Phases of the Collegium Project

The Collegium project has had four phases:

Fall 2008 Opening Conference

The project opened with a broad discussion in a two-day conference focused on recent developments in research about learning, held November 21-23, 2008 at Monmouth College, with participation from across the ACM. In this expansive first step, ACM assembled four groups:
  • An advanced scholar/expert in the field to provide a strong overview of recent research.
  • ACM faculty doing significant research in cognitive science, psychology, and education about how students learn.
  • ACM directors of Learning and Teaching Centers.
  • Interested faculty from a variety of disciplines at ACM colleges.

Forming the Collegium group

Through the Fall 2008 Conference and a follow-up process with ACM deans, individuals were identified to form the ACM Collegium Group. The members of the Collegium Group committed themselves to reading and discussing the literature about learning in greater depth and to thinking about its application to the liberal arts college classroom. This process began upon formation of the group with a series of reading assignments. A two-day workshop in Spring 2009 brought the Collegium Group together to work intensively with each other and with several of the experts from ACM and other colleges and universities studying the research and starting to develop specific, researchable questions about pedagogy and classroom practice.

Spring and Summer 2009 Workshops

  • March 27-28, 2009 at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN
  • July 23-24, 2009 in Chicago, IL
  • August 5-6, 2010 in Chicago, IL

The ACM Collegium Group participating in the spring workshop at Macalester College began to design plans for classroom research projects that apply the research on learning and evaluate the results. These faculty members fully developed their plans in a summer workshop in Chicago with help from ACM Teaching and Learning experts and conducted the research during the 2009-10 academic year. An additional workshop in summer 2010 focused on presenting data, both quantitative and qualitative, in scholarship of teaching and learning projects.

Following the model of the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, the ACM Collegium participants worked together, in smaller subject or regional teams, to provide mutual support and feedback for the ongoing projects. Since the successful completion of these classroom projects has been central to the Collegium project, the budget for these activities has been flexible and ample. We realized that our Collegium faculty would need considerable support, such as further consultation with experts in the current research or with research design experts; classroom visits by colleagues; additional research materials; or small-group meetings to critique the developing projects.

Fall 2010 Closing Conference

A second conference in Fall 2010, "Understanding Student Learning," brought this project full circle. This meeting focused on the projects carried out in the classrooms of ACM faculty scholars during the 2009-10 academic year and on case studies and learning modules that provide examples of good teaching practices based on the research.