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Teaching and Events: Resource Materials

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University of South Carolina
“National Resource Center for First-Year Experience and in Transition” [www.sc.edu/fye/]
A major website. The National Center sponsors conferences, research and publications, and list-servs on the first-year experience, students in transition, and sophomore student success. Publications include: An Exploration of Intersecting Identities of First-Generation, Low-Income Students; The First-Year Seminar: Designing, Implementing, and Assessing Courses to Support Student Learning and Success (2011-2012); and, Investigating Sophomore Student Success: The National Survey of Sophomore-Year Initiatives and the Sophomore Experience Survey – 2014. The Center-sponsored list-servs include those addressing the first-year and second-year experiences, as well as first-year and second-year assessment. There are links to other valuable resources (a list of more than 125 institutions with first-year experience seminars and programs, sample syllabi for first-year seminars, a list of more than 30 institutions with second-year experience seminars and programs, and a list of 15 institutions with transfer-year seminars and programs). There are online resources on other relevant topics (e.g., advising, academic success, career planning, critical thinking, ethical development, financial management, time management). The University of South Carolina created its first-year experience course in 1972, began its annual conference on the first-year experience in 1983, and established its national center in 1986.

I’m First "Stories" [www.imfirst.org/stories/]
This website collects student videos – generally three minutes or less – where first-generation students from various colleges offer their personal stories and advice for other first-generation students. One can choose to view the newest videos, the most popular videos, or all the videos. Additionally, there is a collection of short written stories. These videos and stories offer a good way to trigger class discussions about the specific experiences of first-generation students or the general anxieties of all students.

National Academic Advising Association (NACADA)
“Clearinghouse – Academic Advising Resources” [www.nacada.ksu.edu/Resources/Clearinghouse.aspx ]
The National Academic Advising Association website provides an extensive collection of links to useful articles and resources on subjects such as academic support, motivation, study strategy, time management, advising syllabi, cultural issues in advising, transfer students advising, proactive/intrusive advising, faculty advising, career exploration, advisor and student handbooks, completion strategies, retention and attrition, advising various majors (business, liberal arts, STEM, undecided), first-year experience students, low income students, and at-risk students.

Noel Levitz Annual National Research Study
“2013 National Freshman Attitudes Report: Exploring College Readiness among Entering Freshmen” [https://www.ruffalonl.com/papers-research-higher-education-fundraising/2013/2013-national-freshman-attitudes-report ]
Presents the results of a nationwide 2013 survey of entering undergraduates and reports on non-cognitive attitudes on college readiness. An appendix provides recommendations for actions that could promote the academic success of incoming students. Among the findings: a significant proportion of incoming students are not good at studying, do not keep up with schoolwork, are challenged by math and science, doubt the value of a college education, and indicate troublesome financial problems.

Central Connecticut State University
“First Year Experience @ CCSU” [ www.ccsu.edu/fye/ ]
Central Connecticut State has a very well-constructed and informative website for first-year students. Although parts are password-protected, there is a robust list of student resources [www.ccsu.edu/fye/StudentResources.htm]. The highlights include:

West Virginia University
“Sophomore/Junior Year Experience”
A brief discussion of Laurie Schreiner and Jerry Pattengale’s “Four vectors for Navigating the Sophomore Year.” They argue that second-year students need to (1) achieve competence, (2) develop autonomy, (3) establish identity, and (4) develop purpose.

Belmont University
“The Sophomore Year Experience: Proposed Quality Enhancement Plan”
Belmont University put together a detailed and quite thoughtful 57-page proposal for improving the sophomore-year experience. For non-Belmont employees, the most valuable sections are those that present a literature review and discussion of best practices (pp. 8-18, includes references) and the survey instruments to be used (pp. 56-7). Following the insights of Molly A. Schaller, Belmont discusses the developmental concerns of sophomores as psychosocial, intellectual, and moral and emphasizes the lack of institutional attention to sophomores. A quick read on what researchers have posited about the sophomore year. The GPS (“Growth & Purpose for Students”) Program that Belmont subsequently developed is also worth a look.

Molly A. Schaller
“Wandering and Wondering: Traversing the Uneven Terrain of the Second College Year”
Schaller identifies four stages in student development: random exploration, focused exploration, tentative choices, commitment. Sophomores are seen as normally engaged in either random exploration or focused exploration. Students engaged in random exploration should be given the responsibility for learning and encouraged to reflect and build new relationships. Students engaged in focused exploration need to be provided with opportunities for exploration, structured reflection, and support.

Allie Grasgreen (Inside Higher Education – September 29, 2011)
“Dump the Slump”
This article reviews efforts at a variety of schools – Duke, Pace University, Stanford – to assist sophomores. Important researchers Laurie Schreiner and Molly Schaller are interviewed and quoted. It is noted that sophomores are often seen as the neglected middle child (a la Jan Brady).

2013 Noel Levitz Research Report
“The Attitudes of Second-Year College Students: Exploring the Mindsets Behind the ‘Sophomore Slump’”
Presents the results of a nationwide 2012 survey of second-year students and reports on non-cognitive attitudes related to motivation, engagement, persistence, and college completion. An appendix provides recommendations for actions that could help second-year students. Among the findings: a significant percentage of students were not “energized” by their courses, were dissatisfied with the frequency of their communication with academic advisors, did not have sufficient financial resources for finishing college, and desired more tutoring than they were receiving.

2013 Noel Levitz Research Report
“The Attitudes and Motivations of College Transfer Students: Exploring Pathways to Improve College Completion Rates”
Presents the results of a nationwide 2010/2012 survey of transfer students and reports on non-cognitive attitudes related to motivation, engagement, persistence, and college completion. One must register to access results. An appendix provides recommendations and observations for actions that could help transfer students. Among the findings: a significant percentage of transfer students lacked confidence in their academic abilities, wanted help in formulating a written acacdemic plan, wanted help in identifying major-related jobs and internships, were not satisfied with their frequency of communication with academic advisors, and did not have the financial resources they needed for college.

Jo Hillman (Ruffalo Noel Levitz)
“Campus Officials Rate Retention Programs for College Transfer Students Less Effective than First-Year Student Retention Programs”
Jo Hillman, a blogger at Ruffalo Noel Levitz, draws upon the Noel Levitz study of transfer students to demonstrate in a brief article the weakness of transfer student programs, especially in comparison to first-year programs. Hillman concludes with a list of seven ways to improve upon transfer student retention.

The Ohio State University (Second-Year Transformational Experience Program)
“Undergraduate Research” - Then, on STEP page, click U.OSU at bottom.
Students in Ohio State’s sophomore-year program offer written reflections on their research experiences. Each student researcher answers three questions: What? So What? Now What?

Barbara F. Tobolowsky
“Sophomores in Transition”
A 9-page discussion of the sophomore year. Sections on: making the case for the importance of the sophomore year, findings of the national survey of sophomore initiatives, five goals (“creating a sense of community, fostering social engagement, facilitating faculty-student interaction, encouraging major and career exploration, and promoting academic engagement and leadership”), recommendations, conclusion, and references.

Frances Santiago-Schwartz
Journal Presentations: Round Table Format
A one-page instruction sheet on running a class exercise where students present on scholarly journal articles. This might be a useful exercise as students work with research librarians to identify appropriate articles and then learn how to read and explain the contents of research findings.

Kean University
Research and Technology Course Syllabus"
This syllabus describes a 3-credit course that Kean developed for sophomores in order to increase their understanding of the research process and to strengthen their use of technology. It has been offered as an intensive three-week course during the intersession between the Fall and Spring semesters. The syllabus includes the course outcomes, course requirements, and weekly schedule of topics to be covered.

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What follow are helpful guides and resources about Philip Uri Treisman and Collaborative/Cooperative Learning.

The College Mathematics Journal (November 1992)
Uri Treisman, “Studying Students Studying Calculus: A Look at the Lives of Minority Mathematics Students in College” [http://www.utdanacenter.org/downloads/articles/studying_students.pdf]
The article in which Treisman describes the insights that he derived as a young instructor for first-year students at Berkeley in 1974. He found no evidence for the main factors used in explaining less success for minority students: less motivation, inadequate preparation, less family support and understanding of higher education, and income differences. Instead, he discovered that Asian students worked in groups while African American students worked alone. In response, he created workshops that offered not remediation, but challenging problems for the group to solve.

The University of Texas at Austin (The Charles A. Dana Center)
Philip Uri Treisman” [http://learningandtheadolescentmind.org/people_05.html]
A discussion of Treisman’s career, adding information about his more recent efforts to work with middle school students and develop Academic Youth Development programs. The profile includes a selective list of publications.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
Uri Treisman, “Keeping Our Eyes on the Prize” [https://vimeo.com/65731353]
A video of Treisman’s speech on equity at the 2013 conference of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. While not a discussion of collaborative learning workshops, Treisman lays out problems with the Common Core and describes the manner in which international comparisons that show poor performance by U.S. students have masked the role of child poverty rates. He shows how students assigned to remedial math in college frequently fail to graduate and describes the differences between results in the states (some states doing well and others doing poorly).

The College Board (Publications)
Rose Ansera, “Calculus and Community: A History of the Emerging Scholars Program" [http://research.collegeboard.org/sites/default/files/publications/2012/7/misc2001-1-calculus-emerging-scholars-program.pdf]
A 40-page study that focuses on Treisman’s work at Berkeley and subsequent work at the University of Texas. Beyond an introductory chapter and conclusion, there are chapters on the “History of the Ideas in Context,” “Structure: What Does an Emerging Scholars Program Look Like?,” and “Dissemination.”

The University of New South Wales-Australia (Teaching)
Develop Students’ Group Work Skills” [https://teaching.unsw.edu.au/develop-students-group-work-skills]
Presents a students’ group work skills development cycle, with links to helpful pages that promote skills students need to participate productively in group work (reflective listening, constructive feedback, structuring discussion, managing groups, group presentations and report writing, reviewing group members’ contributions, identifying group issues, and dealing with common group work issues).

University of Wisconsin-Madison (National Institute for Science Education)
James Cooper and Pamela Robinson, “Small-Group Instruction: An Annotated Bibliography of Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Resources in Higher Education, 1997” [http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/archive/cl1/CL/resource/annbib.pdf]
This 99-item, 45-page annotated bibliography is divided into sources on research and theory (general and SMET) and applications (general and SMET). There are applications that relate to the following disciplines: agriculture, biology, chemistry, clinical science, computer science, engineering, mathematics, medical/dental, physical therapy, nursing, physics, general science, and veterinary medicine.

North Carolina State University
Richard M. Felder and Rebecca Brent, “Navigating the Bumpy Road to Student-Centered Instruction” [http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Papers/Resist.html]
Describes the hostility and awkwardness that students and instructors may feel and express when they transition from lecture to active learning techniques. Catalogues and responds to eleven faculty concerns.

Harvard University (Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning)
Ellen Sarkisian, “Working in Groups: A Note to Faculty and a Quick Guide for Students” [http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/html/icb.topic58474/wigintro.html#GettingStarted]
The note to faculty covers benefits of working in groups, as well as how to form the groups and organizing the work. Other topics include getting started, managing the group process, including everyone and their ideas, group leadership, evaluating ideas and making decisions, how people function in groups and their many roles, and common problems and solutions (e.g., floundering, dominating and reluctant participants, digressions and tangents, getting stuck, impatience, feuds, ridiculing or ignoring others). There is a list of references.

Vanderbilt University (Center for Teaching)
Teaching Problem Solving” [https://cft.vanderbilt.edu/guides-sub-pages/problem-solving/#tips]
The site contains tips and techniques (organized under the headings of communicate, encourage independence, be sensitive, encourage thoroughness and patience), as well as a discussion of expert vs. novice problem solvers. There are two excellent links: (1) a description of G. Polya’s “how to solve it” (understanding the problem, devising a plan, carrying out the plan, looking back) and (2) a link to Linda Acitelli et al., “Learning and Teaching During Office Hours,” which includes a list of sources and types of errors in problem solving (i.e., inaccuracies in reading and inaccuracies in thinking).

Study Guides and Strategies (Cooperative Learning Series)
Cooperative and Collaborative Learning” [http://www.studygs.net/cooplearn.htm]
Covers the responsibilities of a team member and characteristics of a good learning team. There are links to useful discussions of group projects and active listening.

Kwantlen University College
Alice Macpherson, “Cooperative Learning Group Activities for College Courses: A Guide for Instructors” [http://www1.umn.edu/ohr/prod/groups/ohr/@pub/@ohr/documents/asset/ohr_89185.pdf]
A 193-page volume. The early sections delineate the elements of cooperative learning and ways in which the instructor and students prepare. The great bulk of the volume consists of specific group exercises for promoting accountability, knowledge and comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation, interaction, reflection, project completion, feedback, and debriefing of both the group process and idea processing. The book-length site concludes with a list of references and internet resources.

The Global Development Research Center
44 Benefits of Collaborative Learning” [http://www.gdrc.org/kmgmt/c-learn/index.html]
A one-page list of benefits from collaborative learning.

Cape Cod Community College
Ted Panitz, “Collaborative Versus Cooperative Learning – A Comparison of the Two Concepts Which Will Help Us Understand the Underlying Nature of Interactive Learning” [http://home.capecod.net/~tpanitz/tedsarticles/coopdefinition.htm]
Beyond presenting his own definitions for collaborative and cooperative learning, Panitz considers the definitional efforts by Ken Bruffee, Spencer Kagan, John Myers, Rocky Rockwood, and others. In the end, collaborative learning is seen as more open, achieving greater freedom for participants.

Cape Cod Community College
Theodore and Patricia Panitz, “Encouraging the Use of Collaborative Learning in Higher Education” [http://home.capecod.net/~tpanitz/tedsarticles/encouragingcl.htm]
This article considers the definition of collaborative learning (CL), the reasons teachers resist CL techniques, reasons why administrators resist CL, reasons why students resist CL, how one can start with CL, the 38 benefits of CL, and 18 policy recommendations to promote the full implementation of CL.

University of New South Wales-Australia (Teaching)
Ideas for Effective Group Work” [https://teaching.unsw.edu.au/ideas-effective-group-work]
Ideas on implementing group work – organized into sections on preparing your students, setting up groups, when groups first meet, doing group work, dealing with difficulties, and assessment and reflection.

Case Studies

Science Education for New Case Engagement and Responsibilities”, [http://sencer.net]
SENCER began as a 2001 NSF-funded initiative to create STEM courses that connect course materials to contemporary scientific issues.  Various colleges have developed SENCER courses.  The website provides resources on model courses that have been developed; for each course, there is an abstract, learning goals, course goals, a syllabus, a discussion of the course organization and structure, case studies, strategies used to tie science education to civic engagement, evaluation methods, and related text and web resources.  More than 50 courses are described; topics include infectious diseases, prehistoric life, climate change, ecosystems of southwest Florida, stem cells, toxic chemicals, cancer, AIDS, nutrition, pregnancy, sleep, water, slow food, addiction, computer ethics, obesity, nanotechnology, coal, forensic science, brownfields, genetics, and tuberculosis.  There are background papers on a fair number of these issues.  There are 30-minute webinars (e.g., enriching STEM courses, tracking learning, incorporating authentic research into introductory biology).  Searching the SENCER resources, one finds 68 case studies and 43 discussions of specific laboratory procedures.

SUNY Buffalo
National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science” [sciencecases.lib.buffalo.edu/cs/]
In more than 20 years, the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science has developed a massive library of more than 575 case studies that encourage active student learning and are appropriate for problem-based learning and small-group cooperative learning.  The science and engineering cases are searchable by keyword, subject/discipline, educational level, type of case structure (e.g., analysis, debate, role play, problem-based learning), and topic area (e.g., ethics, policy issues, social justice issues).  For a fee, teaching notes and answer keys are available for each case study.  The site includes an extensive 29-page bibliography on science case studies.  A list of Center publications includes links to 25 articles written by Center staff on: getting started, writing cases, teaching with cases, cases and cooperative learning, and grading case work.  In light of recent events, it might be prudent to avoid an unfortunate article entitled “I Never Knew Joe Paterno: An Essay on Teamwork and Love.”  There are links to significant articles and resources on the assessment of the case study method.  Finally, in the case collection section, there are links to an invaluable group of 25 other case collections covering science, engineering, medicine, dentistry, public policy/international affairs, and business: Problem-Based Learning Clearinghouse (University of Delaware), CASES Online (Emery University), Enduring Legacies Native Cases (Evergreen State College), SHIPS Resource Center Case Collection, Case It!, The Secret in the Cellar: A Written in Bones Forensic Mystery from Colonial America, UCLA Statistics Case Studies, Engineering Case Studies (Rose Hulman/Carleton University), Ethics Cases (National Institute for Engineering Ethics), Engineering Ethics, Epidemiology Case Studiers (CDC), Online Case Studies (Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh), EnviroDx: Clinical Cases in Environmental Medicine (University of Utah), OralB Series of Dental Hygiene Case Studies, Case Program (Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University), The Electronic Hallway (Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs, University of Washington), Pew Case Study Center (Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, Georgetown University), Case Method Website & Collection (University of California, Santa Barbara), Harvard Business School Cases, Richard Ivey School of Business (University of Western Ontario), Stanford Graduate School of Business Case List, Darden Case Collection (University of Virginia), and Free Cases from the Case Center.

Scholarworks (University of Massachusetts-Amherst)
IDEESE Case Collection: International Dimensions of Ethics Education in Science and Education” [http://scholarworks.umass.edu/do/search/?q=casestudy&start=08context=807467]
The search locates ethical case studies: recruitment of egg donors by South Korea stem cell researchers; the SARS epidemic; the Dhopal disaster; the Green dam cyber-censor case; the EU-US dispute over regulation of genetically modified organisms, plants, feeds, and foods; transboundary trade in hazardous substances and wastes; Asilomar conference on laboratory precautions when conducting recombinant DNA research; Narmada Dams controversy; access to HIV treatments in developing countries.  Though designed for graduate students, there is plenty to discuss.

ICBL: Investigative Case Based Learning" [http://bioquest.org/icbl/cases.php]
Links to 70 brief investigative cases.

Indiana University
William S. Haywood et al., “Acting Out Science: Using Senate Hearings to Debate Global Climate Change” [www.researchgate.net/publication/234723320_Acting_Out_Science_Using_Senate_Hearings_To_Debate_Global_Climate_Change]
A brief article describing a role-playing simulation in which students play U.S. Senators or representatives of interest groups and relevant government agencies (e.g., Sierra Club, Greenpiece, EPA, CDC).


Free Management Library
Problem Solving and Decision Making” [http://managementhelp.org/personalproductivity/problem-solving.htm]
A substantial website with sections on: guidelines to problem-solving and decision making, rational versus organic approach, general guidelines, methods and tools, and general resources.  A large number of links.

Skills You Need
Problem Solving” [www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/problem-solving.html/]
A robust website on the general nature of problem-solving.  Topics include: what is a problem, goals and barriers, stages of problem-solving (identifying the problem, structuring the problem, possible solutions, making a decision, implementation, and feedback.  There is also a similar discussion of decision making (what is decision making, effective decision making, a framework).  Also, check out the material on critical thinking skills.

Richard Mayer and Merlin Wittrock, “Problem Solving” [www.education.com/reference/article/problem-solving1/]
A competent discussion covering definitions, problem solving as a kind of thinking, types of problems, cognitive processes in problem solving, theories of problem solving, teaching for problem solving, teaching of problem solving.

The University of Georgia (Mathematics Education)
James W. Wilson et al., “Mathematical Problem Solving” [http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/emt725/PSsyn/Pssyn.html]
A discussion that includes research on problem solving, a framework, problem solving as a process, problem solving as an instructional goal, problem solving as an instructional method, beliefs about mathematics problem solving, technology and problem solving, and evaluation of problem solving.

Project-Based/Problem-Based Learning

University of Delaware (Institute for Transforming Undergraduate Education)
Resources for Problem-Based Learning” [www.udel.edu/inst/resources/index.html]
Resources for instructors include sample syllabi, sample problems (e.g., in biology, chemistry/biochemistry, and physics), evaluation forms, videos showing common problems with groups in action, links to 25 articles on problem-based learning by Delaware faculty, and articles and videos by other researchers.  There is a particularly large and valuable list of links to other related sites that provide material and examples on problem-based learning.  Highlights include: a repository of physics-based problems (University of Leichester), a set of problems developed by the Winter 2000 PBL Institute at the University of California-Irving; an extensive list of math problems, projects, and activities maintained by a retired professor at the University of South Carolina-Upstate; a Wheeling Jesuit University site that presents scenarios on global temperature, biodiversity, drought, human health effects, ice caps and sea levels, and volcanoes.

MIT Faculty Newsletter (February 2007)” [http://web.mit.edu/fnl/volume/194/bras_bowring.html]
An interesting collection of four faculty opinion pieces on project-based learning.  The titles of the pieces are: Experiential Learning and the Freshman Experience, Stakeholder Expectations of Learning in First-Year Project-Based Subjects, The Importance of Freshman-Year Projects, One Perspective on Project-Based Learning.