Finally, the ESL faculty decided to use English 1A or Transferable ESL courses as the description for the transferable level. However, because ESL skills are so defined and multiple in nature, they developed 3 rubrics in line with the CATESOL methodology. This meant the production of three rubrics: the ESL writing rubric, the ESL reading rubric and the ESL speaking and listening rubrics. The ESL faculty felt that they needed to include six levels to accommodate the progress of students in California credit ESL courses. The average number of levels below transfer in the Academic Senate survey did reveal much greater variety than the other disciplines. Some schools had as few as two or three while others had as many as nine. However, six levels seemed to be the most common and most easily defined. This will require some major changes in the coding metrics because it goes outside of the present design which easily allows four levels. However, the ESL outcomes data had resulted in some of the most inconsistent data, so faculty made strong arguments about the need for all 6 levels based upon our population of students and to more accurately measure progress.
This was a phenomenal work done by faculty; they were professional, inclusive and worked hard with people from 56 colleges around the state, all with programs that were independently created based upon local populations. Appendix 6 contains comments from the participants which describe the faculty enthusiasm in working as discipline groups to complete something they valued.
Vetting the Rubrics
The next step in the process was designed to vet and improve the draft rubrics. This process also served to validate the information regarding its usefulness. First, the background information, DRAFT rubrics, guidelines and current CB21 coding for colleges was posted on the BSI website at .
Then a survey was designed to gather feedback about the draft rubrics. The survey link was sent to discipline faculty and others associated with the Basic Skills Initiative around the state and published in the Academic Senate for California Community College’s quarterly magazine the Rostrum. The Academic Senate contacted professional discipline organizations (such as CATESOL, ECTYCC and CMC3) and asked them to discuss, distribute and comment on the rubrics using the website. Presentations were made to various groups of community college partners such as SACC (System Advisory Committee on Curriculum), ARCC (Accountability Reporting for Community Colleges), CIO/CSSO’s (Chief Instructional Officers and Chief Student Services Officers, etc. Feedback was also collected by key discipline faculty at professional meetings such as CATESOL (April 09) and at Academic Senate Fall 08 and Spring 09 Plenary sessions and at BSI regional meetings.
Once the rubrics were subjected to this extensive vetting, small groups of faculty from each discipline were then involved in modifying them to incorporate any comments or modifications suggested via the survey and presentations.
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