Conference at Butler University Links Learning Research with New
Pedagogies and Faculty Work
In focusing on applications of current research
on how students learn, the ANAC/AACU Network for Academic Renewal
Conference at Butler University, November 7-9, probed not
only ways that pedagogies and faculty work patterns might be adapted
to improve student learning, but also ways that faculty and their
institutions might collaborate more effectively in support of teaching
and learning. Featured speakers Marcia Baxter-Magolda of Miami University
of Ohio and Karen Kashmanian Oates of George Mason University demonstrated
that research findings on learning both provide guidance for developing
effective pedagogies and help faculty to recognize and address student
needs more fully at various stages of student learning development.
Speakers such as President Doug Bennett of Earlham College and
faculty members Linda McMillin (Susquehanna University) and
Susan Traverso (North Central College), explored faculty
and administrator motivation, roles, and faculty and institutional
priorities as a basis for considering how collaboration might best
occur. Tom Longin, Association of Governing Boards, and E.B. Wilson,
former corporate CEO and St. Lawrence University board chair, brought
governance and trustee involvement into the discussion to complete
a comprehensive conference analysis of ways higher education can
better serve its learning mission. Excerpts of the McMillin and
Traverso remarks are presented in the Commentary section of this
(l to r) Linda
McMillin, Jon Wergin, and Susan Traverso discuss faculty-institutional
collaboration during a conference break.
A number of ANAC members sent faculty-administrator teams in order
to use the conference as a setting to address institutional priorities
on their campuses. The conference was structured to provide both
institutional case studies of good practice in teaching and learning
and opportunities for small group discussion of applications and
problem-solving. ANAC members Butler, Elon, Ithaca,
and Drake presented case studies, as part of a conference
program that included cases from research universities and liberal
arts and community colleges. Conference themes will be expanded
at the 2003 ANAC Woodrow Wilson Summer Institute at Hampton University,
June 18-21, which will explore integrative learning with special
attention to academic affairs-student life collaboration; diversity,
civic, and international issues; and processes for connecting theory
and practice effectively.
Brabant, Butler, and Dick Ferguson, Dayton, discuss
ways that they might work together in community outreach programs.
2002 Results Underscore ANAC Member Engagement with Students
ANAC members who report on their participation
in the National Survey of Student Engagement receive high marks
from the freshmen and seniors who complete the survey in comparisons
with both liberals arts colleges and masters colleges and universities,
according to the third year report on the NSSE survey released in
November. Entitled From Promise to Progress: How Colleges and
Universities Are Using Student Engagement Results to Improve Collegiate
Quality (website: www.iub.edu/~nsse),
the 2002 report, indeed, concludes that 87 percent of survey takers
rate their overall experience as good or excellent and 80 percent
say they would probably attend the same institution if they had
it to do over. In contrast, transfer undergraduates appear considerably
less engaged, a potentially troubling finding as two-fifths of all
seniors transferred to the institution from which they will graduate.
The five benchmarks of engagement on which students are asked to
rate their institution:
- Level of academic challenge
- Active and collaborative learning
- Student-faculty interaction
- Enriching educational experiences
- Supportive campus environment
Some of the key findings (perhaps no surprises here), according
to the 2002 report:
- Diversity experiences heighten student engagement and overall
- International students are more engaged overall than American
- Women majoring in science, engineering and math study more and
interact more with faculty members than students in other majors.
- Participating in a learning community enhances the overall quality
of the educational experience.
- 62 percent of first-year students and 47 percent of seniors
never worked with faculty members on activities other than coursework.
- 41 percent of first-year students and 26 percent of seniors
never discussed ideas from their reading or classes with faculty
members outside of class.
- About two fifths of all students spend ten or fewer hours per
week preparing for class.
Among ANAC members, Hamline University reports continuing
to rank above the national average and in peer comparisons on four
of the five survey categories, Elon University ranks in the
top 10 percent of all master's institutions that participated in
the survey, and Drury University ranked in the top 10 percent
of all master's institutions in first-year student responses in
four of the five categories. Elon students, for example, responded
15-45 percent more positively on average on questions of engagement
with experiential learning (e.g., internships, community service,
study abroad) and 96-99 percent of first-year students noted approvingly
Drury's role in helping them to learn to think critically, work
with others, write clearly, and learn on their own. For further
information on results on specific questions, go to the ANAC website
(http://www.anac.org) where there
are links to the websites of all ANAC members.
of the Elon University campus.
Academy, International Education, and Online Learning Planning Groups
The three planning groups ANAC has established
to analyze opportunities for collaborative projects in faculty/staff
professional development, international education, and online learning
have been meeting in person, via email, and on the telephone over
the past few months and are now preparing preliminary reports and
recommendations for the ANAC institutional representatives meeting
in Seattle on January 22, and the Presidents Council meeting in
Washington, DC, on January 27. The online learning group is exploring
the feasibility of and ANAC member interest in an online summer
session; the ANAC Academy group has outlined an Academy administrative
structure that might be housed on a member campus to coordinate
a variety of program mechanisms, including individual member and
online offerings; and the international program planning group is
considering ways of significantly expanding study abroad and faculty
development opportunities across undergraduate, graduate, and professional
Both the ANAC Academy and the international program planning groups
will meet in connection with the AACU conference in Seattle in January,
the Academy group on January 21 to finalize their presentation to
the institutional representatives on January 22, and the international
group on January 25, immediately following the AACU conference in
order to incorporate input from the January 22 institutional representatives
meeting for presentation to the Presidents Council on January 27.
All three planning groups will present their final report and recommendations
to the institutional representatives meeting on June 18, 2003, at
Hampton University, and then all three reports will move
on to the Presidents Council.
"Home by the Sea"
Central College and Dayton University Reflect the Community Spirit
of ANAC Members During the Holidays
The spirit of volunteerism and community
service is alive and well this holiday season. At North Central
College, several creative projects suggest that the ethos of
giving is pervasive. For the tenth consecutive year, North Central
student "Angel Tree" elves will deliver 250 teddy bears
and 300 pairs of mittens gathered in a campus-wide gift drive to
3, 4, and 5-year olds from inner-city Chicago and Aurora. In another
example, students in the College's entrepreneurship program constructed
and painted five elaborate dollhouses being raffled off just before
Christmas in a joint project with a Naperville interior decorating
firm. And, the North Central baseball team is hosting three "Kids
Nite Out" recreational events at Merner Fieldhouse to enable
parents to spend quiet time together, to shop for gifts, or to attend
events associated with the holidays.
The big holiday event at the University of Dayton occurred
on December 8, at UD's 39th annual "Christmas on Campus."
Thousands of community adults and children come to campus for a
day of gifts, entertainment, games, crafts, a petting zoo, food,
and international culture exhibits that culminated with an evening
mass and musical celebration of Christmas attended by 4,000 persons.
Each child was sponsored by a UD student and the first stop was
a big table loaded with coats, hats, mittens, scarves, and other
items for those in need donated by students, faculty and staff.