Desert of My Real Life

Category: General Education

The New Education: First Year Seminar

I've been busy for the last month or so IndieWebifying my web site. That's been really fun. But  I've also been started planning for my new position as Coordinator of General Education. Accepted students will start coming to campus this week for orientation which means that First Year Seminar is on my mind. Because of…

PCA 2018

I went to the Popular Culture Association Conference last week.  My presentation was called Wicked Problems in Popular Culture: An Open Pedagogy Experiment in Engagement in which I talked about my experience with the First Year Seminar. Although it doesn't include everything I said during my presentation, you can see my slide deck here: Presentation.

Students’ Signature Work: Conference Debrief

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) and the Davis Educational Foundation sponsored a one day institute in Boston this weekend for institutions of higher education who want to learn more about "signature work." What is signature work? Here's what AAC&U says: In Signature Work, a student uses his or her cumulative learning to…

Assessment That Works

We at Plymouth State University have been talking about appropriate assessment of our General Education program for most of the 20 years that I have been here. When we instituted our "new" Gen Ed program in 2005, we developed a General Education Handbook which identified some administrative goals for the new program, including: "A General…

National Survey of Student Engagement

Plymouth State University participates every other year in the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE), which measures student participation in meaningful learning experiences. The survey is given to first year students and to seniors to help institutions of higher education determine their level of effectiveness in engaging students in experiences shown to be positively linked…

Guest Post from Alex Richard

A couple of weeks ago, my First Year Seminar (FYS) classes discussed ways that we might assess the learning outcome in our class related to General Education. In particular, at the end of FYS, students should understand the purpose of general education and make connections between general education and major coursework. The class brainstormed ideas…

General Education and Clusters Revisited

Back at the beginning of the semester, I wrote about the realization I had that President Birx's Four Tools of Clusters mean that when we talk about "cluster curriculum," we are talking about General Education.  In particular, I have said that from a student's perspective, clusters are General Education. In the last week, I've had…

Lessons Learned Five Weeks In

The semester is five weeks old and my experiment with open pedagogy in Plymouth State University's First Year Seminar has been an up and down experience so far. I have had some of the most rewarding moments of teaching when students say things like, "I'm starting to understand what we're trying to do in the…

Lots of Activity

In the three weeks since my last post, there has been a flurry of activity on campus regarding the integrated clusters and possible changes to many aspects of the way that the University works. The area that I'm most excited about is, as usual, general education. The Gen Ed Working Group (comprised of members of…