Monthly Archives: October 2010

Discipline-based assessment of learning

The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article on 10-24-10 about efforts to assess student learning within the disciplines:

Faculty Communities Hub

The Schreyer Institute is in the process of growing the online Faculty Communities Hub (PSU authentication required), a project stemming from Faculty Senate committee work from 2006 to 2008.  The Hub is designed to bring together faculty members across disciplines and geographic locations, allowing people to create, share and collaborate around a wide variety of topics, including courses, committees and research. 

The Faculty Communities Hub was demonstrated last week at the Faculty Senate meeting, which prompted me to explore some of our use statistics.  Some of the highlights:

  • 487 users
  • 32 new users in the last week
  • 212 communities
  • 72 communities visited this month

When you have a minute, please stop by and join any community that interests you.  All your feedback is welcome, as we continue to work on improvements to functionality and ease-of-use.

Technology resources for teaching and learning @ PSU

Chas recently invited me to talk to faculty and graduate students during one of our Course in College Teaching (CCT) sessions.  I discussed a wide variety of technologies available to Penn State instructors from a wide variety of units (see the 1-page resource document). I spent a good portion of the time showing different pedagogy approaches using blogs, wikis, video and games for teaching and learning. 

Some interesting questions from the group (some I could not answer unfortunately):

– How does intellectual property work if I’m designing a course in the blog or wiki platform for online delivery?

– How do I know if my students are plagiarizing or using copyrighted material in video projects?

– How do I decide whether to use a blog or a wiki in my course?

I was able to tackle the final question, mostly because it’s a pedagogy question; it depends on what you’re trying to get across to your students or have them learn.  That will likely dictate which platform you use.  Both the blog and wiki platform overlap in my mind, in terms of the things you can do with them.  I’ve seen Science Education courses using the blog as the centerpiece of the course, and I’ve seen the exact same use in Psychology courses but using a wiki. 

I’m unsure about how IP works, and from my days in IST and elsewhere I get the feeling that is a case-by-case scenario, depending on how the instructor is being compensated for creating the course.  The question dealing with copyrighted material in videos…I can’t really think of a good way to decipher if your students are using copyrighted material or no.  Any suggestions?

Talks by Dr. Jeremy Black, U of Exeter History prof.

I saw in the CDT an announcement of some talks that sound really interesting, but that might also give Institute consultants an opportunity to become a little more visible in The College of the Liberal Arts.  Receptions follow all talks.

Mon Oct 11, 5:15 pm, Paterno Library, Foster Auditorium
Western world relations with Africa

Tue Oct 12, 4:30 pm, Paterno Library, Foster Auditorium
War and Instability in the 21st Century”

Wed. Oct 13, 4:30 pm, 262 Willard
“Slavery: An Introduction to a Theme in World History”