For college professors globally, to dialogue about course design.


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"Michael J. Welker" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Thu, 10 Jun 2010 11:13:37 -0400
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I feel your pain about what some of our Criminal Justice and Bio folks
initially disdainfully referred to as the "touchy feely crap." My tack that
works most -- not all -- of the time is to drive them back to DWF (Drop,
Withdraw, Failure) numbers and complaints of "lazy, unmotivated" students. I
always frame this for them in terms of my experience with my own courses, as
I had my Fink-inspired "Should had a V8 moment". I too grumbled and huffed
and puffed about those darn student slackers, but had never asked myself the
hard question about what I CONSCIOUSLY and BY DESIGN  built into my courses
to motivate or engage my students at a personal level. nor had I looked hard
at my DWF rates and wonder WHY they gave up on the class...

Usually I have the advantage of working with our faculty when they are
vulnerable and quasi-receptive as they are creating distance versions of
their courses, which I think helps this discussion -usually- move faculty
out of the defensive "touchy feely" trenches and consider the real merits of
this approach.

Finally, while this is indeed tricky water for quantifiable success and
requires persistence  --certainly a tactic that will motivate one student
may not phase or touch another - I think that the *attempt* itself is
important and transformative.

I too would like to know other ways folks are navigating these waters??

PS - Our Department refers to our course design consults as proselytizing
Finkism ;D

Mike Welker
History Adjunct Faculty
& Interim Coordinator, Distance Learning
North Central State College
Mansfield, Ohio
(419) 755-4706 - ofc.
[log in to unmask]
Room 163 Kehoe (Shelby)
Campus Mail: AT-27

"Remember, I'm pulling for you... we're all in this together. Keep your
stick on the ice." -Red Green

On Wed, Jun 9, 2010 at 12:48 PM, Denise Domizi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi folks,
> I work at the Center for Teaching and Learning at UGA and we have gone
> through the course design process with many faculty members now (in-house we
> affectionally call it, "Finking your course") through workshops and even a
> week-long Maymester Institute. In the fall I'll be teaching the process to a
> group of graduate students through a semester-long course.
> The question we constantly hear from faculty is, how do we assess for
> things on the left side of Fink's taxonomy? And what if they don't achieve
> those goals? ("Do we flunk them if they don't develop caring goals?"). While
> I am very comfortable with the taxonomy, many faculty we talk to are very
> unsure of having goals that can not be (in their words) "measured." My
> impression is that I'm not answering their concerns to their satisfaction
> because I feel like I still see a hint of doubt in some of their eyes. I'm
> wondering how others deal with this question.
> Thanks,
> Denise
> ~~~
> Denise Pinette Domizi, Ph.D.
> Associate Coordinator of Faculty and TA Development
> Center for Teaching and Learning, North Instructional Plaza
> University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602 - (706) 542-6572