Our goal this semester is to assist you in implementing the changes in the courses you proposed last spring. We will continue with the same informal atmosphere over dinner, which you all rated highly in the evaluations of our last sessions. During the initial five meetings, we want you use the first 30 minutes of our dinner meeting to share your experiences as you embark upon the process. This will be followed by the topical session as outlined in the schedule. During the last three meetings, each of you will have the opportunity to present a more robust illustration of your re-designed course. This could be an example of student-active learning, data that indicate your students are benefiting, the results of a new assessment technique, reflection on the process of changing your teaching, or a request for feedback on a particular issue or strategy.
Your final product for the Faculty Fellows program will be a portfolio that summarizes the changes in your course, your teaching and your students. We’ll give you more specific instructions on assembling this document as the semester proceeds.
September 3: Syllabus Review
We will examine the syllabi of the courses that we are re-designing this semester to see how the goals, teaching methods and assessment strategies that we highlighted last semester are being implemented.
September 17: Reports from the Field #1
Bosiljka Glumac from Smith College (Geology) will give an overview of a course she teaches that is entirely project-based, and she will discuss the processes of effecting a course re-design.
October 1: Formative Assessment
We need to keep in touch with the progress of our students’ learning and modify our teaching techniques so they can benefit the most from being in our classes. There are various techniques available to us that will give us the information we need, and we’ll look at some examples.
October 15: Reports from the Field #2
Steve Goodwin and Randy Phillis of UMass (Biology) will discuss the impacts of the changes they have made to the large-enrollment general biology course at the university, including interactive techniques, and assessments to probe for higher-order learning.
November 12: Group 1 Reports
December 10: Group 3 Reports
Syllabus analysis. Read through your colleague’s syllabus with the following questions in mind:
1. What are the goals for this course? Are they stated in a way that the students can identify them?
2. In your opinion, are the goals realistic for the intended student population?
3. Do the goals address higher levels of learning?
4. What teaching methods are being used? Are they articulated clearly? Are they appropriate for the intended goals ?
5. What assessments are planned? Will they provide the evidence that the stated goals are being met?
6. Do you have any suggestions that may help your colleague improve or refine the syllabus?