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The assessment of the effectiveness of general education and continuous improvement program

Through such efforts, the general education course of the school has become more diverse and comprehensive in recent years. In the follow-up report of 2015, we found that the general education course is still insufficient, and students reviewed that they often did not get the course that they selected. In fact, in recent years, our school has offered more than 80-90 general education courses per year. After investigating this issue, the main reason that students being unable to select their course of interest is that the compulsory subjects that students should undertake in each departments/institute were overwhelming, which leads to limited time for students to further undertake courses from the general education. On top of that, in order to ensure that students will be selecting the courses in a balanced manner, the school further divided this general education course into 6 major areas. Also, students were required to undertake 28 credit hours, including 5 out of 6 major areas of this course. All in all, these further contributed to the poor flexibility for students to participate in this course.

Therefore, since the beginning of year 108, the school has replaced the initial 5 out of 6 compulsory major areas with 4 compulsory major areas. Besides that, the credit hours of Boya general education will also be adjusted from 10 credits to 6 credits; while total credit hours will be adjusted from 28 credits to 24 credits. This way, not only students will have increase freedom in course selection, but also the school has put in effort to revise according to students’ feedback about their pressure on taking up overwhelming courses. Besides that, the school has also revised some relevant laws and regulations, in which students whom passed the English level assessment and qualification examination (be it from the local or overseas), will be exempted from the English course, which helped to reduce the compulsory credit hours by 4 credits. In the past 2 years, the Center of General Education has actively coordinated with multiple departments and institutes with the aim of reducing the compulsory credit hours, increasing flexibility for students in course selection so that they can achieve the ability to self-learn. [Supporting document – Please complete the full name and relevant regulations regarding the decrease in credit hours and English course exemption]

Secondly, in order to increase the diversity in student’s course selection, the school has also covered up the general education as well as the lecturers for language area. Besides, full English course has also been added, with the purpose of exploring student’s diversity in selecting the courses and at the same time, increase their international competitiveness, such as Introduction to Ethics, History of East Asia, Women in East Asia, Ethics, Neuroscience, and Society, Classic Novels in Western Literature, Introduction to Sinophobe Cinema, The Big Picture: How Geography, Trade, and Politics Shape Our Troubled World, etc. Other than that, we have also improved the courses for cross-disciplinary study, for example, the White Design, Food and Culture, Elderly and Design, and Advanced Cognition Enhancement (Ministry of Education, HFCC Human Resources Knowledge Cross-Bound Application Capability Development Project) which has gotten very impressive feedback from the students, as well as numerous reports from the local media. [Supporting information: Please provide the course outline, display on the spot so that committee who are interested may read more about the information]

          Thirdly, we keep up in hiring specialize lecturers in the set-up of this general education course every semester, while recommend and introduce lecturers from the Academia Sinica to set up core courses such as Humanities Core Courses, as well as Giant’s Shoulders from Boya general education. The course will be supported with sufficient teaching assistants, and students will be learning together through group discussion, off-campus visit and interactive learning and such to strengthen the teacher-student interactions, which will lead to integration of life and knowledge. For example, the lecturers and students from Agriculture and Environmental Economy have paid a visit to the Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Corporation to learn about the wholesale operations of Taiwan’s agricultural; while the course of Environmental Technology and the Ageing Society brought students to the community bases and applied the classroom knowledge for investigation and communication.

          Even though some of the students still holding back due to the need of travelling to Academia Sinca for classes, the school will continue to cooperate tightly with Academia Sinica in order to increase the diversity and variation of the course, and also most of the students have given positive feedback on the overall Humanities Course, the school and Academia Sinica will remain working together to solve the problems.  

          After such efforts, the feedback evaluation given from students regarding the general course (including core general education, Boya general education and Mandarin and English), has scored an average score of 3.99-4.2 out of all courses in the school, but the ratio of excellent courses was about 60-70% (as shown in table below), which shows that students have given certain affirmation on the quality of the course. Feedback assessment will be calculated from the evaluation from students after each semester, then the course committee will review the evaluation and provide to the specific department as reference.

Semester

Score for Elective Course

Score for Excellent Course

Ratio of Excellent Course

Course Average Score

Score for General Education Course

107-2

62

42

68

4.2

79

107-1

70

50

71

4.2

99

106-2

60

43

72

4.2

81

106-1

63

48

76

4.2

94

105-2

53

37

70

4.3

75

105-1

64

49

77

4.2

94

104-2

61

41

67

4.1

80

104-1

63

38

60

4.1

92

103-2

55

40

73

4.1

82

103-1

64

53

83

4.3

90

102-2

57

37

65

4.1

78

102-1

44

27

61

3.9

82

Note: Total score as 5.

          In the general education courses selected by students from the School of Medicine, excellent courses were also about 60-70% (as shown below). This shows that ever since 2009 when the general education has been shifted dramatically to 6 major core areas, medical students who studied the course have developed certain standard. (Supporting information: Year 107 Boya, core general education list)

Semester

Score of Elective Course from Medical Students (a)

Score of Excellent Course from Medical Students (b)

Ratio of Score of Excellent Course from Medical Students (b/a)

Total Score of General Education Course

107-2

62

42

68

79

107-1

70

50

71

99

106-2

60

43

72

81

106-1

63

48

76

94

105-2

53

37

70

75

105-1

64

49

77

94

104-2

61

41

67

80

104-1

63

38

60

92

103-2

55

40

73

82

103-1

64 

53

83

90

102-2

57 

37

65

78

102-1

44 

27

61

82

Besides the improvement on the curriculum, in the follow-up visit report of year 2015, it revealed the following statement: Although there is a difference between general education and medical humanities, it is still basically related to one another. However, according to documents and interviews, even though there is an interactive support between the lecturers from general education and medical School of Humanities and Social Sciences, but it is clear that there is still room for improvement in their teaching, research and service. In terms of source of lecturers, it is also suggested that the school increase the number of lecturers, and upgrade the main planning units in general education course to the vice principle expectation. However, other methods such as hiring jointly appointment lecturer to strengthen the faculty can be considered.

In response to this suggestion, we have recently strengthened the lecturer cooperation between Medicine School of Humanities and School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and jointly appointed Professor Wen-Hua Kuo and Professor Wen-Ji Wang from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences to participate in the curriculum planning. Besides that, Professor Wen-Hua Kuo has set up the course of “History of the development of Taiwan medicine after the war”, "History of Postwar Taiwan Medicine & Public Health" (small grouping of Medicine and Social Humanities) and etc; while Professor Wen-Ji Wang has set up the course of “History of Body”. On top of that, the Humanities Course from Academia Sinica has strengthened the background of our lecturers. 

 

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