Travel Grant 2011-12: Adriana Jaroszewicz

Adriana Jaroszewicz, Animation

Academic Boot Camp
January 4-6, 2012
Kellogg West Conference Center
CalPoly, Pomona

Nature/Type of the Event

Academic Boot Camp is a three-day, intensive, hands-on seminar and workshop on principles and practices for designing and conducting effective learning experiences. Participants receive quick feedback from the instructor and colleagues based on the rubrics designed for each element. Participants completing ABC will receive the Certificate in Course Design from the International Alliance of Teacher Scholars.

Relevance of Event for Applicant's Teaching, the Applicant's Involvement in the Event, and Expected Learning or Outcome

This event will aid in my course design and implementation of assignments to improve student learning. This will be a hands-on seminar and workshop with Dr. Laurie Richlin, an award-winning faculty development professional. The topics and objectives in this boot camp include "the design of learning objectives, assignments, rubrics, tests, and grading schemes; student learning and diversity; choosing a variety of learning experiences; and continuing instructional improvement strategies through scholarly teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Special focus is on how to assist students to become more critical thinkers, Classroom Assessment Techniques, designing questions that produce higher level discussion, creating multiple choice tests, and using rubrics to improve student writing."

The expected learning outcomes is that I, the faculty member will be able to design course materials and assessment techniques to improve student learning and be able to choose the correct instructional strategies as applicable to animation classes.

Travel Report

Academic Boot camp was an immersive hands-on seminar and workshop on the practices and principles for designing courses. Participants used a course taught before or a course in progress for the practical part, where all were guided in the creation of teaching goals, learning outcomes, assignments, and assessment methods to evaluate and document learning. Using Bloom's cognitive taxonomy and levels, teaching goals and learning outcomes were mapped to knowledge dimensions. This gave a clear view of what could be realistically accomplished with each learning outcome and assignment, and map the progression of learning. Developing detailed grading criteria for students was essential, and creating rubrics, classroom assessment techniques, different types of tests, tests questions, and grading schemes were discussed.

This workshop has given me new toolsets to concisely and thoughtfully organize course material, develop evaluation criteria, and design a teaching portfolio for my scholarship of teaching and learning projects. I feel I have acquired a better understanding of best practices when developing courses, meaningful and authentic assignments, and classroom experiences that include all types of learners. Coming from a creative discipline, with this new knowledge, I can integrate various methodologies in my courses with objective ways of measuring learning outcomes, and improve the learning environment in the classroom.

Other topics covered in the seminar and workshop were cognitive development theories, teaching and learning styles, course design elements, and designing questions that promote discussion. Participants worked in groups of similar disciplines with time for discussion and feedback on the material covered.

Academic boot camp provided three texts:

  • Doyle, Terry. 2011. Learner-Centered Teaching: Putting the Research on Learning into Practice. 1st ed. Sterling, Va: Stylus Pub.
  • Richlin, Laurie. 2006. Blueprint for Learning: Constructing College Courses to Facilitate, Assess, and Document Learning. 1st ed. Sterling, Va: Stylus.
  • Walvoord, Barbara E. Fassler. 2010. Effective Grading: A Tool for Learning and Assessment in College. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

One of the topics I found challenging and useful was mapping teaching goals (TG) and learning outcomes (LO) to Bloom's Cognitive Process Dimensions. This process required clearly and concisely analyzing what each LO's role was in the course, and classifying it under the correct category. Not only did this involved creating a realistic and achievable set of LO's for the given course level, but it also involved seeing the sequencing of events that helped reach the final desired output for the class.

"Blueprint for learning," the main text used during the workshop, and "Effective Grading" are excellent resources for designing courses. "Learner-Centered Teaching" contains some of the latest research on learning, with a focus on the student and the instructor as "facilitator." During the boot camp, all discussed content was put to practice with the end goal of creating a teaching portfolio with syllabus, learning experiences, and teaching scripts among others, with explanation for the design choices. This was a challenging and demanding exercise, as it required us, the instructors, to fully validate each choice in the course. The portfolio creation experience has given me guidelines to present and document teaching. Upon completion of the portfolio, participants were awarded a Course Design Certificate through the International Alliance of Teacher Scholars.