January 30, 2019 Adjunct Workshop

Workshop for Adjunct Professors on “Use Assessment to Evaluate and Improve Your Students’ Learning”

Adjunct professors from all six CRC institutions came together on Jan. 30, 2019 at Meredith College to tackle one of the hardest parts of teaching, assessment.

“This workshop gave terrific suggestions for improving assessment!”
“The CRC teaching workshops have allowed me to utilize great resources in my classes.”

The presenters were Dr. Rebecca Brent and Dr. Richard Felder. Here were some of their main points:

Assessing learning means gathering information about how much your students have learned of what you have been trying to teach. If you are like most instructors, you probably consider creating assessments your second-least-favorite teaching chore. Making up assignments and tests that are valid (how students do on them is an accurate measure of how well they have met your learning objectives), reliable (the same quality work from different students gets the same grade), and fair to the students, is always difficult and often depressingly time-consuming. The only chore that’s less enjoyable is grading the assessments.

This workshop suggested some answers to the following questions:

1. How can I design and administer quantitative problem-solving tests that are both valid and fair? What common mistakes should I try to avoid? How can I help my students become better test takers?
2. How can I use well-designed rubrics (grading forms) to assess my students’ project reports reliably and efficiently? Do I have to create the rubrics entirely by myself? (Hint: No.) How can I also use them to help the students improve their report writing and oral presentation skills?
3. How can I use assessment to improve my teaching and (possibly) my student ratings?

Meet the Facilitators!

Dr. Rebecca Brent is President of Education Designs, Inc., a consulting firm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She has more than 35 years of experience in education and specializes in staff development in engineering and the sciences, teacher preparation, and evaluation of educational programs at both precollege and college levels, and has authored or coauthored roughly 120 papers on those topics.

Dr. Richard Felder joined the N.C. State University faculty in 1969. He is a co-author of the book Elementary Principles of Chemical Processes, which has been used as the introductory chemical engineering text by roughly 90% of all chemical engineering departments in the United States and many abroad, and he has authored or co-authored over 300 papers on chemical process engineering and STEM education. He has won numerous awards for his teaching, research, and publications. Drs. Brent and Felder are coauthors of Teaching and Learning STEM: A Practical Guide (Jossey-Bass, 2016). Separately and together, they have presented over 450 workshops on effective teaching, course design, mentoring and supporting new faculty members, and faculty development, on campuses around the world. Visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/felderandbrent

More comments from attendees:

“I came out of this seminar/workshop with ideas that I can immediately implement in my classroom. This is not just theory—these instructors know how to teach.”

“I learned SO much about teaching in general. It was awesome!”

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