The Division of Academic and Student Affairs, the Institute for Teaching and Learning and the Center for the Advancement of Instruction in Quantitative Reasoning provide an array of opportunities to support student success in first-year general education math/quantitative reasoning and written communication courses, as well as in other areas of university experience.
Face-to-face summits, webcasts and digitally supported professional learning communities connect CSU faculty, academic and student affairs professionals and national leaders in higher education.
Several events have been added to support effective teaching and equitable learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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One way to create equitable learning environments is to acknowledge that cultural epistemologies matter and design instruction to balance individuated approaches to learning with integrated ones that many students, especially first-generation college students, find familiar. In this webcast, Rebecca Gutierrez Keeton, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at CSU Fullerton, will invite participants to take the Cultural Framework for Teaching and Learning pre-assessment, via Google Forms, to explore the difference between individuated and integrated approaches to curriculum and instruction. Participants will experience how anonymous engagement can allow for collective, integrative learning activities to introduce and support individuated and individual learning. Dr. Gutierrez Keeton will briefly share a few examples of revisions participants in a professional learning seminar have made in their syllabuses and assignments to create more equitable learning in their courses.
We have been asked to think carefully and creatively about how we assess our students in this remote teaching environment and give due consideration to equity and privacy issues. This effort also leads to questions about meeting student outcomes, maintaining rigor, and promoting academic honesty.
Asking students to co-author a textbook has the potential to extend synchronous community into asynchronous and digital contexts, to support students in seeing themselves as creators in the discipline, to make course learning pathways more diverse and flexible, and to refocus assessment on the learning we value. In this session, Brian Katz, Assistant Professor of Mathematics at CSU Long Beach invites participants to consider some of the design challenges of building a course around a large-scale collaborative writing project and to briefly play in a digital environment that supports this kind of student work.
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Creating individual accountability and positive group interdependence are two essential components of a cooperative learning classroom. Within this interactive presentation, faculty will be placed into small and large groups and given the opportunity to engage in structured learning activities that focus on increasing student engagement through the use of active learning strategies. Faculty participants will be provided with two additional cooperative learning activities that can be utilized across disciplines to increase student engagement and active learning within a face-to-face or virtual learning setting.
Giving an open-book written exam followed by individual oral exams can address concerns about academic integrity in the remote world while affording students opportunities to practice skills that will serve them in the professional world. In this webcast, Victoria Bhavsar of Cal Poly Pomona explains how this exam “system” ensures equitable outcomes: it includes careful alignment of the assessment into the course design; lots of support to prepare including optional one-on-one meetings ahead of the oral; distribution of oral questions in advance; and honesty about why exams are given this way. Participants will hear an overview of the process and results, do a quick soil science activity, and contribute an exit ticket reflecting on how the midterm two-step might or might not serve their teaching.
“My heart was heavy as I prepared for remote teaching in the Fall of 2020. We hadn’t even stepped a virtual foot into our Zoom classroom, and I was already in mourning for the loss of eye contact and the energy that comes from being with a group of students.” As Laurie Starkey, Professor of Organic Chemistry at Cal Poly Pomona, came to grips with the perils of high-stakes testing in an online classroom, she completely revised her syllabus and built in course credit – POINTS – for a variety of non-assessment activities. She happily reports that this transformation has produced an online environment that is rich with opportunities to make social and emotional connections with students. Professor Starkey will share simple activities and interventions that have helped her feel less lonely and isolated in the virtual classroom and that promise to have the same effect on students.