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Reclaiming a Democratic Vision for College Learning,
Global Engagement, and Success

AAC&U Annual Meeting
January 25-28, 2012
Washington, DC / Grand Hyatt Hotel

Project Kaleidoscope

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) — Advancing what works in STEM education

The following Annual Meeting sessions are sponsored by Project Kaleidoscope.

More information about PKAL activities is available here.


Friday, January 27, 8:45-10:15 am

A Leadership Guide for Planning, Implementing, and Institutionalizing Interdisciplinary Programs
More and more campuses are talking about interdisciplinary learning—learning that fosters the cross-disciplinary skills our students will need to grapple with challenges of the 21st century. Campuses quickly learn, however, that it is easier to start interdisciplinary programs, than maintain them. Participants will engage in discussion about a new leadership guide for planning, implementing, and institutionalizing interdisciplinary programs. The guide, developed as part of PKAL’s Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning project, provides an organizational framework within which campus leaders can anticipate and address the structural, human resource, and political issues that can stymie long-term interdisciplinary program sustainability.
Susan Elrod, Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope; and Mary J.S. Roth, Simon Cameron Long Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Associate Provost for Academic Operations, Lafayette College
Power point presentation
Keck/PKAL Leadership Guide for Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning
Session Overview & Worksheet

Friday, January 27, 10:30-11:45 am

Implementing Reform in Life Science Education:  Institutional Strategies for Wider Scale Success
There are parallel, yet separate, national movements in higher education and in STEM education, each with its own set of national reports, goals, and recommendations leading toward higher quality undergraduate education.  This fragmentation, however, impedes the reform momentum at the very time that coordinated efforts are needed in order to create the sustained institutional and systemic changes called for in the national report literature.  While such reports describe critical outcomes and desired end points, they generally do not provide institutional or leadership strategies for achieving these goals. This session will provide an opportunity for participants to review key STEM and higher education report recommendations and work together to generate strategies for moving from analysis to wider scale institutional action.
Susan Elrod, Executive Director, Project Kaleidoscope; and Cynthia Bauerle, Senior Program Officer, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Power point presentation
Session Overview and Worksheet
AAAS "Vision & Change in Undergraduate Biology Education" Report
Actions, Challenges, and Strategies for Change – Group Results

Friday, January 27, 2:45-4:00 pm

Building and Sustaining Interdisciplinary Campus Programs: 'What Works' Case Studies from the Keck/PKAL Facilitating Interdisciplinary Learning in Science and Mathematics Project
Real-world problems do not neatly divide into academic disciplines, yet educators oversimplify problems to fit discipline-specific courses. Interdisciplinary learning (IDL) supports student motivation and application of abstract concepts from multiple fields, resulting in meaningful understanding of complex systems. We will share five campus cases illustrating the mobilization and implementation of IDL science courses. Participants will use AAC&U recommendations and the cases to consider how to develop and implement their own interdisciplinary programs.
Judy Ridgway, Assistant Director, Center for Life Sciences Education, The Ohio State University Main Campus; Whitney Schlegel, Associate Professor of Biology, Indiana University; Scott Denham, Director, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Davidson College; Mark Stewart, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts; Professor of Psychology, Willamette University; and Mary Roth, Associate Provost for Academic Operations; Professor of Engineering, Lafayette College
Power point presentation
Indiana University Case Study
Davidson College Case Study
The Ohio State University Case Study
Willamette University Case Study
Lafayette College Case Study


The following Annual Meeting session is presented by the Learning Spaces Collaboratory – a PKAL Partner organization

Friday, January 27, 1:30-2:30 PM

Building a New Community of Practice: Translating What We Know from Research and from the Field into Planning 21st Century Learning Environments
How might AAC&U’s LEAP learning goals, PKAL’s vision of STEM learning, or intent of librarians to serve all students influence planning and assessing twenty-first-century learning spaces? How do students, faculty, facilities officers, and other administrators collaborate on teams responsible for planning and assessing learning spaces? This discussion will advance the evolution of a Learning Spaces Collaboratory (LSC) guide for shaping transformative learning environments, through an integrated process of planning, designing, experiencing, and assessing learning spaces campus-wide.
Jeanne L. Narum, Principal, Learning Spaces Collaboratory; William La Course, Dean of Science and Director of the Discovery Learning Center, University of Maryland Baltimore County (LSC Project Team member); Anuradha Vedantham, Director, Weigle Information Commons, University of Pennsylvania (LSC Project Team member)
Power point presentation
For more information visit:

Friday, January 27, 5:30-7:00 pm

Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) Reception
PKAL welcomes all who are interested inadvancing "what works" in 21stcentury STEM education to better serve all students, no matter their background or major. We thank Raytheon Company for their generous sponsorship of this reception.