I appreciate the attempts to make sections of the course parallel in some sense with a common assignment and several common elements. I also was pleased to see the problem-focused theme as the previous iteration of FYS was somewhat scattered with regard to topics. I did not favor the change in course title since (both times I have participated) we have been encouraged repeatedly NOT to spend as much course time on the problem in favor of covering all of the other general topics such as information literacy, habits of mind etc. It seemed like the push was to put the problem on the back burner; why make it sound like the problem is the primary focus? I always appreciate how a group such as this facilitates sharing teaching strategies- this was my most important takeaway. In particular, I think spending lightly structured meeting time discussing how to teach the course helps those who are new to teaching the course and especially those staff who are new to teaching altogether. I met some nervous yet driven colleagues in the summer meetings! Finally, I liked the free books (duh, I am an academic!) and got a lot out of the text I chose by Goldrick-Rab. I would love to institute some scaled-down version of their study to more thoroughly understand the financial profiles/challenges our PSU students face.
Cluster Learning at Plymouth State: A Community-Based Approach to Pedagogy by Adam Keul is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.