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Designing a Signature Course for Freshmen in an American University Abroad WASC ARC 2014 Melissa Brown Sharistan Melkonian.

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Presentation on theme: "Designing a Signature Course for Freshmen in an American University Abroad WASC ARC 2014 Melissa Brown Sharistan Melkonian."— Presentation transcript:

1 Designing a Signature Course for Freshmen in an American University Abroad WASC ARC 2014 Melissa Brown Sharistan Melkonian

2 Questions to explore.  What would you do?  What did AUA do? - The development process  What did we learn?  What’s next?

3 What would you do? If you had the opportunity to create a signature course for freshmen from scratch for a brand new undergraduate program, what would you do?

4 What did AUA do? Freshman English was developed through a collaborative iterative process - a series of university-wide meetings, discussions, and feedback & assessment opportunities  Review AUA Mission, Program Goals, and Curriculum Map  Determine Structure and Overarching Theme of Freshman English  Brainstorm Expected Population  Benchmark and Brainstorm Content and Course-based Learning Outcomes.  Develop Assignments Aligned with Course-Based Student Learning Outcomes  Design Syllabi and Course Outlines  Administer and assess a “pilot” Freshman English 1 course in Spring 2013  Adjust course based on information gathered from students, instructor, and pilot team

5 What did AUA do?  Administer Freshman English 1 for 2013 Freshman  Weekly Freshman English faculty meetings  Diagnostic and Exit Writing  Mid-Term and End-of-Term Student Survey  Course evaluation  Instructor survey on course content and materials  Adjust course based on information gathered from students and instructors

6 Connecting to AUA’s Mission As an institution of higher learning, the American University of Armenia provides teaching, research, and service programs that prepare students and enable faculty and researchers to address the needs of Armenia and the surrounding region for sustainable development, in a setting that values and develops academic excellence, free inquiry, integrity, scholarship, leadership, and service to society.

7 A Signature Course Part of the university’s General Education program, Freshman English is one of three two-course sequenced signature foundation courses, all of which all grounded in AUA’s Mission and provide an opportunity for assessment of student learning across programs.

8 What did we learn from the pilot? Week 5. INTEGRITY AS THE BASIS FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE WRITING PROCESS FORMAL TRAINING AT THE ACADEMIC RESOURCE CENTER CLASS READING MATERIALS – SEE MOODLE FOR DETAILSREQUIRED HOMETASKS ON MOODLE PAGEOPTIONAL HOMETASKS  Gregorian, Vartan. Excerpt Chapter 4 “To Beirut, Le Petit Paris,” p ,  Information handouts from the Academic Resource Center.  Covey, Stephen R. “Principles of Personal Management,” p ; “Principles of Personal Vision” p. 66, “Between Stimulus and Response” p.68-70, “Proactivity Defined” p , “Listening to Our Language” p  Folse et al. Excerpts from Appendix 1 “Understanding the Writing Process: The Seven Steps” from Great Essays.  57 Tips for Writers from Writers  Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Excerpt.  AUA’s Code of Ethics & Student Handbook.  Drive, Chapter 6 Purpose “Policies” p ; “The Good Life” p  Grasgreen “Dishonorable Conduct?” by Insider Higher Ed. Grasgreen  Proctor, “How Not to Plagiarize,” Writing Support at University of Toronto.  Reflect upon the academic resources Vartan Gregorian had at Collège Arménien.  Explore the Academic Resource Center website and complete note-taking & citation assignment as well as online tutorial and quiz.  Adapted Time Management Worksheet  Grammar Practice Assignment: English as a Second Language.  Write and then revise a paragraph that would be titled “Beyond the policy, the real reasons students should not cheat”.  Explore the International Center for Academic Integrity website.  Quotation assignment from International Center for Academic Integrity Fundamental Values Project.  View: TED-ED “The power of a great introduction” by Carolyn Mohr power-of-a-great-introduction-carolyn-mohrhttp://ed.ted.com/lessons/the- power-of-a-great-introduction-carolyn-mohr View: First Lady Michelle Obama Speech U.S. Democratic Convention Read: Bhadgwati, “Plagiarism is more than an academic matter.” On Writing: A Memoire of the Craft (200) by Stephen King *Due Online Journal #2 Group B

9 What did we learn from the pilot? TOPIC 2: INTEGRITY Week 5 Voice  Anzuelda, Borderlands, Ch 5, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”  Folse, et al, Great Essays, Appendix 1  Gregorian, “Introduction: My Birthplace”  Marshall, “ The Poets in the Kitchen”  Paley, “Language: On Clarice Lispector”  Sandberg, Lean In, Ch 2, “Sit at the Table”  Stafford, “A Way of Writing”  Summary Final Draft Due Week 6 Individual & Academic Integrity  Covey, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, p , “Principles of Personal Vision”  Frankel, “Man’s Search for Meaning” (p ; 60-62; 74-87)  Lincoln Letter, “Abraham Lincoln Denies a Loan”  The Harvard Cheating Scandal: N.Y. Times Reports Grasgreen, “Dishonorable Conduct”  AUA Student Code of Ethics (AUA Website)  Optional Activity-Debate/hearing on Harvard cheating scandal  Letter Draft (Choose 1: Letter to author; Statement of Purpose; View on Harvard Cheating Scandal)

10 What did we learn from the pilot?

11 Freshman English 1 Letter Assignment Rubric Letter AssignmentAdvanced (A+…A…A-)Proficient (B+…B…B-)Developing (C+…C…C-)Does Not Meet Minimum Requirements(D-F) Process: Completes Stages of Writing Student completes excellent, carefully developed products on time for each of the writing stages:  Choosing a topic  Brainstorming  Outlining  Drafting  Soliciting feedback  Revising  Editing Student completes products on time for each of the writing stages:  Choosing a topic  Brainstorming  Outlining  Drafting  Soliciting feedback  Revising  Editing Student creates products which are sometimes incomplete or late, or only completes products for some of the writing stages:  Choosing a topic  Brainstorming  Outlining  Drafting  Soliciting feedback  Revising  Editing Student creates products which are consistently incomplete or late, or submits products for almost none of the stages:  Choosing a topic  Brainstorming  Outlining  Drafting  Soliciting feedback  Revising  Editing ContentThe letter responds fully to the assignment. The audience is appropriately addressed and purpose clearly defined. Ideas are well developed and supported using relevant sources. The letter is approximately 500 words in length. The letter responds to the assignment. The audience is addressed the purpose is defined. Ideas are generally supported using relevant sources, though there may be some lack of development or effectiveness. The letter attempts to respond to the assignment in part. The audience and purpose may not be entirely clear. There is an attempt tp support and develop the ideas. The letter does not respond to the assignment. Ideas are insufficiently developed. Organization Typical of a formal letter, the letter includes the following components:  Header (address and date)  Salutation  Opening (introductory paragraph)  Body paragraphs  Closing Paragraph  Formal Closing  Signature Ideas are connected clearly & logically in effective paragraphs. Typical of a formal letter, the letter includes the following components:  Header (address and date)  Salutation  Opening (introductory paragraph)  Body paragraphs  Closing Paragraph  Formal Closing  Signature Ideas are mostly organized in effective paragraphs; logical connections may occasionally be unclear. Typical of a formal letter, the letter includes most of the following components:  Header (address and date)  Salutation  Opening (introductory paragraph)  Body paragraphs  Closing Paragraph  Formal Closing  Signature Paragraphs do not adequately develop an idea or are not logically connected, making ideas difficult to follow. Letter does not include most the following components:  Header (address and date)  Salutation  Opening (introductory paragraph)  Body paragraphs  Closing Paragraph  Formal Closing  Signature Clarity & Mechanics Language is fluent and accurate as demonstrated through use of:  Appropriate, precise vocabulary  Correct punctuation, capitalization and spelling.  Accurate use of grammar Language is accurate as demonstrated through use of:  Appropriate vocabulary  Correct punctuation, capitalization and spelling.  Accurate use of grammar (though might have some minor grammatical errors, which do not interfere with comprehension) Language contains noticeable errors in vocabulary, punctuation, capitalization, spelling or grammar, which occasionally can interfere with comprehension. Language contains noticeable errors in vocabulary, punctuation, capitalization, and spelling or grammar, which consistently interfere with comprehension.

12 What did we learn from the first semester and how did we learn it?  Entrance and exit writing  Weekly faculty meetings (including calibrating grading)  Mid-term and end-of-term surveys  Course evaluation  Instructor survey

13 What did we learn? ContentOrganization Language/ MechanicsTotal Average Entrance Average Exit Entrance and Exit Writing – Average Scores This isn’t the whole picture.

14 Have we given students the chance to:  Develop the academic skills they need for success at AUA?  Make full use of the resources available to them at AUA?  Explore the core values contained AUA’s mission statement? What did we learn?

15 Have we created a learning environment that reflects and promotes these values expressed in AUA’s Mission?  “The atmosphere was very democratic and friendly.”  “Class discussions and activities worked well in this class, as they were interactive. Everybody participated and felt free.”  “I really liked discussions as the opinions were different and we could learn from each other.”  “..You are free to express your thoughts no matter if they are super-clever or extraordinarily stupid.”  “The free communication between students and the teacher…” What did we learn?-Student Feedback

16 What did we learn?-Instructor Feedback  Maintain overall course structure & content  Adjust readings other course material  Revisit sequencing of assignments  Increase number of in-class assignments  Raise awareness of the value of (or cut)  university resource assignments  self & peer participation evaluation

17  Incorporated some of was learned from Freshman English 1 into Freshman English 2.  Set up a faculty working group to revise the course syllabus for Freshman English 1 for Fall  Thorough review of surveys, course evaluations, student portfolios as part of assessment process What’s next?

18 Development team and Resources Freshman English Development Team  Lissett Babaian, Ed.M., Harvard University. Team Leader conception - May 2013  Melissa Brown, MA, MFA, AUA and NYU. Team Leader May present  Catherine Buon, Ph.D., Louisiana University  Sharistan Melkonian, MA, Columbia University  Tom Samuelian, Ph.D, J.D., University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University Several of the course readings were culled from the following courses: Duke University's PPS146 Leadership, Development and Organizations taught and developed by Tony Brown, MBA, Harvard University; Fordham University's two courses in Psychology of Human Values taught and developed by F.J. Wertz, PhD, and David Marcotte, PhD, ; Harvard University's Education GoodWork: taught and developed by Howard Gardner, PhD, Harvard University and Exercising Leadership: Mobilizing Group Resources taught and developed by Ronald Heifetz, MPA and M.D, Harvard University.

19 American University of Armenia


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