MnSCU Partnership > Sharing Our Work > Celebrate


A celebration and unveiling of the collection was held during the Realizing Student Potential Conference on Friday,February 26, 2010 at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

During the conference there were two concurrent sessions on this project - Sharing Our Work: A Showcase of PKAL Activities. View the collection of Peer Reviewed Teaching Activities. The faculty involved in the project were featured at these sessions:

Dave Blackburn, Chemistry, Century College

The Candle Icebreaker

Ramona Caswell, Chemistry, Minnesota State Community and Technical College

Ionic and Binary Compound Chemical Nomenclature

Gretchen Flaherty, English, Lake Superior College

Learning to Paraphrase: A Group Activity

Barb Fritz, Biology, Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Student Inquiry Into Cellular Respiration

Ann Mills, Biology, Ridgewater College

Antibacterial Soaps: Friend or Foe; An Investigative Case Study

Jeffrey Pribyl, Chemistry, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Metric System Conversions: Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL) Activity

Matthew Whitehill, Geology, Lake Superior College

Wonder Lake, A Case Study

Sharing our Work participants

During the evening, we enjoyed dinner together to reflect and celebrate. All past participants in PKAL workshops as well as STEM faculty and deans and Chief Academic Officers were invited to attend.

Reflection and Sharing

Participants were asked to reflect and share personal stories about changes they have witnessed. The Sharing Our Work participants were available for informal conversations about their projects. We also invited faculty to write in the Virtual Gallery Walk by answering these questions:

Dinner conversation centered on these questions:

  • What PKAL workshops did you attend?
  • What Pedagogies of Engagement did you learn?
  • What changes have you made in your classroom?
  • What relationships have you developed?
  • If you didn't attend a workshop, did someone that did attend share ideas with you?
A sampling of what we heard:
"I tried JiTT (Just in Time Teaching) and am enjoying it. Students are taking it well."
"Sonja is new but wants to network with other MnSCU schools to write grants to improve STEM education."
"PKAL fits in with my philosophy of continuing to evolve and develop as a teacher and learn. The focus on teaching and impact on student learning from a hands-on contextual learning is important. PKAL allowed for connections to allow Barb and I to present a course at the Faculty Lodge last summer which lead to discussions and encouragement to Eva to do a Lodge this summer and apply learning to other courses."

Recognizing the Sharing Our Work participants

Each participant shared their activity with us and reflected on the process of the peer-review process. What did they think?

  • It was an interesting exercise to write down an informal exercise, develop Teaching Notes, and then to sharpen the activity based on feedback. That feedback can be seen in the final version. My activity is much more developed now.
  • Initially I did this just to share. But it has turned into a great learning experience for me. I learned more about the POGIL pedagogy. Having a conversation with someone with more experience was very helpful. Others are now planning to adopt and adapt my activity for their classes.
  • I received different kinds of feedback. My colleague on campus in my discipline knew what I was doing with my activity and 'got it.' The faculty in the PKAL class were from different disciplines and had a lot of good questions - maybe ones that my students would have.
  • In my classes, I don't go blah blah blah anymore - they freak. I prepare them with pre-lecture questions, a model, and a series of scaffolded questions. I am using POGIL, JiTT, etc. Students do more work than ever and now they are understanding.
  • I liked the feedback I got in the PKAL class about adapting my activity to an online class. So I changed it, gave it a new twist and morphed it into a different kind of activity with different outcomes for a different context.
  • There are many pedagogies of engagement! Look, search, experiment. When I was asked why I decided to participate in the peer review, my answer was "Why not?" We do this as scientists and should extend the peer review process to our teaching activities. This is very valuable and part of our professional duty as educators.

Next Steps?

As we reflect back on our collaboration with Project Kaleidoscope we also want to look ahead. You are invited to discuss these questions with your colleagues:

  • What changes do I want to see in my students?
  • What changes do I want in my teaching?
  • How can I support a cultural change in my department?
  • What is the role of the digital community?
  • How can we support a systemwide network?

We want to hear your thoughts! Send to Brenda Lyseng at

« Previous Page