Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Customizing Professional Development on the Fly

If you have been visiting the Drive-thru this semester,  you know that I have been journaling my experiences and materials as a professional development leader.  Our staff met with me twelve times during the first semester in professional cluster groups (PCGS). There were five groups and they constituted one "prep" of my assignment.

The focus of the PCGS has been the implementation of Challenge Based Learning.  This semester our registrar magician, Colleen Rozman, managed to schedule CBL design teams into the PCGs.  Consequently these teams have a regularly scheduled period for workshopping their projects.  My goal is to customize the professional development experience to each team's needs.  I began by asking them to respond to a survey, allowing me to get a sense of what each team needs right now and to get them thinking about vital issues for their CBLs like technology and assessment.  Here's the survey:

The survey activity has allowed me to develop distinct agendas for our next cycle of meetings.  Topics like the following have surfaced:

 * How will we assess the degree to which our students' consciousness of global citizenship has been raised?

* How do we word a challenge so that it is "actionable."

* How much should the challenge "count" in the total course grade?

* How do we weight the relative importance of process v. product in assessment.

As you can see, these are "real world" issues about Challenge Based Learning.  They also lead to important discussions about education. (In this instance process is as important as product.
Flckr CC photo by hugochisolm

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