CPACE Advisory Board Meeting July 30, 2009 External Evaluation Team Highlights

External Evaluation Team Highlights

CPACE---Collaboration Process to Align Computing Education
Michigan State University, Lansing Community College, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce
Summary Evaluator Comments About CPACE

Prepared by the CPACE External Evaluation Team
Science and Mathematics Program Improvement (SAMPI). WesternMichiganUniversity
for the CPACE Advisory Board
July 2009 |

 "Collaboration is an agreement to work together toward a common goal.  Each team member comes to the table as a co-equal.  Every participant offers his or her best thinking with openness to the possibility that he or she might change, rather than focusing on how others should change.  Team members must talk to each other, develop common experiences and understanding, create a shared language, learn to trust and respect one another, and take time to reflect and share what is learned."

R.T. Clift, et al in Distributed Leadership:  School Improvement Through Collaboration, Vol. 4, 1995

(Emerald Group Publications Limited).

  •     The CPACE team has clearly exemplified this conception of collaboration.  In the planning, implementation, process and product development, and assessment/reflection of progress, the CPACE team has modeled collaboration.  Collaboration has been the goalof the CPACE effort, a primary strategy for reaching the goals, and the resulting outcomes (products and processes).

"The glue that holds together a community

is the opportunity to make a contribution."

Quote from Juanita Brown, an organizational change expert,

in The Systems Thinker Newsletter (April 1993) in an article,

"Dialog:  The Power of Collective Thinking" by William Isaacs

  •      Members of the CPACE team, including members of the Advisory Board, have had opportunities to make substantive contributions to the CPACE effort.  This has resulted in numerous outputs/products and processes, including:
-    Original proposal
-    Action plan to address goals
-    Instruments and procedures
-    Website and Dashboard
-    Brochures
-    Data collection instruments
-    Report based on data collection
-    Publications/presentations
-   Full proposal
  Processes-   Team meetings (on-site/electronic)
-   Electronic Dashboard
-   Advisory Board
-   Field work/data collection
-   Collaborative product development
- Collaborative proposal development
  •      Maintaining flexibility and adaptability enhances the collaborative process.  B.S. Coffman (The Spectrum of Collaboration in Organizations, Innovation Labs, LLC, Walnut Creek,CA identifies seven elements of collaboration (referred to as degrees of freedom) that should be addressed in planning and implementing collaborative efforts:

-         definition of the assignment

-         composition and selection of the team

-         acquisition of resources

-         use of tools and templates

-         design of the physical and virtual environment

-         process and character of the experience

  •      Although the CPACE team did not use the particular set of elements of collaboration above as a "checklist," a review of product and process development and implementation suggests the team did consider these ideas as tasks were identified, planned, and completed.  This is further confirmation of the exemplary nature of the CPACE collaboration.
  •      CPACE team members were asked by evaluators to identify important successes of the project. Eight team members responded. Seven of the eight described the collaboration of some key aspect of the collaboration:

-         "Team collaborations among faculty at MSU and LCC, CSW, and the Advisory Board."

-         "Building a community that engages industry in the effort."

-         "Being able to work with a diverse group of individuals in a cooperative manner."

-         "The collaboration between MSU, LCC, and CSW."

-         "Overall cohesiveness of the collaborative process and partnering among CSW, LCC, and MSU and the AB."

-         "Great group proposal development effort."

-         "Successful collaboration with CSW, particularly on the industry and employee research and analysis."

  •      CPACE team members identified project challenges.  Several respondents noted the challenges associated with "getting started," how much time and effort was required to "ramp up" the collaborative processes.  There was agreement, however, that once things did get rolling, collaboration became the norm.
  •      Team members were asked to identify factors they believed contributed to the collaborative nature of the CPACE effort.  Factors identified included: 
-     sense of community was built
-     fundamental interest [among all team members] to accomplish project goals
-     bi-weekly meetings
-     focused agendas for meetings
-     everyone did their part
-     team members with expertise in necessary areas
-     common belief in the value of the project
-     technology to support partner communications
-     no one stakeholder could have accomplished this project on their own
-     variety of perspectives on the issues and tasks

  •    It seems fair to conclude that an important result of the collaboration is that CPACE has become an authentic learning organization.  It is an "organization that learns on its own, quite apart from the many individual learnings that will also take place within it." (P. Kline and B. Saunders, Ten Steps to a Learning Organization, 1993, Great Ocean Publishers: Arlington, VA.)

Prepared by Science and Mathematics Program Improvement (SAMPI)---Western Michigan University  7-09  269-387-3791