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Enriching Scholarship 2014 – round table May 5, 2014

Posted by aquillam in teaching.
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Enriching Scholarship is “a week of free workshops, discussions, and seminars… for instructional faculty and staff” at the University of Michigan. The first session of the week was From Inspiration to Implementation: Teaching and Technology Today and Tomorrow. The second half was a breakout roundtable discussion. I sat ein on a discussion of using online public resources as student projects to enable learning, lead by Lauren Atkins.

Lauren discussed an example of a class that develops real websites in an archive that real people who have no background in the subject are likely to use. Although the students start the semester with no previous knowledge (like their readers), by the end of the semester they are demonstrate a deep understanding of the issues and are able to create websites that are useful to others, and that they themselves are invested in and proud of.

We also discussed examples of blogging to get students involved in a topic, and communicating with each other. By making materials public, especially if they know they have an audience, the students have a vested interest in making them good.

However, most class projects include a formal assessment component. So how do we grade these assignments, especially in large lecture courses? In general, the material has to be hand graded. One option is to use something like a blog or wiki for students to practice, share ideas, and test out material for a final project, but only the final project is actually graded. Another option is to use peer evaluation, similar to a MOOC. ISS has access to Coursera software, so instructors can try out some of the things like the peer evaluations. Rubrics have to be carefully crafted, which is very hard to do the first time you give an assignment.

That discussion lead to another idea: ask students to develop a mini-curriculum for one section of a course, and also asking them how they would assess whether or not someone had learned the material. Rather than grading their work, use their work to develop the exam questions.

 

ADDENDUM:

P.F.Anderson attended the Active classroom roundtable. Her notes are available here https://docs.google.com/a/umich.edu/document/d/1–xX8fvrlKJike5SwQYJ_Fm1Uh4jpcjZydEvx9zlzcI/edit#heading=h.gpngvwrwbvms (and she is totally awesome for doing that!)

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