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Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Teaching and Research Malcolm Potts, Qatar University, February 2008 4. Evaluation - Assessment.

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Presentation on theme: "Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Teaching and Research Malcolm Potts, Qatar University, February 2008 4. Evaluation - Assessment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Teaching and Research Malcolm Potts, Qatar University, February 2008 4. Evaluation - Assessment

2 Designing Interdisciplinary Courses Learning Outcomes Clarity in reading, writing, speaking, thinking Ability to confront assumptions – their’s and other’s Practice the habit of asking why instead of memorizing facts

3 Uses of Faculty Teams Course development – collaborate on a course that will be taught individually in separate sections Team Teaching We will also use External Stakeholders! Remember - this is not easy!

4 Planning Picking partners – not marriage but involves a lot of sharing and compromising Selecting a topic – theme, problem etc. Sharing responsibilities for development and assessment Active assignments

5 Communication Regular on-going communication before and during courses; critical Careful syllabus preparation to make connections explicit Specify philosophy, goals, objectives Clarify desired student behaviors

6 Flexibility Emphasis on discovery Empowering students to find, explore, and clarify new questions or associations Faculty role shifts from expert to facilitator Focus shifts from discipline to student learning; metacognition

7 Illustration The Freshman Seminar - a P/F course

8 13 Presentations and 4 Debates!

9 1. Pre-Course Test – 10 min Questions assess students’ understanding of interdisciplinary approaches to doing science Students write 2 to 3 sentences in response to a question

10 Example This country has a per capita (per individual) generation of carbon dioxide that is 44 times more than India, and 15 times more than China. Its greenhouse gas emissions per capita were 33.6 metric tons in 2003 – the highest in the world. Which country? a) Oman b) United States c) Tunisia d) etc. etc. …………….n) UAE√

11 Example What are your interests and career goals? Give four different examples of job opportunities for graduates of the program Students are asked the same questions in the “final exam”

12 Teams At the first meeting of the class, students are asked to organize themselves into groups of 5 to 6 students and to elect a spokesperson (leader) The teams make presentations during exam week and lead debates throughout the course

13 2. Writing Assessment Each week students type one paragraph that summarizes the content of a speaker's presentation These are circulated to the instructor(s) for evaluation

14 Students - Course Goals Achieve an holistic appraisal of Environmental Science Identify interdisciplinary features of Environmental Science Participate effectively in a team Participate actively in debates Define the major environmental issues facing society Define the major environmental issues facing Qatar and the Gulf region Exhibit self-confidence

15 Expectations of Students Listen to and view content; ask appropriate questions Evaluate the major points of each presentation through oral and written responses Work in teams Take the opportunity to lead Be active in-class debate and dialogue with peers, as well as with the instructor/presenters Appreciate connections, patterns and relationships within and between seemingly unrelated topics

16 Review Sessions (After Each Theme) A student or team leads a discussion Students use relevant material covered in the module for the summary class review Students debate a topic (pros and cons) Students are encouraged to write on the blackboard for critique (do not turn back on audience, avoid distracting actions such as playing with marker) etc. Engage students who are otherwise quiet

17 Final Evaluation A post-course test and written examination with the same questions as given in the pre- course assessment Students write a summary of the focus and important conclusions of a theme (or a debate) Groups present on a topic that was either covered in the course, or one of current interest (through the media for example)

18 Assessment Criteria - Examples Pass exercises leadership through organization of a group writes lucid prose for homework assignments is vocal and articulate in class debates Fail copies (cuts/pastes) material directly from the internet fails to join a group misses more than 25% of presentations through unexcused absences

19 Example Theme Review Topics What are the important principles to be learned from the last module?......... easy What connections can you identify between the content of Modules 1 and 3?.... harder By 2010 the largest aluminium smelter in the world will be built inمسيعيد What environmental/social issues can you expect this to generate?.................... hardest

20 Example Final Debate "This house believes that the environment of Qatar, and Doha in particular, is degrading in an exponential fashion"

21 Group Presentations - Criteria

22 Evaluation and Feedback Weekly written assessments are annotated, edited, and returned to the students Students' participation in class is evaluated at each meeting of the class by the instructor Students are given examples of true interdisciplinary approaches to a problem

23 True Interdisciplinarity Instructors meet together and design the course All instructors meet with students on 1 st day Instructors interact during debates with students throughout the course Instructors share experiences Instructors share assessment responsibilities

24 Summary Again Benefits Role, Traits of Integrative Teachers Focal Points of Integrative Courses Four Types of Course Designs Strategies for Integrating Content Challenges

25 Small Group Discussion Brainstorm a list of at least three challenges you anticipate facing when teaching this interdisciplinary course Generate strategies for overcoming those challenges, using ideas from presentation and from your own experience

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