March 28, 2009
Just in time for Maria Curtin’s roundtable Monday on “Assessment Tools We All Can Use,” David Scobey writes this week in Inside Higher Ed about the resistance many faculty in the humanities feel toward assessments of student learning:
Yet (especially in a time of scarcity and crisis) it is a fair challenge to the academy that we be accountable for the vast resources and autonomy to which we lay claim-that we offer a compelling argument about our value to the larger society. Precisely because others have their own reductionist agendas of how to measure success in higher education, we need to offer our own vision of means and ends. The most self-damaging response we can make is to build a defensive bulwark of guild privileges around ourselves.
More substantively, it is not simply in our interest but in the best traditions of the humanities to pose the questions that underlie the calls for assessment. What constitutes a good liberal education, one that is emancipatory and transformative for students? What is the distinctive role of the humanities in that education? How do we know whether our educational practices embody these values? It is hard to find assessment tools that advance rich answers to these questions; all the more reason for skeptical humanists to enter the conversation.
Read the full article here.
March 24, 2009
Assessment Tools We All Can Use
Maria Curtin (Chemistry)
Monday, March 30th
2:00 – 3:00 pm
Duffy 114 Conference Room
This past semester, Maria Curtin coordinated an assessment project in her department, seeking to evaluate whether recent changes to the General Chemistry course have positively impacted student learning as well as students’ perceptions of the discipline.
To do so, she used a free online tool called the Student Assessment of their Learning Gains (SALG), which allows instructors to gather learning-focused feedback from students. The SALG survey can be customized to fit any course, and a baseline instrument allows faculty to compare gains relative to incoming student characteristics.
For this roundtable, Professor Curtin will talk about how she used SALG for this project and share her ideas for how it can be adapted for use in other disciplines. This will serve as a jumping off point for a broader conversation about other kinds of assessment faculty are doing in their courses at Stonehill and what tools they’ve found most helpful.
March 24, 2009
The March 2009 issue of The Teaching Professor newsletter is now available online. Information about accessing the newsletter from off-campus can be found on the CLT website.
Also in the March issue:
March 17, 2009
In addition to the regular monthly deadline for the Travel Pedagogy Grant, this April 1st is also the deadline for the CTL’s SOTL Research Grant and Classroom Innovation Grant. Visit the CTL’s website to download the application guidelines and to see examples of past proposals that have been funded.
SOTL Research Grant
one grant awarded per year
Awarded annually, this $2500 grant provides support for a faculty member or faculty team engaged in research related to the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL). A maximum of $1000 of the grant will be awarded as a stipend, and the remaining funds are available to cover research and travel costs related to the project, as well as funding for student research assistance. Preference will be given to projects leading towards publication.
Classroom Innovation Grant
six grants awarded per year
Awarded each semester, these grants provide “start-up” funds for innovative projects meant to enhance student learning. Typically capped at $1000, the grant can support a range of projects: development of curricular materials, course-related student publications, and instructional technology innovations (in some circumstances, technology requests may exceed the typical $1000 cap). This grant cannot be used for a faculty stipend.
March 16, 2009
Thanks to a generous grant from the Davis Foundation, the Center for Teaching and Learning is excited to be hiring its first Director of Community-Based Learning. The new Director will be a resource to faculty who wish to incorporate community-based learning pedagogies into their classes.
The Director will provide one-on-one support to faculty by
- connecting them with community partners whose needs are in line with their own course goals;
- consulting with faculty about different approaches for designing effective CBL experiences;
- coordinating logistics, such as transportation and tracking of student hours; and
- assisting with gathering feedback from students and community partners, as requested.
The Director will also be responsible for building our collection of CBL-related resources and creating opportunities for faculty development around community-based learning pedagogy and scholarship.
You can read the full job call on the Stonehill employment website.
If you have any input about the search or questions about it, please contact Stacy Grooters.
The Davis Educational Foundation was established by Stanton and Elisabeth Davis after Mr. Davis’s retirement as chairman of Shaw’s Supermarkets, Inc.
March 3, 2009
This week “All Tech Considered” investigates the use of “clickers” in the classroom.
Listen online here: