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From the Stacks…

Promoting Integrated and Transformative Assessment: A Deeper Focus on Student Learning by Catherine M. Wehlburg Assessment plays a key role in institutions of higher education. However, many colleges and universities simply add their assessment plans onto other teaching, learning, service, and research activities in order to prepare for an impending accreditation visit. In this important…

Posted on April 8, 2016 in Library, ,


Reflecting On and Documenting Your Teaching Experiences

Reflecting on Teaching: What?  For Whom?  Why? Often, the motivation to improve one’s teaching by revising practices or experimenting with new initiatives stems from reflection.  This reflection often focuses on feedback received from others, such as student evaluations or peer reviews.  Reflection further involves one’s own assessment of experiences, through self-observation and activities that foster…

Posted on June 18, 2015 in News, , , ,


CFT Offers New Guide: “Beyond the Essay: Making Student Thinking Visible in the Humanities”

In August, the CFT announced a theme for much of our programming this year: Students as Producers.  A new guide written by CFT Assistant Director Nancy Chick applies this theme to the disciplines in the humanities. “Beyond the Essay: Making Student Thinking Visible in the Humanities” explores assignments that fulfill three goals: making student knowledge…

Posted on October 21, 2013 in News, , , ,


Beyond the Essay, II

Formative Activities: Snapshots of Learning in Process Concept Maps & Word Webs || Word Clouds As Bass noted in his Visible Knowledge Project work with faculty, what “most interested—or eluded—them about their students’ learning” involved the “’intermediate processes’” that occur before students write a paper or take an exam.  They were particularly eager to “gather…

Posted on October 14, 2013 in , , , ,


Beyond the Essay, III

Summative Assignments: Authentic Alternatives to the Essay Metaphor Maps ||  Student Anthologies ||  Poster Presentations The essay is often the go-to assignment in humanities courses, and rightfully so. Especially in the text-based disciplines, the craft of the essay is highly valued as part of practicing the work of the field. More broadly, developing effective writing…

Posted on October 14, 2013 in , , , ,


Beyond the Essay: Making Student Thinking Visible in the Humanities

by Nancy Chick, CFT Assistant Director “We asked faculty to ask themselves the most important questions they could about student learning in their courses. How did they know that their students were learning? Did the students’ learning promise to last? What did teachers really know about the processes of their students’ learning, especially what we…

Posted on October 14, 2013 in , , , ,


Episode 40 – From a Student’s View: AXLE Writing Requirements

In this first installment of a two-part podcast, our CFT student reporter, Erin Baldwin, hears thoughts from a Vanderbilt junior about the Achieving Excellence in Liberal Education core curriculum (more commonly referred to as the AXLE requirements) that all students in the College of Arts and Science must fulfill. http://wp0.vanderbilt.edu/cft/wp-content/uploads/sites/59/cftpodcast/ep40_axle1.mp3 [MP3, 6 min 30 sec]…

Posted on March 21, 2013 in Podcast, , , ,


Measurement of ‘Learning Outcomes’ Comes to Graduate School

“I just know it in my bones” is the rationale some professors might give to explain how they know whether or not their students have learned, writes David Glenn in an article posted in the Chronicle of Higher Education. This article focuses in particular on graduate education, since even those programs that consist of more…

Posted on March 12, 2013 in Commentary, Resource, ,


Ask Professor Pedagogy: Assessment Suggestions for Large Lecture Classes

Ask Professor Pedagogy is a twice monthly advice column written by Center for Teaching staff. One aspect of our mission is to cultivate dialogue about teaching and learning, so we welcome questions and concerns that arise in the classroom; particularly those from Vanderbilt faculty, students, and staff. If you have a question that you’d like…

Posted on February 22, 2013 in Commentary, , , ,


Thinking About Metacognition

By Cynthia Brame, CFT Assistant Director   I’ve been thinking a good bit about metacognition lately, which is kind of funny, if you think about it. Metacognition can be defined very simply as thinking about thinking, or more fully as by developmental psychologist John Flavell: “Metacognition refers to one’s knowledge concerning one’s own cognitive processes…

Posted on January 10, 2013 in News, , , , ,