|CASTL Higher Education|
The Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
The sites in this collection include hand-built faculty teaching portfolios and scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) projects that were created over a period of eight years. They display the inquiry, processes, and reflections of faculty from disciplines including (but not limited to) mathematics, psychology, and music. At the same time, they reveal some unique ways of representing individual faculty investigations of teaching, collaborative inquiry, and disciplinary and interdisciplinary teaching and learning.
Capturing Change: A Tale of Two Portfolios
These two portfolios document efforts to capture change in a single general education music course. The first analyses the course's transformation from a catastrophe to a cause for celebration; the second explores the search for deep learning.
The course the portfolio describes is a capstone course in mathematics primarily aimed at future high school mathematics teachers. Bennett decided to write a course portfolio for this course as a way to pass the course along to other faculty members that will teach it in the future. Thus, the central purpose of this portfolio is to be a course record, suitable for other faculty members in the department to use as the main resource when they teach the course.
Linkon's research focused on evaluating the effectiveness of her incremental learning assignments in an interdisciplinary course. She gathered a variety of kinds of evidence of students' learning, ranging from surveys and interviews to students' projects and her own reflections. The three-assignment incremental learning sequence worked well for most students. Linkon's analysis of their work showed a clear development of analytical complexity in their writing over the course of the term. Students also noted that the sequence helped them gain confidence and understanding. The website is framed around a series of key questions:
* How does interdisciplinary teaching and learning work?
* What do I want students to learn?
* How can I facilitate their learning?
* How would I know if it worked?
* How did it go?
A professor investigates her teaching efficacy by tracking her students' development in a public speaking course.
In this course portfolio, Dan Bernstein reports on changes he has made over three semesters in a psychology course on learning. He has succeeded in getting more students to achieve higher levels of understanding by changing the assessment from short abstract essay questions to problems that asked students to apply concepts in new contexts, and providing web-based opportunities for students to identify what makes some answers better than others. The portfolio includes examples of the assessments used, graphs reporting his results, and students final exams.
This work is part of an exhibition on Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching. The project shows how Bernstein makes use of ideas about levels of understanding derived from his own discipline, but not always applied in pedagogical practice. Similarly, he presents his work using the graphs and statistics drawn from his background as an experimental psychologist, but has to rely on the quasi-experimental methods more comfortable for his colleagues in other sectors of psychology.
The difficulty that many calculus students face is their inability to apply methods and concepts used in practiced problems to new situations. This is not only a cause for concern in their calculus courses but also in subsequent science and engineering courses where they need to use the fundamental principles and methods of calculus. This project began as an attempt to create a course activity that would help students improve their ability to transfer their knowledge across application domains. In the end, Salem and Michael were unable to determine how effective the activity was in addressing the problem of transfer. However, they were able to formulate a simple but useful characterization of students' approaches to solving out-of-context problems.
This website was designed as an archive of course materials and reflections to serve as a foundation for the development of future versions of this and other courses. The course syllabus serves as the organizing structure of the site; it provides access to weekly reflections, class overheads and notes, and student work.
This portfolio documents the teaching in a Western Civilization survey course at Texas Tech that took a thematic approach to investigate a number of the most important developments from the 17th Century to the Fall of Communism. The portfolio focuses on the impact of hypermedia on student learning and includes samples of student work, student evaluations, and peer comments.
The overall goal of this inquiry project was to evaluate approaches to incorporating complementary and alternative medicine into the curricula of nurse practitioner (NP) programs. Specifically, Burman undertook a comprehensive assessment of how the concept of complementary and alternative therapies is (or is not) addressed in her FNP curriculum. The outcome of this assessment is a "curriculum component portfolio" with selected pieces of evidence, critical reflection and recommendations.
This site presents a study on the impact of incorporating cooperative learning activities in a large section (>200 'at-risk' students) of General Chemistry. It includes data documenting students' performance in the course and in more advanced science courses, course materials, and videotapes illustrating cooperative problem solving in small groups. Jacobs' website provides graphic representations of his results, a site library with access to his methods and analyses and video clips showing students at work allows him to juxtapose powerful graphic representations of his course transformation with video clips showing students at work.
This website shows how Smith fostered the development of her students' competence and confidence in teaching science through a course for preservice teachers at Michigan State University. Smith's site is laid out in a timeline that allows visitors to access documents from her syllabus, student work samples, and audio commentary on her students' development.
This site focuses on the use of case writing to support student learning in a Foundations of Learning course for pre-service teachers at the graduate level. It uses a course timeline to organize links that show course materials, the development of one student's case, and student and instructor reflections. The site index also includes an archive of students' cases, as well as a collection of other course materials.
Concerned that most students leave college thinking of mathematics as a fixed body of knowledge to be memorized, Cooperstein designed a new course to help students learn to think mathematically for themselves. This website serves as a course portfolio that documents the new class, Introduction to Mathematical Problem Solving. The principal activity in the class involved students working on and discussing novel problems which required them to formulate experiments, work out cases, look for patterns in data, pose questions, make conjectures, search for counterexamples and attempt to prove their assertions. Cooperstein has collected a vast array of student work samples and has annotated them extensively with his own commentary.
This "class anatomy" includes the full documentation of one of the problems on the application of a technique for teaching reading as well as some video excerpts from the class, and analyses of the development of students' understanding. It represents the first attempt of a Carnegie Scholar and KML staff to produce a multi-media website. This site was revised in 2004 to emphasize the multimedia components of Cerbin's work from an original course portfolio which is located at http://gallery.carnegiefoundation.org/bcerbin/.