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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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8. Elevating Creative Thinking



I first met Gret Antilla on a freezing November afternoon in her office at Prescott College. I was going into the second semester of my Junior year, and I didn’t have a minor yet. Gret was a well-loved Education professor, and I was there to talk to her about the possibility of completing my minor in her department. When I had transferred to Prescott from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in my freshman year, I hadn’t thought twice about a minor. All I wanted to learn about was art.

I got to our scheduled meeting early. (I always get to meetings early.) Gret was already there, sitting behind her desk. She looked up from her computer and focused on me with an expression of surprise and intrigue. The surprise was likely due to my timing (nobody at Prescott College gets places on time), but the intrigue, I would soon learn, was genuine. She wanted to know me.

I was stressed out and frazzled. The weight of too many large academic decisions had fallen on my shoulders, and my personal life wasn’t much better. Appearing in that office doorway, I probably looked more like a panicked deer in the headlights than a semi-competent academic, and I felt like one too.

Gret surveyed me, and nodded to the cushioned white swivel chair near her desk. “Chocolate?” I couldn’t refuse that. She reached into her bottom desk drawer...

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