Frequently Asked QEP Questions

The QEP, “Bridging the G-A-P,” builds on Stetson’s existing mission and values. The focus on critical skills such as information literacy, disciplinary analysis, and written or oral presentation promote academic excellence and empower students to adopt the best practices of intellectual engagement in the classroom and beyond. The Gather, Analyze, and Present sequencing constitutes a progression: after all, effective information literacy requires the ability to gather information but also to use that information for conducting rigorous analysis within disciplinary contexts, which ultimately shapes the organizational and confidence skills needed for persuasive written and oral communication. As such, this QEP reflects Stetson’s mission to prepare holistic individuals who are also informed citizens and participants in their communities.  

 Currently, Stetson’s students are exposed to and systematically develop these information literacy and critical analysis skills in the University’s Core Curriculum: First Year Seminar (FSEM – Stetson’s previous QEP), Junior Seminar (JSEM), and Senior Capstone. Recent internal assessment data suggests that although the University has made great strides over the past decade in helping students build these skills successfully, there remains a considerable need for further improvement—particularly in the area of information literacy. Moreover, at present, the assessment of the two skills is restricted to the Core experiences, limiting the full implementation and understanding of their evolution throughout the undergraduate experience—particularly within majors.  

 

Stetson’s mission reflects a commitment to helping its students acquire skills critical for their lifelong learning and professional success. The present QEP aims to significantly expand the opportunities for students to encounter and build the skills of information literacy and critical analysis. It does so by expanding that skill acquisition beyond the Core requirements and into a broad selection of General Education and major-specific courses. Current efforts at information literacy are all-too-often hidden from view because it is neither systematically practiced nor rigorously assessed. The latest research into critical skills and evidence-based approaches to their acquisition support the expansion of critical skills throughout the Stetson curriculum. And within this process, the QEP also seeks to diversify the assessment and curricular areas for that assessment.  

 

Specifically, the QEP will first identify 100- and 200-level courses that already tacitly target these skills and then enhance their development by supporting faculty through resources and training on best practices. Some QEP efforts will facilitate a complete course redesign while others will support the implementation of pedagogical strategies within the existing framework of the course. The QEP will also afford an opportunity to refine instruments/mechanisms for assessment of these skills by means of its focus on Presentation, understood here to encompass both written and oral contexts.  

 

In short, the ultimate goal is the acquisition and assessment of information literacy and critical analysis skills to permeate the entire Stetson academic experience.

According to the Association of College and Research Libraries, "Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning." Information literacy is more than “doing research”--a fully literate person also understands how information is created and disseminated, understands the factors that influence the presentation of information, can reliably determine the validity and reliability of information, and can consistently ask the questions to determine whether information is useful or whether it has been corrupted. Is that website reliable? Has a specific source been quoted ethically? How do you know what news source to believe? Information literacy skills help people understand the many contexts in which these questions can be answered.

Faculty will be recruited to participate in the QEP through a series of informational workshops, open discussion opportunities, website resources, and explanation of proposal and approval processes, and stipends for both summer course redesign and individual course offerings. The informational sessions will orient faculty to the range of available possibilities and explain how key elements of the QEP can be defined in accordance with existing disciplinary concepts.  

The QEP will be implemented by enhancing courses selected by faculty following the “Bridging the G-A-P” framework. Faculty will be invited to submit G-A-P course enhancement grant proposals to the QEP Director, who will, in collaboration with the Leadership Team, evaluate and rank the proposals. All faculty whose proposals are accepted will commit to improving the information literacy skills (G) of the students in the course; optionally, faculty can also choose to use those skills to leverage improved analysis (critical thinking) skills within that same course. Faculty also commit to providing assessment artifacts in written or oral form and to participating in the assessment process. Likewise, all faculty involved in the G-A-P program committee to attending several workshops through the period of their participation.   

 The steps below outline the experience of a faculty member wishing to participate in the G-A-P program.     

  1. Attend at least one informational session in January and February, during which faculty will learn the details of G and A components and how they might adopt these components in their course for enhanced student learning. 

  1. Consult as needed with their department/program chair to determine an appropriate course or cluster of courses for enhancement. 

  1. Identify at least one IL concept and related learning outcome (G) OR G+A for enhancement and corresponding assignment(s) that might be assessed. 

  1. Create a proposal for course enhancement (See Appendix J) for the proposal form and a rubric for proposal evaluation.)  

  1. Faculty who are selected to participate in the QEP will commit to course enhancement, to provision of artifacts from the course suitable for assessment, and to a process of continual improvement as a result of assessment data.  

  1. Faculty who participate in the QEP commit to offering the course at least two consecutive times as departmental course scheduling allows. During the course’s active involvement in the QEP initiative, faculty will attend required workshops (the spring and fall workshops bracketing the course offering). This commitment provides sufficient continuity to demonstrate results, while also ensuring that if some faculty are unable to sustain their involvement beyond the second offering, they can release their spots to others. We anticipate that within the first three years from inception, approximately 35-40 faculty will join the G-A-P program. The budget (detailed below) can support up to 40 faculty per year.  

  1. Grant applications for course redesign and unit/assignment revision will be evaluated by The QEP Leadership Team and ranked for approvals.    

  1. Deadlines for Year One (Fall 2022):   

                        PROPOSALS due to QEP Leadership Team March 7, 2022 

            DECISIONS made by QEP Leadership Team April 12, 2022