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Washington State University Assessment of Teaching and Learning

May 2018 Assignment Design Workshop Registration

The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) is pleased to offer an assignment design workshop this May, “Clearer Assignments Promote Better Student Work,” designed to assist instructors in designing and refining assignments to more effectively foster and assess student learning, while increasing possibilities for student success. A well-designed and transparent assignment can promote student learning by clarifying the purpose of the assignment for students, by decoding the tasks required to complete the assignment successfully, and specifying criteria for evaluation. » More …

Team-based Online Focus Group Activity Collects Student Input on Capstone Project (Agricultural and Food Systems)

Focus groups provide a way to get feedback about student experiences, perceptions, and motivations, and can provide insight into the ways a curriculum can be most effectively designed to support student learning.

In Spring 2017, ATL worked with Dr. Desmond Layne, Director of Agricultural and Food Systems (AFS), to pilot a new focus group activity designed to elicit feedback on capstone students’ project team interactions with their industry partners. While traditional focus groups typically involve a facilitated whole group discussion, ATL’s pilot activity used a live online discussion board where teams leveraged their experience in group decision-making to respond to questions.  » More …

March 28 Faculty Panel – Capstone Courses: Developing and Refining the Culminating Experience for Seniors

On March 28, Academic Outreach and Innovation (AOI) and the Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) hosted a faculty development workshop, “Capstone Courses: Developing and Refining the Culminating Experience for Seniors”. A WSU faculty panel of participants in last summer’s Capstone Assignment Design Charrette with Dr. Pat Hutchings shared their experiences developing and refining their capstone course and key assignment, including ways to more deeply engage students and more effectively integrate learning in a culminating experience.  » More …

May 2017 Assignment Design Workshops: Open for Registration

The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) is pleased to offer two assignment design workshops this May, designed to assist instructors in designing and refining assignments to more effectively foster and assess student learning, while increasing possibilities for student success. Developing powerful, clear assignments is one of the most consequential intellectual tasks that faculty undertake in their work as educators. Assignments impact student learning, yet that work is often private and unavailable for collegial exchange and knowledge building.  » More …

Assignment Design Support for Faculty and Departments

The Office of Assessment of Teaching and Learning (ATL) is pleased to offer collaborative assignment design charrettes and mini-workshops to WSU faculty and departments, adapted to meet goals, needs, and individual or group contexts. Developing powerful, clear assignments is one of the most consequential intellectual tasks that faculty undertake in their work as educators. Assignments impact student learning, yet that work is often private and unavailable for collegial exchange and knowledge building.  » More …

Assessing Student Learning at the Senior-level: Spring 2016 CAPS Course Assessment Reports (UCORE)

How are students doing on WSU’s Undergraduate Learning Goals? Are UCORE Capstone (CAPS) courses providing students an opportunity to integrate and apply what they have learned throughout the curriculum, bringing closure to their undergraduate experience? To answer these and other questions, UCORE CAPS Instructors completed UCORE CAPS Course Assessment Reports to gauge student learning at the near-graduation level.  » More …

Faculty Work to Enhance Learning in Capstone Courses: Hutchings Workshop

Pat Hutchings speaking at May 2016 Assignment Design WorkshopWSU faculty had a unique opportunity over the summer to enhance high-impact culminating senior experiences for students. On May 25-26, WSU hosted a two-day workshop with Dr. Patricia Hutchings, senior scholar with the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA), and previously senior scholar and vice president at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where she worked extensively with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.  Thirty one faculty participated in the workshop, representing 24 departments and 4 WSU locations. Workshop participants shared a capstone (senior-level culminating) assignment with peers in conversations intended to help guide assignment revision as a summer follow-up activity. The assignments were from both UCORE capstones and other capstones for the major. » More …

Integrated Learning and Assessment in the Capstone (Landscape Architecture)

Each spring, WSU’s Landscape Architecture seniors get the chance to experience a landscape outside of the classroom and to interact with the people who live in, work in, and care about that landscape. Their senior capstone course is a service-learning studio that challenges them to generate designs in response to the needs of a particular place and people, applying their knowledge and skills in a real-world setting. The title of the capstone course, “The Confluence,” reinforces this goal: similar to the junction of rivers, students are asked to merge many things into one, integrating their prior learning and experience. The senior project embodies more than a compilation of skill sets, however; it is an opportunity for students to develop, expand, and challenge all they have learned–to see and create anew.  » More …

Assessing Students’ Preparation to Meet the World’s Agricultural and Food Challenges (Agricultural and Food Systems)

Should more producers utilize bovine growth hormone to meet the 100% expected increase in global food needs by 2064? This is the sort of question tackled by students in Agricultural and Food Systems (AFS). In the AFS senior capstone course, students are provided with the opportunity to apply scientific inquiry, critical thinking, and problem solving skills in a team setting to analyze agribusiness challenges and to develop original research related to issues in agricultural and food production. Small student teams are partnered with an industry representative, who they work with throughout the semester to create a strategy for addressing a problem or creating an initiative for the company, replicating the challenges students will face in the professional work environment.  » More …

Assignment Design Workshop: Registration Deadline April 25

Pat Hutchings.

WSU faculty teaching senior culminating academic experiences (often called capstones) for an undergraduate degree or UCORE are invited to a unique summer opportunity to explore integrative learning and assignment design.

WSU is proud to host a two-day workshop with Dr. Patricia Hutchings, senior scholar with the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) and previously senior scholar and vice president at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, where she worked extensively with the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.  » More …

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