VALUE rubrics from the AAC&U have been steadily gaining momentum. Developed to cover an array of areas for authentic assessment, these rubrics garnered interest from the Multistate Collaborative as desire mounted for a non-examination tool providing reliable assessment. In 2015, this led the collaborative, in conjunction with AAC&U, to invest in training faculty of LEAP state schools. These trained rubric raters focused on usage of one of three VALUE rubrics: quantitative, written, or critical thinking. Rubric rating trainings support assessment via norming, ensuring raters understand terminologies in rubrics with the same priorities. At IUPUI, campus leaders initiated a campus-based project to learn from VALUE rubric assessments. Two teams were developed to assess subject area samples using two different VALUE rubrics: critical thinking rubric supported evaluation of psychology papers, and oral communication rubric supported evaluation of public speaking videos. The project started with individuals trained from the Multistate Collaborative to use the rubrics but evolved to include one team member without prior training. This presentation addresses identification of the process, assessment, and limitations of using VALUE rubrics for authentic assessment. Further, we explore planning for curricular changes as a follow-up to assessment of authentic learning using the VALUE rubrics. Key challenges will be discussed along with future plans to assess authentic student learning.
Agricultural Economics 217 at Purdue University is a large enrollment service course covering introductory macroeconomics. Enrollment is predominantly freshmen and sophomores and has ranged from 140 to 450, with few economics majors. The course was lecture-based from the mid-1980s through 2012. Course goals and content primarily required memorization and understanding at the lowest levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. Mid-level application and analysis would be demonstrated in lectures, but there was little expectation that students would learn to use the data and tools of macroeconomics themselves. Much about the course changed after a sabbatical in spring 2013. The instructor participated in Purdue’s Impact program and was encouraged to focus instructional effort on application and analysis. Now students would be expected to “do” macroeconomics. The revised course shifted learning toward the mid-range taxonomy levels in several ways. Practice quizzes for credit were made available on the course website. Video clips were created to cover basic material. One-third of the class meetings were devoted to group projects organized using the “jigsaw” method. Students wrote and graded short essays using calibrated peer review software. The effects were measured by comparing responses on final exam questions before and after the course change. Questions were classified by outside reviewers as lower-level (memorization and understanding) or mid-level (application and analysis). Statistical tests generally showed improved performance on the mid-level questions but worse performance on the lower-level questions. Shifting resources toward higher-order learning achieved results, but with a cost.
Teaching undergraduate statistics can be difficult, regardless of the modality. This presentation presents the holistic results of a revised undergraduate statistics course taught in both hybrid and fully online formats. The course was revised to encourage failure as a pathway to learning and to focus on achievement rather than performance. The course also includes several pathways to learn about students as they learn via pre-course surveys, pre-tests, analysis of multiple quiz/test attempts, and discussion boards centered on peer teaching and learning. This presentation will provide information learned about students including their predicted pre-class grade versus their actual grade, their pre-test knowledge versus their knowledge during and after class, their choices made relative to achievement and when they take quizzes and exams, their behavior when failure is an option, and their general feelings about the course. Taken holistically, this type of course revision aims to learn about the student as he or she learns and can easily be incorporated into any course across disciplines as a critical, simultaneous, and hidden supplement to the focus on student learning outcomes.
In my introductory art history class, I started implementing an “old-fashioned” visual teamwork assignment, of my design, every few weeks into the curriculum. For this activity, students were put into groups of three to four and each group given the same “Art Style Worksheet” packet. Each packet contained nine or ten pages of these worksheets with information missing, along with one or two pages of reproductions of artworks.
The students are then required to cut out each image from the page, and tape them into appropriate boxes on the worksheets that match the “art style” or “artist.” They then continue to fill out the “art style characteristics” and the “political and social context” portion of the page. After the first exercise, I conducted an informal poll from the students to rank from one to three the helpfulness of the activity with three being “highly helpful” to one being “not helpful at all,” and 100 percent of the students responded that the activity was very helpful. Although I embrace and rely on digital technology in my teaching, there seems to be advantages to incorporating tactile learning into the classroom, and together, they can complement and amplify each other in terms of the teaching effectiveness of a course.
This session examines how the growing field of applied improvisation helps educators address two classroom challenges: 1) distraction or lack of focus/attention, and 2) disconnection from peers. First, mental distractions hinder student engagement, from smartphones and online social networks to academic anxieties such as an upcoming test or personal stresses like a troubled relationship. These distractions displace students’ attention from the task of learning and limit their mental presence in class. Second, students often remain strangers to one another and thus, fear taking risks and exploring ideas together in a supportive community.
In response to these challenges, I have adapted improvisation training exercises to use in the classroom throughout the semester. These exercises are designed to help create a supportive “ensemble” of learners and to help students practice skills such as focused attention and collaboration. During this experiential session, participants will have the opportunity to try several activities. I will also share student survey responses to this pedagogical intervention.
Faculty from IU South Bend will present two approaches to engaging students and promoting mastery of skills in writing and critical thinking. The first approach uses Canvas Speedgrader editing tools to improve writing in MUS-T-190 Music in New York, an IUSB Common Core general education course. Common problems in undergraduate writing include use of casual language, grammar/punctuation/spelling, and use of overly general language. I integrate specific comments in the margin with highlighted, color-coded trends, linked with a rubric, and also general comments about the paper. Using the color coding system of yellow for grammar, blue for casual language, and orange for general language, I sensitize writers to specific changes that need to be made, along with overall trends, and how these various levels of feedback affect the assignment grade. This gives the students a clear path to necessary improvements. By indicating trends, this system influences students’ progress for one specific paper and helps build skills for other academic written work. The second approach uses games to motivate learners to master skills and content knowledge. We researched, designed, and analyzed game-based pedagogies in two courses. In EDUCP250 General Educational Psychology, which fulfills the IUSB Common Core general education requirement for Human Behavior & Social Institutions, we designed a gamified environment where students collaborate in guilds to complete academic challenges. In EDUCU100 College Threshold Seminar, an essential skills course enrolling conditionally admitted freshmen, we designed “13 Fallacies,” a card game which fosters critical thinking skills. Across contexts, we found these approaches positively impacted learning and motivation.
An internship can give a student insight into the workings of the professional world. This type of experiential learning is most valuable when offered at just the right time within a given curriculum. Visual Communication Design majors at Herron School of Art and Design are required to complete a discipline-specific internship before graduation. Students must proactively locate and secure an internship in a very challenging and competitive marketplace—this in itself is a critical learning experience. Upon completing an internship, students reflect positively on their experience and return to the classroom more savvy and engaged, bringing new insight to their final coursework before graduation. Participating in an internship gives students more confidence in networking and creating relationships that will give them an advantage in the job market. This case study emphasizes how the Visual Communication Design program at Herron prepares students for the internship experience as well as how internships are structured, managed, and evaluated by faculty and the internship employer to give the student an optimum, high-impact experience.
The “Buggin’ Out” assignment consists of a mini-project where teams, after viewing an approximately 18½ minute TED talk by Marcel Dicke entitled “Why Not Eat Insects?” are challenged to develop a plan related to increasing insect consumption in the market of the university or college where the class is taught. As insect consumption is relatively uncommon in America, and few undergraduate students have extensive backgrounds in entomology, the project tends to work well as an icebreaker as students all start off on unfamiliar footing. The project allows students to demonstrate previously learned business fundamentals (e.g., segmenting-targeting-positioning) as well as creative expression (e.g., branding the insect offering). This assignment has been used in different classes at two universities and received very strong student feedback, and in the author’s experience offers an interesting, flexible, challenging first-day assignment.
In this presentation, Mark Mayer and Judith Wright, the two 2015 IU Trustees Teaching Award Honorees from the Kelley School of Business-Indianapolis, discuss how their professional experiences impact their undergraduate teaching methods. Prior to obtaining his doctorate, Mayer was a brand manager with Kraft Foods (working on brands like Planters Nuts and Nabisco new products) and with Wyeth Consumer Healthcare (leading the nationwide launch of Advil PM). Wright was chief operating officer of the $4 billion financial services division of Hillenbrand Industries. Both believe that these corporate experiences provided some great experiences to talk about in class, and that “storytelling” is an important skill in teaching. Based on course evaluations and other student feedback, students appreciate these real-world stories. However, both presenters believe that the value in bringing real-world experience into the classroom goes well beyond telling student-appreciated stories from their past careers. They share examples of how the knowledge, skills, and practices gained in their prior corporate careers have been used to enrich course content and deepen theoretical concept understanding with students. The two presenters teach in different disciplines, and their teaching philosophies are quite different as well. However, they share a common focus on challenging students to explore, analyze, and problem-solve real-world business situations. In this presentation, Mayer and Wright share not only overall philosophies on using real-world experience to enhance student-centric learning, but also specific examples of course activities designed in that spirit.
For varying reasons, students—particularly non-traditional students—may find it challenging to attend a traditional, face-to-face course. Such students benefit from online courses that have flexible schedule requirements. However, students find online courses in chemistry particularly challenging as the subject matter relies on a strong synergy between conceptual understanding and both qualitative and quantitative problem-solving skills, as well as technique-based laboratory coursework. At Indiana University East, we have developed a series of online general chemistry courses that integrates video-based exposition of concepts and problem-solving techniques with student-student and student-faculty interaction through synchronous, video-conferenced discussion sessions as well as asynchronous online discussions for students to learn from each other and clarify challenging concepts and problem-solving techniques. These are coupled with electronically delivered homework assignments and quizzes to provide students with instantaneous feedback on their understanding and skills, as well as hand-graded worksheets and exams where students can obtain more detailed feedback on both their problem-solving techniques and conceptual issues. Results from proctored examinations suggest that students who complete the majors’ general chemistry course online scored similarly to those who completed the course in person. Furthermore, while for science majors we have retained face-to-face laboratory sections due to the importance of developing laboratory techniques, we have explored the possibility and possible approaches for delivering laboratory courses online for non-science majors.
Games have been part of the operations management professor’s pedagogical tool kit for decades. What began as paper and pencil games have become full-fledged electronic games to rival some of the most popular video games. In this session, you will learn about the evolution of games in teaching OM and how gamification can change the way we learn and teach. The presenter will demonstrate “Practice Operations,” a 3D role playing game developed by Muzzy Lane for McGraw Hill, and other 3D virtual environments.
Instructors today endeavor to keep students attentive and engaged in the classroom. Although blended and flipped classroom approaches have several advantages, they do not come without hesitation from students because of the stress of self-learning. Creating the right mix of traditional and active learning provides the opportunity for students to understand challenging concepts, while learning through different activities which increase student engagement, retention, and performance. A face-to-face traditional undergraduate genetics course was modified to include several active learning strategies. Lectures were not completely done away with, but the didactic lecture time was reduced, and students were engaged through intermittent problem solving, critical thinking, and/or hands-on activities. These included purposeful questioning, problem solving either as single problems interspersed with lecture (10-15 minutes of instruction), or using worksheets solved in a lecture or lab session in a format similar to think-pair-share. An online learning management system was used to provide homework assignments that gave hints at points where students repeatedly made mistakes. The worksheets and homework assignments provided formative assessment methods to expose the areas that students struggled with and that needed to be revisited in class. On the other hand, quizzes and exams helped evaluate student performance, which showed improvement compared to the traditional format. Thus the hybrid pedagogical approach with an amalgam of traditional and active learning strategies aided in student learning in a content and concept dense course.
In today’s classrooms, keeping students engaged and on-task is seemingly more difficult than it has ever been. There are so many distractions, including all things digital (iPhones, iPads, instant Internet access, etc.), that make it nearly impossible for the students of today to remain undistracted for the entire class time. Why fight it? During this session, you will learn how to captivate and challenge your students using today’s technology to teach the concepts of tomorrow. Various apps/free online sites will be shared, as well as activities designed for those apps/sites to be used in the classroom. Though not required, participants are encouraged to bring their own electronic device of choice to participate in the session.