Week 14 Teaching Tips

Dear Faculty,

Last week we started providing some resources for designing future classes.  In this tips, we will provide suggestions and resources for the second part of course design – designing assessments to measure what you expect students will be able to do as the result of your class.

Remember that requests for faculty-development funds are due April 30th.  Talk to your Coordinator about funds that are available and the process.  Some suggestions are below (see our 4/22 email for more information).

  1. Purchase copies of our summer book club books (read over the summer for discussions scheduled during Fall Opening Days sessions):
    1. Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People
    2. Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning
    3. Back to School: Why Everyone Deserves a Second Chance at an Education
    4. Creating Significant Learning Experiences: An Integrated Approach to Designing College Courses
  2. May 18: course design workshop at MCTC (https://secure.mnsu.edu/eventsconferences/login.aspx?EventID=1362)
  3. May 19-21: course design workshop in Chicago (http://www.deefinkandassociates.com/index.php/workshops/chicago-2015/)
  4. June 17-July 1: online course on course design (http://www.deefinkandassociates.com/index.php/onlinecourse/)
  5. Various options – first starts in June: Racial Justice Facilitator Training at the YWCA (https://www.ywcampls.org/racial_justice/facilitator_program/become_a_facilitator/)

We are looking for some examples of good learning outcomes from various disciplines.  If you have one that you particularly like and would like to share, please let us know.  We will then use these in training materials.

How do I design assessments to measure what I expect students to be able to do as a result of my classes?  

Many times in education, we hear the same terms over and over and get turned off by them, and assessments and rubrics may be some of those words for you.  However, selecting assessments that are tasks students will do in the real world (authentic assessments) will engage more students.  Aligning the skills needed for your assessments with the skills in your outcomes can help students see why they are being asked to complete these and will decrease complaints.

What are authentic or forward-looking assessments?

​How can I use simple rubrics to help students and save time?

When we think of rubrics, we often think of a table that takes up a whole page.  However, there are many types of rubrics.  They are great for decreasing the time to grade, helping students see what you expect, and decreasing complaints.  For example,

Do my D2L Brightspace final grades automatically transfer to eServices? (Thanks to Beth Jensen at Bemidji State for sharing this tip)

No.  You need to manually enter your final grades into eServices.  Note: MnSCU is working on an option that would allow you to import grades from Brightspace into eServices.  Watch for an email from student services with instructions, or ask a colleague.

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