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Low Impact Educational Practices

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Slides from presentation by Randy Bass and Peter Felten at AAC&U conference in Washington on January 22, 2010.

Slides from presentation by Randy Bass and Peter Felten at AAC&U conference in Washington on January 22, 2010.

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  • May 2009 version (post convening)
  • Transcript

    • 1. Low Impact Practices (Formally Known as the Curriculum)
      • Randy Bass (Georgetown University)
      • Peter Felten (Elon University)
      • AAC&U January 21, 2010
    • 2. “ You know. It was taught as a Gen Ed course and I took it as a Gen Ed course.” Georgetown student, end of first year, focus group: reflecting a particular course in which, he claimed, he was not asked to engage with the material.
    • 3. Student Focus Groups
      • What students are saying:
      • In many courses, they are not asked to engage with the material--just to listen and to give it back.
      • Often they are not being challenged, asked to think critically, or able to bring relevance to their learning.
    • 4. “ Call to Action” Student Focus Groups
      • They are all very satisfied.
      • They all agreed there is a big difference between a Georgetown education and a Georgetown degree .
      • For the most part--of course there are exceptions--their coursework is not where their meaningful learning is taking place
    • 5. Richard Light, Making the Most of College: Students Speak their Minds
      • Even at a college as academically focused and intense as Harvard, most graduates have far clearer memories of their singing or writing or volunteer tutoring of immigrants, than of the details of the class on American history they took in the sophomore year.
    • 6. Richard Light, Making the Most of College: Students Speak their Minds
      • That leads to a simple but enormously powerful finding that…those students who make connections between what goes on inside and outside the classroom report a more satisfying college experience.
    • 7. High Impact Practices (National Survey of Student Engagement--NSSE)
      • First-year seminars and experiences
      • Learning communities
      • Writing intensive courses
      • Collaborative assignments
      • Undergraduate research
      • Global learning/ study abroad
      • Internships
      • Capstone courses and projects
    • 8. High Impact Activities and Outcomes
      • High Impact Practices:
      • First-year seminars and experiences
      • Learning communities
      • Writing intensive courses
      • Collaborative assignments
      • Undergraduate research
      • Global learning/ study abroad
      • Internships
      • Capstone courses and projects
      • Outcomes associated with High impact practices
      • Attend to underlying meaning
      • Integrate and synthesize
      • Discern patterns
      • Apply knowledge in diverse situations
      • View issues from multiple perspectives
      • Gains in Skills, knowledge, practical competence , personal and social development
    • 9. So, if high impact practices are largely in the extra curriculum, then where are the low-impact practices?
    • 10. Deep learning
      • An Elon senior Honors psychology major: “ Mostly, I would say it occurs outside the classroom. But I think that it can also happen with faculty members…. World Religions was a class I took freshman year that was huge. A lot of conversation took place with kids that I lived with over things in that class…you start discussing things that you are reading, and things that you are experiencing out of the classroom. A lot of it is based on the classroom, but I wouldn’t say that a lot of the moments of me learning deeply took place in the classroom, but it was based off of that.”
    • 11. Meaningful feedback
      • An Elon senior political science major: “I think there have been many situations were I haven’t gotten enough feedback on something negative…. Other than writing on a paper, I think that the professors that I have interacted with have been afraid to tell me criticism, like actual criticism, other than, “This wording would have been better.” My peers don’t see me as somebody that they could hurt my feelings or something like that. They just give it to me how it is. I think in that respect I have gotten more out of the student organizations and my leadership positions.”
    • 12. If the formal curriculum is not where the high impact experiences are then there are three options
      • (1) Make courses higher impact
      • (2) Create better connections between courses and the high impact experiences outside the formal curriculum
      • (3) Start shifting resources from from the formal to the high impact (experiential) curriculum
    • 13. All of the above… Whether we turn to improving the quality of courses, or try harder to connect courses to experiences, “courses” will no longer be the bounded experiences they have been.
    • 14. Range of responses Large enrollment courses designed as inquiry-based & participatory Michael Wesch, World History Simulation Using social tools at scale
    • 15. Range responses Electronic portfolios Activities that link inside / outside Weblogs while studying abroad Community-based Course Connections
    • 16. Two cases at Elon U
    • 17. Relevance and Reacting
      • “ This course is different because I care so much about the arguments I am making.”
      • Reacting to the Past
      • www.barnard.edu/ reacting
    • 18. Reacting in the real world
      • Junior communications major while interning in a law firm: “Just like in our Ming China game, there was the debate over what had happened and what should be done about all the problems now. Some of the eleven lawyers in the court (like the annoying Confucian purists in the game) blamed unethical or incompetent individuals for the bankruptcy so they argued for personal punishments to settle the case; other lawyers (like the winning side in our game) said the problems were about business and tax structures, not individual behavior, so the court should respond in structural ways.”
    • 19. Student-faculty partnership in course design
      • Sophomore philosophy major: “I had never even thought about... what I want to get out of a class, how does this class relate to me? I grew up thinking what I assumed every other student thought and the majority of students still think - what do I want to get out of this class? An A. The thought of actively trying to learn something never crossed my mind.”
      • “ Then one day... we happened upon the subject of teacher and student responsibility and then wham! the realization hit me: What were my own responsibilities for my education?”
      Werder and Otis, eds., Engaging Student Voices in the Study of Teaching and Learning (Stylus, 2010), p. 5.
    • 20. The design process
      • Design team = faculty, students, CATL
      • Goal = redesigned syllabus
      • Process = 5-10 meetings, backward design
      • Roles = based on expertise
      • Power = from “you”/“I” to “we”/“our”
    • 21. A faculty perspective
      • PRE: “I don’t think this group project will work. I really should have put my foot down and told them that my way was the only way to do it to ensure that everyone contributed ... some of them will simply blow it off and the importance of this module will be lost ... some of them are just looking for a way to do the least amount of work possible. Grading this is going to be a nightmare - should I even bother? How would I differentiate between students ... I should not have given this option - it will be a disaster!”
      • POST: “The group [project] went really well... Because they had worked with each other for 2 months now, they seemed to be aware of each other’s strengths and weaknesses.... Be sure to have them add a component to their reflections about group dynamics.”
    • 22. A student perspective
      • Junior psychology major: “I feel like I’ve had a lot of involvement, which is kind of surprising since I have no idea how to teach a classroom or anything like that. But just knowing what our research has found and being the student, being in classes all the time, I guess. You know, I have a completely different perspective than the two professors would.... So I could talk about different activities that were most interesting and that students would get the most value out of. So that was helpful.”
    • 23. A student perspective
      • Junior education major: “Even in college, even now, I think some teachers …are so focused on getting stuff done that they don’t pay attention to their students, who I think are the most valuable resources in a classroom.”
    • 24. The Post-Course Era
    • 25. Is the traditional course dead and it just doesn’t know it yet?
    • 26. Tim Kastelle University of Queensland, “Successful Open Business Models” “ Successful Open Business Models on the Web” Aggregate Filter Tim Kastelle
    • 27. Tim Kastelle University of Queensland, “Successful Open Business Models” Three Value-adding activities in the digital economy (e.g. Journalism, Music): Aggregate Filter Connect
    • 28. Tim Kastelle, “Successful Open Business Models”
      • “ Successful Open Business Models”
      • (higher education)
      • Aggregate
        • Information resources
      • Filter
        • Knowledge (what knowledge is worth knowing)
        • Scholarship (peer review)
        • Graduates (employability)
      • Connect
        • Ideas, experiences, people
    • 29. Shift in How We Add Value? AGGREGATE FILTER CONNECT
    • 30. Shift in How We Add Value AGGREGATE FILTER CONNECT COURSE ERA POST-COURSE ERA
    • 31. Tim Kastelle, “Successful Open Business Models” The lesson to take from the current states of both the music industry and journalism is that you have to have a clear understanding of how you’re creating value so that you build and protect the correct parts of your business model. Perhaps universities can learn this lesson before educational business models are disrupted as well.
    • 32. Participatory Culture of the Web
      • Features of participatory culture
        • Low barriers to entry
        • Strong support for sharing one’s contributions
        • Informal mentorship, experienced to novice
        • Members feel a sense of connection to each other
        • Students feel a sense of ownership of what is being created
        • Strong collective sense that something is at stake
      How do we make classroom learning more like participatory culture? Jenkins, et. al., The Challege of Participatory Culture
    • 33. Six Characteristics of high impact practices AND features of participatory culture
      • Features of participatory culture ( on the Web )
        • Low barriers to entry
        • Strong support for sharing one’s contributions
        • Informal mentorship, experienced to novice
        • Members feel a sense of connection to each other
        • Students feel a sense of ownership of what is being created
        • Strong collective sense that something is at stake
      • High impact experiences ( extra curriculum )
      • Attend to underlying meaning
      • Integrate and synthesize
      • Discern patterns
      • Apply knowledge in diverse situations
      • View issues from multiple perspectives
      • Skills, knowledge, practical competence , personal and social development
    • 34. Salient Questions -- in a Constrained Fiscal Future? How do we make the formal curriculum more like informal learning? How do we make the formal curriculum more like -- more connected to – the extra-curriculum? Do we care?
    • 35.  
    • 36. Learning and Feedback from Multiple Perspectives Flexibility with knowledge in open-ended contexts Deepening Disciplinary Understanding Sense of Personal and Intellectual Significance Student Learning Goals (Students develop…) A Sense of Audience and Voice Design Elements (Create opportunities for students to…) Engage with Authenticity and Difficulty Participate in an Intellectual Community Value process and product in learning Connect the Affective And the Cognitive Represent Knowledge For Others Social Pedagogies Student and Course Contexts Bass & Elmendorf, 2009

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