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Student-Focused Learning and Assessment

Involving Students in the Learning Process in Higher Education

Edited By Natasha A. Jankowski, Gianina R. Baker, Erick Montenegro and Karie Brown-Tess

This contributed volume explores institutional and programmatic policies and practices which actively engage students as partners in improving student learning. This entails an examination of the degree to which students are partners in the assessment and learning processes and the characteristics of these partnerships. This volume showcases student partnerships, as well as presents a history of institutional culture affecting student learning, the role of students in teaching and learning, and brings student voices and perspectives to bare through research from a variety of institutional types. Case studies, current programs and activities, and a model for culturally-responsive assessment are highlighted to better understand student-focused learning and assessment. Implications for faculty, staff, and administrators are questioned. Overall, this volume links research to practice, and offers faculty, practitioners, and administrators different forms and methods of including students, while keeping issues of equity in mind.

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6. Designing a Co-Created Course: A Case Study of an Undergraduate Mathematics Teacher-Education Class

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KARIE C. BROWN-TESS

As this book explores engagement of students in the assessment process in higher education, this chapter provides a tour of the process I took for co-creation with my pre-service teachers in a math-methods class. This topic has been receiving ample attention as universities focus their gaze on agency-supporting practices. I address the ways in which I accessed multiple forms of feedback in the course and how this information provided opportunities for continued creation of the class, position students as co-creators along the way. I also address the value of responsive shifts needed to successfully implement this and other agency-affirming models of teaching. The chapter is structured by the parts of the semester and shifts are identified throughout the chapter.

A growing body of research documents how agency-giving models of teaching impacts college students (Maki, 2017). Students have reported deeper, more meaningful learning, personal development, greater engagement, and an overall increase in satisfaction with their college experience (Cook-Sather, Bovill, & Felten, 2014). In research on best practices of instructors, the attitude a teacher takes towards students appears to be rather impactful. Ken Bain (2004) writes in his book, What the Best College Professors Do,

I cannot stress enough the simple yet powerful notion that the key to understanding best teaching can be found not in particular practices or rules but in the attitudes of the teachers, in their faith in their students; abilities to achieve, in their willingness to take...

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