This syllabus research project is an example of assessing learning practices to enhance learning environments at the classroom, program, and college level. I learned from student success literature that often, underrepresented students will not ask for exceptions to syllabus policies while their counterparts will, thus creating unintentional equity gaps with class syllabus policies. I studied various course syllabi from EMCC classes to see how my policies compare. I then surveyed EMCC faculty and students about the course syllabus.
Providing student feedback
The Student Experience Research Team (SERT) formed in Fall 2020 under the Title V Grant to explore student equity achievement gaps at EMCC. The SERT has been conducting a mixed-method study on the student experience at EMCC to better understand how we can improve student learning and outcomes at the college. During the Fall 2021 Student Success Conference hosted by the Maricopa Center for Learning and Innovation, the SERT presented initial research findings from the Spring 2021 collected data.
As evidenced in multiple CATS written about journaling in STEM, faculty from chemistry, physics, calculus, and biology utilize journals to improve students' deeper level of learning. Critical thinking skills and written communication skills (EMCC ILOs) are important in STEM. I want to ensure my students leave my own course ready and prepared for the other STEM courses. Also, these journals are used to asses physics' classroom learning outcomes. Please see attached documents for sample survey results and journal entries.
Using discussion protocols in a live online learning format promotes independent student collaboration and engagement in group discussions through quality instruction and student support. In conjunction with the use of Google documents and live online breakout rooms (Zoom, Webex, or Google Meets), protocols drive independent student discussion and collaboration using a set of guidelines that include student roles and responsibilities. Discussion protocols also allow for fostering student-to-student relationships and for providing immediate real-time feedback by faculty.
This year, the Psychology Club and Psi Beta (PCPB) have had to meet all online. While this has presented us with challenges, it has also opened up our club to many possibilities. Our students wanted to have events, but indicated concern that they wouldn't actually be able to engage with the speakers, as in other online events they often aren't able to speak or raise their hand as frequently as they would like. We decided to create a Women In Psych Panel event.
In Fall 20, math courses transitioned to a Live Online format versus traditional online. Faculty spent the summer frantically learning technologies and strategies through workshops, brainstorming sessions, and social media. Math faculty also trained one another on Zoom/Webex, NearPod, and Whiteboard.fi with a common goal - to learn and implement new tools in the virtual environment to keep students engaged; increasing student success and persistence.
Peer Lead Focus and Learning Review
Monitoring student engagement and learning during class & providing feedback is tough due to lack of time. One way to do this is Peer lead learning review; it monitors engagement and provides feedback.
The class was divided into six groups of four students; one student acted as a peer leader. The peer leaders were rotated after 3 weeks, allowing each group member to act as a peer leader.
As a Communications instructor I stress the importance of public speaking skills in many of my courses. To aid students in optimizing their speech presentations, I include class time for small group rehearsal. After a dozen semesters teaching communications I have observed that many students do not engage in the rehearsal activity or they use the dedicated time ineffectively. To optimize the process and motivate students to practice their speeches, I changed the lesson plan in two ways: 1) conduct more than one rehearsal activity for shorter periods of time and 2) break down the componen