Pat Hutchings, a renowned educator and Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, the workshop will focus on assignment design, with special attention to creating assignments that will build student capacities to address our new Core Competencies. The day’s activities will have special value in two ways: first, for moving the College toward full implementation of the Competencies; and second, for building our capacity to deliver strong, effective professional development.
Our experience with the June benchmark reading taught us a lot about the work ahead, both from the standpoint of the draft rubrics (widely seen as overly complex and pitched too high), and the notable lack of “fit” between deposited artifacts and our new Competencies/Abilities. In the intervening months all the rubrics have been substantially simplified and streamlined. They will be released to the college at large within a few days. Developing new assignments, or revising existing assignments that align with the competencies and the learning outcomes articulated in the rubrics, is clearly the next major phase of our implementation work. The October 23 workshop will introduce a proven professional development methodology designed to help faculty create or refine assignments that address one of the Competencies or Abilities. We’ll ask that attendees bring copies of one or more such assignments—either something utilized last Spring, or something new. These assignments will be the foundation for a structured sharing, discussion, and feedback process designed to strengthen the assignment’s connection to the Competency or Ability.
Pat Hutchings’s method, called an “assignment charrette,” has proven valuable on many campuses, from community colleges to research universities. Invitations to attend are also going out to all Program Directors and Learning Matters Mini-Grant leaders. Aside from helping to spur development and fine-tuning of assignments geared to the Core Competencies, a key goal of this workshop is to help us to learn and practice a valuable professional development method with broad applicability across CTL seminars and departmental professional development contexts, whether or not explicitly focused on the Competencies. I urge you to attend if you can. Please look for more information about this October 23 event very soon.