Presentation on theme: "WASC ARC 2014 Melissa Brown Sharistan Melkonian"— Presentation transcript:
1WASC ARC 2014 Melissa Brown Sharistan Melkonian Designing a Signature Course for Freshmen in an American University AbroadWASC ARC 2014Melissa Brown Sharistan Melkonian
2Questions to explore. What would you do? What did AUA do? - The development processWhat did we learn?What’s next?
3What 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?
4What did AUA do?Freshman English was developed through a collaborative iterative process - a series of university-wide meetings, discussions, and feedback & assessment opportunitiesReview AUA Mission, Program Goals, and Curriculum MapDetermine Structure and Overarching Theme of Freshman EnglishBrainstorm Expected PopulationBenchmark and Brainstorm Content and Course-based Learning Outcomes.Develop Assignments Aligned with Course-Based Student Learning OutcomesDesign Syllabi and Course OutlinesAdminister and assess a “pilot” Freshman English 1 course in Spring 2013Adjust course based on information gathered from students, instructor, and pilot team
5What did AUA do? Administer Freshman English 1 for 2013 Freshman Weekly Freshman English faculty meetingsDiagnostic and Exit WritingMid-Term and End-of-Term Student SurveyCourse evaluationInstructor survey on course content and materialsAdjust course based on information gathered from students and instructors
6Connecting 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.
7A Signature CoursePart 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.
8What did we learn from the pilot? Week INTEGRITY AS THE BASIS FOR ACADEMIC EXCELLENCEWRITING PROCESSFORMAL TRAINING AT THE ACADEMIC RESOURCE CENTERCLASS READING MATERIALS – SEE MOODLE FOR DETAILSREQUIRED HOMETASKS ON MOODLE PAGEOPTIONAL HOMETASKSGregorian, 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” pFolse et al. Excerpts from Appendix 1 “Understanding the Writing Process: The Seven Steps” from Great Essays.57 Tips for Writers from WritersBird by Bird by Anne Lamott, Excerpt.AUA’s Code of Ethics & Student Handbook.Drive, Chapter 6 Purpose “Policies” p ; “The Good Life” pGrasgreen “Dishonorable Conduct?” by Insider Higher Ed.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 WorksheetGrammar 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 MohrView: First Lady Michelle Obama Speech U.S. Democratic Convention 2012.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
9What did we learn from the pilot? TOPIC 2:INTEGRITYWeek 5VoiceAnzuelda, Borderlands, Ch 5, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue”Folse, et al, Great Essays, Appendix 1Gregorian, “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 DueWeek 6Individual &Academic IntegrityCovey, 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 scandalLetter Draft (Choose 1: Letter to author; Statement of Purpose; View on Harvard Cheating Scandal)
11What did we learn from the pilot? Freshman English 1 Letter Assignment RubricLetter AssignmentAdvanced (A+…A…A-)Proficient (B+…B…B-)Developing (C+…C…C-)Does Not Meet Minimum Requirements(D-F)Process: Completes Stages of WritingStudent completes excellent, carefully developed products on time for each of the writing stages:Choosing a topicBrainstormingOutliningDraftingSoliciting feedbackRevisingEditingStudent completes products on time for each of the writing stages:Student creates products which are sometimes incomplete or late, or only completes products for some of the writing stages:Student creates products which are consistently incomplete or late, or submits products for almost none of the stages: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.OrganizationTypical of a formal letter, the letter includes the following components:Header (address and date)SalutationOpening (introductory paragraph)Body paragraphsClosing ParagraphFormal ClosingSignatureIdeas are connected clearly & logically in effective paragraphs.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: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:Clarity & MechanicsLanguage is fluent and accurate as demonstrated through use of:Appropriate, precise vocabularyCorrect punctuation, capitalization and spelling.Accurate use of grammarLanguage is accurate as demonstrated through use of:Appropriate vocabularyAccurate 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.
12What did we learn from the first semester and how did we learn it? Entrance and exit writingWeekly faculty meetings (including calibrating grading)Mid-term and end-of-term surveysCourse evaluationInstructor survey
13Entrance and Exit Writing – Average Scores What did we learn?Entrance and Exit Writing – Average ScoresContentOrganizationLanguage/MechanicsTotalAverage Entrance3.0563.0342.8758.905Average Exit3.0192.8838.857This isn’t the whole picture.
14What did we learn? 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?
15What did we learn?-Student Feedback 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…”
16What did we learn?-Instructor Feedback Maintain overall course structure & contentAdjust readings other course materialRevisit sequencing of assignmentsIncrease number of in-class assignmentsRaise awareness of the value of (or cut)university resource assignmentsself & peer participation evaluation
17What’s next?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 2014.Thorough review of surveys, course evaluations, student portfolios as part of assessment process
18Development team and Resources Freshman English Development TeamLissett Babaian, Ed.M., Harvard University. Team Leader conception - May 2013Melissa Brown, MA, MFA , AUA and NYU. Team Leader May presentCatherine Buon, Ph.D., Louisiana UniversitySharistan Melkonian, MA, Columbia UniversityTom Samuelian, Ph.D, J.D., University of Pennsylvania and Harvard UniversitySeveral 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.