Workshop guide for participants

Dear Workshop Participant:

Greetings! With this booklet, we introduce you to Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) workshops, describing aims and objectives, and give you some background on how participation in a single workshop fits into the larger effort to transform undergraduate SME&T education.

One of the aims of PKAL workshops is to equip teams for leadership in reforms on their home campus, and it is our hope that this introductory material will help make that happen in the most felicitous way. There are many perspectives from which to gain a sense of PKAL workshops. One is to consider that a critical objective of these meetings is to build continuing connections— connections that are intellectual, as well as those that are personal and institutional. Ultimately, through individual workshops, with carefully orchestrated pre- and post-activities, we hope participants in PKAL events begin to shape an intellectual community that has its focus on the issues of student learning; one that parallels the more customary community of scholars that has its focus on scientific research. You will be asked to begin to make such connections with campus colleagues in getting ready for the workshop, and sessions during the workshop will give opportunity to connect to persons and ideas that can further your work in the months and years ahead.

Another perspective is to consider the structure and scope of PKAL workshops, understanding that they are designed to model the very process through which change occurs, following a sequence of:

  • Identifying the specific problem/issue/question
  • Examining the context that calls for change, the institutional as well as the disciplinary and pedagogical context
  • Connecting to others doing similar work
  • Developing goals and executing a plan to achieve those goals (the Agenda for Action in PKAL rhetoric)
  • Identifying and securing resources to implement plan
  • Monitoring implementation
  • Communicating to others with similar goals
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  • Assessing the impact of reforms on students, faculty, and at the institutional level
  • Telling your story

We are accumulating a significant archive of materials highlighting the experience of participants in PKAL workshops over the past few years. You will find on the following pages some critical questions, excerpts from agendas for action, and reports on securing resources and assessing reform. We hope that these serve as a catalyst for your thinking.

Sincerely,

Jeanne L. Narum, Director
Project Kaleidoscope