2005

Date Title and Description
March 17, 2005

More Student Learning, Less Faculty Work? Let's Talk about Student-Assisted Teaching!

Teaching well is time consuming business, especially when your course emphasizes pedagogies of engagement such as writing and projects. Programs at other institutions have shown that undergraduate student assistants can promote improved student learning and retention with reduced faculty time input! Such outcomes are possible when undergraduate assistants are appropriately selected, trained, and supervised; and used in ways that take advantage of their "peer-ness" without attempting to cast them in the role of conveyers of content. This session introduced faculty to student-assisted teaching models, as well as allowing a forum for discussion of how such a model might be useful at Clark.

April 13, 2005

Learning through Inquiry (formerly Active Learning)

Clark's "Active Learning" signature defines an essential component of our curriculum. Many faculty have asked how we can achieve it, especially in the context of the disciplines. In an attempt to clarify both what we mean and how we can achieve it, during this lunch we discussed the new draft name (Learn through Inquiry) for Clark's former Active Learning signature. Faculty were provided a forum to discuss the new draft name and definition of this signature, review Clark's ranking for active learning from the National Survey of Student Engagement, and share individual methods of incorporating inquiry-based learning in the classroom.  The Clark University Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning promotes conversations about teaching and provides resources and strategies to support, strengthen, and recognize excellent and innovative teaching and active learning.

October 26, 2005

Disability Awareness

Faculty and graduate students joined in with a Clark University student panel discussion to heighten their awareness of college students with disabilities on campus. Panel participants were students who have self-identified as having learning disabilities, chronic medical conditions, visual impairments and attention deficits. With the assistance of our student panel, the audience discussed their experiences, and explored ways to create spaces for open dialog between faculty members and students with disabilities.

November 30, 2005

Grading Standards and Expectations

What does an A mean? How many A's should we give? Grade inflation, or the perception of grade inflation, arouses passionate debate in higher education. Here at Clark, recent data supports the notion of an upward trend in grades. Some high-profile institutions have adopted policies to ration A's. Yet, if we embrace the "Learning Paradigm" philosophy of Barr and Tagg (1995, http://critical.tamucc.edu/~blalock/readings/tch2learn.htm), we may view the bestowing of a large proportion of (honestly earned) A's as being a measure of institutional educational success. The purpose of this lunch was for faculty to join their colleagues for a discussion of grading issues. Reading the Barr and Tagg article in advance of the discussion was encouraged to stimulate thinking.