Be a State Your Case! Instructor
Any faculty member at St. Olaf, Carleton, or Macalester can become a State Your Case! instructor at any time during the project period (Fall 2008 - Spring 2011). State Your Case! instructors receive stipends to support their work in a specific course. Here are the steps involved:
- Choose a course: Identify one of your courses as a "demonstration course" - a testing ground for improving students' ability to state and support a point of view. It might be a course where you are already working to help students develop this ability, or it might be a course in which you would like to move in that direction.
- Notify a project leader: Let one of the project steering committee members at your institution know about your plans to be a State Your Case!instructor, including the "demonstration course" you will offer, and the term in you will offer it (any time from Fall 2008 - Spring 2011).
- Explore ideas: The State Your Case! website includes course materials submitted by other project faculty and links to additional teaching resources to help you develop, modify, and/or expand your repertoire of instructional strategies. The project also includes faculty development conversations and workshops to support your work.
- Teach your course: Provide relevant instruction and practice - readings, handouts, in-class activities, course website exercises, writing or speaking assignments - anything that is intended to help your students learn to think critically, evaluate evidence, craft a convincing claim, reason with numbers, write or speak effectively, or improve any other "state your case" proficiency. You might use what you were already planning to use, or you might try something new.
- Assess the outcomes: Gather evidence about the impact of your assignments, classroom activities, handouts, and other pedagogical techniques on your students' ability to develop and support a point of view. The project website includes a number of assessment resources with concrete suggestions to help you develop simple but powerful ways to assess the effectiveness of your State Your Case! instructional strategies.
- Share your work: When your demonstration course is finished, you can submit your course materials to the State Your Case! website, so other consortium faculty can browse through them and use or adapt them for their own courses. Stipends are awarded once the course materials have been submitted. Project faculty are also encouraged to share their work with relevant audiences at their own institution - in departments, through faculty development programs, with curriculum committees. Subsidies are also available to support dissemination at regional and national conferences.