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Assessment Oversight Committee (AOC) meeting 12/11/00
Handout 6: Comments from departments on ETS Major Field Tests

Major Field Test UCB Departments Mapping to Test Comments from Departments About Test
Biology EPOB, MCDB EPOB -- Not a suitable test for their majors. MCDB -- No response.
Business Business Admin. Okay, "if appropriately administered and the results used judiciously."
Chemistry Biochem, Chem Content is reasonable for chem majors, unsuitable for biochem, who are 2/3 of grads
Computer Science Computer Science Already using MFT, find it useful.
Economics Economics Content is suitable. Concerns about scheduling, norming.
Education None NA -- Education already uses state PLACE tests
English Literature English No response.
History History Strongly opposed to multiple-choice exam -- no current faculty member uses them. "History is not a collection of facts, but their interpretation." Department expectations are that students can "interpret evidence, understand causation and other historical processes, and construct narrative and argument out of what they read and research. None of these skills are addressed by the [MFT]."
Math Math, Applied Math Applied Math: Program only covers 60-70% of topics on test, and some aspects of program not covered on test. Concerns about motivation. Math: Currently use test, require it of majors, and are well satisfied with it.
Music Music, Music Educ. Music: Like it and will use it. (Music Ed. not specifically addressed -- response came from dean of college.)
Physics Physics, Engineering Physics Physics: Easier than the GRE in physics. Would be fair IF they required all the courses whose content is covered on the exam to be taken by majors, but they don't. Also questions about how to motivate students.
Political Science Political Science Strongly dislike. "At best a partial correspondence" between exam questions, department goals. Nothing in exam measures critical thinking, writing -- mostly factual knowledge that will have little relevance to grads' later lives. Exam based on conception of Pol. Sci. that is far from universally accepted. Trying to move more toward term papers, essays -- "Life is not a multiple-choice test."
Psychology Psychology "Appears to be quite suitable." Current undergrad ed. committee can't remember why they dropped it from OA after 96-97.
Sociology Sociology No response.

AOC meeting notes 12/11/00


PBA: PS-- L:\IR\OUTCOMES\aoc\h001211_06.xls - 12/19/00.

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