My work with the CPLC started out amorphously in that I had difficulty seeing the aim of what we were doing in our first meeting. I think as I continued to understand PSU dynamics, and the CPLC sessions came together for me a bit more, I was able to see the concepts take more shape in my own practice, and what it may actually mean to work in Cluster Pedagogy. I first believed Cluster Pedagogy to be large, multi-discipline/program projects that involved the greater community. I now know that this is certainly a Cluster initiative, but that is not the only way in which I might work as a Cluster Pedagogist. In my work prior to coming to PSU, and somewhat in my first year here, I did many activities in my courses that could be considered Cluster Pedagogy: Problem/Project-Based Learning, Inter-professional (Interdisciplinary) Education Projects cross-listed in healthcare courses from different fields, guest speakers/project collaborators/mentors for student work, and inter-institution projects in pedagogy. Through the CPLC, I have felt bolstered to reimagine these practices here in my new PSU community, and start with reasonable, purposeful implementation of changes that will continue to grow my students’ experiences here.
This coming academic year, initiatives I am taking on that have been influenced by my time with the CPLC this summer include the following:
- Some piece of “ungraded” work in each of my courses. These vary in weight and focus, but most of them are tailored to offer students the opportunity to interact with content in low-stakes, feedback-oriented, open response assignments
- Use of projects in my courses I previously questioned in their efficacy/value for the time involved for both my students and myself. I have several grading/presentation strategies that I gained from the project-based sessions with the CPLC here, and discovering the Team Writing: a guide to working in groups text by Joanna Wolfe.
- This year I intend to do some more searching for opportunities to collaborate with my new colleagues here across discipline. I feel like my connections here are still in their infancy, so making more effort here is also in my plan moving forward.