- About PKAL
Setting Goals for Student Learning
- Departmental matrix - Clarity about the scope and sequence of departmental offerings
Mary Savina, C. Edward Buchwald, David M. Bice, Shelby J. Boardman
Having departmental conversations about where students learn what, brings coherence to the academic program.
- What Works: Building Robust Interdisciplinary Programs
- What Works: Ensuring the Success of Under-represented Groups in STEM Learning Environments
- What Works: Linking Insights About How People Learn into Curricular Reform
- A perspective: Linking insights about how people learn to curricular reform
W. Bradley Kincaid
After participating in the PKAL 2003 Assembly, Linking Insights About How People Learn to Curricular Reform, I offer some characteristics of an institution (college or university) that is having demonstrable success in linking insights about how people learn into the work of curricular transformation.
- Addressing one American Psychological Association goal for student learning
A report of departmental efforts to implement a curriculum assessment strategy.
- Creating a research-rich curriculum at Miami University
Miami University has attempted in recent years to build upon a collection of student research participation opportunities at the University, and develop a comprehensive "research-rich” undergraduate curriculum. A major step in this direction was the creation in 1995 of the Undergraduate Summer Scholars (USS) program.
- Undergraduate Psychology Major Learning Goals and Outcomes
- In a recent report, Undergraduate Psychology Major Learning Goals and Outcomes, the American Psychological Association’s Board of Educational Affairs provided ten suggested goals and related learning outcomes for the undergraduate psychology major.
- A Novel Strategy for Assessing the Effects of Curriculum Reform on Student Competence
Susan B. Millar, Paul H. Williams
Credible assessment is crucial to the success of any curricular reform efforts whose goals are to improve student learning and skill development. A new strategy designed to determine whether changes in student learning and skill development are measurable.
- A Recent History of Curriculum and Assessment in Undergraduate Psychology Programs
Charles L. Brewer, Jane S. Halonen
This brief review documents how curricular and assessment issues have evolved over the last 20 years in undergraduate psychology
- Assessment: The burden of a name
Bernard L. Madison
"Thrust onto the US higher education scene in the final two decades of the twentieth century, assessment continues to suffer mightily from misunderstanding, much of it because of the burden of its name. The other weighty contributor to this misunderstanding is assessment's cadre of early promoters – administrators, governing boards, accrediting agencies, and legislatures...So the lines were drawn and assessment has struggled against these misunderstandings to gain both respectability and usefulness in US higher education."
- Comment on the essay, "On the politics of teaching reform"
Yildirim Dilek adds a fourth development to Novak's list - the changing status of the "social contract" between science and the public, and the need to bring relevance to not only the students in the classroom but also the public.
Communication, Communication, Communication
Connecting Assessment to Enhance Student Learning
Donna L. Sundre
In the real estate profession, the mantra is "location, location, location." In most other pursuits, an advisable mantra might be "communication, communication, communication." The prudence of academic leaders adopting such a mantra in the instance of assessment of student learning is easily illustrated by even the most fleeting review of institutional case studies where false starts, strong beginnings accompanied by equally strong fizzles, and outright "no-go's" are evident.
Creating a Community Dedicated to the Assessment of Student Learning
Jeanne L. Narum
- One responsibility of leaders in undergraduate STEM is to keep their community focused on the quality of learning of their students- what lasts. Exercising this responsibility calls for discussions and negotiations to take place at many different stages in a long and iterative process...
- Liberal education and capstone experiences
Liberal education at Beloit College is considered "liberating" education, which promotes the development of the intellect, reflective thinking, and effective action.
On Leadership In STEM
Presentation by P. Uri Treisman to the Project Kaleidoscope Leadership Committee
P. Uri Treisman
Leadership in disseminating ideas about reforms and about the process of reform is key to the strength of the 21st century undergraduate STEM community. In this essay, Treisman identifies his notion of "leadership" and he concludes that successful leaders inspire people to work collectively for the greater good.
- Planning, implementing and assessing an integrated math and science curriculum
Charles Allen, Bruce Callen, Donald G. Deeds, Mark Wood
This essay describes the assessment protocols through which Drury University monitored the impact of a multi-disciplinary curriculum for all students developed collectively by their STEM faculty. The full description of the ten-year development and evolution of their curriculum is presented in an essay in the Journal of College Science Teaching. That reformers need to be in it for the long-haul is one lesson learned from the Drury experience.
Realizing a Learner-Centered Environment
Jeanne L. Narum
Research from the field of cognitive science provides one answer to two fundamental questions facing today's leaders intent on creating a learner-centered environment: 1) why is such an environment needed; 2) how can such an environment be realized?
- Reflection on Novak's "On the politics of teaching reform"
David S. Koetje
David Koetje reflects on Gregor Novak's essay and his own experiences with changes in the biology curriculum at Calvin College.
- Student Learning in Biochemistry: Assessment of the Undergraduate Research Experience
Adele J. Wolfson
An undergraduate research experience is widely regarded as a key element in science education. The recent report from the National Research Council recommends that, “All students be encouraged to pursue independent research as early as is practical in their education.”
Taking the Scientific Approach
Jeanne L. Narum
Sharing their work for review, comment and use by others brings another dimension of the scientific approach into the work of institutional transformation. As people learn about, adapt and build upon the work of colleagues with experience in setting, implementing and assessing goals for a research-rich learning environment, a better informed community of practitioners will emerge, similar to more traditional disciplinary communities of practice.
- The collaborative, community-building, results-oriented approach
Charisse M. Buising, LaRhee Henderson
A car ride to a PKAL meeting at Beloit College sparked a conversation leading to a collaborative, community-building, results-oriented approach in courses.
- The connected curriculum project and beyond: Web-based learning materials in mathematics
- Twelve Step Recovery Process for Lectureholics
Emily Jensen, Neil Davidson
If you are addicted to lecturing, the advice in the essay by Jensen and Davidson suggests another approach to stepping back and considering how to transform the learning environment for you and your students.
- Why Change?
Robert E. Megginson
- Departmental self-study at Allegheny College
How the process of a departmental self-study results in a better sense of "who we are, who our students are, and where we fit into the liberal arts college."
- Enhancing the Chemistry Curriculum with FT-NMR Spectroscopy
Andrew S. Koch
St. Mary’s College submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation to fund the purchase of a high-field Fourier-transform nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (FT-NMR).