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May 5, 2006 Pacific Northwest Higher Education Teaching & Learning Conference 1 Building a Disciplinary Commons using Course Portfolios Josh Tenenberg.

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Presentation on theme: "May 5, 2006 Pacific Northwest Higher Education Teaching & Learning Conference 1 Building a Disciplinary Commons using Course Portfolios Josh Tenenberg."— Presentation transcript:

1 May 5, 2006 Pacific Northwest Higher Education Teaching & Learning Conference 1 Building a Disciplinary Commons using Course Portfolios Josh Tenenberg Janet Ash, Donald Chinn, Ravi Gandham, Michael Gelotte, Richard Hoagland, Laurie Murphy, Brad Richards, John Staneff, Phyllis Topham, Jeffrey Weiss

2 2 Teaching as a private activity Privatized teaching spaces Aside from his syllabi and fading memories, he had no real record of what happened in those award winning courses Institutional isolation (or worse)

3 3 Outline Deprivatizing Teaching: the Disciplinary Commons What did we do? What is a Course Portfolio? How much does this cost? What might you learn? Why do this in a single discipline? Why do you want to do this with others? Do try this at home! Where is the Scholarship?

4 4 Deprivatizing Teaching Faculty meet on common ground, using scholarly practices to investigate teaching and learning in their own classrooms. The practices and artifacts produced become common property, available for use and adaptation by others.

5 5 What did we do? 11 Computer Science (CS) teachers meeting face-to-face, monthly for ½ day throughout the academic year Crossing borders: CS faculty from different institutions engaged in common practices and common goals Talking about teaching: as scholars and practitioners Parallel construction and mutual critique of Course Portfolios

6 6 The Disciplinary Commons: A face-to-face Yackpack

7 7 What is a Course Portfolio? An organized collection of ideas and principles that guide the design and implementation of a particular course. Focuses on the course. It is NOT a student portfolio. It is NOT a teaching portfolio, although it can be part of one.

8 8 What is in a Course Portfolio? One or more of the following: Course description: content, structure How the course fits in the curriculum Course learning objectives Teaching methods Teaching philosophy How learning is assessed What you include depends on why you are creating a course portfolio

9 9 How much does this cost? 128 Hours per person (average), as we did it Doing it as a group increased the cost due to meetings and travel time You can do this by yourself in about 80 hours direct time Benefit of group interaction far outweighs extra cost Its probably your time, so the institutional cost is minimal (unless ….) Benefit to your other courses is immeasurably valuable!

10 10 What might you learn? There is commonality of teaching contexts and practices – We are all in the same boat! Benefit from articulating and sharing your teaching practices – Now you know why you do things the way you do them! Realize that some of your practices do not directly relate to course objectives – A reality check! Find new ways to enhance the your courses effectiveness from peer insights – A sense of self-accountability and accomplishment!

11 11 chemistry philosophy literature geography psychology art biology Why do this in a single discipline?

12 12 CS software design Java control structure C++ data abstraction Common Language 1.Able to make assumptions about understanding 2.More emphasis on rational for teaching choices 3.More thoughtful peer observations Why do this in a single discipline?

13 13 CS traditional students non-traditional students running start students transfer students institutional and individual differences semesterquarter teaching load budgetary constraints Why do this in a single discipline?

14 14 Course Portfolio CS-210 Bellevue Community College Fundamentals of Computer Science I Why do this in a single discipline? Course Portfolio CSCI144 Evergreen Community College Java I Course Portfolio CS – 142 South Puget Sound Community College Object-Oriented Prog I Course Portfolio CSCI161b University of Puget Sound Introduction to Computer Science The power of the portfolio approach is multiplied when there are several examples available for a single disciplinary aspect. Course Portfolio CS100 Introduction to Computer Science Course Portfolio CIS 121 Pierce College Introduction to Computer Information Systems Course Portfolio CSCE144 Pacific Lutheran University Introduction to Computer Science Course Portfolio TCSS 390 UW-Tacma Undergraduate Seminar in CSS Course Portfolio CIS 201c Pierce College Intro to Java Course Portfolio CS-210 Bellevue Community College Fundamentals of Computer Science I Course Portfolio Compu 142 Shoreline Community College Intro. to Computer Programming with Java

15 15 Why you might want to make a Course Portfolio For permission to take the time to reflect on what you are doing To focus on the Big Picture The curriculum/program The course The teaching and focus on an element Testing, lectures, homework …

16 16 Why you might want to make a Course Portfolio – 2 For permission to research From others On your teaching To Document To Share

17 17 Why you might not want to do this alone Begin with the end in mind - sharing A common framework elicits discipline Encouragement and camaraderie in the face of a rather large amount of work Building a community of resources And besides, it couldnt possibly be as much fun

18 18 ActivitiesGoalsScholarshipResources Commit ment IndividualWrite Portfolio Self Improvement Increased Learning Clear Goals Reflective Critique 20 hoursLow Small Group in Institution Add: Meeting Peer Obs. Peer Critique Readings Add: Create SoTL Culture in academic unit Add: Adequate Prep Effective Presentation Add: 20 hours (meeting, peer stuff) + 20 hours (reading) 10 hours (addl on portfolio) + Organizer time Medium Disciplinary Commons across Institutions Add: Extend timeframe to academic year Add: Share knowledge & practices across insts create or add to existing portfolio repository Add: Appropriate Methods Significant Results Add: 20 hours (travel) 10 hours (prep) 10 hours (peer stuff) 10 hours (addl on portfolio) Incentives High

19 19 Characteristics of Scholarship Clear Goals Adequate Preparation Appropriate Methods Significant Results Effective Presentation Reflective Critique Scholarship Assessed: Evaluation of the Professoriate, Charles Glassick, Mary Huber, and Gene Maeroff, Jossey Bass Publishers, San Francisco, 1997

20 20 Acknowledgements Sally Fincher has been a collaborator throughout this project. She runs a Commons in the UK. Funding has been provided by the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges, the University of Washington Tacomas Institute of Technology, and the UWT Founders Endowment. Julie Jacob of the SBCTC and Orlando Baiocchi and Larry Crum from UWT have been especially supportive.

21 21 Participants and Affiliations Josh Tenenberg University of Washington Tacoma Janet Ash Green River Community College Donald Chinn University of Washington Tacoma Ravi Gandham Bellevue Community College Michael Gelotte Bellevue Community College Richard Hoagland South Puget Sound Community College Laurie Murphy Pacific Lutheran University Brad Richards University of Puget Sound John Staneff Pierce College Fort Steilacoom Phyllis Topham Shoreline Community College Jeffrey Weiss Pierce College Puyallup

22 22 Panel Q/A


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