The ‘S’ word—It’s all about the skills
- Christine Kampen Robinson (Career Advisor, Graduate, Centre for Career Action)
- Ryan Carroll (PhD student, Germanic and Slavic Studies)
- Kyle Gerber (PhD student, English)
Christine Kampen Robinson presented a workshop offered by the Centre for Career Action (CCA) to undergrads and grads to help them identify their skills, abilities, and potential areas of growth, and help them convey these clearly and confidently to employers.
Students often fail to recognize the professional skills they are developing. Ryan Carroll and Kyle Gerber shared how the workshop helped them recognize the professional skills they were developing within courses and programs, and how they might transfer these skills to settings outside the classroom. Furthermore, the workshop helped them each articulate these skills in a meaningful way to employers or other relevant stakeholders
What made this workshop of special interest to individual instructors is that CCA is offering a modified version of this workshop within the classroom to help students recognize skills they are developing within that particular course or program, to help students discover how best to articulate these to employers or other appropriate stakeholders. Students will recognize that the skills they are developing are useful in a broad range of areas, many of which they may never have considered.
Creating Community in Large(ish) Classes
- Bryan Grimwood (Assistant Professor, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies)
- Michelle Gordon and Zack Stevens (students from Bryan’s REC 230 Outdoor Recreation Resources Management)
Learning is a social activity. It is enhanced when students feel they are part of a community where everyone has a common sense of purpose (we're all here to learn about x); when they feel they are in a supportive environment where they are free to ask questions, respond to comments, and test their ideas without fear of ridicule; and when they are in a place where they can interact with their classmates and instructors about substantive matters and where they can develop interpersonal relationships.
But how do you foster this sense of community, especially in a larger class? And why would you bother to intentionally do so?
In this session, Bryan shared activities he has incorporated into his Rec 230 Outdoor Recreation Resources Management class of 100 students to help his students get to know each other and interact with each other about substantive matters. Michelle and Zack, former students of Bryan’s, shared how participating in these activities shaped their learning. Discussions about the benefits and challenges associated with these activities followed the presentation. The participants considered ways in which similar activities might be incorporated into the classroom to foster a sense of community in other courses.
Garrison, D. R., Anderson, T., & Archer, W. (2010). The first decade of the community of inquiry framework: A retrospective. The Internet and Higher Education, 13(1), 5-9
CTE Teaching Tip: Motivating our Students
Five Benefits (and Two Challenges) of à la carte Assessment
- Shannon Dea – Associate Professor, Philosophy, and ARTS Teaching Fellow
During this session, Arts Teaching Fellow and Philosophy instructor Shannon Dea described her recent use of "à la carte" assessment in a lower division Philosophy/Women's Studies class. Dea had set aside 45% of the course grade for the students to design for themselves. In consultation with Dea, each student developed an individual plan for how to earn their 'à la carte' grade component. The results ranged from blogs and journals to artworks and public education programs. Using à la carte assessments promotes intellectual autonomy, accessibility, metacognition, student engagement, and interdisciplinary connections. However, it is time-consuming for both instructor and student. Moreover, it is important for instructors to provide both front-end and ongoing support to ensure that students’ à la carte projects are appropriate for their level of study and manageable throughout the term. Dea and some of her former students discussed these five benefits and two challenges of à la carte assessment, and offered some of the students' exciting à la carte projects.