2014 Annual Meeting: Pre-Meeting Workshops

Wednesday January 22, 2014 2:00pm to 5:00pm

(Separate registration and fee required.)


Using Disruption to Stay on Course (for Liberal Education)
Today's news headlines are filled with startling reports about U. S. higher education. Calls for dramatically reduced cost are paired with critiques of higher education outcomes, demands for jobs for graduates, and images of online learning (especially the massive open online course or MOOC) as the new magic bullet that will remake our system of higher education by bringing learning to the masses for free. But what do these developments have to do with institutions that focus on liberal education? How are liberal arts colleges and universities preserving a focus on their key missions and goals during a time of dramatic change in higher education?

This workshop will focus on technology-enabled disruptions challenging the traditional high touch liberal arts model—e.g., the massive open online course or MOOC, blended learning, big data, the globally networked world, etc.—and investigate creative responses that adapt these disruptions in service to the essential learning outcomes and high impact practices of liberal education. Participants will discuss disruptive innovations, examine cases of adaption to the liberal education context, and consider how they might implement such adaptions at their own institutions.

Rebecca Frost Davis, Director of Instructional and Emerging Technology, St. Edward's University, and Fellow, National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE)

The agenda, readings, and resources for this workshop are available online here.


Designing and Supporting Meaningful Writing in a General Education Classroom
Given the nature of contemporary liberal education, it would seem natural for assignments and exams in general education classes to ask students to draw connections between course content, their lives, and their other classes. Instead, many faculty members still find themselves falling back on "standard" assignments: exam questions that test only for content knowledge, and writing and oral communication prompts that allow very basic forms of summary. The result?  Students often walk away from their general education courses bored and unengaged, and certain—still—that their major is the only thing they need in order to prepare for life beyond the academia. 

This highly-interactive workshop will provide attendees with two things:  first, the opportunity to explore and receive feedback on thoughtful, practical, and engaging alternatives to standard assignments, including projects involving writing, oral communications, posters and video.  Second, participants will have the chance to develop course and field specific pedagogies that will put students in the position to both succeed and learn as they take on these new, more meaningful assignments.    

Paul Hanstedt, Professor of English, Roanoke College, and author of General Education Essentials:  A Guide for College Faculty (Wiley/Jossey-Bass, 2012)

This workshop is sponsored by Wiley.


Cultivating a Culture of Evidence-Informed Decision-Making:
Foundational Principles for Higher Education Leaders

Developing a campus culture that encourages and facilitates effective use of assessment data to improve student learning is essential to the future success of any college.  Yet, although most colleges and universities collect mountains of data about student experiences and student learning, faculty and other campus leaders too rarely consult this data to learn more about how they can shape student experiences to improve learning.  This interactive workshop introduces principles and strategies administrative and faculty leaders can use with their colleagues to begin creating a campus culture that both values and utilizes evidence about student learning.

The workshop facilitators have led a multi-year, Teagle Foundation-funded initiative exploring ways to help faculty utilize assessment data to improve student learning while fostering a culture that values evidence-informed course and program development.The workshop exercises and discussions are drawn from the facilitators' experiences on their own campuses and from their work assisting other campuses with implementing evidence-informed processes to improve student learning. In the workshops, participants will have the opportunity to apply these principles to their own institutional initiatives and to systematizing the ways in which faculty use data to make decisions about curriculum, course design, and teaching. 

Michael Reder, Director, Joy Shechtman Mankoff Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, Connecticut College, and Senior Teagle Assessment Scholar, Wabash National Study of Liberal Arts Education; Roger Brooks, Dean of the Faculty, Connecticut College; Richard Holmgren, Vice President for Information Services and Planning, Allegheny College; Paul Kuerbis, Professor of Education (Emeritus) and Director of the Crown Faculty Center (Emeritus), Colorado College; Kim Mooney, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Franklin Pierce University


Empowering Faculty to Improve Students' Learning through Collaborative Assessment:
An Implementation Workshop for Faculty and Program Administrators

Since 2010, the Transparency in Teaching and Learning initiative has demonstrably enhanced students' learning through two main activities: (1) promoting students' conscious understanding of how they learn; and (2) enabling faculty to gather, share, and promptly benefit from data about students' learning by coordinating their efforts across disciplines, institutions, and even countries.

This workshop engages faculty and administrators who want to implement the low-cost, low-time-intensive, transparent teaching/learning techniques that are best suited to improving learning outcomes for their specific population of students. Testing of several transparent methods has already involved over twenty-five thousand students, one hundred sixty courses, and twenty-seven institutions. Early results indicate distinct current and future learning benefits of particular transparent teaching/learning methods that are specific to discipline, class size, level of expertise, and student demographics. (Winkelmes, Liberal Education, Spring 2013.)

Participants will collaborate in two groups that focus on how best to adopt these techniques at either the course or program level:   1) faculty and instructors (individual courses across the disciplines at all levels); and 2) program administrators (program-wide implementation, assessment and follow-up).  Participants will leave this workshop with:

  • identification of the transparent learning and teaching method(s) best suited to achieving the desired outcomes for the specific population of students in their courses and programs;
  • a draft implementation plan;
  • a working relationship with a Transparency project liaison/administrator who will help them shepherd the project at their home institution; and
  • an informed view of the expected challenges, successes, and long-term impact/follow-up.

Mary-Ann Winkelmes, Coordinator of Instructional Development and Research, Gregory Brown, Vice Provost for Faculty, Policy and Research, 
Gayle Juneau, Executive Director of Academic Advising, and Jennifer Keene, Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts—all of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas

This workshop is presented by the POD Network 
Agenda hand out (PDF) 
Empowering Faculty to Improve Students' Learning through Collaborative Assessment power point (PDF)


Online Tools and Strategies to Assess Learning Effectively 
While the number of fully online classes is growing, the majority of us are teaching technology-enhanced or hybrid classes.  No matter what delivery format our classes follow, we all see assessment in the online environment differently and ask different questions.    

What online tools and strategies can we use to:  Create more robust and authentic assessment?  Facilitate self-assessment, peer review, instructor feedback, and review by other stakeholders?  Make sure the learners are the people actually completing the assessment?   

Participants will investigate the following aspects of assessment in the online environment:

  • What tools and strategies work best for higher-level thinking activities—e.g., assessment of writing, presentations, projects, team work;
  • How to apply Universal Design for Learning principles to give students multiple pathways to show what they know;
  • How and when to make assessment feedback more personal—while saving time;
  • When to address issues of access and accessibility.

Workshop participants should bring questions, ideas, and an open mind! No technology is required, but individuals should bring some sort of device—laptop, iPad, or smart phone—if they would like to research possibilities during the workshop.

Kevin Kelly, Director of Wiley Learning Institute and Instructor, San Francisco State University

Wiley Logo
This workshop is sponsored by Wiley.
Effective SLO Assessment in the Online Environment presentation (PDF) 
Mapping Resources handout (PDF)
Learning Outcomes Example handout (PDF) 
Online Assessment Tools handout (PDF)
Workshop Description handout (PDF) 
WCET Best Practices handout (PDF)


ACAD Workshop
Reanimating Liberal Studies through Intentional and Innovative Experiential Learning
The tired assumption that liberally educated students, particularly those in the liberal arts, are somehow less employable than their pre-professional peers, is cousin to the libel that liberal studies are fit only for the elite. These commonplace falsehoods drive down enrollments in arts and sciences programs and likely even drive potential employers from consideration of arts sciences graduates as viable job candidates.  In today¹s socio-economic climate in which universities and colleges are under intense scrutiny for accountability and outcomes, expectations regarding career preparation are becoming even more prominent among students, parents, and, increasingly, politicians.  How can administrators take a significant step forward in making a 21st Century case for liberal education?  Who has done so effectively, and how can other schools adapt these practices on their campuses?  How can both liberal arts and comprehensive institutions honor their missions while engaging all students, no matter their majors?

The answers, in short, may be found through the intentional and innovative framing of experiential learning.  This interactive presentation harnesses the deliberative processes of five institutions that created new and innovative experiential learning arrangements to (1) enhance institutional mission, (2) facilitate integration and transition of classroom-based knowledge and transition from college to career, and (3) achieve competency-based outcomes.  Workshop leaders will offer recommendations for diverse organizational structures to administer experiential learning efforts.  In addition, they will propose key components of an experiential learning "opportunity structure" that resonates with institutional mission and develops the habits of mind and skills that students will need in a rapidly changing economic, political and social landscape.  Workshop participants will gain greater insight into and resources for creating innovative experiential learning arrangements that reflect the mission, ecology, and goals of their own campus.

Mary-Ellen Boyle, Associate Provost and Dean of the College, Clark University; Mary Ellen Carroll, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Experiential Learning, Loras College; Laura O'Toole, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Salve Regina University; Jim Salvucci, Dean, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Anne Scholl-Fiedler, Vice President, Career Services—both of Stevenson University; Michael G. Tannenbaum, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Hartwick College
Reanimating Liberal Studies presentation (pdf)
Avoiding Pitfalls and Lessons Learned handout (pdf) 
Clark University handout (pdf)
Clark University's Path to Integrated Experiential Learning handout (pdf)
Hartwick College narrative and timeline handout (pdf)
Loras College narrative and timeline handout (pdf) 
Salve Regina University narrative and timeline handout (pdf) 
Stevenson University narrative and timeline handout (pdf)


ACAD Workshop
Undergraduate Research, Institutional Transformation, and Administrative Leadership:   Effective Practices for Lasting Change
Engaging students in undergraduate research positively impacts student learning, engagement, retention and graduation rates.  Evidence of undergraduate research's particular efficacy with respect to closing of student achievement gaps between ethnic and racial groups has accelerated the push by many institutions to expand and support this high-impact practice.  There is a great need for Deans and Provosts to more fully understand how institutions have been able to expand undergraduate research opportunities across disciplines and the curriculum.  

The facilitators of this workshop have leadership roles within the Council of Undergraduate Research and have extensive knowledge of the state of undergraduate research across the higher education landscape. Topics of discussion will include how undergraduate research can be integrated into faculty workload, garnering resources to scale up undergraduate research opportunities, and how undergraduate research can be articulated in promotion and tenure guidelines.  Using the focus group model, for each topic session participants will first hear about some successes and then engage in interactive small group discussions with peer facilitators.  The greater group will share ideas, address questions and then move to the next topic.

Mary Crowe, Associate Provost of Experiential Education, Florida Southern College; Julio Rivera, Provost, Carthage College; David Brakke, Dean, College of Science and Mathematics, James Madison University; Jeffery M. Osborn, Dean of the School of Science, The College of New Jersey