The Rules of ‘Travel’: Disciplinary ‘Big Ideas’ in Interdisciplinary Contexts William S. Moore, Ph.D. Coordinator, Assessment, Teaching & Learning WA St. Bd. For Comm. & Tech. Colleges 360-704-4346 firstname.lastname@example.org Learning Community Coordinators’ Meeting October 2004
Big Ideas Project Focus <ul><li>Broaden assessment conversation to include wider range of faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Balance focus on ‘college-wide outcomes” with emphasis on disciplinary knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Address significant issues around purpose of and struggles with introductory courses </li></ul>
Central Question Assume for the moment that the introductory course in your discipline or program is the LAST course that the students will ever take in the area. What core discipline-specific ideas/concepts do you want ALL students taking the course to understand deeply, i.e., be apply to apply and even transfer to other settings five years later?
Deep Learning Meta-cognition about thinking & learning Understandings of core concepts Ways of reasoning
Re-Thinking Knowledge <ul><li>“ Situated” or grounded in specific contexts in which it is used (and learned) </li></ul><ul><li>Expertise as body of knowledge organized around “big ideas,” not isolated facts </li></ul>
All students come to us with prior ideas, and our first challenge is to bring what is inside, out: to make the internal external, to make the private public, to make the implicit explicit…That is the essence of pedagogy: putting the inside out, working on it together while it is out, then putting the outside back in… Lee Shulman, “Teacher Development: Roles of Domain Expertise and Pedagogical Knowledge,” 2000 Making Thinking Visible
Role of Meaning-Making in Understanding Deep Learning <ul><li>Reflects critical underlying assumptions about knowledge (epistemology) </li></ul><ul><li>Involves intellect and identity </li></ul><ul><li>Requires emphasis on un-learning as well as learning </li></ul><ul><li>Describes increasingly inclusive and complex forms of thinking </li></ul>
CONTENT (knowledge) PROCESS (ways of reasoning) Meta-cognition about thinking & learning BIG IDEAS (core concepts)
Providing Feedback (and Judgments) about Progress What opportunities could you provide for students to demonstrate their understanding of, and capacity to reason with, the Big Ideas you think matter the most?
If you want your students to think the ways historians, biologists, or attorneys do, create assignments or classroom discussions that make it possible for them to make those moves, to understand them, and to reflect on their effects. Mariolina Rizzi Salvatori, University of Pittsburgh, from Opening Lines: Approaches to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning , Pat Hutchings (ed.), 2001
Good assessment tasks are interchangeable with good instructional tasks. Lorrie Shepard “ The role of assessment in a learning culture,” 2000
Designing Course-Embedded Assessment Tasks Karen Sheingold, Joan Heller, & Susan Paulukonis, “ Actively Seeking Evidence…,” ETS, 1994 What understandings & abilities do I want to assess? What performances or work will allow students to demonstrate these understandings & abilities? What evidence in the performance or work tells me to what extent the students have these understandings & abilities? What activities do students have to do to learn how to generate these performances?