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2013 Convivium

On Monday evening, October 21, 2013, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., more than 50 faculty members gathered at the NU Convivium. The Convivium is an annual event to showcase faculty scholarship, scholarship delineated according to Boyer’s Taxonomy of Academic Research. This year, faculty research was shared around the theme:  Can Assessment Replace the 3 R’s in your Course? Research, Reinvent, and Reframe.

The evening began with poster sessions in an informal social gathering at the OLA Spiritual Center. Sylvia Riviello provided background piano music during this portion of the evening. After dinner in the OLA Dining Room, the Oral Presentations were delivered. The evening ended with Vespers in the OLA Chapel.

Faculty presenters for the 2013 Convivium included: Douglas Turco: Assessment of Faculty-led Study Abroad Programs: What Have We Learned?; James Houck: Multifaceted Assessment as a Model for Sustaining New PhD Program Student Learning Outcomes;  David Di Marco, Fred Savitz, and Ryan Savitz: M-tile Means.  Poster sessions were prepared by Gail Corso, Etsuko Hoshino-Browne: As you Learn from me, I [we] guess I [We] Learn from You; Sr. Patricia Hutchison: NU Core Experience: Communications Assessment ; Alfred Mueller: Assessment in the Public Speaking Classroom: Confessions from a Recovering Opponent of Assessment;  Andrea Pent: Qualitative Examination of the Effect of Sport Attendance on Adults with Special Needs;  Lisa Silverstein, Brigette Cuffia, and Tiffeny Atkins: Concurrent  Validity of the Physical Therapy Student Evaluation (PTSE) of a Clinical Experience and Clinical Instruction in Clinical Education. 


Evaluations of the event were positive, with appreciation of the time given to share with colleagues. One colleague wrote: The most useful aspect is learning on what other faculty are currently working, particularly those outside my own division.  I was able to draw helpful insights from these participants that related to projects of my own.


When asked what was learned from attending the Convivium, one attendee wrote: 1) The emphasis of the Ph.D. program in pastoral care and counseling & use of the IDEA course evaluation form to help with assessment of learning outcomes & the program.  2) The difficulty in gathering quantitative data to demonstrate the value of study abroad in terms of student engagement and retention.  At least the study abroad experience did not have a negative impact on retention. 3) The definition of the M-tile and how it may be a better formula for calculating means including outliers as applied to course evaluations completed by students. 4) Results from ETS demonstrated the need to strive for improved writing proficiency. 5) PT evaluations in a clinical setting are difficult since the experience is one on one and anonymity is difficult to achieve to get unbiased feedback.  On line evaluation may be helpful in this regard. 6) Reflective journal writing improves for about 50% of students comparing ENG 101 to ENG 102. 7) There is a point of diminishing returns on the number of assignments in a public speaking course - and yes assessment can help to shape continuous course improvement.  Well said, and a great summary of the evening’s presentations!

The NU Convivium is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, under Dr. Gerard O’Sullivan. It is organized by Sr. Janet Thiel, Assistant Vice-President for Academic Affairs and the Learning Outcomes Assessment Committee (LOAC) of the Faculty Senate.


Convivium 2013
Faculty audience at the 2013 Convivium held at the OLA Spiritual Center.
Convivium 2013
Poster session conversations among Bill Hamilton, Sr. Janet Thiel, and Andrea Pent.
Convivium 2013
Ryan Savitz gives his part of the presentation on M-tile Means.
Convivium 2013
Alfred Mueller explains his Rhetoric Assessment Study to Robert Till.


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