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Assessing Experiential Learning

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1 Assessing Experiential Learning
Are students learning what we want them to learn?

2 What have you learned from experience?
Examples Developmental Psychology students and the “older” generation Pie making with Grandma Lucy My student teacher and her Christmas Vacation saga What do these have in common? They were direct encounters with the “phenomena being studied rather than merely thinking or only considering the possibility of doing something about it.” They resulted in an education that occurred as a result of direct participation in the events of life—learn by doing! What was learned?

3 Successful Assessment of Experiential Learning involves
Defining terminology Sequencing experiences and Designing opportunities and assessments Assessing What I’ve learned from culture building…

4 A “Culture” of Experiential Learning?
Language How do you define Experiential Learning in your department/program? Symbols and Practice What are your program’s practices with regard to experiential learning? Stories What experiential learning experiences have you used thus far OR what successes have been used at ISU thus far and how can we learn from them?

5 What is Assessment exactly?
Assessment is the ongoing process of: Establishing clear, measurable expected outcomes of student learning. Ensuring that students have sufficient opportunities to achieve those outcomes. Systematically gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence to determine how well student learning matches our expectations. Using the resulting information to understand and improve student learning. How do you know that experiential learning is meeting the needs of your program?

6 The Assessment Process
Establish Learning Outcomes Provide Opportunities for Learning (Map outcomes to the curriculum) Assess Student Learning Use the Results

7 Be honest about why you are doing assessment
Compliance Commitment External Questions Internal Questions Number & Amount Quality & Utility Reporting Interpreting Collecting it Using it Accreditation Learning Because we have to Because we want to improve

8 Other key definitions needed
Community Engagement Experiential Learning Others?

9 What is Community Engagement?
ISU defines Community Engagement as: the development of collaborative partnerships between education, business, social services, and government that contribute to the academic mission of the University and directly benefit the community. Community engagement includes activities in teaching, research, and service endeavors of faculty, students, and staff.

10 Community Engagement Examples
Technical assistance and applied research to help increase understanding of a local or regional problem or test solutions for that problem. Lectures, seminars, and other public forum that provides a neutral place to explore community issues. Extension of learning beyond the University walls and into the community. Enriching the cultural life of the community. Service, including internships and service-learning, that directly benefits the public. Economic development initiatives, including technology transfer and support for small businesses. Involvement of community members in planning and decision making activities of the University.

11 Experiential Learning Definition
ISU Defines Experiential Learning as, “Engaging students in learning through sequential exposure to challenging, compelling, and enriching activities conducted in appropriate settings. It integrates development of knowledge, skills, and dispositions, and fosters application of methods of critical inquiry. It engages students in personal reflection in order to organize, interpret, and bring meaning and coherence to their learning experience.”

12 ISU Strategic Goal for Experiential Learning
Advance experiential learning to where all ISU student shave a significant experiential learning experience within their major. Initiatives to achieve Goal 2 Infuse experiential learning as a core component in all academic programs Apply the science of learning to the learning of science Coordinate and elevate leadership studies

13 ISU Experiential Learning (from ISU Goal 2)
Current curricular and co-curricular offerings that can be categorized as experiential learning: Programs associated with the First-Year Experience Internships, practica, field experiences Collaborative student-faculty research A collaborative ISU student-faculty-staff service project Organized service-learning project, including reflection on knowledge gained An ISU business venture involving students Last-year capstone experiences An ISU fund-raising venture involving students Work experience opportunities for students in offices, labs, libraries, residence halls, etc.

14 Other sources of Experiential Learning information
What do your professional organizations suggest? NCATE AACSB ACCE NASAD American Historical Association AAC&U American Dietetic Association The American Society for Cell Biology Others?

15 American Council for Construction Education (ACCE)
3.3.2 Program Learning Outcomes The development of professional skills and knowledge is a central requirement of an ACCE accredited master’s degree program. ACCE requires that all graduates of accredited master’s degree programs be able to demonstrate mastery of the following: Critical thinking and creativity Problem solving and decision making Effective and professional oral and written communications Use of information and communication technology Principles of leadership in business and management Current issues in construction Complex project decision making and associated risk management Professional ethics including application to situations and choices Advanced construction management practices Research methods

16 American Council for Construction Education (ACCE)
For each category, programs seeking accreditation by ACCE must 1. Define program learning outcomes for each category. 2. Cross reference each program learning outcome to relevant course objectives and/or other evidence. 3.Describe how each program learning outcome is assessed. Standards and Criteria for Accreditation of Master’s Degree Construction Education Programs, Document 103MD

17 National Association of Schools of Art and Design
NASAD Standards/Handbook Competencies Summary Item 3. (Ceramics) Essential Competencies, Experiences, and Opportunities (H.IX.A.3.) Understanding of basic design principles, particularly as related to ceramics. Advanced work in three-dimensional design. The development of solutions to design problems should continue throughout the degree program. Knowledge and skills in the use of basic tools, techniques, and processes sufficient to produce work from concept to finished object. This includes knowledge of raw materials and technical procedures such as clays, glazes, and firing. Understanding of the industrial applications of ceramics techniques. Understanding of the place of ceramics within the history of art, design, and culture. Functional knowledge of basic business practices. Preparation of clay bodies and glazes, kiln stacking procedures, and firing processes. Special firing methods such as salt glaze and raku are recommended. Easy and regular access to materials, equipment, and library resources related to the study of ceramics. Completion of a final project related to the exhibition of original work.

18 Blending Expectations
How do Community Engagement and Experiential Learning come together in my discipline? What makes Experiential Learning, Experiential at ISU? Integrates development of knowledge, skills, & dispositions Fosters application of methods of critical inquiry Engage in reflection for organization, interpretation, and meaning How do I operationalize/define these definitions in my program?

19 Writing Learning Outcomes
Students should be able to <<action verb>> <<something>> Students will <<action verb>> <<something>> Students will be able to <<action verb>> <<something>> Examples: Ceramics students will evaluate works of art and design. Beginning Construction Management students should be able to frame a wall that adheres to local building codes. Nursing students should be able to handle hazardous and infections materials appropriately.

20 Outcomes in Experiential Learning
Institutional Program Course

21 Outcomes in Experiential Learning
Institutional Level Provide technical assistance and applied research to help increase understanding of a local or regional problem or test solutions for that problem. Program Level Conduct collaborative research in the ecosystems in the local watershed to benefit the community and region. Course Level Assist community members in planting gardens to attract bees to the area.

22 What do you want students to get out of Experiential Learning in your program?
How can my English Majors apply what they have learned in an experiential learning opportunity? What can Political Science graduates do when they complete the program? How can students in your program use their skills to improve the community? Examples: Habitat for Humanity build Cosmetology program parties Candy company going green Tax preparation

23 Action Verbs Lower level outcomes (typically at the course level)
Knowledge Comprehension Application Cite Associate Apply Count Classify Calculate Define Compare Draw Differentiate Dramatize Identify Explain Illustrate List Predict Interpret Name Report Restructure Quote Restate Solve Recite Review Sketch State Translate Write

24 Action Verbs Higher Level Outcomes (more often upper level courses or program outcomes) Analysis Synthesis Evaluation Analyze Assemble Appraise Categorize Compose Assess Compare/Contrast Create Evaluate Debate Design Grade Distinguish Formulate Judge Experiment Prescribe Rank Separate Propose Score Summarize Synthesize Validate

25 Experiential Learning: Defining Outcomes at the Program Level
Teacher Education Candidates will be able to modify lessons to relate instruction to students’ lives. MIS Students will design a data management system for a small business. Environmental Studies students will conduct research on commuting patterns of UWEC faculty and staff. At the direction of the City Council, Economics students will collect data on gas prices in Eau Claire during summer 2012. Social Work students will teach local seniors how to use and Facebook.

26 Write some outcomes Who are the intended students?
What do you want them to learn? Write an outcome. Remember the format: Students will <<action verb>> <<something>>

27 Sequencing Experiential Learning
Introductory Experience Students learn the basics of the discipline in practice. Context Experiences Students engage in a variety of experiences related to advanced contexts of the discipline. Culminating Experience Students synthesize what has been learned in the previous experiences and put this learning into mentored practice.

28 What are you already doing in…?
Teacher Education Speech-Language Pathology Construction Management Athletic Training Music Performance Nursing Television Social Work Radio Creative Writing Theater Flight MIS Pilot Communication Disorders Others?

29 Where will the Experiential Learning Happen?
Design opportunities for students to learn what you want them to learn Internships Case studies Student Teaching Apprenticeships Others? Make a list.

30 At what level will the experience be designed?
Beginning/Introductory Intermediate/Context Culminating/Capstone

31 Assessments needed Once the Experiential Learning experience (curriculum) has been designed and aligned to the outcomes, how will you assess it? Examples (linked to outcomes) Observations Portfolios Projects Others?

32 What are the givens? What are the expectations?
Do you expect your students to dress properly? Do you expect your students to show up on time? Are these the intended learning outcomes? What are the “dispositions” you want students to learn?

33 Conduct an Assessment Inventory
Have we established learning outcomes for experiential learning in our program? Have we provided opportunities for students to engage in learning through sequential exposure to challenging, compelling, and enriching activities in appropriate settings? What assessment data do we already have? How have we used the assessment results we currently possess?

34 Experiential Learning Challenges and Solutions
Rank Possible Solutions Lack of Faculty buy-in Difficult to assess Doesn’t fit my program Unsure of how to design an experiential learning sequence It’s a lot of work Lack of resources Other (specify)

35 What has worked? List Experiential Learning examples you know of that have worked at ISU or elsewhere in the past? How can you adapt those examples to fit your discipline? What professional development would help you personally integrate Experiential Learning into your program/courses?

36 Assessing the Experiential Learning Experience
AAC&U rubric example Rubric Design What are the measurable elements of the Experiential Learning Experience?

37 Getting Started Be willing to take risks
Realize some things will not always be fully successful Start small Avoid rewards and threats Develop a solid foundation that can sustain a program over the long haul, realizing change happens

38 Ready, Set, GO! Develop learning outcomes for Experiential Learning in your program Design opportunities for students to demonstrate the intended learning outcomes Assess the intended learning that occurs in these opportunities Use the results to improve the learning opportunities Do it again

39 Points to Ponder Like other outcomes, make sure that the Experiential Learning outcomes for your program make sense to the learners. Be creative. Don’t feel the need to reinvent the wheel. Capitalize on what has already been done and make it your own. Celebrate the little victories—remember it’s about learning. Thank you!

40 Resources Consulted
Allen, M.J. (2004). Assessing academic programs in higher education. Bolton, MA: Anker. Banta, T.W., Jones, E.A. & Black, K.E. (2009). Designing effective assessment: Principles and profiles of good practice. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Banta, T.W. (2002). Building a scholarship of assessment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Maurrasse, D.J. (2002). Higher education-community partnerships: Assessing progress in the field. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 31, Suskie, L. (2009). Assessing student learning: A common sense guide, 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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