QEP - TOP Level Overview

The History:

Beginning in the fall of 2010, ETSU pursued a deliberate, inclusive process for selecting the theme of its next QEP. The process engaged all of the university’s key stakeholders, including faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and community leaders. A number of committees developed the QEP theme and implementation plan. Each committee actively sought input from the university community through strategies including electronic surveys, meetings, retreats, and interviews.

The Definition:

East Tennessee State University's Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) is INtopFORM: Insightful Questions, Informed Answers. INtopFORM aims to promote excellence in information fluency. Information fluency is a core critical thinking skill. It includes the ability to seek, evaluate, and use diverse sources of information when resolving difficult questions, addressing challenging problems, achieving creative aims, and pursuing new lines of inquiry in scholarly and real-world contexts. Attitudes of curiosity, disciplined skepticism, and independence of thought support all of these abilities. INtopFORM advances the university's foremost mission—preparing students to become productive, enlightened citizens who actively serve their communities and our world.

Learning Outcomes:

Information fluency encompasses six abilities central to every academic discipline at ETSU and essential for students' professional success and active citizenship:

  • QUESTIONING:  Students ask questions that facilitate the solution of problems and the pursuit of opportunities.
  • SEEKING:  Students identify information sources appropriate to questions of interest.
  • EVALUATING:  Students apply critical thinking skills in evaluating information, information sources, and their own search processes.
  • USING:  Students accumulate, synthesize and/or create information to address questions of interest.
  • COMMUNICATING:  Students communicate information effectively
  • RECOGNIZING:  Students recognize the responsibilities and consequences related to information ethics and intellectual property.

The Plan:

The proposed plan to implement INtopFORM includes four components:

  • introducing INtopFORM skills in the first year of college,
  • enhancing INtopFORM mastery in programs of study,
  • awarding INtopFORM Faculty Fellowships,
  • and fostering a culture of excellence in information fluency.

The Assessment:

ETSU’s Office of Assessment and Teaching in the Center for Academic Achievement will oversee and support assessment of INtopFORM. The implementation of INtopFORM will be assessed using indicators such as the number of participating faculty and programs of study and the number and quality of submissions to the INtopFORM Showcase. The effectiveness of INtopFORM will be measured by collecting baseline data on each learning outcome prior to implementing INtopFORM improvement actions. Assessment data will also be collected after implementation begins and compared to the baselines.

Mid-year Report