Engaging Faculty in Scholarship of

frizzflowerUrban and Civil

Nov 29, 2013 (3 years and 6 months ago)

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Engaging Faculty in Scholarship of
Teaching and Learning:

A View from BRIDGE


Bridging Research, Instruction, and
Discipline
-
Grounded Epistemologies


College

Teaching and Learning Conference

January 2004

Arlene Wilner

Professor of English

Director, RiderBRIDGE

wilner@rider.edu

Recursive BRIDGE Activities


Reflect upon and articulate

disciplinary
epistemologies


Design and implement

teaching strategy


Assess effectiveness

of the strategy, using
CATs (Classroom Assessment Techniques)


Document inquiry
in case
-
study format


Share findings

(“go public”) in one or more
venues, including BRIDGE website:


http://www.rider.edu/~bridge


What BRIDGE Is Not


Not non
-
disciplinary



No template or set of generic skills


Not inter
-
disciplinary



Purpose: To help faculty do more

effectively what they already do

Why Discipline
-
Grounded?

“. . .information
-
processing problems are
goal oriented, and epistemic problems
are oriented toward the incongruity that
generates the problem.”


Michael Carter, “Problem
-
Solving Reconsidered: A Pluralistic theory
of Problems.” College English 50.5 (Spring 1988), 551
-
65

Example from Biology

Dr. Julie Drawbridge

Pilot Experiment SP/02
Developmental Biology

Craig Nelson
-
5 point, take
-
home

students complete in blue ink

in class revision in groups (red ink)

class discussion of answers
Example from Biology, cont’d.

Example

On 5 point sheet

Explain how Hox genes specify the location of
limb buds along the anterior
-
posterior axis.

If Hox genes specify limb bud location, why can
you get extra limbs if you implant FGF beads into
the flank?

On
Exam

Would a limb form if you implanted an FGF bead
in the flank of a snake embryo? Why, why not?
Would it be a forelimb or hindlimb?
Why?
Example from Biology, Cont’d.

Sample Answers:
If Hox genes specify where limb buds form, why can you
If Hox genes specify where limb buds form, why can you
get extra limbs if you implant FGF bead into the flank.
get extra limbs if you implant FGF bead into the flank.

" FGF is a paracrine factor secreted by the lateral plate mesod
erm
and induces the AER. Hox genes
code
for FGF proteins, so the FGF
would induce the AER as if the Hox gene was there and had turned
on FGF. Hox gene

FGF

AER

Limb.
FGF is downstream of
Hox genes
"

"because the FGF paracrine factor is capable of limb forming
interactions between the ectoderm and mesoderm. If the beads ar
e
placed ectopically beneath the flank ectoderm, extra limbs emerg
e.
FGF bead bypasses HOX genes"
Example from Biology, cont’d.

Sample Answers (exam):
Would a limb form if you implanted an FGF bead in the flank
Would a limb form if you implanted an FGF bead in the flank
of a snake embryo? Why, why not? Would it be a forelimb or
of a snake embryo? Why, why not? Would it be a forelimb or
hindlimb? why?
hindlimb? why?

" Yes, a limb bud would form...downstream of Hox genes is FGF.
This doesn't
happen in a normal snake because it doesn't express the proper H
ox genes in the
proper location. It would form a forelimb because snakes have m
ostly thoracic
vertebrae and the forelimb is made at the junction of the cervic
al and thoracic
vertebrae. Hindlimbs are made at the lumbar
-
sacral junction which snakes don't
have, so they wouldn't make hindlimbs
"

"...FGF bead would form a limb. Since a snake is nearly all tho
racic vertebrae,
and FGF bead would create small forelimbs by expressing the Tbx5
transcription
factor"
Example from Biology, cont’d.




SUMMARY


5 point sheets must count


misconceptions MUST be addressed


thought questions


follow up questions on exam


BIO300 Exam average FA/99
-

60.5


BIO300 Exam average SP/02
-

73.4


Example from Biopsychology

Dr. Jonathan Karp



[I gave] In
-
class writing assignments such as
impromptu review paragraphs and quizzes.


I changed aspects of the laboratory portion of the
class to accommodate the fact almost all the material
and vocabulary covered is new to the students. This
is especially important because the students have not
learned to approach/view the world in a
critical/scientific manner.


I significantly slowed down pace of lectures. One of
the most difficult things for me was to get over the
feeling that I was being too ‘remedial’ in what I
covered. A part of this involved intentional repetition
during my lectures.

Example from

Communication
Law

Dr. Pam Brown


Having listened to my colleagues in BRIDGE and
reading the many variations on CATs [Classroom
Assessment Techniques] developed by others, I
devised the following approach. First, I had to accept
that as tight as time is in a course like this, I needed
to give class
-
time to ‘walking students through’ the
use of the course materials. I also decided to attach
credit to the completion and submission of the Study
Guides. . . My overall conclusion is that it is
appropriate to spend as much as a full hour walking
through the students’ handling of the questions on
the Guide to Understanding Cases. Though class time
is at a premium, this is clearly time well spent.

Example from Literary Theory and
Critical Methods/
Dr. Ryan Netzley


You will write five response papers. All of
them must be to essays in the packet (not
chapters from
The Theory Toolbox

or the
literary works). You may choose the texts to
which you respond. Responses are due on
the day that we begin discussion of a given
text.


Response papers ask you to critically engage
a text and produce some analytical
commentary on it.

Example from Literary Theory
and Critical Methods

English 240


Methods of Literary Analysis

Instructor: Ryan Netzley

Exam One


For this exam, you will produce two dialogues between critics,
theorists, authors, or characters. You may choose from the following
three options:

1) David Foster Wallace, Foucault, and Nietzsche on the subject of
meaning and its proliferation.

2) Hamlet (the character, not the play or “Shakespeare”), Freud, and
Foucault on the subject of subjectivity, individuality, and personhood.

3) Nealon (co
-
author of
The Theory Toolbox

and primarily responsible for
the sections on popular culture and ideology), Adorno (you may ignore
Horkheimer for our purposes), and Benjamin on either Kenneth
Branagh’s
Hamlet

or Michael Almereyda’s
Hamlet

(do not attempt to
address both films!).

In short, you should produce a discussion between three figures that
addresses one of the major concepts that we’ve discussed in class.

Example from Literary Theory

and Critical Methods





Having begun this project with the conviction that one of the
chief problems that haunts this course (and others like it, regardless
of title) is student resistance and the entire reductive pragmatic
discourse that attends such resistance ("Derrida is too hard"; "why
do we have to read this stuff?"; "isn't it all just up to the
individual?"), my main intervention
--

at the level of assignments
--

was a dialogue exam that required students to inhabit various
critical, theoretical, and literary figures. This alternative exam
structure proved moderately successful, as
student responses
improved dramatically after the exam
[emphasis added]. The
downside, of course, is that this progress did not occur until midway
through the semester. In the future, I would experiment with more
and more directive response papers, asking students to mime
theoretical texts earlier in the semester.

Why Multidisciplinary?

1)
Emergence of common themes
:


Expert vs. novice learning


Tension between coverage and critical
thinking


Challenge of helping students read
purposefully


Need to acknowledge cognitive and affective
level of students


Difficulty of matching teaching with testing

Why Multidisciplinary?

2)
Opportunities for analogic thinking

Example:
“I have decided to change my
project for the spring 2002 semester. Inspired
by Anne Osborne [History], I have revised
two of my [Business Law] courses. Like Anne,
I want my students to read primary sources
and critically evaluate varying solutions to a
variety of ethical and legal dilemmas.”





Dr. Susan Denbo


Why Multidisciplinary?


3)
Greater faculty awareness of role
within larger community:



Increased respect for the challenges
faced by colleagues in other disciplines



Increased understanding of
challenges for students, who must
contend (as “novices”) simultaneously
with four or five of us!




The Value of Qualitative Data

Importance of contexts and “thick description
”:

“If teaching is going to be community property
it must be made visible, through artifacts that
capture its richness and complexity. In the
absence of such artifacts, teaching is a bit like
dry ice; it disappears at room temperature.”


Lee Shulman, President, Carnegie Academy for
the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

The Value of Qualitative Data

Insights yielded by longitudinal studies
:

Performance at next level, success rate at obtaining
interviews and securing jobs, success in graduate
school (
ideas from a chemistry professor
)

Interviews with students who took the course a year
ago: “I’m wondering if the opportunity to engage in
problem
-
solving has had any impact on how they see
themselves as learners

and how they remember the
course
(ideas from a psychology professor)

The Value of Qualitative Data

Compelling nature of “latitudinal”
studies


analogous effects from similar
experiments conducted independently
of each other (enhanced by multi
-
disciplinary faculty development
structure)

The Value of Qualitative Data


Insights yielded by problem
-
posing and
inquiry regardless of “replicability” of
outcomes
:


“Ultimately, the measure of success for the
scholarship of teaching movement will not be the
degree to which it can

by focusing on the ‘many
layers of practice’ at the heart of teaching

discover
solutions

worth implementing, but the extent to
which it is successful in discovering
problems

worth
pursuing.” Randy Bass

The Value of Qualitative Data

Impossibility of “controlled” experiments
:


Classroom Assessment
-
Classroom
Research =“any systematic inquiry
designed and conducted for the
purpose of increasing insight and
understanding of the relationships
between teaching and learning.” K.
Patricia Cross


Expect Resistance


“What if. . .?”

“I just don’t know how good I will be at
either self
-
examination or willingness to
change the way I teach dramatically
.
I
will give it a try, but don’t be too
disappointed or surprised if I fall short
of your expectations.”


Expect Resistance


“Don’t blame me.”

“Why don’t we have better
students?”

“How much can we lower the bar?”

“How much can we be expected to
spoonfeed?”

The Value of “Going Public”


“I thought the program was very helpful in comparison
[with others] because there was an actual focus and
seeming purpose to the presentations.” (English
professor)


“The format was valuable for semi
-
structured exchange
of ideas

without this structure it is clear that the
audience would have spent the full time in a gripe
session about students” (biology professor)


“I find it helpful to get concrete examples of different
ways to improve instruction and hear about
problems/issues in their implementation. . . .These ‘live
cases’ are really great.” (finance professor)

The Value of “Going Public”


“I appreciated that [the program] discussed
SPECIFIC efforts on the part of individual
faculty to enhance teaching effectiveness.”
(biology professor)


“I particularly liked the focus of the session,. .
.which assumed that students were to be
addressed at the level at which they come to
us and that it is the responsibility of the
teacher to figure out how best to teach them.
This is a point that cannot be made often
enough.” (English professor)

The Value of “Going Public”


“It is always enlightening to have a glimpse
into how colleagues deal with problems and
issues I also face. . .I worry about how to
balance course content with learning that will
have staying power with students. . . .I liked
the [Communication Law professor’s]
experiment with shifting some of the burden
for the course onto students, and getting
them to evaluate how they learn, not just
what they are learning.” (French professor)

Better to Light a Candle. . .


BRIDGE was a very valuable experience for
me. You know the old cliche about it being
better to light a candle than to curse the
darkness. I think cursing the darkness of
dealing with students' poor preparation, lack
of motivation, and odd (for lack of a better
term) learning styles can be all too prevalent.
It felt good to be a part of trying to light a
candle. . . .