• Assessment and Evaluation,  Inclusivity

    Signal or Noise: what do I really want to assess?

    [social-bio]   By Carolyn Hoessler   “The essential requirements of a course/program are the knowledge and skills which must be acquired or demonstrated in order for a student to successfully meet the learning objectives of the course/program.” (University of Saskatchewan policy) When I was in undergrad, I thought I was a good student. I would take notes during classes, remember the material, tutor my classmates, complete assignments, and so on. Then would come the final exam including the multiple-choice section with its numbered bubble sheet. I could read, circle the right answer, even write a rationale, but I could not fill in the correct bubble – I actually could not…

  • General

    PLN (Personal Learning Network): What, Why, and How?

    [social-bio] Do you work in a specialized field? Do you work in a small department? Do you ever wish you had colleagues that you could share ideas with or someone to b­­­­ounce teaching ideas off of? The answers to these questions are expectedly “yes” for most faculty members. One way to address these questions is by creating a Personal Learning Network (PLN). A PLN is an informal group of people that you can learn from and along with. The difficulty with creating a PLN is the fact that you may not be able to find people with common interests, skills and subject-matter knowledge. This is where the Internet comes in.…

  • Academic Integrity,  General

    Academic Integrity and the Roles Students Play: The Student as Subject

    [social-bio] This post is the first in a series of four. My posts largely draw from the insights I gained by conducting a doctoral study of students’ understandings of academic honesty and dishonesty.   In my analysis, I noted that students used, indirectly and directly, four metaphors to describe their sense of their role, place or position in the university.  This is the first of four posts presenting these four metaphors and their potential explanatory power related to students’ understandings of academic integrity.  I begin each with two student quotes that reflect the metaphor used by several students, a short explanation, and ideas about what the metaphor might suggest for teaching…

  • Educational Technology,  General

    Digital Citizenship for the U of S Community

    [social-bio] In my recent post on the basics of educational technology I mentioned a bit about what not to put online. “Never post anything online that you wouldn’t want your boss, mother or grandchildren to see. Facebook is not private. Twitter definitely is not private. Even email can end up in the hands of the wrong person (have you accidentally had autocomplete come up with the wrong name and then you sent the email without noticing or had someone forward a message they shouldn’t have?). I also point out the grandchildren part because the Internet is the new permanent record.” In the undergraduate course that I teach for the College of Education I cover…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Instructional / Course Design,  SoTL

    Student Evaluations of Teaching: What are we really measuring?

    [social-bio] By Carolyn Hoessler with Sheryl Mills On the recent CBC Early Edition podcast, the issue of what standardized testing was really assessing was raised. I find a similar concern arises with student evaluations of teaching. The debate of the validity and meaning is not new, but recent findings further suggest that when asking student about their instructors what we are actually measuring may not be what we expected. We may be looking at the gas gauge to measure speed. We do not appear to be measuring learning, or at least the actively engaged involvement with material that produces increased confidence, higher attendance, greater usefulness of reading textbooks, and better…

  • Academic Integrity,  Assessment and Evaluation

    Tap into Students’ Desire for a Fair Incentive Program

    [social-bio] In the December 5, 2012 issue of University Affairs, Roslyn Dakin offered a range of ideas about how grading impacts learning. Reading Dakin’s article caused me to reflect on some of what I learned from the senior undergraduate Education students who participated in my doctoral study of students’ understandings of academic honesty and dishonesty.  Contrary to much commentary about students’ “take” on academic dishonesty, I found that students did discuss these matters as though they had a basis in morality.  As future teachers, they saw academic honesty as a route to professional competence and wanted to know—deep down—that they were worthy role models for learning.  From what the students…

  • Curriculum Development,  Program Evaluation

    Why Program Goals?

    [social-bio] I hope you’ll take a few minutes to watch this short video about the importance of goals as the foundation for the architecture of your programs. If you have any questions about program goals—or house renovations—let’s be in touch.