Thursday, June 16, 2005

Expectatons about Learning

One of the best discussions I attended on Wednesday was in the Orange Room: people began talking about the disconnect between the new student-centered, life-long-learning pedagogies and students' expectations and desires to remain passive while being taught or fed information. We get frustrated with them, and they with us -- they sometimes even accuse us of not doing our job. I could imagine receiving teaching evaluations for my most successful class. They would say: "The teacher? You want me to evaluate the teacher? What teacher? Was one there?" The administration would love that. I do think it is essential, as people in the orange room continually insisted, that we recognize conflicts in goals:

1) we accredit students, giving them grades that are important for the rest of their lives;
2) we want to teach students to become life-long learners which requires taking risks and forgetting about the grade;
3) we want to disappear as students take charge of their own learning in our classrooms;
4) salary increases and promotion depend upon students focusing on us as the source of knowledge and learning ("This was the best teacher I ever had").

I am about to dip into Barbara Walvoord, Virginia Anderson, Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment -- I hope this helps. Thanks everyone for a thought-provoking day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Thank you for a great day!

To each and every attendee at the Expo June 14th - thank you for such a wonderful day! The conversations, the hallway exchanges, the contributions to the legacy of this initiative were tremendous. You can view the notes from the Conversations of Consequence (morning breakouts) at the URL set up for us by our Reese Center partners. Stay tuned for more information about how the outcomes from the Expo will be processed, promoted, and shared broadly.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sharing Resources Across Campuses and Communities

During and following the 11:00 a.m. discussion of the "Red" dot group, a few ideas emerged that I would like to follow up on:

a. If one learning community developed an interactive CD to showcase its growth, benefits, and overall spirit of achievements, how could that interactive CD be utilized by other communities for the benefit of their groups?

b. What are some time effective and cost effective ways for learning communities from various campuses to get together more frequently for common goals?

c. How can student members from individual campuses be invited to go to other campuses to share what they have learned and gained from involvement in individual communities?

Karen Duda
--writing from the terrific June 14 Learning Community activities in Newark, Ohio

Greater Support for Learning Communities

I really enjoyed the thorough and thoughtful conversations in our groups. Among what I considered to be our most important points of discussion was finding ways to sustain and nurture our learning communities. In Group "2" we brainstormed many people that we should focus on sharing our experiences and results with, including other faculty, students, administrators, parents, members of the community, legislators, secondary education teachers, and the media. The more people with whom we share our findings, the more our communities will be encouraged and supported.

What Next for Learning Communiites on our campuses?

What Next for LCs:

In the morning session, there was continued praise for the environemnt created within learning communites. In the end, we asked how these might work in the future of our own instututions.

  • LC related to teaching are already appreciated. We have professional/teaching develpment offices on our campus now and we really only need to invite participants for various aspects of student learning.
  • Transforming the institution but recognizing that institutional interests are better addressed through the learnng community model than through the traditional committee.

Institutional buy in requires buy-in from leadership.
Indeed, participation in learning communites is really
the only way to learn about them. We need upper adminitration
to participate in learning communitites.

Mike Lee


Intense conversation!

The thing that struck me first as I walked into the Orange room a little late - was the intensity of the conversation among the group. You never know how people are going to take to structure applied to conversation ("list 5 reasons," "list 3 approaches," etc) - it can seem arbitrary and artificial. But this group - discussing ways learning can be optimized in learning communities -was really into it! And I picked up a really major new idea (to me): that teaching to the tests in K-12 is antithetical to the way we expect students to learn in higher education. A light bulb went on!

So I'm off to the re-mixed groups - see how these ideas work when taken through a somewhat different lens.

Fun stuff! The creativity and focus portends a terrific day!

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Just shocked that OLN would be using TeKnologie for the conduct of the OLN Expo! (sorry, just back after a week in the woods....)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Ready for 6-14-05

Our group is looking forward to the 6-14-05 expo. OLN does a great job of putting these events together!

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I am logged on and ready to participate for the June 14th event! Laura

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Event coming soon!

I am really looking forward to this conference. After seeing the energy at the January event at Kent - getting all these people together in one place is gonna ROCK!

Sublimely - Rich