This was a really wonderful event once again – I can’t recommend this conference highly enough. This was the first year I started to feel a sense of community here which was nice – recognizing old friends – Leslie Felbain who came to our campus last year to present Teaching as Performance – and the folks who did the lightening round tech demos. Barb Eshbach and I presented the ELLI project that we did with Jorge in the fall and had a few folks really interested – from CUNY. Serendipity…..a presenter from U. of Bristol was there who actually works with Ruth Deakin Crick and knows ELLI- Dr. Phil Langton – talking about GRIT as a predictor of student success.
So what can I share from what I learned?
1) For those thinking of publishing in SoTL – a new open access journal at SUNY Plattsburgh called The Common Good.
Editor-in-Chief: Becky Kasper, Ph.D., Director of SUNY Plattsburgh Center for Teaching Excellence
Managing Editor: Jessamyn Neuhaus, Ph.D., Associate Professor, SUNY Plattsburgh History Department
They just sent out a call for papers for a special issue on Using Popular Culture in the Classroom – deadline January 1, 2015 – contact Jessamyn Neuhaus at email@example.com
2) Threshold Concepts & Troublesome Knowledge: A Transformational Approach to Learning with Ray Land – keynote – Durham University UK
http://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/~mflanaga/thresholds.html for more detailed info
* Threshold concepts take you into a new intellectual spaces – which in turn opens up access to new concepts
* Integration of new understandings starts to happen in the unsettling liminal state which follows – the betwixt and between stage – encounter with knowledge that unsettles you – feel sense of loss – feels like a state of in-authenticity or mimicry as the brain tries to integrate the new knowledge
Oscillation happens between states – knowledge – being – language..epistemological and ontological change
Troublesome knowledge is a provoker of change – it cannot be assimilated with what is currently known – it is the instigator of new learning and ontological change – instructors should look for trouble -should cause this kind of trouble….
This is not a hotel.. it is a gymnasium and you have to work!
* Episteme: the underlying game – ways of knowing in the disciplines
What can faculty do?
- Help students to tolerate uncertainty as they go back and forth through the states of uncertanity
- Be a provoker of change!
- Identify the jewels in the curriculum – what are the threshold concepts – revisit them throughout the curriculum – learning is recursive
- Realize it takes time for the changes that will occur – epistemological and ontological change
- Listen for understanding – students can help you identify the concepts that are hard!
Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning (2010) Edited by Jan H. F. Meyer, Ray Land and Caroline Baillie; Sense Publishers, Rotterdam, 2010
[Educational Futures: Rethinking Theory and Practice, Peters, M.A. (Ed), Volume 42]
The majority of chapters in this book are developments of talks first presented at the Threshold Concepts Conference: from theory to practice, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada, 18th – 20th June 2008.
Follow on Facebook – search Threshold Concepts
3) What’s in a 1st Year Toolbox – Parson’s School of Design The New School University - Mariah Doren
How has the notion of “foundational” knowledge and skills [in the arts] changed over time?
- Talent lens – you either have it or you don’t
- Creativity can be uncovered through introspection
- Dispositions – becoming an effective thinker (critical and creative – engaged in real world problems), effective actor in the world (entrepreneurial, setting goals) – with effective relationships (emotional intelligence, teamwork, ethics)
Learn what you need as it becomes relevant to a project – deep disciplinary dive vs surfing a content landscape
Taught at Pasron’s thru a paired course “Words & Works” = “Critical Studio” – ideas to think about translates into a project to “make” everyday + writing – language of rich descriptions. Writing + making and writing + gestures. ex…. create a prosthetic object that extends or limits a gesture – perform with it – write about it.
4) Critical Thinking as “Defamiliarization”
- Take a familiar object and make it “strange”
- Student struggles to “see” it in the new way
- Formation of new critical persepctive
Example – Shklovsky = http://www.thenation.com/article/172675/making-strange-victor-shklovsky#
Cause them to doubt what they have taken for granted…
5) Are you Flipping Engaged? Kim Van Orman SUNY Albany
What do you do during in-class time when flipping?
Suggests only 10% of the course be flipped to start – 3 lessons – and do one very early on in the course, so students know what to expect.
- Students “do” the content ahead of time – readings and/or SHORT videos (10 minutes max)
- Students take a quiz in CMS
- Critical “tinkering” – get them to “play” with content – make authentic mistakes – Team-based learning/activity in class – Michaelson’s 4S’s: Significant problem, all students have same problem, students must make a specific decision/judgment, simultaneously report out
Devl. process: see it – mimic it – tinker with it – play with it – fight over it – slowly learn how to use it
- Do debrief of conversation
- THEN show the answer
Examples of tasks
- given a study, predict the results and why
- given a graph with data – assign list of labels to the bars of data – explain why
- report out – m/c, ranking, best answer, single value, sequence, limited word test: in 10 words or less, describe…, sorting, what does not belong
6) Peter Seldin – keynote – College Teaching: Myths, Evaluation, Improvement
- take risks
- are themselves
- bring a positive attitude to class
Percentage of types of info used in teacher evals comparison (1983 to 2013)
Student Ratings 68% 96%
Classroom observations 19% 62%
Review of Teaching Materials 20% 44%
Self-evaluations 25% 70%
7) Group Homework and Take-Home Exams -in a science info literacy course Dr. Carol Anelli – Ohio State University
* Homework assignments are designed to be completed by individuals but OK to work cooperatively
* Group contract for take home exams that regulates attendance at meetings, communication policy of group, completion of tasks on time, agreement about final upload of exam, non-compliance policy, dissension form for group members who want a different answer than the group’s
* Peer-assessment form
* Self-assessment form
* Pre- and post-course questionnaire – course expectations, baseline knowledge, course satisfaction, self-reflection