from NYS public schools
Comparable programs at public and private colleges
(EOP & HEOP) in NY, CA, NJ & PA
Income & educational
 1.5x
federal poverty
 Educational
 Ineligible through
regular admissions
NY State Opportunity Programs
Income Eligibility Chart for AY 2010-2011
2 Parents/
2 Workers
(Including head
of household)
2 Parents/
1 Worker
1 Parent/
1 Worker
Note: Add $5,570 for each family member in excess of 7.
SEEK Benchmarks for Success
SEEK at Brooklyn College
Comprehensive services from admission to graduation:
Pre- and Post-freshman summer program
First-Year learning communities
Counseling and CUNY CAPs
Financial aid
Tutoring/Supplemental Instruction
Benchmarks for Success ePortfolios
Honors and scholars programs
Community service
Leadership training
SEEK Student Organization
Department status
3 FIPSE grants
SEEK at Brooklyn College (2009)
854 students
65.7% Female
34.3% Male
 White – 17.2%
 Black – 25.2%
 Hispanic – 24.8%
 Asian – 32.8%
221 Freshmen
SEEK Benchmarks for Success
SEEK Program pre-1995
25% of the students on probation
 Low pass rates on remedial reading,
writing and math tests
 Low graduation and retention rates
 Program under fire internally and
1st FIPSE Grant
Curriculum Model
M. Sobelman and M. Bell, 1977
Critical Inquiry
Set of active reading strategies that compel
students to preview texts, take layers of notes,
and formulate questions
Take control of own learning
Reading as construction of meaning through
multiple drafts
Introduced in Pre-Freshman Summer Program
Critical Inquiry Method
Multiple reads
Critical Inquiry
Critical Inquiry  Benchmarks
Critical Inquiry highly effective
 Extended
to non-remedial
 Drop off seen in 1st year  renewed
 2nd FIPSE – disseminate CI
Counseling courses unaffected
 Student
resistance to course
DEP FIPSE II: Making the Core a Reality for
Disadvantaged Students (1998-2000)
9 Transportable Elements
Critical Inquiry
Multicultural perspective
Core materials
Block programs, learning communities
Collaborative learning
Theme-centered instruction
Tutoring/supplemental instruction
Outcomes/Benchmarks for Success
Summer bridge program
Development of Benchmarks
Counseling course
 Over
time consensus over which issues were
to be covered
 Counselors had goals but weren’t explicit
 “Why do we have to take this?”
 Counselors asked to articulate goals
 Instructors invited into the conversation
Development of Benchmarks
Students to provide portfolio/evidence of
achievement of goals
Counselors reluctant to take this on
 Solution:
Instituted Summer 1997
 Pamphlets
given out with rewards for completion
 Not a success
rewards insufficient incentive
didn’t take it seriously
Development of Benchmarks
Summer 1998
 Carrot
and stick approach
Consequences to not doing it
 No Benchmarks, No Registration
 Folder
given out along with pamphlet
Structure and concreteness
Development of Benchmarks
II – extend and disseminate CI model
 Development of Sophomore Benchmarks
Demonstrating student growth
 Institutionalizing benchmarks
 Development
of Probation and Transfer
Impressions of Benchmarks
Development of Benchmarks
 Brooklyn
College adapts Benchmarks for their
First-Year College program
 Freshman
Benchmarks move to ePortfolio
 Sophomore
Benchmarks ⇛ ePortfolio
SEEK Benchmarks for Success
 Development
of Upperclassman and Transfer
 Ongoing revision of benchmarks at
department retreats
Sophomore in January
 Freshman in June
SEEK Annual Benchmark Cycle
Examine, Discuss,
Revise Benchmarks
May Department Retreat
Summer Program
Sophomore Benchmarks
Pedagogy & IT Discussion
Freshman Benchmarks
Who reads and evaluates them?
Counseling Assistantship Program (CUNY
 Matriculated
grad students with bachelor’s
from a CUNY college
 $10 per hour + tuition waiver for 6 CUNY
graduate credits fall and spring semesters
 Eligible for health insurance
 BC SEEK CAPs all former SEEK students
Evaluation Procedure
CUNY CAPs meet with Department Chair
 Pre-submission
 Develop rubrics for evaluation
 Norming
 Identify specific benchmarks relevant
academic year
 Discuss problems and issues
 Identify “best” benchmarks
 Evaluate
and improve process
for current
Benchmarks for Success ePortfolio on
Blackboard 8.0’s Expo LX
Difference ePortfolio Makes
Ease of use
Ease of access
 Storage & retrieval
Ease of editing and
Comfort level
More collaborative
Highly structured
Format problems
 Proofs
 Platform
Technology difficulties
Cheating easier, but
easier to detect
Goals of Benchmarks
Provides forum for feedback
 Encourages student responsibility
 Integrates and synthesizes best practices
 Allows for flexible, collaborative and
comprehensive response to internal and
external pressures annually
Conceptual Framework for
BC SEEK’s Benchmarks for Success
Type of
High School
⇨ College
What am I
⇨ Major
Where am I
⇨ Beyond
Where am I?
Other Benchmarks: Transfer and Probation
SEEK Freshman Experience
Your response to the Freshman
What questions would you ask?
 Which benchmarks do you like?
 Which benchmarks seem pointless?
 What kinds of proof would you provide for
each benchmark?
8th CUNY IT Conference, Dec. 4, 2009
SEEK Department, Brooklyn College
SEEK Department, Brooklyn College
SEEK Department, Brooklyn College
SEEK Department, Brooklyn College
8th CUNY IT Conference, Dec. 4, 2009
SEEK Department, Brooklyn College
SEEK Department, Brooklyn College
SEEK Department, Brooklyn College
Personal Benchmark C - Writing Response
Personal Benchmark C - Supporting Evidence
Benchmarks & YOU
Create your own benchmarks
Context: your responses to our
initial questions
Powerful Tool
Interactive and flexible
 Learning process as dynamic not static
 Conversation among all stakeholders
 Metacognitive
 Holistic
 Authentic
 Model for job/grad school portfolios
Pedagogical Tool
Shows learning not just done in class and not
just tied to grade
Reflects on total college experience
Connects disparate learning and experience –
Defines what it means to be educated and
responsible community member
Makes explicit contract between student and
Greatest Impact (1)
 Monitoring
Critical Inquiry
Concrete changes in curriculum and program
 Students see connections to other classes
 Emphasis on its importance
 Generated reflections on own analysis of CI and
how and why they were using it
 Results: doing better in core, electives and CPE
Greatest Impact (2)
Advisement and College Life
 “High-impact
 involvement in college
 
and more timely satisfying of requirements
 
fewer students on probation and more
students graduating before financial aid runs out
Benchmarks as assessment
Flexible Assessment
 Individual
 Cohort
 Program
Student assessment
Individual growth and feedback
 At
a particular point
 Longitudinally
 Student sees value-added benefits of college
Cohort Assessment
Yearly ranking by CAPs
 3-5
strongest portfolios / average / weakest
 Among
 Over time
 To other cohorts
Identify problems
Program Assessment
Focuses on particular program areas
Emphasis and questions change as different
needs and issues arise
Add or drop goal as needed to see if it is being
achieved or promoted
Goals become explicit to all
Models “ideal” student, education, citizen, etc.
Planning-Assessment Cycle
Developing clearly articulated written statements, expressed in
observable terms, of key institutional and unit-level goals that are
based on the involvement of the institutional community;
Designing intentional objectives or strategies to achieve those goals;
Assessing achievement of those key goals;
Using the results of those assessments to improve programs and
services, with appropriate links to the institution’s ongoing planning
and resource allocation processes.
- Standard 7: “Institutional Assessment,”Middle States
Outcomes (from Middle States)
Effective assessment must be:
 Useful
 Cost-effective
 Reasonably
accurate and truthful
 Carefully planned
 Organized, systematized, and sustained
“Assessment processes help to
ensure the following:
Institutional program-level goals are clear to the public,
students, faculty, and staff;
Institutional programs and resources are organized and
coordinated to achieve institutional and program-level
The institution is providing academic opportunities of
The institution is indeed achieving its mission and goals;
Assessment results help the institution to improve
student learning and otherwise advance the institution.”
Benchmarks as Assessment
Tool for
 students to understand and evaluate their own learning
 individual counselors and instructors who work with students
to guide growth
 examining the development of a given cohort of students
 examining growth of an individual skill or dimension
 monitoring student behavior when a change is being
 monitoring program and classroom strategies, pedagogy, and
faculty development
 creating students’ brag sheet or resume for grad school or
 longitudinal measurement of student growth and development
BC SEEK Outcomes
GPA Data
Graduation Rate: Class of 2003
6-year graduation rate = 47.8% + 4% still enrolled
(Brooklyn College 6-yr graduation rate for 2002 Cohort = 43.7%)
National rate for students with similar profile ~11%
CUNY SEEK 6-yr graduation rate for 2003 cohort = 32.9%
Pass rates for remedials by end of AY 2006-07
Students on probation (GPA < 2.0) went from 25% of SEEK students to < 4% (less than
regular admits)
288 Students with GPA > 3.0 (excluding freshmen) = 37.4%
106 students on 2009 Dean’s List (GPA ≥ 3.5) = 13.7%
Math (COMPASS) – 98.9%
Reading (COMPASS) – 99%
Writing (CUNY/ACT) – 96%
Pass rates for CUNY Proficiency Examination (rising junior)
100% by end of academic year (best in CUNY)
Middle States on Brooklyn College
Under: Significant accomplishments, significant
progress, or exemplary/innovative practices
“The SEEK Program e-portfolio
[Benchmarks for Success] is a very
effective tool for engaging new students in
age-appropriate self reflection on their
progress through the first year of college.”
Benchmarks – Keys to Success
Whole department involved and invested
 CUNY CAPs took ownership
 Various benchmarks due at different times
 Annual revisiting and revising
 Benchmarks arise out of program’s needs
 Integral part of program from 1st day
 Real consequences and commitments
 Faculty buy-in critical
What’s Missing????
Student Reflections
Finally one of my stressing nightmares is over!
No more! No more! Benchmarks!
“Omg, finally I’m done with my Benchmarks”
Snipping away precious time
Thank You God It’s Over … No! I forgot it will be
I Kissed Benchmarks Good-bye! Peace.
A Struggle…a Nightmare…a Relief!!!
Student Reflections on Benchmarks
“We had five months to collect all proofs, attend events, write and do all
the other things that were required. Even with all the time I had, I left
most of the things for the last minute. I now know that must manage
time more wisely and also take advantage of it.” –A. R.
“To be honest, doing the benchmarks electronically was better than
actually writing on paper. This saves time, ink, and paper.”-J.B.
“After finishing my Benchmarks I was fluent with the Brooklyn College
campus.” –A. M.
“The process of working on the Freshman Benchmarks was very time
consuming. I honestly believed that there was no point in working on
them, just because at the time I thought it would not be beneficial to me.
After all everything had to do with my own development as a student in
this first semester of college so why would someone want to read about
that?. Now I understand that in a way this was like a mirror to me, I was
able to look at myself and the long way I have come since graduating
High School.” -B.M.
Sophomore Reflections
After completing and reviewing the Freshman Benchmark, I saw everything more
clearly. The freshman benchmarks made my college experience so much easier. I
got around difficult obstacles much faster and more precise.
Today I read through my Freshman Benchmark. I started to laugh. Time goes by so
fast that I have to laugh. It was just yesterday, I was a freshman, new to college life,
scare and confused. Here I am a year later doing benchmarks again. For certain I
have changed. I am more comfortable, less confused and more happy. . . . Im excited
reflect growth when I start my junior benchmarks.
After reviewing my Freshman benchmarks I realized that last year I did a lot of things
because I had the benchmarks but now I am doing them not as a requirement but
because I choose to. I also realized how I began to incorporate things into my life
style as oppose to just doing it because I was told to; things such as annotating,
reading books, going to different clubs, and so on. Those things were requirements to
me until now.
Without the benchmarks I think I would have learned too late about what was
expected of me in college and the steps I had take in assuring an easy path to
success. . . . Freshman and Sophomore benchmarks was really beneficial to me but I
hope there arent anymore in the future.
Sophomore Reflections
I have looked through my Freshman Benchmarks and got very emotional. I have
grown so much since then. I was only getting to know my way around the college
then and now I know every little corner here. . . . Everything I learned there I still use
now. I use my critical inquiry techniques now on a different level. I learned how to
create a resume in last years benchmarks and now it is very useful to me. When I
was doing them last year I thought that they were useless and stupid. Now I see how
much I learned from them and how helpful that information is to my success at
Brooklyn College.
Looking back at my freshmen benchmark, educationally wise, my writing and
knowledge had improved drastically. I recognized my knowledge had widened from
just vocabulary I had began to use. With the help of benchmarks, I learned what to do
in my college career and helped me plan accordingly. From the past freshmen
benchmarks, I realized how much I did not know about my college career and my
future goals. In my freshmen year, I was puzzled most of the time when I had to
decide on my career goals. From just slightly a year, I learn to become a better
student, and finally understood what my life is about.