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Published on October 31, 2007

Author: Melinda

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Slide1:  It all comes down to this… Designing powerful senior seminars and capstone courses University of Delaware General Education Institute June 7, 2006 Jean M. Henscheid Fellow, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, University of South Carolina Managing Editor, About Campus Slide2:  The intended purposes of senior seminars and capstone courses Promote the coherence and relevance of general education Promote integration and connections between general education and the academic major Foster integration and synthesis within the academic major Cuseo, J.B. (1998). Objectives and benefits of senior year programs. In J. N. Gardner, Gretchen Van der Veeer & Associates, The senior year experience: Facilitating integration, reflection, closure and transition (pp. 21-36). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Slide3:  The intended purposes of senior seminars and capstone courses Promote meaningful connections between the academic major and work or career experiences Explicitly and intentionally develop important student skills, competencies, and perspectives that are tacitly or incidentally developed in the college curriculum (for example, leadership skills and character and values development) Cuseo, J.B. (1998). Objectives and benefits of senior year programs. In J. N. Gardner, Gretchen Van der Veeer & Associates, The senior year experience: Facilitating integration, reflection, closure and transition (pp. 21-36). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Slide4:  The intended purposes of senior seminars and capstone courses Enhance awareness of and support for the key personal adjustments encountered by seniors during their transition from college to post college life Improve seniors’ career preparation and pre-professional development, that is, facilitate their transition from the academic to the professional world. Enhance seniors’ preparation and prospects for postgraduate education. Cuseo, J.B. (1998). Objectives and benefits of senior year programs. In J. N. Gardner, Gretchen Van der Veeer & Associates, The senior year experience: Facilitating integration, reflection, closure and transition (pp. 21-36). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Slide5:  The intended purposes of senior seminars and capstone courses Promote effective life planning and decision making with respect to practical issues likely to be encountered in adult life after college (for example, financial planning marriage, and family planning. Encourage a sense of unity and community among the senior class, which can serve as a foundation for later alumni networking and future alumni support of the college. Cuseo, J.B. (1998). Objectives and benefits of senior year programs. In J. N. Gardner, Gretchen Van der Veeer & Associates, The senior year experience: Facilitating integration, reflection, closure and transition (pp. 21-36). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Slide6:  Major findings from Professing the disciplines: An analysis of senior seminars and capstone courses (n=864 courses) 1. Senior seminars and capstone courses are typically designed to leave students with an understanding of and appreciation for a single discipline. Henscheid, J. M. (2000). Professing the disciplines: An analysis of senior seminars and capstone courses (Monograph No. 30). Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Slide7:  Major findings from Professing the disciplines: An analysis of senior seminars and capstone courses (n=864 courses) 2. The least likely instructional components of these courses are those that take students out of the classroom, either into the work place, into the community, or as part of an educational travel experience. Slide8:  Major findings from Professing the disciplines: An analysis of senior seminars and capstone courses (n=864 courses) 3. These courses are most often taught by faculty members working alone and most courses, including interdisciplinary courses, are administered by single academic departments. Slide9:  Major findings from Professing the disciplines: An analysis of senior seminars and capstone courses (n=864 courses) 4. Most of these courses are not part of a comprehensive assessment process. When they are evaluated, it is by the students and faculty members who participate in these courses. Slide10:  Attain effective skills in oral and written communication, quantitative reasoning, and the use of information technology. Learn to think critically to solve problems. Be able to work and learn both independently and collaboratively. Engage questions of ethics and recognize responsibilities to self, community, and society at large. Understand the diverse ways of thinking that underlie the search for knowledge in the arts, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UD Ten Goals of General Education Slide11:  Develop the intellectual curiosity, confidence, and engagement that will lead to lifelong learning. Develop the ability to integrate academic knowledge with experiences that extend the boundaries of the classroom. Expand understanding and appreciation of human creativity and diverse forms of aesthetic and intellectual expression. Understand the foundations of United States society including the significance of its cultural diversity. Develop an international perspective in order to live and work effectively in an increasingly global society. UD Ten Goals of General Education Slide12:  University of Delaware’s Integrated Approach Vehicles to realize the Goals of General Education LIFE Pathways Discovery Learning Capstone Slide13:  UD Senior Year UD First Year Slide14:  “As educators became increasingly interested in the first year, they recognized a lot of similarities between the first year and the last year and that many of the strategies that we have been developing for the first year might also help a successful transition out of the university or college.” Interview with John Gardner conducted by Charles Schroeder for About Campus, May 21, 2003. Slide15:  First, it started with this: First Year Experience (FYE) provides essential strategies and information for students in transition to the University and enhances the likelihood of academic and social success and student retention. All first-year students are placed in FYE according to major. Source:http://www.ugs.udel.edu/fye/Documents/FYE%20Overview%20Oct%202005.ppt Slide16:  First-year students in the LIFE Program form a small learning community (cluster) organized around several of courses (in which the students are co-enrolled), an academic theme, and out-of-class experiences related to those courses and themes.  LIFE students live together by clusters in residence halls. Slide17:  Previous out-of-class LIFE experiences include: Criminal Justice Cluster participated in “Project Aware” at the Smyrna Correctional Facility. Oceans and Cultures Cluster visited the UD College of Marine Studies main campus in Lewes, Delaware. Business and Economics Cluster met with the owner of Caffe Gelato, a local restaurant, to discuss entrepreneurship and operations management. Slide18:  First-Year Seminar Courses are offered by departments which are discipline specific for incoming majors to introduce students to the expectations of an academic major or career. Examples of FYS include: UNIV 167 – UST Freshman Seminar: Finding Your Way AGRI 165 – Mastering the Freshman Year NURS 100 – New Student Connections Slide19:  The University Honors Program's goal of nurturing a community of scholars who value and are committed to intellectual pursuit involves both challenging classroom experiences and enriching out-of-the-classroom activities organized through the Honors residence halls. Slide20:  All first-year Honors students, regardless of their intended college or major, are required to take one Honors colloquium to be eligible for a General Honors Award. Colloquia are three-credit, writing intensive, interdisciplinary first year seminars. Examples of Colloquium courses include: ARSC 390 – The Art of Medicine FLLT 360 – Tolstoy’s Search for the Meaning of Life PLSC 390 – Chocolate: Milk or Semi Sweet? Slide21:  Pathway Courses are thematic, integrative courses for first-year students designed to introduce students to the academic resources of the university and to teach basic intellectual skills required for a successful undergraduate experience. Examples of Pathways courses include: HESC 155 – Personal Health Management: An Approach for a Lifetime FASH 110 – Seeing and Being in a Visual World Slide22:  Diversity Community Integration Active Learning Reflection/ Assessment Best practices in senior seminars and capstone courses Slide23:  10 Problem-Centered Learning Discussion Groups & Seminars Writing and Speaking Across-the-Curriculum Ongoing Reflection, Metacognitive Activities, Self-evaluation Peer Teaching Lectures and Demonstrations Experiential Learning Labs and Field Trips Collaborative/ Cooperative Learning Active Learning Strategies Slide24:  There has been a renaissance of interest in the medieval practice of the capstone course. Capstone experiences are created by institutions who recognize that they must provide “the most empowering, introspective, reflective, intellectual experiences for their departing students or they are not going to think much of the institution as they walk out the door.” Interview with John Gardner conducted by Charles Schroeder for About Campus, May 21, 2003. Slide25:  “Selling” a senior-year initiative is often harder than “selling” a first-year initiative. Administrators often don’t see the immediate return Very labor intensive and expensive However, some institutions are saying if we provide a certain experience for a student when he or she is 22 years old, we’re more likely to have major gifts when they are 52. Interview with John Gardner conducted by Charles Schroeder for About Campus, May 21, 2003. Slide26:  Kinda cynical John! Slide27:  Do Capstone Courses “Work?” Tough to tell, too many variations to answer that very easily. Involving Colleges, NSSE, First-Year Seminars, What Matters in College Bottom line: Content doesn’t matter as much as what students DO with the content. Slide28:  The Middle States Commission on Higher Education believes that each institution should: 1. Define clearly articulated institutional and unit-level goals. 2. Implement strategies to achieve those goals. 3. Assess achievement of those goals. 4. Use the results of those assessments to improve programs and services and inform planning and resource allocation decisions. Slide29:  No Pressure 60% of institutions that have previously been reaccredited have failed on assessing Student Learning Outcomes in the last two years…This is hard work! Steven D. Crowe, Executive Director, The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, 2005, personal communication. Slide30:  May partially be an issue of language: Goals, outcomes, objectives When used in the context of assessment, learning goal and learning outcome are usually synonymous, but more general than learning objective. A learning goal may be very general. http://www.maa.org/saum/faq.html#rubric Slide31:  May partially be an issue of language: Goals, outcomes, objectives For example, a learning goal of the mathematics major might be that graduates will be able to apply mathematics to solve real world problems. In order to measure progress toward that goal and to design curricular strategies for achieving the goal, objectives need to be developed. One such objective might be to use definite integrals to model real world problems. That objective might be reached early in the mathematics major, and would be a step along the way to reaching the general goal. http://www.maa.org/saum/faq.html#rubric Slide32:  Goal #6 Focus of UD Capstone Courses Develop the intellectual curiosity, confidence, and engagement that will lead to lifelong learning Slide33:  What are the objectives to achieve this goal? What do students DO? How do you know if they had learned from the doing? Direct measures Indirect measures Slide34:  Miami University, Ohio The Capstone Experience integrates liberal learning with specialized knowledge. Each Capstone emphasizes sharing of ideas, synthesis, and critical, informed reflection as significant precursors to action, and each includes student initiative in defining and investigating problems or projects. Slide35:  Portland State University The required Senior Capstone is a community-based learning experience that provides an opportunity for students to apply the expertise they have learned in their major to real issues and problems in the community, enhances students’ ability to work in a team context necessitating collaboration with persons from different fields of specialization, and encourages students to become actively involved in this community. Slide36:  Courses at University of Delaware: Hal White – Chemistry & Biochemistry Chris Kydd – Business Administration Alan Fox – Philosophy Workshop participants Slide38:  What will prepare them for a Katrina? Slide39:  What will prepare them for a Katrina? Slide40:  What will prepare them for a Katrina? Slide41:  What will prepare them for a Katrina? Slide42:  What would Bob say we should do? Slide43:  When my father-in-law met my mother-in-law at Pat O’Brien’s in the early 1940s, he sold magazines in a bookie shop and she had been sent there with the Red Cross. My father-in-law could recall in vivid detail much about his childhood in the French Quarter. Slide44:  As I sat at “their” bar last Sunday night I thought about what Bob, if he were still living, would say his city would need to recover. He had thankfully turned his numeric and people skills to banking and had, over his lifetime, become an explorer, a synthesizer, an applier, a manager, a builder, an analyzer, and a practitioner. Slide45:  I think I can imagine exactly what he would say recovery would take: “At the same time you are learning to think, our city needs you to learn to do.” Slide46:  All of our cities do…

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