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FAQ

About the JH Open Access (OA) Policy

  • Are sites like Academia.edu, ResearchGate, or Mendeley acceptable as open repositories?

    No. These sites make little effort to check for copyright compliance;  thus many publishers don’t want their content on these sites. Please use JScholarship, an Open Access journal, or a repository run by a grant agency or discipline to make your articles openly available.

  • Do other universities have similar policies?

    Yes, many universities worldwide have OA policies like this, and the JH policy is modeled on policy best practices at peer institutions. ROARMAP lists institutions and funding agencies that implement open access mandates. MIT provides a partial list of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities with such policies.

  • How do I comply with the policy?

    Faculty may comply with the policy in two ways. First, they may comply by publishing their scholarly articles in an open access journal, depositing their article in an open access repository, (e.g. PubMed Central), or electing an open access option in a non-open journal. Alternatively, faculty (or a proxy) can use the Public Access Submission System, PASS, to deposit the author’s final version of the article in the JH institutional repository, JScholarship.

    PASS was available as of July 2, 2018. PASS currently supports submission to PubMed Central for compliance with the following funding agency public access policies: NIH, ACL, ASPR, CDC, VA, FDA, HHMI, and NASA. It can be used as a direct substitute for the NIHMS submission system, although the final review and approval steps must still be completed via NIHMS. PASS also provides a dashboard that displays deposit and compliance status for NIH grants and associated submissions. PASS includes a link to the web-based submission forms for the Department of Education and USAID. PASS will eventually support submission to other funding agencies such as NSF and DOE.

  • How do I deal with a journal embargo?

    Journals may require a 6- to 24-month embargo before you can post the author’s final version of the article in an open access repository. You should follow such requirements. No deadline is included in the JH Open Access Policy. Both PASS and JScholarship work with embargo dates. You can submit your author’s final version at any point, indicate the end date for the embargo, and the system will post the files at the appropriate time.

  • How do I identify and avoid predatory journals?

    Your librarian, informationist, or Robin Sinn can assist with questions about particular journals. The library provides a list of resources that can help you avoid predatory journals.

  • How do I identify reputable OA journals?

    A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Concerns about particular titles can be addressed to your librarian or informationist, or Robin Sinn.

  • How do I report questions or problems about PASS or JScholarship?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, Coordinator of the Office of Scholarly Communication.

  • How should the author’s final versions be cited?

    The metadata the author provides will provide most of the citation information. JScholarship, or another open repository, will provide a permanent identifier (e.g. JScholarship ID or PMCID) for use in the citation.

  • I do not have permission rights for some of the images in my article. What should I do?

    You have several options if you do not have permission to openly share the images in your article.

    1. You may submit a version of your article that does not include the images unless you are submitting to PubMed Central*.
    2. You may submit two files – one file with just the text, which will be openly available, and a supplementary file with the images that will be kept in a dark archive, unavailable to readers.
    3. You may choose not to submit any part of the article, if the images are so integral to the article that it cannot be understood without the images. You do not need to notify us or ask for a waiver.
    4. You may seek approval from the publisher to include the images.

    Please contact Robin Sinn or Caitlin Carter if you wish to explore these options.

    *If you use PASS to submit to a funder’s repository, you must abide by that repository’s restrictions. For example, the NIH requires that all images be submitted to PubMed Central, no matter who owns the rights.

  • I need help using PASS.

    You can contact either Caitlin Carter, ccarte63@jhmi.edu, or Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions about using PASS or suggestions for improvement.

    Videos are being created. See the current list below. Please contact Caitlin or Robin for further questions or suggestions for topics.

    Proxy submission to PASS

     

  • Is Johns Hopkins taking away my rights to my research?

    Not at all; authors retain full rights to re-use or re-distribute their work in any way they see fit.

  • Is Open Access harming journals published by scholarly societies or small publishers?

    There is no credible evidence for harm, and Open Access has been operating in some disciplines for a decade or more. Scholarly publishing is changing. The virtue of making scholarship free for all to read resonates with many researchers and the academic missions of their home institutions. Many funders and institutions are supporting this move.

  • May I edit the author’s final version that I submit to PASS?

    When you submit your manuscript through PASS your files are sent intact to the submission system for the final repository in which the manuscript will reside.  You will have access to the same editing and correcting functions available in the final repository’s submission system – for example the NIHMS system for PubMed Central.  Note that there are no mechanisms for making corrections for manuscripts deposited in JScholarship. In JScholarship, we can remove access to one version using a “tombstone,” which maintains the citation chain, and upload a new version that is connected to the tombstone.

  • May I make other research outputs openly available?

    Yes, you have many options available to you if you wish to make your text, images, slides, or data openly available. Your librarian or informationist can provide information about those options.  If you are primarily interested in data, Johns Hopkins Libraries Data Services can help you.

  • May I opt out of the policy?

    Yes. If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request permission or notify us.

    If you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options available to you.

  • May I replace the author’s final version with the published version of record?

    Yes, if you have permission from the publisher to do so.

  • May I submit other work to JScholarship? May staff or students submit work?

    Yes, JScholarship’s purpose is to gather, distribute, and preserve digital materials related to the Johns Hopkins research and instructional mission. Content is deposited directly into the appropriate collection by Johns Hopkins faculty, students, and staff, and includes born-digital or digitized research and instructional materials. PASS can be used to deposit materials into the Knowledge for the World collection. Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions.

  • PASS does not submit to my preferred open repository. How do I suggest a repository for inclusion in PASS?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, the Scholarly Communication Officer, with repository suggestions.

  • Recommendation 1: Redesign the undergraduate curriculum to provide foundational abilities for life-long flourishing and learning

    This recommendation starts from our recognition that the University has a responsibility to prepare its students to flourish as informed, skilled, and effective members of their society and of the world.  To ensure that we meet this responsibility, the Commission recommends an ambitious new undergraduate curricular framework that balances disciplinary training, developed through the major, with interdisciplinary exploration while strengthening our students’ sense of community. We should provide an education broad as well as deep, one resembling (to use language current in educational studies) a “T,” rather than an “I.[1]” As depicted in Figure 4.1, T-shaped education affords students with the opportunity to develop deep disciplinary knowledge in at least one area as well as the competencies associated with forming connections between disciplines that allow them to become adaptive innovators.

    Boundary Crossing Competencies: Teamwork, communication, perspective, networks, critical thinking, global understanding, project management, etc. Many Disciplines: Understanding and communications. Many Systems: Understanding and communications. Deep in At Least One Discipline: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Deep in at least one system: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Me: Intersection of sections listed above.

    Figure 4.1 T-Shaped Undergraduate Education

    Currently, the University uses “distribution requirements” to ensure interdisciplinary breadth of academic experience. These requirements stipulate that students must earn a minimum number of credits in academic areas outside of their primary major. These areas include humanities (H), natural sciences (N), social and behavioral sciences (S), quantitative and mathematical sciences (Q), and engineering (E). Courses are assigned an area designator by the academic department, if taught within a Homewood academic department; if not taught within a Homewood academic department, they are assigned by the appropriate dean’s office.

    Data and anecdotal evidence both suggest that these requirements are not successful. The means by which courses are evaluated for designation is unclear and inconsistent. In some departments, a significant percentage of classes required for the major can also be counted toward the distribution requirement. In KSAS, students can triple count a course toward a major requirement, a writing requirement (“W”), and a social science or behavioral science (“S”) or a Natural Science (“N”)/ quantitative and mathematical science (“Q”)/Engineering (“E”). This thwarts the distributional intent of the requirements. Students majoring in Psychology, for instance, can satisfy 92% of the distribution and writing requirements through major courses alone. The current distribution system does not ensure that students are learning enough about other disciplines to make meaningful connections between and across these disciplines.

    To begin our discussion of curricular revision, Commission members reflected matters of principle and articulated the foundational abilities a Hopkins undergraduate education should inculcate.

    1. Students should recognize the importance of language and have a command of it as readers, writers, and speakers. Students should be able to express ideas, opinions, beliefs, and feelings; interpret varied texts accurately and subtly; argue lucidly and effectively; and recognize the many ways conventions and contexts shape both expression and comprehension.
    2. Students should respect scientific and numerical reasoning and be able to apply computational and analytical methods to organize, manipulate, summarize, and evaluate quantitative information and experience, in public, professional, and personal life.  They should be able to create and assess arguments that are supported by quantitative evidence.
    3. Students should recognize the importance of complex creative expressions in various forms and be able to interpret them reflectively. They should have the means to deepen the quality of their lives by cultivating their intellectual and emotional responses to aesthetic and cultural experiences.
    4. Students should engage effectively as citizens of a diverse world. Graduates should have developed a knowledge of local, national and global societies. They should be able to articulate and examine their own beliefs, practices, and values while being open to and respectful of the beliefs, practices and values of others.
    5. Students should be reflective, effective ethical agents in their personal and professional lives. To this end, they should recognize situations of ethical consequence inside and outside their fields of study, understand ethical principles, formulate their own views about those principles and their application, and act in principled fashion.
    6. Students should be able to independently identify, conceptualize, and complete large-scale, consequential projects. They should be able to adopt, refine, and use appropriate methods and means for such projects, and respond to unforeseen developments.

    We continued our curricular discussion by studying models developed by peer institutions. The disquietude found in the reports issued has several sources difficult to detangle: an uncertainty about the relationship between liberal arts education and vocational/pre-professional training; a worry that the “open” curriculum has become a hodge-podge, box-checking exercise; and a concern that a highly-structured “core” curriculum is too rigid for the present needs of students in an increasingly fluid, rapidly altering society.

    In their report, Columbia asks several questions of its curriculum: “Are what some have called the ‘containers’ of our undergraduate curriculum appropriately sized? We probably agree that a strong undergraduate curriculum should include general education (our core), specialist education (our majors) and opportunities for exploration (electives). Do we provide ample opportunity for all three of these goals?” Stanford has asked whether the intellectual breadth of a more “open” curriculum serves its undergraduates well. “Few people question the value of intellectual breadth … [but is ‘sampling’] the optimal way of fostering true breadth in an age like ours, in which the boundaries of different fields are increasingly blurred?”

    Stanford’s answer to questions like these has been not to prescribe courses in particular disciplinary areas but to promise the acquisition and development of seven “essential capacities,” which foster “ways of thinking, ways of doing.” The capacities they list are aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, social inquiry, scientific analysis, formal and quantitative reasoning, engaging difference, moral and ethical reasoning, and creative expression. They have started to implement this shift in approach by establishing a first-year curriculum experience called “Thinking Matters.” It seeks to inculcate a broadly applicable orientation to academic study rather than narrower forms of knowledge.

    Other universities have issued similar statements. U-C Berkeley has said that its graduates should possess four core “competences” and four “dispositions.” Graduates should be literate, numerate, creative, and investigative–these are the competences; and also open-minded, worldly, engaged, and disciplined–the dispositions. UC-Berkeley invokes vocational pressures in justifying its new approach: “students must prepare for fluid careers in a future where what you know is less important than how you think, learn and discover on your own.” To do this, UC-Berkeley aims to “bring greater meaning and coherence to core requirements,” in part by using new technology. For example, they are now using a planning tool called “Course Threads,” which helps students (with faculty supervision) chart a “logically connected sequence of breadth courses.”

    Like Stanford and Berkeley, Washington University acknowledges the importance of articulating the essential skills and competences the university wishes its graduates to possess, but it emphasizes the even greater need to cultivate a longer list of “metacognitive skills and attitudes.” These include an ability to think and act creatively, an ability to engage in both individual and collaborative research, an understanding of how knowledge is created and transmitted, the ability to integrate knowledge from several domains, resilience and the ability to adapt to change, intellectual curiosity; practical insight, and “a facility for making normative assessments as well as with establishing matters of fact.” The challenge is how to instantiate these abstract goals in the curriculum. American University, for example, is tackling “quantitative literacy, writing, and information literacy training” by creating a variation on the core curriculum. It is putting in place a five-course sequence emphasizing skill/competency-oriented learning (e.g. “Quantitative Literacy I”). This is supplemented with an optional set of one-credit professional skills modules.

    As the Commission studied these varied models, members came to see that a new curricular framework could also address our need to strengthen students’ sense of community, without constraining the curricular freedom they rightly value. Hopkins undergraduates choose to learn across a wide variety of settings and contexts–from the classroom to the residence hall; from the laboratory to the athletic field; from the library to the internship site. This diversity is one of our great strengths. The curricular framework we propose provides a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied experience. The foundational abilities we describe would be developed in all of these contexts, through both individual work and in teams, in brief and in extended projects, through an array of programs, courses, and experiences. The abilities would provide a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied, independently designed education.

    The proposed curricular framework has the following components:

    Recommendation 1a. Require participation in a first year seminar.

    We begin with a pedagogical form invented at Hopkins—the seminar. The Commission recommends that every entering student be required to participate in a first year seminar. Requiring participation in a first year Hopkins seminar would be transformative. At a minimum, the first year seminar would set the tone for the undergraduate experience by providing students with a shared introduction to university life and the opportunity to work closely with senior faculty as they explore scholarly topics. The seminars would also provide opportunity for students to begin developing the foundational abilities. Fully maximized, a first year seminar curriculum could exploit Hopkins’ distinctive combination of small size and unparalleled research faculty while targeting development of particular foundational abilities.

    CUE2 reviewed several successful first-year seminar programs, including those developed by Amherst College, Stanford University, the University of Toronto, and UC Berkeley. Amherst’s First-Year Seminars, initially designed as one-year, interdisciplinary courses co-taught by faculty from two different disciplines, are an integral part of the college’s curriculum and required of all students. The First-Year Seminars are now a semester long, and often taught by a single faculty member. The Commission preferred more collaborative and interdisciplinary models that permit students to explore a single theme/topic/problem in depth by exposing them to various modes of inquiry and thus to understand their area of focus from several, overlapping (and sometimes opposed) perspectives. In such courses, faculty model how to comprehend and address complex problems through interaction with peers in other disciplines. UC-Berkeley is experimenting with “Big Ideas” courses taught by faculty from different disciplines and usually across divisions/schools. A course on “Time”, for example, is taught by a philosopher and a string theorist whereas a course on “Origins” is co-taught by a paleontologist, an astrophysicist, and a Biblical scholar. Another model is “Duke Immerse”: students join a cohort and spend an entire semester exploring a single “issue” (e.g. Uprooted/Re-routed: the Ethical Challenges of Displacement”) from an array of disciplinary perspectives. It is “delivered as one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester.”

    For the past several years, Hopkins has offered 40 to 50 freshman seminars each academic year in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. These 1-3 credit small classes, usually limited to about 10-15 freshmen, explore specialized scholarly topics chosen by faculty. As noted in Figure 4.2, 33% of freshmen completed a freshman seminar in academic year 2018-19. As an initial step, the Commission recommends 100% participation in a first year seminar for all freshman and transfer students in the first semester that they matriculate. In order to achieve this goal, the University would need to double the number of freshman seminars currently offered, ensuring that they are taught by senior faculty and aligned in terms of credit hour assignment and overarching outcomes.

    Figure 4.2 Hopkins First Year Seminars and Enrollment

    Semester Number of Freshman Seminars Taught Number of Students Enrolled (percent of class)
    Fall 2018 27 297 (23%)
    Spring 2019 10 131 (10%)
    Fall 2019 32 317 (23%)

     

    Once this target it achieved, additional options for a more robust first year seminar curriculum should be explored and piloted. For example, the first year seminars could begin to more specifically target the development of expository writing skills by pairing disciplinary expertise from senior faculty with writing instruction expertise from expository writing faculty. This evolution would require extensive consultation and collaboration among faculty, students, staff, as well as the Deans and Provost.

    The Commission offers the following as a more long-term, aspirational model for the first year seminars. Every entering student would enroll in a seminar, taught by a faculty member, designed in relation to a shared theme. Each year’s theme would be broad, allowing faculty members flexibility in designing their seminars. The themes would recur, allowing faculty to return to and revise their seminars across the years. In conjunction with these seminars, regular public assemblies would gather new students to hear lectures by visiting scholars and public intellectuals on the year’s theme. Finally, regular sessions with writing instructors would establish the importance of writing in all our disciplines.

    In this model, each incoming class (of roughly 1300-1450 students) would be divided into two groups (A and B), which would then cycle through course activities at different times. Each student would attend four public lectures, four seminars (limited to 15 students), and a minimum of four writing discussions (again, limited to the same 15 students) across the semester, as described in Figure 4.3. 

    Figure 4.3 First Year Seminar Schedule

    Semester Week “A” Cycle Activities “B” Cycle Activities
    1 Shriver Plenary
    2 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    3 Writing Group Seminar
    4 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    5 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    6 Writing Group Seminar
    7 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    8 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    9 Writing Group Seminar
    10 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    11 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    12 Writing Group Seminar
    13 Writing Group

     

    Were the University to follow this model, the demands on physical space and infrastructure would include the following. Eight times a semester, 750 students would gather in Shriver Hall, and perhaps elsewhere, were lectures to be livestreamed. Every third week, 100 seminar rooms would be needed to accommodate the seminars and writing sessions. (Were students divided into three, rather than two, cycles, the demand on seminar rooms would drop to 67 every third week.) The demands on personnel would include the cost of recruiting eight speakers, assuming each lectured only once. Up to 100 faculty members would be required to lead the four seminar meetings each semester. Again, these faculty would come from the professional schools as well as Homewood, furthering the university’s One University initiative. Themes aligned with JHU’s interdisciplinary institutes and initiatives, including 21st Century Cities and the Agora Institute, would allow us to draw on their resources. The Commission recommends that the Provost’s investment in this initiative should include an innovation competition that provides grant funding for course development. The DELTA (Digital Education & Learning Technology Acceleration) Grant program is an encouraging model. Selecting broad themes–akin to those being chosen for the Common Question experience–would allow faculty latitude to design seminars that engage them; cycling through themes on a regular schedule–say every three years–would allow faculty to return to, and revise, their seminars.

    Recommendation 1b. Establish the “Hopkins Semester” of intensive study

    Research has been the core of Hopkins’ identity. One benefit such research has traditionally offered to some of our students is the in-depth experience of extended, immersive study. But this opportunity should be extended to our students, whether in creative activity, professional exploration, or research. To that end, CUE2 proposes to create a “Hopkins Semester.”

    The Commission conceives of this program as a junior or senior year, semester-long, mentored, immersive experience that will give students the time for a focused, deep, and rigorous exploration of one complex subject or endeavor either inside or outside their major department. The Commission expects that students themselves will be the driving force of these experiences–that they will propose and complete innovative projects that we don’t presently imagine.  If the first-year courses described above in Recommendation 1a would be driven by the intellectual excitement of faculty given the opportunity to teach small seminars, the Hopkins semester would similarly be driven by the passions of the students. But students would be required to provide, and departments required to approve and assess, proposals for and reports on their experience that demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed.

    Team-based, projects would also be possible. Such projects, whether creative or research-intensive, would develop the skills associated with communication on teams whose members bring distinct qualifications and play interdependent roles. Design projects, artistic endeavors, research projects, commercial ventures, professional internships, and community-based projects all could serve the ends of this recommendation–whether undertaken in the opera house, the archives, Congress, the laboratory, the community center, a startup venture, or the clinic.  Pursuing one’s Hopkins Semester abroad would also be encouraged.

    This intensive semester should facilitate a high-level synthesis of concepts and practices learned during students’ first and second years of coursework. The Hopkins Semester could satisfy the requirements of some core major courses (and perhaps upper-level courses as well), but need not. In addition, projects and activities before and after this semester could expand and extend the experience. Thus, for example, a project pursued intensively during the semester may be defined and developed before the semester and the activity may continue, albeit at a less intense level, after the semester.  (Note that the Hopkins Semester would be immersive: projects completed piecemeal across semesters would not qualify.) The guidance provided by faculty is an essential element of this recommendation, in part because it encourages mentorship. The Hopkins Semester could regularly be a transformative immersive experience—thus furthering one aim already established by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design.

    In 1998, the Boyer Commission issued 10 recommendations for improving undergraduate education at research universities in the USA; the first recommendation was that research-based learning become standard. Following the Boyer Commission’s lead, several US research organizations—including the Mellon Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation—have funded opportunities to include undergraduates in the research programs of science faculty and, to a lesser extent, those of humanities faculty. Many subsequent studies have demonstrated the benefits of undergraduate research experiences. “Evidence from an array of quantitative and qualitative studies supports the promise of undergraduate research as a catalyst for student development across disciplines, genders, and ethnicities. While cost factors, including money, time, and faculty priorities, need be considered during the creation of an undergraduate research program, the benefits to students are consistent with our greater expectations for liberal learning.[2]” Undergraduate students who completed a mentored research program identified many areas from which they benefited including the interpretation and analysis of data, the ability to work independently and to integrate theory and practice; they also reported greater self-confidence and a clearer understanding of their career paths[3].   But the benefits of such experiences are not limited to research programs; creative and experiential projects can have analogous results.

    In 2018, 62% of Johns Hopkins seniors reporting participating in research in the Senior Survey, increased from 57% in 2016.  Results of those surveys also suggest that students are generally satisfied with the opportunities to participate in research with a faculty member. The University presently supports undergraduate research in various ways, through the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) (see Appendix I for 2017-19 Metrics), the Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant (in KSAS), and smaller initiatives, including the library-based program, The Freshman Fellows.  But research experience is inconsistent across campus. We excel at supporting student research in the lab but not in the library: In 2014, only 19% of humanities students reported participating in research with a faculty member, and only 27% of social/behavioral sciences students reported doing so; this compared to 59% for natural sciences and 69% for engineering. As our investment in undergraduate research increases, support like that presently offered through PURA and the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant should become more visible and more generously funded.

    Of our peers, only Princeton requires a capstone project for all undergraduates; it takes the form of a senior thesis. Others, like Stanford, make a point of encouraging all seniors to complete capstones. Some capstone experiences offered elsewhere resemble the Hopkins Semester we propose.  George Mason University offers research semesters in biology. The University of Michigan offers a Humanities Collaboratory that brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate research assistants over a semester. Duke offers an intensive research semester with seminars called DukeImmerse, a cohort model in which students spend an entire semester exploring a single issue from an array of disciplinary perspectives. Like the Hopkins Semester, DukeImmerse is one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester. It involves daily interaction with faculty members and a collaborative project. About four such programs run each semester. Similarly, the “Immersion Vanderbilt” program encourages students to pursue creative and/or independent projects.  The program is “inherently flexible to allow the student to work closely with a faculty mentor on a project that provides a depth of experience.” Finally, standalone programs, like EUROScholars, enable students to use a study abroad semester for research.

    For the Hopkins Semester to be viable within our traditional four-year program, departments will need to ensure that the sequencing of their courses allow for a full semester immersive experience. Additionally, advising services would need to assist arranging projects undertaken on campus and, in coordination with advisors in majors and career services, also assist arranging projects undertaken off-campus. The Undergraduate Education Board would be charged with developing best practices in setting learning objectives and assessment expectations for the Hopkins Semester.   Departments will use those guidelines to develop student application, approval, and assessment processes. The Board should also establish baseline expectations regarding faculty mentoring of students based on best practices.

    Recommendation 1c. Meaningfully integrate curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning

    Integrative learning is an understanding and a disposition that a student builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus.[4]

    Student learning is not contained by the architecture of formal coursework; the rewards of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are distinctive, various, and essential to any undergraduate education. Our students pursue their passions, apply their learning, and connect with alumni, community leaders, and other Johns Hopkins affiliates outside as well as inside the classroom. In short, they should integrate their various experiences into a distinctive education.

    We are well positioned to transform the college experience from one composed solely of traditional elements—lectures, papers, problem sets, and exams—to one in which these elements sit amid a much broader range of learning activities within and beyond the classroom. The many benefits of this transformed experience would be varied. A plan to develop such a fully integrated experience at Hopkins has already been initiated by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Central to that plan is the development of a co-curricular roadmap that integrates coursework, intersession and summer experience, community activities, and social networks to ensure that all students are exposed to the same rich opportunities. This education would include tools for students to document, reflect on, and assess all their educational activities, and would help them lay the groundwork for life-long learning and their post-graduate careers. To support this initiative, the Commission recommends that the Undergraduate Education Board develop clear policies on awarding credit or credential based on learning outcomes for structured co-curricular experiences relevant to disciplinary study. Linking outcomes to academic requirements would send a powerful signal to faculty and students concerning the importance of co-curricular learning. Such a policy would also guide faculty as they facilitate student reflection on their extramural work and evaluate their experience against outcomes defined by the program and University.

    “The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has long promoted integrative learning for all students as a hallmark of a quality liberal education, noting its essential role in lifelong learning” (National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise, 2007). Increasingly, integrative learning is recognized as an empowering developmental process through which students synthesize knowledge across curricular and co-curricular experiences to develop new concepts, refine values and perspectives in solving problems, master transferable skills, and cultivate self-understanding. An AAC&U-sponsored project on integrative liberal learning between 2012 and 2014 with fourteen small liberal arts institutions has helped illuminate a variety of practices that strengthen connections across learning experiences and encourage students to reflect on their goals with the aim of making intentional curricular and co-curricular choices, charting their own progress, and understanding the ‘why’—and not just the ‘what’—of their four years.”[5]

    Data concerning students’ participation in extra- and co-curricular activities at Hopkins are scattered. In the 2016-2017 academic year, Johns Hopkins University had 409 student organizations (including fraternities and sororities). Currently, there are 395 student organizations, and this number is expected to surpass 400 as the year progresses, given organizations that are currently going through the process of being established. In the 2016 Senior Survey, 63.1% of students reported having participated in at least one student organization (including fraternities and sororities) during their time as an undergraduate. As noted in Appendix H, participation varies across majors.

    Figure 4.4 reveals that 23% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported studying abroad, a low rate among our peers. In the same survey, students also reported that they would have liked to spend more time involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering, relaxing, and socializing.

    Data about JHU sponsored off-campus activities are harder to ascertain, but the numbers appear quite low: 3.0% of students have participated in off-campus activities sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, for instance; 2.4% have participated through the Center for Social Concern.

    Figure 4.4 Participation in study abroad as compared to peer institutions 2018 Senior Survey.

    Percent of Respondents Reporting Participation in Study Abroad Peers: 56%, 53%, 46%, 40%, 39%, 32%, 28%, 24%, 17%, 12%. JHU: 23% (Third least in cohort of 11).

    Other universities, including Boston University and University of South Carolina, have created models for integrating co- and extracurricular activities into student experience, and created infrastructure to enable, document, and reward those activities. Among the most robust of these models is the 21st Century Badging Challenge developed by the Educational Design Lab in association with public and private universities in the Washington D.C. area. Engaging faculty members and about 40 students from each participating institution, the program determines rigorous assessment criteria for its badges, in order to present a comprehensive signal to employers about student achievement. The University of South Carolina (USC) has developed the USC Connect program, which provides learning pathways that start in the first year, take students outside of the classroom, and enable them to create substantive portfolios. Successful students graduate with “leadership distinction” designated on their diplomas and transcript. Finally, the University of Mary Washington and Emory University have both piloted projects to provide a personal web space to all incoming students; in this space, students will develop integrated, holistic e-portfolios that include both curricular and co/extra-curricular evidence of their activities.

    Again, some of the resources for a more fully integrated learning experience at Hopkins are already at hand. The Center for Social Concern (CSC) has been particularly active in encouraging students to engage with the Baltimore community. CSC supports both extra-curricular engagement, through hosting student organizations, and curricular experiential learning opportunities, through a faculty fellows program. The CSC’s France-Merrick Civic Fellowship allows students to undertake community work. In collaboration with the Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Educational Outreach, CSC helps sponsor the Charm City Science League, an organization of over 100 student volunteers who work with teams of middle-school students to prepare for Science Olympiad and robotics competitions.

    Implementation plans for the development of a more fully integrated undergraduate experience have already been formed by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Features of that plan include embedding career staff in academic programs and communities; replacing career services with scalable life design programs that integrate coursework, connections, and experiential learning; developing learning modules for staff and faculty on life design; creating dynamic websites, online platforms, and a digital presence; and drafting a narrative of life design for admissions, departments, centers, and alumni relations. Departments should be charged with developing policies for the assessment of co-curricular activities where warranted, in consultation with the Undergraduate Education Board. The University’s new learning assessment platform provides an opportunity to develop Comprehensive Learner Records for each undergraduate student. These records are digital, official documents issued by the institution that provide a richer expression of the learning outcomes or competencies mastered during a student’s experience than traditional transcripts and diplomas as they capture course-based, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning.

    Recommendation 1d. Ensuring departmental instruction in foundational abilities

    The above three recommendations (1a-c) are intended to prepare students with foundational intellectual skills and dispositions for lifelong learning. But these foundational abilities must also be incorporated into the design of major curricula and courses.  Majors require that students know a segment of human knowledge deeply, and master its ways of thinking. They also require that students integrate foundational abilities in a specific field of study.   Many of the foundational abilities will be cultivated in courses required for the major; others may be cultivated through other coursework; still others, importantly, may be cultivated through co-curricular activities. To that end, the Commission recommends that the current distribution requirements be modified to become distribution areas that correlate with the foundational abilities. All students will be required to take a minimum of one course in each of the six distribution areas by the time of graduation. Further, the deans of KSAS and WSE charge each department with evaluating and modifying existing curricula and designing new curricula that ensures that their majors are trained in each of these abilities.

    Each academic department will be required to demonstrate to the Undergraduate Education Board that their students will develop the foundational abilities all Hopkins students should acquire by mapping major program outcomes and course learning objectives to the foundational abilities and distribution areas. Multifaceted assessment of program outcomes and learning objectives will provide students, departments, and schools with formative and summative data that illustrate students success in achieving the abilities. Such data should be evaluated by the department regularly to inform the need for curricular revision and appropriate allocation of resources.

    CUE2 recognizes that this recommendation will require academic departments to develop much more sophisticated and robust means of assessing students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as evaluating courses and programs. However, this shift is necessary if we truly want to encourage an educational culture that promotes development of competencies rather than accrual of credentials. Modifying the current distribution requirement system alone would only perpetuate a credential gathering, box-checking approach to undergraduate education. It is imperative that revision of that system occur concomitantly with a shift in culture within our academic departments. With support from the deans, the academic departments must bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that students achieve both the breadth and depth of intellectual inquiry outlined.

    The six new distribution areas, reflective of the six foundational abilities, also provide opportunity for academic innovation. Faculty should be encouraged to develop new courses that span disciplinary boundaries, thereby targeting development of skills on the horizontal bar of the “T.” For example, a competitive academic innovation fund could be established to develop new classes that require students to apply their disciplinary knowledge in the context of a team composed of students with varied expertise from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Several models already exist within our university upon which the infrastructure for such courses could be built. Several engineering departments already engage industrial partners to sponsor student projects, while the Center for Social Concern builds connections between extracurricular student projects and Baltimore communities. The recently pioneered Classics Research Lab provided a mechanism for a team of students to undertake a reconstruction of the contexts of and influences upon the work of Victorian scholar John Addington Symonds, author of one of the first major studies of Ancient Greek sexuality, pioneering a humanities-centric approach to problem based learning. A pilot to teach Multidisciplinary Engineering Design is underway in Fall 2019 during which 18 students from across 6 engineering majors are engaged in 4 different projects with external partners. These range from investigating microfiber separation from wastewater in collaboration with sportswear manufacturer Under Armour, to engaging with social enterprise Clearwater Mills to develop innovative ways to engage the communities that live around Professor Trash Wheel to improve the effectiveness of this installation to prevent trash from entering the Baltimore Harbor. And in 2018 a Hack Your Life Design Challenge engaged 18 teams of students from Mechanical Engineering at JHU and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Teams had to use at least five different materials to create an interactive project with moving parts that cost no more than $100. The challenge provided students with the freedom to explore different ways in which engineering and art can intersect.

    The pathways students take to meet the distribution areas requirement and to develop the foundational abilities will be widely varied, and driven by their individual interests and needs. CUE2 recognizes that their success will require careful advising and mentoring by faculty, staff, peers, and others. Recommendation 4 below describes a new system of advising, mentoring, and coaching, which would provide the support needed for this new curricular framework. Certainly, the burden of ensuring that students acquire these foundational abilities will be considerable. But the curricular framework described here highlights one great strength of our university: that it provides students with a combination of unmatched institutional resources and individual attention. This vision aims to ensure that all our students benefit from that distinctive strength while enrolled, and flourish after they graduate.

    [1] T-Academy (2018) http://tsummit.org/t

    [2] Lopatto, D. (2006). Undergraduate research as a catalyst for liberal learning. Peer Review8(1), 22-25. See also: Gillies, S. L., & Marsh, S. (2013). Doing science research at an undergraduate university. International Journal of Arts & Sciences6(4), 379; Hempstead, J., Graham, D., & Couchman, R. (2012). Forging a template for undergraduate collaborative research: A case study. Creative Education36(Special Issue), 859-865; Healey, M., & Jenkins, A. (2009). Developing undergraduate research and inquiry (p. 152). York: Higher Education Academy; Kuh, G. D. (2008). Excerpt from high-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 19-34; Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27.

    [3] Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27

    [4] Rhodes, T. L. (2010). Making learning visible and meaningful through electronic portfolios. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning43(1), 6-13.

    [5] Ferren, A. S., & Anderson, C. B. (2016). Integrative learning: Making liberal education purposeful, personal, and practical. New Directions for Teaching and Learning2016(145), 33-40.; see also Kehoe, A., & Goudzwaard, M. (2015). ePortfolios, badges, and the whole digital self: How evidence-based learning pedagogies and technologies can support integrative learning and identity development. Theory Into Practice54(4), 343-351.

  • Recommendation 2: Increase the flexibility of the major requirements where needed to enable intellectual exploration

    The model of undergraduate education CUE2 recommends places disciplinary expertise at its center. Being trained in a distinct set of methods and acquiring the knowledge particular to a discipline are essential features of an undergraduate education. Moreover, without strong disciplines one cannot imagine strong interdisciplinary programs. But disciplinary expertise must be rooted in a liberal education. The best scholars, as President Gilman remarked in his inaugural address, “will almost invariably be those who make special attainments on the foundation of a broad and liberal culture.” This education contributes to their flourishing, independent of and beyond any credentials we might issue.

    Our faculty habitually forge connections among disciplines; undergraduates should be encouraged to do the same. For students to pursue the leads provided by disciplinary training, they must be given room to leave their disciplines and learn elsewhere. As urged by its charge, the Commission proposes to build on the positive features, including curricular flexibility, which distinguish us. The curriculum of any university, as Jonathan Cole remarked in his Town Hall Presentation, “should dovetail well with the identity of the university and represent a realization of its basic principles and goals.” Hopkins has offered its students flexibility since its founding. That flexibility assumes maturity of the students and aims simultaneously to promote that maturity, cultivating the independence of thought necessary for life-long learning.

    The diversity of our students implies diversity of thought, ambition and goals; as a result, curricula should not assume that one path will suit all students, even within a discipline. Data from student focus groups and the most recent surveys indicate that our students continue to value this flexibility and are dissatisfied when it is absent. The initiative, breadth, and independence assumed by a flexible curriculum also are valued by industries presently driving the global economy. According to a recent study conducted by Hart Research Associates and published by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, “employers recognize capacities that cut across majors as critical to a candidate’s potential for career success, and they view these skills as more important than a student’s choice of undergraduate major.” Nearly all those surveyed (93%) agree that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.” Many prominent business leaders, including Johns Hopkins alumnus Samuel Palmisano (former CEO of IBM), have confirmed this view and have offered full-throated endorsements of a broad and liberal education, rather than a narrow, exclusively technical or exclusively non-technical one.

    Institutional data in Figures 4.5-8 show that curricular flexibility, as measured by the fraction of credits restricted by a student’s major, varies widely across departments, and is highly restricted in some. The Department of Philosophy requires the completion of 33 credit hours (27% of the total needed for graduation); Biomedical Engineering requires roughly three times that number, 104 (80% of the total needed for graduation). Data also suggest some majors at Hopkins are outliers among their peers at other universities, requiring a greater percentage of credits to be completed in the major. Of the majors and peers studied by CUE2, our majors in Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering in WSE, and KSAS’s Biophysics, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Studies, Physics, Anthropology, Political Science, Art History, Classics, History, Latin American Studies, and Writing Seminars all have markedly less flexibility than similar majors at peer institutions. While not as striking, several other majors in both schools also appear quite restrictive. This is just one possible metric for curricular flexibility, which may also be encouraged by strict course sequencing, course offerings that occur only annually, and lack of on-line options that could facilitate participation of students undertaking opportunities at remote sites.

     

    Figure 4.5 Flexibility in KSAS natural sciences majors as compared to peers.[1]

    Behavioral Biology: JHU least flexible. Biology: JHU less flexible than average. Biophysics: JHU least flexible. Chemistry: JHU less flexible than average. Cognitive Science: JHU less flexible than average. Earth and Planetary Sciences: JHU more flexible than average. Environmental Science and Studies (B.S.) : JHU least flexible. Environmental Science and Studies (B.A.) : JHU least flexible. Mathematics: JHU average. Physics (B.A.): JHU less flexible than average. Physics (B.S.): JHU less flexible. Psychological and Brain Science: JHU more flexible than average.

    Figure 4.6 Flexibility in KSAS social sciences majors as compared to peers.

    Anthropology: JHU less flexible than average. Economics: JHU average. Political Science: JHU least flexible. Sociology: JHU less flexible than average.

    Figure 4.7 Flexibility in KSAS humanities majors as compared to peers.

    Africana Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Archaeology: JHU average. Art History: JHU least flexible (by far). Classics: JHU least flexible. English: JHU less flexible than average. French: JHU most flexible. German: JHU more flexible than average. History of Science: JHU least flexible. History: JHU least flexible. Italian: JHU average. Latin America Studies: JHU less flexible than average. Near Eastern Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Philosophy: JHU average. Romance Languages: JHU less flexible than average. Spanish: JHU less flexible than average. Writing Seminars: JHU least flexible (by far).

    Figure 4.8 WSE flexibility in engineering majors as compared to peers.[2]

    AMS: JHU more flexible than average. BME: JHU less flexible than average. Chem BE: JHU less flexible than average. CivE: JHU least flexible. Comp Sci: JHU less flexible than average. Computer Engineering: JHU average. Electrical Engineering: JHU less flexible than average. BME: JHU least flexible. MatSci: JHU less flexible than average. MechE: JHU least flexible.

    As noted in Figure 4.9, the 2018 Senior Survey findings document dissatisfaction with the flexibility of the curriculum in several Engineering majors including Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dissatisfaction is also noted in a few Natural Sciences majors within the Arts and Sciences, including Biology. There is room for improved satisfaction across number of other majors as well. Figure 4.10 shows a significant negative correlation (R2 = 0.4996) between major flexibility as measured and student satisfaction with flexibility.

    Figure 4.9 2018 Senior survey satisfaction with curricular flexibility.

    1 = Very dissatisfied, 2 = Generally dissatisfied, 3 = Generally satisfied, 4 = Very satisfied. Medicine, Science and the Humanities: 3.70; Spanish: 3.69; Philosophy: 3.50; English: 3.42; German: 3.40; Writing Seminars: 3.25; French: 3.17; History: 3.17; Film and Media Studies: 3.10; Humanities Average: 3.39; Archaeology: 3.83; Sociology: 3.71; Anthropology: 3.50; International Studies: 3.38; Psychology: 3.35; Political Science: 3.26; Economics: 3.23; Global Environmental Change and Sustainability: 3.09; Social and Behavioral Sciences Average: 3.42; Earth and Planetary Sciences: 3.56; Public Health Studies: 3.26; Physics: 3.25; Mathematics: 3.24; Chemistry: 3.17; Neuroscience: 3.14; Cognitive Science: 3.14; Behavioral Biology: 3.00; Molecular and Cellular Biology: 2.90; Biophysics: 2.89; Biology: 2.67; Natural Sciencws Area: 2.67; Natural Sciences Average: 3.07; Electrical Engineering: 3.27; Applied Mathematics and Statistics: 3.21; Mat Sci and Engineering: 3.15; Environmental Engineering: 3.13; Computer Engineering: 3.00; Computer Science: 2.95; Biomedical Engineering: 2.54; Civil Engineering: 2.44; Mechanical Engineering: 2.22; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: 2.15; Engineering Average: 2.81;

    Figure 4.10 Correlation between curricular flexibility and student satisfaction.

    General downard trend of decreasing student satisfaction as flexibility decreases. Linear trendline has r-squared value of 0.4996;

    Both the disparity between departments and the restrictiveness in some departments have detrimental effects. The disparity creates a widely disparate experience among our undergraduates and contributes to the competitive culture; in conversations, students also report that it contributes to the segregation of the schools. Inflexible and high requirements tend to advantage students from high schools that offer AP credit, who can complete their requirements more quickly. (Increasing student flexibility within the major thus aligns with the Hopkins Universal Design for Learning Initiative[3]Finally, highly restrictive requirements also would prevent the implementation of a separate CUE2 recommendation; the requirements of some majors at present would make graduation in four years impossible, were a student to participate in the Hopkins semester (see recommendation 2, below).

    We have considered various methods of implementation. One would require that the deans, provost, or Undergraduate Education Board establish a minimum number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements. Another would require that departments demonstrate that their requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions. A third could combine these, and require that the deans (or provost) establish a number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements, but granting exemptions to departments that demonstrate that their (still high) requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions.

    We recommend that the provost require that a minimum of 33% of all student credit hours be un-prescribed across all undergraduate majors in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering. Furthermore, because increased flexibility would serve faculty members by freeing them of the burden of major requirements, the Commission recommends that the University create an innovation fund to support imaginative courses and programs and develop mechanisms to generalize pedagogical successes.

    [1] Peers for majors housed in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences included Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University, Yale University

    [2] Peers for majors housed in the Whiting School of Engineering included California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California Berkley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan

    [3] For example: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/internship-programs

  • Recommendation 3: Enable professional school faculty to teach undergraduates more easily and often, and facilitate the enrollment of undergraduates in our professional schools

    The rigid demarcation between undergraduate and graduate education is increasingly anachronistic. Johns Hopkins professional schools are a valuable resource, not available at all our peer institutions. They should be readily accessible to our undergraduates.

    Faculty from other schools teach infrequently at Homewood, but the numbers are increasing, as demonstrated in Figure 4.11. In the Fall of 2014 7% of undergraduate courses were taught by non-Homewood faculty; five years later, in Spring 2019, 15% percent were taught by non-Homewood faculty. The percentage during the summer unsurprisingly is higher, ranging from 12 to 13% between 2015 and 2018. The scarcity of online undergraduate course options and lack of infrastructure for high quality distance education provision exacerbates the geographic boundaries between Homewood and the professional school campuses. Undergraduates should have access to the full breadth of talent represented in the University’s faculty. Barriers between Hopkins campuses should be lowered.

     

    Figure 4.11 Percentage of undergraduate courses taught by non-Homewood JHU faculty.

    Over course of AE Fall 2014 to AE Spring 2019, the percentage has steadily increased from 7% to 14%.

     

    Several recommendations in this report provide opportunity for broader incorporation of all Johns Hopkins University faculty in the undergraduate experience. For example, faculty from the professional schools could teach in the first year seminar series. They could also partner with Homewood faculty to innovate team-based, interdisciplinary problem-solving courses. Recently, SAIS faculty began offering undergraduate courses in strategy and statecraft as well as international economics as complements to existing International Studies courses using an inter-campus, hybrid delivery model that could be emulated by other professional schools.

    As part of this recommendation, the Commission urges that all Johns Hopkins students (assuming adequate pre-requisites and qualifications) be permitted to pursue programs leading to bachelor/professional master’s (3+2 or 4+1) degrees. Our primary intent, however, is not to establish new joint or dual degree programs. Nor is it to do what is already possible in many cases, namely, for students to seek a master’s degrees in their undergraduate majors. Rather it is to encourage students to explore advanced study and potential careers, regardless of major, across the University. The Commission imagines combinations that may not be possible or easily possible today; the Computer Science major who pursues a master’s degree in International Studies at SAIS, the History major who takes courses at the Carey school, or the Physics major who pursues a master’s in Biomedical Engineering. The implementation of this recommendation would not only serve our students well, and provide faculty at the professional schools additional opportunities to instruct and mentor undergraduates, but would serve our ongoing “One University” initiative.

    First Destination survey data from 2018 data tells us that approximately 35% of our students pursue graduate school immediately after graduation. Not all of those students matriculate into JHU programs, but the Whiting School of Engineering and Bloomberg School of Public Health are the top two graduate schools of choice. In fact, 22% of graduating Engineering students and 6% of Arts and Sciences students take advantage of the opportunity to remain for a fifth year to acquire a Master’s degree at the Whiting School.

    Several of our peer institutions offer co-terminal degree programs. Emory provides a series of 4+1 options, and Stanford has a robust co-terminal degree program available across nearly 50 programs. Their co-terminal degree program allows undergraduates to study for a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree while completing their bachelor’s degree(s) in the same or a different department. Admitted co-terminal students must have a minimum of one quarter overlap between their undergraduate and graduate degree programs in order to qualify. Harvard has an advanced standing program that allows selected students in some departments to apply for a fourth-year master’s degree.

    Implementation of this recommendation will require buy-in from our professional divisions. The Provost should direct every division of the University to demonstrate that they have both individual courses and master’s programs in place open to Hopkins undergraduates from as broad a range of undergraduate majors as is reasonably possible, ensuring that financial assistance be available so that access to these programs is available to all qualified students. The existence of these programs would then be advertised directly to undergraduates while advisors would help direct students to them. In addition, the creation of online undergraduate courses, with distance education classrooms at each of the Johns Hopkins’ campuses, should be actively pursued.

  • Recommendation 4: Provide students with an integrated partnership of faculty mentors, staff advisors, and career counselors

    Students should be able to count on the significant, positive presence of faculty, staff, and administrators from matriculation to graduation and beyond. In our vision, each undergraduate student would have an integrated group of, at least, a faculty mentor, an academic advisor, and a career coach; this group would remain connected to that student throughout their undergraduate career. The provision of these support teams will require a redesign and revitalization of academic advising services, integrating it more deliberately with career services and with faculty mentoring. Because students build cohorts through their affinity for topics and passions for interests, mechanisms should be implemented to facilitate better alignment with, and maintenance of, the relationships among students, alumni, faculty, staff, and graduate students who share passions and affinities. Providing this support infrastructure will also require creation of and investment in faculty mentoring programs.

    We understand mentorship to be distinct from advising in both purpose and execution. Mentors help students develop interests, affirm identities and achieve life goals. Mentors include staff, alumni, peers, and community partners, but the central role is played by faculty members, who serve as mentors best simply by sharing their intellectual enthusiasm.  To be sure, students must be active participants in seeking out and building their own mentor relationships. But faculty members should expect to serve as mentors, and the University should actively encourage and support them as they do serve. Because courses most naturally initiate mentoring, the University should increase the number of small courses—research seminars, discussions, collaboratories—that enable substantial relations among teachers and students.

    As noted in the introduction to this section of the report, the timing of these initiatives is fortuitous, coinciding with the launching of the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design; that office has already begun to implement several of the advances described below. Additionally, we will have the benefit of our participation in the Excellence in Academic Advising initiative, launched in coordination with NACADA, a national organization of academic advisors, and the Gardner Foundations. Along with several other committees, this pilot program is assessing the preconditions for successful academic student support in KSAS and WSE. A full and detailed report is expected later this year and an implementation plan to follow. This guidance should be afforded the highest priority, so that academic advisors can be properly provisioned to support each student’s successful navigation of the various choices involved in academic life, from course selection to choosing their major and minor areas of study, to ensuring development of the foundational abilities and completion of a Hopkins semester, to tapping into university resources to sustain health, well-being and fulfillment, to seeking help when unforeseen challenges arise.

    Most, perhaps all, of the experiences linked by the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report (shown in Figure 4.13) concerning post-collegiate satisfaction with college depend upon mentoring: having at least one professor who excited the student about learning; having professors who cared about the student as a person; having a mentor who cared about the student’s hopes and dreams; having worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete; having an internship or job that helped the student apply what he or she was learning; being extremely active in extracurricular activities. More, importantly, mentoring has been shown to be effective in increasing the persistence of non-traditional students.[1] The benefits of better integrating academic advising and career counseling has also been urged by scholars for the past several decades.[2] 

    Figure 4.13 Findings from the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report

    The Undergraduate Experience: Support and Experiential and Deep Learning Support Section; I had at least one professor at college who made me excited about learning: 68% strongly agree; My professor at college cared about me as a person: 27%; I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams: 22%; Strongly agree with all three support statements: 14%; Experiential Section; I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete: 32%; I had an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom: 29%; I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations while attending college; 20%; Strongly agree with all three experiential statements: 6%; Strongly agree with all six statements: 3%; Based on Web surveys of nearly 30,000 college graduates with Internet access from Feb. 4-March 7, 2014. Gallup-Purdue Index;

    As depicted in Figure 4.14, 22% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported that they know no professor, or only one professor, well enough for them to provide a professional recommendation. This figure is higher than ideal. All students should know more than one professor who could write them a letter of recommendation. The numbers vary across our schools and fields. Students in the humanities fare better than those in the sciences and engineering: 14% of humanities students report that they know at most one faculty member sufficiently to ask her for a recommendation; in social and behavioral sciences the figure is 24%; in engineering the figure is 26%. In the same survey, 86% of Johns Hopkins respondents were satisfied with faculty availability, versus 91% at peer schools, a significant difference. Humanities respondents were significantly more satisfied than others (see Figure 4.15).

    Figure 4.14 Student-reported number of faculty who know them—distribution of responses for JHU vs. peer universities.

    How many faculty members know you well enough to provide a professional recommendation concerning your qualifications fora  job or advanced degree work? 2018 Distribution of Responses; Humanities: 3 largest proportion (34%); Natural Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (25%, 27% respectively); Social and Behavioral Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (31%, 28%); Engineering: 2 largest proportion (35%); All Areas: 2, 3 largest proportions (30%, 26%); Peers: 2, 3 largest proportions (28%, 24%);

    Figure 4.15 Student satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class from Senior Survey 2018.

    Satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class. Very dissatisfied (1), Generally dissatisfied (2), Generally satisfied (3), Very satisfied (4). JHU: 1 (3%), 2 (11%), 3 (63%), 4 (23%); Peers: 1 (2%), 2 (8%), 3 (59%), 4 (32%); JHU below average in average rating; JHU average rating has held steady over the past 10 years at 3.03-3.12;

    Advising models vary widely among our peers, and few appear to have partnered faculty mentoring, academic advising, and career counseling in the way envisioned by CUE2; Hopkins has an opportunity to lead in this area. Of note, University of Chicago assigns a four-year academic advisor and career coach, as well as a PhD student, to each undergraduate upon admission. Perhaps the closest model is James Madison University, which has merged its academic advising and career center into a single advising unit, enabling the integration of academic and career plans, and providing a model that students intuitively understand. This should be our goal, too.

    [1] Bettinger, E. P., & Baker, R. B. (2014). The effects of student coaching: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student advising. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(1), 3-19.

    [2] McCalla-Wriggins, B. (2009). Integrating career and academic advising: Mastering the challenge. NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources.

  • Recommendation 5: Improve course-based learning assessment methods. Eliminate the use of forced normal distribution of grades

    In recent years, Johns Hopkins has begun attracting and admitting an undergraduate student body of higher academic caliber and from a more diverse range of geographic, economic, and cultural background than ever before. For the class entering fall 2019, 98% of admitted students were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class with a mean unweighted academic GPA of 3.92 and the middle 50th percentile achieving SAT composite scores between 1480 and 1550. They hailed from 34 countries. Fifteen percent identified as First Generation College students. This new generation of Hopkins undergraduate students is far from the standard bell curve representation in terms of achievement, aptitude, experience and aspiration.

    It is critical that methods of teaching and learning assessment are updated and improved to serve the new generation of Hopkins undergraduates. Assessment of student learning should be individually based and reflective of each student’s performance in achieving the knowledge, skills, and abilities taught in the class. In general, it is not appropriate or effective to impose a normal distribution of grades (often referred to as “grading on a curve”) on exams, assignments, or final grades. Such grading practices arbitrarily limit the number of students who can be identified as having excelled, leading to the creation of a hypercompetitive student culture. We urge that they be eliminated.

    The Commission does not advocate watering down or diminishing standards. Instead it encourages the exploration and implementation of more current methods for measuring and recording student learning. It is important that best practices for student assessment be promulgated among all instructional faculty, and expectations regarding assessment be made clear at the school and departmental level to optimally support collaborative learning and creative exploration. Whatever system is used, student performance should be judged and graded relative to a standard of excellence as articulated by the faculty member and the discipline. Faculty should clearly define the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students should have achieved at the end of a course (i.e., course level learning goals) and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards.

    The literature documents the effects of curving grades on student competitiveness, and its effect on campus culture, and confirms anecdotal evidence at Hopkins. Setting pre-determined quotas for the number of grades that will be assigned pits students against one another, removing the potential for a more cooperative learning environment. It leads some students to feel that they have less control over their grades and increases their stress and anxiety. The competitive environment fostered by curved grading is one factor contributing to the loss of qualified, talented, underrepresented college students from science fields (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997). Many students attending CUE2 focus groups and Coffee with the Co-Chairs meetings shared similar sentiments. One student reported that she stopped studying with classmates after she realized they were her “direct competition for a final grade.” Another student described the stress caused by his uncertainty, until letter grades were posted, about what grade his 46% class average would receive. He also described his confusion when he discovered that it meant he received an “A.” Moving away from curved grades will promote classroom community by setting the expectation that all students have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of excellence and that, if they do, their achievement will be reflected in their grade.

    In a CUE2 commissioned qualitative survey of undergraduate faculty who taught a course of 40 or more students in the past two academic years, 28% of respondents (n=135) reported using a grading policy interpreted as relative and contributing to student competition. This includes assigning grades by natural breaks in the distribution or normalizing the distribution.

    Grading policies and data concerning the use of the curve at other institutions are elusive. In an informal survey of COFHE peers, asking “At your institution, do the majority of instructors for large (>50 students) sections of UG courses use a curve to determine final course grades? (Answer: yes/no/don’t know)?”, only four schools responded. The responses were highly variable, ranging from “we don’t know” (Stanford, U Penn), to mostly no but yes in many of the Gateway Science courses from Duke, to a firm “no” from MIT.

    The Commission recognizes the difficulty in writing exams and assessments that reliably challenge students at the same level each year, and faculty may need to take corrective action when an assessment is judged overly difficult.  Some faculty reported adding a standard number of points to all exams in these cases.[1]  In any case, faculty should clearly define what students should be able to do at the end of a course and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards. As one faculty member commented, “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” Alternate practices to curving have been well-documented, and include straight grading, specification grading, and competency-based grading.

    Assessment systems in any course have been and will continue to be the purview of the faculty member teaching that course. What should be reviewed for each course is whether 1) the objective and subjective measures of expected performance are well explained to the students and 2) whether the assessment mechanism used does or does not unfairly force a normal distribution of grades. These should be reviewed by the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in each department and instances of relative assessment tools should be brought to the attention of the Vice Deans for Undergraduate Education. Further, the University’s Vice Deans of Education (VDE), a group routinely convened by the Office of the Provost, and the University Council on Learning Assessment (UCLA) should issue a best practices statement regarding student learning assessment methods.

    [1] Additional faculty comments from survey supporting elimination of curves: “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” “I do not curve grades. I do not feel bound to give grades in any proportions; I set my standards.” “I do not curve grades. In my view, if all my students do well, or all do badly, their grades should reflect that fact.” “No, but I might adjust the final score limits slightly if I think the exam problems were unusually hard or there are any confusion about them.”

    “I try to gauge the difficulty of my exams so that students have a fair chance to succeed without curving.  If everybody does great, everybody should get an A; likewise, everybody should fail if nobody achieves the objectives.”

    “No, I do not curve grades… I usually use rubrics to establish grading standards, particularly since I use TAs/graders. Rubrics are made available to the students at the time of the assignment so that they understand what is expected of them.”

    “I don’t curve final grades, but I do sometimes curve an individual test grade if I feel that the average was low (<80%-85%).  My philosophy is that the students should always know where they stand in class with regards to their final grade.  If some magical curve is applied at the end, they never really know.”

    “Briefly, I do not curve grades as I like to give points for mastery.  That said I do not know how to design an exam with a clear point threshold for mastery for a specific grade in advance.  So I rescale grade, same for everyone onto an A, B, C etc.”

  • Recommendation 6: Establish a new system for the assessment of teaching and student mentoring by faculty

    By consensus, the assessment of teaching and mentoring now in place is seriously flawed. Teaching evaluation in the Homewood schools relies almost exclusively on results from student course evaluations. Research has shown that the raw numbers provided by such evaluations can be misleading, and that the qualitative evaluations are consistently biased against female and underrepresented minority faculty.[1] Further, the responses aren’t correlated to learning outcomes.[2] It is also unclear how those results are meaningfully and consistently incorporated into promotion and tenure decisions.

    Surveys of faculty, including a 2014 AAUP survey, report that faculty support assessment models unlike those we (and most universities) have in place. There are many alternative models. Northwestern developed a Continuing HE Credits (CHEC) program to foster and reward faculty commitment to high quality undergraduate teaching; credits earned for excellent teaching can be collected in various ways that support the faculty member’s scholarship and can be a positive factor in salary decisions. The University of Texas developed a Provost’s Teaching Fellows Initiative to offer a model for creating a sustainable structure to advance the teaching mission of the university.   Washington University has developed procedures that use self-assessment, peer review; student evaluations, and amply researched the field; their recommendations were supported by the AAUP 2014 Statement on Teaching Evaluation.

    The VDE from across the University should be charged by the Provost with determining best practices for comprehensive and transparent assessment of teaching and faculty mentoring for all Johns Hopkins faculty. The VDE should also identify the most appropriate school-based governance bodies and methods for establishment of relevant policies and procedures. The outcome should be an unequivocal university message that the demonstrated ability of Johns Hopkins faculty to teach well is required for both promotion and tenure.

    [1] Boring, A., Ottoboni, K., & Stark, P. (2016). Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness. ScienceOpen Research.

    [2] Uttl, B., White, C. A., & Gonzalez, D. W. (2017). Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related. Studies in Educational Evaluation54, 22-42.

  • The journal won’t let me submit my author’s final version to JScholarship. Now what?

    If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request a waiver or notify us.  But if you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options that might be available to you.

  • To whom does this policy apply?

    The policy applies to full-time JH faculty. All types of faculty are included in this policy, not just tenure-track or tenured faculty. Part-time faculty are not included. Students, staff researchers, and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to make their peer-reviewed journal articles open access, but are not required to do so.

  • What about copyright transfer agreements?

    If  your copyright transfer agreement does not allow you to submit your author’s final version to an open repository, you may write to the journal requesting a change before you sign or click through the agreement. For the reasons mentioned above, many journals have a back-up agreement available.

  • What are “Open Access repositories?”

    An Open Access repository provides free content and makes that content discoverable through Google, Google Scholar, and other search engines. Some open repositories are associated with funding agencies: NIH has PubMed Central, NASA has PubSpace, and DOE has PAGES. Some disciplines use community repositories: physics has arXiv, biology has bioRxiv, and the humanities have Humanities Commons. Many institutions run repositories: Harvard has DASH, MIT has DSpace@MIT, and Duke uses the Duke Digital Repository. If a version of your peer-reviewed article appears in a repository similar to these, you are aligned with the JH policy and do not have to do anything further.

  • What are the benefits of submitting my work to JScholarship?

    The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. JScholarship also provides a permanent identifier for use in citations, emails, and on websites.

  • What can I do if a journal refuses my paper because of the Johns Hopkins Open Access Policy?

    For thousands of journal titles, this should not be an issue. The Sherpa/Romeo site provides information about publisher self-archiving and copyright policies. If the journal in question does not allow you to share a version of your article openly, you still have several options. For example, you can contact the publisher and try to negotiate an exception to their rules based on our policy. Additionally, scholarly articles whose copyright transfer or licensing terms with the publisher are incompatible with this policy are exempt from this policy. Please contact Robin Sinn to discuss the options available to you.

  • What does “accepted for publication on or after July 1, 2018” actually mean?

    The policy does not apply to scholarly articles published or accepted before July 1, 2018. Nor does the policy apply to scholarly articles accepted prior to July 1, 2018 and published after that date.

  • What does the policy say?

    Read the policy here.

  • What is an “Open Access journal?”

    An Open Access journal is a journal that does not require a subscription to read or download content. If you publish in an OA journal, you have met the policy’s goal and do not need to do anything more. A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Librarians and informationists can offer tips for avoiding predatory journals.

  • What is JScholarship?

    JScholarship is the Johns Hopkins institutional repository. You can deposit the author’s final version of your article in JScholarship. The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. If a publisher is concerned about an article version posted in JScholarship, the library will work with the publisher to rectify the situation. You can also deposit other work in JScholarship that you want to make Open Access. Simply contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu.

  • What is PASS?

    The Library built and maintains PASS to support submission to JScholarship and other repositories. PASS allows you to submit to multiple repositories simultaneously, saving you time. The system went live on July 2, 2018. Work will continue after July 2, to improve the interface and to allow PASS to work with other agencies like the NSF. A new function was added in November, 2018, allowing proxy submission. Faculty can allow another JH employee to upload the documents; the faculty still needs to make a final check before the submission is complete.

    Some subscription journals charge a fee (often in the thousands of dollars) to make an article Open Access; they also submit the publisher’s version of the article immediately into a repository. Authors might pay this fee because they want the published version immediately available. If you are content with making the author’s final version available, however, use PASS and avoid paying that fee.

  • What is the “author’s final version” of my article?

    JH faculty publish in many different journals, all with different rules and practices regarding posting versions of an article in platforms other than the publisher’s website. You can see summaries of these rules in Sherpa/Romeo. Most open access policies request that the author’s final version be deposited in an open repository. The JH Open Access Policy defines the author’s final version as the “version of a scholarly article that is sent to the publisher after it has gone through peer review, any revisions responsive thereto, and any further copyediting in which the corresponding author has participated.”

  • What is the relationship between PASS and JScholarship?

    PASS is a submission system that allows you to submit your author’s final version to open repositories, including JScholarship, the JH institutional repository. Using PASS to submit to JScholarship places your files in the JH Open Access Collection. PASS will eventually work with a number of repositories.

  • What open repositories does JH consider acceptable?

    Repositories associated with educational institutions, funding agencies, or scholarly societies, and academic disciplines are acceptable outlets for your research.  Examples include PubMed Central, MLA Commons, and the Department of Energy’s PAGES. Any repository listed in PASS is acceptable. These sites provide open access to anyone wanting to read or download articles. There is some effort at stability and preservation of the content deposited.

  • What research outputs does this policy apply to?

    The policy applies to peer-reviewed journal articles. Other types of output such as essays, books, edited book chapters, catalogs, letters, editorials, poetry, music, etc. are not covered by this policy.

  • When do I need to make my article openly available?

    There are no hard deadlines. Publishing your article in an Open Access journal requires no extra steps, so in that scenario there is not any need for a deadline. If your funder requires you to deposit in its open repository, you can abide by whatever deadlines they impose; JH will not add an extra deadline. If you submit the author’s final version to JScholarship, you can do that when it fits your schedule. The sooner you do that, the more quickly your article will be accessible and the less likely you are to forget; but JH does not require submission within a particular timeframe.

  • Who is a “corresponding or sole author?”

    “Corresponding author” refers to the author responsible for communication with the publisher; “sole author” applies to articles that only have one author.  If an article has only one author who is a full time JH faculty member or the corresponding author of an article is a full-time JH faculty member, then the article needs to be made openly available by that faculty member through one of the methods described in the policy.

  • Why is Johns Hopkins doing this?

    In accordance with our mission of providing knowledge for the world, the University is committed to disseminating the research and scholarship of its faculty as widely as possible. Increased public access to research  contributes to greater impact in the broader scientific and scholarly community and advances the reputation of the University.

  • Why would subscription journals allow their articles to be published with Open Access?

    The NIH Public Access Policy requires journals publishers to make the author’s final version of an article supported with NIH grant funding freely available in PubMed Central within one year of publication in the journal. That law went into effect in 2008.   In 2013, the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a similar requirement for federal agencies that grant more than $100 million in R&D funds. Many universities followed suit, creating their own open access policies.  ROARMAP tracks the number of open access policies globally.  Most journals and publishers have changed their author agreements in order to comply with these policies. Some journals will allow the submission of an author’s final version only if a university has an open access policy.

  • Will a reader be able to move from the open version of my article to the published version, on the publisher’s website?

    Some repositories have the capability to link between open versions and published versions of articles. JScholarship does not currently possess this functionality but we could develop it if necessary.

  • Will posting articles on my personal web page meet the policy’s conditions?

    Posting to a personal web page does not fulfill the policy requirements. Personal web pages don’t offer the same functions and services as journals and repositories. These important functions and services include:

    • A permanent identifier (URI or DOI)
    • Search engine optimization
    • A workflow for long-term preservation
    • A workflow for copyright and other inquiries

    Personal web pages, even those provided by your academic department, will disappear when you leave the university, retire, or die. We want to ensure that your research is available beyond that point.

  • Will publishing open access articles affect tenure and promotion?

    The Open Access Policy will not affect tenure and promotion since faculty will continue to publish in their journals of choice.

Complying with the Policy

  • Are sites like Academia.edu, ResearchGate, or Mendeley acceptable as open repositories?

    No. These sites make little effort to check for copyright compliance;  thus many publishers don’t want their content on these sites. Please use JScholarship, an Open Access journal, or a repository run by a grant agency or discipline to make your articles openly available.

  • Do other universities have similar policies?

    Yes, many universities worldwide have OA policies like this, and the JH policy is modeled on policy best practices at peer institutions. ROARMAP lists institutions and funding agencies that implement open access mandates. MIT provides a partial list of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities with such policies.

  • How do I comply with the policy?

    Faculty may comply with the policy in two ways. First, they may comply by publishing their scholarly articles in an open access journal, depositing their article in an open access repository, (e.g. PubMed Central), or electing an open access option in a non-open journal. Alternatively, faculty (or a proxy) can use the Public Access Submission System, PASS, to deposit the author’s final version of the article in the JH institutional repository, JScholarship.

    PASS was available as of July 2, 2018. PASS currently supports submission to PubMed Central for compliance with the following funding agency public access policies: NIH, ACL, ASPR, CDC, VA, FDA, HHMI, and NASA. It can be used as a direct substitute for the NIHMS submission system, although the final review and approval steps must still be completed via NIHMS. PASS also provides a dashboard that displays deposit and compliance status for NIH grants and associated submissions. PASS includes a link to the web-based submission forms for the Department of Education and USAID. PASS will eventually support submission to other funding agencies such as NSF and DOE.

  • How do I deal with a journal embargo?

    Journals may require a 6- to 24-month embargo before you can post the author’s final version of the article in an open access repository. You should follow such requirements. No deadline is included in the JH Open Access Policy. Both PASS and JScholarship work with embargo dates. You can submit your author’s final version at any point, indicate the end date for the embargo, and the system will post the files at the appropriate time.

  • How do I identify and avoid predatory journals?

    Your librarian, informationist, or Robin Sinn can assist with questions about particular journals. The library provides a list of resources that can help you avoid predatory journals.

  • How do I identify reputable OA journals?

    A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Concerns about particular titles can be addressed to your librarian or informationist, or Robin Sinn.

  • How do I report questions or problems about PASS or JScholarship?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, Coordinator of the Office of Scholarly Communication.

  • How should the author’s final versions be cited?

    The metadata the author provides will provide most of the citation information. JScholarship, or another open repository, will provide a permanent identifier (e.g. JScholarship ID or PMCID) for use in the citation.

  • I do not have permission rights for some of the images in my article. What should I do?

    You have several options if you do not have permission to openly share the images in your article.

    1. You may submit a version of your article that does not include the images unless you are submitting to PubMed Central*.
    2. You may submit two files – one file with just the text, which will be openly available, and a supplementary file with the images that will be kept in a dark archive, unavailable to readers.
    3. You may choose not to submit any part of the article, if the images are so integral to the article that it cannot be understood without the images. You do not need to notify us or ask for a waiver.
    4. You may seek approval from the publisher to include the images.

    Please contact Robin Sinn or Caitlin Carter if you wish to explore these options.

    *If you use PASS to submit to a funder’s repository, you must abide by that repository’s restrictions. For example, the NIH requires that all images be submitted to PubMed Central, no matter who owns the rights.

  • I need help using PASS.

    You can contact either Caitlin Carter, ccarte63@jhmi.edu, or Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions about using PASS or suggestions for improvement.

    Videos are being created. See the current list below. Please contact Caitlin or Robin for further questions or suggestions for topics.

    Proxy submission to PASS

     

  • Is Johns Hopkins taking away my rights to my research?

    Not at all; authors retain full rights to re-use or re-distribute their work in any way they see fit.

  • Is Open Access harming journals published by scholarly societies or small publishers?

    There is no credible evidence for harm, and Open Access has been operating in some disciplines for a decade or more. Scholarly publishing is changing. The virtue of making scholarship free for all to read resonates with many researchers and the academic missions of their home institutions. Many funders and institutions are supporting this move.

  • May I edit the author’s final version that I submit to PASS?

    When you submit your manuscript through PASS your files are sent intact to the submission system for the final repository in which the manuscript will reside.  You will have access to the same editing and correcting functions available in the final repository’s submission system – for example the NIHMS system for PubMed Central.  Note that there are no mechanisms for making corrections for manuscripts deposited in JScholarship. In JScholarship, we can remove access to one version using a “tombstone,” which maintains the citation chain, and upload a new version that is connected to the tombstone.

  • May I make other research outputs openly available?

    Yes, you have many options available to you if you wish to make your text, images, slides, or data openly available. Your librarian or informationist can provide information about those options.  If you are primarily interested in data, Johns Hopkins Libraries Data Services can help you.

  • May I opt out of the policy?

    Yes. If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request permission or notify us.

    If you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options available to you.

  • May I replace the author’s final version with the published version of record?

    Yes, if you have permission from the publisher to do so.

  • May I submit other work to JScholarship? May staff or students submit work?

    Yes, JScholarship’s purpose is to gather, distribute, and preserve digital materials related to the Johns Hopkins research and instructional mission. Content is deposited directly into the appropriate collection by Johns Hopkins faculty, students, and staff, and includes born-digital or digitized research and instructional materials. PASS can be used to deposit materials into the Knowledge for the World collection. Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions.

  • PASS does not submit to my preferred open repository. How do I suggest a repository for inclusion in PASS?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, the Scholarly Communication Officer, with repository suggestions.

  • Recommendation 1: Redesign the undergraduate curriculum to provide foundational abilities for life-long flourishing and learning

    This recommendation starts from our recognition that the University has a responsibility to prepare its students to flourish as informed, skilled, and effective members of their society and of the world.  To ensure that we meet this responsibility, the Commission recommends an ambitious new undergraduate curricular framework that balances disciplinary training, developed through the major, with interdisciplinary exploration while strengthening our students’ sense of community. We should provide an education broad as well as deep, one resembling (to use language current in educational studies) a “T,” rather than an “I.[1]” As depicted in Figure 4.1, T-shaped education affords students with the opportunity to develop deep disciplinary knowledge in at least one area as well as the competencies associated with forming connections between disciplines that allow them to become adaptive innovators.

    Boundary Crossing Competencies: Teamwork, communication, perspective, networks, critical thinking, global understanding, project management, etc. Many Disciplines: Understanding and communications. Many Systems: Understanding and communications. Deep in At Least One Discipline: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Deep in at least one system: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Me: Intersection of sections listed above.

    Figure 4.1 T-Shaped Undergraduate Education

    Currently, the University uses “distribution requirements” to ensure interdisciplinary breadth of academic experience. These requirements stipulate that students must earn a minimum number of credits in academic areas outside of their primary major. These areas include humanities (H), natural sciences (N), social and behavioral sciences (S), quantitative and mathematical sciences (Q), and engineering (E). Courses are assigned an area designator by the academic department, if taught within a Homewood academic department; if not taught within a Homewood academic department, they are assigned by the appropriate dean’s office.

    Data and anecdotal evidence both suggest that these requirements are not successful. The means by which courses are evaluated for designation is unclear and inconsistent. In some departments, a significant percentage of classes required for the major can also be counted toward the distribution requirement. In KSAS, students can triple count a course toward a major requirement, a writing requirement (“W”), and a social science or behavioral science (“S”) or a Natural Science (“N”)/ quantitative and mathematical science (“Q”)/Engineering (“E”). This thwarts the distributional intent of the requirements. Students majoring in Psychology, for instance, can satisfy 92% of the distribution and writing requirements through major courses alone. The current distribution system does not ensure that students are learning enough about other disciplines to make meaningful connections between and across these disciplines.

    To begin our discussion of curricular revision, Commission members reflected matters of principle and articulated the foundational abilities a Hopkins undergraduate education should inculcate.

    1. Students should recognize the importance of language and have a command of it as readers, writers, and speakers. Students should be able to express ideas, opinions, beliefs, and feelings; interpret varied texts accurately and subtly; argue lucidly and effectively; and recognize the many ways conventions and contexts shape both expression and comprehension.
    2. Students should respect scientific and numerical reasoning and be able to apply computational and analytical methods to organize, manipulate, summarize, and evaluate quantitative information and experience, in public, professional, and personal life.  They should be able to create and assess arguments that are supported by quantitative evidence.
    3. Students should recognize the importance of complex creative expressions in various forms and be able to interpret them reflectively. They should have the means to deepen the quality of their lives by cultivating their intellectual and emotional responses to aesthetic and cultural experiences.
    4. Students should engage effectively as citizens of a diverse world. Graduates should have developed a knowledge of local, national and global societies. They should be able to articulate and examine their own beliefs, practices, and values while being open to and respectful of the beliefs, practices and values of others.
    5. Students should be reflective, effective ethical agents in their personal and professional lives. To this end, they should recognize situations of ethical consequence inside and outside their fields of study, understand ethical principles, formulate their own views about those principles and their application, and act in principled fashion.
    6. Students should be able to independently identify, conceptualize, and complete large-scale, consequential projects. They should be able to adopt, refine, and use appropriate methods and means for such projects, and respond to unforeseen developments.

    We continued our curricular discussion by studying models developed by peer institutions. The disquietude found in the reports issued has several sources difficult to detangle: an uncertainty about the relationship between liberal arts education and vocational/pre-professional training; a worry that the “open” curriculum has become a hodge-podge, box-checking exercise; and a concern that a highly-structured “core” curriculum is too rigid for the present needs of students in an increasingly fluid, rapidly altering society.

    In their report, Columbia asks several questions of its curriculum: “Are what some have called the ‘containers’ of our undergraduate curriculum appropriately sized? We probably agree that a strong undergraduate curriculum should include general education (our core), specialist education (our majors) and opportunities for exploration (electives). Do we provide ample opportunity for all three of these goals?” Stanford has asked whether the intellectual breadth of a more “open” curriculum serves its undergraduates well. “Few people question the value of intellectual breadth … [but is ‘sampling’] the optimal way of fostering true breadth in an age like ours, in which the boundaries of different fields are increasingly blurred?”

    Stanford’s answer to questions like these has been not to prescribe courses in particular disciplinary areas but to promise the acquisition and development of seven “essential capacities,” which foster “ways of thinking, ways of doing.” The capacities they list are aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, social inquiry, scientific analysis, formal and quantitative reasoning, engaging difference, moral and ethical reasoning, and creative expression. They have started to implement this shift in approach by establishing a first-year curriculum experience called “Thinking Matters.” It seeks to inculcate a broadly applicable orientation to academic study rather than narrower forms of knowledge.

    Other universities have issued similar statements. U-C Berkeley has said that its graduates should possess four core “competences” and four “dispositions.” Graduates should be literate, numerate, creative, and investigative–these are the competences; and also open-minded, worldly, engaged, and disciplined–the dispositions. UC-Berkeley invokes vocational pressures in justifying its new approach: “students must prepare for fluid careers in a future where what you know is less important than how you think, learn and discover on your own.” To do this, UC-Berkeley aims to “bring greater meaning and coherence to core requirements,” in part by using new technology. For example, they are now using a planning tool called “Course Threads,” which helps students (with faculty supervision) chart a “logically connected sequence of breadth courses.”

    Like Stanford and Berkeley, Washington University acknowledges the importance of articulating the essential skills and competences the university wishes its graduates to possess, but it emphasizes the even greater need to cultivate a longer list of “metacognitive skills and attitudes.” These include an ability to think and act creatively, an ability to engage in both individual and collaborative research, an understanding of how knowledge is created and transmitted, the ability to integrate knowledge from several domains, resilience and the ability to adapt to change, intellectual curiosity; practical insight, and “a facility for making normative assessments as well as with establishing matters of fact.” The challenge is how to instantiate these abstract goals in the curriculum. American University, for example, is tackling “quantitative literacy, writing, and information literacy training” by creating a variation on the core curriculum. It is putting in place a five-course sequence emphasizing skill/competency-oriented learning (e.g. “Quantitative Literacy I”). This is supplemented with an optional set of one-credit professional skills modules.

    As the Commission studied these varied models, members came to see that a new curricular framework could also address our need to strengthen students’ sense of community, without constraining the curricular freedom they rightly value. Hopkins undergraduates choose to learn across a wide variety of settings and contexts–from the classroom to the residence hall; from the laboratory to the athletic field; from the library to the internship site. This diversity is one of our great strengths. The curricular framework we propose provides a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied experience. The foundational abilities we describe would be developed in all of these contexts, through both individual work and in teams, in brief and in extended projects, through an array of programs, courses, and experiences. The abilities would provide a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied, independently designed education.

    The proposed curricular framework has the following components:

    Recommendation 1a. Require participation in a first year seminar.

    We begin with a pedagogical form invented at Hopkins—the seminar. The Commission recommends that every entering student be required to participate in a first year seminar. Requiring participation in a first year Hopkins seminar would be transformative. At a minimum, the first year seminar would set the tone for the undergraduate experience by providing students with a shared introduction to university life and the opportunity to work closely with senior faculty as they explore scholarly topics. The seminars would also provide opportunity for students to begin developing the foundational abilities. Fully maximized, a first year seminar curriculum could exploit Hopkins’ distinctive combination of small size and unparalleled research faculty while targeting development of particular foundational abilities.

    CUE2 reviewed several successful first-year seminar programs, including those developed by Amherst College, Stanford University, the University of Toronto, and UC Berkeley. Amherst’s First-Year Seminars, initially designed as one-year, interdisciplinary courses co-taught by faculty from two different disciplines, are an integral part of the college’s curriculum and required of all students. The First-Year Seminars are now a semester long, and often taught by a single faculty member. The Commission preferred more collaborative and interdisciplinary models that permit students to explore a single theme/topic/problem in depth by exposing them to various modes of inquiry and thus to understand their area of focus from several, overlapping (and sometimes opposed) perspectives. In such courses, faculty model how to comprehend and address complex problems through interaction with peers in other disciplines. UC-Berkeley is experimenting with “Big Ideas” courses taught by faculty from different disciplines and usually across divisions/schools. A course on “Time”, for example, is taught by a philosopher and a string theorist whereas a course on “Origins” is co-taught by a paleontologist, an astrophysicist, and a Biblical scholar. Another model is “Duke Immerse”: students join a cohort and spend an entire semester exploring a single “issue” (e.g. Uprooted/Re-routed: the Ethical Challenges of Displacement”) from an array of disciplinary perspectives. It is “delivered as one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester.”

    For the past several years, Hopkins has offered 40 to 50 freshman seminars each academic year in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. These 1-3 credit small classes, usually limited to about 10-15 freshmen, explore specialized scholarly topics chosen by faculty. As noted in Figure 4.2, 33% of freshmen completed a freshman seminar in academic year 2018-19. As an initial step, the Commission recommends 100% participation in a first year seminar for all freshman and transfer students in the first semester that they matriculate. In order to achieve this goal, the University would need to double the number of freshman seminars currently offered, ensuring that they are taught by senior faculty and aligned in terms of credit hour assignment and overarching outcomes.

    Figure 4.2 Hopkins First Year Seminars and Enrollment

    Semester Number of Freshman Seminars Taught Number of Students Enrolled (percent of class)
    Fall 2018 27 297 (23%)
    Spring 2019 10 131 (10%)
    Fall 2019 32 317 (23%)

     

    Once this target it achieved, additional options for a more robust first year seminar curriculum should be explored and piloted. For example, the first year seminars could begin to more specifically target the development of expository writing skills by pairing disciplinary expertise from senior faculty with writing instruction expertise from expository writing faculty. This evolution would require extensive consultation and collaboration among faculty, students, staff, as well as the Deans and Provost.

    The Commission offers the following as a more long-term, aspirational model for the first year seminars. Every entering student would enroll in a seminar, taught by a faculty member, designed in relation to a shared theme. Each year’s theme would be broad, allowing faculty members flexibility in designing their seminars. The themes would recur, allowing faculty to return to and revise their seminars across the years. In conjunction with these seminars, regular public assemblies would gather new students to hear lectures by visiting scholars and public intellectuals on the year’s theme. Finally, regular sessions with writing instructors would establish the importance of writing in all our disciplines.

    In this model, each incoming class (of roughly 1300-1450 students) would be divided into two groups (A and B), which would then cycle through course activities at different times. Each student would attend four public lectures, four seminars (limited to 15 students), and a minimum of four writing discussions (again, limited to the same 15 students) across the semester, as described in Figure 4.3. 

    Figure 4.3 First Year Seminar Schedule

    Semester Week “A” Cycle Activities “B” Cycle Activities
    1 Shriver Plenary
    2 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    3 Writing Group Seminar
    4 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    5 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    6 Writing Group Seminar
    7 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    8 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    9 Writing Group Seminar
    10 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    11 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    12 Writing Group Seminar
    13 Writing Group

     

    Were the University to follow this model, the demands on physical space and infrastructure would include the following. Eight times a semester, 750 students would gather in Shriver Hall, and perhaps elsewhere, were lectures to be livestreamed. Every third week, 100 seminar rooms would be needed to accommodate the seminars and writing sessions. (Were students divided into three, rather than two, cycles, the demand on seminar rooms would drop to 67 every third week.) The demands on personnel would include the cost of recruiting eight speakers, assuming each lectured only once. Up to 100 faculty members would be required to lead the four seminar meetings each semester. Again, these faculty would come from the professional schools as well as Homewood, furthering the university’s One University initiative. Themes aligned with JHU’s interdisciplinary institutes and initiatives, including 21st Century Cities and the Agora Institute, would allow us to draw on their resources. The Commission recommends that the Provost’s investment in this initiative should include an innovation competition that provides grant funding for course development. The DELTA (Digital Education & Learning Technology Acceleration) Grant program is an encouraging model. Selecting broad themes–akin to those being chosen for the Common Question experience–would allow faculty latitude to design seminars that engage them; cycling through themes on a regular schedule–say every three years–would allow faculty to return to, and revise, their seminars.

    Recommendation 1b. Establish the “Hopkins Semester” of intensive study

    Research has been the core of Hopkins’ identity. One benefit such research has traditionally offered to some of our students is the in-depth experience of extended, immersive study. But this opportunity should be extended to our students, whether in creative activity, professional exploration, or research. To that end, CUE2 proposes to create a “Hopkins Semester.”

    The Commission conceives of this program as a junior or senior year, semester-long, mentored, immersive experience that will give students the time for a focused, deep, and rigorous exploration of one complex subject or endeavor either inside or outside their major department. The Commission expects that students themselves will be the driving force of these experiences–that they will propose and complete innovative projects that we don’t presently imagine.  If the first-year courses described above in Recommendation 1a would be driven by the intellectual excitement of faculty given the opportunity to teach small seminars, the Hopkins semester would similarly be driven by the passions of the students. But students would be required to provide, and departments required to approve and assess, proposals for and reports on their experience that demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed.

    Team-based, projects would also be possible. Such projects, whether creative or research-intensive, would develop the skills associated with communication on teams whose members bring distinct qualifications and play interdependent roles. Design projects, artistic endeavors, research projects, commercial ventures, professional internships, and community-based projects all could serve the ends of this recommendation–whether undertaken in the opera house, the archives, Congress, the laboratory, the community center, a startup venture, or the clinic.  Pursuing one’s Hopkins Semester abroad would also be encouraged.

    This intensive semester should facilitate a high-level synthesis of concepts and practices learned during students’ first and second years of coursework. The Hopkins Semester could satisfy the requirements of some core major courses (and perhaps upper-level courses as well), but need not. In addition, projects and activities before and after this semester could expand and extend the experience. Thus, for example, a project pursued intensively during the semester may be defined and developed before the semester and the activity may continue, albeit at a less intense level, after the semester.  (Note that the Hopkins Semester would be immersive: projects completed piecemeal across semesters would not qualify.) The guidance provided by faculty is an essential element of this recommendation, in part because it encourages mentorship. The Hopkins Semester could regularly be a transformative immersive experience—thus furthering one aim already established by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design.

    In 1998, the Boyer Commission issued 10 recommendations for improving undergraduate education at research universities in the USA; the first recommendation was that research-based learning become standard. Following the Boyer Commission’s lead, several US research organizations—including the Mellon Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation—have funded opportunities to include undergraduates in the research programs of science faculty and, to a lesser extent, those of humanities faculty. Many subsequent studies have demonstrated the benefits of undergraduate research experiences. “Evidence from an array of quantitative and qualitative studies supports the promise of undergraduate research as a catalyst for student development across disciplines, genders, and ethnicities. While cost factors, including money, time, and faculty priorities, need be considered during the creation of an undergraduate research program, the benefits to students are consistent with our greater expectations for liberal learning.[2]” Undergraduate students who completed a mentored research program identified many areas from which they benefited including the interpretation and analysis of data, the ability to work independently and to integrate theory and practice; they also reported greater self-confidence and a clearer understanding of their career paths[3].   But the benefits of such experiences are not limited to research programs; creative and experiential projects can have analogous results.

    In 2018, 62% of Johns Hopkins seniors reporting participating in research in the Senior Survey, increased from 57% in 2016.  Results of those surveys also suggest that students are generally satisfied with the opportunities to participate in research with a faculty member. The University presently supports undergraduate research in various ways, through the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) (see Appendix I for 2017-19 Metrics), the Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant (in KSAS), and smaller initiatives, including the library-based program, The Freshman Fellows.  But research experience is inconsistent across campus. We excel at supporting student research in the lab but not in the library: In 2014, only 19% of humanities students reported participating in research with a faculty member, and only 27% of social/behavioral sciences students reported doing so; this compared to 59% for natural sciences and 69% for engineering. As our investment in undergraduate research increases, support like that presently offered through PURA and the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant should become more visible and more generously funded.

    Of our peers, only Princeton requires a capstone project for all undergraduates; it takes the form of a senior thesis. Others, like Stanford, make a point of encouraging all seniors to complete capstones. Some capstone experiences offered elsewhere resemble the Hopkins Semester we propose.  George Mason University offers research semesters in biology. The University of Michigan offers a Humanities Collaboratory that brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate research assistants over a semester. Duke offers an intensive research semester with seminars called DukeImmerse, a cohort model in which students spend an entire semester exploring a single issue from an array of disciplinary perspectives. Like the Hopkins Semester, DukeImmerse is one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester. It involves daily interaction with faculty members and a collaborative project. About four such programs run each semester. Similarly, the “Immersion Vanderbilt” program encourages students to pursue creative and/or independent projects.  The program is “inherently flexible to allow the student to work closely with a faculty mentor on a project that provides a depth of experience.” Finally, standalone programs, like EUROScholars, enable students to use a study abroad semester for research.

    For the Hopkins Semester to be viable within our traditional four-year program, departments will need to ensure that the sequencing of their courses allow for a full semester immersive experience. Additionally, advising services would need to assist arranging projects undertaken on campus and, in coordination with advisors in majors and career services, also assist arranging projects undertaken off-campus. The Undergraduate Education Board would be charged with developing best practices in setting learning objectives and assessment expectations for the Hopkins Semester.   Departments will use those guidelines to develop student application, approval, and assessment processes. The Board should also establish baseline expectations regarding faculty mentoring of students based on best practices.

    Recommendation 1c. Meaningfully integrate curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning

    Integrative learning is an understanding and a disposition that a student builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus.[4]

    Student learning is not contained by the architecture of formal coursework; the rewards of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are distinctive, various, and essential to any undergraduate education. Our students pursue their passions, apply their learning, and connect with alumni, community leaders, and other Johns Hopkins affiliates outside as well as inside the classroom. In short, they should integrate their various experiences into a distinctive education.

    We are well positioned to transform the college experience from one composed solely of traditional elements—lectures, papers, problem sets, and exams—to one in which these elements sit amid a much broader range of learning activities within and beyond the classroom. The many benefits of this transformed experience would be varied. A plan to develop such a fully integrated experience at Hopkins has already been initiated by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Central to that plan is the development of a co-curricular roadmap that integrates coursework, intersession and summer experience, community activities, and social networks to ensure that all students are exposed to the same rich opportunities. This education would include tools for students to document, reflect on, and assess all their educational activities, and would help them lay the groundwork for life-long learning and their post-graduate careers. To support this initiative, the Commission recommends that the Undergraduate Education Board develop clear policies on awarding credit or credential based on learning outcomes for structured co-curricular experiences relevant to disciplinary study. Linking outcomes to academic requirements would send a powerful signal to faculty and students concerning the importance of co-curricular learning. Such a policy would also guide faculty as they facilitate student reflection on their extramural work and evaluate their experience against outcomes defined by the program and University.

    “The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has long promoted integrative learning for all students as a hallmark of a quality liberal education, noting its essential role in lifelong learning” (National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise, 2007). Increasingly, integrative learning is recognized as an empowering developmental process through which students synthesize knowledge across curricular and co-curricular experiences to develop new concepts, refine values and perspectives in solving problems, master transferable skills, and cultivate self-understanding. An AAC&U-sponsored project on integrative liberal learning between 2012 and 2014 with fourteen small liberal arts institutions has helped illuminate a variety of practices that strengthen connections across learning experiences and encourage students to reflect on their goals with the aim of making intentional curricular and co-curricular choices, charting their own progress, and understanding the ‘why’—and not just the ‘what’—of their four years.”[5]

    Data concerning students’ participation in extra- and co-curricular activities at Hopkins are scattered. In the 2016-2017 academic year, Johns Hopkins University had 409 student organizations (including fraternities and sororities). Currently, there are 395 student organizations, and this number is expected to surpass 400 as the year progresses, given organizations that are currently going through the process of being established. In the 2016 Senior Survey, 63.1% of students reported having participated in at least one student organization (including fraternities and sororities) during their time as an undergraduate. As noted in Appendix H, participation varies across majors.

    Figure 4.4 reveals that 23% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported studying abroad, a low rate among our peers. In the same survey, students also reported that they would have liked to spend more time involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering, relaxing, and socializing.

    Data about JHU sponsored off-campus activities are harder to ascertain, but the numbers appear quite low: 3.0% of students have participated in off-campus activities sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, for instance; 2.4% have participated through the Center for Social Concern.

    Figure 4.4 Participation in study abroad as compared to peer institutions 2018 Senior Survey.

    Percent of Respondents Reporting Participation in Study Abroad Peers: 56%, 53%, 46%, 40%, 39%, 32%, 28%, 24%, 17%, 12%. JHU: 23% (Third least in cohort of 11).

    Other universities, including Boston University and University of South Carolina, have created models for integrating co- and extracurricular activities into student experience, and created infrastructure to enable, document, and reward those activities. Among the most robust of these models is the 21st Century Badging Challenge developed by the Educational Design Lab in association with public and private universities in the Washington D.C. area. Engaging faculty members and about 40 students from each participating institution, the program determines rigorous assessment criteria for its badges, in order to present a comprehensive signal to employers about student achievement. The University of South Carolina (USC) has developed the USC Connect program, which provides learning pathways that start in the first year, take students outside of the classroom, and enable them to create substantive portfolios. Successful students graduate with “leadership distinction” designated on their diplomas and transcript. Finally, the University of Mary Washington and Emory University have both piloted projects to provide a personal web space to all incoming students; in this space, students will develop integrated, holistic e-portfolios that include both curricular and co/extra-curricular evidence of their activities.

    Again, some of the resources for a more fully integrated learning experience at Hopkins are already at hand. The Center for Social Concern (CSC) has been particularly active in encouraging students to engage with the Baltimore community. CSC supports both extra-curricular engagement, through hosting student organizations, and curricular experiential learning opportunities, through a faculty fellows program. The CSC’s France-Merrick Civic Fellowship allows students to undertake community work. In collaboration with the Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Educational Outreach, CSC helps sponsor the Charm City Science League, an organization of over 100 student volunteers who work with teams of middle-school students to prepare for Science Olympiad and robotics competitions.

    Implementation plans for the development of a more fully integrated undergraduate experience have already been formed by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Features of that plan include embedding career staff in academic programs and communities; replacing career services with scalable life design programs that integrate coursework, connections, and experiential learning; developing learning modules for staff and faculty on life design; creating dynamic websites, online platforms, and a digital presence; and drafting a narrative of life design for admissions, departments, centers, and alumni relations. Departments should be charged with developing policies for the assessment of co-curricular activities where warranted, in consultation with the Undergraduate Education Board. The University’s new learning assessment platform provides an opportunity to develop Comprehensive Learner Records for each undergraduate student. These records are digital, official documents issued by the institution that provide a richer expression of the learning outcomes or competencies mastered during a student’s experience than traditional transcripts and diplomas as they capture course-based, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning.

    Recommendation 1d. Ensuring departmental instruction in foundational abilities

    The above three recommendations (1a-c) are intended to prepare students with foundational intellectual skills and dispositions for lifelong learning. But these foundational abilities must also be incorporated into the design of major curricula and courses.  Majors require that students know a segment of human knowledge deeply, and master its ways of thinking. They also require that students integrate foundational abilities in a specific field of study.   Many of the foundational abilities will be cultivated in courses required for the major; others may be cultivated through other coursework; still others, importantly, may be cultivated through co-curricular activities. To that end, the Commission recommends that the current distribution requirements be modified to become distribution areas that correlate with the foundational abilities. All students will be required to take a minimum of one course in each of the six distribution areas by the time of graduation. Further, the deans of KSAS and WSE charge each department with evaluating and modifying existing curricula and designing new curricula that ensures that their majors are trained in each of these abilities.

    Each academic department will be required to demonstrate to the Undergraduate Education Board that their students will develop the foundational abilities all Hopkins students should acquire by mapping major program outcomes and course learning objectives to the foundational abilities and distribution areas. Multifaceted assessment of program outcomes and learning objectives will provide students, departments, and schools with formative and summative data that illustrate students success in achieving the abilities. Such data should be evaluated by the department regularly to inform the need for curricular revision and appropriate allocation of resources.

    CUE2 recognizes that this recommendation will require academic departments to develop much more sophisticated and robust means of assessing students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as evaluating courses and programs. However, this shift is necessary if we truly want to encourage an educational culture that promotes development of competencies rather than accrual of credentials. Modifying the current distribution requirement system alone would only perpetuate a credential gathering, box-checking approach to undergraduate education. It is imperative that revision of that system occur concomitantly with a shift in culture within our academic departments. With support from the deans, the academic departments must bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that students achieve both the breadth and depth of intellectual inquiry outlined.

    The six new distribution areas, reflective of the six foundational abilities, also provide opportunity for academic innovation. Faculty should be encouraged to develop new courses that span disciplinary boundaries, thereby targeting development of skills on the horizontal bar of the “T.” For example, a competitive academic innovation fund could be established to develop new classes that require students to apply their disciplinary knowledge in the context of a team composed of students with varied expertise from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Several models already exist within our university upon which the infrastructure for such courses could be built. Several engineering departments already engage industrial partners to sponsor student projects, while the Center for Social Concern builds connections between extracurricular student projects and Baltimore communities. The recently pioneered Classics Research Lab provided a mechanism for a team of students to undertake a reconstruction of the contexts of and influences upon the work of Victorian scholar John Addington Symonds, author of one of the first major studies of Ancient Greek sexuality, pioneering a humanities-centric approach to problem based learning. A pilot to teach Multidisciplinary Engineering Design is underway in Fall 2019 during which 18 students from across 6 engineering majors are engaged in 4 different projects with external partners. These range from investigating microfiber separation from wastewater in collaboration with sportswear manufacturer Under Armour, to engaging with social enterprise Clearwater Mills to develop innovative ways to engage the communities that live around Professor Trash Wheel to improve the effectiveness of this installation to prevent trash from entering the Baltimore Harbor. And in 2018 a Hack Your Life Design Challenge engaged 18 teams of students from Mechanical Engineering at JHU and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Teams had to use at least five different materials to create an interactive project with moving parts that cost no more than $100. The challenge provided students with the freedom to explore different ways in which engineering and art can intersect.

    The pathways students take to meet the distribution areas requirement and to develop the foundational abilities will be widely varied, and driven by their individual interests and needs. CUE2 recognizes that their success will require careful advising and mentoring by faculty, staff, peers, and others. Recommendation 4 below describes a new system of advising, mentoring, and coaching, which would provide the support needed for this new curricular framework. Certainly, the burden of ensuring that students acquire these foundational abilities will be considerable. But the curricular framework described here highlights one great strength of our university: that it provides students with a combination of unmatched institutional resources and individual attention. This vision aims to ensure that all our students benefit from that distinctive strength while enrolled, and flourish after they graduate.

    [1] T-Academy (2018) http://tsummit.org/t

    [2] Lopatto, D. (2006). Undergraduate research as a catalyst for liberal learning. Peer Review8(1), 22-25. See also: Gillies, S. L., & Marsh, S. (2013). Doing science research at an undergraduate university. International Journal of Arts & Sciences6(4), 379; Hempstead, J., Graham, D., & Couchman, R. (2012). Forging a template for undergraduate collaborative research: A case study. Creative Education36(Special Issue), 859-865; Healey, M., & Jenkins, A. (2009). Developing undergraduate research and inquiry (p. 152). York: Higher Education Academy; Kuh, G. D. (2008). Excerpt from high-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 19-34; Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27.

    [3] Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27

    [4] Rhodes, T. L. (2010). Making learning visible and meaningful through electronic portfolios. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning43(1), 6-13.

    [5] Ferren, A. S., & Anderson, C. B. (2016). Integrative learning: Making liberal education purposeful, personal, and practical. New Directions for Teaching and Learning2016(145), 33-40.; see also Kehoe, A., & Goudzwaard, M. (2015). ePortfolios, badges, and the whole digital self: How evidence-based learning pedagogies and technologies can support integrative learning and identity development. Theory Into Practice54(4), 343-351.

  • Recommendation 2: Increase the flexibility of the major requirements where needed to enable intellectual exploration

    The model of undergraduate education CUE2 recommends places disciplinary expertise at its center. Being trained in a distinct set of methods and acquiring the knowledge particular to a discipline are essential features of an undergraduate education. Moreover, without strong disciplines one cannot imagine strong interdisciplinary programs. But disciplinary expertise must be rooted in a liberal education. The best scholars, as President Gilman remarked in his inaugural address, “will almost invariably be those who make special attainments on the foundation of a broad and liberal culture.” This education contributes to their flourishing, independent of and beyond any credentials we might issue.

    Our faculty habitually forge connections among disciplines; undergraduates should be encouraged to do the same. For students to pursue the leads provided by disciplinary training, they must be given room to leave their disciplines and learn elsewhere. As urged by its charge, the Commission proposes to build on the positive features, including curricular flexibility, which distinguish us. The curriculum of any university, as Jonathan Cole remarked in his Town Hall Presentation, “should dovetail well with the identity of the university and represent a realization of its basic principles and goals.” Hopkins has offered its students flexibility since its founding. That flexibility assumes maturity of the students and aims simultaneously to promote that maturity, cultivating the independence of thought necessary for life-long learning.

    The diversity of our students implies diversity of thought, ambition and goals; as a result, curricula should not assume that one path will suit all students, even within a discipline. Data from student focus groups and the most recent surveys indicate that our students continue to value this flexibility and are dissatisfied when it is absent. The initiative, breadth, and independence assumed by a flexible curriculum also are valued by industries presently driving the global economy. According to a recent study conducted by Hart Research Associates and published by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, “employers recognize capacities that cut across majors as critical to a candidate’s potential for career success, and they view these skills as more important than a student’s choice of undergraduate major.” Nearly all those surveyed (93%) agree that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.” Many prominent business leaders, including Johns Hopkins alumnus Samuel Palmisano (former CEO of IBM), have confirmed this view and have offered full-throated endorsements of a broad and liberal education, rather than a narrow, exclusively technical or exclusively non-technical one.

    Institutional data in Figures 4.5-8 show that curricular flexibility, as measured by the fraction of credits restricted by a student’s major, varies widely across departments, and is highly restricted in some. The Department of Philosophy requires the completion of 33 credit hours (27% of the total needed for graduation); Biomedical Engineering requires roughly three times that number, 104 (80% of the total needed for graduation). Data also suggest some majors at Hopkins are outliers among their peers at other universities, requiring a greater percentage of credits to be completed in the major. Of the majors and peers studied by CUE2, our majors in Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering in WSE, and KSAS’s Biophysics, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Studies, Physics, Anthropology, Political Science, Art History, Classics, History, Latin American Studies, and Writing Seminars all have markedly less flexibility than similar majors at peer institutions. While not as striking, several other majors in both schools also appear quite restrictive. This is just one possible metric for curricular flexibility, which may also be encouraged by strict course sequencing, course offerings that occur only annually, and lack of on-line options that could facilitate participation of students undertaking opportunities at remote sites.

     

    Figure 4.5 Flexibility in KSAS natural sciences majors as compared to peers.[1]

    Behavioral Biology: JHU least flexible. Biology: JHU less flexible than average. Biophysics: JHU least flexible. Chemistry: JHU less flexible than average. Cognitive Science: JHU less flexible than average. Earth and Planetary Sciences: JHU more flexible than average. Environmental Science and Studies (B.S.) : JHU least flexible. Environmental Science and Studies (B.A.) : JHU least flexible. Mathematics: JHU average. Physics (B.A.): JHU less flexible than average. Physics (B.S.): JHU less flexible. Psychological and Brain Science: JHU more flexible than average.

    Figure 4.6 Flexibility in KSAS social sciences majors as compared to peers.

    Anthropology: JHU less flexible than average. Economics: JHU average. Political Science: JHU least flexible. Sociology: JHU less flexible than average.

    Figure 4.7 Flexibility in KSAS humanities majors as compared to peers.

    Africana Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Archaeology: JHU average. Art History: JHU least flexible (by far). Classics: JHU least flexible. English: JHU less flexible than average. French: JHU most flexible. German: JHU more flexible than average. History of Science: JHU least flexible. History: JHU least flexible. Italian: JHU average. Latin America Studies: JHU less flexible than average. Near Eastern Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Philosophy: JHU average. Romance Languages: JHU less flexible than average. Spanish: JHU less flexible than average. Writing Seminars: JHU least flexible (by far).

    Figure 4.8 WSE flexibility in engineering majors as compared to peers.[2]

    AMS: JHU more flexible than average. BME: JHU less flexible than average. Chem BE: JHU less flexible than average. CivE: JHU least flexible. Comp Sci: JHU less flexible than average. Computer Engineering: JHU average. Electrical Engineering: JHU less flexible than average. BME: JHU least flexible. MatSci: JHU less flexible than average. MechE: JHU least flexible.

    As noted in Figure 4.9, the 2018 Senior Survey findings document dissatisfaction with the flexibility of the curriculum in several Engineering majors including Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dissatisfaction is also noted in a few Natural Sciences majors within the Arts and Sciences, including Biology. There is room for improved satisfaction across number of other majors as well. Figure 4.10 shows a significant negative correlation (R2 = 0.4996) between major flexibility as measured and student satisfaction with flexibility.

    Figure 4.9 2018 Senior survey satisfaction with curricular flexibility.

    1 = Very dissatisfied, 2 = Generally dissatisfied, 3 = Generally satisfied, 4 = Very satisfied. Medicine, Science and the Humanities: 3.70; Spanish: 3.69; Philosophy: 3.50; English: 3.42; German: 3.40; Writing Seminars: 3.25; French: 3.17; History: 3.17; Film and Media Studies: 3.10; Humanities Average: 3.39; Archaeology: 3.83; Sociology: 3.71; Anthropology: 3.50; International Studies: 3.38; Psychology: 3.35; Political Science: 3.26; Economics: 3.23; Global Environmental Change and Sustainability: 3.09; Social and Behavioral Sciences Average: 3.42; Earth and Planetary Sciences: 3.56; Public Health Studies: 3.26; Physics: 3.25; Mathematics: 3.24; Chemistry: 3.17; Neuroscience: 3.14; Cognitive Science: 3.14; Behavioral Biology: 3.00; Molecular and Cellular Biology: 2.90; Biophysics: 2.89; Biology: 2.67; Natural Sciencws Area: 2.67; Natural Sciences Average: 3.07; Electrical Engineering: 3.27; Applied Mathematics and Statistics: 3.21; Mat Sci and Engineering: 3.15; Environmental Engineering: 3.13; Computer Engineering: 3.00; Computer Science: 2.95; Biomedical Engineering: 2.54; Civil Engineering: 2.44; Mechanical Engineering: 2.22; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: 2.15; Engineering Average: 2.81;

    Figure 4.10 Correlation between curricular flexibility and student satisfaction.

    General downard trend of decreasing student satisfaction as flexibility decreases. Linear trendline has r-squared value of 0.4996;

    Both the disparity between departments and the restrictiveness in some departments have detrimental effects. The disparity creates a widely disparate experience among our undergraduates and contributes to the competitive culture; in conversations, students also report that it contributes to the segregation of the schools. Inflexible and high requirements tend to advantage students from high schools that offer AP credit, who can complete their requirements more quickly. (Increasing student flexibility within the major thus aligns with the Hopkins Universal Design for Learning Initiative[3]Finally, highly restrictive requirements also would prevent the implementation of a separate CUE2 recommendation; the requirements of some majors at present would make graduation in four years impossible, were a student to participate in the Hopkins semester (see recommendation 2, below).

    We have considered various methods of implementation. One would require that the deans, provost, or Undergraduate Education Board establish a minimum number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements. Another would require that departments demonstrate that their requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions. A third could combine these, and require that the deans (or provost) establish a number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements, but granting exemptions to departments that demonstrate that their (still high) requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions.

    We recommend that the provost require that a minimum of 33% of all student credit hours be un-prescribed across all undergraduate majors in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering. Furthermore, because increased flexibility would serve faculty members by freeing them of the burden of major requirements, the Commission recommends that the University create an innovation fund to support imaginative courses and programs and develop mechanisms to generalize pedagogical successes.

    [1] Peers for majors housed in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences included Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University, Yale University

    [2] Peers for majors housed in the Whiting School of Engineering included California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California Berkley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan

    [3] For example: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/internship-programs

  • Recommendation 3: Enable professional school faculty to teach undergraduates more easily and often, and facilitate the enrollment of undergraduates in our professional schools

    The rigid demarcation between undergraduate and graduate education is increasingly anachronistic. Johns Hopkins professional schools are a valuable resource, not available at all our peer institutions. They should be readily accessible to our undergraduates.

    Faculty from other schools teach infrequently at Homewood, but the numbers are increasing, as demonstrated in Figure 4.11. In the Fall of 2014 7% of undergraduate courses were taught by non-Homewood faculty; five years later, in Spring 2019, 15% percent were taught by non-Homewood faculty. The percentage during the summer unsurprisingly is higher, ranging from 12 to 13% between 2015 and 2018. The scarcity of online undergraduate course options and lack of infrastructure for high quality distance education provision exacerbates the geographic boundaries between Homewood and the professional school campuses. Undergraduates should have access to the full breadth of talent represented in the University’s faculty. Barriers between Hopkins campuses should be lowered.

     

    Figure 4.11 Percentage of undergraduate courses taught by non-Homewood JHU faculty.

    Over course of AE Fall 2014 to AE Spring 2019, the percentage has steadily increased from 7% to 14%.

     

    Several recommendations in this report provide opportunity for broader incorporation of all Johns Hopkins University faculty in the undergraduate experience. For example, faculty from the professional schools could teach in the first year seminar series. They could also partner with Homewood faculty to innovate team-based, interdisciplinary problem-solving courses. Recently, SAIS faculty began offering undergraduate courses in strategy and statecraft as well as international economics as complements to existing International Studies courses using an inter-campus, hybrid delivery model that could be emulated by other professional schools.

    As part of this recommendation, the Commission urges that all Johns Hopkins students (assuming adequate pre-requisites and qualifications) be permitted to pursue programs leading to bachelor/professional master’s (3+2 or 4+1) degrees. Our primary intent, however, is not to establish new joint or dual degree programs. Nor is it to do what is already possible in many cases, namely, for students to seek a master’s degrees in their undergraduate majors. Rather it is to encourage students to explore advanced study and potential careers, regardless of major, across the University. The Commission imagines combinations that may not be possible or easily possible today; the Computer Science major who pursues a master’s degree in International Studies at SAIS, the History major who takes courses at the Carey school, or the Physics major who pursues a master’s in Biomedical Engineering. The implementation of this recommendation would not only serve our students well, and provide faculty at the professional schools additional opportunities to instruct and mentor undergraduates, but would serve our ongoing “One University” initiative.

    First Destination survey data from 2018 data tells us that approximately 35% of our students pursue graduate school immediately after graduation. Not all of those students matriculate into JHU programs, but the Whiting School of Engineering and Bloomberg School of Public Health are the top two graduate schools of choice. In fact, 22% of graduating Engineering students and 6% of Arts and Sciences students take advantage of the opportunity to remain for a fifth year to acquire a Master’s degree at the Whiting School.

    Several of our peer institutions offer co-terminal degree programs. Emory provides a series of 4+1 options, and Stanford has a robust co-terminal degree program available across nearly 50 programs. Their co-terminal degree program allows undergraduates to study for a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree while completing their bachelor’s degree(s) in the same or a different department. Admitted co-terminal students must have a minimum of one quarter overlap between their undergraduate and graduate degree programs in order to qualify. Harvard has an advanced standing program that allows selected students in some departments to apply for a fourth-year master’s degree.

    Implementation of this recommendation will require buy-in from our professional divisions. The Provost should direct every division of the University to demonstrate that they have both individual courses and master’s programs in place open to Hopkins undergraduates from as broad a range of undergraduate majors as is reasonably possible, ensuring that financial assistance be available so that access to these programs is available to all qualified students. The existence of these programs would then be advertised directly to undergraduates while advisors would help direct students to them. In addition, the creation of online undergraduate courses, with distance education classrooms at each of the Johns Hopkins’ campuses, should be actively pursued.

  • Recommendation 4: Provide students with an integrated partnership of faculty mentors, staff advisors, and career counselors

    Students should be able to count on the significant, positive presence of faculty, staff, and administrators from matriculation to graduation and beyond. In our vision, each undergraduate student would have an integrated group of, at least, a faculty mentor, an academic advisor, and a career coach; this group would remain connected to that student throughout their undergraduate career. The provision of these support teams will require a redesign and revitalization of academic advising services, integrating it more deliberately with career services and with faculty mentoring. Because students build cohorts through their affinity for topics and passions for interests, mechanisms should be implemented to facilitate better alignment with, and maintenance of, the relationships among students, alumni, faculty, staff, and graduate students who share passions and affinities. Providing this support infrastructure will also require creation of and investment in faculty mentoring programs.

    We understand mentorship to be distinct from advising in both purpose and execution. Mentors help students develop interests, affirm identities and achieve life goals. Mentors include staff, alumni, peers, and community partners, but the central role is played by faculty members, who serve as mentors best simply by sharing their intellectual enthusiasm.  To be sure, students must be active participants in seeking out and building their own mentor relationships. But faculty members should expect to serve as mentors, and the University should actively encourage and support them as they do serve. Because courses most naturally initiate mentoring, the University should increase the number of small courses—research seminars, discussions, collaboratories—that enable substantial relations among teachers and students.

    As noted in the introduction to this section of the report, the timing of these initiatives is fortuitous, coinciding with the launching of the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design; that office has already begun to implement several of the advances described below. Additionally, we will have the benefit of our participation in the Excellence in Academic Advising initiative, launched in coordination with NACADA, a national organization of academic advisors, and the Gardner Foundations. Along with several other committees, this pilot program is assessing the preconditions for successful academic student support in KSAS and WSE. A full and detailed report is expected later this year and an implementation plan to follow. This guidance should be afforded the highest priority, so that academic advisors can be properly provisioned to support each student’s successful navigation of the various choices involved in academic life, from course selection to choosing their major and minor areas of study, to ensuring development of the foundational abilities and completion of a Hopkins semester, to tapping into university resources to sustain health, well-being and fulfillment, to seeking help when unforeseen challenges arise.

    Most, perhaps all, of the experiences linked by the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report (shown in Figure 4.13) concerning post-collegiate satisfaction with college depend upon mentoring: having at least one professor who excited the student about learning; having professors who cared about the student as a person; having a mentor who cared about the student’s hopes and dreams; having worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete; having an internship or job that helped the student apply what he or she was learning; being extremely active in extracurricular activities. More, importantly, mentoring has been shown to be effective in increasing the persistence of non-traditional students.[1] The benefits of better integrating academic advising and career counseling has also been urged by scholars for the past several decades.[2] 

    Figure 4.13 Findings from the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report

    The Undergraduate Experience: Support and Experiential and Deep Learning Support Section; I had at least one professor at college who made me excited about learning: 68% strongly agree; My professor at college cared about me as a person: 27%; I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams: 22%; Strongly agree with all three support statements: 14%; Experiential Section; I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete: 32%; I had an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom: 29%; I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations while attending college; 20%; Strongly agree with all three experiential statements: 6%; Strongly agree with all six statements: 3%; Based on Web surveys of nearly 30,000 college graduates with Internet access from Feb. 4-March 7, 2014. Gallup-Purdue Index;

    As depicted in Figure 4.14, 22% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported that they know no professor, or only one professor, well enough for them to provide a professional recommendation. This figure is higher than ideal. All students should know more than one professor who could write them a letter of recommendation. The numbers vary across our schools and fields. Students in the humanities fare better than those in the sciences and engineering: 14% of humanities students report that they know at most one faculty member sufficiently to ask her for a recommendation; in social and behavioral sciences the figure is 24%; in engineering the figure is 26%. In the same survey, 86% of Johns Hopkins respondents were satisfied with faculty availability, versus 91% at peer schools, a significant difference. Humanities respondents were significantly more satisfied than others (see Figure 4.15).

    Figure 4.14 Student-reported number of faculty who know them—distribution of responses for JHU vs. peer universities.

    How many faculty members know you well enough to provide a professional recommendation concerning your qualifications fora  job or advanced degree work? 2018 Distribution of Responses; Humanities: 3 largest proportion (34%); Natural Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (25%, 27% respectively); Social and Behavioral Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (31%, 28%); Engineering: 2 largest proportion (35%); All Areas: 2, 3 largest proportions (30%, 26%); Peers: 2, 3 largest proportions (28%, 24%);

    Figure 4.15 Student satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class from Senior Survey 2018.

    Satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class. Very dissatisfied (1), Generally dissatisfied (2), Generally satisfied (3), Very satisfied (4). JHU: 1 (3%), 2 (11%), 3 (63%), 4 (23%); Peers: 1 (2%), 2 (8%), 3 (59%), 4 (32%); JHU below average in average rating; JHU average rating has held steady over the past 10 years at 3.03-3.12;

    Advising models vary widely among our peers, and few appear to have partnered faculty mentoring, academic advising, and career counseling in the way envisioned by CUE2; Hopkins has an opportunity to lead in this area. Of note, University of Chicago assigns a four-year academic advisor and career coach, as well as a PhD student, to each undergraduate upon admission. Perhaps the closest model is James Madison University, which has merged its academic advising and career center into a single advising unit, enabling the integration of academic and career plans, and providing a model that students intuitively understand. This should be our goal, too.

    [1] Bettinger, E. P., & Baker, R. B. (2014). The effects of student coaching: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student advising. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(1), 3-19.

    [2] McCalla-Wriggins, B. (2009). Integrating career and academic advising: Mastering the challenge. NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources.

  • Recommendation 5: Improve course-based learning assessment methods. Eliminate the use of forced normal distribution of grades

    In recent years, Johns Hopkins has begun attracting and admitting an undergraduate student body of higher academic caliber and from a more diverse range of geographic, economic, and cultural background than ever before. For the class entering fall 2019, 98% of admitted students were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class with a mean unweighted academic GPA of 3.92 and the middle 50th percentile achieving SAT composite scores between 1480 and 1550. They hailed from 34 countries. Fifteen percent identified as First Generation College students. This new generation of Hopkins undergraduate students is far from the standard bell curve representation in terms of achievement, aptitude, experience and aspiration.

    It is critical that methods of teaching and learning assessment are updated and improved to serve the new generation of Hopkins undergraduates. Assessment of student learning should be individually based and reflective of each student’s performance in achieving the knowledge, skills, and abilities taught in the class. In general, it is not appropriate or effective to impose a normal distribution of grades (often referred to as “grading on a curve”) on exams, assignments, or final grades. Such grading practices arbitrarily limit the number of students who can be identified as having excelled, leading to the creation of a hypercompetitive student culture. We urge that they be eliminated.

    The Commission does not advocate watering down or diminishing standards. Instead it encourages the exploration and implementation of more current methods for measuring and recording student learning. It is important that best practices for student assessment be promulgated among all instructional faculty, and expectations regarding assessment be made clear at the school and departmental level to optimally support collaborative learning and creative exploration. Whatever system is used, student performance should be judged and graded relative to a standard of excellence as articulated by the faculty member and the discipline. Faculty should clearly define the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students should have achieved at the end of a course (i.e., course level learning goals) and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards.

    The literature documents the effects of curving grades on student competitiveness, and its effect on campus culture, and confirms anecdotal evidence at Hopkins. Setting pre-determined quotas for the number of grades that will be assigned pits students against one another, removing the potential for a more cooperative learning environment. It leads some students to feel that they have less control over their grades and increases their stress and anxiety. The competitive environment fostered by curved grading is one factor contributing to the loss of qualified, talented, underrepresented college students from science fields (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997). Many students attending CUE2 focus groups and Coffee with the Co-Chairs meetings shared similar sentiments. One student reported that she stopped studying with classmates after she realized they were her “direct competition for a final grade.” Another student described the stress caused by his uncertainty, until letter grades were posted, about what grade his 46% class average would receive. He also described his confusion when he discovered that it meant he received an “A.” Moving away from curved grades will promote classroom community by setting the expectation that all students have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of excellence and that, if they do, their achievement will be reflected in their grade.

    In a CUE2 commissioned qualitative survey of undergraduate faculty who taught a course of 40 or more students in the past two academic years, 28% of respondents (n=135) reported using a grading policy interpreted as relative and contributing to student competition. This includes assigning grades by natural breaks in the distribution or normalizing the distribution.

    Grading policies and data concerning the use of the curve at other institutions are elusive. In an informal survey of COFHE peers, asking “At your institution, do the majority of instructors for large (>50 students) sections of UG courses use a curve to determine final course grades? (Answer: yes/no/don’t know)?”, only four schools responded. The responses were highly variable, ranging from “we don’t know” (Stanford, U Penn), to mostly no but yes in many of the Gateway Science courses from Duke, to a firm “no” from MIT.

    The Commission recognizes the difficulty in writing exams and assessments that reliably challenge students at the same level each year, and faculty may need to take corrective action when an assessment is judged overly difficult.  Some faculty reported adding a standard number of points to all exams in these cases.[1]  In any case, faculty should clearly define what students should be able to do at the end of a course and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards. As one faculty member commented, “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” Alternate practices to curving have been well-documented, and include straight grading, specification grading, and competency-based grading.

    Assessment systems in any course have been and will continue to be the purview of the faculty member teaching that course. What should be reviewed for each course is whether 1) the objective and subjective measures of expected performance are well explained to the students and 2) whether the assessment mechanism used does or does not unfairly force a normal distribution of grades. These should be reviewed by the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in each department and instances of relative assessment tools should be brought to the attention of the Vice Deans for Undergraduate Education. Further, the University’s Vice Deans of Education (VDE), a group routinely convened by the Office of the Provost, and the University Council on Learning Assessment (UCLA) should issue a best practices statement regarding student learning assessment methods.

    [1] Additional faculty comments from survey supporting elimination of curves: “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” “I do not curve grades. I do not feel bound to give grades in any proportions; I set my standards.” “I do not curve grades. In my view, if all my students do well, or all do badly, their grades should reflect that fact.” “No, but I might adjust the final score limits slightly if I think the exam problems were unusually hard or there are any confusion about them.”

    “I try to gauge the difficulty of my exams so that students have a fair chance to succeed without curving.  If everybody does great, everybody should get an A; likewise, everybody should fail if nobody achieves the objectives.”

    “No, I do not curve grades… I usually use rubrics to establish grading standards, particularly since I use TAs/graders. Rubrics are made available to the students at the time of the assignment so that they understand what is expected of them.”

    “I don’t curve final grades, but I do sometimes curve an individual test grade if I feel that the average was low (<80%-85%).  My philosophy is that the students should always know where they stand in class with regards to their final grade.  If some magical curve is applied at the end, they never really know.”

    “Briefly, I do not curve grades as I like to give points for mastery.  That said I do not know how to design an exam with a clear point threshold for mastery for a specific grade in advance.  So I rescale grade, same for everyone onto an A, B, C etc.”

  • Recommendation 6: Establish a new system for the assessment of teaching and student mentoring by faculty

    By consensus, the assessment of teaching and mentoring now in place is seriously flawed. Teaching evaluation in the Homewood schools relies almost exclusively on results from student course evaluations. Research has shown that the raw numbers provided by such evaluations can be misleading, and that the qualitative evaluations are consistently biased against female and underrepresented minority faculty.[1] Further, the responses aren’t correlated to learning outcomes.[2] It is also unclear how those results are meaningfully and consistently incorporated into promotion and tenure decisions.

    Surveys of faculty, including a 2014 AAUP survey, report that faculty support assessment models unlike those we (and most universities) have in place. There are many alternative models. Northwestern developed a Continuing HE Credits (CHEC) program to foster and reward faculty commitment to high quality undergraduate teaching; credits earned for excellent teaching can be collected in various ways that support the faculty member’s scholarship and can be a positive factor in salary decisions. The University of Texas developed a Provost’s Teaching Fellows Initiative to offer a model for creating a sustainable structure to advance the teaching mission of the university.   Washington University has developed procedures that use self-assessment, peer review; student evaluations, and amply researched the field; their recommendations were supported by the AAUP 2014 Statement on Teaching Evaluation.

    The VDE from across the University should be charged by the Provost with determining best practices for comprehensive and transparent assessment of teaching and faculty mentoring for all Johns Hopkins faculty. The VDE should also identify the most appropriate school-based governance bodies and methods for establishment of relevant policies and procedures. The outcome should be an unequivocal university message that the demonstrated ability of Johns Hopkins faculty to teach well is required for both promotion and tenure.

    [1] Boring, A., Ottoboni, K., & Stark, P. (2016). Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness. ScienceOpen Research.

    [2] Uttl, B., White, C. A., & Gonzalez, D. W. (2017). Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related. Studies in Educational Evaluation54, 22-42.

  • The journal won’t let me submit my author’s final version to JScholarship. Now what?

    If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request a waiver or notify us.  But if you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options that might be available to you.

  • To whom does this policy apply?

    The policy applies to full-time JH faculty. All types of faculty are included in this policy, not just tenure-track or tenured faculty. Part-time faculty are not included. Students, staff researchers, and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to make their peer-reviewed journal articles open access, but are not required to do so.

  • What about copyright transfer agreements?

    If  your copyright transfer agreement does not allow you to submit your author’s final version to an open repository, you may write to the journal requesting a change before you sign or click through the agreement. For the reasons mentioned above, many journals have a back-up agreement available.

  • What are “Open Access repositories?”

    An Open Access repository provides free content and makes that content discoverable through Google, Google Scholar, and other search engines. Some open repositories are associated with funding agencies: NIH has PubMed Central, NASA has PubSpace, and DOE has PAGES. Some disciplines use community repositories: physics has arXiv, biology has bioRxiv, and the humanities have Humanities Commons. Many institutions run repositories: Harvard has DASH, MIT has DSpace@MIT, and Duke uses the Duke Digital Repository. If a version of your peer-reviewed article appears in a repository similar to these, you are aligned with the JH policy and do not have to do anything further.

  • What are the benefits of submitting my work to JScholarship?

    The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. JScholarship also provides a permanent identifier for use in citations, emails, and on websites.

  • What can I do if a journal refuses my paper because of the Johns Hopkins Open Access Policy?

    For thousands of journal titles, this should not be an issue. The Sherpa/Romeo site provides information about publisher self-archiving and copyright policies. If the journal in question does not allow you to share a version of your article openly, you still have several options. For example, you can contact the publisher and try to negotiate an exception to their rules based on our policy. Additionally, scholarly articles whose copyright transfer or licensing terms with the publisher are incompatible with this policy are exempt from this policy. Please contact Robin Sinn to discuss the options available to you.

  • What does “accepted for publication on or after July 1, 2018” actually mean?

    The policy does not apply to scholarly articles published or accepted before July 1, 2018. Nor does the policy apply to scholarly articles accepted prior to July 1, 2018 and published after that date.

  • What does the policy say?

    Read the policy here.

  • What is an “Open Access journal?”

    An Open Access journal is a journal that does not require a subscription to read or download content. If you publish in an OA journal, you have met the policy’s goal and do not need to do anything more. A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Librarians and informationists can offer tips for avoiding predatory journals.

  • What is JScholarship?

    JScholarship is the Johns Hopkins institutional repository. You can deposit the author’s final version of your article in JScholarship. The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. If a publisher is concerned about an article version posted in JScholarship, the library will work with the publisher to rectify the situation. You can also deposit other work in JScholarship that you want to make Open Access. Simply contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu.

  • What is PASS?

    The Library built and maintains PASS to support submission to JScholarship and other repositories. PASS allows you to submit to multiple repositories simultaneously, saving you time. The system went live on July 2, 2018. Work will continue after July 2, to improve the interface and to allow PASS to work with other agencies like the NSF. A new function was added in November, 2018, allowing proxy submission. Faculty can allow another JH employee to upload the documents; the faculty still needs to make a final check before the submission is complete.

    Some subscription journals charge a fee (often in the thousands of dollars) to make an article Open Access; they also submit the publisher’s version of the article immediately into a repository. Authors might pay this fee because they want the published version immediately available. If you are content with making the author’s final version available, however, use PASS and avoid paying that fee.

  • What is the “author’s final version” of my article?

    JH faculty publish in many different journals, all with different rules and practices regarding posting versions of an article in platforms other than the publisher’s website. You can see summaries of these rules in Sherpa/Romeo. Most open access policies request that the author’s final version be deposited in an open repository. The JH Open Access Policy defines the author’s final version as the “version of a scholarly article that is sent to the publisher after it has gone through peer review, any revisions responsive thereto, and any further copyediting in which the corresponding author has participated.”

  • What is the relationship between PASS and JScholarship?

    PASS is a submission system that allows you to submit your author’s final version to open repositories, including JScholarship, the JH institutional repository. Using PASS to submit to JScholarship places your files in the JH Open Access Collection. PASS will eventually work with a number of repositories.

  • What open repositories does JH consider acceptable?

    Repositories associated with educational institutions, funding agencies, or scholarly societies, and academic disciplines are acceptable outlets for your research.  Examples include PubMed Central, MLA Commons, and the Department of Energy’s PAGES. Any repository listed in PASS is acceptable. These sites provide open access to anyone wanting to read or download articles. There is some effort at stability and preservation of the content deposited.

  • What research outputs does this policy apply to?

    The policy applies to peer-reviewed journal articles. Other types of output such as essays, books, edited book chapters, catalogs, letters, editorials, poetry, music, etc. are not covered by this policy.

  • When do I need to make my article openly available?

    There are no hard deadlines. Publishing your article in an Open Access journal requires no extra steps, so in that scenario there is not any need for a deadline. If your funder requires you to deposit in its open repository, you can abide by whatever deadlines they impose; JH will not add an extra deadline. If you submit the author’s final version to JScholarship, you can do that when it fits your schedule. The sooner you do that, the more quickly your article will be accessible and the less likely you are to forget; but JH does not require submission within a particular timeframe.

  • Who is a “corresponding or sole author?”

    “Corresponding author” refers to the author responsible for communication with the publisher; “sole author” applies to articles that only have one author.  If an article has only one author who is a full time JH faculty member or the corresponding author of an article is a full-time JH faculty member, then the article needs to be made openly available by that faculty member through one of the methods described in the policy.

  • Why is Johns Hopkins doing this?

    In accordance with our mission of providing knowledge for the world, the University is committed to disseminating the research and scholarship of its faculty as widely as possible. Increased public access to research  contributes to greater impact in the broader scientific and scholarly community and advances the reputation of the University.

  • Why would subscription journals allow their articles to be published with Open Access?

    The NIH Public Access Policy requires journals publishers to make the author’s final version of an article supported with NIH grant funding freely available in PubMed Central within one year of publication in the journal. That law went into effect in 2008.   In 2013, the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a similar requirement for federal agencies that grant more than $100 million in R&D funds. Many universities followed suit, creating their own open access policies.  ROARMAP tracks the number of open access policies globally.  Most journals and publishers have changed their author agreements in order to comply with these policies. Some journals will allow the submission of an author’s final version only if a university has an open access policy.

  • Will a reader be able to move from the open version of my article to the published version, on the publisher’s website?

    Some repositories have the capability to link between open versions and published versions of articles. JScholarship does not currently possess this functionality but we could develop it if necessary.

  • Will posting articles on my personal web page meet the policy’s conditions?

    Posting to a personal web page does not fulfill the policy requirements. Personal web pages don’t offer the same functions and services as journals and repositories. These important functions and services include:

    • A permanent identifier (URI or DOI)
    • Search engine optimization
    • A workflow for long-term preservation
    • A workflow for copyright and other inquiries

    Personal web pages, even those provided by your academic department, will disappear when you leave the university, retire, or die. We want to ensure that your research is available beyond that point.

  • Will publishing open access articles affect tenure and promotion?

    The Open Access Policy will not affect tenure and promotion since faculty will continue to publish in their journals of choice.

Finding OA Journals and Repositories

  • Are sites like Academia.edu, ResearchGate, or Mendeley acceptable as open repositories?

    No. These sites make little effort to check for copyright compliance;  thus many publishers don’t want their content on these sites. Please use JScholarship, an Open Access journal, or a repository run by a grant agency or discipline to make your articles openly available.

  • Do other universities have similar policies?

    Yes, many universities worldwide have OA policies like this, and the JH policy is modeled on policy best practices at peer institutions. ROARMAP lists institutions and funding agencies that implement open access mandates. MIT provides a partial list of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities with such policies.

  • How do I comply with the policy?

    Faculty may comply with the policy in two ways. First, they may comply by publishing their scholarly articles in an open access journal, depositing their article in an open access repository, (e.g. PubMed Central), or electing an open access option in a non-open journal. Alternatively, faculty (or a proxy) can use the Public Access Submission System, PASS, to deposit the author’s final version of the article in the JH institutional repository, JScholarship.

    PASS was available as of July 2, 2018. PASS currently supports submission to PubMed Central for compliance with the following funding agency public access policies: NIH, ACL, ASPR, CDC, VA, FDA, HHMI, and NASA. It can be used as a direct substitute for the NIHMS submission system, although the final review and approval steps must still be completed via NIHMS. PASS also provides a dashboard that displays deposit and compliance status for NIH grants and associated submissions. PASS includes a link to the web-based submission forms for the Department of Education and USAID. PASS will eventually support submission to other funding agencies such as NSF and DOE.

  • How do I deal with a journal embargo?

    Journals may require a 6- to 24-month embargo before you can post the author’s final version of the article in an open access repository. You should follow such requirements. No deadline is included in the JH Open Access Policy. Both PASS and JScholarship work with embargo dates. You can submit your author’s final version at any point, indicate the end date for the embargo, and the system will post the files at the appropriate time.

  • How do I identify and avoid predatory journals?

    Your librarian, informationist, or Robin Sinn can assist with questions about particular journals. The library provides a list of resources that can help you avoid predatory journals.

  • How do I identify reputable OA journals?

    A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Concerns about particular titles can be addressed to your librarian or informationist, or Robin Sinn.

  • How do I report questions or problems about PASS or JScholarship?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, Coordinator of the Office of Scholarly Communication.

  • How should the author’s final versions be cited?

    The metadata the author provides will provide most of the citation information. JScholarship, or another open repository, will provide a permanent identifier (e.g. JScholarship ID or PMCID) for use in the citation.

  • I do not have permission rights for some of the images in my article. What should I do?

    You have several options if you do not have permission to openly share the images in your article.

    1. You may submit a version of your article that does not include the images unless you are submitting to PubMed Central*.
    2. You may submit two files – one file with just the text, which will be openly available, and a supplementary file with the images that will be kept in a dark archive, unavailable to readers.
    3. You may choose not to submit any part of the article, if the images are so integral to the article that it cannot be understood without the images. You do not need to notify us or ask for a waiver.
    4. You may seek approval from the publisher to include the images.

    Please contact Robin Sinn or Caitlin Carter if you wish to explore these options.

    *If you use PASS to submit to a funder’s repository, you must abide by that repository’s restrictions. For example, the NIH requires that all images be submitted to PubMed Central, no matter who owns the rights.

  • I need help using PASS.

    You can contact either Caitlin Carter, ccarte63@jhmi.edu, or Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions about using PASS or suggestions for improvement.

    Videos are being created. See the current list below. Please contact Caitlin or Robin for further questions or suggestions for topics.

    Proxy submission to PASS

     

  • Is Johns Hopkins taking away my rights to my research?

    Not at all; authors retain full rights to re-use or re-distribute their work in any way they see fit.

  • Is Open Access harming journals published by scholarly societies or small publishers?

    There is no credible evidence for harm, and Open Access has been operating in some disciplines for a decade or more. Scholarly publishing is changing. The virtue of making scholarship free for all to read resonates with many researchers and the academic missions of their home institutions. Many funders and institutions are supporting this move.

  • May I edit the author’s final version that I submit to PASS?

    When you submit your manuscript through PASS your files are sent intact to the submission system for the final repository in which the manuscript will reside.  You will have access to the same editing and correcting functions available in the final repository’s submission system – for example the NIHMS system for PubMed Central.  Note that there are no mechanisms for making corrections for manuscripts deposited in JScholarship. In JScholarship, we can remove access to one version using a “tombstone,” which maintains the citation chain, and upload a new version that is connected to the tombstone.

  • May I make other research outputs openly available?

    Yes, you have many options available to you if you wish to make your text, images, slides, or data openly available. Your librarian or informationist can provide information about those options.  If you are primarily interested in data, Johns Hopkins Libraries Data Services can help you.

  • May I opt out of the policy?

    Yes. If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request permission or notify us.

    If you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options available to you.

  • May I replace the author’s final version with the published version of record?

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  • Recommendation 1: Redesign the undergraduate curriculum to provide foundational abilities for life-long flourishing and learning

    This recommendation starts from our recognition that the University has a responsibility to prepare its students to flourish as informed, skilled, and effective members of their society and of the world.  To ensure that we meet this responsibility, the Commission recommends an ambitious new undergraduate curricular framework that balances disciplinary training, developed through the major, with interdisciplinary exploration while strengthening our students’ sense of community. We should provide an education broad as well as deep, one resembling (to use language current in educational studies) a “T,” rather than an “I.[1]” As depicted in Figure 4.1, T-shaped education affords students with the opportunity to develop deep disciplinary knowledge in at least one area as well as the competencies associated with forming connections between disciplines that allow them to become adaptive innovators.

    Boundary Crossing Competencies: Teamwork, communication, perspective, networks, critical thinking, global understanding, project management, etc. Many Disciplines: Understanding and communications. Many Systems: Understanding and communications. Deep in At Least One Discipline: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Deep in at least one system: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Me: Intersection of sections listed above.

    Figure 4.1 T-Shaped Undergraduate Education

    Currently, the University uses “distribution requirements” to ensure interdisciplinary breadth of academic experience. These requirements stipulate that students must earn a minimum number of credits in academic areas outside of their primary major. These areas include humanities (H), natural sciences (N), social and behavioral sciences (S), quantitative and mathematical sciences (Q), and engineering (E). Courses are assigned an area designator by the academic department, if taught within a Homewood academic department; if not taught within a Homewood academic department, they are assigned by the appropriate dean’s office.

    Data and anecdotal evidence both suggest that these requirements are not successful. The means by which courses are evaluated for designation is unclear and inconsistent. In some departments, a significant percentage of classes required for the major can also be counted toward the distribution requirement. In KSAS, students can triple count a course toward a major requirement, a writing requirement (“W”), and a social science or behavioral science (“S”) or a Natural Science (“N”)/ quantitative and mathematical science (“Q”)/Engineering (“E”). This thwarts the distributional intent of the requirements. Students majoring in Psychology, for instance, can satisfy 92% of the distribution and writing requirements through major courses alone. The current distribution system does not ensure that students are learning enough about other disciplines to make meaningful connections between and across these disciplines.

    To begin our discussion of curricular revision, Commission members reflected matters of principle and articulated the foundational abilities a Hopkins undergraduate education should inculcate.

    1. Students should recognize the importance of language and have a command of it as readers, writers, and speakers. Students should be able to express ideas, opinions, beliefs, and feelings; interpret varied texts accurately and subtly; argue lucidly and effectively; and recognize the many ways conventions and contexts shape both expression and comprehension.
    2. Students should respect scientific and numerical reasoning and be able to apply computational and analytical methods to organize, manipulate, summarize, and evaluate quantitative information and experience, in public, professional, and personal life.  They should be able to create and assess arguments that are supported by quantitative evidence.
    3. Students should recognize the importance of complex creative expressions in various forms and be able to interpret them reflectively. They should have the means to deepen the quality of their lives by cultivating their intellectual and emotional responses to aesthetic and cultural experiences.
    4. Students should engage effectively as citizens of a diverse world. Graduates should have developed a knowledge of local, national and global societies. They should be able to articulate and examine their own beliefs, practices, and values while being open to and respectful of the beliefs, practices and values of others.
    5. Students should be reflective, effective ethical agents in their personal and professional lives. To this end, they should recognize situations of ethical consequence inside and outside their fields of study, understand ethical principles, formulate their own views about those principles and their application, and act in principled fashion.
    6. Students should be able to independently identify, conceptualize, and complete large-scale, consequential projects. They should be able to adopt, refine, and use appropriate methods and means for such projects, and respond to unforeseen developments.

    We continued our curricular discussion by studying models developed by peer institutions. The disquietude found in the reports issued has several sources difficult to detangle: an uncertainty about the relationship between liberal arts education and vocational/pre-professional training; a worry that the “open” curriculum has become a hodge-podge, box-checking exercise; and a concern that a highly-structured “core” curriculum is too rigid for the present needs of students in an increasingly fluid, rapidly altering society.

    In their report, Columbia asks several questions of its curriculum: “Are what some have called the ‘containers’ of our undergraduate curriculum appropriately sized? We probably agree that a strong undergraduate curriculum should include general education (our core), specialist education (our majors) and opportunities for exploration (electives). Do we provide ample opportunity for all three of these goals?” Stanford has asked whether the intellectual breadth of a more “open” curriculum serves its undergraduates well. “Few people question the value of intellectual breadth … [but is ‘sampling’] the optimal way of fostering true breadth in an age like ours, in which the boundaries of different fields are increasingly blurred?”

    Stanford’s answer to questions like these has been not to prescribe courses in particular disciplinary areas but to promise the acquisition and development of seven “essential capacities,” which foster “ways of thinking, ways of doing.” The capacities they list are aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, social inquiry, scientific analysis, formal and quantitative reasoning, engaging difference, moral and ethical reasoning, and creative expression. They have started to implement this shift in approach by establishing a first-year curriculum experience called “Thinking Matters.” It seeks to inculcate a broadly applicable orientation to academic study rather than narrower forms of knowledge.

    Other universities have issued similar statements. U-C Berkeley has said that its graduates should possess four core “competences” and four “dispositions.” Graduates should be literate, numerate, creative, and investigative–these are the competences; and also open-minded, worldly, engaged, and disciplined–the dispositions. UC-Berkeley invokes vocational pressures in justifying its new approach: “students must prepare for fluid careers in a future where what you know is less important than how you think, learn and discover on your own.” To do this, UC-Berkeley aims to “bring greater meaning and coherence to core requirements,” in part by using new technology. For example, they are now using a planning tool called “Course Threads,” which helps students (with faculty supervision) chart a “logically connected sequence of breadth courses.”

    Like Stanford and Berkeley, Washington University acknowledges the importance of articulating the essential skills and competences the university wishes its graduates to possess, but it emphasizes the even greater need to cultivate a longer list of “metacognitive skills and attitudes.” These include an ability to think and act creatively, an ability to engage in both individual and collaborative research, an understanding of how knowledge is created and transmitted, the ability to integrate knowledge from several domains, resilience and the ability to adapt to change, intellectual curiosity; practical insight, and “a facility for making normative assessments as well as with establishing matters of fact.” The challenge is how to instantiate these abstract goals in the curriculum. American University, for example, is tackling “quantitative literacy, writing, and information literacy training” by creating a variation on the core curriculum. It is putting in place a five-course sequence emphasizing skill/competency-oriented learning (e.g. “Quantitative Literacy I”). This is supplemented with an optional set of one-credit professional skills modules.

    As the Commission studied these varied models, members came to see that a new curricular framework could also address our need to strengthen students’ sense of community, without constraining the curricular freedom they rightly value. Hopkins undergraduates choose to learn across a wide variety of settings and contexts–from the classroom to the residence hall; from the laboratory to the athletic field; from the library to the internship site. This diversity is one of our great strengths. The curricular framework we propose provides a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied experience. The foundational abilities we describe would be developed in all of these contexts, through both individual work and in teams, in brief and in extended projects, through an array of programs, courses, and experiences. The abilities would provide a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied, independently designed education.

    The proposed curricular framework has the following components:

    Recommendation 1a. Require participation in a first year seminar.

    We begin with a pedagogical form invented at Hopkins—the seminar. The Commission recommends that every entering student be required to participate in a first year seminar. Requiring participation in a first year Hopkins seminar would be transformative. At a minimum, the first year seminar would set the tone for the undergraduate experience by providing students with a shared introduction to university life and the opportunity to work closely with senior faculty as they explore scholarly topics. The seminars would also provide opportunity for students to begin developing the foundational abilities. Fully maximized, a first year seminar curriculum could exploit Hopkins’ distinctive combination of small size and unparalleled research faculty while targeting development of particular foundational abilities.

    CUE2 reviewed several successful first-year seminar programs, including those developed by Amherst College, Stanford University, the University of Toronto, and UC Berkeley. Amherst’s First-Year Seminars, initially designed as one-year, interdisciplinary courses co-taught by faculty from two different disciplines, are an integral part of the college’s curriculum and required of all students. The First-Year Seminars are now a semester long, and often taught by a single faculty member. The Commission preferred more collaborative and interdisciplinary models that permit students to explore a single theme/topic/problem in depth by exposing them to various modes of inquiry and thus to understand their area of focus from several, overlapping (and sometimes opposed) perspectives. In such courses, faculty model how to comprehend and address complex problems through interaction with peers in other disciplines. UC-Berkeley is experimenting with “Big Ideas” courses taught by faculty from different disciplines and usually across divisions/schools. A course on “Time”, for example, is taught by a philosopher and a string theorist whereas a course on “Origins” is co-taught by a paleontologist, an astrophysicist, and a Biblical scholar. Another model is “Duke Immerse”: students join a cohort and spend an entire semester exploring a single “issue” (e.g. Uprooted/Re-routed: the Ethical Challenges of Displacement”) from an array of disciplinary perspectives. It is “delivered as one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester.”

    For the past several years, Hopkins has offered 40 to 50 freshman seminars each academic year in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. These 1-3 credit small classes, usually limited to about 10-15 freshmen, explore specialized scholarly topics chosen by faculty. As noted in Figure 4.2, 33% of freshmen completed a freshman seminar in academic year 2018-19. As an initial step, the Commission recommends 100% participation in a first year seminar for all freshman and transfer students in the first semester that they matriculate. In order to achieve this goal, the University would need to double the number of freshman seminars currently offered, ensuring that they are taught by senior faculty and aligned in terms of credit hour assignment and overarching outcomes.

    Figure 4.2 Hopkins First Year Seminars and Enrollment

    Semester Number of Freshman Seminars Taught Number of Students Enrolled (percent of class)
    Fall 2018 27 297 (23%)
    Spring 2019 10 131 (10%)
    Fall 2019 32 317 (23%)

     

    Once this target it achieved, additional options for a more robust first year seminar curriculum should be explored and piloted. For example, the first year seminars could begin to more specifically target the development of expository writing skills by pairing disciplinary expertise from senior faculty with writing instruction expertise from expository writing faculty. This evolution would require extensive consultation and collaboration among faculty, students, staff, as well as the Deans and Provost.

    The Commission offers the following as a more long-term, aspirational model for the first year seminars. Every entering student would enroll in a seminar, taught by a faculty member, designed in relation to a shared theme. Each year’s theme would be broad, allowing faculty members flexibility in designing their seminars. The themes would recur, allowing faculty to return to and revise their seminars across the years. In conjunction with these seminars, regular public assemblies would gather new students to hear lectures by visiting scholars and public intellectuals on the year’s theme. Finally, regular sessions with writing instructors would establish the importance of writing in all our disciplines.

    In this model, each incoming class (of roughly 1300-1450 students) would be divided into two groups (A and B), which would then cycle through course activities at different times. Each student would attend four public lectures, four seminars (limited to 15 students), and a minimum of four writing discussions (again, limited to the same 15 students) across the semester, as described in Figure 4.3. 

    Figure 4.3 First Year Seminar Schedule

    Semester Week “A” Cycle Activities “B” Cycle Activities
    1 Shriver Plenary
    2 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    3 Writing Group Seminar
    4 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    5 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    6 Writing Group Seminar
    7 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    8 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    9 Writing Group Seminar
    10 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    11 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    12 Writing Group Seminar
    13 Writing Group

     

    Were the University to follow this model, the demands on physical space and infrastructure would include the following. Eight times a semester, 750 students would gather in Shriver Hall, and perhaps elsewhere, were lectures to be livestreamed. Every third week, 100 seminar rooms would be needed to accommodate the seminars and writing sessions. (Were students divided into three, rather than two, cycles, the demand on seminar rooms would drop to 67 every third week.) The demands on personnel would include the cost of recruiting eight speakers, assuming each lectured only once. Up to 100 faculty members would be required to lead the four seminar meetings each semester. Again, these faculty would come from the professional schools as well as Homewood, furthering the university’s One University initiative. Themes aligned with JHU’s interdisciplinary institutes and initiatives, including 21st Century Cities and the Agora Institute, would allow us to draw on their resources. The Commission recommends that the Provost’s investment in this initiative should include an innovation competition that provides grant funding for course development. The DELTA (Digital Education & Learning Technology Acceleration) Grant program is an encouraging model. Selecting broad themes–akin to those being chosen for the Common Question experience–would allow faculty latitude to design seminars that engage them; cycling through themes on a regular schedule–say every three years–would allow faculty to return to, and revise, their seminars.

    Recommendation 1b. Establish the “Hopkins Semester” of intensive study

    Research has been the core of Hopkins’ identity. One benefit such research has traditionally offered to some of our students is the in-depth experience of extended, immersive study. But this opportunity should be extended to our students, whether in creative activity, professional exploration, or research. To that end, CUE2 proposes to create a “Hopkins Semester.”

    The Commission conceives of this program as a junior or senior year, semester-long, mentored, immersive experience that will give students the time for a focused, deep, and rigorous exploration of one complex subject or endeavor either inside or outside their major department. The Commission expects that students themselves will be the driving force of these experiences–that they will propose and complete innovative projects that we don’t presently imagine.  If the first-year courses described above in Recommendation 1a would be driven by the intellectual excitement of faculty given the opportunity to teach small seminars, the Hopkins semester would similarly be driven by the passions of the students. But students would be required to provide, and departments required to approve and assess, proposals for and reports on their experience that demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed.

    Team-based, projects would also be possible. Such projects, whether creative or research-intensive, would develop the skills associated with communication on teams whose members bring distinct qualifications and play interdependent roles. Design projects, artistic endeavors, research projects, commercial ventures, professional internships, and community-based projects all could serve the ends of this recommendation–whether undertaken in the opera house, the archives, Congress, the laboratory, the community center, a startup venture, or the clinic.  Pursuing one’s Hopkins Semester abroad would also be encouraged.

    This intensive semester should facilitate a high-level synthesis of concepts and practices learned during students’ first and second years of coursework. The Hopkins Semester could satisfy the requirements of some core major courses (and perhaps upper-level courses as well), but need not. In addition, projects and activities before and after this semester could expand and extend the experience. Thus, for example, a project pursued intensively during the semester may be defined and developed before the semester and the activity may continue, albeit at a less intense level, after the semester.  (Note that the Hopkins Semester would be immersive: projects completed piecemeal across semesters would not qualify.) The guidance provided by faculty is an essential element of this recommendation, in part because it encourages mentorship. The Hopkins Semester could regularly be a transformative immersive experience—thus furthering one aim already established by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design.

    In 1998, the Boyer Commission issued 10 recommendations for improving undergraduate education at research universities in the USA; the first recommendation was that research-based learning become standard. Following the Boyer Commission’s lead, several US research organizations—including the Mellon Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation—have funded opportunities to include undergraduates in the research programs of science faculty and, to a lesser extent, those of humanities faculty. Many subsequent studies have demonstrated the benefits of undergraduate research experiences. “Evidence from an array of quantitative and qualitative studies supports the promise of undergraduate research as a catalyst for student development across disciplines, genders, and ethnicities. While cost factors, including money, time, and faculty priorities, need be considered during the creation of an undergraduate research program, the benefits to students are consistent with our greater expectations for liberal learning.[2]” Undergraduate students who completed a mentored research program identified many areas from which they benefited including the interpretation and analysis of data, the ability to work independently and to integrate theory and practice; they also reported greater self-confidence and a clearer understanding of their career paths[3].   But the benefits of such experiences are not limited to research programs; creative and experiential projects can have analogous results.

    In 2018, 62% of Johns Hopkins seniors reporting participating in research in the Senior Survey, increased from 57% in 2016.  Results of those surveys also suggest that students are generally satisfied with the opportunities to participate in research with a faculty member. The University presently supports undergraduate research in various ways, through the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) (see Appendix I for 2017-19 Metrics), the Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant (in KSAS), and smaller initiatives, including the library-based program, The Freshman Fellows.  But research experience is inconsistent across campus. We excel at supporting student research in the lab but not in the library: In 2014, only 19% of humanities students reported participating in research with a faculty member, and only 27% of social/behavioral sciences students reported doing so; this compared to 59% for natural sciences and 69% for engineering. As our investment in undergraduate research increases, support like that presently offered through PURA and the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant should become more visible and more generously funded.

    Of our peers, only Princeton requires a capstone project for all undergraduates; it takes the form of a senior thesis. Others, like Stanford, make a point of encouraging all seniors to complete capstones. Some capstone experiences offered elsewhere resemble the Hopkins Semester we propose.  George Mason University offers research semesters in biology. The University of Michigan offers a Humanities Collaboratory that brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate research assistants over a semester. Duke offers an intensive research semester with seminars called DukeImmerse, a cohort model in which students spend an entire semester exploring a single issue from an array of disciplinary perspectives. Like the Hopkins Semester, DukeImmerse is one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester. It involves daily interaction with faculty members and a collaborative project. About four such programs run each semester. Similarly, the “Immersion Vanderbilt” program encourages students to pursue creative and/or independent projects.  The program is “inherently flexible to allow the student to work closely with a faculty mentor on a project that provides a depth of experience.” Finally, standalone programs, like EUROScholars, enable students to use a study abroad semester for research.

    For the Hopkins Semester to be viable within our traditional four-year program, departments will need to ensure that the sequencing of their courses allow for a full semester immersive experience. Additionally, advising services would need to assist arranging projects undertaken on campus and, in coordination with advisors in majors and career services, also assist arranging projects undertaken off-campus. The Undergraduate Education Board would be charged with developing best practices in setting learning objectives and assessment expectations for the Hopkins Semester.   Departments will use those guidelines to develop student application, approval, and assessment processes. The Board should also establish baseline expectations regarding faculty mentoring of students based on best practices.

    Recommendation 1c. Meaningfully integrate curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning

    Integrative learning is an understanding and a disposition that a student builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus.[4]

    Student learning is not contained by the architecture of formal coursework; the rewards of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are distinctive, various, and essential to any undergraduate education. Our students pursue their passions, apply their learning, and connect with alumni, community leaders, and other Johns Hopkins affiliates outside as well as inside the classroom. In short, they should integrate their various experiences into a distinctive education.

    We are well positioned to transform the college experience from one composed solely of traditional elements—lectures, papers, problem sets, and exams—to one in which these elements sit amid a much broader range of learning activities within and beyond the classroom. The many benefits of this transformed experience would be varied. A plan to develop such a fully integrated experience at Hopkins has already been initiated by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Central to that plan is the development of a co-curricular roadmap that integrates coursework, intersession and summer experience, community activities, and social networks to ensure that all students are exposed to the same rich opportunities. This education would include tools for students to document, reflect on, and assess all their educational activities, and would help them lay the groundwork for life-long learning and their post-graduate careers. To support this initiative, the Commission recommends that the Undergraduate Education Board develop clear policies on awarding credit or credential based on learning outcomes for structured co-curricular experiences relevant to disciplinary study. Linking outcomes to academic requirements would send a powerful signal to faculty and students concerning the importance of co-curricular learning. Such a policy would also guide faculty as they facilitate student reflection on their extramural work and evaluate their experience against outcomes defined by the program and University.

    “The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has long promoted integrative learning for all students as a hallmark of a quality liberal education, noting its essential role in lifelong learning” (National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise, 2007). Increasingly, integrative learning is recognized as an empowering developmental process through which students synthesize knowledge across curricular and co-curricular experiences to develop new concepts, refine values and perspectives in solving problems, master transferable skills, and cultivate self-understanding. An AAC&U-sponsored project on integrative liberal learning between 2012 and 2014 with fourteen small liberal arts institutions has helped illuminate a variety of practices that strengthen connections across learning experiences and encourage students to reflect on their goals with the aim of making intentional curricular and co-curricular choices, charting their own progress, and understanding the ‘why’—and not just the ‘what’—of their four years.”[5]

    Data concerning students’ participation in extra- and co-curricular activities at Hopkins are scattered. In the 2016-2017 academic year, Johns Hopkins University had 409 student organizations (including fraternities and sororities). Currently, there are 395 student organizations, and this number is expected to surpass 400 as the year progresses, given organizations that are currently going through the process of being established. In the 2016 Senior Survey, 63.1% of students reported having participated in at least one student organization (including fraternities and sororities) during their time as an undergraduate. As noted in Appendix H, participation varies across majors.

    Figure 4.4 reveals that 23% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported studying abroad, a low rate among our peers. In the same survey, students also reported that they would have liked to spend more time involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering, relaxing, and socializing.

    Data about JHU sponsored off-campus activities are harder to ascertain, but the numbers appear quite low: 3.0% of students have participated in off-campus activities sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, for instance; 2.4% have participated through the Center for Social Concern.

    Figure 4.4 Participation in study abroad as compared to peer institutions 2018 Senior Survey.

    Percent of Respondents Reporting Participation in Study Abroad Peers: 56%, 53%, 46%, 40%, 39%, 32%, 28%, 24%, 17%, 12%. JHU: 23% (Third least in cohort of 11).

    Other universities, including Boston University and University of South Carolina, have created models for integrating co- and extracurricular activities into student experience, and created infrastructure to enable, document, and reward those activities. Among the most robust of these models is the 21st Century Badging Challenge developed by the Educational Design Lab in association with public and private universities in the Washington D.C. area. Engaging faculty members and about 40 students from each participating institution, the program determines rigorous assessment criteria for its badges, in order to present a comprehensive signal to employers about student achievement. The University of South Carolina (USC) has developed the USC Connect program, which provides learning pathways that start in the first year, take students outside of the classroom, and enable them to create substantive portfolios. Successful students graduate with “leadership distinction” designated on their diplomas and transcript. Finally, the University of Mary Washington and Emory University have both piloted projects to provide a personal web space to all incoming students; in this space, students will develop integrated, holistic e-portfolios that include both curricular and co/extra-curricular evidence of their activities.

    Again, some of the resources for a more fully integrated learning experience at Hopkins are already at hand. The Center for Social Concern (CSC) has been particularly active in encouraging students to engage with the Baltimore community. CSC supports both extra-curricular engagement, through hosting student organizations, and curricular experiential learning opportunities, through a faculty fellows program. The CSC’s France-Merrick Civic Fellowship allows students to undertake community work. In collaboration with the Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Educational Outreach, CSC helps sponsor the Charm City Science League, an organization of over 100 student volunteers who work with teams of middle-school students to prepare for Science Olympiad and robotics competitions.

    Implementation plans for the development of a more fully integrated undergraduate experience have already been formed by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Features of that plan include embedding career staff in academic programs and communities; replacing career services with scalable life design programs that integrate coursework, connections, and experiential learning; developing learning modules for staff and faculty on life design; creating dynamic websites, online platforms, and a digital presence; and drafting a narrative of life design for admissions, departments, centers, and alumni relations. Departments should be charged with developing policies for the assessment of co-curricular activities where warranted, in consultation with the Undergraduate Education Board. The University’s new learning assessment platform provides an opportunity to develop Comprehensive Learner Records for each undergraduate student. These records are digital, official documents issued by the institution that provide a richer expression of the learning outcomes or competencies mastered during a student’s experience than traditional transcripts and diplomas as they capture course-based, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning.

    Recommendation 1d. Ensuring departmental instruction in foundational abilities

    The above three recommendations (1a-c) are intended to prepare students with foundational intellectual skills and dispositions for lifelong learning. But these foundational abilities must also be incorporated into the design of major curricula and courses.  Majors require that students know a segment of human knowledge deeply, and master its ways of thinking. They also require that students integrate foundational abilities in a specific field of study.   Many of the foundational abilities will be cultivated in courses required for the major; others may be cultivated through other coursework; still others, importantly, may be cultivated through co-curricular activities. To that end, the Commission recommends that the current distribution requirements be modified to become distribution areas that correlate with the foundational abilities. All students will be required to take a minimum of one course in each of the six distribution areas by the time of graduation. Further, the deans of KSAS and WSE charge each department with evaluating and modifying existing curricula and designing new curricula that ensures that their majors are trained in each of these abilities.

    Each academic department will be required to demonstrate to the Undergraduate Education Board that their students will develop the foundational abilities all Hopkins students should acquire by mapping major program outcomes and course learning objectives to the foundational abilities and distribution areas. Multifaceted assessment of program outcomes and learning objectives will provide students, departments, and schools with formative and summative data that illustrate students success in achieving the abilities. Such data should be evaluated by the department regularly to inform the need for curricular revision and appropriate allocation of resources.

    CUE2 recognizes that this recommendation will require academic departments to develop much more sophisticated and robust means of assessing students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as evaluating courses and programs. However, this shift is necessary if we truly want to encourage an educational culture that promotes development of competencies rather than accrual of credentials. Modifying the current distribution requirement system alone would only perpetuate a credential gathering, box-checking approach to undergraduate education. It is imperative that revision of that system occur concomitantly with a shift in culture within our academic departments. With support from the deans, the academic departments must bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that students achieve both the breadth and depth of intellectual inquiry outlined.

    The six new distribution areas, reflective of the six foundational abilities, also provide opportunity for academic innovation. Faculty should be encouraged to develop new courses that span disciplinary boundaries, thereby targeting development of skills on the horizontal bar of the “T.” For example, a competitive academic innovation fund could be established to develop new classes that require students to apply their disciplinary knowledge in the context of a team composed of students with varied expertise from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Several models already exist within our university upon which the infrastructure for such courses could be built. Several engineering departments already engage industrial partners to sponsor student projects, while the Center for Social Concern builds connections between extracurricular student projects and Baltimore communities. The recently pioneered Classics Research Lab provided a mechanism for a team of students to undertake a reconstruction of the contexts of and influences upon the work of Victorian scholar John Addington Symonds, author of one of the first major studies of Ancient Greek sexuality, pioneering a humanities-centric approach to problem based learning. A pilot to teach Multidisciplinary Engineering Design is underway in Fall 2019 during which 18 students from across 6 engineering majors are engaged in 4 different projects with external partners. These range from investigating microfiber separation from wastewater in collaboration with sportswear manufacturer Under Armour, to engaging with social enterprise Clearwater Mills to develop innovative ways to engage the communities that live around Professor Trash Wheel to improve the effectiveness of this installation to prevent trash from entering the Baltimore Harbor. And in 2018 a Hack Your Life Design Challenge engaged 18 teams of students from Mechanical Engineering at JHU and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Teams had to use at least five different materials to create an interactive project with moving parts that cost no more than $100. The challenge provided students with the freedom to explore different ways in which engineering and art can intersect.

    The pathways students take to meet the distribution areas requirement and to develop the foundational abilities will be widely varied, and driven by their individual interests and needs. CUE2 recognizes that their success will require careful advising and mentoring by faculty, staff, peers, and others. Recommendation 4 below describes a new system of advising, mentoring, and coaching, which would provide the support needed for this new curricular framework. Certainly, the burden of ensuring that students acquire these foundational abilities will be considerable. But the curricular framework described here highlights one great strength of our university: that it provides students with a combination of unmatched institutional resources and individual attention. This vision aims to ensure that all our students benefit from that distinctive strength while enrolled, and flourish after they graduate.

    [1] T-Academy (2018) http://tsummit.org/t

    [2] Lopatto, D. (2006). Undergraduate research as a catalyst for liberal learning. Peer Review8(1), 22-25. See also: Gillies, S. L., & Marsh, S. (2013). Doing science research at an undergraduate university. International Journal of Arts & Sciences6(4), 379; Hempstead, J., Graham, D., & Couchman, R. (2012). Forging a template for undergraduate collaborative research: A case study. Creative Education36(Special Issue), 859-865; Healey, M., & Jenkins, A. (2009). Developing undergraduate research and inquiry (p. 152). York: Higher Education Academy; Kuh, G. D. (2008). Excerpt from high-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 19-34; Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27.

    [3] Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27

    [4] Rhodes, T. L. (2010). Making learning visible and meaningful through electronic portfolios. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning43(1), 6-13.

    [5] Ferren, A. S., & Anderson, C. B. (2016). Integrative learning: Making liberal education purposeful, personal, and practical. New Directions for Teaching and Learning2016(145), 33-40.; see also Kehoe, A., & Goudzwaard, M. (2015). ePortfolios, badges, and the whole digital self: How evidence-based learning pedagogies and technologies can support integrative learning and identity development. Theory Into Practice54(4), 343-351.

  • Recommendation 2: Increase the flexibility of the major requirements where needed to enable intellectual exploration

    The model of undergraduate education CUE2 recommends places disciplinary expertise at its center. Being trained in a distinct set of methods and acquiring the knowledge particular to a discipline are essential features of an undergraduate education. Moreover, without strong disciplines one cannot imagine strong interdisciplinary programs. But disciplinary expertise must be rooted in a liberal education. The best scholars, as President Gilman remarked in his inaugural address, “will almost invariably be those who make special attainments on the foundation of a broad and liberal culture.” This education contributes to their flourishing, independent of and beyond any credentials we might issue.

    Our faculty habitually forge connections among disciplines; undergraduates should be encouraged to do the same. For students to pursue the leads provided by disciplinary training, they must be given room to leave their disciplines and learn elsewhere. As urged by its charge, the Commission proposes to build on the positive features, including curricular flexibility, which distinguish us. The curriculum of any university, as Jonathan Cole remarked in his Town Hall Presentation, “should dovetail well with the identity of the university and represent a realization of its basic principles and goals.” Hopkins has offered its students flexibility since its founding. That flexibility assumes maturity of the students and aims simultaneously to promote that maturity, cultivating the independence of thought necessary for life-long learning.

    The diversity of our students implies diversity of thought, ambition and goals; as a result, curricula should not assume that one path will suit all students, even within a discipline. Data from student focus groups and the most recent surveys indicate that our students continue to value this flexibility and are dissatisfied when it is absent. The initiative, breadth, and independence assumed by a flexible curriculum also are valued by industries presently driving the global economy. According to a recent study conducted by Hart Research Associates and published by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, “employers recognize capacities that cut across majors as critical to a candidate’s potential for career success, and they view these skills as more important than a student’s choice of undergraduate major.” Nearly all those surveyed (93%) agree that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.” Many prominent business leaders, including Johns Hopkins alumnus Samuel Palmisano (former CEO of IBM), have confirmed this view and have offered full-throated endorsements of a broad and liberal education, rather than a narrow, exclusively technical or exclusively non-technical one.

    Institutional data in Figures 4.5-8 show that curricular flexibility, as measured by the fraction of credits restricted by a student’s major, varies widely across departments, and is highly restricted in some. The Department of Philosophy requires the completion of 33 credit hours (27% of the total needed for graduation); Biomedical Engineering requires roughly three times that number, 104 (80% of the total needed for graduation). Data also suggest some majors at Hopkins are outliers among their peers at other universities, requiring a greater percentage of credits to be completed in the major. Of the majors and peers studied by CUE2, our majors in Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering in WSE, and KSAS’s Biophysics, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Studies, Physics, Anthropology, Political Science, Art History, Classics, History, Latin American Studies, and Writing Seminars all have markedly less flexibility than similar majors at peer institutions. While not as striking, several other majors in both schools also appear quite restrictive. This is just one possible metric for curricular flexibility, which may also be encouraged by strict course sequencing, course offerings that occur only annually, and lack of on-line options that could facilitate participation of students undertaking opportunities at remote sites.

     

    Figure 4.5 Flexibility in KSAS natural sciences majors as compared to peers.[1]

    Behavioral Biology: JHU least flexible. Biology: JHU less flexible than average. Biophysics: JHU least flexible. Chemistry: JHU less flexible than average. Cognitive Science: JHU less flexible than average. Earth and Planetary Sciences: JHU more flexible than average. Environmental Science and Studies (B.S.) : JHU least flexible. Environmental Science and Studies (B.A.) : JHU least flexible. Mathematics: JHU average. Physics (B.A.): JHU less flexible than average. Physics (B.S.): JHU less flexible. Psychological and Brain Science: JHU more flexible than average.

    Figure 4.6 Flexibility in KSAS social sciences majors as compared to peers.

    Anthropology: JHU less flexible than average. Economics: JHU average. Political Science: JHU least flexible. Sociology: JHU less flexible than average.

    Figure 4.7 Flexibility in KSAS humanities majors as compared to peers.

    Africana Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Archaeology: JHU average. Art History: JHU least flexible (by far). Classics: JHU least flexible. English: JHU less flexible than average. French: JHU most flexible. German: JHU more flexible than average. History of Science: JHU least flexible. History: JHU least flexible. Italian: JHU average. Latin America Studies: JHU less flexible than average. Near Eastern Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Philosophy: JHU average. Romance Languages: JHU less flexible than average. Spanish: JHU less flexible than average. Writing Seminars: JHU least flexible (by far).

    Figure 4.8 WSE flexibility in engineering majors as compared to peers.[2]

    AMS: JHU more flexible than average. BME: JHU less flexible than average. Chem BE: JHU less flexible than average. CivE: JHU least flexible. Comp Sci: JHU less flexible than average. Computer Engineering: JHU average. Electrical Engineering: JHU less flexible than average. BME: JHU least flexible. MatSci: JHU less flexible than average. MechE: JHU least flexible.

    As noted in Figure 4.9, the 2018 Senior Survey findings document dissatisfaction with the flexibility of the curriculum in several Engineering majors including Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dissatisfaction is also noted in a few Natural Sciences majors within the Arts and Sciences, including Biology. There is room for improved satisfaction across number of other majors as well. Figure 4.10 shows a significant negative correlation (R2 = 0.4996) between major flexibility as measured and student satisfaction with flexibility.

    Figure 4.9 2018 Senior survey satisfaction with curricular flexibility.

    1 = Very dissatisfied, 2 = Generally dissatisfied, 3 = Generally satisfied, 4 = Very satisfied. Medicine, Science and the Humanities: 3.70; Spanish: 3.69; Philosophy: 3.50; English: 3.42; German: 3.40; Writing Seminars: 3.25; French: 3.17; History: 3.17; Film and Media Studies: 3.10; Humanities Average: 3.39; Archaeology: 3.83; Sociology: 3.71; Anthropology: 3.50; International Studies: 3.38; Psychology: 3.35; Political Science: 3.26; Economics: 3.23; Global Environmental Change and Sustainability: 3.09; Social and Behavioral Sciences Average: 3.42; Earth and Planetary Sciences: 3.56; Public Health Studies: 3.26; Physics: 3.25; Mathematics: 3.24; Chemistry: 3.17; Neuroscience: 3.14; Cognitive Science: 3.14; Behavioral Biology: 3.00; Molecular and Cellular Biology: 2.90; Biophysics: 2.89; Biology: 2.67; Natural Sciencws Area: 2.67; Natural Sciences Average: 3.07; Electrical Engineering: 3.27; Applied Mathematics and Statistics: 3.21; Mat Sci and Engineering: 3.15; Environmental Engineering: 3.13; Computer Engineering: 3.00; Computer Science: 2.95; Biomedical Engineering: 2.54; Civil Engineering: 2.44; Mechanical Engineering: 2.22; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: 2.15; Engineering Average: 2.81;

    Figure 4.10 Correlation between curricular flexibility and student satisfaction.

    General downard trend of decreasing student satisfaction as flexibility decreases. Linear trendline has r-squared value of 0.4996;

    Both the disparity between departments and the restrictiveness in some departments have detrimental effects. The disparity creates a widely disparate experience among our undergraduates and contributes to the competitive culture; in conversations, students also report that it contributes to the segregation of the schools. Inflexible and high requirements tend to advantage students from high schools that offer AP credit, who can complete their requirements more quickly. (Increasing student flexibility within the major thus aligns with the Hopkins Universal Design for Learning Initiative[3]Finally, highly restrictive requirements also would prevent the implementation of a separate CUE2 recommendation; the requirements of some majors at present would make graduation in four years impossible, were a student to participate in the Hopkins semester (see recommendation 2, below).

    We have considered various methods of implementation. One would require that the deans, provost, or Undergraduate Education Board establish a minimum number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements. Another would require that departments demonstrate that their requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions. A third could combine these, and require that the deans (or provost) establish a number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements, but granting exemptions to departments that demonstrate that their (still high) requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions.

    We recommend that the provost require that a minimum of 33% of all student credit hours be un-prescribed across all undergraduate majors in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering. Furthermore, because increased flexibility would serve faculty members by freeing them of the burden of major requirements, the Commission recommends that the University create an innovation fund to support imaginative courses and programs and develop mechanisms to generalize pedagogical successes.

    [1] Peers for majors housed in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences included Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University, Yale University

    [2] Peers for majors housed in the Whiting School of Engineering included California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California Berkley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan

    [3] For example: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/internship-programs

  • Recommendation 3: Enable professional school faculty to teach undergraduates more easily and often, and facilitate the enrollment of undergraduates in our professional schools

    The rigid demarcation between undergraduate and graduate education is increasingly anachronistic. Johns Hopkins professional schools are a valuable resource, not available at all our peer institutions. They should be readily accessible to our undergraduates.

    Faculty from other schools teach infrequently at Homewood, but the numbers are increasing, as demonstrated in Figure 4.11. In the Fall of 2014 7% of undergraduate courses were taught by non-Homewood faculty; five years later, in Spring 2019, 15% percent were taught by non-Homewood faculty. The percentage during the summer unsurprisingly is higher, ranging from 12 to 13% between 2015 and 2018. The scarcity of online undergraduate course options and lack of infrastructure for high quality distance education provision exacerbates the geographic boundaries between Homewood and the professional school campuses. Undergraduates should have access to the full breadth of talent represented in the University’s faculty. Barriers between Hopkins campuses should be lowered.

     

    Figure 4.11 Percentage of undergraduate courses taught by non-Homewood JHU faculty.

    Over course of AE Fall 2014 to AE Spring 2019, the percentage has steadily increased from 7% to 14%.

     

    Several recommendations in this report provide opportunity for broader incorporation of all Johns Hopkins University faculty in the undergraduate experience. For example, faculty from the professional schools could teach in the first year seminar series. They could also partner with Homewood faculty to innovate team-based, interdisciplinary problem-solving courses. Recently, SAIS faculty began offering undergraduate courses in strategy and statecraft as well as international economics as complements to existing International Studies courses using an inter-campus, hybrid delivery model that could be emulated by other professional schools.

    As part of this recommendation, the Commission urges that all Johns Hopkins students (assuming adequate pre-requisites and qualifications) be permitted to pursue programs leading to bachelor/professional master’s (3+2 or 4+1) degrees. Our primary intent, however, is not to establish new joint or dual degree programs. Nor is it to do what is already possible in many cases, namely, for students to seek a master’s degrees in their undergraduate majors. Rather it is to encourage students to explore advanced study and potential careers, regardless of major, across the University. The Commission imagines combinations that may not be possible or easily possible today; the Computer Science major who pursues a master’s degree in International Studies at SAIS, the History major who takes courses at the Carey school, or the Physics major who pursues a master’s in Biomedical Engineering. The implementation of this recommendation would not only serve our students well, and provide faculty at the professional schools additional opportunities to instruct and mentor undergraduates, but would serve our ongoing “One University” initiative.

    First Destination survey data from 2018 data tells us that approximately 35% of our students pursue graduate school immediately after graduation. Not all of those students matriculate into JHU programs, but the Whiting School of Engineering and Bloomberg School of Public Health are the top two graduate schools of choice. In fact, 22% of graduating Engineering students and 6% of Arts and Sciences students take advantage of the opportunity to remain for a fifth year to acquire a Master’s degree at the Whiting School.

    Several of our peer institutions offer co-terminal degree programs. Emory provides a series of 4+1 options, and Stanford has a robust co-terminal degree program available across nearly 50 programs. Their co-terminal degree program allows undergraduates to study for a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree while completing their bachelor’s degree(s) in the same or a different department. Admitted co-terminal students must have a minimum of one quarter overlap between their undergraduate and graduate degree programs in order to qualify. Harvard has an advanced standing program that allows selected students in some departments to apply for a fourth-year master’s degree.

    Implementation of this recommendation will require buy-in from our professional divisions. The Provost should direct every division of the University to demonstrate that they have both individual courses and master’s programs in place open to Hopkins undergraduates from as broad a range of undergraduate majors as is reasonably possible, ensuring that financial assistance be available so that access to these programs is available to all qualified students. The existence of these programs would then be advertised directly to undergraduates while advisors would help direct students to them. In addition, the creation of online undergraduate courses, with distance education classrooms at each of the Johns Hopkins’ campuses, should be actively pursued.

  • Recommendation 4: Provide students with an integrated partnership of faculty mentors, staff advisors, and career counselors

    Students should be able to count on the significant, positive presence of faculty, staff, and administrators from matriculation to graduation and beyond. In our vision, each undergraduate student would have an integrated group of, at least, a faculty mentor, an academic advisor, and a career coach; this group would remain connected to that student throughout their undergraduate career. The provision of these support teams will require a redesign and revitalization of academic advising services, integrating it more deliberately with career services and with faculty mentoring. Because students build cohorts through their affinity for topics and passions for interests, mechanisms should be implemented to facilitate better alignment with, and maintenance of, the relationships among students, alumni, faculty, staff, and graduate students who share passions and affinities. Providing this support infrastructure will also require creation of and investment in faculty mentoring programs.

    We understand mentorship to be distinct from advising in both purpose and execution. Mentors help students develop interests, affirm identities and achieve life goals. Mentors include staff, alumni, peers, and community partners, but the central role is played by faculty members, who serve as mentors best simply by sharing their intellectual enthusiasm.  To be sure, students must be active participants in seeking out and building their own mentor relationships. But faculty members should expect to serve as mentors, and the University should actively encourage and support them as they do serve. Because courses most naturally initiate mentoring, the University should increase the number of small courses—research seminars, discussions, collaboratories—that enable substantial relations among teachers and students.

    As noted in the introduction to this section of the report, the timing of these initiatives is fortuitous, coinciding with the launching of the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design; that office has already begun to implement several of the advances described below. Additionally, we will have the benefit of our participation in the Excellence in Academic Advising initiative, launched in coordination with NACADA, a national organization of academic advisors, and the Gardner Foundations. Along with several other committees, this pilot program is assessing the preconditions for successful academic student support in KSAS and WSE. A full and detailed report is expected later this year and an implementation plan to follow. This guidance should be afforded the highest priority, so that academic advisors can be properly provisioned to support each student’s successful navigation of the various choices involved in academic life, from course selection to choosing their major and minor areas of study, to ensuring development of the foundational abilities and completion of a Hopkins semester, to tapping into university resources to sustain health, well-being and fulfillment, to seeking help when unforeseen challenges arise.

    Most, perhaps all, of the experiences linked by the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report (shown in Figure 4.13) concerning post-collegiate satisfaction with college depend upon mentoring: having at least one professor who excited the student about learning; having professors who cared about the student as a person; having a mentor who cared about the student’s hopes and dreams; having worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete; having an internship or job that helped the student apply what he or she was learning; being extremely active in extracurricular activities. More, importantly, mentoring has been shown to be effective in increasing the persistence of non-traditional students.[1] The benefits of better integrating academic advising and career counseling has also been urged by scholars for the past several decades.[2] 

    Figure 4.13 Findings from the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report

    The Undergraduate Experience: Support and Experiential and Deep Learning Support Section; I had at least one professor at college who made me excited about learning: 68% strongly agree; My professor at college cared about me as a person: 27%; I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams: 22%; Strongly agree with all three support statements: 14%; Experiential Section; I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete: 32%; I had an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom: 29%; I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations while attending college; 20%; Strongly agree with all three experiential statements: 6%; Strongly agree with all six statements: 3%; Based on Web surveys of nearly 30,000 college graduates with Internet access from Feb. 4-March 7, 2014. Gallup-Purdue Index;

    As depicted in Figure 4.14, 22% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported that they know no professor, or only one professor, well enough for them to provide a professional recommendation. This figure is higher than ideal. All students should know more than one professor who could write them a letter of recommendation. The numbers vary across our schools and fields. Students in the humanities fare better than those in the sciences and engineering: 14% of humanities students report that they know at most one faculty member sufficiently to ask her for a recommendation; in social and behavioral sciences the figure is 24%; in engineering the figure is 26%. In the same survey, 86% of Johns Hopkins respondents were satisfied with faculty availability, versus 91% at peer schools, a significant difference. Humanities respondents were significantly more satisfied than others (see Figure 4.15).

    Figure 4.14 Student-reported number of faculty who know them—distribution of responses for JHU vs. peer universities.

    How many faculty members know you well enough to provide a professional recommendation concerning your qualifications fora  job or advanced degree work? 2018 Distribution of Responses; Humanities: 3 largest proportion (34%); Natural Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (25%, 27% respectively); Social and Behavioral Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (31%, 28%); Engineering: 2 largest proportion (35%); All Areas: 2, 3 largest proportions (30%, 26%); Peers: 2, 3 largest proportions (28%, 24%);

    Figure 4.15 Student satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class from Senior Survey 2018.

    Satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class. Very dissatisfied (1), Generally dissatisfied (2), Generally satisfied (3), Very satisfied (4). JHU: 1 (3%), 2 (11%), 3 (63%), 4 (23%); Peers: 1 (2%), 2 (8%), 3 (59%), 4 (32%); JHU below average in average rating; JHU average rating has held steady over the past 10 years at 3.03-3.12;

    Advising models vary widely among our peers, and few appear to have partnered faculty mentoring, academic advising, and career counseling in the way envisioned by CUE2; Hopkins has an opportunity to lead in this area. Of note, University of Chicago assigns a four-year academic advisor and career coach, as well as a PhD student, to each undergraduate upon admission. Perhaps the closest model is James Madison University, which has merged its academic advising and career center into a single advising unit, enabling the integration of academic and career plans, and providing a model that students intuitively understand. This should be our goal, too.

    [1] Bettinger, E. P., & Baker, R. B. (2014). The effects of student coaching: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student advising. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(1), 3-19.

    [2] McCalla-Wriggins, B. (2009). Integrating career and academic advising: Mastering the challenge. NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources.

  • Recommendation 5: Improve course-based learning assessment methods. Eliminate the use of forced normal distribution of grades

    In recent years, Johns Hopkins has begun attracting and admitting an undergraduate student body of higher academic caliber and from a more diverse range of geographic, economic, and cultural background than ever before. For the class entering fall 2019, 98% of admitted students were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class with a mean unweighted academic GPA of 3.92 and the middle 50th percentile achieving SAT composite scores between 1480 and 1550. They hailed from 34 countries. Fifteen percent identified as First Generation College students. This new generation of Hopkins undergraduate students is far from the standard bell curve representation in terms of achievement, aptitude, experience and aspiration.

    It is critical that methods of teaching and learning assessment are updated and improved to serve the new generation of Hopkins undergraduates. Assessment of student learning should be individually based and reflective of each student’s performance in achieving the knowledge, skills, and abilities taught in the class. In general, it is not appropriate or effective to impose a normal distribution of grades (often referred to as “grading on a curve”) on exams, assignments, or final grades. Such grading practices arbitrarily limit the number of students who can be identified as having excelled, leading to the creation of a hypercompetitive student culture. We urge that they be eliminated.

    The Commission does not advocate watering down or diminishing standards. Instead it encourages the exploration and implementation of more current methods for measuring and recording student learning. It is important that best practices for student assessment be promulgated among all instructional faculty, and expectations regarding assessment be made clear at the school and departmental level to optimally support collaborative learning and creative exploration. Whatever system is used, student performance should be judged and graded relative to a standard of excellence as articulated by the faculty member and the discipline. Faculty should clearly define the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students should have achieved at the end of a course (i.e., course level learning goals) and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards.

    The literature documents the effects of curving grades on student competitiveness, and its effect on campus culture, and confirms anecdotal evidence at Hopkins. Setting pre-determined quotas for the number of grades that will be assigned pits students against one another, removing the potential for a more cooperative learning environment. It leads some students to feel that they have less control over their grades and increases their stress and anxiety. The competitive environment fostered by curved grading is one factor contributing to the loss of qualified, talented, underrepresented college students from science fields (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997). Many students attending CUE2 focus groups and Coffee with the Co-Chairs meetings shared similar sentiments. One student reported that she stopped studying with classmates after she realized they were her “direct competition for a final grade.” Another student described the stress caused by his uncertainty, until letter grades were posted, about what grade his 46% class average would receive. He also described his confusion when he discovered that it meant he received an “A.” Moving away from curved grades will promote classroom community by setting the expectation that all students have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of excellence and that, if they do, their achievement will be reflected in their grade.

    In a CUE2 commissioned qualitative survey of undergraduate faculty who taught a course of 40 or more students in the past two academic years, 28% of respondents (n=135) reported using a grading policy interpreted as relative and contributing to student competition. This includes assigning grades by natural breaks in the distribution or normalizing the distribution.

    Grading policies and data concerning the use of the curve at other institutions are elusive. In an informal survey of COFHE peers, asking “At your institution, do the majority of instructors for large (>50 students) sections of UG courses use a curve to determine final course grades? (Answer: yes/no/don’t know)?”, only four schools responded. The responses were highly variable, ranging from “we don’t know” (Stanford, U Penn), to mostly no but yes in many of the Gateway Science courses from Duke, to a firm “no” from MIT.

    The Commission recognizes the difficulty in writing exams and assessments that reliably challenge students at the same level each year, and faculty may need to take corrective action when an assessment is judged overly difficult.  Some faculty reported adding a standard number of points to all exams in these cases.[1]  In any case, faculty should clearly define what students should be able to do at the end of a course and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards. As one faculty member commented, “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” Alternate practices to curving have been well-documented, and include straight grading, specification grading, and competency-based grading.

    Assessment systems in any course have been and will continue to be the purview of the faculty member teaching that course. What should be reviewed for each course is whether 1) the objective and subjective measures of expected performance are well explained to the students and 2) whether the assessment mechanism used does or does not unfairly force a normal distribution of grades. These should be reviewed by the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in each department and instances of relative assessment tools should be brought to the attention of the Vice Deans for Undergraduate Education. Further, the University’s Vice Deans of Education (VDE), a group routinely convened by the Office of the Provost, and the University Council on Learning Assessment (UCLA) should issue a best practices statement regarding student learning assessment methods.

    [1] Additional faculty comments from survey supporting elimination of curves: “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” “I do not curve grades. I do not feel bound to give grades in any proportions; I set my standards.” “I do not curve grades. In my view, if all my students do well, or all do badly, their grades should reflect that fact.” “No, but I might adjust the final score limits slightly if I think the exam problems were unusually hard or there are any confusion about them.”

    “I try to gauge the difficulty of my exams so that students have a fair chance to succeed without curving.  If everybody does great, everybody should get an A; likewise, everybody should fail if nobody achieves the objectives.”

    “No, I do not curve grades… I usually use rubrics to establish grading standards, particularly since I use TAs/graders. Rubrics are made available to the students at the time of the assignment so that they understand what is expected of them.”

    “I don’t curve final grades, but I do sometimes curve an individual test grade if I feel that the average was low (<80%-85%).  My philosophy is that the students should always know where they stand in class with regards to their final grade.  If some magical curve is applied at the end, they never really know.”

    “Briefly, I do not curve grades as I like to give points for mastery.  That said I do not know how to design an exam with a clear point threshold for mastery for a specific grade in advance.  So I rescale grade, same for everyone onto an A, B, C etc.”

  • Recommendation 6: Establish a new system for the assessment of teaching and student mentoring by faculty

    By consensus, the assessment of teaching and mentoring now in place is seriously flawed. Teaching evaluation in the Homewood schools relies almost exclusively on results from student course evaluations. Research has shown that the raw numbers provided by such evaluations can be misleading, and that the qualitative evaluations are consistently biased against female and underrepresented minority faculty.[1] Further, the responses aren’t correlated to learning outcomes.[2] It is also unclear how those results are meaningfully and consistently incorporated into promotion and tenure decisions.

    Surveys of faculty, including a 2014 AAUP survey, report that faculty support assessment models unlike those we (and most universities) have in place. There are many alternative models. Northwestern developed a Continuing HE Credits (CHEC) program to foster and reward faculty commitment to high quality undergraduate teaching; credits earned for excellent teaching can be collected in various ways that support the faculty member’s scholarship and can be a positive factor in salary decisions. The University of Texas developed a Provost’s Teaching Fellows Initiative to offer a model for creating a sustainable structure to advance the teaching mission of the university.   Washington University has developed procedures that use self-assessment, peer review; student evaluations, and amply researched the field; their recommendations were supported by the AAUP 2014 Statement on Teaching Evaluation.

    The VDE from across the University should be charged by the Provost with determining best practices for comprehensive and transparent assessment of teaching and faculty mentoring for all Johns Hopkins faculty. The VDE should also identify the most appropriate school-based governance bodies and methods for establishment of relevant policies and procedures. The outcome should be an unequivocal university message that the demonstrated ability of Johns Hopkins faculty to teach well is required for both promotion and tenure.

    [1] Boring, A., Ottoboni, K., & Stark, P. (2016). Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness. ScienceOpen Research.

    [2] Uttl, B., White, C. A., & Gonzalez, D. W. (2017). Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related. Studies in Educational Evaluation54, 22-42.

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  • What is PASS?

    The Library built and maintains PASS to support submission to JScholarship and other repositories. PASS allows you to submit to multiple repositories simultaneously, saving you time. The system went live on July 2, 2018. Work will continue after July 2, to improve the interface and to allow PASS to work with other agencies like the NSF. A new function was added in November, 2018, allowing proxy submission. Faculty can allow another JH employee to upload the documents; the faculty still needs to make a final check before the submission is complete.

    Some subscription journals charge a fee (often in the thousands of dollars) to make an article Open Access; they also submit the publisher’s version of the article immediately into a repository. Authors might pay this fee because they want the published version immediately available. If you are content with making the author’s final version available, however, use PASS and avoid paying that fee.

  • What is the “author’s final version” of my article?

    JH faculty publish in many different journals, all with different rules and practices regarding posting versions of an article in platforms other than the publisher’s website. You can see summaries of these rules in Sherpa/Romeo. Most open access policies request that the author’s final version be deposited in an open repository. The JH Open Access Policy defines the author’s final version as the “version of a scholarly article that is sent to the publisher after it has gone through peer review, any revisions responsive thereto, and any further copyediting in which the corresponding author has participated.”

  • What is the relationship between PASS and JScholarship?

    PASS is a submission system that allows you to submit your author’s final version to open repositories, including JScholarship, the JH institutional repository. Using PASS to submit to JScholarship places your files in the JH Open Access Collection. PASS will eventually work with a number of repositories.

  • What open repositories does JH consider acceptable?

    Repositories associated with educational institutions, funding agencies, or scholarly societies, and academic disciplines are acceptable outlets for your research.  Examples include PubMed Central, MLA Commons, and the Department of Energy’s PAGES. Any repository listed in PASS is acceptable. These sites provide open access to anyone wanting to read or download articles. There is some effort at stability and preservation of the content deposited.

  • What research outputs does this policy apply to?

    The policy applies to peer-reviewed journal articles. Other types of output such as essays, books, edited book chapters, catalogs, letters, editorials, poetry, music, etc. are not covered by this policy.

  • When do I need to make my article openly available?

    There are no hard deadlines. Publishing your article in an Open Access journal requires no extra steps, so in that scenario there is not any need for a deadline. If your funder requires you to deposit in its open repository, you can abide by whatever deadlines they impose; JH will not add an extra deadline. If you submit the author’s final version to JScholarship, you can do that when it fits your schedule. The sooner you do that, the more quickly your article will be accessible and the less likely you are to forget; but JH does not require submission within a particular timeframe.

  • Who is a “corresponding or sole author?”

    “Corresponding author” refers to the author responsible for communication with the publisher; “sole author” applies to articles that only have one author.  If an article has only one author who is a full time JH faculty member or the corresponding author of an article is a full-time JH faculty member, then the article needs to be made openly available by that faculty member through one of the methods described in the policy.

  • Why is Johns Hopkins doing this?

    In accordance with our mission of providing knowledge for the world, the University is committed to disseminating the research and scholarship of its faculty as widely as possible. Increased public access to research  contributes to greater impact in the broader scientific and scholarly community and advances the reputation of the University.

  • Why would subscription journals allow their articles to be published with Open Access?

    The NIH Public Access Policy requires journals publishers to make the author’s final version of an article supported with NIH grant funding freely available in PubMed Central within one year of publication in the journal. That law went into effect in 2008.   In 2013, the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a similar requirement for federal agencies that grant more than $100 million in R&D funds. Many universities followed suit, creating their own open access policies.  ROARMAP tracks the number of open access policies globally.  Most journals and publishers have changed their author agreements in order to comply with these policies. Some journals will allow the submission of an author’s final version only if a university has an open access policy.

  • Will a reader be able to move from the open version of my article to the published version, on the publisher’s website?

    Some repositories have the capability to link between open versions and published versions of articles. JScholarship does not currently possess this functionality but we could develop it if necessary.

  • Will posting articles on my personal web page meet the policy’s conditions?

    Posting to a personal web page does not fulfill the policy requirements. Personal web pages don’t offer the same functions and services as journals and repositories. These important functions and services include:

    • A permanent identifier (URI or DOI)
    • Search engine optimization
    • A workflow for long-term preservation
    • A workflow for copyright and other inquiries

    Personal web pages, even those provided by your academic department, will disappear when you leave the university, retire, or die. We want to ensure that your research is available beyond that point.

  • Will publishing open access articles affect tenure and promotion?

    The Open Access Policy will not affect tenure and promotion since faculty will continue to publish in their journals of choice.

PASS and JScholarship

  • Are sites like Academia.edu, ResearchGate, or Mendeley acceptable as open repositories?

    No. These sites make little effort to check for copyright compliance;  thus many publishers don’t want their content on these sites. Please use JScholarship, an Open Access journal, or a repository run by a grant agency or discipline to make your articles openly available.

  • Do other universities have similar policies?

    Yes, many universities worldwide have OA policies like this, and the JH policy is modeled on policy best practices at peer institutions. ROARMAP lists institutions and funding agencies that implement open access mandates. MIT provides a partial list of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities with such policies.

  • How do I comply with the policy?

    Faculty may comply with the policy in two ways. First, they may comply by publishing their scholarly articles in an open access journal, depositing their article in an open access repository, (e.g. PubMed Central), or electing an open access option in a non-open journal. Alternatively, faculty (or a proxy) can use the Public Access Submission System, PASS, to deposit the author’s final version of the article in the JH institutional repository, JScholarship.

    PASS was available as of July 2, 2018. PASS currently supports submission to PubMed Central for compliance with the following funding agency public access policies: NIH, ACL, ASPR, CDC, VA, FDA, HHMI, and NASA. It can be used as a direct substitute for the NIHMS submission system, although the final review and approval steps must still be completed via NIHMS. PASS also provides a dashboard that displays deposit and compliance status for NIH grants and associated submissions. PASS includes a link to the web-based submission forms for the Department of Education and USAID. PASS will eventually support submission to other funding agencies such as NSF and DOE.

  • How do I deal with a journal embargo?

    Journals may require a 6- to 24-month embargo before you can post the author’s final version of the article in an open access repository. You should follow such requirements. No deadline is included in the JH Open Access Policy. Both PASS and JScholarship work with embargo dates. You can submit your author’s final version at any point, indicate the end date for the embargo, and the system will post the files at the appropriate time.

  • How do I identify and avoid predatory journals?

    Your librarian, informationist, or Robin Sinn can assist with questions about particular journals. The library provides a list of resources that can help you avoid predatory journals.

  • How do I identify reputable OA journals?

    A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Concerns about particular titles can be addressed to your librarian or informationist, or Robin Sinn.

  • How do I report questions or problems about PASS or JScholarship?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, Coordinator of the Office of Scholarly Communication.

  • How should the author’s final versions be cited?

    The metadata the author provides will provide most of the citation information. JScholarship, or another open repository, will provide a permanent identifier (e.g. JScholarship ID or PMCID) for use in the citation.

  • I do not have permission rights for some of the images in my article. What should I do?

    You have several options if you do not have permission to openly share the images in your article.

    1. You may submit a version of your article that does not include the images unless you are submitting to PubMed Central*.
    2. You may submit two files – one file with just the text, which will be openly available, and a supplementary file with the images that will be kept in a dark archive, unavailable to readers.
    3. You may choose not to submit any part of the article, if the images are so integral to the article that it cannot be understood without the images. You do not need to notify us or ask for a waiver.
    4. You may seek approval from the publisher to include the images.

    Please contact Robin Sinn or Caitlin Carter if you wish to explore these options.

    *If you use PASS to submit to a funder’s repository, you must abide by that repository’s restrictions. For example, the NIH requires that all images be submitted to PubMed Central, no matter who owns the rights.

  • I need help using PASS.

    You can contact either Caitlin Carter, ccarte63@jhmi.edu, or Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions about using PASS or suggestions for improvement.

    Videos are being created. See the current list below. Please contact Caitlin or Robin for further questions or suggestions for topics.

    Proxy submission to PASS

     

  • Is Johns Hopkins taking away my rights to my research?

    Not at all; authors retain full rights to re-use or re-distribute their work in any way they see fit.

  • Is Open Access harming journals published by scholarly societies or small publishers?

    There is no credible evidence for harm, and Open Access has been operating in some disciplines for a decade or more. Scholarly publishing is changing. The virtue of making scholarship free for all to read resonates with many researchers and the academic missions of their home institutions. Many funders and institutions are supporting this move.

  • May I edit the author’s final version that I submit to PASS?

    When you submit your manuscript through PASS your files are sent intact to the submission system for the final repository in which the manuscript will reside.  You will have access to the same editing and correcting functions available in the final repository’s submission system – for example the NIHMS system for PubMed Central.  Note that there are no mechanisms for making corrections for manuscripts deposited in JScholarship. In JScholarship, we can remove access to one version using a “tombstone,” which maintains the citation chain, and upload a new version that is connected to the tombstone.

  • May I make other research outputs openly available?

    Yes, you have many options available to you if you wish to make your text, images, slides, or data openly available. Your librarian or informationist can provide information about those options.  If you are primarily interested in data, Johns Hopkins Libraries Data Services can help you.

  • May I opt out of the policy?

    Yes. If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request permission or notify us.

    If you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options available to you.

  • May I replace the author’s final version with the published version of record?

    Yes, if you have permission from the publisher to do so.

  • May I submit other work to JScholarship? May staff or students submit work?

    Yes, JScholarship’s purpose is to gather, distribute, and preserve digital materials related to the Johns Hopkins research and instructional mission. Content is deposited directly into the appropriate collection by Johns Hopkins faculty, students, and staff, and includes born-digital or digitized research and instructional materials. PASS can be used to deposit materials into the Knowledge for the World collection. Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions.

  • PASS does not submit to my preferred open repository. How do I suggest a repository for inclusion in PASS?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, the Scholarly Communication Officer, with repository suggestions.

  • Recommendation 1: Redesign the undergraduate curriculum to provide foundational abilities for life-long flourishing and learning

    This recommendation starts from our recognition that the University has a responsibility to prepare its students to flourish as informed, skilled, and effective members of their society and of the world.  To ensure that we meet this responsibility, the Commission recommends an ambitious new undergraduate curricular framework that balances disciplinary training, developed through the major, with interdisciplinary exploration while strengthening our students’ sense of community. We should provide an education broad as well as deep, one resembling (to use language current in educational studies) a “T,” rather than an “I.[1]” As depicted in Figure 4.1, T-shaped education affords students with the opportunity to develop deep disciplinary knowledge in at least one area as well as the competencies associated with forming connections between disciplines that allow them to become adaptive innovators.

    Boundary Crossing Competencies: Teamwork, communication, perspective, networks, critical thinking, global understanding, project management, etc. Many Disciplines: Understanding and communications. Many Systems: Understanding and communications. Deep in At Least One Discipline: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Deep in at least one system: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Me: Intersection of sections listed above.

    Figure 4.1 T-Shaped Undergraduate Education

    Currently, the University uses “distribution requirements” to ensure interdisciplinary breadth of academic experience. These requirements stipulate that students must earn a minimum number of credits in academic areas outside of their primary major. These areas include humanities (H), natural sciences (N), social and behavioral sciences (S), quantitative and mathematical sciences (Q), and engineering (E). Courses are assigned an area designator by the academic department, if taught within a Homewood academic department; if not taught within a Homewood academic department, they are assigned by the appropriate dean’s office.

    Data and anecdotal evidence both suggest that these requirements are not successful. The means by which courses are evaluated for designation is unclear and inconsistent. In some departments, a significant percentage of classes required for the major can also be counted toward the distribution requirement. In KSAS, students can triple count a course toward a major requirement, a writing requirement (“W”), and a social science or behavioral science (“S”) or a Natural Science (“N”)/ quantitative and mathematical science (“Q”)/Engineering (“E”). This thwarts the distributional intent of the requirements. Students majoring in Psychology, for instance, can satisfy 92% of the distribution and writing requirements through major courses alone. The current distribution system does not ensure that students are learning enough about other disciplines to make meaningful connections between and across these disciplines.

    To begin our discussion of curricular revision, Commission members reflected matters of principle and articulated the foundational abilities a Hopkins undergraduate education should inculcate.

    1. Students should recognize the importance of language and have a command of it as readers, writers, and speakers. Students should be able to express ideas, opinions, beliefs, and feelings; interpret varied texts accurately and subtly; argue lucidly and effectively; and recognize the many ways conventions and contexts shape both expression and comprehension.
    2. Students should respect scientific and numerical reasoning and be able to apply computational and analytical methods to organize, manipulate, summarize, and evaluate quantitative information and experience, in public, professional, and personal life.  They should be able to create and assess arguments that are supported by quantitative evidence.
    3. Students should recognize the importance of complex creative expressions in various forms and be able to interpret them reflectively. They should have the means to deepen the quality of their lives by cultivating their intellectual and emotional responses to aesthetic and cultural experiences.
    4. Students should engage effectively as citizens of a diverse world. Graduates should have developed a knowledge of local, national and global societies. They should be able to articulate and examine their own beliefs, practices, and values while being open to and respectful of the beliefs, practices and values of others.
    5. Students should be reflective, effective ethical agents in their personal and professional lives. To this end, they should recognize situations of ethical consequence inside and outside their fields of study, understand ethical principles, formulate their own views about those principles and their application, and act in principled fashion.
    6. Students should be able to independently identify, conceptualize, and complete large-scale, consequential projects. They should be able to adopt, refine, and use appropriate methods and means for such projects, and respond to unforeseen developments.

    We continued our curricular discussion by studying models developed by peer institutions. The disquietude found in the reports issued has several sources difficult to detangle: an uncertainty about the relationship between liberal arts education and vocational/pre-professional training; a worry that the “open” curriculum has become a hodge-podge, box-checking exercise; and a concern that a highly-structured “core” curriculum is too rigid for the present needs of students in an increasingly fluid, rapidly altering society.

    In their report, Columbia asks several questions of its curriculum: “Are what some have called the ‘containers’ of our undergraduate curriculum appropriately sized? We probably agree that a strong undergraduate curriculum should include general education (our core), specialist education (our majors) and opportunities for exploration (electives). Do we provide ample opportunity for all three of these goals?” Stanford has asked whether the intellectual breadth of a more “open” curriculum serves its undergraduates well. “Few people question the value of intellectual breadth … [but is ‘sampling’] the optimal way of fostering true breadth in an age like ours, in which the boundaries of different fields are increasingly blurred?”

    Stanford’s answer to questions like these has been not to prescribe courses in particular disciplinary areas but to promise the acquisition and development of seven “essential capacities,” which foster “ways of thinking, ways of doing.” The capacities they list are aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, social inquiry, scientific analysis, formal and quantitative reasoning, engaging difference, moral and ethical reasoning, and creative expression. They have started to implement this shift in approach by establishing a first-year curriculum experience called “Thinking Matters.” It seeks to inculcate a broadly applicable orientation to academic study rather than narrower forms of knowledge.

    Other universities have issued similar statements. U-C Berkeley has said that its graduates should possess four core “competences” and four “dispositions.” Graduates should be literate, numerate, creative, and investigative–these are the competences; and also open-minded, worldly, engaged, and disciplined–the dispositions. UC-Berkeley invokes vocational pressures in justifying its new approach: “students must prepare for fluid careers in a future where what you know is less important than how you think, learn and discover on your own.” To do this, UC-Berkeley aims to “bring greater meaning and coherence to core requirements,” in part by using new technology. For example, they are now using a planning tool called “Course Threads,” which helps students (with faculty supervision) chart a “logically connected sequence of breadth courses.”

    Like Stanford and Berkeley, Washington University acknowledges the importance of articulating the essential skills and competences the university wishes its graduates to possess, but it emphasizes the even greater need to cultivate a longer list of “metacognitive skills and attitudes.” These include an ability to think and act creatively, an ability to engage in both individual and collaborative research, an understanding of how knowledge is created and transmitted, the ability to integrate knowledge from several domains, resilience and the ability to adapt to change, intellectual curiosity; practical insight, and “a facility for making normative assessments as well as with establishing matters of fact.” The challenge is how to instantiate these abstract goals in the curriculum. American University, for example, is tackling “quantitative literacy, writing, and information literacy training” by creating a variation on the core curriculum. It is putting in place a five-course sequence emphasizing skill/competency-oriented learning (e.g. “Quantitative Literacy I”). This is supplemented with an optional set of one-credit professional skills modules.

    As the Commission studied these varied models, members came to see that a new curricular framework could also address our need to strengthen students’ sense of community, without constraining the curricular freedom they rightly value. Hopkins undergraduates choose to learn across a wide variety of settings and contexts–from the classroom to the residence hall; from the laboratory to the athletic field; from the library to the internship site. This diversity is one of our great strengths. The curricular framework we propose provides a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied experience. The foundational abilities we describe would be developed in all of these contexts, through both individual work and in teams, in brief and in extended projects, through an array of programs, courses, and experiences. The abilities would provide a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied, independently designed education.

    The proposed curricular framework has the following components:

    Recommendation 1a. Require participation in a first year seminar.

    We begin with a pedagogical form invented at Hopkins—the seminar. The Commission recommends that every entering student be required to participate in a first year seminar. Requiring participation in a first year Hopkins seminar would be transformative. At a minimum, the first year seminar would set the tone for the undergraduate experience by providing students with a shared introduction to university life and the opportunity to work closely with senior faculty as they explore scholarly topics. The seminars would also provide opportunity for students to begin developing the foundational abilities. Fully maximized, a first year seminar curriculum could exploit Hopkins’ distinctive combination of small size and unparalleled research faculty while targeting development of particular foundational abilities.

    CUE2 reviewed several successful first-year seminar programs, including those developed by Amherst College, Stanford University, the University of Toronto, and UC Berkeley. Amherst’s First-Year Seminars, initially designed as one-year, interdisciplinary courses co-taught by faculty from two different disciplines, are an integral part of the college’s curriculum and required of all students. The First-Year Seminars are now a semester long, and often taught by a single faculty member. The Commission preferred more collaborative and interdisciplinary models that permit students to explore a single theme/topic/problem in depth by exposing them to various modes of inquiry and thus to understand their area of focus from several, overlapping (and sometimes opposed) perspectives. In such courses, faculty model how to comprehend and address complex problems through interaction with peers in other disciplines. UC-Berkeley is experimenting with “Big Ideas” courses taught by faculty from different disciplines and usually across divisions/schools. A course on “Time”, for example, is taught by a philosopher and a string theorist whereas a course on “Origins” is co-taught by a paleontologist, an astrophysicist, and a Biblical scholar. Another model is “Duke Immerse”: students join a cohort and spend an entire semester exploring a single “issue” (e.g. Uprooted/Re-routed: the Ethical Challenges of Displacement”) from an array of disciplinary perspectives. It is “delivered as one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester.”

    For the past several years, Hopkins has offered 40 to 50 freshman seminars each academic year in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. These 1-3 credit small classes, usually limited to about 10-15 freshmen, explore specialized scholarly topics chosen by faculty. As noted in Figure 4.2, 33% of freshmen completed a freshman seminar in academic year 2018-19. As an initial step, the Commission recommends 100% participation in a first year seminar for all freshman and transfer students in the first semester that they matriculate. In order to achieve this goal, the University would need to double the number of freshman seminars currently offered, ensuring that they are taught by senior faculty and aligned in terms of credit hour assignment and overarching outcomes.

    Figure 4.2 Hopkins First Year Seminars and Enrollment

    Semester Number of Freshman Seminars Taught Number of Students Enrolled (percent of class)
    Fall 2018 27 297 (23%)
    Spring 2019 10 131 (10%)
    Fall 2019 32 317 (23%)

     

    Once this target it achieved, additional options for a more robust first year seminar curriculum should be explored and piloted. For example, the first year seminars could begin to more specifically target the development of expository writing skills by pairing disciplinary expertise from senior faculty with writing instruction expertise from expository writing faculty. This evolution would require extensive consultation and collaboration among faculty, students, staff, as well as the Deans and Provost.

    The Commission offers the following as a more long-term, aspirational model for the first year seminars. Every entering student would enroll in a seminar, taught by a faculty member, designed in relation to a shared theme. Each year’s theme would be broad, allowing faculty members flexibility in designing their seminars. The themes would recur, allowing faculty to return to and revise their seminars across the years. In conjunction with these seminars, regular public assemblies would gather new students to hear lectures by visiting scholars and public intellectuals on the year’s theme. Finally, regular sessions with writing instructors would establish the importance of writing in all our disciplines.

    In this model, each incoming class (of roughly 1300-1450 students) would be divided into two groups (A and B), which would then cycle through course activities at different times. Each student would attend four public lectures, four seminars (limited to 15 students), and a minimum of four writing discussions (again, limited to the same 15 students) across the semester, as described in Figure 4.3. 

    Figure 4.3 First Year Seminar Schedule

    Semester Week “A” Cycle Activities “B” Cycle Activities
    1 Shriver Plenary
    2 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    3 Writing Group Seminar
    4 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    5 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    6 Writing Group Seminar
    7 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    8 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    9 Writing Group Seminar
    10 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    11 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    12 Writing Group Seminar
    13 Writing Group

     

    Were the University to follow this model, the demands on physical space and infrastructure would include the following. Eight times a semester, 750 students would gather in Shriver Hall, and perhaps elsewhere, were lectures to be livestreamed. Every third week, 100 seminar rooms would be needed to accommodate the seminars and writing sessions. (Were students divided into three, rather than two, cycles, the demand on seminar rooms would drop to 67 every third week.) The demands on personnel would include the cost of recruiting eight speakers, assuming each lectured only once. Up to 100 faculty members would be required to lead the four seminar meetings each semester. Again, these faculty would come from the professional schools as well as Homewood, furthering the university’s One University initiative. Themes aligned with JHU’s interdisciplinary institutes and initiatives, including 21st Century Cities and the Agora Institute, would allow us to draw on their resources. The Commission recommends that the Provost’s investment in this initiative should include an innovation competition that provides grant funding for course development. The DELTA (Digital Education & Learning Technology Acceleration) Grant program is an encouraging model. Selecting broad themes–akin to those being chosen for the Common Question experience–would allow faculty latitude to design seminars that engage them; cycling through themes on a regular schedule–say every three years–would allow faculty to return to, and revise, their seminars.

    Recommendation 1b. Establish the “Hopkins Semester” of intensive study

    Research has been the core of Hopkins’ identity. One benefit such research has traditionally offered to some of our students is the in-depth experience of extended, immersive study. But this opportunity should be extended to our students, whether in creative activity, professional exploration, or research. To that end, CUE2 proposes to create a “Hopkins Semester.”

    The Commission conceives of this program as a junior or senior year, semester-long, mentored, immersive experience that will give students the time for a focused, deep, and rigorous exploration of one complex subject or endeavor either inside or outside their major department. The Commission expects that students themselves will be the driving force of these experiences–that they will propose and complete innovative projects that we don’t presently imagine.  If the first-year courses described above in Recommendation 1a would be driven by the intellectual excitement of faculty given the opportunity to teach small seminars, the Hopkins semester would similarly be driven by the passions of the students. But students would be required to provide, and departments required to approve and assess, proposals for and reports on their experience that demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed.

    Team-based, projects would also be possible. Such projects, whether creative or research-intensive, would develop the skills associated with communication on teams whose members bring distinct qualifications and play interdependent roles. Design projects, artistic endeavors, research projects, commercial ventures, professional internships, and community-based projects all could serve the ends of this recommendation–whether undertaken in the opera house, the archives, Congress, the laboratory, the community center, a startup venture, or the clinic.  Pursuing one’s Hopkins Semester abroad would also be encouraged.

    This intensive semester should facilitate a high-level synthesis of concepts and practices learned during students’ first and second years of coursework. The Hopkins Semester could satisfy the requirements of some core major courses (and perhaps upper-level courses as well), but need not. In addition, projects and activities before and after this semester could expand and extend the experience. Thus, for example, a project pursued intensively during the semester may be defined and developed before the semester and the activity may continue, albeit at a less intense level, after the semester.  (Note that the Hopkins Semester would be immersive: projects completed piecemeal across semesters would not qualify.) The guidance provided by faculty is an essential element of this recommendation, in part because it encourages mentorship. The Hopkins Semester could regularly be a transformative immersive experience—thus furthering one aim already established by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design.

    In 1998, the Boyer Commission issued 10 recommendations for improving undergraduate education at research universities in the USA; the first recommendation was that research-based learning become standard. Following the Boyer Commission’s lead, several US research organizations—including the Mellon Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation—have funded opportunities to include undergraduates in the research programs of science faculty and, to a lesser extent, those of humanities faculty. Many subsequent studies have demonstrated the benefits of undergraduate research experiences. “Evidence from an array of quantitative and qualitative studies supports the promise of undergraduate research as a catalyst for student development across disciplines, genders, and ethnicities. While cost factors, including money, time, and faculty priorities, need be considered during the creation of an undergraduate research program, the benefits to students are consistent with our greater expectations for liberal learning.[2]” Undergraduate students who completed a mentored research program identified many areas from which they benefited including the interpretation and analysis of data, the ability to work independently and to integrate theory and practice; they also reported greater self-confidence and a clearer understanding of their career paths[3].   But the benefits of such experiences are not limited to research programs; creative and experiential projects can have analogous results.

    In 2018, 62% of Johns Hopkins seniors reporting participating in research in the Senior Survey, increased from 57% in 2016.  Results of those surveys also suggest that students are generally satisfied with the opportunities to participate in research with a faculty member. The University presently supports undergraduate research in various ways, through the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) (see Appendix I for 2017-19 Metrics), the Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant (in KSAS), and smaller initiatives, including the library-based program, The Freshman Fellows.  But research experience is inconsistent across campus. We excel at supporting student research in the lab but not in the library: In 2014, only 19% of humanities students reported participating in research with a faculty member, and only 27% of social/behavioral sciences students reported doing so; this compared to 59% for natural sciences and 69% for engineering. As our investment in undergraduate research increases, support like that presently offered through PURA and the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant should become more visible and more generously funded.

    Of our peers, only Princeton requires a capstone project for all undergraduates; it takes the form of a senior thesis. Others, like Stanford, make a point of encouraging all seniors to complete capstones. Some capstone experiences offered elsewhere resemble the Hopkins Semester we propose.  George Mason University offers research semesters in biology. The University of Michigan offers a Humanities Collaboratory that brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate research assistants over a semester. Duke offers an intensive research semester with seminars called DukeImmerse, a cohort model in which students spend an entire semester exploring a single issue from an array of disciplinary perspectives. Like the Hopkins Semester, DukeImmerse is one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester. It involves daily interaction with faculty members and a collaborative project. About four such programs run each semester. Similarly, the “Immersion Vanderbilt” program encourages students to pursue creative and/or independent projects.  The program is “inherently flexible to allow the student to work closely with a faculty mentor on a project that provides a depth of experience.” Finally, standalone programs, like EUROScholars, enable students to use a study abroad semester for research.

    For the Hopkins Semester to be viable within our traditional four-year program, departments will need to ensure that the sequencing of their courses allow for a full semester immersive experience. Additionally, advising services would need to assist arranging projects undertaken on campus and, in coordination with advisors in majors and career services, also assist arranging projects undertaken off-campus. The Undergraduate Education Board would be charged with developing best practices in setting learning objectives and assessment expectations for the Hopkins Semester.   Departments will use those guidelines to develop student application, approval, and assessment processes. The Board should also establish baseline expectations regarding faculty mentoring of students based on best practices.

    Recommendation 1c. Meaningfully integrate curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning

    Integrative learning is an understanding and a disposition that a student builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus.[4]

    Student learning is not contained by the architecture of formal coursework; the rewards of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are distinctive, various, and essential to any undergraduate education. Our students pursue their passions, apply their learning, and connect with alumni, community leaders, and other Johns Hopkins affiliates outside as well as inside the classroom. In short, they should integrate their various experiences into a distinctive education.

    We are well positioned to transform the college experience from one composed solely of traditional elements—lectures, papers, problem sets, and exams—to one in which these elements sit amid a much broader range of learning activities within and beyond the classroom. The many benefits of this transformed experience would be varied. A plan to develop such a fully integrated experience at Hopkins has already been initiated by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Central to that plan is the development of a co-curricular roadmap that integrates coursework, intersession and summer experience, community activities, and social networks to ensure that all students are exposed to the same rich opportunities. This education would include tools for students to document, reflect on, and assess all their educational activities, and would help them lay the groundwork for life-long learning and their post-graduate careers. To support this initiative, the Commission recommends that the Undergraduate Education Board develop clear policies on awarding credit or credential based on learning outcomes for structured co-curricular experiences relevant to disciplinary study. Linking outcomes to academic requirements would send a powerful signal to faculty and students concerning the importance of co-curricular learning. Such a policy would also guide faculty as they facilitate student reflection on their extramural work and evaluate their experience against outcomes defined by the program and University.

    “The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has long promoted integrative learning for all students as a hallmark of a quality liberal education, noting its essential role in lifelong learning” (National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise, 2007). Increasingly, integrative learning is recognized as an empowering developmental process through which students synthesize knowledge across curricular and co-curricular experiences to develop new concepts, refine values and perspectives in solving problems, master transferable skills, and cultivate self-understanding. An AAC&U-sponsored project on integrative liberal learning between 2012 and 2014 with fourteen small liberal arts institutions has helped illuminate a variety of practices that strengthen connections across learning experiences and encourage students to reflect on their goals with the aim of making intentional curricular and co-curricular choices, charting their own progress, and understanding the ‘why’—and not just the ‘what’—of their four years.”[5]

    Data concerning students’ participation in extra- and co-curricular activities at Hopkins are scattered. In the 2016-2017 academic year, Johns Hopkins University had 409 student organizations (including fraternities and sororities). Currently, there are 395 student organizations, and this number is expected to surpass 400 as the year progresses, given organizations that are currently going through the process of being established. In the 2016 Senior Survey, 63.1% of students reported having participated in at least one student organization (including fraternities and sororities) during their time as an undergraduate. As noted in Appendix H, participation varies across majors.

    Figure 4.4 reveals that 23% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported studying abroad, a low rate among our peers. In the same survey, students also reported that they would have liked to spend more time involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering, relaxing, and socializing.

    Data about JHU sponsored off-campus activities are harder to ascertain, but the numbers appear quite low: 3.0% of students have participated in off-campus activities sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, for instance; 2.4% have participated through the Center for Social Concern.

    Figure 4.4 Participation in study abroad as compared to peer institutions 2018 Senior Survey.

    Percent of Respondents Reporting Participation in Study Abroad Peers: 56%, 53%, 46%, 40%, 39%, 32%, 28%, 24%, 17%, 12%. JHU: 23% (Third least in cohort of 11).

    Other universities, including Boston University and University of South Carolina, have created models for integrating co- and extracurricular activities into student experience, and created infrastructure to enable, document, and reward those activities. Among the most robust of these models is the 21st Century Badging Challenge developed by the Educational Design Lab in association with public and private universities in the Washington D.C. area. Engaging faculty members and about 40 students from each participating institution, the program determines rigorous assessment criteria for its badges, in order to present a comprehensive signal to employers about student achievement. The University of South Carolina (USC) has developed the USC Connect program, which provides learning pathways that start in the first year, take students outside of the classroom, and enable them to create substantive portfolios. Successful students graduate with “leadership distinction” designated on their diplomas and transcript. Finally, the University of Mary Washington and Emory University have both piloted projects to provide a personal web space to all incoming students; in this space, students will develop integrated, holistic e-portfolios that include both curricular and co/extra-curricular evidence of their activities.

    Again, some of the resources for a more fully integrated learning experience at Hopkins are already at hand. The Center for Social Concern (CSC) has been particularly active in encouraging students to engage with the Baltimore community. CSC supports both extra-curricular engagement, through hosting student organizations, and curricular experiential learning opportunities, through a faculty fellows program. The CSC’s France-Merrick Civic Fellowship allows students to undertake community work. In collaboration with the Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Educational Outreach, CSC helps sponsor the Charm City Science League, an organization of over 100 student volunteers who work with teams of middle-school students to prepare for Science Olympiad and robotics competitions.

    Implementation plans for the development of a more fully integrated undergraduate experience have already been formed by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Features of that plan include embedding career staff in academic programs and communities; replacing career services with scalable life design programs that integrate coursework, connections, and experiential learning; developing learning modules for staff and faculty on life design; creating dynamic websites, online platforms, and a digital presence; and drafting a narrative of life design for admissions, departments, centers, and alumni relations. Departments should be charged with developing policies for the assessment of co-curricular activities where warranted, in consultation with the Undergraduate Education Board. The University’s new learning assessment platform provides an opportunity to develop Comprehensive Learner Records for each undergraduate student. These records are digital, official documents issued by the institution that provide a richer expression of the learning outcomes or competencies mastered during a student’s experience than traditional transcripts and diplomas as they capture course-based, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning.

    Recommendation 1d. Ensuring departmental instruction in foundational abilities

    The above three recommendations (1a-c) are intended to prepare students with foundational intellectual skills and dispositions for lifelong learning. But these foundational abilities must also be incorporated into the design of major curricula and courses.  Majors require that students know a segment of human knowledge deeply, and master its ways of thinking. They also require that students integrate foundational abilities in a specific field of study.   Many of the foundational abilities will be cultivated in courses required for the major; others may be cultivated through other coursework; still others, importantly, may be cultivated through co-curricular activities. To that end, the Commission recommends that the current distribution requirements be modified to become distribution areas that correlate with the foundational abilities. All students will be required to take a minimum of one course in each of the six distribution areas by the time of graduation. Further, the deans of KSAS and WSE charge each department with evaluating and modifying existing curricula and designing new curricula that ensures that their majors are trained in each of these abilities.

    Each academic department will be required to demonstrate to the Undergraduate Education Board that their students will develop the foundational abilities all Hopkins students should acquire by mapping major program outcomes and course learning objectives to the foundational abilities and distribution areas. Multifaceted assessment of program outcomes and learning objectives will provide students, departments, and schools with formative and summative data that illustrate students success in achieving the abilities. Such data should be evaluated by the department regularly to inform the need for curricular revision and appropriate allocation of resources.

    CUE2 recognizes that this recommendation will require academic departments to develop much more sophisticated and robust means of assessing students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as evaluating courses and programs. However, this shift is necessary if we truly want to encourage an educational culture that promotes development of competencies rather than accrual of credentials. Modifying the current distribution requirement system alone would only perpetuate a credential gathering, box-checking approach to undergraduate education. It is imperative that revision of that system occur concomitantly with a shift in culture within our academic departments. With support from the deans, the academic departments must bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that students achieve both the breadth and depth of intellectual inquiry outlined.

    The six new distribution areas, reflective of the six foundational abilities, also provide opportunity for academic innovation. Faculty should be encouraged to develop new courses that span disciplinary boundaries, thereby targeting development of skills on the horizontal bar of the “T.” For example, a competitive academic innovation fund could be established to develop new classes that require students to apply their disciplinary knowledge in the context of a team composed of students with varied expertise from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Several models already exist within our university upon which the infrastructure for such courses could be built. Several engineering departments already engage industrial partners to sponsor student projects, while the Center for Social Concern builds connections between extracurricular student projects and Baltimore communities. The recently pioneered Classics Research Lab provided a mechanism for a team of students to undertake a reconstruction of the contexts of and influences upon the work of Victorian scholar John Addington Symonds, author of one of the first major studies of Ancient Greek sexuality, pioneering a humanities-centric approach to problem based learning. A pilot to teach Multidisciplinary Engineering Design is underway in Fall 2019 during which 18 students from across 6 engineering majors are engaged in 4 different projects with external partners. These range from investigating microfiber separation from wastewater in collaboration with sportswear manufacturer Under Armour, to engaging with social enterprise Clearwater Mills to develop innovative ways to engage the communities that live around Professor Trash Wheel to improve the effectiveness of this installation to prevent trash from entering the Baltimore Harbor. And in 2018 a Hack Your Life Design Challenge engaged 18 teams of students from Mechanical Engineering at JHU and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Teams had to use at least five different materials to create an interactive project with moving parts that cost no more than $100. The challenge provided students with the freedom to explore different ways in which engineering and art can intersect.

    The pathways students take to meet the distribution areas requirement and to develop the foundational abilities will be widely varied, and driven by their individual interests and needs. CUE2 recognizes that their success will require careful advising and mentoring by faculty, staff, peers, and others. Recommendation 4 below describes a new system of advising, mentoring, and coaching, which would provide the support needed for this new curricular framework. Certainly, the burden of ensuring that students acquire these foundational abilities will be considerable. But the curricular framework described here highlights one great strength of our university: that it provides students with a combination of unmatched institutional resources and individual attention. This vision aims to ensure that all our students benefit from that distinctive strength while enrolled, and flourish after they graduate.

    [1] T-Academy (2018) http://tsummit.org/t

    [2] Lopatto, D. (2006). Undergraduate research as a catalyst for liberal learning. Peer Review8(1), 22-25. See also: Gillies, S. L., & Marsh, S. (2013). Doing science research at an undergraduate university. International Journal of Arts & Sciences6(4), 379; Hempstead, J., Graham, D., & Couchman, R. (2012). Forging a template for undergraduate collaborative research: A case study. Creative Education36(Special Issue), 859-865; Healey, M., & Jenkins, A. (2009). Developing undergraduate research and inquiry (p. 152). York: Higher Education Academy; Kuh, G. D. (2008). Excerpt from high-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 19-34; Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27.

    [3] Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27

    [4] Rhodes, T. L. (2010). Making learning visible and meaningful through electronic portfolios. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning43(1), 6-13.

    [5] Ferren, A. S., & Anderson, C. B. (2016). Integrative learning: Making liberal education purposeful, personal, and practical. New Directions for Teaching and Learning2016(145), 33-40.; see also Kehoe, A., & Goudzwaard, M. (2015). ePortfolios, badges, and the whole digital self: How evidence-based learning pedagogies and technologies can support integrative learning and identity development. Theory Into Practice54(4), 343-351.

  • Recommendation 2: Increase the flexibility of the major requirements where needed to enable intellectual exploration

    The model of undergraduate education CUE2 recommends places disciplinary expertise at its center. Being trained in a distinct set of methods and acquiring the knowledge particular to a discipline are essential features of an undergraduate education. Moreover, without strong disciplines one cannot imagine strong interdisciplinary programs. But disciplinary expertise must be rooted in a liberal education. The best scholars, as President Gilman remarked in his inaugural address, “will almost invariably be those who make special attainments on the foundation of a broad and liberal culture.” This education contributes to their flourishing, independent of and beyond any credentials we might issue.

    Our faculty habitually forge connections among disciplines; undergraduates should be encouraged to do the same. For students to pursue the leads provided by disciplinary training, they must be given room to leave their disciplines and learn elsewhere. As urged by its charge, the Commission proposes to build on the positive features, including curricular flexibility, which distinguish us. The curriculum of any university, as Jonathan Cole remarked in his Town Hall Presentation, “should dovetail well with the identity of the university and represent a realization of its basic principles and goals.” Hopkins has offered its students flexibility since its founding. That flexibility assumes maturity of the students and aims simultaneously to promote that maturity, cultivating the independence of thought necessary for life-long learning.

    The diversity of our students implies diversity of thought, ambition and goals; as a result, curricula should not assume that one path will suit all students, even within a discipline. Data from student focus groups and the most recent surveys indicate that our students continue to value this flexibility and are dissatisfied when it is absent. The initiative, breadth, and independence assumed by a flexible curriculum also are valued by industries presently driving the global economy. According to a recent study conducted by Hart Research Associates and published by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, “employers recognize capacities that cut across majors as critical to a candidate’s potential for career success, and they view these skills as more important than a student’s choice of undergraduate major.” Nearly all those surveyed (93%) agree that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.” Many prominent business leaders, including Johns Hopkins alumnus Samuel Palmisano (former CEO of IBM), have confirmed this view and have offered full-throated endorsements of a broad and liberal education, rather than a narrow, exclusively technical or exclusively non-technical one.

    Institutional data in Figures 4.5-8 show that curricular flexibility, as measured by the fraction of credits restricted by a student’s major, varies widely across departments, and is highly restricted in some. The Department of Philosophy requires the completion of 33 credit hours (27% of the total needed for graduation); Biomedical Engineering requires roughly three times that number, 104 (80% of the total needed for graduation). Data also suggest some majors at Hopkins are outliers among their peers at other universities, requiring a greater percentage of credits to be completed in the major. Of the majors and peers studied by CUE2, our majors in Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering in WSE, and KSAS’s Biophysics, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Studies, Physics, Anthropology, Political Science, Art History, Classics, History, Latin American Studies, and Writing Seminars all have markedly less flexibility than similar majors at peer institutions. While not as striking, several other majors in both schools also appear quite restrictive. This is just one possible metric for curricular flexibility, which may also be encouraged by strict course sequencing, course offerings that occur only annually, and lack of on-line options that could facilitate participation of students undertaking opportunities at remote sites.

     

    Figure 4.5 Flexibility in KSAS natural sciences majors as compared to peers.[1]

    Behavioral Biology: JHU least flexible. Biology: JHU less flexible than average. Biophysics: JHU least flexible. Chemistry: JHU less flexible than average. Cognitive Science: JHU less flexible than average. Earth and Planetary Sciences: JHU more flexible than average. Environmental Science and Studies (B.S.) : JHU least flexible. Environmental Science and Studies (B.A.) : JHU least flexible. Mathematics: JHU average. Physics (B.A.): JHU less flexible than average. Physics (B.S.): JHU less flexible. Psychological and Brain Science: JHU more flexible than average.

    Figure 4.6 Flexibility in KSAS social sciences majors as compared to peers.

    Anthropology: JHU less flexible than average. Economics: JHU average. Political Science: JHU least flexible. Sociology: JHU less flexible than average.

    Figure 4.7 Flexibility in KSAS humanities majors as compared to peers.

    Africana Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Archaeology: JHU average. Art History: JHU least flexible (by far). Classics: JHU least flexible. English: JHU less flexible than average. French: JHU most flexible. German: JHU more flexible than average. History of Science: JHU least flexible. History: JHU least flexible. Italian: JHU average. Latin America Studies: JHU less flexible than average. Near Eastern Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Philosophy: JHU average. Romance Languages: JHU less flexible than average. Spanish: JHU less flexible than average. Writing Seminars: JHU least flexible (by far).

    Figure 4.8 WSE flexibility in engineering majors as compared to peers.[2]

    AMS: JHU more flexible than average. BME: JHU less flexible than average. Chem BE: JHU less flexible than average. CivE: JHU least flexible. Comp Sci: JHU less flexible than average. Computer Engineering: JHU average. Electrical Engineering: JHU less flexible than average. BME: JHU least flexible. MatSci: JHU less flexible than average. MechE: JHU least flexible.

    As noted in Figure 4.9, the 2018 Senior Survey findings document dissatisfaction with the flexibility of the curriculum in several Engineering majors including Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dissatisfaction is also noted in a few Natural Sciences majors within the Arts and Sciences, including Biology. There is room for improved satisfaction across number of other majors as well. Figure 4.10 shows a significant negative correlation (R2 = 0.4996) between major flexibility as measured and student satisfaction with flexibility.

    Figure 4.9 2018 Senior survey satisfaction with curricular flexibility.

    1 = Very dissatisfied, 2 = Generally dissatisfied, 3 = Generally satisfied, 4 = Very satisfied. Medicine, Science and the Humanities: 3.70; Spanish: 3.69; Philosophy: 3.50; English: 3.42; German: 3.40; Writing Seminars: 3.25; French: 3.17; History: 3.17; Film and Media Studies: 3.10; Humanities Average: 3.39; Archaeology: 3.83; Sociology: 3.71; Anthropology: 3.50; International Studies: 3.38; Psychology: 3.35; Political Science: 3.26; Economics: 3.23; Global Environmental Change and Sustainability: 3.09; Social and Behavioral Sciences Average: 3.42; Earth and Planetary Sciences: 3.56; Public Health Studies: 3.26; Physics: 3.25; Mathematics: 3.24; Chemistry: 3.17; Neuroscience: 3.14; Cognitive Science: 3.14; Behavioral Biology: 3.00; Molecular and Cellular Biology: 2.90; Biophysics: 2.89; Biology: 2.67; Natural Sciencws Area: 2.67; Natural Sciences Average: 3.07; Electrical Engineering: 3.27; Applied Mathematics and Statistics: 3.21; Mat Sci and Engineering: 3.15; Environmental Engineering: 3.13; Computer Engineering: 3.00; Computer Science: 2.95; Biomedical Engineering: 2.54; Civil Engineering: 2.44; Mechanical Engineering: 2.22; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: 2.15; Engineering Average: 2.81;

    Figure 4.10 Correlation between curricular flexibility and student satisfaction.

    General downard trend of decreasing student satisfaction as flexibility decreases. Linear trendline has r-squared value of 0.4996;

    Both the disparity between departments and the restrictiveness in some departments have detrimental effects. The disparity creates a widely disparate experience among our undergraduates and contributes to the competitive culture; in conversations, students also report that it contributes to the segregation of the schools. Inflexible and high requirements tend to advantage students from high schools that offer AP credit, who can complete their requirements more quickly. (Increasing student flexibility within the major thus aligns with the Hopkins Universal Design for Learning Initiative[3]Finally, highly restrictive requirements also would prevent the implementation of a separate CUE2 recommendation; the requirements of some majors at present would make graduation in four years impossible, were a student to participate in the Hopkins semester (see recommendation 2, below).

    We have considered various methods of implementation. One would require that the deans, provost, or Undergraduate Education Board establish a minimum number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements. Another would require that departments demonstrate that their requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions. A third could combine these, and require that the deans (or provost) establish a number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements, but granting exemptions to departments that demonstrate that their (still high) requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions.

    We recommend that the provost require that a minimum of 33% of all student credit hours be un-prescribed across all undergraduate majors in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering. Furthermore, because increased flexibility would serve faculty members by freeing them of the burden of major requirements, the Commission recommends that the University create an innovation fund to support imaginative courses and programs and develop mechanisms to generalize pedagogical successes.

    [1] Peers for majors housed in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences included Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University, Yale University

    [2] Peers for majors housed in the Whiting School of Engineering included California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California Berkley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan

    [3] For example: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/internship-programs

  • Recommendation 3: Enable professional school faculty to teach undergraduates more easily and often, and facilitate the enrollment of undergraduates in our professional schools

    The rigid demarcation between undergraduate and graduate education is increasingly anachronistic. Johns Hopkins professional schools are a valuable resource, not available at all our peer institutions. They should be readily accessible to our undergraduates.

    Faculty from other schools teach infrequently at Homewood, but the numbers are increasing, as demonstrated in Figure 4.11. In the Fall of 2014 7% of undergraduate courses were taught by non-Homewood faculty; five years later, in Spring 2019, 15% percent were taught by non-Homewood faculty. The percentage during the summer unsurprisingly is higher, ranging from 12 to 13% between 2015 and 2018. The scarcity of online undergraduate course options and lack of infrastructure for high quality distance education provision exacerbates the geographic boundaries between Homewood and the professional school campuses. Undergraduates should have access to the full breadth of talent represented in the University’s faculty. Barriers between Hopkins campuses should be lowered.

     

    Figure 4.11 Percentage of undergraduate courses taught by non-Homewood JHU faculty.

    Over course of AE Fall 2014 to AE Spring 2019, the percentage has steadily increased from 7% to 14%.

     

    Several recommendations in this report provide opportunity for broader incorporation of all Johns Hopkins University faculty in the undergraduate experience. For example, faculty from the professional schools could teach in the first year seminar series. They could also partner with Homewood faculty to innovate team-based, interdisciplinary problem-solving courses. Recently, SAIS faculty began offering undergraduate courses in strategy and statecraft as well as international economics as complements to existing International Studies courses using an inter-campus, hybrid delivery model that could be emulated by other professional schools.

    As part of this recommendation, the Commission urges that all Johns Hopkins students (assuming adequate pre-requisites and qualifications) be permitted to pursue programs leading to bachelor/professional master’s (3+2 or 4+1) degrees. Our primary intent, however, is not to establish new joint or dual degree programs. Nor is it to do what is already possible in many cases, namely, for students to seek a master’s degrees in their undergraduate majors. Rather it is to encourage students to explore advanced study and potential careers, regardless of major, across the University. The Commission imagines combinations that may not be possible or easily possible today; the Computer Science major who pursues a master’s degree in International Studies at SAIS, the History major who takes courses at the Carey school, or the Physics major who pursues a master’s in Biomedical Engineering. The implementation of this recommendation would not only serve our students well, and provide faculty at the professional schools additional opportunities to instruct and mentor undergraduates, but would serve our ongoing “One University” initiative.

    First Destination survey data from 2018 data tells us that approximately 35% of our students pursue graduate school immediately after graduation. Not all of those students matriculate into JHU programs, but the Whiting School of Engineering and Bloomberg School of Public Health are the top two graduate schools of choice. In fact, 22% of graduating Engineering students and 6% of Arts and Sciences students take advantage of the opportunity to remain for a fifth year to acquire a Master’s degree at the Whiting School.

    Several of our peer institutions offer co-terminal degree programs. Emory provides a series of 4+1 options, and Stanford has a robust co-terminal degree program available across nearly 50 programs. Their co-terminal degree program allows undergraduates to study for a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree while completing their bachelor’s degree(s) in the same or a different department. Admitted co-terminal students must have a minimum of one quarter overlap between their undergraduate and graduate degree programs in order to qualify. Harvard has an advanced standing program that allows selected students in some departments to apply for a fourth-year master’s degree.

    Implementation of this recommendation will require buy-in from our professional divisions. The Provost should direct every division of the University to demonstrate that they have both individual courses and master’s programs in place open to Hopkins undergraduates from as broad a range of undergraduate majors as is reasonably possible, ensuring that financial assistance be available so that access to these programs is available to all qualified students. The existence of these programs would then be advertised directly to undergraduates while advisors would help direct students to them. In addition, the creation of online undergraduate courses, with distance education classrooms at each of the Johns Hopkins’ campuses, should be actively pursued.

  • Recommendation 4: Provide students with an integrated partnership of faculty mentors, staff advisors, and career counselors

    Students should be able to count on the significant, positive presence of faculty, staff, and administrators from matriculation to graduation and beyond. In our vision, each undergraduate student would have an integrated group of, at least, a faculty mentor, an academic advisor, and a career coach; this group would remain connected to that student throughout their undergraduate career. The provision of these support teams will require a redesign and revitalization of academic advising services, integrating it more deliberately with career services and with faculty mentoring. Because students build cohorts through their affinity for topics and passions for interests, mechanisms should be implemented to facilitate better alignment with, and maintenance of, the relationships among students, alumni, faculty, staff, and graduate students who share passions and affinities. Providing this support infrastructure will also require creation of and investment in faculty mentoring programs.

    We understand mentorship to be distinct from advising in both purpose and execution. Mentors help students develop interests, affirm identities and achieve life goals. Mentors include staff, alumni, peers, and community partners, but the central role is played by faculty members, who serve as mentors best simply by sharing their intellectual enthusiasm.  To be sure, students must be active participants in seeking out and building their own mentor relationships. But faculty members should expect to serve as mentors, and the University should actively encourage and support them as they do serve. Because courses most naturally initiate mentoring, the University should increase the number of small courses—research seminars, discussions, collaboratories—that enable substantial relations among teachers and students.

    As noted in the introduction to this section of the report, the timing of these initiatives is fortuitous, coinciding with the launching of the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design; that office has already begun to implement several of the advances described below. Additionally, we will have the benefit of our participation in the Excellence in Academic Advising initiative, launched in coordination with NACADA, a national organization of academic advisors, and the Gardner Foundations. Along with several other committees, this pilot program is assessing the preconditions for successful academic student support in KSAS and WSE. A full and detailed report is expected later this year and an implementation plan to follow. This guidance should be afforded the highest priority, so that academic advisors can be properly provisioned to support each student’s successful navigation of the various choices involved in academic life, from course selection to choosing their major and minor areas of study, to ensuring development of the foundational abilities and completion of a Hopkins semester, to tapping into university resources to sustain health, well-being and fulfillment, to seeking help when unforeseen challenges arise.

    Most, perhaps all, of the experiences linked by the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report (shown in Figure 4.13) concerning post-collegiate satisfaction with college depend upon mentoring: having at least one professor who excited the student about learning; having professors who cared about the student as a person; having a mentor who cared about the student’s hopes and dreams; having worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete; having an internship or job that helped the student apply what he or she was learning; being extremely active in extracurricular activities. More, importantly, mentoring has been shown to be effective in increasing the persistence of non-traditional students.[1] The benefits of better integrating academic advising and career counseling has also been urged by scholars for the past several decades.[2] 

    Figure 4.13 Findings from the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report

    The Undergraduate Experience: Support and Experiential and Deep Learning Support Section; I had at least one professor at college who made me excited about learning: 68% strongly agree; My professor at college cared about me as a person: 27%; I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams: 22%; Strongly agree with all three support statements: 14%; Experiential Section; I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete: 32%; I had an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom: 29%; I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations while attending college; 20%; Strongly agree with all three experiential statements: 6%; Strongly agree with all six statements: 3%; Based on Web surveys of nearly 30,000 college graduates with Internet access from Feb. 4-March 7, 2014. Gallup-Purdue Index;

    As depicted in Figure 4.14, 22% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported that they know no professor, or only one professor, well enough for them to provide a professional recommendation. This figure is higher than ideal. All students should know more than one professor who could write them a letter of recommendation. The numbers vary across our schools and fields. Students in the humanities fare better than those in the sciences and engineering: 14% of humanities students report that they know at most one faculty member sufficiently to ask her for a recommendation; in social and behavioral sciences the figure is 24%; in engineering the figure is 26%. In the same survey, 86% of Johns Hopkins respondents were satisfied with faculty availability, versus 91% at peer schools, a significant difference. Humanities respondents were significantly more satisfied than others (see Figure 4.15).

    Figure 4.14 Student-reported number of faculty who know them—distribution of responses for JHU vs. peer universities.

    How many faculty members know you well enough to provide a professional recommendation concerning your qualifications fora  job or advanced degree work? 2018 Distribution of Responses; Humanities: 3 largest proportion (34%); Natural Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (25%, 27% respectively); Social and Behavioral Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (31%, 28%); Engineering: 2 largest proportion (35%); All Areas: 2, 3 largest proportions (30%, 26%); Peers: 2, 3 largest proportions (28%, 24%);

    Figure 4.15 Student satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class from Senior Survey 2018.

    Satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class. Very dissatisfied (1), Generally dissatisfied (2), Generally satisfied (3), Very satisfied (4). JHU: 1 (3%), 2 (11%), 3 (63%), 4 (23%); Peers: 1 (2%), 2 (8%), 3 (59%), 4 (32%); JHU below average in average rating; JHU average rating has held steady over the past 10 years at 3.03-3.12;

    Advising models vary widely among our peers, and few appear to have partnered faculty mentoring, academic advising, and career counseling in the way envisioned by CUE2; Hopkins has an opportunity to lead in this area. Of note, University of Chicago assigns a four-year academic advisor and career coach, as well as a PhD student, to each undergraduate upon admission. Perhaps the closest model is James Madison University, which has merged its academic advising and career center into a single advising unit, enabling the integration of academic and career plans, and providing a model that students intuitively understand. This should be our goal, too.

    [1] Bettinger, E. P., & Baker, R. B. (2014). The effects of student coaching: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student advising. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(1), 3-19.

    [2] McCalla-Wriggins, B. (2009). Integrating career and academic advising: Mastering the challenge. NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources.

  • Recommendation 5: Improve course-based learning assessment methods. Eliminate the use of forced normal distribution of grades

    In recent years, Johns Hopkins has begun attracting and admitting an undergraduate student body of higher academic caliber and from a more diverse range of geographic, economic, and cultural background than ever before. For the class entering fall 2019, 98% of admitted students were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class with a mean unweighted academic GPA of 3.92 and the middle 50th percentile achieving SAT composite scores between 1480 and 1550. They hailed from 34 countries. Fifteen percent identified as First Generation College students. This new generation of Hopkins undergraduate students is far from the standard bell curve representation in terms of achievement, aptitude, experience and aspiration.

    It is critical that methods of teaching and learning assessment are updated and improved to serve the new generation of Hopkins undergraduates. Assessment of student learning should be individually based and reflective of each student’s performance in achieving the knowledge, skills, and abilities taught in the class. In general, it is not appropriate or effective to impose a normal distribution of grades (often referred to as “grading on a curve”) on exams, assignments, or final grades. Such grading practices arbitrarily limit the number of students who can be identified as having excelled, leading to the creation of a hypercompetitive student culture. We urge that they be eliminated.

    The Commission does not advocate watering down or diminishing standards. Instead it encourages the exploration and implementation of more current methods for measuring and recording student learning. It is important that best practices for student assessment be promulgated among all instructional faculty, and expectations regarding assessment be made clear at the school and departmental level to optimally support collaborative learning and creative exploration. Whatever system is used, student performance should be judged and graded relative to a standard of excellence as articulated by the faculty member and the discipline. Faculty should clearly define the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students should have achieved at the end of a course (i.e., course level learning goals) and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards.

    The literature documents the effects of curving grades on student competitiveness, and its effect on campus culture, and confirms anecdotal evidence at Hopkins. Setting pre-determined quotas for the number of grades that will be assigned pits students against one another, removing the potential for a more cooperative learning environment. It leads some students to feel that they have less control over their grades and increases their stress and anxiety. The competitive environment fostered by curved grading is one factor contributing to the loss of qualified, talented, underrepresented college students from science fields (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997). Many students attending CUE2 focus groups and Coffee with the Co-Chairs meetings shared similar sentiments. One student reported that she stopped studying with classmates after she realized they were her “direct competition for a final grade.” Another student described the stress caused by his uncertainty, until letter grades were posted, about what grade his 46% class average would receive. He also described his confusion when he discovered that it meant he received an “A.” Moving away from curved grades will promote classroom community by setting the expectation that all students have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of excellence and that, if they do, their achievement will be reflected in their grade.

    In a CUE2 commissioned qualitative survey of undergraduate faculty who taught a course of 40 or more students in the past two academic years, 28% of respondents (n=135) reported using a grading policy interpreted as relative and contributing to student competition. This includes assigning grades by natural breaks in the distribution or normalizing the distribution.

    Grading policies and data concerning the use of the curve at other institutions are elusive. In an informal survey of COFHE peers, asking “At your institution, do the majority of instructors for large (>50 students) sections of UG courses use a curve to determine final course grades? (Answer: yes/no/don’t know)?”, only four schools responded. The responses were highly variable, ranging from “we don’t know” (Stanford, U Penn), to mostly no but yes in many of the Gateway Science courses from Duke, to a firm “no” from MIT.

    The Commission recognizes the difficulty in writing exams and assessments that reliably challenge students at the same level each year, and faculty may need to take corrective action when an assessment is judged overly difficult.  Some faculty reported adding a standard number of points to all exams in these cases.[1]  In any case, faculty should clearly define what students should be able to do at the end of a course and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards. As one faculty member commented, “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” Alternate practices to curving have been well-documented, and include straight grading, specification grading, and competency-based grading.

    Assessment systems in any course have been and will continue to be the purview of the faculty member teaching that course. What should be reviewed for each course is whether 1) the objective and subjective measures of expected performance are well explained to the students and 2) whether the assessment mechanism used does or does not unfairly force a normal distribution of grades. These should be reviewed by the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in each department and instances of relative assessment tools should be brought to the attention of the Vice Deans for Undergraduate Education. Further, the University’s Vice Deans of Education (VDE), a group routinely convened by the Office of the Provost, and the University Council on Learning Assessment (UCLA) should issue a best practices statement regarding student learning assessment methods.

    [1] Additional faculty comments from survey supporting elimination of curves: “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” “I do not curve grades. I do not feel bound to give grades in any proportions; I set my standards.” “I do not curve grades. In my view, if all my students do well, or all do badly, their grades should reflect that fact.” “No, but I might adjust the final score limits slightly if I think the exam problems were unusually hard or there are any confusion about them.”

    “I try to gauge the difficulty of my exams so that students have a fair chance to succeed without curving.  If everybody does great, everybody should get an A; likewise, everybody should fail if nobody achieves the objectives.”

    “No, I do not curve grades… I usually use rubrics to establish grading standards, particularly since I use TAs/graders. Rubrics are made available to the students at the time of the assignment so that they understand what is expected of them.”

    “I don’t curve final grades, but I do sometimes curve an individual test grade if I feel that the average was low (<80%-85%).  My philosophy is that the students should always know where they stand in class with regards to their final grade.  If some magical curve is applied at the end, they never really know.”

    “Briefly, I do not curve grades as I like to give points for mastery.  That said I do not know how to design an exam with a clear point threshold for mastery for a specific grade in advance.  So I rescale grade, same for everyone onto an A, B, C etc.”

  • Recommendation 6: Establish a new system for the assessment of teaching and student mentoring by faculty

    By consensus, the assessment of teaching and mentoring now in place is seriously flawed. Teaching evaluation in the Homewood schools relies almost exclusively on results from student course evaluations. Research has shown that the raw numbers provided by such evaluations can be misleading, and that the qualitative evaluations are consistently biased against female and underrepresented minority faculty.[1] Further, the responses aren’t correlated to learning outcomes.[2] It is also unclear how those results are meaningfully and consistently incorporated into promotion and tenure decisions.

    Surveys of faculty, including a 2014 AAUP survey, report that faculty support assessment models unlike those we (and most universities) have in place. There are many alternative models. Northwestern developed a Continuing HE Credits (CHEC) program to foster and reward faculty commitment to high quality undergraduate teaching; credits earned for excellent teaching can be collected in various ways that support the faculty member’s scholarship and can be a positive factor in salary decisions. The University of Texas developed a Provost’s Teaching Fellows Initiative to offer a model for creating a sustainable structure to advance the teaching mission of the university.   Washington University has developed procedures that use self-assessment, peer review; student evaluations, and amply researched the field; their recommendations were supported by the AAUP 2014 Statement on Teaching Evaluation.

    The VDE from across the University should be charged by the Provost with determining best practices for comprehensive and transparent assessment of teaching and faculty mentoring for all Johns Hopkins faculty. The VDE should also identify the most appropriate school-based governance bodies and methods for establishment of relevant policies and procedures. The outcome should be an unequivocal university message that the demonstrated ability of Johns Hopkins faculty to teach well is required for both promotion and tenure.

    [1] Boring, A., Ottoboni, K., & Stark, P. (2016). Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness. ScienceOpen Research.

    [2] Uttl, B., White, C. A., & Gonzalez, D. W. (2017). Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related. Studies in Educational Evaluation54, 22-42.

  • The journal won’t let me submit my author’s final version to JScholarship. Now what?

    If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request a waiver or notify us.  But if you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options that might be available to you.

  • To whom does this policy apply?

    The policy applies to full-time JH faculty. All types of faculty are included in this policy, not just tenure-track or tenured faculty. Part-time faculty are not included. Students, staff researchers, and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to make their peer-reviewed journal articles open access, but are not required to do so.

  • What about copyright transfer agreements?

    If  your copyright transfer agreement does not allow you to submit your author’s final version to an open repository, you may write to the journal requesting a change before you sign or click through the agreement. For the reasons mentioned above, many journals have a back-up agreement available.

  • What are “Open Access repositories?”

    An Open Access repository provides free content and makes that content discoverable through Google, Google Scholar, and other search engines. Some open repositories are associated with funding agencies: NIH has PubMed Central, NASA has PubSpace, and DOE has PAGES. Some disciplines use community repositories: physics has arXiv, biology has bioRxiv, and the humanities have Humanities Commons. Many institutions run repositories: Harvard has DASH, MIT has DSpace@MIT, and Duke uses the Duke Digital Repository. If a version of your peer-reviewed article appears in a repository similar to these, you are aligned with the JH policy and do not have to do anything further.

  • What are the benefits of submitting my work to JScholarship?

    The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. JScholarship also provides a permanent identifier for use in citations, emails, and on websites.

  • What can I do if a journal refuses my paper because of the Johns Hopkins Open Access Policy?

    For thousands of journal titles, this should not be an issue. The Sherpa/Romeo site provides information about publisher self-archiving and copyright policies. If the journal in question does not allow you to share a version of your article openly, you still have several options. For example, you can contact the publisher and try to negotiate an exception to their rules based on our policy. Additionally, scholarly articles whose copyright transfer or licensing terms with the publisher are incompatible with this policy are exempt from this policy. Please contact Robin Sinn to discuss the options available to you.

  • What does “accepted for publication on or after July 1, 2018” actually mean?

    The policy does not apply to scholarly articles published or accepted before July 1, 2018. Nor does the policy apply to scholarly articles accepted prior to July 1, 2018 and published after that date.

  • What does the policy say?

    Read the policy here.

  • What is an “Open Access journal?”

    An Open Access journal is a journal that does not require a subscription to read or download content. If you publish in an OA journal, you have met the policy’s goal and do not need to do anything more. A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Librarians and informationists can offer tips for avoiding predatory journals.

  • What is JScholarship?

    JScholarship is the Johns Hopkins institutional repository. You can deposit the author’s final version of your article in JScholarship. The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. If a publisher is concerned about an article version posted in JScholarship, the library will work with the publisher to rectify the situation. You can also deposit other work in JScholarship that you want to make Open Access. Simply contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu.

  • What is PASS?

    The Library built and maintains PASS to support submission to JScholarship and other repositories. PASS allows you to submit to multiple repositories simultaneously, saving you time. The system went live on July 2, 2018. Work will continue after July 2, to improve the interface and to allow PASS to work with other agencies like the NSF. A new function was added in November, 2018, allowing proxy submission. Faculty can allow another JH employee to upload the documents; the faculty still needs to make a final check before the submission is complete.

    Some subscription journals charge a fee (often in the thousands of dollars) to make an article Open Access; they also submit the publisher’s version of the article immediately into a repository. Authors might pay this fee because they want the published version immediately available. If you are content with making the author’s final version available, however, use PASS and avoid paying that fee.

  • What is the “author’s final version” of my article?

    JH faculty publish in many different journals, all with different rules and practices regarding posting versions of an article in platforms other than the publisher’s website. You can see summaries of these rules in Sherpa/Romeo. Most open access policies request that the author’s final version be deposited in an open repository. The JH Open Access Policy defines the author’s final version as the “version of a scholarly article that is sent to the publisher after it has gone through peer review, any revisions responsive thereto, and any further copyediting in which the corresponding author has participated.”

  • What is the relationship between PASS and JScholarship?

    PASS is a submission system that allows you to submit your author’s final version to open repositories, including JScholarship, the JH institutional repository. Using PASS to submit to JScholarship places your files in the JH Open Access Collection. PASS will eventually work with a number of repositories.

  • What open repositories does JH consider acceptable?

    Repositories associated with educational institutions, funding agencies, or scholarly societies, and academic disciplines are acceptable outlets for your research.  Examples include PubMed Central, MLA Commons, and the Department of Energy’s PAGES. Any repository listed in PASS is acceptable. These sites provide open access to anyone wanting to read or download articles. There is some effort at stability and preservation of the content deposited.

  • What research outputs does this policy apply to?

    The policy applies to peer-reviewed journal articles. Other types of output such as essays, books, edited book chapters, catalogs, letters, editorials, poetry, music, etc. are not covered by this policy.

  • When do I need to make my article openly available?

    There are no hard deadlines. Publishing your article in an Open Access journal requires no extra steps, so in that scenario there is not any need for a deadline. If your funder requires you to deposit in its open repository, you can abide by whatever deadlines they impose; JH will not add an extra deadline. If you submit the author’s final version to JScholarship, you can do that when it fits your schedule. The sooner you do that, the more quickly your article will be accessible and the less likely you are to forget; but JH does not require submission within a particular timeframe.

  • Who is a “corresponding or sole author?”

    “Corresponding author” refers to the author responsible for communication with the publisher; “sole author” applies to articles that only have one author.  If an article has only one author who is a full time JH faculty member or the corresponding author of an article is a full-time JH faculty member, then the article needs to be made openly available by that faculty member through one of the methods described in the policy.

  • Why is Johns Hopkins doing this?

    In accordance with our mission of providing knowledge for the world, the University is committed to disseminating the research and scholarship of its faculty as widely as possible. Increased public access to research  contributes to greater impact in the broader scientific and scholarly community and advances the reputation of the University.

  • Why would subscription journals allow their articles to be published with Open Access?

    The NIH Public Access Policy requires journals publishers to make the author’s final version of an article supported with NIH grant funding freely available in PubMed Central within one year of publication in the journal. That law went into effect in 2008.   In 2013, the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a similar requirement for federal agencies that grant more than $100 million in R&D funds. Many universities followed suit, creating their own open access policies.  ROARMAP tracks the number of open access policies globally.  Most journals and publishers have changed their author agreements in order to comply with these policies. Some journals will allow the submission of an author’s final version only if a university has an open access policy.

  • Will a reader be able to move from the open version of my article to the published version, on the publisher’s website?

    Some repositories have the capability to link between open versions and published versions of articles. JScholarship does not currently possess this functionality but we could develop it if necessary.

  • Will posting articles on my personal web page meet the policy’s conditions?

    Posting to a personal web page does not fulfill the policy requirements. Personal web pages don’t offer the same functions and services as journals and repositories. These important functions and services include:

    • A permanent identifier (URI or DOI)
    • Search engine optimization
    • A workflow for long-term preservation
    • A workflow for copyright and other inquiries

    Personal web pages, even those provided by your academic department, will disappear when you leave the university, retire, or die. We want to ensure that your research is available beyond that point.

  • Will publishing open access articles affect tenure and promotion?

    The Open Access Policy will not affect tenure and promotion since faculty will continue to publish in their journals of choice.

Copyright and Images

  • Are sites like Academia.edu, ResearchGate, or Mendeley acceptable as open repositories?

    No. These sites make little effort to check for copyright compliance;  thus many publishers don’t want their content on these sites. Please use JScholarship, an Open Access journal, or a repository run by a grant agency or discipline to make your articles openly available.

  • Do other universities have similar policies?

    Yes, many universities worldwide have OA policies like this, and the JH policy is modeled on policy best practices at peer institutions. ROARMAP lists institutions and funding agencies that implement open access mandates. MIT provides a partial list of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities with such policies.

  • How do I comply with the policy?

    Faculty may comply with the policy in two ways. First, they may comply by publishing their scholarly articles in an open access journal, depositing their article in an open access repository, (e.g. PubMed Central), or electing an open access option in a non-open journal. Alternatively, faculty (or a proxy) can use the Public Access Submission System, PASS, to deposit the author’s final version of the article in the JH institutional repository, JScholarship.

    PASS was available as of July 2, 2018. PASS currently supports submission to PubMed Central for compliance with the following funding agency public access policies: NIH, ACL, ASPR, CDC, VA, FDA, HHMI, and NASA. It can be used as a direct substitute for the NIHMS submission system, although the final review and approval steps must still be completed via NIHMS. PASS also provides a dashboard that displays deposit and compliance status for NIH grants and associated submissions. PASS includes a link to the web-based submission forms for the Department of Education and USAID. PASS will eventually support submission to other funding agencies such as NSF and DOE.

  • How do I deal with a journal embargo?

    Journals may require a 6- to 24-month embargo before you can post the author’s final version of the article in an open access repository. You should follow such requirements. No deadline is included in the JH Open Access Policy. Both PASS and JScholarship work with embargo dates. You can submit your author’s final version at any point, indicate the end date for the embargo, and the system will post the files at the appropriate time.

  • How do I identify and avoid predatory journals?

    Your librarian, informationist, or Robin Sinn can assist with questions about particular journals. The library provides a list of resources that can help you avoid predatory journals.

  • How do I identify reputable OA journals?

    A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Concerns about particular titles can be addressed to your librarian or informationist, or Robin Sinn.

  • How do I report questions or problems about PASS or JScholarship?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, Coordinator of the Office of Scholarly Communication.

  • How should the author’s final versions be cited?

    The metadata the author provides will provide most of the citation information. JScholarship, or another open repository, will provide a permanent identifier (e.g. JScholarship ID or PMCID) for use in the citation.

  • I do not have permission rights for some of the images in my article. What should I do?

    You have several options if you do not have permission to openly share the images in your article.

    1. You may submit a version of your article that does not include the images unless you are submitting to PubMed Central*.
    2. You may submit two files – one file with just the text, which will be openly available, and a supplementary file with the images that will be kept in a dark archive, unavailable to readers.
    3. You may choose not to submit any part of the article, if the images are so integral to the article that it cannot be understood without the images. You do not need to notify us or ask for a waiver.
    4. You may seek approval from the publisher to include the images.

    Please contact Robin Sinn or Caitlin Carter if you wish to explore these options.

    *If you use PASS to submit to a funder’s repository, you must abide by that repository’s restrictions. For example, the NIH requires that all images be submitted to PubMed Central, no matter who owns the rights.

  • I need help using PASS.

    You can contact either Caitlin Carter, ccarte63@jhmi.edu, or Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions about using PASS or suggestions for improvement.

    Videos are being created. See the current list below. Please contact Caitlin or Robin for further questions or suggestions for topics.

    Proxy submission to PASS

     

  • Is Johns Hopkins taking away my rights to my research?

    Not at all; authors retain full rights to re-use or re-distribute their work in any way they see fit.

  • Is Open Access harming journals published by scholarly societies or small publishers?

    There is no credible evidence for harm, and Open Access has been operating in some disciplines for a decade or more. Scholarly publishing is changing. The virtue of making scholarship free for all to read resonates with many researchers and the academic missions of their home institutions. Many funders and institutions are supporting this move.

  • May I edit the author’s final version that I submit to PASS?

    When you submit your manuscript through PASS your files are sent intact to the submission system for the final repository in which the manuscript will reside.  You will have access to the same editing and correcting functions available in the final repository’s submission system – for example the NIHMS system for PubMed Central.  Note that there are no mechanisms for making corrections for manuscripts deposited in JScholarship. In JScholarship, we can remove access to one version using a “tombstone,” which maintains the citation chain, and upload a new version that is connected to the tombstone.

  • May I make other research outputs openly available?

    Yes, you have many options available to you if you wish to make your text, images, slides, or data openly available. Your librarian or informationist can provide information about those options.  If you are primarily interested in data, Johns Hopkins Libraries Data Services can help you.

  • May I opt out of the policy?

    Yes. If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request permission or notify us.

    If you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options available to you.

  • May I replace the author’s final version with the published version of record?

    Yes, if you have permission from the publisher to do so.

  • May I submit other work to JScholarship? May staff or students submit work?

    Yes, JScholarship’s purpose is to gather, distribute, and preserve digital materials related to the Johns Hopkins research and instructional mission. Content is deposited directly into the appropriate collection by Johns Hopkins faculty, students, and staff, and includes born-digital or digitized research and instructional materials. PASS can be used to deposit materials into the Knowledge for the World collection. Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions.

  • PASS does not submit to my preferred open repository. How do I suggest a repository for inclusion in PASS?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, the Scholarly Communication Officer, with repository suggestions.

  • Recommendation 1: Redesign the undergraduate curriculum to provide foundational abilities for life-long flourishing and learning

    This recommendation starts from our recognition that the University has a responsibility to prepare its students to flourish as informed, skilled, and effective members of their society and of the world.  To ensure that we meet this responsibility, the Commission recommends an ambitious new undergraduate curricular framework that balances disciplinary training, developed through the major, with interdisciplinary exploration while strengthening our students’ sense of community. We should provide an education broad as well as deep, one resembling (to use language current in educational studies) a “T,” rather than an “I.[1]” As depicted in Figure 4.1, T-shaped education affords students with the opportunity to develop deep disciplinary knowledge in at least one area as well as the competencies associated with forming connections between disciplines that allow them to become adaptive innovators.

    Boundary Crossing Competencies: Teamwork, communication, perspective, networks, critical thinking, global understanding, project management, etc. Many Disciplines: Understanding and communications. Many Systems: Understanding and communications. Deep in At Least One Discipline: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Deep in at least one system: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Me: Intersection of sections listed above.

    Figure 4.1 T-Shaped Undergraduate Education

    Currently, the University uses “distribution requirements” to ensure interdisciplinary breadth of academic experience. These requirements stipulate that students must earn a minimum number of credits in academic areas outside of their primary major. These areas include humanities (H), natural sciences (N), social and behavioral sciences (S), quantitative and mathematical sciences (Q), and engineering (E). Courses are assigned an area designator by the academic department, if taught within a Homewood academic department; if not taught within a Homewood academic department, they are assigned by the appropriate dean’s office.

    Data and anecdotal evidence both suggest that these requirements are not successful. The means by which courses are evaluated for designation is unclear and inconsistent. In some departments, a significant percentage of classes required for the major can also be counted toward the distribution requirement. In KSAS, students can triple count a course toward a major requirement, a writing requirement (“W”), and a social science or behavioral science (“S”) or a Natural Science (“N”)/ quantitative and mathematical science (“Q”)/Engineering (“E”). This thwarts the distributional intent of the requirements. Students majoring in Psychology, for instance, can satisfy 92% of the distribution and writing requirements through major courses alone. The current distribution system does not ensure that students are learning enough about other disciplines to make meaningful connections between and across these disciplines.

    To begin our discussion of curricular revision, Commission members reflected matters of principle and articulated the foundational abilities a Hopkins undergraduate education should inculcate.

    1. Students should recognize the importance of language and have a command of it as readers, writers, and speakers. Students should be able to express ideas, opinions, beliefs, and feelings; interpret varied texts accurately and subtly; argue lucidly and effectively; and recognize the many ways conventions and contexts shape both expression and comprehension.
    2. Students should respect scientific and numerical reasoning and be able to apply computational and analytical methods to organize, manipulate, summarize, and evaluate quantitative information and experience, in public, professional, and personal life.  They should be able to create and assess arguments that are supported by quantitative evidence.
    3. Students should recognize the importance of complex creative expressions in various forms and be able to interpret them reflectively. They should have the means to deepen the quality of their lives by cultivating their intellectual and emotional responses to aesthetic and cultural experiences.
    4. Students should engage effectively as citizens of a diverse world. Graduates should have developed a knowledge of local, national and global societies. They should be able to articulate and examine their own beliefs, practices, and values while being open to and respectful of the beliefs, practices and values of others.
    5. Students should be reflective, effective ethical agents in their personal and professional lives. To this end, they should recognize situations of ethical consequence inside and outside their fields of study, understand ethical principles, formulate their own views about those principles and their application, and act in principled fashion.
    6. Students should be able to independently identify, conceptualize, and complete large-scale, consequential projects. They should be able to adopt, refine, and use appropriate methods and means for such projects, and respond to unforeseen developments.

    We continued our curricular discussion by studying models developed by peer institutions. The disquietude found in the reports issued has several sources difficult to detangle: an uncertainty about the relationship between liberal arts education and vocational/pre-professional training; a worry that the “open” curriculum has become a hodge-podge, box-checking exercise; and a concern that a highly-structured “core” curriculum is too rigid for the present needs of students in an increasingly fluid, rapidly altering society.

    In their report, Columbia asks several questions of its curriculum: “Are what some have called the ‘containers’ of our undergraduate curriculum appropriately sized? We probably agree that a strong undergraduate curriculum should include general education (our core), specialist education (our majors) and opportunities for exploration (electives). Do we provide ample opportunity for all three of these goals?” Stanford has asked whether the intellectual breadth of a more “open” curriculum serves its undergraduates well. “Few people question the value of intellectual breadth … [but is ‘sampling’] the optimal way of fostering true breadth in an age like ours, in which the boundaries of different fields are increasingly blurred?”

    Stanford’s answer to questions like these has been not to prescribe courses in particular disciplinary areas but to promise the acquisition and development of seven “essential capacities,” which foster “ways of thinking, ways of doing.” The capacities they list are aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, social inquiry, scientific analysis, formal and quantitative reasoning, engaging difference, moral and ethical reasoning, and creative expression. They have started to implement this shift in approach by establishing a first-year curriculum experience called “Thinking Matters.” It seeks to inculcate a broadly applicable orientation to academic study rather than narrower forms of knowledge.

    Other universities have issued similar statements. U-C Berkeley has said that its graduates should possess four core “competences” and four “dispositions.” Graduates should be literate, numerate, creative, and investigative–these are the competences; and also open-minded, worldly, engaged, and disciplined–the dispositions. UC-Berkeley invokes vocational pressures in justifying its new approach: “students must prepare for fluid careers in a future where what you know is less important than how you think, learn and discover on your own.” To do this, UC-Berkeley aims to “bring greater meaning and coherence to core requirements,” in part by using new technology. For example, they are now using a planning tool called “Course Threads,” which helps students (with faculty supervision) chart a “logically connected sequence of breadth courses.”

    Like Stanford and Berkeley, Washington University acknowledges the importance of articulating the essential skills and competences the university wishes its graduates to possess, but it emphasizes the even greater need to cultivate a longer list of “metacognitive skills and attitudes.” These include an ability to think and act creatively, an ability to engage in both individual and collaborative research, an understanding of how knowledge is created and transmitted, the ability to integrate knowledge from several domains, resilience and the ability to adapt to change, intellectual curiosity; practical insight, and “a facility for making normative assessments as well as with establishing matters of fact.” The challenge is how to instantiate these abstract goals in the curriculum. American University, for example, is tackling “quantitative literacy, writing, and information literacy training” by creating a variation on the core curriculum. It is putting in place a five-course sequence emphasizing skill/competency-oriented learning (e.g. “Quantitative Literacy I”). This is supplemented with an optional set of one-credit professional skills modules.

    As the Commission studied these varied models, members came to see that a new curricular framework could also address our need to strengthen students’ sense of community, without constraining the curricular freedom they rightly value. Hopkins undergraduates choose to learn across a wide variety of settings and contexts–from the classroom to the residence hall; from the laboratory to the athletic field; from the library to the internship site. This diversity is one of our great strengths. The curricular framework we propose provides a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied experience. The foundational abilities we describe would be developed in all of these contexts, through both individual work and in teams, in brief and in extended projects, through an array of programs, courses, and experiences. The abilities would provide a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied, independently designed education.

    The proposed curricular framework has the following components:

    Recommendation 1a. Require participation in a first year seminar.

    We begin with a pedagogical form invented at Hopkins—the seminar. The Commission recommends that every entering student be required to participate in a first year seminar. Requiring participation in a first year Hopkins seminar would be transformative. At a minimum, the first year seminar would set the tone for the undergraduate experience by providing students with a shared introduction to university life and the opportunity to work closely with senior faculty as they explore scholarly topics. The seminars would also provide opportunity for students to begin developing the foundational abilities. Fully maximized, a first year seminar curriculum could exploit Hopkins’ distinctive combination of small size and unparalleled research faculty while targeting development of particular foundational abilities.

    CUE2 reviewed several successful first-year seminar programs, including those developed by Amherst College, Stanford University, the University of Toronto, and UC Berkeley. Amherst’s First-Year Seminars, initially designed as one-year, interdisciplinary courses co-taught by faculty from two different disciplines, are an integral part of the college’s curriculum and required of all students. The First-Year Seminars are now a semester long, and often taught by a single faculty member. The Commission preferred more collaborative and interdisciplinary models that permit students to explore a single theme/topic/problem in depth by exposing them to various modes of inquiry and thus to understand their area of focus from several, overlapping (and sometimes opposed) perspectives. In such courses, faculty model how to comprehend and address complex problems through interaction with peers in other disciplines. UC-Berkeley is experimenting with “Big Ideas” courses taught by faculty from different disciplines and usually across divisions/schools. A course on “Time”, for example, is taught by a philosopher and a string theorist whereas a course on “Origins” is co-taught by a paleontologist, an astrophysicist, and a Biblical scholar. Another model is “Duke Immerse”: students join a cohort and spend an entire semester exploring a single “issue” (e.g. Uprooted/Re-routed: the Ethical Challenges of Displacement”) from an array of disciplinary perspectives. It is “delivered as one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester.”

    For the past several years, Hopkins has offered 40 to 50 freshman seminars each academic year in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. These 1-3 credit small classes, usually limited to about 10-15 freshmen, explore specialized scholarly topics chosen by faculty. As noted in Figure 4.2, 33% of freshmen completed a freshman seminar in academic year 2018-19. As an initial step, the Commission recommends 100% participation in a first year seminar for all freshman and transfer students in the first semester that they matriculate. In order to achieve this goal, the University would need to double the number of freshman seminars currently offered, ensuring that they are taught by senior faculty and aligned in terms of credit hour assignment and overarching outcomes.

    Figure 4.2 Hopkins First Year Seminars and Enrollment

    Semester Number of Freshman Seminars Taught Number of Students Enrolled (percent of class)
    Fall 2018 27 297 (23%)
    Spring 2019 10 131 (10%)
    Fall 2019 32 317 (23%)

     

    Once this target it achieved, additional options for a more robust first year seminar curriculum should be explored and piloted. For example, the first year seminars could begin to more specifically target the development of expository writing skills by pairing disciplinary expertise from senior faculty with writing instruction expertise from expository writing faculty. This evolution would require extensive consultation and collaboration among faculty, students, staff, as well as the Deans and Provost.

    The Commission offers the following as a more long-term, aspirational model for the first year seminars. Every entering student would enroll in a seminar, taught by a faculty member, designed in relation to a shared theme. Each year’s theme would be broad, allowing faculty members flexibility in designing their seminars. The themes would recur, allowing faculty to return to and revise their seminars across the years. In conjunction with these seminars, regular public assemblies would gather new students to hear lectures by visiting scholars and public intellectuals on the year’s theme. Finally, regular sessions with writing instructors would establish the importance of writing in all our disciplines.

    In this model, each incoming class (of roughly 1300-1450 students) would be divided into two groups (A and B), which would then cycle through course activities at different times. Each student would attend four public lectures, four seminars (limited to 15 students), and a minimum of four writing discussions (again, limited to the same 15 students) across the semester, as described in Figure 4.3. 

    Figure 4.3 First Year Seminar Schedule

    Semester Week “A” Cycle Activities “B” Cycle Activities
    1 Shriver Plenary
    2 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    3 Writing Group Seminar
    4 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    5 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    6 Writing Group Seminar
    7 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    8 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    9 Writing Group Seminar
    10 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    11 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    12 Writing Group Seminar
    13 Writing Group

     

    Were the University to follow this model, the demands on physical space and infrastructure would include the following. Eight times a semester, 750 students would gather in Shriver Hall, and perhaps elsewhere, were lectures to be livestreamed. Every third week, 100 seminar rooms would be needed to accommodate the seminars and writing sessions. (Were students divided into three, rather than two, cycles, the demand on seminar rooms would drop to 67 every third week.) The demands on personnel would include the cost of recruiting eight speakers, assuming each lectured only once. Up to 100 faculty members would be required to lead the four seminar meetings each semester. Again, these faculty would come from the professional schools as well as Homewood, furthering the university’s One University initiative. Themes aligned with JHU’s interdisciplinary institutes and initiatives, including 21st Century Cities and the Agora Institute, would allow us to draw on their resources. The Commission recommends that the Provost’s investment in this initiative should include an innovation competition that provides grant funding for course development. The DELTA (Digital Education & Learning Technology Acceleration) Grant program is an encouraging model. Selecting broad themes–akin to those being chosen for the Common Question experience–would allow faculty latitude to design seminars that engage them; cycling through themes on a regular schedule–say every three years–would allow faculty to return to, and revise, their seminars.

    Recommendation 1b. Establish the “Hopkins Semester” of intensive study

    Research has been the core of Hopkins’ identity. One benefit such research has traditionally offered to some of our students is the in-depth experience of extended, immersive study. But this opportunity should be extended to our students, whether in creative activity, professional exploration, or research. To that end, CUE2 proposes to create a “Hopkins Semester.”

    The Commission conceives of this program as a junior or senior year, semester-long, mentored, immersive experience that will give students the time for a focused, deep, and rigorous exploration of one complex subject or endeavor either inside or outside their major department. The Commission expects that students themselves will be the driving force of these experiences–that they will propose and complete innovative projects that we don’t presently imagine.  If the first-year courses described above in Recommendation 1a would be driven by the intellectual excitement of faculty given the opportunity to teach small seminars, the Hopkins semester would similarly be driven by the passions of the students. But students would be required to provide, and departments required to approve and assess, proposals for and reports on their experience that demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed.

    Team-based, projects would also be possible. Such projects, whether creative or research-intensive, would develop the skills associated with communication on teams whose members bring distinct qualifications and play interdependent roles. Design projects, artistic endeavors, research projects, commercial ventures, professional internships, and community-based projects all could serve the ends of this recommendation–whether undertaken in the opera house, the archives, Congress, the laboratory, the community center, a startup venture, or the clinic.  Pursuing one’s Hopkins Semester abroad would also be encouraged.

    This intensive semester should facilitate a high-level synthesis of concepts and practices learned during students’ first and second years of coursework. The Hopkins Semester could satisfy the requirements of some core major courses (and perhaps upper-level courses as well), but need not. In addition, projects and activities before and after this semester could expand and extend the experience. Thus, for example, a project pursued intensively during the semester may be defined and developed before the semester and the activity may continue, albeit at a less intense level, after the semester.  (Note that the Hopkins Semester would be immersive: projects completed piecemeal across semesters would not qualify.) The guidance provided by faculty is an essential element of this recommendation, in part because it encourages mentorship. The Hopkins Semester could regularly be a transformative immersive experience—thus furthering one aim already established by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design.

    In 1998, the Boyer Commission issued 10 recommendations for improving undergraduate education at research universities in the USA; the first recommendation was that research-based learning become standard. Following the Boyer Commission’s lead, several US research organizations—including the Mellon Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation—have funded opportunities to include undergraduates in the research programs of science faculty and, to a lesser extent, those of humanities faculty. Many subsequent studies have demonstrated the benefits of undergraduate research experiences. “Evidence from an array of quantitative and qualitative studies supports the promise of undergraduate research as a catalyst for student development across disciplines, genders, and ethnicities. While cost factors, including money, time, and faculty priorities, need be considered during the creation of an undergraduate research program, the benefits to students are consistent with our greater expectations for liberal learning.[2]” Undergraduate students who completed a mentored research program identified many areas from which they benefited including the interpretation and analysis of data, the ability to work independently and to integrate theory and practice; they also reported greater self-confidence and a clearer understanding of their career paths[3].   But the benefits of such experiences are not limited to research programs; creative and experiential projects can have analogous results.

    In 2018, 62% of Johns Hopkins seniors reporting participating in research in the Senior Survey, increased from 57% in 2016.  Results of those surveys also suggest that students are generally satisfied with the opportunities to participate in research with a faculty member. The University presently supports undergraduate research in various ways, through the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) (see Appendix I for 2017-19 Metrics), the Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant (in KSAS), and smaller initiatives, including the library-based program, The Freshman Fellows.  But research experience is inconsistent across campus. We excel at supporting student research in the lab but not in the library: In 2014, only 19% of humanities students reported participating in research with a faculty member, and only 27% of social/behavioral sciences students reported doing so; this compared to 59% for natural sciences and 69% for engineering. As our investment in undergraduate research increases, support like that presently offered through PURA and the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant should become more visible and more generously funded.

    Of our peers, only Princeton requires a capstone project for all undergraduates; it takes the form of a senior thesis. Others, like Stanford, make a point of encouraging all seniors to complete capstones. Some capstone experiences offered elsewhere resemble the Hopkins Semester we propose.  George Mason University offers research semesters in biology. The University of Michigan offers a Humanities Collaboratory that brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate research assistants over a semester. Duke offers an intensive research semester with seminars called DukeImmerse, a cohort model in which students spend an entire semester exploring a single issue from an array of disciplinary perspectives. Like the Hopkins Semester, DukeImmerse is one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester. It involves daily interaction with faculty members and a collaborative project. About four such programs run each semester. Similarly, the “Immersion Vanderbilt” program encourages students to pursue creative and/or independent projects.  The program is “inherently flexible to allow the student to work closely with a faculty mentor on a project that provides a depth of experience.” Finally, standalone programs, like EUROScholars, enable students to use a study abroad semester for research.

    For the Hopkins Semester to be viable within our traditional four-year program, departments will need to ensure that the sequencing of their courses allow for a full semester immersive experience. Additionally, advising services would need to assist arranging projects undertaken on campus and, in coordination with advisors in majors and career services, also assist arranging projects undertaken off-campus. The Undergraduate Education Board would be charged with developing best practices in setting learning objectives and assessment expectations for the Hopkins Semester.   Departments will use those guidelines to develop student application, approval, and assessment processes. The Board should also establish baseline expectations regarding faculty mentoring of students based on best practices.

    Recommendation 1c. Meaningfully integrate curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning

    Integrative learning is an understanding and a disposition that a student builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus.[4]

    Student learning is not contained by the architecture of formal coursework; the rewards of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are distinctive, various, and essential to any undergraduate education. Our students pursue their passions, apply their learning, and connect with alumni, community leaders, and other Johns Hopkins affiliates outside as well as inside the classroom. In short, they should integrate their various experiences into a distinctive education.

    We are well positioned to transform the college experience from one composed solely of traditional elements—lectures, papers, problem sets, and exams—to one in which these elements sit amid a much broader range of learning activities within and beyond the classroom. The many benefits of this transformed experience would be varied. A plan to develop such a fully integrated experience at Hopkins has already been initiated by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Central to that plan is the development of a co-curricular roadmap that integrates coursework, intersession and summer experience, community activities, and social networks to ensure that all students are exposed to the same rich opportunities. This education would include tools for students to document, reflect on, and assess all their educational activities, and would help them lay the groundwork for life-long learning and their post-graduate careers. To support this initiative, the Commission recommends that the Undergraduate Education Board develop clear policies on awarding credit or credential based on learning outcomes for structured co-curricular experiences relevant to disciplinary study. Linking outcomes to academic requirements would send a powerful signal to faculty and students concerning the importance of co-curricular learning. Such a policy would also guide faculty as they facilitate student reflection on their extramural work and evaluate their experience against outcomes defined by the program and University.

    “The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has long promoted integrative learning for all students as a hallmark of a quality liberal education, noting its essential role in lifelong learning” (National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise, 2007). Increasingly, integrative learning is recognized as an empowering developmental process through which students synthesize knowledge across curricular and co-curricular experiences to develop new concepts, refine values and perspectives in solving problems, master transferable skills, and cultivate self-understanding. An AAC&U-sponsored project on integrative liberal learning between 2012 and 2014 with fourteen small liberal arts institutions has helped illuminate a variety of practices that strengthen connections across learning experiences and encourage students to reflect on their goals with the aim of making intentional curricular and co-curricular choices, charting their own progress, and understanding the ‘why’—and not just the ‘what’—of their four years.”[5]

    Data concerning students’ participation in extra- and co-curricular activities at Hopkins are scattered. In the 2016-2017 academic year, Johns Hopkins University had 409 student organizations (including fraternities and sororities). Currently, there are 395 student organizations, and this number is expected to surpass 400 as the year progresses, given organizations that are currently going through the process of being established. In the 2016 Senior Survey, 63.1% of students reported having participated in at least one student organization (including fraternities and sororities) during their time as an undergraduate. As noted in Appendix H, participation varies across majors.

    Figure 4.4 reveals that 23% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported studying abroad, a low rate among our peers. In the same survey, students also reported that they would have liked to spend more time involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering, relaxing, and socializing.

    Data about JHU sponsored off-campus activities are harder to ascertain, but the numbers appear quite low: 3.0% of students have participated in off-campus activities sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, for instance; 2.4% have participated through the Center for Social Concern.

    Figure 4.4 Participation in study abroad as compared to peer institutions 2018 Senior Survey.

    Percent of Respondents Reporting Participation in Study Abroad Peers: 56%, 53%, 46%, 40%, 39%, 32%, 28%, 24%, 17%, 12%. JHU: 23% (Third least in cohort of 11).

    Other universities, including Boston University and University of South Carolina, have created models for integrating co- and extracurricular activities into student experience, and created infrastructure to enable, document, and reward those activities. Among the most robust of these models is the 21st Century Badging Challenge developed by the Educational Design Lab in association with public and private universities in the Washington D.C. area. Engaging faculty members and about 40 students from each participating institution, the program determines rigorous assessment criteria for its badges, in order to present a comprehensive signal to employers about student achievement. The University of South Carolina (USC) has developed the USC Connect program, which provides learning pathways that start in the first year, take students outside of the classroom, and enable them to create substantive portfolios. Successful students graduate with “leadership distinction” designated on their diplomas and transcript. Finally, the University of Mary Washington and Emory University have both piloted projects to provide a personal web space to all incoming students; in this space, students will develop integrated, holistic e-portfolios that include both curricular and co/extra-curricular evidence of their activities.

    Again, some of the resources for a more fully integrated learning experience at Hopkins are already at hand. The Center for Social Concern (CSC) has been particularly active in encouraging students to engage with the Baltimore community. CSC supports both extra-curricular engagement, through hosting student organizations, and curricular experiential learning opportunities, through a faculty fellows program. The CSC’s France-Merrick Civic Fellowship allows students to undertake community work. In collaboration with the Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Educational Outreach, CSC helps sponsor the Charm City Science League, an organization of over 100 student volunteers who work with teams of middle-school students to prepare for Science Olympiad and robotics competitions.

    Implementation plans for the development of a more fully integrated undergraduate experience have already been formed by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Features of that plan include embedding career staff in academic programs and communities; replacing career services with scalable life design programs that integrate coursework, connections, and experiential learning; developing learning modules for staff and faculty on life design; creating dynamic websites, online platforms, and a digital presence; and drafting a narrative of life design for admissions, departments, centers, and alumni relations. Departments should be charged with developing policies for the assessment of co-curricular activities where warranted, in consultation with the Undergraduate Education Board. The University’s new learning assessment platform provides an opportunity to develop Comprehensive Learner Records for each undergraduate student. These records are digital, official documents issued by the institution that provide a richer expression of the learning outcomes or competencies mastered during a student’s experience than traditional transcripts and diplomas as they capture course-based, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning.

    Recommendation 1d. Ensuring departmental instruction in foundational abilities

    The above three recommendations (1a-c) are intended to prepare students with foundational intellectual skills and dispositions for lifelong learning. But these foundational abilities must also be incorporated into the design of major curricula and courses.  Majors require that students know a segment of human knowledge deeply, and master its ways of thinking. They also require that students integrate foundational abilities in a specific field of study.   Many of the foundational abilities will be cultivated in courses required for the major; others may be cultivated through other coursework; still others, importantly, may be cultivated through co-curricular activities. To that end, the Commission recommends that the current distribution requirements be modified to become distribution areas that correlate with the foundational abilities. All students will be required to take a minimum of one course in each of the six distribution areas by the time of graduation. Further, the deans of KSAS and WSE charge each department with evaluating and modifying existing curricula and designing new curricula that ensures that their majors are trained in each of these abilities.

    Each academic department will be required to demonstrate to the Undergraduate Education Board that their students will develop the foundational abilities all Hopkins students should acquire by mapping major program outcomes and course learning objectives to the foundational abilities and distribution areas. Multifaceted assessment of program outcomes and learning objectives will provide students, departments, and schools with formative and summative data that illustrate students success in achieving the abilities. Such data should be evaluated by the department regularly to inform the need for curricular revision and appropriate allocation of resources.

    CUE2 recognizes that this recommendation will require academic departments to develop much more sophisticated and robust means of assessing students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as evaluating courses and programs. However, this shift is necessary if we truly want to encourage an educational culture that promotes development of competencies rather than accrual of credentials. Modifying the current distribution requirement system alone would only perpetuate a credential gathering, box-checking approach to undergraduate education. It is imperative that revision of that system occur concomitantly with a shift in culture within our academic departments. With support from the deans, the academic departments must bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that students achieve both the breadth and depth of intellectual inquiry outlined.

    The six new distribution areas, reflective of the six foundational abilities, also provide opportunity for academic innovation. Faculty should be encouraged to develop new courses that span disciplinary boundaries, thereby targeting development of skills on the horizontal bar of the “T.” For example, a competitive academic innovation fund could be established to develop new classes that require students to apply their disciplinary knowledge in the context of a team composed of students with varied expertise from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Several models already exist within our university upon which the infrastructure for such courses could be built. Several engineering departments already engage industrial partners to sponsor student projects, while the Center for Social Concern builds connections between extracurricular student projects and Baltimore communities. The recently pioneered Classics Research Lab provided a mechanism for a team of students to undertake a reconstruction of the contexts of and influences upon the work of Victorian scholar John Addington Symonds, author of one of the first major studies of Ancient Greek sexuality, pioneering a humanities-centric approach to problem based learning. A pilot to teach Multidisciplinary Engineering Design is underway in Fall 2019 during which 18 students from across 6 engineering majors are engaged in 4 different projects with external partners. These range from investigating microfiber separation from wastewater in collaboration with sportswear manufacturer Under Armour, to engaging with social enterprise Clearwater Mills to develop innovative ways to engage the communities that live around Professor Trash Wheel to improve the effectiveness of this installation to prevent trash from entering the Baltimore Harbor. And in 2018 a Hack Your Life Design Challenge engaged 18 teams of students from Mechanical Engineering at JHU and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Teams had to use at least five different materials to create an interactive project with moving parts that cost no more than $100. The challenge provided students with the freedom to explore different ways in which engineering and art can intersect.

    The pathways students take to meet the distribution areas requirement and to develop the foundational abilities will be widely varied, and driven by their individual interests and needs. CUE2 recognizes that their success will require careful advising and mentoring by faculty, staff, peers, and others. Recommendation 4 below describes a new system of advising, mentoring, and coaching, which would provide the support needed for this new curricular framework. Certainly, the burden of ensuring that students acquire these foundational abilities will be considerable. But the curricular framework described here highlights one great strength of our university: that it provides students with a combination of unmatched institutional resources and individual attention. This vision aims to ensure that all our students benefit from that distinctive strength while enrolled, and flourish after they graduate.

    [1] T-Academy (2018) http://tsummit.org/t

    [2] Lopatto, D. (2006). Undergraduate research as a catalyst for liberal learning. Peer Review8(1), 22-25. See also: Gillies, S. L., & Marsh, S. (2013). Doing science research at an undergraduate university. International Journal of Arts & Sciences6(4), 379; Hempstead, J., Graham, D., & Couchman, R. (2012). Forging a template for undergraduate collaborative research: A case study. Creative Education36(Special Issue), 859-865; Healey, M., & Jenkins, A. (2009). Developing undergraduate research and inquiry (p. 152). York: Higher Education Academy; Kuh, G. D. (2008). Excerpt from high-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 19-34; Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27.

    [3] Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27

    [4] Rhodes, T. L. (2010). Making learning visible and meaningful through electronic portfolios. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning43(1), 6-13.

    [5] Ferren, A. S., & Anderson, C. B. (2016). Integrative learning: Making liberal education purposeful, personal, and practical. New Directions for Teaching and Learning2016(145), 33-40.; see also Kehoe, A., & Goudzwaard, M. (2015). ePortfolios, badges, and the whole digital self: How evidence-based learning pedagogies and technologies can support integrative learning and identity development. Theory Into Practice54(4), 343-351.

  • Recommendation 2: Increase the flexibility of the major requirements where needed to enable intellectual exploration

    The model of undergraduate education CUE2 recommends places disciplinary expertise at its center. Being trained in a distinct set of methods and acquiring the knowledge particular to a discipline are essential features of an undergraduate education. Moreover, without strong disciplines one cannot imagine strong interdisciplinary programs. But disciplinary expertise must be rooted in a liberal education. The best scholars, as President Gilman remarked in his inaugural address, “will almost invariably be those who make special attainments on the foundation of a broad and liberal culture.” This education contributes to their flourishing, independent of and beyond any credentials we might issue.

    Our faculty habitually forge connections among disciplines; undergraduates should be encouraged to do the same. For students to pursue the leads provided by disciplinary training, they must be given room to leave their disciplines and learn elsewhere. As urged by its charge, the Commission proposes to build on the positive features, including curricular flexibility, which distinguish us. The curriculum of any university, as Jonathan Cole remarked in his Town Hall Presentation, “should dovetail well with the identity of the university and represent a realization of its basic principles and goals.” Hopkins has offered its students flexibility since its founding. That flexibility assumes maturity of the students and aims simultaneously to promote that maturity, cultivating the independence of thought necessary for life-long learning.

    The diversity of our students implies diversity of thought, ambition and goals; as a result, curricula should not assume that one path will suit all students, even within a discipline. Data from student focus groups and the most recent surveys indicate that our students continue to value this flexibility and are dissatisfied when it is absent. The initiative, breadth, and independence assumed by a flexible curriculum also are valued by industries presently driving the global economy. According to a recent study conducted by Hart Research Associates and published by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, “employers recognize capacities that cut across majors as critical to a candidate’s potential for career success, and they view these skills as more important than a student’s choice of undergraduate major.” Nearly all those surveyed (93%) agree that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.” Many prominent business leaders, including Johns Hopkins alumnus Samuel Palmisano (former CEO of IBM), have confirmed this view and have offered full-throated endorsements of a broad and liberal education, rather than a narrow, exclusively technical or exclusively non-technical one.

    Institutional data in Figures 4.5-8 show that curricular flexibility, as measured by the fraction of credits restricted by a student’s major, varies widely across departments, and is highly restricted in some. The Department of Philosophy requires the completion of 33 credit hours (27% of the total needed for graduation); Biomedical Engineering requires roughly three times that number, 104 (80% of the total needed for graduation). Data also suggest some majors at Hopkins are outliers among their peers at other universities, requiring a greater percentage of credits to be completed in the major. Of the majors and peers studied by CUE2, our majors in Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering in WSE, and KSAS’s Biophysics, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Studies, Physics, Anthropology, Political Science, Art History, Classics, History, Latin American Studies, and Writing Seminars all have markedly less flexibility than similar majors at peer institutions. While not as striking, several other majors in both schools also appear quite restrictive. This is just one possible metric for curricular flexibility, which may also be encouraged by strict course sequencing, course offerings that occur only annually, and lack of on-line options that could facilitate participation of students undertaking opportunities at remote sites.

     

    Figure 4.5 Flexibility in KSAS natural sciences majors as compared to peers.[1]

    Behavioral Biology: JHU least flexible. Biology: JHU less flexible than average. Biophysics: JHU least flexible. Chemistry: JHU less flexible than average. Cognitive Science: JHU less flexible than average. Earth and Planetary Sciences: JHU more flexible than average. Environmental Science and Studies (B.S.) : JHU least flexible. Environmental Science and Studies (B.A.) : JHU least flexible. Mathematics: JHU average. Physics (B.A.): JHU less flexible than average. Physics (B.S.): JHU less flexible. Psychological and Brain Science: JHU more flexible than average.

    Figure 4.6 Flexibility in KSAS social sciences majors as compared to peers.

    Anthropology: JHU less flexible than average. Economics: JHU average. Political Science: JHU least flexible. Sociology: JHU less flexible than average.

    Figure 4.7 Flexibility in KSAS humanities majors as compared to peers.

    Africana Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Archaeology: JHU average. Art History: JHU least flexible (by far). Classics: JHU least flexible. English: JHU less flexible than average. French: JHU most flexible. German: JHU more flexible than average. History of Science: JHU least flexible. History: JHU least flexible. Italian: JHU average. Latin America Studies: JHU less flexible than average. Near Eastern Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Philosophy: JHU average. Romance Languages: JHU less flexible than average. Spanish: JHU less flexible than average. Writing Seminars: JHU least flexible (by far).

    Figure 4.8 WSE flexibility in engineering majors as compared to peers.[2]

    AMS: JHU more flexible than average. BME: JHU less flexible than average. Chem BE: JHU less flexible than average. CivE: JHU least flexible. Comp Sci: JHU less flexible than average. Computer Engineering: JHU average. Electrical Engineering: JHU less flexible than average. BME: JHU least flexible. MatSci: JHU less flexible than average. MechE: JHU least flexible.

    As noted in Figure 4.9, the 2018 Senior Survey findings document dissatisfaction with the flexibility of the curriculum in several Engineering majors including Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dissatisfaction is also noted in a few Natural Sciences majors within the Arts and Sciences, including Biology. There is room for improved satisfaction across number of other majors as well. Figure 4.10 shows a significant negative correlation (R2 = 0.4996) between major flexibility as measured and student satisfaction with flexibility.

    Figure 4.9 2018 Senior survey satisfaction with curricular flexibility.

    1 = Very dissatisfied, 2 = Generally dissatisfied, 3 = Generally satisfied, 4 = Very satisfied. Medicine, Science and the Humanities: 3.70; Spanish: 3.69; Philosophy: 3.50; English: 3.42; German: 3.40; Writing Seminars: 3.25; French: 3.17; History: 3.17; Film and Media Studies: 3.10; Humanities Average: 3.39; Archaeology: 3.83; Sociology: 3.71; Anthropology: 3.50; International Studies: 3.38; Psychology: 3.35; Political Science: 3.26; Economics: 3.23; Global Environmental Change and Sustainability: 3.09; Social and Behavioral Sciences Average: 3.42; Earth and Planetary Sciences: 3.56; Public Health Studies: 3.26; Physics: 3.25; Mathematics: 3.24; Chemistry: 3.17; Neuroscience: 3.14; Cognitive Science: 3.14; Behavioral Biology: 3.00; Molecular and Cellular Biology: 2.90; Biophysics: 2.89; Biology: 2.67; Natural Sciencws Area: 2.67; Natural Sciences Average: 3.07; Electrical Engineering: 3.27; Applied Mathematics and Statistics: 3.21; Mat Sci and Engineering: 3.15; Environmental Engineering: 3.13; Computer Engineering: 3.00; Computer Science: 2.95; Biomedical Engineering: 2.54; Civil Engineering: 2.44; Mechanical Engineering: 2.22; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: 2.15; Engineering Average: 2.81;

    Figure 4.10 Correlation between curricular flexibility and student satisfaction.

    General downard trend of decreasing student satisfaction as flexibility decreases. Linear trendline has r-squared value of 0.4996;

    Both the disparity between departments and the restrictiveness in some departments have detrimental effects. The disparity creates a widely disparate experience among our undergraduates and contributes to the competitive culture; in conversations, students also report that it contributes to the segregation of the schools. Inflexible and high requirements tend to advantage students from high schools that offer AP credit, who can complete their requirements more quickly. (Increasing student flexibility within the major thus aligns with the Hopkins Universal Design for Learning Initiative[3]Finally, highly restrictive requirements also would prevent the implementation of a separate CUE2 recommendation; the requirements of some majors at present would make graduation in four years impossible, were a student to participate in the Hopkins semester (see recommendation 2, below).

    We have considered various methods of implementation. One would require that the deans, provost, or Undergraduate Education Board establish a minimum number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements. Another would require that departments demonstrate that their requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions. A third could combine these, and require that the deans (or provost) establish a number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements, but granting exemptions to departments that demonstrate that their (still high) requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions.

    We recommend that the provost require that a minimum of 33% of all student credit hours be un-prescribed across all undergraduate majors in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering. Furthermore, because increased flexibility would serve faculty members by freeing them of the burden of major requirements, the Commission recommends that the University create an innovation fund to support imaginative courses and programs and develop mechanisms to generalize pedagogical successes.

    [1] Peers for majors housed in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences included Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University, Yale University

    [2] Peers for majors housed in the Whiting School of Engineering included California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California Berkley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan

    [3] For example: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/internship-programs

  • Recommendation 3: Enable professional school faculty to teach undergraduates more easily and often, and facilitate the enrollment of undergraduates in our professional schools

    The rigid demarcation between undergraduate and graduate education is increasingly anachronistic. Johns Hopkins professional schools are a valuable resource, not available at all our peer institutions. They should be readily accessible to our undergraduates.

    Faculty from other schools teach infrequently at Homewood, but the numbers are increasing, as demonstrated in Figure 4.11. In the Fall of 2014 7% of undergraduate courses were taught by non-Homewood faculty; five years later, in Spring 2019, 15% percent were taught by non-Homewood faculty. The percentage during the summer unsurprisingly is higher, ranging from 12 to 13% between 2015 and 2018. The scarcity of online undergraduate course options and lack of infrastructure for high quality distance education provision exacerbates the geographic boundaries between Homewood and the professional school campuses. Undergraduates should have access to the full breadth of talent represented in the University’s faculty. Barriers between Hopkins campuses should be lowered.

     

    Figure 4.11 Percentage of undergraduate courses taught by non-Homewood JHU faculty.

    Over course of AE Fall 2014 to AE Spring 2019, the percentage has steadily increased from 7% to 14%.

     

    Several recommendations in this report provide opportunity for broader incorporation of all Johns Hopkins University faculty in the undergraduate experience. For example, faculty from the professional schools could teach in the first year seminar series. They could also partner with Homewood faculty to innovate team-based, interdisciplinary problem-solving courses. Recently, SAIS faculty began offering undergraduate courses in strategy and statecraft as well as international economics as complements to existing International Studies courses using an inter-campus, hybrid delivery model that could be emulated by other professional schools.

    As part of this recommendation, the Commission urges that all Johns Hopkins students (assuming adequate pre-requisites and qualifications) be permitted to pursue programs leading to bachelor/professional master’s (3+2 or 4+1) degrees. Our primary intent, however, is not to establish new joint or dual degree programs. Nor is it to do what is already possible in many cases, namely, for students to seek a master’s degrees in their undergraduate majors. Rather it is to encourage students to explore advanced study and potential careers, regardless of major, across the University. The Commission imagines combinations that may not be possible or easily possible today; the Computer Science major who pursues a master’s degree in International Studies at SAIS, the History major who takes courses at the Carey school, or the Physics major who pursues a master’s in Biomedical Engineering. The implementation of this recommendation would not only serve our students well, and provide faculty at the professional schools additional opportunities to instruct and mentor undergraduates, but would serve our ongoing “One University” initiative.

    First Destination survey data from 2018 data tells us that approximately 35% of our students pursue graduate school immediately after graduation. Not all of those students matriculate into JHU programs, but the Whiting School of Engineering and Bloomberg School of Public Health are the top two graduate schools of choice. In fact, 22% of graduating Engineering students and 6% of Arts and Sciences students take advantage of the opportunity to remain for a fifth year to acquire a Master’s degree at the Whiting School.

    Several of our peer institutions offer co-terminal degree programs. Emory provides a series of 4+1 options, and Stanford has a robust co-terminal degree program available across nearly 50 programs. Their co-terminal degree program allows undergraduates to study for a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree while completing their bachelor’s degree(s) in the same or a different department. Admitted co-terminal students must have a minimum of one quarter overlap between their undergraduate and graduate degree programs in order to qualify. Harvard has an advanced standing program that allows selected students in some departments to apply for a fourth-year master’s degree.

    Implementation of this recommendation will require buy-in from our professional divisions. The Provost should direct every division of the University to demonstrate that they have both individual courses and master’s programs in place open to Hopkins undergraduates from as broad a range of undergraduate majors as is reasonably possible, ensuring that financial assistance be available so that access to these programs is available to all qualified students. The existence of these programs would then be advertised directly to undergraduates while advisors would help direct students to them. In addition, the creation of online undergraduate courses, with distance education classrooms at each of the Johns Hopkins’ campuses, should be actively pursued.

  • Recommendation 4: Provide students with an integrated partnership of faculty mentors, staff advisors, and career counselors

    Students should be able to count on the significant, positive presence of faculty, staff, and administrators from matriculation to graduation and beyond. In our vision, each undergraduate student would have an integrated group of, at least, a faculty mentor, an academic advisor, and a career coach; this group would remain connected to that student throughout their undergraduate career. The provision of these support teams will require a redesign and revitalization of academic advising services, integrating it more deliberately with career services and with faculty mentoring. Because students build cohorts through their affinity for topics and passions for interests, mechanisms should be implemented to facilitate better alignment with, and maintenance of, the relationships among students, alumni, faculty, staff, and graduate students who share passions and affinities. Providing this support infrastructure will also require creation of and investment in faculty mentoring programs.

    We understand mentorship to be distinct from advising in both purpose and execution. Mentors help students develop interests, affirm identities and achieve life goals. Mentors include staff, alumni, peers, and community partners, but the central role is played by faculty members, who serve as mentors best simply by sharing their intellectual enthusiasm.  To be sure, students must be active participants in seeking out and building their own mentor relationships. But faculty members should expect to serve as mentors, and the University should actively encourage and support them as they do serve. Because courses most naturally initiate mentoring, the University should increase the number of small courses—research seminars, discussions, collaboratories—that enable substantial relations among teachers and students.

    As noted in the introduction to this section of the report, the timing of these initiatives is fortuitous, coinciding with the launching of the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design; that office has already begun to implement several of the advances described below. Additionally, we will have the benefit of our participation in the Excellence in Academic Advising initiative, launched in coordination with NACADA, a national organization of academic advisors, and the Gardner Foundations. Along with several other committees, this pilot program is assessing the preconditions for successful academic student support in KSAS and WSE. A full and detailed report is expected later this year and an implementation plan to follow. This guidance should be afforded the highest priority, so that academic advisors can be properly provisioned to support each student’s successful navigation of the various choices involved in academic life, from course selection to choosing their major and minor areas of study, to ensuring development of the foundational abilities and completion of a Hopkins semester, to tapping into university resources to sustain health, well-being and fulfillment, to seeking help when unforeseen challenges arise.

    Most, perhaps all, of the experiences linked by the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report (shown in Figure 4.13) concerning post-collegiate satisfaction with college depend upon mentoring: having at least one professor who excited the student about learning; having professors who cared about the student as a person; having a mentor who cared about the student’s hopes and dreams; having worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete; having an internship or job that helped the student apply what he or she was learning; being extremely active in extracurricular activities. More, importantly, mentoring has been shown to be effective in increasing the persistence of non-traditional students.[1] The benefits of better integrating academic advising and career counseling has also been urged by scholars for the past several decades.[2] 

    Figure 4.13 Findings from the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report

    The Undergraduate Experience: Support and Experiential and Deep Learning Support Section; I had at least one professor at college who made me excited about learning: 68% strongly agree; My professor at college cared about me as a person: 27%; I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams: 22%; Strongly agree with all three support statements: 14%; Experiential Section; I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete: 32%; I had an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom: 29%; I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations while attending college; 20%; Strongly agree with all three experiential statements: 6%; Strongly agree with all six statements: 3%; Based on Web surveys of nearly 30,000 college graduates with Internet access from Feb. 4-March 7, 2014. Gallup-Purdue Index;

    As depicted in Figure 4.14, 22% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported that they know no professor, or only one professor, well enough for them to provide a professional recommendation. This figure is higher than ideal. All students should know more than one professor who could write them a letter of recommendation. The numbers vary across our schools and fields. Students in the humanities fare better than those in the sciences and engineering: 14% of humanities students report that they know at most one faculty member sufficiently to ask her for a recommendation; in social and behavioral sciences the figure is 24%; in engineering the figure is 26%. In the same survey, 86% of Johns Hopkins respondents were satisfied with faculty availability, versus 91% at peer schools, a significant difference. Humanities respondents were significantly more satisfied than others (see Figure 4.15).

    Figure 4.14 Student-reported number of faculty who know them—distribution of responses for JHU vs. peer universities.

    How many faculty members know you well enough to provide a professional recommendation concerning your qualifications fora  job or advanced degree work? 2018 Distribution of Responses; Humanities: 3 largest proportion (34%); Natural Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (25%, 27% respectively); Social and Behavioral Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (31%, 28%); Engineering: 2 largest proportion (35%); All Areas: 2, 3 largest proportions (30%, 26%); Peers: 2, 3 largest proportions (28%, 24%);

    Figure 4.15 Student satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class from Senior Survey 2018.

    Satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class. Very dissatisfied (1), Generally dissatisfied (2), Generally satisfied (3), Very satisfied (4). JHU: 1 (3%), 2 (11%), 3 (63%), 4 (23%); Peers: 1 (2%), 2 (8%), 3 (59%), 4 (32%); JHU below average in average rating; JHU average rating has held steady over the past 10 years at 3.03-3.12;

    Advising models vary widely among our peers, and few appear to have partnered faculty mentoring, academic advising, and career counseling in the way envisioned by CUE2; Hopkins has an opportunity to lead in this area. Of note, University of Chicago assigns a four-year academic advisor and career coach, as well as a PhD student, to each undergraduate upon admission. Perhaps the closest model is James Madison University, which has merged its academic advising and career center into a single advising unit, enabling the integration of academic and career plans, and providing a model that students intuitively understand. This should be our goal, too.

    [1] Bettinger, E. P., & Baker, R. B. (2014). The effects of student coaching: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student advising. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(1), 3-19.

    [2] McCalla-Wriggins, B. (2009). Integrating career and academic advising: Mastering the challenge. NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources.

  • Recommendation 5: Improve course-based learning assessment methods. Eliminate the use of forced normal distribution of grades

    In recent years, Johns Hopkins has begun attracting and admitting an undergraduate student body of higher academic caliber and from a more diverse range of geographic, economic, and cultural background than ever before. For the class entering fall 2019, 98% of admitted students were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class with a mean unweighted academic GPA of 3.92 and the middle 50th percentile achieving SAT composite scores between 1480 and 1550. They hailed from 34 countries. Fifteen percent identified as First Generation College students. This new generation of Hopkins undergraduate students is far from the standard bell curve representation in terms of achievement, aptitude, experience and aspiration.

    It is critical that methods of teaching and learning assessment are updated and improved to serve the new generation of Hopkins undergraduates. Assessment of student learning should be individually based and reflective of each student’s performance in achieving the knowledge, skills, and abilities taught in the class. In general, it is not appropriate or effective to impose a normal distribution of grades (often referred to as “grading on a curve”) on exams, assignments, or final grades. Such grading practices arbitrarily limit the number of students who can be identified as having excelled, leading to the creation of a hypercompetitive student culture. We urge that they be eliminated.

    The Commission does not advocate watering down or diminishing standards. Instead it encourages the exploration and implementation of more current methods for measuring and recording student learning. It is important that best practices for student assessment be promulgated among all instructional faculty, and expectations regarding assessment be made clear at the school and departmental level to optimally support collaborative learning and creative exploration. Whatever system is used, student performance should be judged and graded relative to a standard of excellence as articulated by the faculty member and the discipline. Faculty should clearly define the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students should have achieved at the end of a course (i.e., course level learning goals) and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards.

    The literature documents the effects of curving grades on student competitiveness, and its effect on campus culture, and confirms anecdotal evidence at Hopkins. Setting pre-determined quotas for the number of grades that will be assigned pits students against one another, removing the potential for a more cooperative learning environment. It leads some students to feel that they have less control over their grades and increases their stress and anxiety. The competitive environment fostered by curved grading is one factor contributing to the loss of qualified, talented, underrepresented college students from science fields (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997). Many students attending CUE2 focus groups and Coffee with the Co-Chairs meetings shared similar sentiments. One student reported that she stopped studying with classmates after she realized they were her “direct competition for a final grade.” Another student described the stress caused by his uncertainty, until letter grades were posted, about what grade his 46% class average would receive. He also described his confusion when he discovered that it meant he received an “A.” Moving away from curved grades will promote classroom community by setting the expectation that all students have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of excellence and that, if they do, their achievement will be reflected in their grade.

    In a CUE2 commissioned qualitative survey of undergraduate faculty who taught a course of 40 or more students in the past two academic years, 28% of respondents (n=135) reported using a grading policy interpreted as relative and contributing to student competition. This includes assigning grades by natural breaks in the distribution or normalizing the distribution.

    Grading policies and data concerning the use of the curve at other institutions are elusive. In an informal survey of COFHE peers, asking “At your institution, do the majority of instructors for large (>50 students) sections of UG courses use a curve to determine final course grades? (Answer: yes/no/don’t know)?”, only four schools responded. The responses were highly variable, ranging from “we don’t know” (Stanford, U Penn), to mostly no but yes in many of the Gateway Science courses from Duke, to a firm “no” from MIT.

    The Commission recognizes the difficulty in writing exams and assessments that reliably challenge students at the same level each year, and faculty may need to take corrective action when an assessment is judged overly difficult.  Some faculty reported adding a standard number of points to all exams in these cases.[1]  In any case, faculty should clearly define what students should be able to do at the end of a course and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards. As one faculty member commented, “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” Alternate practices to curving have been well-documented, and include straight grading, specification grading, and competency-based grading.

    Assessment systems in any course have been and will continue to be the purview of the faculty member teaching that course. What should be reviewed for each course is whether 1) the objective and subjective measures of expected performance are well explained to the students and 2) whether the assessment mechanism used does or does not unfairly force a normal distribution of grades. These should be reviewed by the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in each department and instances of relative assessment tools should be brought to the attention of the Vice Deans for Undergraduate Education. Further, the University’s Vice Deans of Education (VDE), a group routinely convened by the Office of the Provost, and the University Council on Learning Assessment (UCLA) should issue a best practices statement regarding student learning assessment methods.

    [1] Additional faculty comments from survey supporting elimination of curves: “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” “I do not curve grades. I do not feel bound to give grades in any proportions; I set my standards.” “I do not curve grades. In my view, if all my students do well, or all do badly, their grades should reflect that fact.” “No, but I might adjust the final score limits slightly if I think the exam problems were unusually hard or there are any confusion about them.”

    “I try to gauge the difficulty of my exams so that students have a fair chance to succeed without curving.  If everybody does great, everybody should get an A; likewise, everybody should fail if nobody achieves the objectives.”

    “No, I do not curve grades… I usually use rubrics to establish grading standards, particularly since I use TAs/graders. Rubrics are made available to the students at the time of the assignment so that they understand what is expected of them.”

    “I don’t curve final grades, but I do sometimes curve an individual test grade if I feel that the average was low (<80%-85%).  My philosophy is that the students should always know where they stand in class with regards to their final grade.  If some magical curve is applied at the end, they never really know.”

    “Briefly, I do not curve grades as I like to give points for mastery.  That said I do not know how to design an exam with a clear point threshold for mastery for a specific grade in advance.  So I rescale grade, same for everyone onto an A, B, C etc.”

  • Recommendation 6: Establish a new system for the assessment of teaching and student mentoring by faculty

    By consensus, the assessment of teaching and mentoring now in place is seriously flawed. Teaching evaluation in the Homewood schools relies almost exclusively on results from student course evaluations. Research has shown that the raw numbers provided by such evaluations can be misleading, and that the qualitative evaluations are consistently biased against female and underrepresented minority faculty.[1] Further, the responses aren’t correlated to learning outcomes.[2] It is also unclear how those results are meaningfully and consistently incorporated into promotion and tenure decisions.

    Surveys of faculty, including a 2014 AAUP survey, report that faculty support assessment models unlike those we (and most universities) have in place. There are many alternative models. Northwestern developed a Continuing HE Credits (CHEC) program to foster and reward faculty commitment to high quality undergraduate teaching; credits earned for excellent teaching can be collected in various ways that support the faculty member’s scholarship and can be a positive factor in salary decisions. The University of Texas developed a Provost’s Teaching Fellows Initiative to offer a model for creating a sustainable structure to advance the teaching mission of the university.   Washington University has developed procedures that use self-assessment, peer review; student evaluations, and amply researched the field; their recommendations were supported by the AAUP 2014 Statement on Teaching Evaluation.

    The VDE from across the University should be charged by the Provost with determining best practices for comprehensive and transparent assessment of teaching and faculty mentoring for all Johns Hopkins faculty. The VDE should also identify the most appropriate school-based governance bodies and methods for establishment of relevant policies and procedures. The outcome should be an unequivocal university message that the demonstrated ability of Johns Hopkins faculty to teach well is required for both promotion and tenure.

    [1] Boring, A., Ottoboni, K., & Stark, P. (2016). Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness. ScienceOpen Research.

    [2] Uttl, B., White, C. A., & Gonzalez, D. W. (2017). Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related. Studies in Educational Evaluation54, 22-42.

  • The journal won’t let me submit my author’s final version to JScholarship. Now what?

    If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request a waiver or notify us.  But if you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options that might be available to you.

  • To whom does this policy apply?

    The policy applies to full-time JH faculty. All types of faculty are included in this policy, not just tenure-track or tenured faculty. Part-time faculty are not included. Students, staff researchers, and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to make their peer-reviewed journal articles open access, but are not required to do so.

  • What about copyright transfer agreements?

    If  your copyright transfer agreement does not allow you to submit your author’s final version to an open repository, you may write to the journal requesting a change before you sign or click through the agreement. For the reasons mentioned above, many journals have a back-up agreement available.

  • What are “Open Access repositories?”

    An Open Access repository provides free content and makes that content discoverable through Google, Google Scholar, and other search engines. Some open repositories are associated with funding agencies: NIH has PubMed Central, NASA has PubSpace, and DOE has PAGES. Some disciplines use community repositories: physics has arXiv, biology has bioRxiv, and the humanities have Humanities Commons. Many institutions run repositories: Harvard has DASH, MIT has DSpace@MIT, and Duke uses the Duke Digital Repository. If a version of your peer-reviewed article appears in a repository similar to these, you are aligned with the JH policy and do not have to do anything further.

  • What are the benefits of submitting my work to JScholarship?

    The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. JScholarship also provides a permanent identifier for use in citations, emails, and on websites.

  • What can I do if a journal refuses my paper because of the Johns Hopkins Open Access Policy?

    For thousands of journal titles, this should not be an issue. The Sherpa/Romeo site provides information about publisher self-archiving and copyright policies. If the journal in question does not allow you to share a version of your article openly, you still have several options. For example, you can contact the publisher and try to negotiate an exception to their rules based on our policy. Additionally, scholarly articles whose copyright transfer or licensing terms with the publisher are incompatible with this policy are exempt from this policy. Please contact Robin Sinn to discuss the options available to you.

  • What does “accepted for publication on or after July 1, 2018” actually mean?

    The policy does not apply to scholarly articles published or accepted before July 1, 2018. Nor does the policy apply to scholarly articles accepted prior to July 1, 2018 and published after that date.

  • What does the policy say?

    Read the policy here.

  • What is an “Open Access journal?”

    An Open Access journal is a journal that does not require a subscription to read or download content. If you publish in an OA journal, you have met the policy’s goal and do not need to do anything more. A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Librarians and informationists can offer tips for avoiding predatory journals.

  • What is JScholarship?

    JScholarship is the Johns Hopkins institutional repository. You can deposit the author’s final version of your article in JScholarship. The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. If a publisher is concerned about an article version posted in JScholarship, the library will work with the publisher to rectify the situation. You can also deposit other work in JScholarship that you want to make Open Access. Simply contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu.

  • What is PASS?

    The Library built and maintains PASS to support submission to JScholarship and other repositories. PASS allows you to submit to multiple repositories simultaneously, saving you time. The system went live on July 2, 2018. Work will continue after July 2, to improve the interface and to allow PASS to work with other agencies like the NSF. A new function was added in November, 2018, allowing proxy submission. Faculty can allow another JH employee to upload the documents; the faculty still needs to make a final check before the submission is complete.

    Some subscription journals charge a fee (often in the thousands of dollars) to make an article Open Access; they also submit the publisher’s version of the article immediately into a repository. Authors might pay this fee because they want the published version immediately available. If you are content with making the author’s final version available, however, use PASS and avoid paying that fee.

  • What is the “author’s final version” of my article?

    JH faculty publish in many different journals, all with different rules and practices regarding posting versions of an article in platforms other than the publisher’s website. You can see summaries of these rules in Sherpa/Romeo. Most open access policies request that the author’s final version be deposited in an open repository. The JH Open Access Policy defines the author’s final version as the “version of a scholarly article that is sent to the publisher after it has gone through peer review, any revisions responsive thereto, and any further copyediting in which the corresponding author has participated.”

  • What is the relationship between PASS and JScholarship?

    PASS is a submission system that allows you to submit your author’s final version to open repositories, including JScholarship, the JH institutional repository. Using PASS to submit to JScholarship places your files in the JH Open Access Collection. PASS will eventually work with a number of repositories.

  • What open repositories does JH consider acceptable?

    Repositories associated with educational institutions, funding agencies, or scholarly societies, and academic disciplines are acceptable outlets for your research.  Examples include PubMed Central, MLA Commons, and the Department of Energy’s PAGES. Any repository listed in PASS is acceptable. These sites provide open access to anyone wanting to read or download articles. There is some effort at stability and preservation of the content deposited.

  • What research outputs does this policy apply to?

    The policy applies to peer-reviewed journal articles. Other types of output such as essays, books, edited book chapters, catalogs, letters, editorials, poetry, music, etc. are not covered by this policy.

  • When do I need to make my article openly available?

    There are no hard deadlines. Publishing your article in an Open Access journal requires no extra steps, so in that scenario there is not any need for a deadline. If your funder requires you to deposit in its open repository, you can abide by whatever deadlines they impose; JH will not add an extra deadline. If you submit the author’s final version to JScholarship, you can do that when it fits your schedule. The sooner you do that, the more quickly your article will be accessible and the less likely you are to forget; but JH does not require submission within a particular timeframe.

  • Who is a “corresponding or sole author?”

    “Corresponding author” refers to the author responsible for communication with the publisher; “sole author” applies to articles that only have one author.  If an article has only one author who is a full time JH faculty member or the corresponding author of an article is a full-time JH faculty member, then the article needs to be made openly available by that faculty member through one of the methods described in the policy.

  • Why is Johns Hopkins doing this?

    In accordance with our mission of providing knowledge for the world, the University is committed to disseminating the research and scholarship of its faculty as widely as possible. Increased public access to research  contributes to greater impact in the broader scientific and scholarly community and advances the reputation of the University.

  • Why would subscription journals allow their articles to be published with Open Access?

    The NIH Public Access Policy requires journals publishers to make the author’s final version of an article supported with NIH grant funding freely available in PubMed Central within one year of publication in the journal. That law went into effect in 2008.   In 2013, the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a similar requirement for federal agencies that grant more than $100 million in R&D funds. Many universities followed suit, creating their own open access policies.  ROARMAP tracks the number of open access policies globally.  Most journals and publishers have changed their author agreements in order to comply with these policies. Some journals will allow the submission of an author’s final version only if a university has an open access policy.

  • Will a reader be able to move from the open version of my article to the published version, on the publisher’s website?

    Some repositories have the capability to link between open versions and published versions of articles. JScholarship does not currently possess this functionality but we could develop it if necessary.

  • Will posting articles on my personal web page meet the policy’s conditions?

    Posting to a personal web page does not fulfill the policy requirements. Personal web pages don’t offer the same functions and services as journals and repositories. These important functions and services include:

    • A permanent identifier (URI or DOI)
    • Search engine optimization
    • A workflow for long-term preservation
    • A workflow for copyright and other inquiries

    Personal web pages, even those provided by your academic department, will disappear when you leave the university, retire, or die. We want to ensure that your research is available beyond that point.

  • Will publishing open access articles affect tenure and promotion?

    The Open Access Policy will not affect tenure and promotion since faculty will continue to publish in their journals of choice.

Open Access Outside the Open Access Policy

  • Are sites like Academia.edu, ResearchGate, or Mendeley acceptable as open repositories?

    No. These sites make little effort to check for copyright compliance;  thus many publishers don’t want their content on these sites. Please use JScholarship, an Open Access journal, or a repository run by a grant agency or discipline to make your articles openly available.

  • Do other universities have similar policies?

    Yes, many universities worldwide have OA policies like this, and the JH policy is modeled on policy best practices at peer institutions. ROARMAP lists institutions and funding agencies that implement open access mandates. MIT provides a partial list of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities with such policies.

  • How do I comply with the policy?

    Faculty may comply with the policy in two ways. First, they may comply by publishing their scholarly articles in an open access journal, depositing their article in an open access repository, (e.g. PubMed Central), or electing an open access option in a non-open journal. Alternatively, faculty (or a proxy) can use the Public Access Submission System, PASS, to deposit the author’s final version of the article in the JH institutional repository, JScholarship.

    PASS was available as of July 2, 2018. PASS currently supports submission to PubMed Central for compliance with the following funding agency public access policies: NIH, ACL, ASPR, CDC, VA, FDA, HHMI, and NASA. It can be used as a direct substitute for the NIHMS submission system, although the final review and approval steps must still be completed via NIHMS. PASS also provides a dashboard that displays deposit and compliance status for NIH grants and associated submissions. PASS includes a link to the web-based submission forms for the Department of Education and USAID. PASS will eventually support submission to other funding agencies such as NSF and DOE.

  • How do I deal with a journal embargo?

    Journals may require a 6- to 24-month embargo before you can post the author’s final version of the article in an open access repository. You should follow such requirements. No deadline is included in the JH Open Access Policy. Both PASS and JScholarship work with embargo dates. You can submit your author’s final version at any point, indicate the end date for the embargo, and the system will post the files at the appropriate time.

  • How do I identify and avoid predatory journals?

    Your librarian, informationist, or Robin Sinn can assist with questions about particular journals. The library provides a list of resources that can help you avoid predatory journals.

  • How do I identify reputable OA journals?

    A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Concerns about particular titles can be addressed to your librarian or informationist, or Robin Sinn.

  • How do I report questions or problems about PASS or JScholarship?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, Coordinator of the Office of Scholarly Communication.

  • How should the author’s final versions be cited?

    The metadata the author provides will provide most of the citation information. JScholarship, or another open repository, will provide a permanent identifier (e.g. JScholarship ID or PMCID) for use in the citation.

  • I do not have permission rights for some of the images in my article. What should I do?

    You have several options if you do not have permission to openly share the images in your article.

    1. You may submit a version of your article that does not include the images unless you are submitting to PubMed Central*.
    2. You may submit two files – one file with just the text, which will be openly available, and a supplementary file with the images that will be kept in a dark archive, unavailable to readers.
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  • Recommendation 1: Redesign the undergraduate curriculum to provide foundational abilities for life-long flourishing and learning

    This recommendation starts from our recognition that the University has a responsibility to prepare its students to flourish as informed, skilled, and effective members of their society and of the world.  To ensure that we meet this responsibility, the Commission recommends an ambitious new undergraduate curricular framework that balances disciplinary training, developed through the major, with interdisciplinary exploration while strengthening our students’ sense of community. We should provide an education broad as well as deep, one resembling (to use language current in educational studies) a “T,” rather than an “I.[1]” As depicted in Figure 4.1, T-shaped education affords students with the opportunity to develop deep disciplinary knowledge in at least one area as well as the competencies associated with forming connections between disciplines that allow them to become adaptive innovators.

    Boundary Crossing Competencies: Teamwork, communication, perspective, networks, critical thinking, global understanding, project management, etc. Many Disciplines: Understanding and communications. Many Systems: Understanding and communications. Deep in At Least One Discipline: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Deep in at least one system: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Me: Intersection of sections listed above.

    Figure 4.1 T-Shaped Undergraduate Education

    Currently, the University uses “distribution requirements” to ensure interdisciplinary breadth of academic experience. These requirements stipulate that students must earn a minimum number of credits in academic areas outside of their primary major. These areas include humanities (H), natural sciences (N), social and behavioral sciences (S), quantitative and mathematical sciences (Q), and engineering (E). Courses are assigned an area designator by the academic department, if taught within a Homewood academic department; if not taught within a Homewood academic department, they are assigned by the appropriate dean’s office.

    Data and anecdotal evidence both suggest that these requirements are not successful. The means by which courses are evaluated for designation is unclear and inconsistent. In some departments, a significant percentage of classes required for the major can also be counted toward the distribution requirement. In KSAS, students can triple count a course toward a major requirement, a writing requirement (“W”), and a social science or behavioral science (“S”) or a Natural Science (“N”)/ quantitative and mathematical science (“Q”)/Engineering (“E”). This thwarts the distributional intent of the requirements. Students majoring in Psychology, for instance, can satisfy 92% of the distribution and writing requirements through major courses alone. The current distribution system does not ensure that students are learning enough about other disciplines to make meaningful connections between and across these disciplines.

    To begin our discussion of curricular revision, Commission members reflected matters of principle and articulated the foundational abilities a Hopkins undergraduate education should inculcate.

    1. Students should recognize the importance of language and have a command of it as readers, writers, and speakers. Students should be able to express ideas, opinions, beliefs, and feelings; interpret varied texts accurately and subtly; argue lucidly and effectively; and recognize the many ways conventions and contexts shape both expression and comprehension.
    2. Students should respect scientific and numerical reasoning and be able to apply computational and analytical methods to organize, manipulate, summarize, and evaluate quantitative information and experience, in public, professional, and personal life.  They should be able to create and assess arguments that are supported by quantitative evidence.
    3. Students should recognize the importance of complex creative expressions in various forms and be able to interpret them reflectively. They should have the means to deepen the quality of their lives by cultivating their intellectual and emotional responses to aesthetic and cultural experiences.
    4. Students should engage effectively as citizens of a diverse world. Graduates should have developed a knowledge of local, national and global societies. They should be able to articulate and examine their own beliefs, practices, and values while being open to and respectful of the beliefs, practices and values of others.
    5. Students should be reflective, effective ethical agents in their personal and professional lives. To this end, they should recognize situations of ethical consequence inside and outside their fields of study, understand ethical principles, formulate their own views about those principles and their application, and act in principled fashion.
    6. Students should be able to independently identify, conceptualize, and complete large-scale, consequential projects. They should be able to adopt, refine, and use appropriate methods and means for such projects, and respond to unforeseen developments.

    We continued our curricular discussion by studying models developed by peer institutions. The disquietude found in the reports issued has several sources difficult to detangle: an uncertainty about the relationship between liberal arts education and vocational/pre-professional training; a worry that the “open” curriculum has become a hodge-podge, box-checking exercise; and a concern that a highly-structured “core” curriculum is too rigid for the present needs of students in an increasingly fluid, rapidly altering society.

    In their report, Columbia asks several questions of its curriculum: “Are what some have called the ‘containers’ of our undergraduate curriculum appropriately sized? We probably agree that a strong undergraduate curriculum should include general education (our core), specialist education (our majors) and opportunities for exploration (electives). Do we provide ample opportunity for all three of these goals?” Stanford has asked whether the intellectual breadth of a more “open” curriculum serves its undergraduates well. “Few people question the value of intellectual breadth … [but is ‘sampling’] the optimal way of fostering true breadth in an age like ours, in which the boundaries of different fields are increasingly blurred?”

    Stanford’s answer to questions like these has been not to prescribe courses in particular disciplinary areas but to promise the acquisition and development of seven “essential capacities,” which foster “ways of thinking, ways of doing.” The capacities they list are aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, social inquiry, scientific analysis, formal and quantitative reasoning, engaging difference, moral and ethical reasoning, and creative expression. They have started to implement this shift in approach by establishing a first-year curriculum experience called “Thinking Matters.” It seeks to inculcate a broadly applicable orientation to academic study rather than narrower forms of knowledge.

    Other universities have issued similar statements. U-C Berkeley has said that its graduates should possess four core “competences” and four “dispositions.” Graduates should be literate, numerate, creative, and investigative–these are the competences; and also open-minded, worldly, engaged, and disciplined–the dispositions. UC-Berkeley invokes vocational pressures in justifying its new approach: “students must prepare for fluid careers in a future where what you know is less important than how you think, learn and discover on your own.” To do this, UC-Berkeley aims to “bring greater meaning and coherence to core requirements,” in part by using new technology. For example, they are now using a planning tool called “Course Threads,” which helps students (with faculty supervision) chart a “logically connected sequence of breadth courses.”

    Like Stanford and Berkeley, Washington University acknowledges the importance of articulating the essential skills and competences the university wishes its graduates to possess, but it emphasizes the even greater need to cultivate a longer list of “metacognitive skills and attitudes.” These include an ability to think and act creatively, an ability to engage in both individual and collaborative research, an understanding of how knowledge is created and transmitted, the ability to integrate knowledge from several domains, resilience and the ability to adapt to change, intellectual curiosity; practical insight, and “a facility for making normative assessments as well as with establishing matters of fact.” The challenge is how to instantiate these abstract goals in the curriculum. American University, for example, is tackling “quantitative literacy, writing, and information literacy training” by creating a variation on the core curriculum. It is putting in place a five-course sequence emphasizing skill/competency-oriented learning (e.g. “Quantitative Literacy I”). This is supplemented with an optional set of one-credit professional skills modules.

    As the Commission studied these varied models, members came to see that a new curricular framework could also address our need to strengthen students’ sense of community, without constraining the curricular freedom they rightly value. Hopkins undergraduates choose to learn across a wide variety of settings and contexts–from the classroom to the residence hall; from the laboratory to the athletic field; from the library to the internship site. This diversity is one of our great strengths. The curricular framework we propose provides a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied experience. The foundational abilities we describe would be developed in all of these contexts, through both individual work and in teams, in brief and in extended projects, through an array of programs, courses, and experiences. The abilities would provide a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied, independently designed education.

    The proposed curricular framework has the following components:

    Recommendation 1a. Require participation in a first year seminar.

    We begin with a pedagogical form invented at Hopkins—the seminar. The Commission recommends that every entering student be required to participate in a first year seminar. Requiring participation in a first year Hopkins seminar would be transformative. At a minimum, the first year seminar would set the tone for the undergraduate experience by providing students with a shared introduction to university life and the opportunity to work closely with senior faculty as they explore scholarly topics. The seminars would also provide opportunity for students to begin developing the foundational abilities. Fully maximized, a first year seminar curriculum could exploit Hopkins’ distinctive combination of small size and unparalleled research faculty while targeting development of particular foundational abilities.

    CUE2 reviewed several successful first-year seminar programs, including those developed by Amherst College, Stanford University, the University of Toronto, and UC Berkeley. Amherst’s First-Year Seminars, initially designed as one-year, interdisciplinary courses co-taught by faculty from two different disciplines, are an integral part of the college’s curriculum and required of all students. The First-Year Seminars are now a semester long, and often taught by a single faculty member. The Commission preferred more collaborative and interdisciplinary models that permit students to explore a single theme/topic/problem in depth by exposing them to various modes of inquiry and thus to understand their area of focus from several, overlapping (and sometimes opposed) perspectives. In such courses, faculty model how to comprehend and address complex problems through interaction with peers in other disciplines. UC-Berkeley is experimenting with “Big Ideas” courses taught by faculty from different disciplines and usually across divisions/schools. A course on “Time”, for example, is taught by a philosopher and a string theorist whereas a course on “Origins” is co-taught by a paleontologist, an astrophysicist, and a Biblical scholar. Another model is “Duke Immerse”: students join a cohort and spend an entire semester exploring a single “issue” (e.g. Uprooted/Re-routed: the Ethical Challenges of Displacement”) from an array of disciplinary perspectives. It is “delivered as one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester.”

    For the past several years, Hopkins has offered 40 to 50 freshman seminars each academic year in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. These 1-3 credit small classes, usually limited to about 10-15 freshmen, explore specialized scholarly topics chosen by faculty. As noted in Figure 4.2, 33% of freshmen completed a freshman seminar in academic year 2018-19. As an initial step, the Commission recommends 100% participation in a first year seminar for all freshman and transfer students in the first semester that they matriculate. In order to achieve this goal, the University would need to double the number of freshman seminars currently offered, ensuring that they are taught by senior faculty and aligned in terms of credit hour assignment and overarching outcomes.

    Figure 4.2 Hopkins First Year Seminars and Enrollment

    Semester Number of Freshman Seminars Taught Number of Students Enrolled (percent of class)
    Fall 2018 27 297 (23%)
    Spring 2019 10 131 (10%)
    Fall 2019 32 317 (23%)

     

    Once this target it achieved, additional options for a more robust first year seminar curriculum should be explored and piloted. For example, the first year seminars could begin to more specifically target the development of expository writing skills by pairing disciplinary expertise from senior faculty with writing instruction expertise from expository writing faculty. This evolution would require extensive consultation and collaboration among faculty, students, staff, as well as the Deans and Provost.

    The Commission offers the following as a more long-term, aspirational model for the first year seminars. Every entering student would enroll in a seminar, taught by a faculty member, designed in relation to a shared theme. Each year’s theme would be broad, allowing faculty members flexibility in designing their seminars. The themes would recur, allowing faculty to return to and revise their seminars across the years. In conjunction with these seminars, regular public assemblies would gather new students to hear lectures by visiting scholars and public intellectuals on the year’s theme. Finally, regular sessions with writing instructors would establish the importance of writing in all our disciplines.

    In this model, each incoming class (of roughly 1300-1450 students) would be divided into two groups (A and B), which would then cycle through course activities at different times. Each student would attend four public lectures, four seminars (limited to 15 students), and a minimum of four writing discussions (again, limited to the same 15 students) across the semester, as described in Figure 4.3. 

    Figure 4.3 First Year Seminar Schedule

    Semester Week “A” Cycle Activities “B” Cycle Activities
    1 Shriver Plenary
    2 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    3 Writing Group Seminar
    4 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    5 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    6 Writing Group Seminar
    7 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    8 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    9 Writing Group Seminar
    10 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    11 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    12 Writing Group Seminar
    13 Writing Group

     

    Were the University to follow this model, the demands on physical space and infrastructure would include the following. Eight times a semester, 750 students would gather in Shriver Hall, and perhaps elsewhere, were lectures to be livestreamed. Every third week, 100 seminar rooms would be needed to accommodate the seminars and writing sessions. (Were students divided into three, rather than two, cycles, the demand on seminar rooms would drop to 67 every third week.) The demands on personnel would include the cost of recruiting eight speakers, assuming each lectured only once. Up to 100 faculty members would be required to lead the four seminar meetings each semester. Again, these faculty would come from the professional schools as well as Homewood, furthering the university’s One University initiative. Themes aligned with JHU’s interdisciplinary institutes and initiatives, including 21st Century Cities and the Agora Institute, would allow us to draw on their resources. The Commission recommends that the Provost’s investment in this initiative should include an innovation competition that provides grant funding for course development. The DELTA (Digital Education & Learning Technology Acceleration) Grant program is an encouraging model. Selecting broad themes–akin to those being chosen for the Common Question experience–would allow faculty latitude to design seminars that engage them; cycling through themes on a regular schedule–say every three years–would allow faculty to return to, and revise, their seminars.

    Recommendation 1b. Establish the “Hopkins Semester” of intensive study

    Research has been the core of Hopkins’ identity. One benefit such research has traditionally offered to some of our students is the in-depth experience of extended, immersive study. But this opportunity should be extended to our students, whether in creative activity, professional exploration, or research. To that end, CUE2 proposes to create a “Hopkins Semester.”

    The Commission conceives of this program as a junior or senior year, semester-long, mentored, immersive experience that will give students the time for a focused, deep, and rigorous exploration of one complex subject or endeavor either inside or outside their major department. The Commission expects that students themselves will be the driving force of these experiences–that they will propose and complete innovative projects that we don’t presently imagine.  If the first-year courses described above in Recommendation 1a would be driven by the intellectual excitement of faculty given the opportunity to teach small seminars, the Hopkins semester would similarly be driven by the passions of the students. But students would be required to provide, and departments required to approve and assess, proposals for and reports on their experience that demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed.

    Team-based, projects would also be possible. Such projects, whether creative or research-intensive, would develop the skills associated with communication on teams whose members bring distinct qualifications and play interdependent roles. Design projects, artistic endeavors, research projects, commercial ventures, professional internships, and community-based projects all could serve the ends of this recommendation–whether undertaken in the opera house, the archives, Congress, the laboratory, the community center, a startup venture, or the clinic.  Pursuing one’s Hopkins Semester abroad would also be encouraged.

    This intensive semester should facilitate a high-level synthesis of concepts and practices learned during students’ first and second years of coursework. The Hopkins Semester could satisfy the requirements of some core major courses (and perhaps upper-level courses as well), but need not. In addition, projects and activities before and after this semester could expand and extend the experience. Thus, for example, a project pursued intensively during the semester may be defined and developed before the semester and the activity may continue, albeit at a less intense level, after the semester.  (Note that the Hopkins Semester would be immersive: projects completed piecemeal across semesters would not qualify.) The guidance provided by faculty is an essential element of this recommendation, in part because it encourages mentorship. The Hopkins Semester could regularly be a transformative immersive experience—thus furthering one aim already established by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design.

    In 1998, the Boyer Commission issued 10 recommendations for improving undergraduate education at research universities in the USA; the first recommendation was that research-based learning become standard. Following the Boyer Commission’s lead, several US research organizations—including the Mellon Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation—have funded opportunities to include undergraduates in the research programs of science faculty and, to a lesser extent, those of humanities faculty. Many subsequent studies have demonstrated the benefits of undergraduate research experiences. “Evidence from an array of quantitative and qualitative studies supports the promise of undergraduate research as a catalyst for student development across disciplines, genders, and ethnicities. While cost factors, including money, time, and faculty priorities, need be considered during the creation of an undergraduate research program, the benefits to students are consistent with our greater expectations for liberal learning.[2]” Undergraduate students who completed a mentored research program identified many areas from which they benefited including the interpretation and analysis of data, the ability to work independently and to integrate theory and practice; they also reported greater self-confidence and a clearer understanding of their career paths[3].   But the benefits of such experiences are not limited to research programs; creative and experiential projects can have analogous results.

    In 2018, 62% of Johns Hopkins seniors reporting participating in research in the Senior Survey, increased from 57% in 2016.  Results of those surveys also suggest that students are generally satisfied with the opportunities to participate in research with a faculty member. The University presently supports undergraduate research in various ways, through the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) (see Appendix I for 2017-19 Metrics), the Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant (in KSAS), and smaller initiatives, including the library-based program, The Freshman Fellows.  But research experience is inconsistent across campus. We excel at supporting student research in the lab but not in the library: In 2014, only 19% of humanities students reported participating in research with a faculty member, and only 27% of social/behavioral sciences students reported doing so; this compared to 59% for natural sciences and 69% for engineering. As our investment in undergraduate research increases, support like that presently offered through PURA and the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant should become more visible and more generously funded.

    Of our peers, only Princeton requires a capstone project for all undergraduates; it takes the form of a senior thesis. Others, like Stanford, make a point of encouraging all seniors to complete capstones. Some capstone experiences offered elsewhere resemble the Hopkins Semester we propose.  George Mason University offers research semesters in biology. The University of Michigan offers a Humanities Collaboratory that brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate research assistants over a semester. Duke offers an intensive research semester with seminars called DukeImmerse, a cohort model in which students spend an entire semester exploring a single issue from an array of disciplinary perspectives. Like the Hopkins Semester, DukeImmerse is one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester. It involves daily interaction with faculty members and a collaborative project. About four such programs run each semester. Similarly, the “Immersion Vanderbilt” program encourages students to pursue creative and/or independent projects.  The program is “inherently flexible to allow the student to work closely with a faculty mentor on a project that provides a depth of experience.” Finally, standalone programs, like EUROScholars, enable students to use a study abroad semester for research.

    For the Hopkins Semester to be viable within our traditional four-year program, departments will need to ensure that the sequencing of their courses allow for a full semester immersive experience. Additionally, advising services would need to assist arranging projects undertaken on campus and, in coordination with advisors in majors and career services, also assist arranging projects undertaken off-campus. The Undergraduate Education Board would be charged with developing best practices in setting learning objectives and assessment expectations for the Hopkins Semester.   Departments will use those guidelines to develop student application, approval, and assessment processes. The Board should also establish baseline expectations regarding faculty mentoring of students based on best practices.

    Recommendation 1c. Meaningfully integrate curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning

    Integrative learning is an understanding and a disposition that a student builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus.[4]

    Student learning is not contained by the architecture of formal coursework; the rewards of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are distinctive, various, and essential to any undergraduate education. Our students pursue their passions, apply their learning, and connect with alumni, community leaders, and other Johns Hopkins affiliates outside as well as inside the classroom. In short, they should integrate their various experiences into a distinctive education.

    We are well positioned to transform the college experience from one composed solely of traditional elements—lectures, papers, problem sets, and exams—to one in which these elements sit amid a much broader range of learning activities within and beyond the classroom. The many benefits of this transformed experience would be varied. A plan to develop such a fully integrated experience at Hopkins has already been initiated by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Central to that plan is the development of a co-curricular roadmap that integrates coursework, intersession and summer experience, community activities, and social networks to ensure that all students are exposed to the same rich opportunities. This education would include tools for students to document, reflect on, and assess all their educational activities, and would help them lay the groundwork for life-long learning and their post-graduate careers. To support this initiative, the Commission recommends that the Undergraduate Education Board develop clear policies on awarding credit or credential based on learning outcomes for structured co-curricular experiences relevant to disciplinary study. Linking outcomes to academic requirements would send a powerful signal to faculty and students concerning the importance of co-curricular learning. Such a policy would also guide faculty as they facilitate student reflection on their extramural work and evaluate their experience against outcomes defined by the program and University.

    “The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has long promoted integrative learning for all students as a hallmark of a quality liberal education, noting its essential role in lifelong learning” (National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise, 2007). Increasingly, integrative learning is recognized as an empowering developmental process through which students synthesize knowledge across curricular and co-curricular experiences to develop new concepts, refine values and perspectives in solving problems, master transferable skills, and cultivate self-understanding. An AAC&U-sponsored project on integrative liberal learning between 2012 and 2014 with fourteen small liberal arts institutions has helped illuminate a variety of practices that strengthen connections across learning experiences and encourage students to reflect on their goals with the aim of making intentional curricular and co-curricular choices, charting their own progress, and understanding the ‘why’—and not just the ‘what’—of their four years.”[5]

    Data concerning students’ participation in extra- and co-curricular activities at Hopkins are scattered. In the 2016-2017 academic year, Johns Hopkins University had 409 student organizations (including fraternities and sororities). Currently, there are 395 student organizations, and this number is expected to surpass 400 as the year progresses, given organizations that are currently going through the process of being established. In the 2016 Senior Survey, 63.1% of students reported having participated in at least one student organization (including fraternities and sororities) during their time as an undergraduate. As noted in Appendix H, participation varies across majors.

    Figure 4.4 reveals that 23% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported studying abroad, a low rate among our peers. In the same survey, students also reported that they would have liked to spend more time involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering, relaxing, and socializing.

    Data about JHU sponsored off-campus activities are harder to ascertain, but the numbers appear quite low: 3.0% of students have participated in off-campus activities sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, for instance; 2.4% have participated through the Center for Social Concern.

    Figure 4.4 Participation in study abroad as compared to peer institutions 2018 Senior Survey.

    Percent of Respondents Reporting Participation in Study Abroad Peers: 56%, 53%, 46%, 40%, 39%, 32%, 28%, 24%, 17%, 12%. JHU: 23% (Third least in cohort of 11).

    Other universities, including Boston University and University of South Carolina, have created models for integrating co- and extracurricular activities into student experience, and created infrastructure to enable, document, and reward those activities. Among the most robust of these models is the 21st Century Badging Challenge developed by the Educational Design Lab in association with public and private universities in the Washington D.C. area. Engaging faculty members and about 40 students from each participating institution, the program determines rigorous assessment criteria for its badges, in order to present a comprehensive signal to employers about student achievement. The University of South Carolina (USC) has developed the USC Connect program, which provides learning pathways that start in the first year, take students outside of the classroom, and enable them to create substantive portfolios. Successful students graduate with “leadership distinction” designated on their diplomas and transcript. Finally, the University of Mary Washington and Emory University have both piloted projects to provide a personal web space to all incoming students; in this space, students will develop integrated, holistic e-portfolios that include both curricular and co/extra-curricular evidence of their activities.

    Again, some of the resources for a more fully integrated learning experience at Hopkins are already at hand. The Center for Social Concern (CSC) has been particularly active in encouraging students to engage with the Baltimore community. CSC supports both extra-curricular engagement, through hosting student organizations, and curricular experiential learning opportunities, through a faculty fellows program. The CSC’s France-Merrick Civic Fellowship allows students to undertake community work. In collaboration with the Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Educational Outreach, CSC helps sponsor the Charm City Science League, an organization of over 100 student volunteers who work with teams of middle-school students to prepare for Science Olympiad and robotics competitions.

    Implementation plans for the development of a more fully integrated undergraduate experience have already been formed by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Features of that plan include embedding career staff in academic programs and communities; replacing career services with scalable life design programs that integrate coursework, connections, and experiential learning; developing learning modules for staff and faculty on life design; creating dynamic websites, online platforms, and a digital presence; and drafting a narrative of life design for admissions, departments, centers, and alumni relations. Departments should be charged with developing policies for the assessment of co-curricular activities where warranted, in consultation with the Undergraduate Education Board. The University’s new learning assessment platform provides an opportunity to develop Comprehensive Learner Records for each undergraduate student. These records are digital, official documents issued by the institution that provide a richer expression of the learning outcomes or competencies mastered during a student’s experience than traditional transcripts and diplomas as they capture course-based, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning.

    Recommendation 1d. Ensuring departmental instruction in foundational abilities

    The above three recommendations (1a-c) are intended to prepare students with foundational intellectual skills and dispositions for lifelong learning. But these foundational abilities must also be incorporated into the design of major curricula and courses.  Majors require that students know a segment of human knowledge deeply, and master its ways of thinking. They also require that students integrate foundational abilities in a specific field of study.   Many of the foundational abilities will be cultivated in courses required for the major; others may be cultivated through other coursework; still others, importantly, may be cultivated through co-curricular activities. To that end, the Commission recommends that the current distribution requirements be modified to become distribution areas that correlate with the foundational abilities. All students will be required to take a minimum of one course in each of the six distribution areas by the time of graduation. Further, the deans of KSAS and WSE charge each department with evaluating and modifying existing curricula and designing new curricula that ensures that their majors are trained in each of these abilities.

    Each academic department will be required to demonstrate to the Undergraduate Education Board that their students will develop the foundational abilities all Hopkins students should acquire by mapping major program outcomes and course learning objectives to the foundational abilities and distribution areas. Multifaceted assessment of program outcomes and learning objectives will provide students, departments, and schools with formative and summative data that illustrate students success in achieving the abilities. Such data should be evaluated by the department regularly to inform the need for curricular revision and appropriate allocation of resources.

    CUE2 recognizes that this recommendation will require academic departments to develop much more sophisticated and robust means of assessing students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as evaluating courses and programs. However, this shift is necessary if we truly want to encourage an educational culture that promotes development of competencies rather than accrual of credentials. Modifying the current distribution requirement system alone would only perpetuate a credential gathering, box-checking approach to undergraduate education. It is imperative that revision of that system occur concomitantly with a shift in culture within our academic departments. With support from the deans, the academic departments must bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that students achieve both the breadth and depth of intellectual inquiry outlined.

    The six new distribution areas, reflective of the six foundational abilities, also provide opportunity for academic innovation. Faculty should be encouraged to develop new courses that span disciplinary boundaries, thereby targeting development of skills on the horizontal bar of the “T.” For example, a competitive academic innovation fund could be established to develop new classes that require students to apply their disciplinary knowledge in the context of a team composed of students with varied expertise from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Several models already exist within our university upon which the infrastructure for such courses could be built. Several engineering departments already engage industrial partners to sponsor student projects, while the Center for Social Concern builds connections between extracurricular student projects and Baltimore communities. The recently pioneered Classics Research Lab provided a mechanism for a team of students to undertake a reconstruction of the contexts of and influences upon the work of Victorian scholar John Addington Symonds, author of one of the first major studies of Ancient Greek sexuality, pioneering a humanities-centric approach to problem based learning. A pilot to teach Multidisciplinary Engineering Design is underway in Fall 2019 during which 18 students from across 6 engineering majors are engaged in 4 different projects with external partners. These range from investigating microfiber separation from wastewater in collaboration with sportswear manufacturer Under Armour, to engaging with social enterprise Clearwater Mills to develop innovative ways to engage the communities that live around Professor Trash Wheel to improve the effectiveness of this installation to prevent trash from entering the Baltimore Harbor. And in 2018 a Hack Your Life Design Challenge engaged 18 teams of students from Mechanical Engineering at JHU and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Teams had to use at least five different materials to create an interactive project with moving parts that cost no more than $100. The challenge provided students with the freedom to explore different ways in which engineering and art can intersect.

    The pathways students take to meet the distribution areas requirement and to develop the foundational abilities will be widely varied, and driven by their individual interests and needs. CUE2 recognizes that their success will require careful advising and mentoring by faculty, staff, peers, and others. Recommendation 4 below describes a new system of advising, mentoring, and coaching, which would provide the support needed for this new curricular framework. Certainly, the burden of ensuring that students acquire these foundational abilities will be considerable. But the curricular framework described here highlights one great strength of our university: that it provides students with a combination of unmatched institutional resources and individual attention. This vision aims to ensure that all our students benefit from that distinctive strength while enrolled, and flourish after they graduate.

    [1] T-Academy (2018) http://tsummit.org/t

    [2] Lopatto, D. (2006). Undergraduate research as a catalyst for liberal learning. Peer Review8(1), 22-25. See also: Gillies, S. L., & Marsh, S. (2013). Doing science research at an undergraduate university. International Journal of Arts & Sciences6(4), 379; Hempstead, J., Graham, D., & Couchman, R. (2012). Forging a template for undergraduate collaborative research: A case study. Creative Education36(Special Issue), 859-865; Healey, M., & Jenkins, A. (2009). Developing undergraduate research and inquiry (p. 152). York: Higher Education Academy; Kuh, G. D. (2008). Excerpt from high-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 19-34; Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27.

    [3] Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27

    [4] Rhodes, T. L. (2010). Making learning visible and meaningful through electronic portfolios. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning43(1), 6-13.

    [5] Ferren, A. S., & Anderson, C. B. (2016). Integrative learning: Making liberal education purposeful, personal, and practical. New Directions for Teaching and Learning2016(145), 33-40.; see also Kehoe, A., & Goudzwaard, M. (2015). ePortfolios, badges, and the whole digital self: How evidence-based learning pedagogies and technologies can support integrative learning and identity development. Theory Into Practice54(4), 343-351.

  • Recommendation 2: Increase the flexibility of the major requirements where needed to enable intellectual exploration

    The model of undergraduate education CUE2 recommends places disciplinary expertise at its center. Being trained in a distinct set of methods and acquiring the knowledge particular to a discipline are essential features of an undergraduate education. Moreover, without strong disciplines one cannot imagine strong interdisciplinary programs. But disciplinary expertise must be rooted in a liberal education. The best scholars, as President Gilman remarked in his inaugural address, “will almost invariably be those who make special attainments on the foundation of a broad and liberal culture.” This education contributes to their flourishing, independent of and beyond any credentials we might issue.

    Our faculty habitually forge connections among disciplines; undergraduates should be encouraged to do the same. For students to pursue the leads provided by disciplinary training, they must be given room to leave their disciplines and learn elsewhere. As urged by its charge, the Commission proposes to build on the positive features, including curricular flexibility, which distinguish us. The curriculum of any university, as Jonathan Cole remarked in his Town Hall Presentation, “should dovetail well with the identity of the university and represent a realization of its basic principles and goals.” Hopkins has offered its students flexibility since its founding. That flexibility assumes maturity of the students and aims simultaneously to promote that maturity, cultivating the independence of thought necessary for life-long learning.

    The diversity of our students implies diversity of thought, ambition and goals; as a result, curricula should not assume that one path will suit all students, even within a discipline. Data from student focus groups and the most recent surveys indicate that our students continue to value this flexibility and are dissatisfied when it is absent. The initiative, breadth, and independence assumed by a flexible curriculum also are valued by industries presently driving the global economy. According to a recent study conducted by Hart Research Associates and published by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, “employers recognize capacities that cut across majors as critical to a candidate’s potential for career success, and they view these skills as more important than a student’s choice of undergraduate major.” Nearly all those surveyed (93%) agree that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.” Many prominent business leaders, including Johns Hopkins alumnus Samuel Palmisano (former CEO of IBM), have confirmed this view and have offered full-throated endorsements of a broad and liberal education, rather than a narrow, exclusively technical or exclusively non-technical one.

    Institutional data in Figures 4.5-8 show that curricular flexibility, as measured by the fraction of credits restricted by a student’s major, varies widely across departments, and is highly restricted in some. The Department of Philosophy requires the completion of 33 credit hours (27% of the total needed for graduation); Biomedical Engineering requires roughly three times that number, 104 (80% of the total needed for graduation). Data also suggest some majors at Hopkins are outliers among their peers at other universities, requiring a greater percentage of credits to be completed in the major. Of the majors and peers studied by CUE2, our majors in Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering in WSE, and KSAS’s Biophysics, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Studies, Physics, Anthropology, Political Science, Art History, Classics, History, Latin American Studies, and Writing Seminars all have markedly less flexibility than similar majors at peer institutions. While not as striking, several other majors in both schools also appear quite restrictive. This is just one possible metric for curricular flexibility, which may also be encouraged by strict course sequencing, course offerings that occur only annually, and lack of on-line options that could facilitate participation of students undertaking opportunities at remote sites.

     

    Figure 4.5 Flexibility in KSAS natural sciences majors as compared to peers.[1]

    Behavioral Biology: JHU least flexible. Biology: JHU less flexible than average. Biophysics: JHU least flexible. Chemistry: JHU less flexible than average. Cognitive Science: JHU less flexible than average. Earth and Planetary Sciences: JHU more flexible than average. Environmental Science and Studies (B.S.) : JHU least flexible. Environmental Science and Studies (B.A.) : JHU least flexible. Mathematics: JHU average. Physics (B.A.): JHU less flexible than average. Physics (B.S.): JHU less flexible. Psychological and Brain Science: JHU more flexible than average.

    Figure 4.6 Flexibility in KSAS social sciences majors as compared to peers.

    Anthropology: JHU less flexible than average. Economics: JHU average. Political Science: JHU least flexible. Sociology: JHU less flexible than average.

    Figure 4.7 Flexibility in KSAS humanities majors as compared to peers.

    Africana Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Archaeology: JHU average. Art History: JHU least flexible (by far). Classics: JHU least flexible. English: JHU less flexible than average. French: JHU most flexible. German: JHU more flexible than average. History of Science: JHU least flexible. History: JHU least flexible. Italian: JHU average. Latin America Studies: JHU less flexible than average. Near Eastern Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Philosophy: JHU average. Romance Languages: JHU less flexible than average. Spanish: JHU less flexible than average. Writing Seminars: JHU least flexible (by far).

    Figure 4.8 WSE flexibility in engineering majors as compared to peers.[2]

    AMS: JHU more flexible than average. BME: JHU less flexible than average. Chem BE: JHU less flexible than average. CivE: JHU least flexible. Comp Sci: JHU less flexible than average. Computer Engineering: JHU average. Electrical Engineering: JHU less flexible than average. BME: JHU least flexible. MatSci: JHU less flexible than average. MechE: JHU least flexible.

    As noted in Figure 4.9, the 2018 Senior Survey findings document dissatisfaction with the flexibility of the curriculum in several Engineering majors including Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dissatisfaction is also noted in a few Natural Sciences majors within the Arts and Sciences, including Biology. There is room for improved satisfaction across number of other majors as well. Figure 4.10 shows a significant negative correlation (R2 = 0.4996) between major flexibility as measured and student satisfaction with flexibility.

    Figure 4.9 2018 Senior survey satisfaction with curricular flexibility.

    1 = Very dissatisfied, 2 = Generally dissatisfied, 3 = Generally satisfied, 4 = Very satisfied. Medicine, Science and the Humanities: 3.70; Spanish: 3.69; Philosophy: 3.50; English: 3.42; German: 3.40; Writing Seminars: 3.25; French: 3.17; History: 3.17; Film and Media Studies: 3.10; Humanities Average: 3.39; Archaeology: 3.83; Sociology: 3.71; Anthropology: 3.50; International Studies: 3.38; Psychology: 3.35; Political Science: 3.26; Economics: 3.23; Global Environmental Change and Sustainability: 3.09; Social and Behavioral Sciences Average: 3.42; Earth and Planetary Sciences: 3.56; Public Health Studies: 3.26; Physics: 3.25; Mathematics: 3.24; Chemistry: 3.17; Neuroscience: 3.14; Cognitive Science: 3.14; Behavioral Biology: 3.00; Molecular and Cellular Biology: 2.90; Biophysics: 2.89; Biology: 2.67; Natural Sciencws Area: 2.67; Natural Sciences Average: 3.07; Electrical Engineering: 3.27; Applied Mathematics and Statistics: 3.21; Mat Sci and Engineering: 3.15; Environmental Engineering: 3.13; Computer Engineering: 3.00; Computer Science: 2.95; Biomedical Engineering: 2.54; Civil Engineering: 2.44; Mechanical Engineering: 2.22; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: 2.15; Engineering Average: 2.81;

    Figure 4.10 Correlation between curricular flexibility and student satisfaction.

    General downard trend of decreasing student satisfaction as flexibility decreases. Linear trendline has r-squared value of 0.4996;

    Both the disparity between departments and the restrictiveness in some departments have detrimental effects. The disparity creates a widely disparate experience among our undergraduates and contributes to the competitive culture; in conversations, students also report that it contributes to the segregation of the schools. Inflexible and high requirements tend to advantage students from high schools that offer AP credit, who can complete their requirements more quickly. (Increasing student flexibility within the major thus aligns with the Hopkins Universal Design for Learning Initiative[3]Finally, highly restrictive requirements also would prevent the implementation of a separate CUE2 recommendation; the requirements of some majors at present would make graduation in four years impossible, were a student to participate in the Hopkins semester (see recommendation 2, below).

    We have considered various methods of implementation. One would require that the deans, provost, or Undergraduate Education Board establish a minimum number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements. Another would require that departments demonstrate that their requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions. A third could combine these, and require that the deans (or provost) establish a number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements, but granting exemptions to departments that demonstrate that their (still high) requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions.

    We recommend that the provost require that a minimum of 33% of all student credit hours be un-prescribed across all undergraduate majors in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering. Furthermore, because increased flexibility would serve faculty members by freeing them of the burden of major requirements, the Commission recommends that the University create an innovation fund to support imaginative courses and programs and develop mechanisms to generalize pedagogical successes.

    [1] Peers for majors housed in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences included Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University, Yale University

    [2] Peers for majors housed in the Whiting School of Engineering included California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California Berkley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan

    [3] For example: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/internship-programs

  • Recommendation 3: Enable professional school faculty to teach undergraduates more easily and often, and facilitate the enrollment of undergraduates in our professional schools

    The rigid demarcation between undergraduate and graduate education is increasingly anachronistic. Johns Hopkins professional schools are a valuable resource, not available at all our peer institutions. They should be readily accessible to our undergraduates.

    Faculty from other schools teach infrequently at Homewood, but the numbers are increasing, as demonstrated in Figure 4.11. In the Fall of 2014 7% of undergraduate courses were taught by non-Homewood faculty; five years later, in Spring 2019, 15% percent were taught by non-Homewood faculty. The percentage during the summer unsurprisingly is higher, ranging from 12 to 13% between 2015 and 2018. The scarcity of online undergraduate course options and lack of infrastructure for high quality distance education provision exacerbates the geographic boundaries between Homewood and the professional school campuses. Undergraduates should have access to the full breadth of talent represented in the University’s faculty. Barriers between Hopkins campuses should be lowered.

     

    Figure 4.11 Percentage of undergraduate courses taught by non-Homewood JHU faculty.

    Over course of AE Fall 2014 to AE Spring 2019, the percentage has steadily increased from 7% to 14%.

     

    Several recommendations in this report provide opportunity for broader incorporation of all Johns Hopkins University faculty in the undergraduate experience. For example, faculty from the professional schools could teach in the first year seminar series. They could also partner with Homewood faculty to innovate team-based, interdisciplinary problem-solving courses. Recently, SAIS faculty began offering undergraduate courses in strategy and statecraft as well as international economics as complements to existing International Studies courses using an inter-campus, hybrid delivery model that could be emulated by other professional schools.

    As part of this recommendation, the Commission urges that all Johns Hopkins students (assuming adequate pre-requisites and qualifications) be permitted to pursue programs leading to bachelor/professional master’s (3+2 or 4+1) degrees. Our primary intent, however, is not to establish new joint or dual degree programs. Nor is it to do what is already possible in many cases, namely, for students to seek a master’s degrees in their undergraduate majors. Rather it is to encourage students to explore advanced study and potential careers, regardless of major, across the University. The Commission imagines combinations that may not be possible or easily possible today; the Computer Science major who pursues a master’s degree in International Studies at SAIS, the History major who takes courses at the Carey school, or the Physics major who pursues a master’s in Biomedical Engineering. The implementation of this recommendation would not only serve our students well, and provide faculty at the professional schools additional opportunities to instruct and mentor undergraduates, but would serve our ongoing “One University” initiative.

    First Destination survey data from 2018 data tells us that approximately 35% of our students pursue graduate school immediately after graduation. Not all of those students matriculate into JHU programs, but the Whiting School of Engineering and Bloomberg School of Public Health are the top two graduate schools of choice. In fact, 22% of graduating Engineering students and 6% of Arts and Sciences students take advantage of the opportunity to remain for a fifth year to acquire a Master’s degree at the Whiting School.

    Several of our peer institutions offer co-terminal degree programs. Emory provides a series of 4+1 options, and Stanford has a robust co-terminal degree program available across nearly 50 programs. Their co-terminal degree program allows undergraduates to study for a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree while completing their bachelor’s degree(s) in the same or a different department. Admitted co-terminal students must have a minimum of one quarter overlap between their undergraduate and graduate degree programs in order to qualify. Harvard has an advanced standing program that allows selected students in some departments to apply for a fourth-year master’s degree.

    Implementation of this recommendation will require buy-in from our professional divisions. The Provost should direct every division of the University to demonstrate that they have both individual courses and master’s programs in place open to Hopkins undergraduates from as broad a range of undergraduate majors as is reasonably possible, ensuring that financial assistance be available so that access to these programs is available to all qualified students. The existence of these programs would then be advertised directly to undergraduates while advisors would help direct students to them. In addition, the creation of online undergraduate courses, with distance education classrooms at each of the Johns Hopkins’ campuses, should be actively pursued.

  • Recommendation 4: Provide students with an integrated partnership of faculty mentors, staff advisors, and career counselors

    Students should be able to count on the significant, positive presence of faculty, staff, and administrators from matriculation to graduation and beyond. In our vision, each undergraduate student would have an integrated group of, at least, a faculty mentor, an academic advisor, and a career coach; this group would remain connected to that student throughout their undergraduate career. The provision of these support teams will require a redesign and revitalization of academic advising services, integrating it more deliberately with career services and with faculty mentoring. Because students build cohorts through their affinity for topics and passions for interests, mechanisms should be implemented to facilitate better alignment with, and maintenance of, the relationships among students, alumni, faculty, staff, and graduate students who share passions and affinities. Providing this support infrastructure will also require creation of and investment in faculty mentoring programs.

    We understand mentorship to be distinct from advising in both purpose and execution. Mentors help students develop interests, affirm identities and achieve life goals. Mentors include staff, alumni, peers, and community partners, but the central role is played by faculty members, who serve as mentors best simply by sharing their intellectual enthusiasm.  To be sure, students must be active participants in seeking out and building their own mentor relationships. But faculty members should expect to serve as mentors, and the University should actively encourage and support them as they do serve. Because courses most naturally initiate mentoring, the University should increase the number of small courses—research seminars, discussions, collaboratories—that enable substantial relations among teachers and students.

    As noted in the introduction to this section of the report, the timing of these initiatives is fortuitous, coinciding with the launching of the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design; that office has already begun to implement several of the advances described below. Additionally, we will have the benefit of our participation in the Excellence in Academic Advising initiative, launched in coordination with NACADA, a national organization of academic advisors, and the Gardner Foundations. Along with several other committees, this pilot program is assessing the preconditions for successful academic student support in KSAS and WSE. A full and detailed report is expected later this year and an implementation plan to follow. This guidance should be afforded the highest priority, so that academic advisors can be properly provisioned to support each student’s successful navigation of the various choices involved in academic life, from course selection to choosing their major and minor areas of study, to ensuring development of the foundational abilities and completion of a Hopkins semester, to tapping into university resources to sustain health, well-being and fulfillment, to seeking help when unforeseen challenges arise.

    Most, perhaps all, of the experiences linked by the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report (shown in Figure 4.13) concerning post-collegiate satisfaction with college depend upon mentoring: having at least one professor who excited the student about learning; having professors who cared about the student as a person; having a mentor who cared about the student’s hopes and dreams; having worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete; having an internship or job that helped the student apply what he or she was learning; being extremely active in extracurricular activities. More, importantly, mentoring has been shown to be effective in increasing the persistence of non-traditional students.[1] The benefits of better integrating academic advising and career counseling has also been urged by scholars for the past several decades.[2] 

    Figure 4.13 Findings from the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report

    The Undergraduate Experience: Support and Experiential and Deep Learning Support Section; I had at least one professor at college who made me excited about learning: 68% strongly agree; My professor at college cared about me as a person: 27%; I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams: 22%; Strongly agree with all three support statements: 14%; Experiential Section; I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete: 32%; I had an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom: 29%; I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations while attending college; 20%; Strongly agree with all three experiential statements: 6%; Strongly agree with all six statements: 3%; Based on Web surveys of nearly 30,000 college graduates with Internet access from Feb. 4-March 7, 2014. Gallup-Purdue Index;

    As depicted in Figure 4.14, 22% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported that they know no professor, or only one professor, well enough for them to provide a professional recommendation. This figure is higher than ideal. All students should know more than one professor who could write them a letter of recommendation. The numbers vary across our schools and fields. Students in the humanities fare better than those in the sciences and engineering: 14% of humanities students report that they know at most one faculty member sufficiently to ask her for a recommendation; in social and behavioral sciences the figure is 24%; in engineering the figure is 26%. In the same survey, 86% of Johns Hopkins respondents were satisfied with faculty availability, versus 91% at peer schools, a significant difference. Humanities respondents were significantly more satisfied than others (see Figure 4.15).

    Figure 4.14 Student-reported number of faculty who know them—distribution of responses for JHU vs. peer universities.

    How many faculty members know you well enough to provide a professional recommendation concerning your qualifications fora  job or advanced degree work? 2018 Distribution of Responses; Humanities: 3 largest proportion (34%); Natural Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (25%, 27% respectively); Social and Behavioral Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (31%, 28%); Engineering: 2 largest proportion (35%); All Areas: 2, 3 largest proportions (30%, 26%); Peers: 2, 3 largest proportions (28%, 24%);

    Figure 4.15 Student satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class from Senior Survey 2018.

    Satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class. Very dissatisfied (1), Generally dissatisfied (2), Generally satisfied (3), Very satisfied (4). JHU: 1 (3%), 2 (11%), 3 (63%), 4 (23%); Peers: 1 (2%), 2 (8%), 3 (59%), 4 (32%); JHU below average in average rating; JHU average rating has held steady over the past 10 years at 3.03-3.12;

    Advising models vary widely among our peers, and few appear to have partnered faculty mentoring, academic advising, and career counseling in the way envisioned by CUE2; Hopkins has an opportunity to lead in this area. Of note, University of Chicago assigns a four-year academic advisor and career coach, as well as a PhD student, to each undergraduate upon admission. Perhaps the closest model is James Madison University, which has merged its academic advising and career center into a single advising unit, enabling the integration of academic and career plans, and providing a model that students intuitively understand. This should be our goal, too.

    [1] Bettinger, E. P., & Baker, R. B. (2014). The effects of student coaching: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student advising. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(1), 3-19.

    [2] McCalla-Wriggins, B. (2009). Integrating career and academic advising: Mastering the challenge. NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources.

  • Recommendation 5: Improve course-based learning assessment methods. Eliminate the use of forced normal distribution of grades

    In recent years, Johns Hopkins has begun attracting and admitting an undergraduate student body of higher academic caliber and from a more diverse range of geographic, economic, and cultural background than ever before. For the class entering fall 2019, 98% of admitted students were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class with a mean unweighted academic GPA of 3.92 and the middle 50th percentile achieving SAT composite scores between 1480 and 1550. They hailed from 34 countries. Fifteen percent identified as First Generation College students. This new generation of Hopkins undergraduate students is far from the standard bell curve representation in terms of achievement, aptitude, experience and aspiration.

    It is critical that methods of teaching and learning assessment are updated and improved to serve the new generation of Hopkins undergraduates. Assessment of student learning should be individually based and reflective of each student’s performance in achieving the knowledge, skills, and abilities taught in the class. In general, it is not appropriate or effective to impose a normal distribution of grades (often referred to as “grading on a curve”) on exams, assignments, or final grades. Such grading practices arbitrarily limit the number of students who can be identified as having excelled, leading to the creation of a hypercompetitive student culture. We urge that they be eliminated.

    The Commission does not advocate watering down or diminishing standards. Instead it encourages the exploration and implementation of more current methods for measuring and recording student learning. It is important that best practices for student assessment be promulgated among all instructional faculty, and expectations regarding assessment be made clear at the school and departmental level to optimally support collaborative learning and creative exploration. Whatever system is used, student performance should be judged and graded relative to a standard of excellence as articulated by the faculty member and the discipline. Faculty should clearly define the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students should have achieved at the end of a course (i.e., course level learning goals) and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards.

    The literature documents the effects of curving grades on student competitiveness, and its effect on campus culture, and confirms anecdotal evidence at Hopkins. Setting pre-determined quotas for the number of grades that will be assigned pits students against one another, removing the potential for a more cooperative learning environment. It leads some students to feel that they have less control over their grades and increases their stress and anxiety. The competitive environment fostered by curved grading is one factor contributing to the loss of qualified, talented, underrepresented college students from science fields (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997). Many students attending CUE2 focus groups and Coffee with the Co-Chairs meetings shared similar sentiments. One student reported that she stopped studying with classmates after she realized they were her “direct competition for a final grade.” Another student described the stress caused by his uncertainty, until letter grades were posted, about what grade his 46% class average would receive. He also described his confusion when he discovered that it meant he received an “A.” Moving away from curved grades will promote classroom community by setting the expectation that all students have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of excellence and that, if they do, their achievement will be reflected in their grade.

    In a CUE2 commissioned qualitative survey of undergraduate faculty who taught a course of 40 or more students in the past two academic years, 28% of respondents (n=135) reported using a grading policy interpreted as relative and contributing to student competition. This includes assigning grades by natural breaks in the distribution or normalizing the distribution.

    Grading policies and data concerning the use of the curve at other institutions are elusive. In an informal survey of COFHE peers, asking “At your institution, do the majority of instructors for large (>50 students) sections of UG courses use a curve to determine final course grades? (Answer: yes/no/don’t know)?”, only four schools responded. The responses were highly variable, ranging from “we don’t know” (Stanford, U Penn), to mostly no but yes in many of the Gateway Science courses from Duke, to a firm “no” from MIT.

    The Commission recognizes the difficulty in writing exams and assessments that reliably challenge students at the same level each year, and faculty may need to take corrective action when an assessment is judged overly difficult.  Some faculty reported adding a standard number of points to all exams in these cases.[1]  In any case, faculty should clearly define what students should be able to do at the end of a course and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards. As one faculty member commented, “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” Alternate practices to curving have been well-documented, and include straight grading, specification grading, and competency-based grading.

    Assessment systems in any course have been and will continue to be the purview of the faculty member teaching that course. What should be reviewed for each course is whether 1) the objective and subjective measures of expected performance are well explained to the students and 2) whether the assessment mechanism used does or does not unfairly force a normal distribution of grades. These should be reviewed by the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in each department and instances of relative assessment tools should be brought to the attention of the Vice Deans for Undergraduate Education. Further, the University’s Vice Deans of Education (VDE), a group routinely convened by the Office of the Provost, and the University Council on Learning Assessment (UCLA) should issue a best practices statement regarding student learning assessment methods.

    [1] Additional faculty comments from survey supporting elimination of curves: “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” “I do not curve grades. I do not feel bound to give grades in any proportions; I set my standards.” “I do not curve grades. In my view, if all my students do well, or all do badly, their grades should reflect that fact.” “No, but I might adjust the final score limits slightly if I think the exam problems were unusually hard or there are any confusion about them.”

    “I try to gauge the difficulty of my exams so that students have a fair chance to succeed without curving.  If everybody does great, everybody should get an A; likewise, everybody should fail if nobody achieves the objectives.”

    “No, I do not curve grades… I usually use rubrics to establish grading standards, particularly since I use TAs/graders. Rubrics are made available to the students at the time of the assignment so that they understand what is expected of them.”

    “I don’t curve final grades, but I do sometimes curve an individual test grade if I feel that the average was low (<80%-85%).  My philosophy is that the students should always know where they stand in class with regards to their final grade.  If some magical curve is applied at the end, they never really know.”

    “Briefly, I do not curve grades as I like to give points for mastery.  That said I do not know how to design an exam with a clear point threshold for mastery for a specific grade in advance.  So I rescale grade, same for everyone onto an A, B, C etc.”

  • Recommendation 6: Establish a new system for the assessment of teaching and student mentoring by faculty

    By consensus, the assessment of teaching and mentoring now in place is seriously flawed. Teaching evaluation in the Homewood schools relies almost exclusively on results from student course evaluations. Research has shown that the raw numbers provided by such evaluations can be misleading, and that the qualitative evaluations are consistently biased against female and underrepresented minority faculty.[1] Further, the responses aren’t correlated to learning outcomes.[2] It is also unclear how those results are meaningfully and consistently incorporated into promotion and tenure decisions.

    Surveys of faculty, including a 2014 AAUP survey, report that faculty support assessment models unlike those we (and most universities) have in place. There are many alternative models. Northwestern developed a Continuing HE Credits (CHEC) program to foster and reward faculty commitment to high quality undergraduate teaching; credits earned for excellent teaching can be collected in various ways that support the faculty member’s scholarship and can be a positive factor in salary decisions. The University of Texas developed a Provost’s Teaching Fellows Initiative to offer a model for creating a sustainable structure to advance the teaching mission of the university.   Washington University has developed procedures that use self-assessment, peer review; student evaluations, and amply researched the field; their recommendations were supported by the AAUP 2014 Statement on Teaching Evaluation.

    The VDE from across the University should be charged by the Provost with determining best practices for comprehensive and transparent assessment of teaching and faculty mentoring for all Johns Hopkins faculty. The VDE should also identify the most appropriate school-based governance bodies and methods for establishment of relevant policies and procedures. The outcome should be an unequivocal university message that the demonstrated ability of Johns Hopkins faculty to teach well is required for both promotion and tenure.

    [1] Boring, A., Ottoboni, K., & Stark, P. (2016). Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness. ScienceOpen Research.

    [2] Uttl, B., White, C. A., & Gonzalez, D. W. (2017). Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related. Studies in Educational Evaluation54, 22-42.

  • The journal won’t let me submit my author’s final version to JScholarship. Now what?

    If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request a waiver or notify us.  But if you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options that might be available to you.

  • To whom does this policy apply?

    The policy applies to full-time JH faculty. All types of faculty are included in this policy, not just tenure-track or tenured faculty. Part-time faculty are not included. Students, staff researchers, and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to make their peer-reviewed journal articles open access, but are not required to do so.

  • What about copyright transfer agreements?

    If  your copyright transfer agreement does not allow you to submit your author’s final version to an open repository, you may write to the journal requesting a change before you sign or click through the agreement. For the reasons mentioned above, many journals have a back-up agreement available.

  • What are “Open Access repositories?”

    An Open Access repository provides free content and makes that content discoverable through Google, Google Scholar, and other search engines. Some open repositories are associated with funding agencies: NIH has PubMed Central, NASA has PubSpace, and DOE has PAGES. Some disciplines use community repositories: physics has arXiv, biology has bioRxiv, and the humanities have Humanities Commons. Many institutions run repositories: Harvard has DASH, MIT has DSpace@MIT, and Duke uses the Duke Digital Repository. If a version of your peer-reviewed article appears in a repository similar to these, you are aligned with the JH policy and do not have to do anything further.

  • What are the benefits of submitting my work to JScholarship?

    The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. JScholarship also provides a permanent identifier for use in citations, emails, and on websites.

  • What can I do if a journal refuses my paper because of the Johns Hopkins Open Access Policy?

    For thousands of journal titles, this should not be an issue. The Sherpa/Romeo site provides information about publisher self-archiving and copyright policies. If the journal in question does not allow you to share a version of your article openly, you still have several options. For example, you can contact the publisher and try to negotiate an exception to their rules based on our policy. Additionally, scholarly articles whose copyright transfer or licensing terms with the publisher are incompatible with this policy are exempt from this policy. Please contact Robin Sinn to discuss the options available to you.

  • What does “accepted for publication on or after July 1, 2018” actually mean?

    The policy does not apply to scholarly articles published or accepted before July 1, 2018. Nor does the policy apply to scholarly articles accepted prior to July 1, 2018 and published after that date.

  • What does the policy say?

    Read the policy here.

  • What is an “Open Access journal?”

    An Open Access journal is a journal that does not require a subscription to read or download content. If you publish in an OA journal, you have met the policy’s goal and do not need to do anything more. A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Librarians and informationists can offer tips for avoiding predatory journals.

  • What is JScholarship?

    JScholarship is the Johns Hopkins institutional repository. You can deposit the author’s final version of your article in JScholarship. The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. If a publisher is concerned about an article version posted in JScholarship, the library will work with the publisher to rectify the situation. You can also deposit other work in JScholarship that you want to make Open Access. Simply contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu.

  • What is PASS?

    The Library built and maintains PASS to support submission to JScholarship and other repositories. PASS allows you to submit to multiple repositories simultaneously, saving you time. The system went live on July 2, 2018. Work will continue after July 2, to improve the interface and to allow PASS to work with other agencies like the NSF. A new function was added in November, 2018, allowing proxy submission. Faculty can allow another JH employee to upload the documents; the faculty still needs to make a final check before the submission is complete.

    Some subscription journals charge a fee (often in the thousands of dollars) to make an article Open Access; they also submit the publisher’s version of the article immediately into a repository. Authors might pay this fee because they want the published version immediately available. If you are content with making the author’s final version available, however, use PASS and avoid paying that fee.

  • What is the “author’s final version” of my article?

    JH faculty publish in many different journals, all with different rules and practices regarding posting versions of an article in platforms other than the publisher’s website. You can see summaries of these rules in Sherpa/Romeo. Most open access policies request that the author’s final version be deposited in an open repository. The JH Open Access Policy defines the author’s final version as the “version of a scholarly article that is sent to the publisher after it has gone through peer review, any revisions responsive thereto, and any further copyediting in which the corresponding author has participated.”

  • What is the relationship between PASS and JScholarship?

    PASS is a submission system that allows you to submit your author’s final version to open repositories, including JScholarship, the JH institutional repository. Using PASS to submit to JScholarship places your files in the JH Open Access Collection. PASS will eventually work with a number of repositories.

  • What open repositories does JH consider acceptable?

    Repositories associated with educational institutions, funding agencies, or scholarly societies, and academic disciplines are acceptable outlets for your research.  Examples include PubMed Central, MLA Commons, and the Department of Energy’s PAGES. Any repository listed in PASS is acceptable. These sites provide open access to anyone wanting to read or download articles. There is some effort at stability and preservation of the content deposited.

  • What research outputs does this policy apply to?

    The policy applies to peer-reviewed journal articles. Other types of output such as essays, books, edited book chapters, catalogs, letters, editorials, poetry, music, etc. are not covered by this policy.

  • When do I need to make my article openly available?

    There are no hard deadlines. Publishing your article in an Open Access journal requires no extra steps, so in that scenario there is not any need for a deadline. If your funder requires you to deposit in its open repository, you can abide by whatever deadlines they impose; JH will not add an extra deadline. If you submit the author’s final version to JScholarship, you can do that when it fits your schedule. The sooner you do that, the more quickly your article will be accessible and the less likely you are to forget; but JH does not require submission within a particular timeframe.

  • Who is a “corresponding or sole author?”

    “Corresponding author” refers to the author responsible for communication with the publisher; “sole author” applies to articles that only have one author.  If an article has only one author who is a full time JH faculty member or the corresponding author of an article is a full-time JH faculty member, then the article needs to be made openly available by that faculty member through one of the methods described in the policy.

  • Why is Johns Hopkins doing this?

    In accordance with our mission of providing knowledge for the world, the University is committed to disseminating the research and scholarship of its faculty as widely as possible. Increased public access to research  contributes to greater impact in the broader scientific and scholarly community and advances the reputation of the University.

  • Why would subscription journals allow their articles to be published with Open Access?

    The NIH Public Access Policy requires journals publishers to make the author’s final version of an article supported with NIH grant funding freely available in PubMed Central within one year of publication in the journal. That law went into effect in 2008.   In 2013, the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a similar requirement for federal agencies that grant more than $100 million in R&D funds. Many universities followed suit, creating their own open access policies.  ROARMAP tracks the number of open access policies globally.  Most journals and publishers have changed their author agreements in order to comply with these policies. Some journals will allow the submission of an author’s final version only if a university has an open access policy.

  • Will a reader be able to move from the open version of my article to the published version, on the publisher’s website?

    Some repositories have the capability to link between open versions and published versions of articles. JScholarship does not currently possess this functionality but we could develop it if necessary.

  • Will posting articles on my personal web page meet the policy’s conditions?

    Posting to a personal web page does not fulfill the policy requirements. Personal web pages don’t offer the same functions and services as journals and repositories. These important functions and services include:

    • A permanent identifier (URI or DOI)
    • Search engine optimization
    • A workflow for long-term preservation
    • A workflow for copyright and other inquiries

    Personal web pages, even those provided by your academic department, will disappear when you leave the university, retire, or die. We want to ensure that your research is available beyond that point.

  • Will publishing open access articles affect tenure and promotion?

    The Open Access Policy will not affect tenure and promotion since faculty will continue to publish in their journals of choice.

Open Access and Scholarly Publishing

  • Are sites like Academia.edu, ResearchGate, or Mendeley acceptable as open repositories?

    No. These sites make little effort to check for copyright compliance;  thus many publishers don’t want their content on these sites. Please use JScholarship, an Open Access journal, or a repository run by a grant agency or discipline to make your articles openly available.

  • Do other universities have similar policies?

    Yes, many universities worldwide have OA policies like this, and the JH policy is modeled on policy best practices at peer institutions. ROARMAP lists institutions and funding agencies that implement open access mandates. MIT provides a partial list of U.S. and Canadian colleges and universities with such policies.

  • How do I comply with the policy?

    Faculty may comply with the policy in two ways. First, they may comply by publishing their scholarly articles in an open access journal, depositing their article in an open access repository, (e.g. PubMed Central), or electing an open access option in a non-open journal. Alternatively, faculty (or a proxy) can use the Public Access Submission System, PASS, to deposit the author’s final version of the article in the JH institutional repository, JScholarship.

    PASS was available as of July 2, 2018. PASS currently supports submission to PubMed Central for compliance with the following funding agency public access policies: NIH, ACL, ASPR, CDC, VA, FDA, HHMI, and NASA. It can be used as a direct substitute for the NIHMS submission system, although the final review and approval steps must still be completed via NIHMS. PASS also provides a dashboard that displays deposit and compliance status for NIH grants and associated submissions. PASS includes a link to the web-based submission forms for the Department of Education and USAID. PASS will eventually support submission to other funding agencies such as NSF and DOE.

  • How do I deal with a journal embargo?

    Journals may require a 6- to 24-month embargo before you can post the author’s final version of the article in an open access repository. You should follow such requirements. No deadline is included in the JH Open Access Policy. Both PASS and JScholarship work with embargo dates. You can submit your author’s final version at any point, indicate the end date for the embargo, and the system will post the files at the appropriate time.

  • How do I identify and avoid predatory journals?

    Your librarian, informationist, or Robin Sinn can assist with questions about particular journals. The library provides a list of resources that can help you avoid predatory journals.

  • How do I identify reputable OA journals?

    A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Concerns about particular titles can be addressed to your librarian or informationist, or Robin Sinn.

  • How do I report questions or problems about PASS or JScholarship?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, Coordinator of the Office of Scholarly Communication.

  • How should the author’s final versions be cited?

    The metadata the author provides will provide most of the citation information. JScholarship, or another open repository, will provide a permanent identifier (e.g. JScholarship ID or PMCID) for use in the citation.

  • I do not have permission rights for some of the images in my article. What should I do?

    You have several options if you do not have permission to openly share the images in your article.

    1. You may submit a version of your article that does not include the images unless you are submitting to PubMed Central*.
    2. You may submit two files – one file with just the text, which will be openly available, and a supplementary file with the images that will be kept in a dark archive, unavailable to readers.
    3. You may choose not to submit any part of the article, if the images are so integral to the article that it cannot be understood without the images. You do not need to notify us or ask for a waiver.
    4. You may seek approval from the publisher to include the images.

    Please contact Robin Sinn or Caitlin Carter if you wish to explore these options.

    *If you use PASS to submit to a funder’s repository, you must abide by that repository’s restrictions. For example, the NIH requires that all images be submitted to PubMed Central, no matter who owns the rights.

  • I need help using PASS.

    You can contact either Caitlin Carter, ccarte63@jhmi.edu, or Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions about using PASS or suggestions for improvement.

    Videos are being created. See the current list below. Please contact Caitlin or Robin for further questions or suggestions for topics.

    Proxy submission to PASS

     

  • Is Johns Hopkins taking away my rights to my research?

    Not at all; authors retain full rights to re-use or re-distribute their work in any way they see fit.

  • Is Open Access harming journals published by scholarly societies or small publishers?

    There is no credible evidence for harm, and Open Access has been operating in some disciplines for a decade or more. Scholarly publishing is changing. The virtue of making scholarship free for all to read resonates with many researchers and the academic missions of their home institutions. Many funders and institutions are supporting this move.

  • May I edit the author’s final version that I submit to PASS?

    When you submit your manuscript through PASS your files are sent intact to the submission system for the final repository in which the manuscript will reside.  You will have access to the same editing and correcting functions available in the final repository’s submission system – for example the NIHMS system for PubMed Central.  Note that there are no mechanisms for making corrections for manuscripts deposited in JScholarship. In JScholarship, we can remove access to one version using a “tombstone,” which maintains the citation chain, and upload a new version that is connected to the tombstone.

  • May I make other research outputs openly available?

    Yes, you have many options available to you if you wish to make your text, images, slides, or data openly available. Your librarian or informationist can provide information about those options.  If you are primarily interested in data, Johns Hopkins Libraries Data Services can help you.

  • May I opt out of the policy?

    Yes. If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request permission or notify us.

    If you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options available to you.

  • May I replace the author’s final version with the published version of record?

    Yes, if you have permission from the publisher to do so.

  • May I submit other work to JScholarship? May staff or students submit work?

    Yes, JScholarship’s purpose is to gather, distribute, and preserve digital materials related to the Johns Hopkins research and instructional mission. Content is deposited directly into the appropriate collection by Johns Hopkins faculty, students, and staff, and includes born-digital or digitized research and instructional materials. PASS can be used to deposit materials into the Knowledge for the World collection. Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, with questions.

  • PASS does not submit to my preferred open repository. How do I suggest a repository for inclusion in PASS?

    Please contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu, the Scholarly Communication Officer, with repository suggestions.

  • Recommendation 1: Redesign the undergraduate curriculum to provide foundational abilities for life-long flourishing and learning

    This recommendation starts from our recognition that the University has a responsibility to prepare its students to flourish as informed, skilled, and effective members of their society and of the world.  To ensure that we meet this responsibility, the Commission recommends an ambitious new undergraduate curricular framework that balances disciplinary training, developed through the major, with interdisciplinary exploration while strengthening our students’ sense of community. We should provide an education broad as well as deep, one resembling (to use language current in educational studies) a “T,” rather than an “I.[1]” As depicted in Figure 4.1, T-shaped education affords students with the opportunity to develop deep disciplinary knowledge in at least one area as well as the competencies associated with forming connections between disciplines that allow them to become adaptive innovators.

    Boundary Crossing Competencies: Teamwork, communication, perspective, networks, critical thinking, global understanding, project management, etc. Many Disciplines: Understanding and communications. Many Systems: Understanding and communications. Deep in At Least One Discipline: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Deep in at least one system: Analytic thinking and problem solving. Me: Intersection of sections listed above.

    Figure 4.1 T-Shaped Undergraduate Education

    Currently, the University uses “distribution requirements” to ensure interdisciplinary breadth of academic experience. These requirements stipulate that students must earn a minimum number of credits in academic areas outside of their primary major. These areas include humanities (H), natural sciences (N), social and behavioral sciences (S), quantitative and mathematical sciences (Q), and engineering (E). Courses are assigned an area designator by the academic department, if taught within a Homewood academic department; if not taught within a Homewood academic department, they are assigned by the appropriate dean’s office.

    Data and anecdotal evidence both suggest that these requirements are not successful. The means by which courses are evaluated for designation is unclear and inconsistent. In some departments, a significant percentage of classes required for the major can also be counted toward the distribution requirement. In KSAS, students can triple count a course toward a major requirement, a writing requirement (“W”), and a social science or behavioral science (“S”) or a Natural Science (“N”)/ quantitative and mathematical science (“Q”)/Engineering (“E”). This thwarts the distributional intent of the requirements. Students majoring in Psychology, for instance, can satisfy 92% of the distribution and writing requirements through major courses alone. The current distribution system does not ensure that students are learning enough about other disciplines to make meaningful connections between and across these disciplines.

    To begin our discussion of curricular revision, Commission members reflected matters of principle and articulated the foundational abilities a Hopkins undergraduate education should inculcate.

    1. Students should recognize the importance of language and have a command of it as readers, writers, and speakers. Students should be able to express ideas, opinions, beliefs, and feelings; interpret varied texts accurately and subtly; argue lucidly and effectively; and recognize the many ways conventions and contexts shape both expression and comprehension.
    2. Students should respect scientific and numerical reasoning and be able to apply computational and analytical methods to organize, manipulate, summarize, and evaluate quantitative information and experience, in public, professional, and personal life.  They should be able to create and assess arguments that are supported by quantitative evidence.
    3. Students should recognize the importance of complex creative expressions in various forms and be able to interpret them reflectively. They should have the means to deepen the quality of their lives by cultivating their intellectual and emotional responses to aesthetic and cultural experiences.
    4. Students should engage effectively as citizens of a diverse world. Graduates should have developed a knowledge of local, national and global societies. They should be able to articulate and examine their own beliefs, practices, and values while being open to and respectful of the beliefs, practices and values of others.
    5. Students should be reflective, effective ethical agents in their personal and professional lives. To this end, they should recognize situations of ethical consequence inside and outside their fields of study, understand ethical principles, formulate their own views about those principles and their application, and act in principled fashion.
    6. Students should be able to independently identify, conceptualize, and complete large-scale, consequential projects. They should be able to adopt, refine, and use appropriate methods and means for such projects, and respond to unforeseen developments.

    We continued our curricular discussion by studying models developed by peer institutions. The disquietude found in the reports issued has several sources difficult to detangle: an uncertainty about the relationship between liberal arts education and vocational/pre-professional training; a worry that the “open” curriculum has become a hodge-podge, box-checking exercise; and a concern that a highly-structured “core” curriculum is too rigid for the present needs of students in an increasingly fluid, rapidly altering society.

    In their report, Columbia asks several questions of its curriculum: “Are what some have called the ‘containers’ of our undergraduate curriculum appropriately sized? We probably agree that a strong undergraduate curriculum should include general education (our core), specialist education (our majors) and opportunities for exploration (electives). Do we provide ample opportunity for all three of these goals?” Stanford has asked whether the intellectual breadth of a more “open” curriculum serves its undergraduates well. “Few people question the value of intellectual breadth … [but is ‘sampling’] the optimal way of fostering true breadth in an age like ours, in which the boundaries of different fields are increasingly blurred?”

    Stanford’s answer to questions like these has been not to prescribe courses in particular disciplinary areas but to promise the acquisition and development of seven “essential capacities,” which foster “ways of thinking, ways of doing.” The capacities they list are aesthetic and interpretive inquiry, social inquiry, scientific analysis, formal and quantitative reasoning, engaging difference, moral and ethical reasoning, and creative expression. They have started to implement this shift in approach by establishing a first-year curriculum experience called “Thinking Matters.” It seeks to inculcate a broadly applicable orientation to academic study rather than narrower forms of knowledge.

    Other universities have issued similar statements. U-C Berkeley has said that its graduates should possess four core “competences” and four “dispositions.” Graduates should be literate, numerate, creative, and investigative–these are the competences; and also open-minded, worldly, engaged, and disciplined–the dispositions. UC-Berkeley invokes vocational pressures in justifying its new approach: “students must prepare for fluid careers in a future where what you know is less important than how you think, learn and discover on your own.” To do this, UC-Berkeley aims to “bring greater meaning and coherence to core requirements,” in part by using new technology. For example, they are now using a planning tool called “Course Threads,” which helps students (with faculty supervision) chart a “logically connected sequence of breadth courses.”

    Like Stanford and Berkeley, Washington University acknowledges the importance of articulating the essential skills and competences the university wishes its graduates to possess, but it emphasizes the even greater need to cultivate a longer list of “metacognitive skills and attitudes.” These include an ability to think and act creatively, an ability to engage in both individual and collaborative research, an understanding of how knowledge is created and transmitted, the ability to integrate knowledge from several domains, resilience and the ability to adapt to change, intellectual curiosity; practical insight, and “a facility for making normative assessments as well as with establishing matters of fact.” The challenge is how to instantiate these abstract goals in the curriculum. American University, for example, is tackling “quantitative literacy, writing, and information literacy training” by creating a variation on the core curriculum. It is putting in place a five-course sequence emphasizing skill/competency-oriented learning (e.g. “Quantitative Literacy I”). This is supplemented with an optional set of one-credit professional skills modules.

    As the Commission studied these varied models, members came to see that a new curricular framework could also address our need to strengthen students’ sense of community, without constraining the curricular freedom they rightly value. Hopkins undergraduates choose to learn across a wide variety of settings and contexts–from the classroom to the residence hall; from the laboratory to the athletic field; from the library to the internship site. This diversity is one of our great strengths. The curricular framework we propose provides a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied experience. The foundational abilities we describe would be developed in all of these contexts, through both individual work and in teams, in brief and in extended projects, through an array of programs, courses, and experiences. The abilities would provide a common, shared vision for students as they accumulate a richly varied, independently designed education.

    The proposed curricular framework has the following components:

    Recommendation 1a. Require participation in a first year seminar.

    We begin with a pedagogical form invented at Hopkins—the seminar. The Commission recommends that every entering student be required to participate in a first year seminar. Requiring participation in a first year Hopkins seminar would be transformative. At a minimum, the first year seminar would set the tone for the undergraduate experience by providing students with a shared introduction to university life and the opportunity to work closely with senior faculty as they explore scholarly topics. The seminars would also provide opportunity for students to begin developing the foundational abilities. Fully maximized, a first year seminar curriculum could exploit Hopkins’ distinctive combination of small size and unparalleled research faculty while targeting development of particular foundational abilities.

    CUE2 reviewed several successful first-year seminar programs, including those developed by Amherst College, Stanford University, the University of Toronto, and UC Berkeley. Amherst’s First-Year Seminars, initially designed as one-year, interdisciplinary courses co-taught by faculty from two different disciplines, are an integral part of the college’s curriculum and required of all students. The First-Year Seminars are now a semester long, and often taught by a single faculty member. The Commission preferred more collaborative and interdisciplinary models that permit students to explore a single theme/topic/problem in depth by exposing them to various modes of inquiry and thus to understand their area of focus from several, overlapping (and sometimes opposed) perspectives. In such courses, faculty model how to comprehend and address complex problems through interaction with peers in other disciplines. UC-Berkeley is experimenting with “Big Ideas” courses taught by faculty from different disciplines and usually across divisions/schools. A course on “Time”, for example, is taught by a philosopher and a string theorist whereas a course on “Origins” is co-taught by a paleontologist, an astrophysicist, and a Biblical scholar. Another model is “Duke Immerse”: students join a cohort and spend an entire semester exploring a single “issue” (e.g. Uprooted/Re-routed: the Ethical Challenges of Displacement”) from an array of disciplinary perspectives. It is “delivered as one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester.”

    For the past several years, Hopkins has offered 40 to 50 freshman seminars each academic year in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. These 1-3 credit small classes, usually limited to about 10-15 freshmen, explore specialized scholarly topics chosen by faculty. As noted in Figure 4.2, 33% of freshmen completed a freshman seminar in academic year 2018-19. As an initial step, the Commission recommends 100% participation in a first year seminar for all freshman and transfer students in the first semester that they matriculate. In order to achieve this goal, the University would need to double the number of freshman seminars currently offered, ensuring that they are taught by senior faculty and aligned in terms of credit hour assignment and overarching outcomes.

    Figure 4.2 Hopkins First Year Seminars and Enrollment

    Semester Number of Freshman Seminars Taught Number of Students Enrolled (percent of class)
    Fall 2018 27 297 (23%)
    Spring 2019 10 131 (10%)
    Fall 2019 32 317 (23%)

     

    Once this target it achieved, additional options for a more robust first year seminar curriculum should be explored and piloted. For example, the first year seminars could begin to more specifically target the development of expository writing skills by pairing disciplinary expertise from senior faculty with writing instruction expertise from expository writing faculty. This evolution would require extensive consultation and collaboration among faculty, students, staff, as well as the Deans and Provost.

    The Commission offers the following as a more long-term, aspirational model for the first year seminars. Every entering student would enroll in a seminar, taught by a faculty member, designed in relation to a shared theme. Each year’s theme would be broad, allowing faculty members flexibility in designing their seminars. The themes would recur, allowing faculty to return to and revise their seminars across the years. In conjunction with these seminars, regular public assemblies would gather new students to hear lectures by visiting scholars and public intellectuals on the year’s theme. Finally, regular sessions with writing instructors would establish the importance of writing in all our disciplines.

    In this model, each incoming class (of roughly 1300-1450 students) would be divided into two groups (A and B), which would then cycle through course activities at different times. Each student would attend four public lectures, four seminars (limited to 15 students), and a minimum of four writing discussions (again, limited to the same 15 students) across the semester, as described in Figure 4.3. 

    Figure 4.3 First Year Seminar Schedule

    Semester Week “A” Cycle Activities “B” Cycle Activities
    1 Shriver Plenary
    2 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    3 Writing Group Seminar
    4 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    5 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    6 Writing Group Seminar
    7 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    8 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    9 Writing Group Seminar
    10 Shriver Plenary Writing Group
    11 Seminar Shriver Plenary
    12 Writing Group Seminar
    13 Writing Group

     

    Were the University to follow this model, the demands on physical space and infrastructure would include the following. Eight times a semester, 750 students would gather in Shriver Hall, and perhaps elsewhere, were lectures to be livestreamed. Every third week, 100 seminar rooms would be needed to accommodate the seminars and writing sessions. (Were students divided into three, rather than two, cycles, the demand on seminar rooms would drop to 67 every third week.) The demands on personnel would include the cost of recruiting eight speakers, assuming each lectured only once. Up to 100 faculty members would be required to lead the four seminar meetings each semester. Again, these faculty would come from the professional schools as well as Homewood, furthering the university’s One University initiative. Themes aligned with JHU’s interdisciplinary institutes and initiatives, including 21st Century Cities and the Agora Institute, would allow us to draw on their resources. The Commission recommends that the Provost’s investment in this initiative should include an innovation competition that provides grant funding for course development. The DELTA (Digital Education & Learning Technology Acceleration) Grant program is an encouraging model. Selecting broad themes–akin to those being chosen for the Common Question experience–would allow faculty latitude to design seminars that engage them; cycling through themes on a regular schedule–say every three years–would allow faculty to return to, and revise, their seminars.

    Recommendation 1b. Establish the “Hopkins Semester” of intensive study

    Research has been the core of Hopkins’ identity. One benefit such research has traditionally offered to some of our students is the in-depth experience of extended, immersive study. But this opportunity should be extended to our students, whether in creative activity, professional exploration, or research. To that end, CUE2 proposes to create a “Hopkins Semester.”

    The Commission conceives of this program as a junior or senior year, semester-long, mentored, immersive experience that will give students the time for a focused, deep, and rigorous exploration of one complex subject or endeavor either inside or outside their major department. The Commission expects that students themselves will be the driving force of these experiences–that they will propose and complete innovative projects that we don’t presently imagine.  If the first-year courses described above in Recommendation 1a would be driven by the intellectual excitement of faculty given the opportunity to teach small seminars, the Hopkins semester would similarly be driven by the passions of the students. But students would be required to provide, and departments required to approve and assess, proposals for and reports on their experience that demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and abilities developed.

    Team-based, projects would also be possible. Such projects, whether creative or research-intensive, would develop the skills associated with communication on teams whose members bring distinct qualifications and play interdependent roles. Design projects, artistic endeavors, research projects, commercial ventures, professional internships, and community-based projects all could serve the ends of this recommendation–whether undertaken in the opera house, the archives, Congress, the laboratory, the community center, a startup venture, or the clinic.  Pursuing one’s Hopkins Semester abroad would also be encouraged.

    This intensive semester should facilitate a high-level synthesis of concepts and practices learned during students’ first and second years of coursework. The Hopkins Semester could satisfy the requirements of some core major courses (and perhaps upper-level courses as well), but need not. In addition, projects and activities before and after this semester could expand and extend the experience. Thus, for example, a project pursued intensively during the semester may be defined and developed before the semester and the activity may continue, albeit at a less intense level, after the semester.  (Note that the Hopkins Semester would be immersive: projects completed piecemeal across semesters would not qualify.) The guidance provided by faculty is an essential element of this recommendation, in part because it encourages mentorship. The Hopkins Semester could regularly be a transformative immersive experience—thus furthering one aim already established by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design.

    In 1998, the Boyer Commission issued 10 recommendations for improving undergraduate education at research universities in the USA; the first recommendation was that research-based learning become standard. Following the Boyer Commission’s lead, several US research organizations—including the Mellon Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation—have funded opportunities to include undergraduates in the research programs of science faculty and, to a lesser extent, those of humanities faculty. Many subsequent studies have demonstrated the benefits of undergraduate research experiences. “Evidence from an array of quantitative and qualitative studies supports the promise of undergraduate research as a catalyst for student development across disciplines, genders, and ethnicities. While cost factors, including money, time, and faculty priorities, need be considered during the creation of an undergraduate research program, the benefits to students are consistent with our greater expectations for liberal learning.[2]” Undergraduate students who completed a mentored research program identified many areas from which they benefited including the interpretation and analysis of data, the ability to work independently and to integrate theory and practice; they also reported greater self-confidence and a clearer understanding of their career paths[3].   But the benefits of such experiences are not limited to research programs; creative and experiential projects can have analogous results.

    In 2018, 62% of Johns Hopkins seniors reporting participating in research in the Senior Survey, increased from 57% in 2016.  Results of those surveys also suggest that students are generally satisfied with the opportunities to participate in research with a faculty member. The University presently supports undergraduate research in various ways, through the Provost’s Undergraduate Research Award (PURA) (see Appendix I for 2017-19 Metrics), the Woodrow Wilson Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant (in KSAS), and smaller initiatives, including the library-based program, The Freshman Fellows.  But research experience is inconsistent across campus. We excel at supporting student research in the lab but not in the library: In 2014, only 19% of humanities students reported participating in research with a faculty member, and only 27% of social/behavioral sciences students reported doing so; this compared to 59% for natural sciences and 69% for engineering. As our investment in undergraduate research increases, support like that presently offered through PURA and the Dean’s ASPIRE Grant should become more visible and more generously funded.

    Of our peers, only Princeton requires a capstone project for all undergraduates; it takes the form of a senior thesis. Others, like Stanford, make a point of encouraging all seniors to complete capstones. Some capstone experiences offered elsewhere resemble the Hopkins Semester we propose.  George Mason University offers research semesters in biology. The University of Michigan offers a Humanities Collaboratory that brings together faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate research assistants over a semester. Duke offers an intensive research semester with seminars called DukeImmerse, a cohort model in which students spend an entire semester exploring a single issue from an array of disciplinary perspectives. Like the Hopkins Semester, DukeImmerse is one cohesive whole occupying the entirety of a student’s academic work for a given semester. It involves daily interaction with faculty members and a collaborative project. About four such programs run each semester. Similarly, the “Immersion Vanderbilt” program encourages students to pursue creative and/or independent projects.  The program is “inherently flexible to allow the student to work closely with a faculty mentor on a project that provides a depth of experience.” Finally, standalone programs, like EUROScholars, enable students to use a study abroad semester for research.

    For the Hopkins Semester to be viable within our traditional four-year program, departments will need to ensure that the sequencing of their courses allow for a full semester immersive experience. Additionally, advising services would need to assist arranging projects undertaken on campus and, in coordination with advisors in majors and career services, also assist arranging projects undertaken off-campus. The Undergraduate Education Board would be charged with developing best practices in setting learning objectives and assessment expectations for the Hopkins Semester.   Departments will use those guidelines to develop student application, approval, and assessment processes. The Board should also establish baseline expectations regarding faculty mentoring of students based on best practices.

    Recommendation 1c. Meaningfully integrate curricular, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning

    Integrative learning is an understanding and a disposition that a student builds across the curriculum and co-curriculum, from making simple connections among ideas and experiences to synthesizing and transferring learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus.[4]

    Student learning is not contained by the architecture of formal coursework; the rewards of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities are distinctive, various, and essential to any undergraduate education. Our students pursue their passions, apply their learning, and connect with alumni, community leaders, and other Johns Hopkins affiliates outside as well as inside the classroom. In short, they should integrate their various experiences into a distinctive education.

    We are well positioned to transform the college experience from one composed solely of traditional elements—lectures, papers, problem sets, and exams—to one in which these elements sit amid a much broader range of learning activities within and beyond the classroom. The many benefits of this transformed experience would be varied. A plan to develop such a fully integrated experience at Hopkins has already been initiated by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Central to that plan is the development of a co-curricular roadmap that integrates coursework, intersession and summer experience, community activities, and social networks to ensure that all students are exposed to the same rich opportunities. This education would include tools for students to document, reflect on, and assess all their educational activities, and would help them lay the groundwork for life-long learning and their post-graduate careers. To support this initiative, the Commission recommends that the Undergraduate Education Board develop clear policies on awarding credit or credential based on learning outcomes for structured co-curricular experiences relevant to disciplinary study. Linking outcomes to academic requirements would send a powerful signal to faculty and students concerning the importance of co-curricular learning. Such a policy would also guide faculty as they facilitate student reflection on their extramural work and evaluate their experience against outcomes defined by the program and University.

    “The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) has long promoted integrative learning for all students as a hallmark of a quality liberal education, noting its essential role in lifelong learning” (National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise, 2007). Increasingly, integrative learning is recognized as an empowering developmental process through which students synthesize knowledge across curricular and co-curricular experiences to develop new concepts, refine values and perspectives in solving problems, master transferable skills, and cultivate self-understanding. An AAC&U-sponsored project on integrative liberal learning between 2012 and 2014 with fourteen small liberal arts institutions has helped illuminate a variety of practices that strengthen connections across learning experiences and encourage students to reflect on their goals with the aim of making intentional curricular and co-curricular choices, charting their own progress, and understanding the ‘why’—and not just the ‘what’—of their four years.”[5]

    Data concerning students’ participation in extra- and co-curricular activities at Hopkins are scattered. In the 2016-2017 academic year, Johns Hopkins University had 409 student organizations (including fraternities and sororities). Currently, there are 395 student organizations, and this number is expected to surpass 400 as the year progresses, given organizations that are currently going through the process of being established. In the 2016 Senior Survey, 63.1% of students reported having participated in at least one student organization (including fraternities and sororities) during their time as an undergraduate. As noted in Appendix H, participation varies across majors.

    Figure 4.4 reveals that 23% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported studying abroad, a low rate among our peers. In the same survey, students also reported that they would have liked to spend more time involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering, relaxing, and socializing.

    Data about JHU sponsored off-campus activities are harder to ascertain, but the numbers appear quite low: 3.0% of students have participated in off-campus activities sponsored by the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, for instance; 2.4% have participated through the Center for Social Concern.

    Figure 4.4 Participation in study abroad as compared to peer institutions 2018 Senior Survey.

    Percent of Respondents Reporting Participation in Study Abroad Peers: 56%, 53%, 46%, 40%, 39%, 32%, 28%, 24%, 17%, 12%. JHU: 23% (Third least in cohort of 11).

    Other universities, including Boston University and University of South Carolina, have created models for integrating co- and extracurricular activities into student experience, and created infrastructure to enable, document, and reward those activities. Among the most robust of these models is the 21st Century Badging Challenge developed by the Educational Design Lab in association with public and private universities in the Washington D.C. area. Engaging faculty members and about 40 students from each participating institution, the program determines rigorous assessment criteria for its badges, in order to present a comprehensive signal to employers about student achievement. The University of South Carolina (USC) has developed the USC Connect program, which provides learning pathways that start in the first year, take students outside of the classroom, and enable them to create substantive portfolios. Successful students graduate with “leadership distinction” designated on their diplomas and transcript. Finally, the University of Mary Washington and Emory University have both piloted projects to provide a personal web space to all incoming students; in this space, students will develop integrated, holistic e-portfolios that include both curricular and co/extra-curricular evidence of their activities.

    Again, some of the resources for a more fully integrated learning experience at Hopkins are already at hand. The Center for Social Concern (CSC) has been particularly active in encouraging students to engage with the Baltimore community. CSC supports both extra-curricular engagement, through hosting student organizations, and curricular experiential learning opportunities, through a faculty fellows program. The CSC’s France-Merrick Civic Fellowship allows students to undertake community work. In collaboration with the Whiting School of Engineering’s Center for Educational Outreach, CSC helps sponsor the Charm City Science League, an organization of over 100 student volunteers who work with teams of middle-school students to prepare for Science Olympiad and robotics competitions.

    Implementation plans for the development of a more fully integrated undergraduate experience have already been formed by the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design. Features of that plan include embedding career staff in academic programs and communities; replacing career services with scalable life design programs that integrate coursework, connections, and experiential learning; developing learning modules for staff and faculty on life design; creating dynamic websites, online platforms, and a digital presence; and drafting a narrative of life design for admissions, departments, centers, and alumni relations. Departments should be charged with developing policies for the assessment of co-curricular activities where warranted, in consultation with the Undergraduate Education Board. The University’s new learning assessment platform provides an opportunity to develop Comprehensive Learner Records for each undergraduate student. These records are digital, official documents issued by the institution that provide a richer expression of the learning outcomes or competencies mastered during a student’s experience than traditional transcripts and diplomas as they capture course-based, co-curricular, and extracurricular learning.

    Recommendation 1d. Ensuring departmental instruction in foundational abilities

    The above three recommendations (1a-c) are intended to prepare students with foundational intellectual skills and dispositions for lifelong learning. But these foundational abilities must also be incorporated into the design of major curricula and courses.  Majors require that students know a segment of human knowledge deeply, and master its ways of thinking. They also require that students integrate foundational abilities in a specific field of study.   Many of the foundational abilities will be cultivated in courses required for the major; others may be cultivated through other coursework; still others, importantly, may be cultivated through co-curricular activities. To that end, the Commission recommends that the current distribution requirements be modified to become distribution areas that correlate with the foundational abilities. All students will be required to take a minimum of one course in each of the six distribution areas by the time of graduation. Further, the deans of KSAS and WSE charge each department with evaluating and modifying existing curricula and designing new curricula that ensures that their majors are trained in each of these abilities.

    Each academic department will be required to demonstrate to the Undergraduate Education Board that their students will develop the foundational abilities all Hopkins students should acquire by mapping major program outcomes and course learning objectives to the foundational abilities and distribution areas. Multifaceted assessment of program outcomes and learning objectives will provide students, departments, and schools with formative and summative data that illustrate students success in achieving the abilities. Such data should be evaluated by the department regularly to inform the need for curricular revision and appropriate allocation of resources.

    CUE2 recognizes that this recommendation will require academic departments to develop much more sophisticated and robust means of assessing students’ knowledge, skills, and abilities as well as evaluating courses and programs. However, this shift is necessary if we truly want to encourage an educational culture that promotes development of competencies rather than accrual of credentials. Modifying the current distribution requirement system alone would only perpetuate a credential gathering, box-checking approach to undergraduate education. It is imperative that revision of that system occur concomitantly with a shift in culture within our academic departments. With support from the deans, the academic departments must bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that students achieve both the breadth and depth of intellectual inquiry outlined.

    The six new distribution areas, reflective of the six foundational abilities, also provide opportunity for academic innovation. Faculty should be encouraged to develop new courses that span disciplinary boundaries, thereby targeting development of skills on the horizontal bar of the “T.” For example, a competitive academic innovation fund could be established to develop new classes that require students to apply their disciplinary knowledge in the context of a team composed of students with varied expertise from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds. Several models already exist within our university upon which the infrastructure for such courses could be built. Several engineering departments already engage industrial partners to sponsor student projects, while the Center for Social Concern builds connections between extracurricular student projects and Baltimore communities. The recently pioneered Classics Research Lab provided a mechanism for a team of students to undertake a reconstruction of the contexts of and influences upon the work of Victorian scholar John Addington Symonds, author of one of the first major studies of Ancient Greek sexuality, pioneering a humanities-centric approach to problem based learning. A pilot to teach Multidisciplinary Engineering Design is underway in Fall 2019 during which 18 students from across 6 engineering majors are engaged in 4 different projects with external partners. These range from investigating microfiber separation from wastewater in collaboration with sportswear manufacturer Under Armour, to engaging with social enterprise Clearwater Mills to develop innovative ways to engage the communities that live around Professor Trash Wheel to improve the effectiveness of this installation to prevent trash from entering the Baltimore Harbor. And in 2018 a Hack Your Life Design Challenge engaged 18 teams of students from Mechanical Engineering at JHU and the Maryland Institute College of Art. Teams had to use at least five different materials to create an interactive project with moving parts that cost no more than $100. The challenge provided students with the freedom to explore different ways in which engineering and art can intersect.

    The pathways students take to meet the distribution areas requirement and to develop the foundational abilities will be widely varied, and driven by their individual interests and needs. CUE2 recognizes that their success will require careful advising and mentoring by faculty, staff, peers, and others. Recommendation 4 below describes a new system of advising, mentoring, and coaching, which would provide the support needed for this new curricular framework. Certainly, the burden of ensuring that students acquire these foundational abilities will be considerable. But the curricular framework described here highlights one great strength of our university: that it provides students with a combination of unmatched institutional resources and individual attention. This vision aims to ensure that all our students benefit from that distinctive strength while enrolled, and flourish after they graduate.

    [1] T-Academy (2018) http://tsummit.org/t

    [2] Lopatto, D. (2006). Undergraduate research as a catalyst for liberal learning. Peer Review8(1), 22-25. See also: Gillies, S. L., & Marsh, S. (2013). Doing science research at an undergraduate university. International Journal of Arts & Sciences6(4), 379; Hempstead, J., Graham, D., & Couchman, R. (2012). Forging a template for undergraduate collaborative research: A case study. Creative Education36(Special Issue), 859-865; Healey, M., & Jenkins, A. (2009). Developing undergraduate research and inquiry (p. 152). York: Higher Education Academy; Kuh, G. D. (2008). Excerpt from high-impact educational practices: What they are, who has access to them, and why they matter. Association of American Colleges and Universities, 19-34; Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27.

    [3] Lopatto, D. (2010). Undergraduate research as a high-impact student experience. Peer Review12(2), 27

    [4] Rhodes, T. L. (2010). Making learning visible and meaningful through electronic portfolios. Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning43(1), 6-13.

    [5] Ferren, A. S., & Anderson, C. B. (2016). Integrative learning: Making liberal education purposeful, personal, and practical. New Directions for Teaching and Learning2016(145), 33-40.; see also Kehoe, A., & Goudzwaard, M. (2015). ePortfolios, badges, and the whole digital self: How evidence-based learning pedagogies and technologies can support integrative learning and identity development. Theory Into Practice54(4), 343-351.

  • Recommendation 2: Increase the flexibility of the major requirements where needed to enable intellectual exploration

    The model of undergraduate education CUE2 recommends places disciplinary expertise at its center. Being trained in a distinct set of methods and acquiring the knowledge particular to a discipline are essential features of an undergraduate education. Moreover, without strong disciplines one cannot imagine strong interdisciplinary programs. But disciplinary expertise must be rooted in a liberal education. The best scholars, as President Gilman remarked in his inaugural address, “will almost invariably be those who make special attainments on the foundation of a broad and liberal culture.” This education contributes to their flourishing, independent of and beyond any credentials we might issue.

    Our faculty habitually forge connections among disciplines; undergraduates should be encouraged to do the same. For students to pursue the leads provided by disciplinary training, they must be given room to leave their disciplines and learn elsewhere. As urged by its charge, the Commission proposes to build on the positive features, including curricular flexibility, which distinguish us. The curriculum of any university, as Jonathan Cole remarked in his Town Hall Presentation, “should dovetail well with the identity of the university and represent a realization of its basic principles and goals.” Hopkins has offered its students flexibility since its founding. That flexibility assumes maturity of the students and aims simultaneously to promote that maturity, cultivating the independence of thought necessary for life-long learning.

    The diversity of our students implies diversity of thought, ambition and goals; as a result, curricula should not assume that one path will suit all students, even within a discipline. Data from student focus groups and the most recent surveys indicate that our students continue to value this flexibility and are dissatisfied when it is absent. The initiative, breadth, and independence assumed by a flexible curriculum also are valued by industries presently driving the global economy. According to a recent study conducted by Hart Research Associates and published by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, “employers recognize capacities that cut across majors as critical to a candidate’s potential for career success, and they view these skills as more important than a student’s choice of undergraduate major.” Nearly all those surveyed (93%) agree that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major.” Many prominent business leaders, including Johns Hopkins alumnus Samuel Palmisano (former CEO of IBM), have confirmed this view and have offered full-throated endorsements of a broad and liberal education, rather than a narrow, exclusively technical or exclusively non-technical one.

    Institutional data in Figures 4.5-8 show that curricular flexibility, as measured by the fraction of credits restricted by a student’s major, varies widely across departments, and is highly restricted in some. The Department of Philosophy requires the completion of 33 credit hours (27% of the total needed for graduation); Biomedical Engineering requires roughly three times that number, 104 (80% of the total needed for graduation). Data also suggest some majors at Hopkins are outliers among their peers at other universities, requiring a greater percentage of credits to be completed in the major. Of the majors and peers studied by CUE2, our majors in Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering in WSE, and KSAS’s Biophysics, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Studies, Physics, Anthropology, Political Science, Art History, Classics, History, Latin American Studies, and Writing Seminars all have markedly less flexibility than similar majors at peer institutions. While not as striking, several other majors in both schools also appear quite restrictive. This is just one possible metric for curricular flexibility, which may also be encouraged by strict course sequencing, course offerings that occur only annually, and lack of on-line options that could facilitate participation of students undertaking opportunities at remote sites.

     

    Figure 4.5 Flexibility in KSAS natural sciences majors as compared to peers.[1]

    Behavioral Biology: JHU least flexible. Biology: JHU less flexible than average. Biophysics: JHU least flexible. Chemistry: JHU less flexible than average. Cognitive Science: JHU less flexible than average. Earth and Planetary Sciences: JHU more flexible than average. Environmental Science and Studies (B.S.) : JHU least flexible. Environmental Science and Studies (B.A.) : JHU least flexible. Mathematics: JHU average. Physics (B.A.): JHU less flexible than average. Physics (B.S.): JHU less flexible. Psychological and Brain Science: JHU more flexible than average.

    Figure 4.6 Flexibility in KSAS social sciences majors as compared to peers.

    Anthropology: JHU less flexible than average. Economics: JHU average. Political Science: JHU least flexible. Sociology: JHU less flexible than average.

    Figure 4.7 Flexibility in KSAS humanities majors as compared to peers.

    Africana Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Archaeology: JHU average. Art History: JHU least flexible (by far). Classics: JHU least flexible. English: JHU less flexible than average. French: JHU most flexible. German: JHU more flexible than average. History of Science: JHU least flexible. History: JHU least flexible. Italian: JHU average. Latin America Studies: JHU less flexible than average. Near Eastern Studies: JHU more flexible than average. Philosophy: JHU average. Romance Languages: JHU less flexible than average. Spanish: JHU less flexible than average. Writing Seminars: JHU least flexible (by far).

    Figure 4.8 WSE flexibility in engineering majors as compared to peers.[2]

    AMS: JHU more flexible than average. BME: JHU less flexible than average. Chem BE: JHU less flexible than average. CivE: JHU least flexible. Comp Sci: JHU less flexible than average. Computer Engineering: JHU average. Electrical Engineering: JHU less flexible than average. BME: JHU least flexible. MatSci: JHU less flexible than average. MechE: JHU least flexible.

    As noted in Figure 4.9, the 2018 Senior Survey findings document dissatisfaction with the flexibility of the curriculum in several Engineering majors including Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Dissatisfaction is also noted in a few Natural Sciences majors within the Arts and Sciences, including Biology. There is room for improved satisfaction across number of other majors as well. Figure 4.10 shows a significant negative correlation (R2 = 0.4996) between major flexibility as measured and student satisfaction with flexibility.

    Figure 4.9 2018 Senior survey satisfaction with curricular flexibility.

    1 = Very dissatisfied, 2 = Generally dissatisfied, 3 = Generally satisfied, 4 = Very satisfied. Medicine, Science and the Humanities: 3.70; Spanish: 3.69; Philosophy: 3.50; English: 3.42; German: 3.40; Writing Seminars: 3.25; French: 3.17; History: 3.17; Film and Media Studies: 3.10; Humanities Average: 3.39; Archaeology: 3.83; Sociology: 3.71; Anthropology: 3.50; International Studies: 3.38; Psychology: 3.35; Political Science: 3.26; Economics: 3.23; Global Environmental Change and Sustainability: 3.09; Social and Behavioral Sciences Average: 3.42; Earth and Planetary Sciences: 3.56; Public Health Studies: 3.26; Physics: 3.25; Mathematics: 3.24; Chemistry: 3.17; Neuroscience: 3.14; Cognitive Science: 3.14; Behavioral Biology: 3.00; Molecular and Cellular Biology: 2.90; Biophysics: 2.89; Biology: 2.67; Natural Sciencws Area: 2.67; Natural Sciences Average: 3.07; Electrical Engineering: 3.27; Applied Mathematics and Statistics: 3.21; Mat Sci and Engineering: 3.15; Environmental Engineering: 3.13; Computer Engineering: 3.00; Computer Science: 2.95; Biomedical Engineering: 2.54; Civil Engineering: 2.44; Mechanical Engineering: 2.22; Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: 2.15; Engineering Average: 2.81;

    Figure 4.10 Correlation between curricular flexibility and student satisfaction.

    General downard trend of decreasing student satisfaction as flexibility decreases. Linear trendline has r-squared value of 0.4996;

    Both the disparity between departments and the restrictiveness in some departments have detrimental effects. The disparity creates a widely disparate experience among our undergraduates and contributes to the competitive culture; in conversations, students also report that it contributes to the segregation of the schools. Inflexible and high requirements tend to advantage students from high schools that offer AP credit, who can complete their requirements more quickly. (Increasing student flexibility within the major thus aligns with the Hopkins Universal Design for Learning Initiative[3]Finally, highly restrictive requirements also would prevent the implementation of a separate CUE2 recommendation; the requirements of some majors at present would make graduation in four years impossible, were a student to participate in the Hopkins semester (see recommendation 2, below).

    We have considered various methods of implementation. One would require that the deans, provost, or Undergraduate Education Board establish a minimum number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements. Another would require that departments demonstrate that their requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions. A third could combine these, and require that the deans (or provost) establish a number of credit hours that must be left free of departmental or general requirements, but granting exemptions to departments that demonstrate that their (still high) requirements are at or below the median of peer institutions.

    We recommend that the provost require that a minimum of 33% of all student credit hours be un-prescribed across all undergraduate majors in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and Whiting School of Engineering. Furthermore, because increased flexibility would serve faculty members by freeing them of the burden of major requirements, the Commission recommends that the University create an innovation fund to support imaginative courses and programs and develop mechanisms to generalize pedagogical successes.

    [1] Peers for majors housed in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences included Brown University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Duke University, Emory University, Stanford University, University of Pennsylvania, Washington University, Yale University

    [2] Peers for majors housed in the Whiting School of Engineering included California Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, University of California Berkley, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign University of Michigan

    [3] For example: https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/internship-programs

  • Recommendation 3: Enable professional school faculty to teach undergraduates more easily and often, and facilitate the enrollment of undergraduates in our professional schools

    The rigid demarcation between undergraduate and graduate education is increasingly anachronistic. Johns Hopkins professional schools are a valuable resource, not available at all our peer institutions. They should be readily accessible to our undergraduates.

    Faculty from other schools teach infrequently at Homewood, but the numbers are increasing, as demonstrated in Figure 4.11. In the Fall of 2014 7% of undergraduate courses were taught by non-Homewood faculty; five years later, in Spring 2019, 15% percent were taught by non-Homewood faculty. The percentage during the summer unsurprisingly is higher, ranging from 12 to 13% between 2015 and 2018. The scarcity of online undergraduate course options and lack of infrastructure for high quality distance education provision exacerbates the geographic boundaries between Homewood and the professional school campuses. Undergraduates should have access to the full breadth of talent represented in the University’s faculty. Barriers between Hopkins campuses should be lowered.

     

    Figure 4.11 Percentage of undergraduate courses taught by non-Homewood JHU faculty.

    Over course of AE Fall 2014 to AE Spring 2019, the percentage has steadily increased from 7% to 14%.

     

    Several recommendations in this report provide opportunity for broader incorporation of all Johns Hopkins University faculty in the undergraduate experience. For example, faculty from the professional schools could teach in the first year seminar series. They could also partner with Homewood faculty to innovate team-based, interdisciplinary problem-solving courses. Recently, SAIS faculty began offering undergraduate courses in strategy and statecraft as well as international economics as complements to existing International Studies courses using an inter-campus, hybrid delivery model that could be emulated by other professional schools.

    As part of this recommendation, the Commission urges that all Johns Hopkins students (assuming adequate pre-requisites and qualifications) be permitted to pursue programs leading to bachelor/professional master’s (3+2 or 4+1) degrees. Our primary intent, however, is not to establish new joint or dual degree programs. Nor is it to do what is already possible in many cases, namely, for students to seek a master’s degrees in their undergraduate majors. Rather it is to encourage students to explore advanced study and potential careers, regardless of major, across the University. The Commission imagines combinations that may not be possible or easily possible today; the Computer Science major who pursues a master’s degree in International Studies at SAIS, the History major who takes courses at the Carey school, or the Physics major who pursues a master’s in Biomedical Engineering. The implementation of this recommendation would not only serve our students well, and provide faculty at the professional schools additional opportunities to instruct and mentor undergraduates, but would serve our ongoing “One University” initiative.

    First Destination survey data from 2018 data tells us that approximately 35% of our students pursue graduate school immediately after graduation. Not all of those students matriculate into JHU programs, but the Whiting School of Engineering and Bloomberg School of Public Health are the top two graduate schools of choice. In fact, 22% of graduating Engineering students and 6% of Arts and Sciences students take advantage of the opportunity to remain for a fifth year to acquire a Master’s degree at the Whiting School.

    Several of our peer institutions offer co-terminal degree programs. Emory provides a series of 4+1 options, and Stanford has a robust co-terminal degree program available across nearly 50 programs. Their co-terminal degree program allows undergraduates to study for a Master of Arts or Master of Science degree while completing their bachelor’s degree(s) in the same or a different department. Admitted co-terminal students must have a minimum of one quarter overlap between their undergraduate and graduate degree programs in order to qualify. Harvard has an advanced standing program that allows selected students in some departments to apply for a fourth-year master’s degree.

    Implementation of this recommendation will require buy-in from our professional divisions. The Provost should direct every division of the University to demonstrate that they have both individual courses and master’s programs in place open to Hopkins undergraduates from as broad a range of undergraduate majors as is reasonably possible, ensuring that financial assistance be available so that access to these programs is available to all qualified students. The existence of these programs would then be advertised directly to undergraduates while advisors would help direct students to them. In addition, the creation of online undergraduate courses, with distance education classrooms at each of the Johns Hopkins’ campuses, should be actively pursued.

  • Recommendation 4: Provide students with an integrated partnership of faculty mentors, staff advisors, and career counselors

    Students should be able to count on the significant, positive presence of faculty, staff, and administrators from matriculation to graduation and beyond. In our vision, each undergraduate student would have an integrated group of, at least, a faculty mentor, an academic advisor, and a career coach; this group would remain connected to that student throughout their undergraduate career. The provision of these support teams will require a redesign and revitalization of academic advising services, integrating it more deliberately with career services and with faculty mentoring. Because students build cohorts through their affinity for topics and passions for interests, mechanisms should be implemented to facilitate better alignment with, and maintenance of, the relationships among students, alumni, faculty, staff, and graduate students who share passions and affinities. Providing this support infrastructure will also require creation of and investment in faculty mentoring programs.

    We understand mentorship to be distinct from advising in both purpose and execution. Mentors help students develop interests, affirm identities and achieve life goals. Mentors include staff, alumni, peers, and community partners, but the central role is played by faculty members, who serve as mentors best simply by sharing their intellectual enthusiasm.  To be sure, students must be active participants in seeking out and building their own mentor relationships. But faculty members should expect to serve as mentors, and the University should actively encourage and support them as they do serve. Because courses most naturally initiate mentoring, the University should increase the number of small courses—research seminars, discussions, collaboratories—that enable substantial relations among teachers and students.

    As noted in the introduction to this section of the report, the timing of these initiatives is fortuitous, coinciding with the launching of the Office of Integrative Learning and Life Design; that office has already begun to implement several of the advances described below. Additionally, we will have the benefit of our participation in the Excellence in Academic Advising initiative, launched in coordination with NACADA, a national organization of academic advisors, and the Gardner Foundations. Along with several other committees, this pilot program is assessing the preconditions for successful academic student support in KSAS and WSE. A full and detailed report is expected later this year and an implementation plan to follow. This guidance should be afforded the highest priority, so that academic advisors can be properly provisioned to support each student’s successful navigation of the various choices involved in academic life, from course selection to choosing their major and minor areas of study, to ensuring development of the foundational abilities and completion of a Hopkins semester, to tapping into university resources to sustain health, well-being and fulfillment, to seeking help when unforeseen challenges arise.

    Most, perhaps all, of the experiences linked by the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report (shown in Figure 4.13) concerning post-collegiate satisfaction with college depend upon mentoring: having at least one professor who excited the student about learning; having professors who cared about the student as a person; having a mentor who cared about the student’s hopes and dreams; having worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete; having an internship or job that helped the student apply what he or she was learning; being extremely active in extracurricular activities. More, importantly, mentoring has been shown to be effective in increasing the persistence of non-traditional students.[1] The benefits of better integrating academic advising and career counseling has also been urged by scholars for the past several decades.[2] 

    Figure 4.13 Findings from the Gallup-Purdue Index Inaugural National Report

    The Undergraduate Experience: Support and Experiential and Deep Learning Support Section; I had at least one professor at college who made me excited about learning: 68% strongly agree; My professor at college cared about me as a person: 27%; I had a mentor who encouraged me to pursue my goals and dreams: 22%; Strongly agree with all three support statements: 14%; Experiential Section; I worked on a project that took a semester or more to complete: 32%; I had an internship or job that allowed me to apply what I was learning in the classroom: 29%; I was extremely active in extracurricular activities and organizations while attending college; 20%; Strongly agree with all three experiential statements: 6%; Strongly agree with all six statements: 3%; Based on Web surveys of nearly 30,000 college graduates with Internet access from Feb. 4-March 7, 2014. Gallup-Purdue Index;

    As depicted in Figure 4.14, 22% of 2018 Senior Survey respondents reported that they know no professor, or only one professor, well enough for them to provide a professional recommendation. This figure is higher than ideal. All students should know more than one professor who could write them a letter of recommendation. The numbers vary across our schools and fields. Students in the humanities fare better than those in the sciences and engineering: 14% of humanities students report that they know at most one faculty member sufficiently to ask her for a recommendation; in social and behavioral sciences the figure is 24%; in engineering the figure is 26%. In the same survey, 86% of Johns Hopkins respondents were satisfied with faculty availability, versus 91% at peer schools, a significant difference. Humanities respondents were significantly more satisfied than others (see Figure 4.15).

    Figure 4.14 Student-reported number of faculty who know them—distribution of responses for JHU vs. peer universities.

    How many faculty members know you well enough to provide a professional recommendation concerning your qualifications fora  job or advanced degree work? 2018 Distribution of Responses; Humanities: 3 largest proportion (34%); Natural Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (25%, 27% respectively); Social and Behavioral Sciences: 2, 3 largest proportions (31%, 28%); Engineering: 2 largest proportion (35%); All Areas: 2, 3 largest proportions (30%, 26%); Peers: 2, 3 largest proportions (28%, 24%);

    Figure 4.15 Student satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class from Senior Survey 2018.

    Satisfaction with availability of faculty outside of class. Very dissatisfied (1), Generally dissatisfied (2), Generally satisfied (3), Very satisfied (4). JHU: 1 (3%), 2 (11%), 3 (63%), 4 (23%); Peers: 1 (2%), 2 (8%), 3 (59%), 4 (32%); JHU below average in average rating; JHU average rating has held steady over the past 10 years at 3.03-3.12;

    Advising models vary widely among our peers, and few appear to have partnered faculty mentoring, academic advising, and career counseling in the way envisioned by CUE2; Hopkins has an opportunity to lead in this area. Of note, University of Chicago assigns a four-year academic advisor and career coach, as well as a PhD student, to each undergraduate upon admission. Perhaps the closest model is James Madison University, which has merged its academic advising and career center into a single advising unit, enabling the integration of academic and career plans, and providing a model that students intuitively understand. This should be our goal, too.

    [1] Bettinger, E. P., & Baker, R. B. (2014). The effects of student coaching: An evaluation of a randomized experiment in student advising. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 36(1), 3-19.

    [2] McCalla-Wriggins, B. (2009). Integrating career and academic advising: Mastering the challenge. NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources.

  • Recommendation 5: Improve course-based learning assessment methods. Eliminate the use of forced normal distribution of grades

    In recent years, Johns Hopkins has begun attracting and admitting an undergraduate student body of higher academic caliber and from a more diverse range of geographic, economic, and cultural background than ever before. For the class entering fall 2019, 98% of admitted students were ranked in the top 10% of their high school class with a mean unweighted academic GPA of 3.92 and the middle 50th percentile achieving SAT composite scores between 1480 and 1550. They hailed from 34 countries. Fifteen percent identified as First Generation College students. This new generation of Hopkins undergraduate students is far from the standard bell curve representation in terms of achievement, aptitude, experience and aspiration.

    It is critical that methods of teaching and learning assessment are updated and improved to serve the new generation of Hopkins undergraduates. Assessment of student learning should be individually based and reflective of each student’s performance in achieving the knowledge, skills, and abilities taught in the class. In general, it is not appropriate or effective to impose a normal distribution of grades (often referred to as “grading on a curve”) on exams, assignments, or final grades. Such grading practices arbitrarily limit the number of students who can be identified as having excelled, leading to the creation of a hypercompetitive student culture. We urge that they be eliminated.

    The Commission does not advocate watering down or diminishing standards. Instead it encourages the exploration and implementation of more current methods for measuring and recording student learning. It is important that best practices for student assessment be promulgated among all instructional faculty, and expectations regarding assessment be made clear at the school and departmental level to optimally support collaborative learning and creative exploration. Whatever system is used, student performance should be judged and graded relative to a standard of excellence as articulated by the faculty member and the discipline. Faculty should clearly define the knowledge, skills, and abilities that students should have achieved at the end of a course (i.e., course level learning goals) and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards.

    The literature documents the effects of curving grades on student competitiveness, and its effect on campus culture, and confirms anecdotal evidence at Hopkins. Setting pre-determined quotas for the number of grades that will be assigned pits students against one another, removing the potential for a more cooperative learning environment. It leads some students to feel that they have less control over their grades and increases their stress and anxiety. The competitive environment fostered by curved grading is one factor contributing to the loss of qualified, talented, underrepresented college students from science fields (Seymour and Hewitt, 1997). Many students attending CUE2 focus groups and Coffee with the Co-Chairs meetings shared similar sentiments. One student reported that she stopped studying with classmates after she realized they were her “direct competition for a final grade.” Another student described the stress caused by his uncertainty, until letter grades were posted, about what grade his 46% class average would receive. He also described his confusion when he discovered that it meant he received an “A.” Moving away from curved grades will promote classroom community by setting the expectation that all students have the opportunity to achieve the highest possible level of excellence and that, if they do, their achievement will be reflected in their grade.

    In a CUE2 commissioned qualitative survey of undergraduate faculty who taught a course of 40 or more students in the past two academic years, 28% of respondents (n=135) reported using a grading policy interpreted as relative and contributing to student competition. This includes assigning grades by natural breaks in the distribution or normalizing the distribution.

    Grading policies and data concerning the use of the curve at other institutions are elusive. In an informal survey of COFHE peers, asking “At your institution, do the majority of instructors for large (>50 students) sections of UG courses use a curve to determine final course grades? (Answer: yes/no/don’t know)?”, only four schools responded. The responses were highly variable, ranging from “we don’t know” (Stanford, U Penn), to mostly no but yes in many of the Gateway Science courses from Duke, to a firm “no” from MIT.

    The Commission recognizes the difficulty in writing exams and assessments that reliably challenge students at the same level each year, and faculty may need to take corrective action when an assessment is judged overly difficult.  Some faculty reported adding a standard number of points to all exams in these cases.[1]  In any case, faculty should clearly define what students should be able to do at the end of a course and align assessments to evaluate students against those standards. As one faculty member commented, “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” Alternate practices to curving have been well-documented, and include straight grading, specification grading, and competency-based grading.

    Assessment systems in any course have been and will continue to be the purview of the faculty member teaching that course. What should be reviewed for each course is whether 1) the objective and subjective measures of expected performance are well explained to the students and 2) whether the assessment mechanism used does or does not unfairly force a normal distribution of grades. These should be reviewed by the Directors of Undergraduate Studies in each department and instances of relative assessment tools should be brought to the attention of the Vice Deans for Undergraduate Education. Further, the University’s Vice Deans of Education (VDE), a group routinely convened by the Office of the Provost, and the University Council on Learning Assessment (UCLA) should issue a best practices statement regarding student learning assessment methods.

    [1] Additional faculty comments from survey supporting elimination of curves: “I compare performance against learning goals and assign grades based on mastery of material.” “I do not curve grades. I do not feel bound to give grades in any proportions; I set my standards.” “I do not curve grades. In my view, if all my students do well, or all do badly, their grades should reflect that fact.” “No, but I might adjust the final score limits slightly if I think the exam problems were unusually hard or there are any confusion about them.”

    “I try to gauge the difficulty of my exams so that students have a fair chance to succeed without curving.  If everybody does great, everybody should get an A; likewise, everybody should fail if nobody achieves the objectives.”

    “No, I do not curve grades… I usually use rubrics to establish grading standards, particularly since I use TAs/graders. Rubrics are made available to the students at the time of the assignment so that they understand what is expected of them.”

    “I don’t curve final grades, but I do sometimes curve an individual test grade if I feel that the average was low (<80%-85%).  My philosophy is that the students should always know where they stand in class with regards to their final grade.  If some magical curve is applied at the end, they never really know.”

    “Briefly, I do not curve grades as I like to give points for mastery.  That said I do not know how to design an exam with a clear point threshold for mastery for a specific grade in advance.  So I rescale grade, same for everyone onto an A, B, C etc.”

  • Recommendation 6: Establish a new system for the assessment of teaching and student mentoring by faculty

    By consensus, the assessment of teaching and mentoring now in place is seriously flawed. Teaching evaluation in the Homewood schools relies almost exclusively on results from student course evaluations. Research has shown that the raw numbers provided by such evaluations can be misleading, and that the qualitative evaluations are consistently biased against female and underrepresented minority faculty.[1] Further, the responses aren’t correlated to learning outcomes.[2] It is also unclear how those results are meaningfully and consistently incorporated into promotion and tenure decisions.

    Surveys of faculty, including a 2014 AAUP survey, report that faculty support assessment models unlike those we (and most universities) have in place. There are many alternative models. Northwestern developed a Continuing HE Credits (CHEC) program to foster and reward faculty commitment to high quality undergraduate teaching; credits earned for excellent teaching can be collected in various ways that support the faculty member’s scholarship and can be a positive factor in salary decisions. The University of Texas developed a Provost’s Teaching Fellows Initiative to offer a model for creating a sustainable structure to advance the teaching mission of the university.   Washington University has developed procedures that use self-assessment, peer review; student evaluations, and amply researched the field; their recommendations were supported by the AAUP 2014 Statement on Teaching Evaluation.

    The VDE from across the University should be charged by the Provost with determining best practices for comprehensive and transparent assessment of teaching and faculty mentoring for all Johns Hopkins faculty. The VDE should also identify the most appropriate school-based governance bodies and methods for establishment of relevant policies and procedures. The outcome should be an unequivocal university message that the demonstrated ability of Johns Hopkins faculty to teach well is required for both promotion and tenure.

    [1] Boring, A., Ottoboni, K., & Stark, P. (2016). Student evaluations of teaching (mostly) do not measure teaching effectiveness. ScienceOpen Research.

    [2] Uttl, B., White, C. A., & Gonzalez, D. W. (2017). Meta-analysis of faculty’s teaching effectiveness: Student evaluation of teaching ratings and student learning are not related. Studies in Educational Evaluation54, 22-42.

  • The journal won’t let me submit my author’s final version to JScholarship. Now what?

    If a journal will not give you permission to make the author’s final version of your article openly available, you do not have to submit it to JScholarship. You do not have to request a waiver or notify us.  But if you would prefer to have your article openly available, please contact Robin Sinn to discuss options that might be available to you.

  • To whom does this policy apply?

    The policy applies to full-time JH faculty. All types of faculty are included in this policy, not just tenure-track or tenured faculty. Part-time faculty are not included. Students, staff researchers, and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to make their peer-reviewed journal articles open access, but are not required to do so.

  • What about copyright transfer agreements?

    If  your copyright transfer agreement does not allow you to submit your author’s final version to an open repository, you may write to the journal requesting a change before you sign or click through the agreement. For the reasons mentioned above, many journals have a back-up agreement available.

  • What are “Open Access repositories?”

    An Open Access repository provides free content and makes that content discoverable through Google, Google Scholar, and other search engines. Some open repositories are associated with funding agencies: NIH has PubMed Central, NASA has PubSpace, and DOE has PAGES. Some disciplines use community repositories: physics has arXiv, biology has bioRxiv, and the humanities have Humanities Commons. Many institutions run repositories: Harvard has DASH, MIT has DSpace@MIT, and Duke uses the Duke Digital Repository. If a version of your peer-reviewed article appears in a repository similar to these, you are aligned with the JH policy and do not have to do anything further.

  • What are the benefits of submitting my work to JScholarship?

    The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. JScholarship also provides a permanent identifier for use in citations, emails, and on websites.

  • What can I do if a journal refuses my paper because of the Johns Hopkins Open Access Policy?

    For thousands of journal titles, this should not be an issue. The Sherpa/Romeo site provides information about publisher self-archiving and copyright policies. If the journal in question does not allow you to share a version of your article openly, you still have several options. For example, you can contact the publisher and try to negotiate an exception to their rules based on our policy. Additionally, scholarly articles whose copyright transfer or licensing terms with the publisher are incompatible with this policy are exempt from this policy. Please contact Robin Sinn to discuss the options available to you.

  • What does “accepted for publication on or after July 1, 2018” actually mean?

    The policy does not apply to scholarly articles published or accepted before July 1, 2018. Nor does the policy apply to scholarly articles accepted prior to July 1, 2018 and published after that date.

  • What does the policy say?

    Read the policy here.

  • What is an “Open Access journal?”

    An Open Access journal is a journal that does not require a subscription to read or download content. If you publish in an OA journal, you have met the policy’s goal and do not need to do anything more. A list of reputable OA journals is available at the Directory of Open Access Journals. Librarians and informationists can offer tips for avoiding predatory journals.

  • What is JScholarship?

    JScholarship is the Johns Hopkins institutional repository. You can deposit the author’s final version of your article in JScholarship. The Library manages JScholarship; it will preserve your material and make it discoverable by Google and Google Scholar. If a publisher is concerned about an article version posted in JScholarship, the library will work with the publisher to rectify the situation. You can also deposit other work in JScholarship that you want to make Open Access. Simply contact Robin Sinn, rsinn@jhu.edu.

  • What is PASS?

    The Library built and maintains PASS to support submission to JScholarship and other repositories. PASS allows you to submit to multiple repositories simultaneously, saving you time. The system went live on July 2, 2018. Work will continue after July 2, to improve the interface and to allow PASS to work with other agencies like the NSF. A new function was added in November, 2018, allowing proxy submission. Faculty can allow another JH employee to upload the documents; the faculty still needs to make a final check before the submission is complete.

    Some subscription journals charge a fee (often in the thousands of dollars) to make an article Open Access; they also submit the publisher’s version of the article immediately into a repository. Authors might pay this fee because they want the published version immediately available. If you are content with making the author’s final version available, however, use PASS and avoid paying that fee.

  • What is the “author’s final version” of my article?

    JH faculty publish in many different journals, all with different rules and practices regarding posting versions of an article in platforms other than the publisher’s website. You can see summaries of these rules in Sherpa/Romeo. Most open access policies request that the author’s final version be deposited in an open repository. The JH Open Access Policy defines the author’s final version as the “version of a scholarly article that is sent to the publisher after it has gone through peer review, any revisions responsive thereto, and any further copyediting in which the corresponding author has participated.”

  • What is the relationship between PASS and JScholarship?

    PASS is a submission system that allows you to submit your author’s final version to open repositories, including JScholarship, the JH institutional repository. Using PASS to submit to JScholarship places your files in the JH Open Access Collection. PASS will eventually work with a number of repositories.

  • What open repositories does JH consider acceptable?

    Repositories associated with educational institutions, funding agencies, or scholarly societies, and academic disciplines are acceptable outlets for your research.  Examples include PubMed Central, MLA Commons, and the Department of Energy’s PAGES. Any repository listed in PASS is acceptable. These sites provide open access to anyone wanting to read or download articles. There is some effort at stability and preservation of the content deposited.

  • What research outputs does this policy apply to?

    The policy applies to peer-reviewed journal articles. Other types of output such as essays, books, edited book chapters, catalogs, letters, editorials, poetry, music, etc. are not covered by this policy.

  • When do I need to make my article openly available?

    There are no hard deadlines. Publishing your article in an Open Access journal requires no extra steps, so in that scenario there is not any need for a deadline. If your funder requires you to deposit in its open repository, you can abide by whatever deadlines they impose; JH will not add an extra deadline. If you submit the author’s final version to JScholarship, you can do that when it fits your schedule. The sooner you do that, the more quickly your article will be accessible and the less likely you are to forget; but JH does not require submission within a particular timeframe.

  • Who is a “corresponding or sole author?”

    “Corresponding author” refers to the author responsible for communication with the publisher; “sole author” applies to articles that only have one author.  If an article has only one author who is a full time JH faculty member or the corresponding author of an article is a full-time JH faculty member, then the article needs to be made openly available by that faculty member through one of the methods described in the policy.

  • Why is Johns Hopkins doing this?

    In accordance with our mission of providing knowledge for the world, the University is committed to disseminating the research and scholarship of its faculty as widely as possible. Increased public access to research  contributes to greater impact in the broader scientific and scholarly community and advances the reputation of the University.

  • Why would subscription journals allow their articles to be published with Open Access?

    The NIH Public Access Policy requires journals publishers to make the author’s final version of an article supported with NIH grant funding freely available in PubMed Central within one year of publication in the journal. That law went into effect in 2008.   In 2013, the Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP) issued a similar requirement for federal agencies that grant more than $100 million in R&D funds. Many universities followed suit, creating their own open access policies.  ROARMAP tracks the number of open access policies globally.  Most journals and publishers have changed their author agreements in order to comply with these policies. Some journals will allow the submission of an author’s final version only if a university has an open access policy.

  • Will a reader be able to move from the open version of my article to the published version, on the publisher’s website?

    Some repositories have the capability to link between open versions and published versions of articles. JScholarship does not currently possess this functionality but we could develop it if necessary.

  • Will posting articles on my personal web page meet the policy’s conditions?

    Posting to a personal web page does not fulfill the policy requirements. Personal web pages don’t offer the same functions and services as journals and repositories. These important functions and services include:

    • A permanent identifier (URI or DOI)
    • Search engine optimization
    • A workflow for long-term preservation
    • A workflow for copyright and other inquiries

    Personal web pages, even those provided by your academic department, will disappear when you leave the university, retire, or die. We want to ensure that your research is available beyond that point.

  • Will publishing open access articles affect tenure and promotion?

    The Open Access Policy will not affect tenure and promotion since faculty will continue to publish in their journals of choice.

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