Effective Teaching Workshop
Following the success of the first workshop in October 2007, Brandeis and Al-Quds faculty joined together for a two-day workshop in May 2008 focused on assessment of student performance. The workshop also marked the first program of the new Al-Quds Committee for the Support of Teaching, chaired by Professor Saker Darwish. Over two days, an estimated 80-90 Al-Quds faculty took part in the workshops.
The first day was devoted to undergraduate assessment with break-out sessions in the sciences and the humanities, while the second day was concerned with graduate assessment and a general discussion of next steps and implementation plans for the committee to consider.
A Brandeis delegation led by Susan Lanser, Elaine Wong, Derek Isaacowitz and Daniel Kryder gave short presentations along with a number of Al-Quds faculty in fields ranging from medicine to geography.
Among the topics and themes discussed included:
- Building a consensus on the terms and definitions of assessment, testing, measurement and evaluation
- Formative versus summative assessment
- The assessment movement in U.S. higher education and beyond
- "Working backwards" to identify skills and outcomes first, then assessments matching those desired outcomes
- Using assessment as part of the learning process
- Diversifying exam styles, frequency and length
- Evaluating experiential learning and research
The Committee for the Support of Teaching is currently considering next steps for the improvement of student assessment at Al-Quds. Possible follow-up projects include an online resource for Al-Quds faculty, a faculty mentoring program and further discussions/workshops on the faculty and department level to institutionalize assessment within each unit's academic planning.