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Solutions In Higher Education Essay

848 words - 3 pages

Senge’s (1990) characterization of controlling versus learning organizations helps illustrate the challenge Medtech faces in making the shift to a learner-centered college with outcome-based classroom practices. When new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, collective aspiration is set free (1990); however, Harris and Cullen (2008) state that the work environment at many colleges is quite to the contrary. So our questions are the same as stated by Boyer (1987) nearly three decades ago, “Is it possible for students to become independent, self-directed learners, as well as, how can faculty improve their teaching so as to encourage creativity and critique? For the purpose of this project, I will make the assumption that the answer to the first question is yes, and therefore, deal primarily with the second. “If we accept the premise that the learner-centered class is a microcosm of the learning organization, then it follows that the professional development of leadership should reflect professional development of teachers (Harris & Cullen, 2008). This can only be accomplished through concrete mechanisms for effecting change. The problem identified for this project stems from Dr. Terry O’Banion’s (2010) statement, “we cannot assume students are learning”. I identified that existing teaching and assessment often does not achieve the learning objectives required for the courses due to the hiring of faculty who are experts in their field; however, are not trained educators. In the past, tradition dictated that knowledge of the discipline was sufficient for the transmission of knowledge to students; however, this can no longer be taken for granted. The recommended solution is to implement a process for the shift from traditional methods to outcome-based teaching and assessment. According to Harris and Cullen, “whether we are talking about student learning or organizational change, outcomes are the driver. The learning outcomes provide a vision of the future, the goal of the learning”.

Rather than beginning with technical solutions like setting an agenda or establishing lines of communication, I will begin with the social context of the team. The emphasis on teams is consistent with the learner-centered paradigm. An initial step will be to identify the knowledge and expertise that each individual brings to the team. Following the initial step a transition process will be established utilizing the expertise identified. This process will include, training program directors of each program how to write learning objectives and assessments for each course in their program. Once the objectives are written, together we will rewrite all syllabi to the new objectives. Finally, we will establish assessment practices that provide opportunities for students to self-monitor, rehearse, practice and receive feedback. According to CSHE (2002),...

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