Making Change Happen

Part of the InTeGrate California State University - Chico Program Model

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Faculty Reflections and Stories »

High-Level Project Timeline

Year 1, Summer 2015

Activities: In summer 2015 the Chico Program Team met for the first time, introduced our courses, review and map out InTeGrate curriculum that will work best for the learning goals of the courses we teach in the Sustainability GE Pathway. Faculty spent time on their own adapting curriculum to their course syllabi and worked together to make sure that students who take more than one of our courses will not have a duplicate experience with the curriculum.

We also developed assessment materials to use throughout the four semesters of this project so that we can collect consistent data throughout the project among all courses. Assessment products include:

  • Pre and Post survey to measure student learning (multiple choice and short answer content questions) and measures of student confidence (Likert scale ratings) - which is a shared document among the team.
  • Faculty reflection forms- ask faculty to describe their experiences in the project
  • Faculty peer-observation form (optional)- are used by some faculty when they visit one another's courses and provide a format to help guide discussion during debrief meetings after observed class sessions.
  • Faculty self-reflection forms (optional) – are used for faculty to reflect on their class session in which they used InTeGrate materials. These reflection forms were intended to be completed immediately following the class session with the plan to add notes following debrief sessions with peer faculty. The form is only slightly modified from a faculty self-reflection form used by InTeGrate module authors when piloting curriculum.
  • An IRB application was submitted over the summer and approved before our fall semester started, including the extensive pre and post- content survey we developed to measure student learning, student confidence changes, and faculty experiences with the curricula.

Year 1, Fall 2015

Our goal for fall 2015 was to complete a first iteration of InTeGrate materials in each of the 8 courses involved in this project. Faculty attended one another's courses so that we could debrief together to collaboratively determine practices in the unit that worked well or needed improvement. We also planned to and did collect data on student learning, using the pre-post survey developed so that student learning is measured for each module/unit consistently.

Activities: Adaptation of InTeGrate curriculum was incorporated in all eight courses, by team members, each of which have been reviewed by team members through peer class visits such that each team member has been observed while teaching newly adapted curriculum by multiple team members and each team member has observed at least one other team member and met with them to debrief each observed class together.

Each team member administered pre- and post- curriculum student surveys with which to measure student learning and confidence with new curriculum themes (Part b). Final data collection will be completed during final exams in two of the eight courses.

Year 1, Spring 2016

Our goals in spring 2016 were to 1) submit and compile student and faculty data from fall 2015 and to compile that data and 2) use notes from self-reflection and peer- debrief meetings to make minor modifications to the use of InTeGrate materials during spring courses. In one case, a faculty member taught a different (though similar) course (Plant Science 392 instead of 390) but used the same InTeGrate module/units as in fall 2015, and in another case, a faculty member was not assigned GEOS 330 so only used InTeGrate materials in one course.

Activities: Faculty used InTeGrate materials in their spring courses (so second iteration of the use of materials), collected student data and completed faculty reflection data. Faculty observed one another's class sessions and met to collaboratively discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the class sessions.

Faculty also collaborated to compile data and prepare a presentation to the This Way to Sustainability conference in March 2016. The talk included presentation of student learning data (content) and their confidence in the content covered in the curriculum, along with presentations from 4 faculty (Hatfied, Clements, Stone, Altier) on their experiences in the project. Approximately 50 faculty, students, and community members attended the session.

Year 2, Summer 2016

During summer 2016 faculty met to review work completed in spring 2016, including successes and areas in need of improvement. Conversations and activities centered on several themes:

  • Data collection – in group workshops we discussed data collection in terms of connection between data collection methods and reliability, in terms of the survey we use and with ideas of possible "survey fatigue" when more than one unit is used per semester

  • Project assessment – reviewed our student survey and revised questions with significant issues that require changes and added questions that are needed to more fully capture student learning. An amendment to our IRB with revised survey was submitted and approved

  • Data Analysis – discussions of methods for more efficient review of our large data sets (multiple semesters of data from multiple courses/instructors and numerous units); two team members established contact with a math professor who agreed to help develop a master spreadsheet from which data can be extracted for comparison/analysis
  • Review of new modules – none adapted until after data collection, because of class time/importance of collecting data consistently
  • Curriculum review – Faculty reviewed and discussed the use of curriculum in newly published InTeGrate modules: Carbon Climate and Energy Resources; Water Sustainability in Cities; Soil, Systems and Society. Faculty decided to not immediately adapt curriculum from new modules so that we can focus on continued use of units used in in AY 2015/2016, in the interest of additional data collection for comparison with data collected in previous terms and with other Sustainability Pathway courses.
  • Administrative planning & deadlines – presentations, end of project reporting, CSU Chico administrator visits to observe class sessions
  • Presentation at two conferences:
    • California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC), June 2016 presentation to personnel from CSU- wide institutions (academics, facilities, administrators) available at: CHESC Sustainability (Acrobat (PDF) 4.1MB Nov6 16) (June 2016) and
    • Earth Educators' Rendezvous (EER), July 2016, available at Earth Educator's Rendezvous (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB Nov6 16)
  • Administrative planning & deadlines – presentations, end of project reporting, CSU Chico administrator visits to observe class sessions

Year 2, Fall 2016

Our goal in the second academic year of this project is to continue collecting student and faculty data and compiling and analyzing data from previous semesters.

Activities: During fall 2016 we completed the third iteration of InTeGrate materials in the seven courses involved in the project. Faculty attended one another's courses and debrief together to discuss practices in the unit that worked well or need improvement. We continue to collect student learning and confidence data, using the (slightly modified) pre-post- curriculum survey. Final data collection for fall 2016 will be completed during final exams in two of the eight courses. We continue to work with the math professor to develop a master spreadsheet from which data can be extracted for comparison/ analysis. We presented a summary of the faculty learning community aspect of this project for the 2016 Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching in October 2016.

Future Work:

Year 2, Spring 2016

Our goal in the second academic year of this project is to collect student and faculty data for a fourth semester. Data will be compiled with previous semesters and data analysis will continue through work with the math professor's coded spreadsheet to facilitate comparison of data from different InTeGrate modules and units, courses, semesters, and across the pathway.

Beyond Spring 2016:

InTeGrate Curriculum: Looking ahead, all faculty team members plan to continue to use InTeGrate curriculum in their Pathway courses. In some cases, faculty will (or already are) using InTeGrate materials in other courses.

Additionally, several faculty team members plan to implement curriculum from newly published modules such as, Carbon Climate and Energy, such as Unit 1 (Misconceptions), Unit 5 (Modern CO2 Accumulation) and Unit 6 (Evaluating Impacts). Faculty who reviewed units in Water Sustainability in Cities indicated curriculum is appropriate for several courses, perhaps to enhance or replace material from Environmental Justice.


Key Aspects of the Program

Important constraints that contributed to the success of this project include our data collection plan and implementation and the commitment of our team to the project.

Data Collection: through careful planning in summer 2015 at the onset of the project, our data collection plan was developed in great detail, from development of the questions we used or developed to capture content learning and student confidence through to the implementation plan for collecting and submitting data. While fall 2015 had a few missteps, we were able to successfully collect data from seven of eight courses, and are working to reorganize data from the eighth course to be useful in our analysis.

Program Team: each faculty on the CSU, Chico team committed to the project and while already busy with teaching and research, we were able to dedicate time and energy to the project. Faculty willingly invited other team members to their classes, and openly discussed the strengths and weaknesses of their use of new materials. In doing so, each faculty member were able to refine their teaching practice of the InTeGrate materials. Several faculty have reported that the content and pedagogy conversations and debriefs have contributed to change in their teaching practices even when teaching curriculum not related to the InTeGrate materials and other courses.

Sustaining Change

Our team has actively disseminated the results of our use of InTeGrate curriculum to other faculty who teach courses in the Sustainability Pathway. We have made on-campus presentations at the spring 2016 This Way to Sustainability Conference and at the fall 2016 Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) conference and have applied to present again at the 2017 This Way to Sustainability Conference. We have also invited college deans, the provost and the university president to attend classes in which the curriculum is used, and will invite those administrators again in spring 207. We also expect to share our results with the Sustainability Pathway faculty at an upcoming Pathway faculty meeting (early spring 2017). One administrator has attended one of our biweekly meetings to discuss the faculty learning community aspect of this project, in addition to his interest in the student learning component.

On an individual basis, one team member reports that he is working with a non-IS faculty member to redesign another (non-Sustainability Pathway) course, and that they have discussed InTeGrate materials. Other team members report informal conversations about InTeGrate materials that could be used in other faculty members' courses, as well as in their own non-Sustainability courses we teach.