21 Inquiry and Sharing

June Hammond Rowan

Summer 2019

What ideas have moved or interested you? What aspects of Cluster Pedagogy seem useful to you as you think about your interactions with students?

Engaging in the CPLC this summer has helped me better understand “Cluster Pedagogy”. For my own reference, I am inserting this image so I have this information easily available:

diagram of connections between CPLC values and approaches


All three aspects of Cluster Pedagogy are useful for students! PBL clearly benefits students and can also benefit the community when done well. There are opportunities for interdisciplinary engagement within projects that also help students learn different perspectives. I want to work on more and bigger projects in my classes. I am incorporating a project into my fall term graduate Land Conservation Techniques class and I want to really work on the group dynamics and team aspects. For my undergraduate class, I am going to try some smaller, shorter in class group work exercises to build my PBL skills.

The readings and 8/15/19 CPLC session on Open Education really helped me to understand what OE is and the benefits for our students. I did not realize that I use some OE approaches, such as not having a textbook and loading my class reading list with journal articles and real life reports and documents. The “Domain of One’s Own” session was really helpful and I want to find ways to incorporate that type of tool into a class in the future.

During the “Domain of One’s Own” it occurred to me that the Student Showcase could incorporate this type of platform for sharing student work (instead of so many posters…) Perhaps areas of the Showcase could have computers and projectors set up for students to present their “Domain” as a way to showcase their work. Maybe this was done last year and I missed it and I will mention this to the showcase organizers.

How might your expertise, field, or work be enhanced by new or developing concepts that you are engaging with in the CPLC?

As I have said this summer, I believe that it is possible to have a meaningful project with a group of one. For graduate students engaging in research projects, I think we should recognize and celebrate this work. To do this, we need to more broadly share the work of our students and frame individual student research as “inquiry-based learning” to tie it to Cluster Pedagogy. This could be a good approach for including graduate programs and students into Cluster work. I hope to work more with our website and marketing staff on this.

What is your plan for continuing to engage with the CPLC?

I have spent a lot of time this summer thinking about project-based work and more recently Open Education. I see many benefits of PBL and OE, but for me I also worry about implementing a large, semester long, community-based project into my classes and sharing everything online. What if something goes wrong? This is a big barrier for me and I need to read more, dive into the resources we have been given, and talk more with others to gain more confidence in implementing PBL and OE. I realize that talking more with others is an important part of learning communities and I want to attend CoLab discussions this year.

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