MnSCU Partnership > Partnership Workshops > Minneapolis Workshop, February 2009

February PKAL Workshop

Integrating Technology, Strengthening Communities

Friday and Saturday, February 27 - 28, 2009

Minneapolis Community & Technical College, Minneapolis, MN

This PKAL Workshop was within the Realizing Student Potential/ITeach Conference. The Metro Alliance, Center for Faculty Development, Minnesota Online, Instructional Technology and the Education Grants Unit (Perkins) are pleased to jointly sponsor the annual conference featuring effective uses of teaching and learning strategies and instructional technology on campuses within the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

The intent of this systemwide conference is to provide a collegial showcase and discussion forum for MnSCU instructors, administrators and technology specialists to share best practices in teaching and learning and how they are using technology to enhance their teaching and improve students' learning. Pantzer & Longtine

The theme of the PKAL Workshop was Integrating Technology, Strengthening Communities. The schedule followed the RSP/ITeach schedule with PKAL-related sessions highlighted. In addition, PKAL workshop programming included Friday night dinner and sessions (4:15 - 8:00 p.m.) and Saturday afternoon sessions (12:45 - 2:30 p.m.).

Facilitators for the workshop were PKAL consultants Jim Swartz (Grinnell College) and Tricia Ferrett (Carleton College) as well as Brenda Lyseng (Minnesota State Colleges and Universities).

Goals for the Workshop

  • Introduce more STEM faculty and deans to the PKAL collaboration
  • Strengthen community amongst STEM faculty and deans to support enhanced active and engaged learning
  • Explore how community can be established within and beyond a STEM classroom to support more engaged STEM learning
  • learn how technology can enhance active and engaged student learning

Group 1 oi

Friday, February 27

8:30 - 8:45 Welcome by Chancellor McCormick

8:45 - 9:45 Keynote: George Kuh: The Classroom - The Foundation for Building Community and Fostering Student Success

10:00 - 4:00 Concurrent Sessions, Poster Sessions, Discipline/Program meetings as part of Realizing Student Potential.

4:15 - 5:15 PKAL on the Campuses - Poster Activity

Returning teams prepared a poster describing the PKAL activities on their campus. Members are integrating a variety of pedagogies into their classes: JiTT, POGIL, Undergraduate Research, Online Cooperative Learning, Team Based Learning, Interactive Lectures, and Calibrated Peer Review. Methods of sharing their experiences include conversations, workshops for peers, email, invitations to visit each others' classes, poster displays - all which recognize the initiatives of others. Teams have also presented at conferences such as Realizing Student Potential and AAC&U and shared their work with other work groups such as the MnSCU Bioscience Workgroup. A group of faculty are also developing a proposal for a discipline workshop focused on undergraduate research as a pedagogical method.

The dreams of these teams? To enhance student engagement, retention, and learning. To share with open minds. To foster cross-institution and cross-discipline opportunities for collaboration. To find time to think, plan, and put into action.

New participants illustrated challenges in their teaching/student learning - memorization vs. understanding and underprepared were two such challenges. One group focused on communication skills (and underlying factors of split responsibiltieis, entitlement, and accountability). They suggested clear syllabi, class conversations and dialogues, small, frequent structured writing and oral presentations, and referral to support systems. Another group wondered how to make classes interesting a) for nonmajors, b) for underprepared and high performers, and c) how to be flexible and maintain high standards. Strategies included a) analogies, groups, choices in topics/assignments, b) variety of learning techniques, questions that encourage follow-up, and c) drop scores, open-book quiz, bonus questions.

5:15 - 6:00 Overview of Project Kaleidoscope and the Pedagogies of Engagement Project

We heard from Ann Mills (Ridgewater), Danae Quirk Dorr (Minnesota State University, Mankato), and Theresa Hornstein (Lake Superior). They shared with us challenges in student learning and strategies they have used to meet those challenges. As a group we brainstormed strategies to meet challenges that were represented on the posters.

6:00 - 7:00 PKAL Dinner and Conversation: What did you learn today?

7:00 - 8:00 PKAL Session: Enhancing Pedagogies of Engagement with Technology. Commonalities (Microsoft Word 29kB Mar5 09)

How can technology enhance a given pedagogy? How can an online course be enhanced with a pedagogy of engagement?

Using a jigsaw activity, faculty explored the relationship between a variety of pedagogies and technology. Pedagogies included Cooperative Learning, Investifative Case-based Learning, Just in Time Teaching (JiTT), Process-Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), Interactive Lectures, Student-Centered Active learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP), Structured Academic Controversy, Teaching with Data, and Gallery Walk.


Hornstein, Wilcox, & Lindquist


Saturday, February 28

8:30 - 9:15 Keynote: George Kuh and Sally Johnstone: Pedagogy, Technology and Learning in Community

9:30 - 12:45 Hands-on Workshops as part of Realizing Student Potential

12:45 - 1:45 PKAL Lunch: "Birds of a Feather" discussion

In groups by discipline, faculty shared ideas of how they create community amongst their students. As a large group we shared ideas for collaborative action.

1:45 - 2:30 PKAL Session: Reflection and Next Steps

Individually and/or with the campus team, an Action Plan was developed. This included a vision, goals, strategies, and action steps. Examples of action steps:

  • show colleagues POGIL and clicker software
  • make topical outline for general chemistry with links to activities from SERC site and other sources
  • host an on-campus workshop for all STEM and quantitative fields
  • present PKAL mission and 2 pedagogies of engagement at science division meeting
  • post an activity on the SERC site
  • share idea of developing a discipline workshop with colleagues
  • collaborate with members of my campus/institution
  • incorporate Problem Based Learning into two math courses
  • incorporate JiTT into all my math courses
  • apply for an Awards for Excellence project to incorporate pedagogies into microbiology, general biology, and anatomy/physiology; this will include learning objects, web enhancements, and revised lab manuals.
  • sign up for Merlot
  • develop a discipline workshop proposal focused on undergraduate research
  • suggest these workshops to colleagues that are new to instruction
  • become more aware of and adept at Desire2Learn tools
  • change focus of class to more prep work for students and synthesis activies on my part
  • incorporate pedagogies of engagement into my classes

Fritz & Roquet

Ferrett and Pankow

Group 2