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Quality Undergraduate Education. MSU Sociology Department TA Workshop August 25, 2006 Geoffrey Habron Fisheries and Wildlife Sociology Bailey Scholars habrong@msu.edu Berkey 401A 432-8086. Outlook on learning. Teaching Philosophy (Pedagogy). Students. Learning styles. Teaching

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Quality undergraduate education l.jpg

Quality Undergraduate Education

MSU Sociology Department TA Workshop

August 25, 2006

Geoffrey Habron

Fisheries and Wildlife


Bailey Scholars


Berkey 401A


Learning instructor students l.jpg

Outlook on learning

Teaching Philosophy



Learning styles



Learning = Instructor + Students



Student Learning


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Backward Design

  • Stage 1: Identify desired outcomes and results.

  • Stage 2: Determine what constitutes acceptable evidence of competency in the outcomes and results (assessment).

  • Stage 3: Plan instructional strategies and learning experiences that bring students to these competency levels.

Wiggins, G., & McTighe, J.(1998). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA:Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.



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Meeting the Challenge of Teaching Sociology in the Twenty-First Century

Report of the Task Force on the Undergraduate Major:

Liberal Learning and the Sociology Major .

American Sociological Association. January 2005.


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Deep Learning (ASA) Twenty-First Century

  • Relates previous knowledge to new knowledge;

  • Relates knowledge from different courses;

  • Relates theoretical ideas to everyday experience;

  • Relates and distinguishes evidence and argument;

  • Organizes and structures content into a coherent whole; and

  • Emphasis is internal, from within the student

  • Deep learning clearly implies increasing integration among topics, courses, and out-of-class experiences.

Pg. 44

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MSU SOC Undergraduate Mission Twenty-First Century

  • Illustrate sociological perspectives

  • Help students develop skills in critical thinking

  • Introduce and explain strategies and methods for conducting sociological research

Gold and Pyle. 2005. MSU Sociology Department assessment plan. January

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MSU SOC Twenty-First Century Undergraduate Principles

  • Student responsibility for learning

  • Active learning and research skills

  • Doing sociology

  • Team learning

  • Computers

  • Job skills

  • Life skills

  • World as a classroom

  • Integrate graduate and undergraduate education

Gold and Pyle. 2005. MSU Sociology Department assessment plan. January

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Instructor Factors Twenty-First Century

  • Pedagogy

  • Strategies

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Pedagogy: Twenty-First Century Student-centered Learning

  • With such an approach, the impact on student learning is the key variable in all course, department, and institutional decisions. From this perspective, we must consider, for example, student variables and diversity, the impact of the environment on learning, learning styles, and the scaffolding for learning. Covering the content is not the important objective in this paradigm; rather, it is nurturing student learning.

ASA Pg. 44

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Strategies:7 Principles of Undergraduate Education Twenty-First Century

  • Encourage student-faculty contact;

  • Encourage cooperation among students;

  • Encourage active learning;

  • Give prompt feedback;

  • Emphasize time on task;

  • Communicate high expectations; and

  • Respect diverse talents and ways of learning.

Chickering, A. and Z. Gamson. Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education.' American Association for Higher Education, 1986.



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Student Factors Twenty-First Century

  • Outlook on Learning (Where they start)

    • Intellectual development

  • Learning Styles (How they learn)

    • Multiple intelligences

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Lee Knefelkamp. Models of Intellectual and Identity Development


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Learning Styles: DevelopmentMultiple Intelligences

  • Intrapersonal: self smart

  • Interpersonal: people smart

  • Visual: image smart

  • Musical: sound smart

  • Logical-mathematical: logic smart

  • Bodily-kinesthetic: body smart

  • Naturalistic: nature smart

  • Verbal linguistic: word smart

  • David Lazear. Eight Ways of Knowing: Exploring Multiple Intelligences

  • http://www.multi-intell.com/MI_chart.html

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Outlook on learning Development

Teaching Philosophy



Learning styles



Learning = Instructor + Students

Student-centered - ASA



Intellectual development – William Perry





Multiple intelligences – Howard Gardner

7 Principles -Chickering and Gamson

Student Learning


Deep learning - ASA


Doing sociology – MSU SOC

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Resource Development

  • MSU Office of Faculty and Organizational Development (grad students too!)

    • Deb DeZure, Director

    • Patty Payette, Coordinator

    • Lilly Teaching Seminars

    • Meet Michigan

    • Mid-term class assessments…

    • http://www1.provost.msu.edu/facdev/index.asp

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Lilly Teaching Seminars Fall 2006 Development

  • Issues in Evaluating Teaching: A Comprehensive Perspective

  • Using Demonstrations to Promote Conceptual Understanding in Chemistry: Making Connections on the Macroscopic, Microscopic, and Symbolic Levels

  • Making Classroom Lectures Interactive and Effective: Engaging Students in Course Content through Interactive Lecturing

  • Getting Beyond Covering Content in your Courses: Introduction to the Readiness Assurance Process and Team-Based Learning

  • Designing, Managing and Grading Effective Group Assignments

  • Designing Games and Simulations for Learning

  • Teaching for Successful Intelligence: Teaching and Assessing Students with Diverse Learning and Thinking Styles

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  • There is a Developmentwealth of research, theory, and practical ideas on important approaches to teaching and learning in higher education should inform discussions about, and choices made for, the sociology major and curricular or pedagogical reforms. Three of these are briefly discussed here:

    • learning-centered instruction,

    • deep learning, and

    • best practices.

Pg. 44

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MSU Boldness by Design Development

  • http://strategicpositioning.msu.edu/default.asp

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Enhancing the Undergraduate Experience: Task Force Recommendations

  • Enhance the first year experience; assist students in making a strong academic and social transition, and in creating appropriate expectations about their undergraduate education

  • Promote the improvement of and rewards for successful college teaching

  • Articulate, target and expand opportunities for undergraduate students to develop cultural competencies.

  • Promote and integrate more active and applied learning in undergraduate education

  • Modify the undergraduate curriculum and related policies so that our goals for undergraduate liberal learning are met

  • Enhance the physical environment in ways that support learning for the students, faculty and staff at MSU

  • Continue the review of graduate programs and graduate teaching and the mentoring of graduate students.


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Report of the Working Group on Improving Undergraduate Education: Goals for Liberal Learning

1. Integrated Judgment

2. Advanced Communication Skills (both writing and speaking)

3. Cultural Competence (addressed in recommendation 2)

4. Analytical Thinking

5. Literacy in Science and Mathematics

6. Effective Citizenship