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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Revisiting Online Quizzes

Are you working on or planning to revise the tests in your classes soon? Rather than just refreshing or updating the questions, Derek Jorgenson, Instructional Designer at EvCC, encourages you to take a step back and think about exams in the larger context of assessments. Listen to a two-part podcast about Revisiting Online Quizzes at the Center for Transformative Teaching blog. Handouts and other resources are also available.


Monday, July 9, 2018

The Spark of Learning

What are you reading this summer? Will it be a “beach read” with some fun capers in lovely Paris? Will your list include detective novels (like the Harry Bosch novels I love)? Will the list include some of the classics, like “To Kill a Mockingbird” or maybe “Moby Dick”? If you are more interested in keeping up with your professional reading while you sip your morning coffee or tea and relax on the deck, the 5-Star Consortium faculty development specialists have some recommendations.

I am starting my summer reading with a book by Sarah Rose Cavanagh, “The Spark of Learning.” Check out this sentence from her preface: I am going to argue that if you want to grab the attention of your students, mobilize their efforts, prolong their persistence, permanently change how they see the world, and maximize the chances that they will retain the material you’re teaching them over the long term, there is no better approach than to target their emotions.”

I can’t wait to start reading and have even set aside a little time at work each day to begin learning, among other things, how to change how I ask questions in the classroom and tell students about my own failures as a student!

Want to know what the other books on our list of recommendations are? Check off how many you’ve read, and if they aren’t in your institution’s library, check with your college’s faculty development specialist – maybe they have a copy in their library!

5 Star Consortium Recommended Reading






 












Reynolds, Garr. Presentation Zen



Monday, July 2, 2018

Faculty Developers

What do your 5-Star Consortium faculty professional development leaders do?

submitted by Peg Balachowski, Associate Dean of Teaching & Learning at EvCC


L to R front row: Scott Haddock and Kristina Jipson (EdCC),
Peg Balachowski (EvCC), Rhonda DeWitt (Lake Washington Tech),
and Elisabeth Frederickson (EdCC)
L to R back row: Jeff Stevens (Cascadia),
and Brigid Nulty (Shoreline)
For the past two years, members of the 5-Star Consortium faculty development leaders have presented a best practices in teaching and learning orientation for new associate faculty at each of the 5 colleges (Everett CC, Edmonds CC, Shoreline CC, Cascadia College and Lake Washington Tech). The orientation has changed and (in our opinion) improved over that time, thanks primarily to input from participants. We conduct formative assessments throughout the session, and conclude with a feedback form called PLUS/DELTA. Using the information from participants, we have made improvements such as including more activities that allow participants to move around rather than just being lectured to.


Earlier this summer, the faculty developers from the 5 colleges met to talk about the future of the orientation. Our big goal includes cultivating a sense of belonging to a teaching and learning community by providing a place to connect to fellow associate faculty (adjuncts), across schools, within schools, and within disciplines. We also want to make sure that the new faculty connect with the faculty developer professional on their campus. Add to that a tool box of classroom activities that will aid new faculty in organizing active learning pedagogies and making important connections with students. We believe that faculty who employ these techniques will not only build critical relationships with students but will also begin reducing equity gaps that exist in many classrooms today.

During the orientation we want to make sure that we model transparency, being explicit about the choices we have made for the orientation. Our research indicates that the topics we have chosen are important to faculty and students across not only the state but the country, in both CTCs and universities. And participants have told us that they appreciate the comfortable and safe space that we provide during the orientation as well as a set of tools that can be employed the first or next day of class.

During out meeting we also revised our orientation outcomes. We also discussed a series of Saturday workshops that will be hosted by different 5-Star colleges throughout 2018-19. Watch this blog for more information on those workshops as well as those hosted by individual colleges!

5-Star Orientation Outcomes:

By the end of the Orientation we want our participants to be able to:
  1. Be reflective metacognitive professionals (with a growth mindset) so that they can model and nurture it with their students. 
  2. Understand the demographics of CTC students via data, including the differences between prof/tech and transfer students, and equity gaps with regard to persistence and success.
  3. Make authentic connections with their students because this is supported by research as a way to mitigate equity gaps.
  4. Implement evidence-based, equity-minded, contemporary teaching strategies in their course to maximize student learning.
  5. Use formative assessment to improve their teaching and student learning using student feedback.
  6. Have an HR introduction, including topics such as ethics, Title IX, FERPA, and how to deal with student conduct issues.