The Art of Teaching Honors Courses and Honors Contracts

Report
The Art of Teaching
Honors Courses and
Honors Contracts
Susan R. Rakow, Ph.D.
[email protected]
216-523-7296
Developing an Honors Contract
 Meet with the Individual Student
 What does she already know?
 What does she want to learn or do in this course?
 How might you help the student develop a passion
for your subject as a result of their work on this
contract?
 How might you help this individual student
understand what it means to be a “scholar” or
“expert” in your field?
Basic Starting Assumptions
 We all know our discipline.
 We all know how to help our typical CSU students gain the
essentials in our discipline in a particular course.
 Knowledge
 Skills
 Attitudes
 Values
Student
Teacher
Magic of
Teaching &
Learning
Content
How should Honors Courses, and
Contracts be Different?
 Start with the WHO: Honors Students
Background and preparation
Motivation
 Surprise! Study Skills and Work Habits
(often lacking)
Maturity (asynchronous development)
 Get to Know the Individuals
BLOOM’S TAXONOMY (cognitive)
Know
Understand
Apply
Analyze
Evaluate
Create
Depth. Complexity. Challenge.
Varies for Each Individual Student
GUIDING QUESTIONS AND
POSSIBLE RESOURCES
References:
The Ingredients of Challenge by Carrie Winstanley
Guide to Critical Thinking: Concepts and Tools by Paul and Elder
(distribute)
How should Honors Courses, and
Contracts be Different?
 A Contract is an explicit agreement between
faculty and student.
 THE CONTENT AND LEARNING ACTIVITIES
 Different, not just More
 Qualitatively NOT Quantitatively Different
 Greater Depth and Complexity
 Challenging for an individual student
(contracts)
Strong Contracts v. Weak Contracts
 3 Key Questions on the Honors Contract Course Petition:
 How does the contract modify the non-honors version of the
course? What additional and/or different work will the
student perform? (be as specific as possible)
 Ho will the outcomes deepen or extend the student’s
learning beyond what would be achieved in the non-honors
version of the course (please be as specific as possible)
 How will assessment of the honors student differ from
assessment of typical students What portion of the course
grade will be accounted for by the honors component of the
course?
Strong Contracts v. Weak Contracts
QUESTION 1: Weak Contracts
“The honors student will be responsible for completing the team
term project by themselves. Double the work.”
“The student will create a more comprehensive ___ campaign
plan. More in-depth.”
“Will write a 1500 word book review essay on top of regular
requirements.”
“Honors student will produce an expanded 10-12 page assigned
research paper on a topic related to the curriculum of the course,
incorporating 6 or more scholarly sources.”
Strong Contracts v. Weak Contracts
QUESTION 2: Weak Contracts
Answer is omitted
“Student will have a deeper knowledge of their industry as
they will do double the work.”
“Other students will not produce as extensive a research
paper and honors students will produce a draft for revision.”
“The student will have a better understanding of important
concepts and principles of ___.”
Strong Contracts v. Weak Contracts
QUESTION 3(Assessment): Weak Contracts
“I will grade the project more rigorously for the honors student.”
“Student will meet with professor during office hours to discuss
research. Twenty-five percent of the grade will be comprised by
the research paper.”
“Different criteria will be employed. The campaign project and
presentation portion of the course grade will be accounted for
by the honors component.
Question Omitted.
Strong Contracts v. Weak Contracts
Handouts of Strong Contracts.
Strong (not necessarily ideal or perfect!)
Assessment
 “Grading on a Curve” – Impact on Honors Students and
Honors Courses
 Value of Rubrics to Student and Faculty: Clear
Communication (a WOW Column)
QUESTIONS?

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