Creating a portfolio of assignments to meet your learning goals

Creating a portfolio of assignments to
meet your learning goals using
reflection & service
Sarah Ash :: Food, Bioprocessing & Nutrition Sciences
George Hess :: Forestry &Environmental Resources)
Jessica Jameson :: Communication
Annette Moore :: Parks, Recreation, &Tourism Management
Today’s Objectives
• Describe the need for critical reflection
• Identify reflection-related learning outcomes
• Describe examples of critical reflection
assignments & rubrics
• Identify how critical reflection can be incorporated
into your courses, based on learning outcomes
Role of Critical Reflection in
Service-Based Courses
Challenges of working in a service
setting with students
•Making sure that students are “getting” the
learning outcomes that you want
– Especially if you have little control over the
experience itself
{NOTE: You need to make sure that the experience can
deliver the desired outcomes}
•Helping to guide their learning in your absence
– Especially when you don’t know what they are
learning because you are not there
Challenges, continued
Making sure that the students are not learning
the “wrong” thing
– Especially when they are in situations conducive
to reinforcing stereotypes
 E.g., when they are in “unfamiliar” territory with respect
ethnicity, socio-economic status.
– Or to seeing inappropriately simple solutions to
complex problems.
• E.g., when they get “warm fuzzies” from working with
kids or heartfelt thanks from community agencies.
Challenges, continued
Assessing and documenting student learning
– Especially in the absence of traditional objective
measures (e.g., fact-based exams)
• For assigning grades
• For internal or external review committees or
accrediting organizations.
• For scholarly work
– Quantitative
– Qualitative
More generally, consider that…
Learning from experience can be “counternormative” to most students’ educational
– You are asking them to develop their own unique
learnings based on their specific experiences.
• You may even be asking them to question the accuracy
or relevance of what they have learned in their classes,
textbooks or from other resources.
– This is NOT the same as asking them to simply
reproduce what someone else has taught them.
Critical reflection is the key to learning
from experience
Reflection is.... “active, persistent
and careful consideration of any
belief or supposed form of
knowledge in the light of the
grounds that support it, and the
further conclusions to which it
John Dewey, 1910. How We Think
Before you can develop an
assignment, you need to decide...
• What is its purpose?
– How does it help you meet your desired learning
• As a result of completing this assignment, students will
have shown their ability to....
This means that you need to...
• Identify your learning outcomes
– What do you want your students to learn from
their experiences?
• What role(s) is/are these experiences playing?
• It can be helpful to write them out and then
see if there are ways to categorize them
Activity Break
• What are your goals and/or
outcomes/objectives for using service in your
– Goal = Broad and not easily assessable
• “As a result of participating in this experience, students
should have an understanding of....”
– Outcome/Objective=Specific and assessable
• “As a result of participating in this experience, students
should be able to...” USE ACTION VERBS!
Examples of
“action verbs” for writing specific
objectives using Bloom’s Taxonomy
Bloom’s Classification
Examples of Learning-Related
Identify, define, order
Explain describe, restate
Apply, solve, choose
Analyze, compare, contrast
Synthesize, develop, propose
Evaluate, assess, judge, critique
 Academic Enhancement
 To improve academic learning
◦ Seeing classroom content in the service environment
 What’s the same, what’s different?
 Why?
 Civic Learning
 To improve students’ understanding of issues related
to civic engagement
 People coming together to meet collective objectives
 From students within their groups    National/International
programs, interventions, etc.
 Personal Growth
 To improve students’ understanding of themselves
• Their assumptions, biases, strengths, weaknesses, etc.
• Relative to their personal and/or professional lives
Assignment Examples
Natural Resources Measurements
PRT 358
Recreation Program Planning
Guiding reflection: One approach
The DEAL Model for Critical Reflection
[Ash and Clayton]
Describe an experience
Examine it using prompts
associated with learning goals
Articulate a
Learning about it
COM 466
Nonprofit Leadership & Development
Core course in Minor in Nonprofit Studies: Learning
objectives focus on five leadership challenges facing
the nonprofit sector:
Aligning mission, methods, and resources
Balancing individual interests and the common good
Earning the public trust
Capitalizing on opportunities associated with
• Moving beyond charity to systemic change
Leadership Challenge 4: Capitalizing on opportunities associated with diversity
Learning Objective Learning Objective
LO 1: Identify
and describe
Identify and describe opportunities and challenges associated with diversity
LO 2: Apply
Apply an understanding of the tensions between the opportunities and the challenges
associated with diversity to specific examples, as they confront nonprofit leaders
LO 3: Analyze
Analyze strategies for maximizing opportunities associated with diversity, including
the reasons for and implications of leaders’ selection and implementation of specific
LO 4: Evaluate
Evaluate the appropriateness (in terms of effectiveness, integrity, etc.) of strategies
for maximizing opportunities associated with diversity
Leadership Challenge 4: Capitalizing on opportunities associated with diversity
LO Level
(Examples of) Associated Guiding Questions
LO 1
What does diversity mean in the context of a particular nonprofit
organization or a particular issue area in the nonprofit sector?
LO 2
How does diversity impact particular nonprofit organizations?
LO 3
Why do organizations choose particular strategies for capitalizing on
LO 4
What changes might nonprofit leaders need to make in order to more
successfully capitalize on the opportunities associated with diversity?
Sample Reflection Prompts
Use Diagram A to discuss the various populations that your non profit may
need to take into account when capitalizing on opportunities associated
with diversity.
– Identify the populations included in each context (internally, those served, and
in the broader community).
– On a scale of 1-10 characterize the amount of overlap between the following
contexts. In other words, to what extent does the organization’s diversity
embody of the diversity of the a) local community and b) populations served?
a) Internal and Local Community
b) Internal and Those Served
Provide evidence that supports your characterization of the degree of overlap
between the diversity of the organization and that of the local community
and the populations served.
Reflection Tools: Diagram A
Leadership Challenge 4: Capitalizing on opportunities associated with Diversity
Diagram A
Those Served
Reflection Tools: Diagram B
Leadership Challenge 4: Capitalizing on opportunities associated with diversity
Diagram B: Using the evaluative criteria
Sample Rubric:
Capitalizing on Opportunities Associated with Diversity
LO1: Identify:
Use course readings to define the concept of
diversity and opportunities associated with it.
LO2: Describe:
Explain the concept of diversity and the
opportunities associated with it in your own words.
__ Identifies possible definitions of diversity according to readings.
__ Identifies possible opportunities associated with diversity according to readings.
__ Explains diversity in own words.
__ Explains opportunities associated with diversity in own words.
__Identifies the various populations your partner organization may need to take into account when
capitalizing on opportunities associated with diversity.
Provide a (n) example(s) from your partner
__ Uses a specific example to identify ways in which the nonprofit organization is and or is not diverse.
organization that illustrates why diversity is
important for the organization and shows the extent __ Provides an example of how diversity positively and or negatively affects the organization.
__ Provides an example that illustrates how the nonprofit attempts to ensure inclusion of diverse
to which the organization is diverse.
perspectives and voices.
__ Discusses the strengths and limitations of current approaches.
LO4: Analyze:
__ Discusses the tensions the nonprofit faces when making these choices.
Analyze the strategies your partner organization
uses to capitalize on opportunities associated with __ Considers alternative approaches that would increase the organization’s capacity to incorporate diverse
perspectives and discusses the challenges associated with these alternatives in light of the evaluative
diversity in light of the evaluative criteria.
LO3: Apply:
__ Provides a new idea for capitalizing on opportunities associated with diversity.
Propose a new idea that your partner organization __ Explains why the new idea might lead to increased capacity to capitalize on opportunities associated
with diversity.
might use to capitalize on opportunities associated
__ Discusses changes that need to occur for the new idea to be implemented.
with diversity.
__ Discusses likelihood of new idea being carried out.
__ Provides short-term recommendations for capitalizing on opportunities associated with diversity.
LO6: Evaluate:
__ Provides long-term recommendations for capitalizing on opportunities associated with diversity.
Provides BOTH short term AND long term
recommendations for capitalizing on opportunities __ Discusses challenges faced when implementing these recommendations.
__ Provides way to deal with challenges of implementing these recommendations.
associated with diversity while addressing
associated challenges.
LO5: Synthesize:
Sample 4-Sentence AL on Diversity
Articulated Learning Worksheet
I learned that… capitalizing on opportunities associated with
diversity is vital to organizational capacity building
I learned this when… I learned this in my first experience with [NPO],
outside of classroom introductions
This learning matters because… diversity is vital to the growth and
progress of non profits.
In light of this learning I will… I plan to continually look for strengths
in others.
Sample Reflections on Diversity
This learning matters because the [NPO] must find ways to overcome
diversity in order to accomplish their mission. Diversity is naturally
resisted by almost all people. People are naturally attracted to what is
familiar and change is usually resisted. It is most likely that people at
[NPO] enjoy going to the [NPO] and would resist anything that felt like a
forced change. If the [NPO] set goals to increase the number of lowincome families at its facilities it may make some members uncomfortable
and compel them to leave. The problem seems to be, can you create an
atmosphere that organically produces diversity? I think you can but it
requires first creating a culture that realizes the importance of diversity
within the organization. This requires leaders and volunteers who are
focused on accomplishing the mission and who understand the critical role
that diversity plays in accomplishing that mission.
Sample Reflections on Diversity
In light of this learning I will use the leadership positions I have in the
future to first identify and then find how to capitalize on diversity.
Making others aware that diversity is a vital part of the success an
organization can assist in the implementation of diversification. I
will also do my best to be open to diverse environments even if I
am uncomfortable. An easy way to do this now is to expand what I
do at the [NPO] . Some [people] are very easy to get along with
and play with while others are not. The [people]I tend to spend less
time with are those who I have trouble identifying with. This rarely
has to do with their race or the income level…but may be because
they have a special need or disability. Understanding the
importance of not only accepting, but appreciating diversity will
drive me in making my relationships within the [NPO] reflect that.
Activity Break
•Review your course learning goals
•Draft learning outcomes for a reflection
•Outline reflection exercises and assignments
Share Ideas
Wrap Up

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