Ensure Students Are Learning
- Quality assessment of program learning outcomes that lead to credentials, further education, and/or gainful employment
- Evidence-based, high-impact teaching practices across modalities
- Scaled high-quality, program-relevant, applied learning experiences
- Intentional and sustained student engagement
- Institution-wide commitment to equity-minded, asset-based teaching improvement
Ensure Students Are Learning PowerPoint Slides from Pathways Collaborative Organizations (posted 4/5/2018)
Various Collaborative organizations use these slides when they discuss how to ensure that students are learning. (Pathways Collaborative)
What Should Be Included in a Guided Learning Pathway? (posted 4/5/2018)
This summary of key elements of learning includes mapping essential learning outcomes across the entire program; project-based, collaborative learning; and applied learning experiences. (Association of American Colleges & Universities)
PRACTITIONER, PRESIDENT, AND PARTNER PERSPECTIVES
Kay McClenney, Senior Advisor to the President & CEO, AACC, Pathways Partner; Diane Troyer, DKT Solutions, Pathways Coach; Craig Hayward, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, Bakersfield College, Pathways College; Rebekah Woods, Provost, Jackson College, Pathways College (posted 4/5/2018)
(1) If you want to have strong learning outcomes then you have to attend to the process that produces those outcomes, and that process is teaching. So everything that we’ve learned over the past number of years about what is effective teaching practice, it’s about connecting with students, it’s about active and collaborative learning, it’s about student/faculty interaction.
(2) To ensure learning, the assessment of pathways changes because we begin with the end in mind. So we’re really looking at a much broader view of what our outcomes are, so it’s not only program outcomes but it’s also what happens after the program, whether that’s transfer or workforce-bound goals.
(3) To ensure that students are learning in the guided pathways framework, we do need to make a movement towards more program learning outcomes assessment. So at Bakersfield College, we framed a learning outcomes assessment with institutional learning outcomes assessment, which is an assessment of program completers. Are they achieving these overarching goals that we would want our graduates to have in terms of being informed, well-rounded citizens?
(4) It’s imperative to make sure that faculty are not just engaged in this assessment work, but that they’re leading this assessment work. This is their work. This isn’t the administration’s work. This is faculty’s work. They’re the teachers. So they need to be given the authority and the responsibility, they need to be the ones that are crafting these. They’re the experts in their fields. They know what their students need to know after they leave them, after they have successfully completed their programs.
Teachers that caught my attention, they were kind of passionate about what they were talking about. Because for me, if you’re dragging on something, I don’t really pay attention, but if you’re talking about it like it means something to you, it catches my attention. It makes me wanna learn more. So teachers that catch my attention, they’re probably really passionate about it.
In order to pass Seminar, we were required to meet with our navigators three times. And like we actually had to have them sign a paper stating that we met with them. We had to have them fill out our classes for the next semester, and they had to sign it stating that we were with them. We actually met with them. We actually have everything set. It’s our success thing. We actually had to make sure we had everything set before we could even pass Seminar. They would not pass us unless we had everything signed.
So my….actually two favorite course — so, the first course is definitely my practicums. That allows me to go out there at the child care centers and get to experience how to be a teacher. Then my second course was Guiding Child Behavior. The reason why I liked that class was because it taught us how to guide a child when they have certain behavior or they have certain tantrums. That class was the one that taught me how to make every experience I have with children I come across with to become a positive experience. It also taught me what I actually really want to be as a teacher.
I think one thing that separates an okay class from a great class is comparing it to what you’re actually gonna be doing in that job. So not just showing you, “Oh, this is how you do something,” but comparing it, “This is what you would do in the real world, and this is how you’d do it.” Also, a good instructor who is passionate about teaching you all of the things that they know, so that you can be more successful.
I’m taking a children’s literature class, and we learn — it’s the only class that I’ve taken at this school where it directly relates to what I want to do, so it’s my favorite class that I’ve taken. We learn how to make lesson plans and how to choose well-written, well-illustrated children’s books that show different worldviews. We have to also do one student teaching. So, yeah, that’s why it’s my favorite class, because we actually learn how to do something that I feel will directly relate to my career.
My instructor is actually the only person who communicates to me through my emails. During our — via email and during our classes as well, he regularly, whenever he gets — cuz he is — attends any job fair that’s in the area, as well as some in other cities. And he is in touch with several — he has friends in several government agencies and stuff like that. Whenever a job listing or a job opportunity comes up in any area or company that is looking for people with our skill set, he’ll go ahead and put on the projector their contact information. He’ll send it out to us in an email. And regularly, he’ll encourage us to apply. He also makes it quite clear and tells us every single time that if we put him down as a reference and has them give us a call, he’ll let them know how like we’re doing in class, like how dedicated we are and how passionate we are towards the program and that we’re actually a pretty good candidate for the job. Cuz we’re all there, and we’re a dedicated group of people.
A lot of the advising that I receive are from our professors. We’ll receive emails on what research programs are available for us, what internships are available. A lot of our professors do their own research, so they’ll take on students that apply to it.
I got two favorite classes. One of them is math. It’s something that I love, and electricity, which is what I’m taking right now. My teachers, they made my classes so fun, playing in code and stuff like that. Now I’m working hands-on with my teacher, and we have a small group, which we have more fun cuz we can talk about it better than having a big group. It’s been pretty good for me. It’s been…This is what I dream, you know, about doing. I just love my classes.
My favorite course here is the general anatomy and physiology class. I like it because it’s something that I’m very interested in. It’s very true to life. It’s also very…for me, it’s really interesting. This past lab class we had cadavers, and we were naming the muscles and being able to really learn the insides of the body. Also, the instructor on Blackboard — she’s posted — every different type of modality, learning style is available on there. We have a LearnSmart book that we have assignments in, which is an interactive textbook. We have videos that we watch. We have different lectures that we watch, and we get to see the PowerPoints as well. She has different types of assignments on there that we can complete. She also makes a point to learn each one of our names and communicate with us during — and it’s a one-time-a-week class plus labs, so it’s a five-hour chunk of time, but it’s only once a week. But it still feels very close together. All of us feel like we are getting to know one another and support one another. That was also something else that the instructor suggested is that some of us exchange phone numbers in case we have quick questions. We share games. We did In Kahoots!, and we’ve also done Quizlet, so it’s just a really interesting class because it’s very varied.
For me, it’s all hands-on stuff. Because I honestly get bored sitting in a classroom. I’m like, I just can’t do it. So being like all hands on, we have all morning from 7:30 to 12:20 is all hands on. Then for two hours, we have an in-classroom, which isn’t too bad. But it more splits it up, and it’s just nice to have all the hands-on opportunities.
I am very hands on. I don’t do the whole projector, okay, write this down and scribble all day. I like to do hands-on, and I like to be able to have a conversation and be able to ask the questions and sometimes there’s an environment where that’s encouraged and then there’s an environment sometimes that’s not one of those classes where it’s just kind of like “mm, I just want to get done with the class.” So I think one of the best experiences, or best classes are the ones where it’s something that you’re interested in, it’s something where your professor is engaging with and also more of a hands-on kind of class.
I had anatomy class. I had two of the same, the first one and the second one with the same professor. He engaged in a lot of group discussion. He was a fun professor. We did a lot of hands-on activities, dissections. It was just a really fun — it was a large class, but it still was an intimate experience to have your professor to be right at your level.
1) A lot of the professors take in their students here, and particularly one professor I’ve had, and really remembering who you are. Some professors never even learn your name, but remembering who you are, what’s going on in your life. If they notice something, they can relate it to your experiences. If they’re teaching a certain material, they’ll know how to catch your interest in it because they know who you are and what you’re doing and why you’re there.
2) We have one professor here, I actually finally met her this semester, being inducted into one of our honors societies. She’s our facilitator. She has such a zest for the field we’re in, the students, the community. It really is a breath of fresh air to know that there’s still that many people out there that are like that. It really is cool.
3) I have a professor that is extremely amazing and passionate about all of her students thus far that I’ve seen. She has connections with a lot of the healthcare facilities in our local area. Also, I had the opportunity to study abroad with her, and so I have connections internationally as well.
4) I’ve really grown a lot because of a lot of the faculty here, and they’ll take the time to listen to you and plant seeds of greatness into you. It’s been really great.
5) Finding good professors isn’t hard here because a lot of them have the willingness and the expectation that you’re gonna graduate, and they want this for you. It’s not like, I need this person for my class. It’s more like, you’re going to graduate, it’s going to happen. They’re so involved, and they’re so in tune with what’s going on on campus that it feels like you’ve taken their class a thousand times, but really, it’s just someone that’s very dedicated to making sure you succeed.