Pedagogy for Today's Professor - New Faculty Orientation
Pedagogy for Today’s Professor
Department of Marine Science
USM New Faculty Orientation
Monday August 19, 2013
Exercise 1 - How do you define “learning”?
Five brief “book reviews”
How people learn
A Taxonomy for Learning, Teaching and Assessing
Introduction to Rubrics
Benchmarks of Effective Educational Practices
Learning is the process of constructing new personal
meaning upon a foundation of prior knowledge and
1 – Learning is a process not a product
2 – Learning involves change in knowledge, beliefs,
behaviors or attitudes
3 – Learning is not something done to learners; it is
something learners do.
from Ambrose et al (2010) How Learning Works: seven research-based principles for
smart teaching. Josey-Bass, 336 pages. ISBN 978-0-470-48410-4
Role of Prior Knowledge in learning
Every learner has prior knowledge
This can vary widely within a group of learners
Prior knowledge may be naïve
Replacing naïve understanding with informed
understanding requires effort.
Learners must convince themselves that the informed
understanding is a better model than their prior
Learning as an active process
Learning is done by learners, not instructors
Learners must take responsibility for their own learning.
Hence learners must take control of their own learning.
The degree of learner engagement is highly correlated
with successful learning achievements.
Active learning is comparable to lectures for content
mastery, but superior for developing thinking and
Learning for Understanding
Factual knowledge is necessary but not sufficient
“Usable knowledge” requires that facts be connected
and organized around concepts; and that contexts
under which it is applicable are understood.
This conceptual knowledge supports transfer to other
Metacognition (understanding how you are learning;
what you know and remains to be learned) is an
important factor in learning for understanding.
“Learning for use”
at AGU workshop on
“Using global datasets in teaching
5 December 2002
Journal of Research in Science
Teaching, 38(3), 355-385, 2001
Create demand or Elicit curiosity
Balance of direct &
Some learners become skilled at the learning process.
Some do not.
Skilled learners approach assignments flexibly and with
curiosity, as opportunities to explore and expand their
Experts are no longer considered as “knowing all the
answers”. Rather they are highly metacognitive
learners who use what they have learned, but
continually question their current expertise, seeking to
move beyond their current limitations.
Skilled learners become life-long learners.
Cognitive process categories
Remember retrieve relevant knowledge from long-term memory
Understand construct meaning from oral, written, graphic communication
interpret, classify, summarize, infer, compare, explain
Apply carry out or use an appropriate procedure
Analyze identify constituent parts, relate these to overall structure
differentiate, organize, attribute
Evaluate make judgments based on criteria and standards
check, determine, critique, judge
Create assemble elements into functional whole or new pattern
generate, plan, produce, design, build
The first two categories are often referred to as “surface learning” while the
remaining four as “deep learning”.
Active verbs (used in assessment activities) are used to identify the intended
cognitive process category.
Exercise 2: Define a learning outcome
Think of one learning outcome for a course that you
teach, or intend to teach. Use an active verb as the
Interpret uncertainty information associated with a
position / orientation solution.
Trace the origins of Shakespeare’s Hamlet to earlier
legends, such as the Scandanavian Saga of Hrolf Kraki.
Knowledge dimension categories
Factual basic elements of a discipline
terminology, specific facts, reliable information sources
Conceptual larger structure interrelating basic elements
classifications, categories, principles, theories, models, structures
Procedural how to do something; methods of inquiry
appropriate subject-specific skills, algorithms, techniques, methods
Metacognitive knowledge of cognition in general; awareness of own cognition
strategic knowledge, knowledge of cognitive tasks, self-knowledge
A - Factual
B - Conceptual A1; R1 A2;R2 A7
C - Procedural O1;A3;R4 R3 A6
D - Metacognitive A4 A5
Four questions: Example Table Cell
Learning objectives O1 Use Ohm’s Law to solve problems C3
Learning activities A1 Classify problem type B2
A2 Select appropriate laws B4
A3 Implement proper procedures C3
A4 Remember metacognitive strategies D1
A5 Implement metacognitive strategies D3
A6 Check procedure implemented correctly C5
A7 Critique correctness of solution B5
Assessment rubric R1-3 Classify problem; select law; select procedure B2, B4, C4
R4 Obtain correct solution C3
Taxonomical alignment O aligned with A & R; 4 As not aligned with R; R4 not aligned
Stylus Publishing 2013
Available as hard copy,
library network e-edition,
211 pages, 12 chapters
What is a rubric? Why use them?
How to construct a rubric
Involving students in construction
Grading with rubrics
Learning from experience; online
learning; teaching improvement;
4 parts: task description (the assignment);
scale (level of achievement / grade);
dimension (skills / knowledge involved);
description (in the grid boxes) – what
constitutes each level of achievement.
Constructing a rubric
1. Rubrics are part of a major redistribution of power in
how academe defines and controls education.
2. Rubrics give students the power of access, to better
understand expectations, to have a greater stake in
their own learning.
3. Rubrics allow faculty to document and define their
4. Rubrics can allow departments, programs, and
campuses to define shared goals and document
performance. (The USM WEAVE process is essentially a
What is student engagement?
Student engagement represents two critical features of collegiate quality.
First is the amount of time and effort students put into their studies and other
educationally purposeful activities.
Second is how the institution deploys its resources and organizes the
curriculum and other learning opportunities to get students to participate in
activities that decades of research studies show are linked to student
What is the survey about?
Survey items on the NSSE college report represent empirically confirmed
"good practices" in undergraduate education: behaviors by students and
institutions associated with desired outcomes of college. NSSE doesn’t assess
student learning directly, but survey results point to areas where colleges and
universities are performing well and aspects of the undergraduate experience
that could be improved.
NSSE benchmarks of
effective educational practice
42 survey questions in five categories
LAC = Level of academic challenge
ACL = Active and collaborative learning
SFI = Student-Faculty Interaction
SCE = Supportive Campus environment
EEE = Enriching educational experience
Exercise 3: engagement expectations
For each hour in class, how many hours of
outside class time should a student be expected
to work: studying, reading, writing, doing
assignments / labs, analyzing data, preparing for
class, preparing for exams?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 more?
Universities using NSSE
USM used NSSE annually from 2005 to 2010
About 60% of subscribers use NSSE each year
W.H. Freeman, 2007
A faculty guide on applying emerging
results from cognitive science,
towards teaching scientifically (i.e.
based on scientific evidence on what
leads to effective learning).
Written by biologists with Science,
Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics (STEM) teaching in mind.
Principles can be applied to teaching
in any discipline.
Chapters on Scientific Teaching; Active
Learning; Assessment; Diversity;
Constructing a Teachable Unit;
Scientific teaching = apply critical thinking, rigor,
creativity, spirit of experimentation, capture
process of discovery
Evidence indicates this improves learning
Book overviews evidence, approaches, methods,
Instructors must customize for teaching style,
curricula, goals, institutions
Active learning = learners engaged in more than taking
notes and following directions
Learners take responsibility for their own learning
Activities = group learning, problem-solving, inquiry-
based learning (construct new knowledge)
This is more than grades. It both monitors and promotes
It provides feedback for students and instructors: a mechanism
for self-evaluation & evaluation of classmates.
It drives learning = process of reflection & analysis using
achievement markers , NOT just an end-point grade
It shapes class standards & increases learning gains.
It has more impact than any other educational intervention,
particularly for low-achieving learners.
It provides checkpoints & measures achievement; lets learner
determine if on track & modify their approaches; guides
changes in study & learning behavior.
It is the “Heart of effective teaching”.
Diversity = variation in human experience, ability, and
characteristics (education, experience, cognitive
styles, personalities, abilities, cultural backgrounds,
physiology, innate characteristics).
Diversity in teaching:
(1) educate students about the diverse world;
(2) diversity enhances learning;
(3) each student experiences classroom differently
Diversity of Learning Styles
Spatial pictures, images, spatial understanding
Auditory-Musical sound, music
Linguistic words, speech, writing
Physical body, hands, sense of touch
Mathematical logic, reasoning, systems
Interpersonal learn in groups, with other people
Intrapersonal work alone, self-study
Constructing a Teachable Unit
A “Teachable unit” is anything from a single lecture
to a full semester course.
Framework for construction: backwards design
1 – What are the intended outcomes (learning
2 – What evidence (assessment) for actual
outcomes will be used?
3 – What active learning activities will engage
4 – How closely aligned are goals, activities, and
Summary – Lessons Learned
1. The learning process is becoming better understood
2. Learning is enhanced by encouraging
active learning / learner engagement;
cognitive awareness (metacognition);
using assessment activities to enhance learning;
using the diversity of learner prior knowledge, cognitive style,
culture and personality to enhance the learning environment
3. Learning is accomplished by learners, not instructors
4. Paradigm shift is from the “sage on the stage” to the
“guide on the side”.
Where to start
1. Seminar series based on “Scientific Teaching”. Six
sessions, once per month, starting on Sept 27.
2. Five self-paced modules on faculty development
from OISE, to be available on Blackboard: planning;
exploring; teaching; assessing; integrating.
3. STLHE Green Guides on: Teaching the Art of Inquiry;
Feedback; Teaching for Critical Thinking; Creative
Problem Solving; Leading effective discussions;
Technology in Higher Education; Lecturing for better
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