Improving Teaching and Learning

Part of the InTeGrate California State University - Chico Program Model

Courses and Materials Developed by the Project »

Impact on Teaching and Learning

Impact 1: Improve student learning and confidence

As discussed in the program level goals and results page, student learning and confidence have been measured using a pre- and post- curriculum survey that asks students content-level questions and for a ranking of their confidence in the ability to use or interpret data or complete activities relevant to themes from new curriculum introduced in Sustainability Pathway courses through this project.

This data reveals that student confidence increases in all student populations for all InTeGrate materials adapted (in some cases from strong confidence in pre-curriculum surveys, but still increases). Content data is more variable, in that in some cases student learning results in high learning gains (per Hake, 1998) and other topics result in only medium or low learning gains. Students in science courses tend to have stronger learning gains than non-science courses, but learning gains of upper division students in non-science courses are comparable to students in science courses.

While learning at the institutional level has not been measured, ongoing data collection and analysis is expected to provide a longitudinal element to our data which will provide greater insight to student learning across multiple courses.

Impact 2: Develop a community of faculty who collaboratively incorporate InTeGrate resources in pathway courses

The faculty learning community that evolved from this project has been a wonderful success in engaging the faculty team in working together on the project, and has reached beyond the team through conversations with our departmental colleagues about our work and the materials used. Several faculty report engaging in conversations with faculty outside this FLC, which has increased awareness of this type of project and the ability to use it as a model for other pathway faculty. Similarly, conversations and introduction of InTeGrate materials to other faculty has broadened awareness of the utility of the modules to a variety of courses.

Supporting Faculty Change

The Chico team started the project with face-to-face meetings of all participants during summer 2015, interspersed with time for faculty to work on their own to become familiar with the project, course materials, and to adapt those materials to their courses. Summer 2015 included the following tasks and goals:

  1. Introduce each other (not all of us had met!)
  2. Introduce the courses we teach in the GE Pathway that will (now do) use the InTeGrate curriculum
  3. Review and the InTeGrate curriculum modules, with a detailed introduction to one module so that faculty could see the structure, organization and materials included, followed by time for faculty to review multiple modules that might fit in their courses
  4. Discussion of units/modules to find those that would work best for our courses and would also have minimal overlap among courses (so that students aren't presented the same units multiple times as they progress through pathway courses).
  5. Discussed and developed methods for measuring student learning and once modules/units were selected we reviewed those in small groups (2-3 faculty) to determine how to assess student learning and developed questions to use in pre/post surveys to measure learning gains.
  6. Developed pre/post questions for each unit and procedures for using assessment materials (e.g. online vs. paper surveys, how often, how soon before/after curriculum, which questions to include/not use per unit, etc). to best ensure consistent use of assessment materials.
  7. Discussed ways of measuring or at least monitoring the progress of the Faculty Learning Community that was one of the goals of the project. We developed a method and materials for recording our work with the FLC for use in each semester.
  8. The IRB application for collecting/using all data was submitted in late 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.