e-portfolios and reflection

YanceyIn creating an e-portfolio, a student essentially curates their work. They decide how to group their artifacts (written work, photographs, films, music, visual arts pieces, etc.) and in presenting them, they write across what they have done to demonstrate what they have learned. As faculty, we can ask them to show particular kinds of learning that might suggest to students ways to organize their work and reflect on it.

What we are likely to find as faculty is that having students create e-portfolios puts more of the onus on making meaning on the student and less on us.

Watch this talk by Dr. Kathleen Yancey to learn more.

Creating Visual Models for Learning

PolioIn Megan Dobro’s Virology class, students chose a “pet virus” that they will study in depth for the semester. The first assignment was to create a physical model of their virus. She has no artistic requirements; it just needs to be accurate. Megan gave ideas such as using clay, paper mache, found objects, or origami using online guides. Students presented their models to the class and showed how they represented the virus’s symmetry, structural components, and maybe dynamic processes. More important than the product, the process of creating a seemingly silly model got students to think more deeply. Looking only at two-dimensional pictures of viruses, students may not have realized that the viral shell has a complex, beautiful symmetry. Or that there are specific ways each viral component fits together, and that tells you something about which pieces rely on each other. Or that viruses are relatively simple particles and it’s amazing they wreak so much havoc on the world. Students might spend 15 seconds looking at a picture, but in the process of making a virus, they take time with their virus, studying all of the shapes and possible ways it can be built and taken apart. They start to ask questions that introduce advanced concepts. See the results of this year’s class models.

Blended Learning Resources and Conference

Interested in Blended Learning?

Visit the Bryn Mawr Blended Learning Initiative Blog. If you’d like to be kept up to date on the Bryn Mawr project developments and opportunities, please add your name to their mailing list.

OR: Attend the  the fourth annual conference on Blended Learning in the Liberal Arts on May 20-21, 2015 at Bryn Mawr. The focus of the conference will be on using blended learning to improve student learning outcomes and support the missions and cultures of liberal arts colleges. Come share ideas and information about findings, experiences, and best practices with LAC faculty and staff, and get some hands on experience with materials and technologies.

Contact Laura Wenk (lwenk@hampshire.edu) to see if the CTL can help support your attendance.



Grant Writing Shouldn’t Make You Sob (Okay, you can shed a single tear.)

'It's a foolproof formula for writing grant applications.'

“It’s a foolproof formula for writing grant applications.”

After a five-minute Google search for “grant writing cartoons,” it became very clear that applying for grants gets a bad rap. It’s true—grant writing can be an arduous, tedious process, in which you can put forth tremendous effort with potentially little return. Writing a grant proposal is very much like preparing for a big life event (a wedding, a major trip, or having a child). You plan. You stress. You dedicate tremendous time to make sure everything is perfect. And then your great aunt complains that her piece of the wedding cake was stale. Or your friend looks at the photos from your trip to Europe and tells you that his trip to Europe took a more original, “off the beaten path” approach. All your planning and care seems to fly out the window and what you’re left with is dismay and disappointment.

And you know what? It can hurt. Hearing that your proposal was not selected for funding can be a real drag, but it can also present you with a learning opportunity. We’ve been told by many Hampshire faculty who are new to grant seeking that they don’t “get grant writing” and that it seems like “some sort of mystical thing that doesn’t make sense” to them. Good news: Grant writing doesn’t have to be nebulous.

One of the best ways to learn why certain grants get funded is to serve on a grants review panel. There are many government agencies who are constantly looking for peer reviewers (and most pay a stipend!) for grant applications. In turn, you get the chance to see how grant proposals are evaluated, giving you key insights into approaches to your own proposal writing. Being a peer reviewer on a grants panel is also a great addition to your CV!

Here are a few opportunities for you to consider:

Websites/blogs for Div II and III students

There are 2 new resources for your Div II and III students that bring together resources, tips, event announcements, and reminders. Have your students visit the sites at:

  • http://div2athamp.hampshire.edu
  • http://div3athamp.hampshire.edu

First year students have the new programs page (sites.hampshire.edu/newtohamp).

There are prizes for students who visit. If you have tips you would like to post on the Div 2 and 3 sites, send them on to me at lwenk@hampshire.edu.

Talking about Teaching Session – Tuesday 21st at 3:30 p.m.

Best Practices for Supporting the Success of First Generation College Students

Tuesday, October 21, 3:30pm-5:00pm, FPH Lounge

This year, one in seven of Hampshire’s entering class is a first generation college student. This percentage will continue to climb over the coming years. Students who are the first in their families to attend college have meaningful experiences, knowledge, and skills to contribute to Hampshire and to their own learning. However, first generation college students also have unique challenges navigating the college environment, particularly Hampshire’s learner-centered academic approach. Faculty attending this session will learn about challenges faced by many first generation college students and share advising strategies and teaching practices to support their academic success.

This Talking about Teaching session will be facilitated by:

Kristen Luschen, Dean of Multicultural Education & Inclusion/Assoc. Professor Education Studies

Vivianna Alvarez, First Gen Student Group, Signer/Division II student

Event sponsored by: The Hampshire College Center for Teaching and Learning

5C Blended Learning Workshop – October 29th, 4:30-6:00 p.m.

BL_WorkShop_PosterThe Five College Blended Learning Program invites you to the first-ever Multicampus Blended Workshop:

Multimedia Tools in the Traditional Classroom
Wednesday October 29th, 4:30-6pm

Participate in a hands-on showcase at any of the following locations:

Kendade, Room 107
with Morena Svaldi, Maria Succi-Hempstead, and Bruno Grazioli
(Italian, MHC and Smith)

Engineering 2, Lab 152
with Eric Poehler,
(Archaeology, UMass)

Seelye Hall, Room B4
Videoconferencing room for online participation and hands-on demonstration

Whether or not you can attend, chime-in live through twitter # 5CollBL.

Register Online to secure your spot at one of the 3 locations for hands-on demonstrations of GoogleApps, WordPress, and ShowMe: www.fivecolleges.edu/blended/BLWorkshop

For more information, contact Jessica Egan (jegan@fivecolleges.edu) or Rogelio Miñana (rminana@mtholyoke.edu)

Transformative Speaking Program Resources

Faculty HandoutThe Transformative Speaking Program has resources available to you and your students this semester. Please visit the program’s Moodle page at http://hamp.it/tspmoodle for more information about the highlights listed below:

1. You can request that a peer mentor meet with your students to work on developing skills for class discussion or presentations.

2. You can request that a team of peer mentors lead a speaking workshop for your students, during or outside of your class time.

3. Students can self-select to meet one-on-one with a peer speaking mentor to work on their general speaking skills or a particular discussion or presentation.

4. You can nominate students to apply to work as peer mentors for next year (application deadline Oct 17 and rolling thereafter).

5. You can request that a peer mentor be dedicated to work exclusively with you and students in your 100-level spring 2015 course in any discipline.

Questions? Contact Laura Greenfield at lgreenfield@hampshire.edu