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SoTL Corner

TEP bases its philosophy and recommendations on the evidence-based research that comes out of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). We feel it is important for the university community to be aware of the important contributions to SoTL, so we have compiled this list of resources. Some of the entries contain direct links to […]

Thinking about Course Learning Objectives

As the University asks faculty to begin adding course-level learning objectives to our syllabuses, here are ideas for what these might look like, and how they can be useful to faculty and students. If you have a favorite learning objective for your course—one that really crystallized something for you, or changed your classroom practice in […]

Getting Students to Think Critically

As part of my job here in the Teaching Effectiveness Program, I help facilitate the Science Literacy Teaching Journal Club in partnership with the University of Oregon’s Science Literacy Program (SLP).  The SLP’s goal is to improve the general population’s science literacy by specifically addressing the topic in a variety of 100-level science courses.  In […]

Learning and Metacognition

A primary goal of university teaching is to help students learn how to engage with the content around which courses, degrees, and entire disciplines or fields of inquiry are organized. To “pass” a course, “earn” a degree, or “gain entry” into a community of scholars, students must demonstrate a certain level of mastery of knowledge […]

Curriculum Mapping: Objectives, Assessment, and Technology

Over the last few months I have sat in on various meetings and presentations about e-portfolios, open courseware, and assessment.  Under discussion are the ways in which different technologies can help mediate across-campus open access to course objectives and assessment processes.  Out of these discussions one area that has really stood out for me is […]

The President Pledge

On November 5, 2010, the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed reported that 71 college presidents across the United States have joined the Presidents’ Alliance for Excellence in Student Learning and Accountability.  “They have promised to take specific steps to gather more evidence about student learning, to use that evidence to improve instruction, […]

Thinking Beyond the ‘Two Cultures’

At a recent conference on student learning outcomes and assessment, I sat at a table with some professors of natural science who were lamenting the lack of appreciation for scientific knowledge in higher education and society at large.  As an example, one observed that at a cocktail party consisting of scholars, no one would be […]

You Can’t Throw Money at Everything

A pay-for-performance study released recently by Vanderbilt University and the RAND Corporation followed nearly 300 Nashville Public Schools fifth- through eighth-grade teachers from 2007 to 2009. The result? No overall effect on student achievement across the entire treatment group. “We sought a clean test of the basic proposition: If teachers know they will be rewarded for […]

Grading or Copy-Editing?

It’s the end of the term and the air is thick with student papers and bluebooks waiting to be graded. Here’s some food for thought while we sift though the onslaught: What does the amount of ink we spend commenting on each kind of writing task say to students about our priorities for their learning, […]

Site Visit: The Assessment Toolbox

Jon Mueller, a professor of psychology at North Central College in Illinois, has developed the Authentic Assessment Toolbox. The toolbox is an online resource for instructors who want to develop authentic activities and curriculum. Authentic Assessments require students to “perform real-world tasks that demonstrate meaningful application of essential knowledge and skills.” For example, in a […]