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Summary of 2002

First Year Experience Course
Melanie Rago, John Moore, Aminta Breaux

January 2002

  • Many colleges now have 3 credit course for first year students on succeeding in college
  • We offer Dean or Director's seminars, but this is not the same thing
  • A small section of the Pharmacy Dean's Seminar was formed as a pilot for a regular first year experience course
    • Small class size recommended so students can build a relationship with the instructor
  • For proposed First Year Experience courses at USP, students should develop following competencies
    • Skills for academic success
    • Career planning/ professionalism
    • Ethics and academic integrity
    • Community - USP and its neighbors
    • Understanding self and others
  • Aiming to incorporate best practices from courses elsewhere
  • Goal is to offer First Year Experience Courses in Fall 2002

Top 10 Tips for Assessing Student Writing
Christine Flanagan

January 2002

  • Assess the organization
    • Purpose, introduction, body, logic within argument, conclusion
  • Assess the mechanics, grammar, clarity globally
  • Respond to patterns
    • Do not correct every mistake
    • Tag vague writing
    • Student should explain what they know clearly
  • Keep file of excellent work than can be shared with others
  • Help students to correct their own work
    • Encourage students to read their work aloud
    • Ask students to diagram the sentence
    • Complete a sample assessment
  • Choose 1 paragraph or 1 short answer that reflects problems of the larger work
    • Thoroughly mark up that sample
  • Respond in writing
    • Phrase concerns as questions
    • Write a summary comment
    • Speak to student to address importance of clear, accurate communication
    • This should occur after written remarks are made
    • Communicate that the instructor will work with the student to improve
  • Emphasize professional standards
    • Writing essential part of student success
    • Writing required for professional advancement
  • Offer sound advice
    • Take notes in class
    • Reread what write
    • Consult grammar handbook, writing center
    • Repeat contact with student
    • Comment on improvement

Dean's Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education Initiative Award
Integrating two discipline's content within separate courses

Barbara Bendl, Amy Kimchuk, Alison Mostrom, Kevin Wolbach

February 2002

  • Goals: increase student understanding of how one discipline relates to another, faculty enhancement of concepts in another discipline
  • Developed good teaching examples of how two disciplines relate and overlap
    • Scientific method
    • pH
    • population genetics
  • Explicitly providing the linkages between the two disciplines that may have been more implicit in the past
  • Pilot project this year with selected sections of first year courses in mathematics and biology
  • Next year all sections of these courses will employ these examples
  • Outcomes: students are not as concerned when they encounter math problems within biology, hoping to help students see connections in the future
  • Possibilities exist for other disciplines to use the same model in the future:
    • Mathematics, Biology and Chemistry
    • Physics and Physiology
    • Mathematics and Physics


Creating dynamic and useful videos
Bill Horton, Susan Santalucia

February 2002

  • If you are videotaping, think of all the possible uses of the video before you tape. Often once you have the videotape, you think of how it can be used for other presentations
  • Videotapes can be edited to put in PowerPoint text, voice-overs, video-clips, segment introductions, transitions between sections, etc. to make them a better quality and more interesting
  • Once you want to start taping announce camera roll to let all know that you are videotaping. If the segment did not go as well as you would like, re-tape it
  • Tips for filming:
    • Be sure to begin filming before the action starts and continue a bit after the action has stopped
    • Don't cut off heads or sentences
  • Tips for shooting great video:
    • plan your shot
    • use a tripod to stabilize the image
    • avoid zooming while the tape is rolling; use the zoom to compose the shot
  • recording great audio:
    • use an external microphone and keep it close to the person talking
    • keep audio - background noises, etc. in mind when scouting locations
  • deadly camcorder sins:
    • fire hosing - panning all over the scene
    • upstanding- shooting everything from standing eye-level


    Who should teach courses at USP and how core distribution requirements are met?
    Roger Ideishi, Greg Manco, Joe Ruane

    March 2002

  • AAUP has developed guidelines for hiring, retaining faculty·
    • Faculty should have experience, theoretical knowledge, ability to do research in a discipline
    • The boundaries between disciplines are fluid and people can become an expert in more than one discipline
  • The content and skills in most disciplines are changing rapidly. Faculty need to be current in order to teach in the discipline
  • Courses in the history of a specific discipline are not enough of a history course to really help the student to appreciate the historical perspective or acquire the thinking skills of a historian
  • Class size may compromise the way a course is taught to such an extent that the higher level objectives may no be met
  • Controversy exists over who should teach courses like statistics. A statistician has the disciplinary knowledge, while researchers in disciplines often have the practical knowledge to teach the use of statistics in that discipline. On this campus, statistics is taught by both types of faculty
  • The Core Curriculum was started to help students learn critical thinking and problem solving skills, and the ability to think using multidisciplinary approaches. As it is reviewed, the original goals and objectives should be considered

Developing a code of ethics
Joseph Ike, Amy Kimchuk, Elena Umland,
Kevin Wolbach

March 2002


  • The number of students cheating and plagiarizing both here and nationally is alarmingly high·
  • We have a lack of consistency in the way cases of cheating and plagiarism are handed. Some faculty work with the student within the context of the course, others bring to the disciplinary committee
  • Changing the culture at USP regarding academic integrity would take many years, but might be worth the effort
  • Since many possible cases never make it to the disciplinary committee, we do not know if students are repeat offenders
  • The consequences of plagiarism and cheating are different depending on what year the student is in. If a student is found guilty of plagiarism in his/her last year of study, he/she has to delay graduation by one year. Underclass students may proceed with classes; they are just on probation
  • Standards of what is plagiarism vary considerably from industry, clinics to academics and vary from culture to culture
  • The University needs to develop a standard policy and enforce it to work to overcome all of these inconsistencies. A boilerplate statement also needs to be developed that can be used for all courses
  • The Center for Academic Integrity helps educate students and faculty on what are plagiarism, cheating and how it can be avoided


Dean's Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education Initiative Award
An on-line course on search strategies and professional writing
Mignon Adams, Leslie Bowman, Jeanette McVeigh

April 2002

  • The course, "Information Strategies for the Health Professional" is intended to help graduating health professionals make the transition from a university library that is very accessible, even when off campus, to professionals who may be in the community or working outside of a large medical center with an extensive library·
  • Students need to do searches many times before they are proficient with the various databases
  • Clinicians need to find evidence to support their clinical interventions. Finding the articlesto support ideas can be difficult, but necessary. While this
    course was originally planned for OT students, students from other health professions have registered. Assignments had to be modified for these other professionals
  • Important for students to know what services their professional organization provides on-line through their Website or other ways.
  • On-line coaching for searching for resources has been difficult and time consuming for the faculty
  • Developing on-line tutorials to assist the students in search strategies and professional writing has been cumbersome. Directions need to be much more detailed than what they are given live

Preventing and Dealing with Academic Dishonesty
Carolyn Gutierrez of the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
and Susan Martin

August 2002

  • Carolyn has put most of her information into the Website:
  • Academic honesty statements should be
    easy to find on the university's, instructor's Website, course syllabi, etc.
    • Rutgers University has a well stated policy
    • Make expectations clear and follow them consistently
  • Ask for a writing sample in class during the first week to match it with later papers to be written
  • Spend time in class talking about academic honesty
    • Have students sign that they understand and agree with your policy
  • Develop creative assignments that cannot be found on the Internet
    and change assignments from year to year
  • Consequences of academic dishonesty at USP are not clear and are not consistent
    • As a faculty, clarity of policies and consistency in enforcement
      need to become a priority
    • Susan deducts a significant amount of total points for academic
      dishonesty beyond the 0 in the assignment. This will usually
      lower the student's final grade.
  • If you suspect a student of cheating on a test, take away the crib sheet, move the student, but allow the student to complete the test
  • If you need to file a disciplinary complaint, follow exactly what is in the student handbook.
    • Do not give copy to the student and don't discuss the case with the student.
    • Maintain respect with the student throughout the semester

Updates on Advising
Suzanne Trump

August 2002

  • USP recognizes how important academic advising is to the success of the students
    • Suzanne Trump is now the full time director of advising and retention
    • Carol Lopez is administrative assistant for academic advising
  • All first and second year students must have their advisor sign registration form
  • Many advising resources exist here:
    • USP academic advising Website
    • Includes description of requirements by major, core curriculum
    • Schedule of courses
  • Student support services
  • Student handbook
  • University Catalogue
  • When advising first year students, transfers, or students who may be struggling:
    • Meet with students during the first few weeks of the semester
    • Triage to other resources if needed
    • Help students set goals
    • Follow up with students
    • Keep notes in file
  • Profile on our entering students:
    • Did well in high school
    • Did not have to spend much time studying in high school
    • See themselves with a high drive and ability to achieve, and cooperate
    • Most believe they will need help with math and writing
    • Most entering students have spent very little time talking to faculty outside of class


Clinical Practice Experience: No-Fuss Midpoint Evaluations
Grace Earl

August 2002


  • Address issues of professional and unprofessional behavior during orientation
    • attendance, punctual attendance, and absences
    • drugs and prescription pads: drug-free workplace
    • deadlines, consequence of late assignments
  • Set high standards for student performance by developing criteria that reflect outstanding performance for each category on evaluation form. Discuss these points with the student.
    • Reliability
    • Motivation on a Presentation
    • Takes initiative to do extra work
    • Responses to questions are accurate and truthful
    • Information & Literature Retrieval
    • Topic not presented at a previous time
    • Presents search strategy, does not limit to full-text
    • Reviews a variety of approved reference sources on topic
  • For each major assignment, organize and group the learning objectives/tasks according to level of difficulty or logical order for completion. This enables the preceptor to provide frequent and timely feedback.
  • Develop a time-line for each major assignment


Assessing students in Problem-Based learning (PBL)/Case discussion-type activities
Phyllis Blumberg

August 2002

  • Assessments should always be consistent with the objectives of the course or part of the course.
  • Possible assessment of objectives
    • Developing problem solving, critical thinking skills
    • Information literacy, evidence-based practice
    • Ability to learn on own, desire to be a lifelong learner
    • Professional behaviors
    • Communication, interpersonal skills
    • Application and use of content acquired
  • Each component of PBL/ case discussions can be assessed
    • A prerequisite to problem solving and critical thinking is learning for understanding
    • Learning for understanding has 2 main components: deep learning and reflection
    • Ask students to prepare a very brief summary of the key points they researched for case discussion or presentation, list their search strategies and resources consulted
  • Assess mastery of content covered in case discussions through presentations or writing something professionally relevant to the case such as a consult letter or advocacy on behalf
    of the type of problem presented
  • Important to include opportunities for self and peer assessment


Audio Visual enhancements for your classes
Jacqui Smith

August 2002

  • Students today can and do multi-task all the time and would find a straight lecture boring
  • Increase learning and remembering through AV enhancements
    • If you hear it only, will remember 5-10%
    • If you see it and hear it, will remember 10-30%
    • If you see it, hear it and read it, will remember 30-50%
    • If you see it, hear it, and do it, will remember 60-80%
    • If you see it, hear, and do it 7 times (+2, 5-9) times, will remember 80-90%
  • Use AV to hone in on objectives, stimulate thought, create an emotional response, help students to visualize what it was like, start a discussion, etc.
  • Don't make your presentations "Powerpointless Presentations"
    • Use a minimum of 36 point font to be seen
    • Yellow letters on a blue background work well for PowerPoint presentations
    • Avoid red backgrounds as they are hard on the eyes
  • Students cannot check out videos from the library, faculty can. Faculty can put videos on reserve for student use.

Engaging Students in large lecture classes
Phyllis Blumberg

August 2002

  • When planning activities for large classes, the teacher really needs to plan logistics carefully
    • Use colored coding
    • Use small group projects
    • Use technology as a tool for efficiency
    • Must be willing to tolerate more noise in the classroom
  • Setting expectations for learning through a warm-up exercise asking what students will learn from class or what questions they had from reading/assignments
  • Engagement related to lecture activity
    • Note taking strategies
    • You provide outline of major headings, with spaces, students fill in details
    • Ask students to create something visual, such as a concept map, from your lecture
    • Provide thinking points for content, i.e,: compare and contrast
    • Classroom assessment techniques
    • Peer review of lecture notes
  • Non-lecture activities that can be done in large classes
    • Peer teaching
    • Student summarizing, reflection

Disseminating information electronically
Jeanette McVeigh

August 2002

  • Many possibilities exist for electronic dissemination of information
    • E-mail
    • Listserv
    • Web Page
    • Good to be able to link to other sites
  • Electronic reserve (Eres)
    • Create folders for each class or week
    • Can release material in the future even though worked on it earlier
  • Electronic courseware such as Blackboard
  • Can do various functions well
    • Discussion board, threaded discussions
    • Chat, live discussions
  • Task management
  • Testing
  • Grade book
  • You don't have to do an entire course electronically, use for what makes sense
    • Might want to disseminate course information , i.e, syllabus
    • Practice tests
    • Threaded discussions
    • Assignments
    • Could hold a few classes electronically by way of chats, threaded discussions


Teaching and Learning strategies to encourage student success
Diane Morel and Lois Peck

August 2002

  • Mission of higher education is to teach students to develop self-confidence, take responsibility for learning, promote professional decision-making, lifelong learning, and master content
  • To help students develop self-confidence use:
    • In-class, low risk assessments such as Classroom Assessment Techniques
    • Supplemental Instruction
    • Recitations that involve students working on problems, answering questions
  • To help students take responsibility for their own learning use:
    • Contracts with students covering responsibility and civility
    • A learning style inventory to help students see how they prefer to learn
  • To help students master content use:
    • Concept mapping
    • Jigsaw methods of having students become a content expert in 1 area then teach it to their peers


Getting started with Blackboard
Cathy Poon

August 2002

  • Blackboard is a web-based course manager program used by many universities
  • It serves to combine functions from the following programs/systems used on campus: ERes, listserv and CyberExamÔ.
  • Functions within Blackboard include:
    • Posting announcements
    • Sending e-mails with various selection, i.e., entire class, individual students, group of students, etc.
    • Posting of course materials
    • On-line grade book
      • Record quiz/exam/assignment
      • Calculate course grades
      • Students able to check grades on-line
  • Posting assignments
  • Digital drop box – provides method for students to submit homework/assignments electronically
  • Design group activities and file sharing among students
  • On-line testing


    Overview of Previous Events
    Understanding our students
    Eric Boyce, Angela Cafiero,
    Nayamkha McGriff-Lee, and Kim Robson

    August 2002

  • Majority of our undergraduate or first professional degree students are full time
  • While they are full time students, they still hold part time jobs
  • About 2/3 of our students are female
  • English is not the first language for greater than 20% of our students
  • Developing competencies for a successful career is the most important reason why students attend USP
  • Our students are very grade oriented, they feel they must get a certain grade in each of their courses (must maintain a certain GPA)
  • Many students feel a sense of entitlement; they paid the money they deserve the credits or the degree
  • Our students are motivated for
    • Success in their careers.
    • A good quality of life
    • Materialism


    De-scamming the scammers in professional settings
    Grace Earl

    September 2002


  • A few clinical students often find excuses for not doing what they are supposed to do. The preceptors need to be wise to the scammers
  • Grace prepared a series of vignettes describing scammers she had encountered
  • The audience discussed ways to de-scam the students
  • Suggestions were made such as adding specific statements to syllabus on attendance, dress, and absences. Other tools that may be helpful are written contracts, providing feedback in writing, and referring students to counseling services.
  • Students attempt to fool part-time faculty or non-faculty preceptors more often than full time faculty
  • A scammer will try to cut corners or trick the faculty repeatedly. Preceptors must deal with the pattern as well the individual scams


    Core Curriculum: Its History at USP and current issuesPeter Hoffer, Paula Kramer, Ken Leibowitz

    September 2002

  • The Core Curriculum was implemented in the early 1990's as a result of administration and faculty realizing that the students needed a more broad education and not just training for their careers
  • It was a long and difficult process to get the Core Curriculum implemented
  • The committee who developed the original Core Curriculum looked at what other schools were doing and scholarly writings on this topic
  • The number of required credits were reduced about five years ago
  • Some faculty feel that the Core Curriculum should stay the way it is now for many reasons including that it is too difficult to change it, turf issues are at the heart of it
  • Some faculty feel the nine disciplines from which the students must take courses is still appropriate today
  • Some faculty feel that the total number of credits should remain the same, but some flexibility could be built into the specific courses. Other faculty feel the number of credits could be reduced
  • While much data exists on the Core Curriculum, it has not been well assessed
  • For some of the newer majors, the required number of natural science courses is a deterrent to recruiting and matriculating students in those majors. Our competition in these majors require less science
  • The Core Curriculum is a very emotional issue on this campus. Any changes to the Core Curriculum need to be well thought out and may be difficult to achieve
  • Faculty are responsible for deciding on what is the Core Curriculum and only they can change the Core Curriculum

  • Student-Centered Exam preparation: A new way to answer the same old question, "Are you giving us a review for the exam?"
    Anne Marie Flanagan

    October 2002

  • Prior to implementing this exam review system, Anne Marie did not like giving a review because she felt that class time could be better spent. Since she implemented this system, she feels this review very worthwhile learning takes place during the review·
  • This system helps students prioritize concepts, connect ideas and develop schemata on the material
  • Within the same groups that the students are accustomed to working in, the students develop an appropriate essay exam question
  • Many students find this a difficult exercise
  • After each group write their question on the board, the students discuss possible ways to answer the question
  • The instructor does not get involved in this discussion
  • After the discussion the teacher and the students talk about ways to improve the questions
  • Some of the student generated questions actually appear on the exam
  • Anne Marie feels this exercise helps students take responsibility for their learning gain, confidence in their knowledge and reduce anxiety over the exam
  • Weaker students realize that they couldn't contribute much to the discussion and have time to remediate prior to the exam
  • Students seem to like these review sessions and they get better developing appropriate questions as they gain experience doing it


    Student-centered learning and living: Plans for USP
    Catherine Bentzley, Aminta Breaux

    October 2002

  • As a result of the Strategic Planning process, six strategic imperatives were developed. A Tactical Planning Group was started for each strategic imperative. This session reported on the thinking and work of one of these groups. It also served as a feedback and validity mechanism
  • A definition of student-centered learning and living is to develop students who are engaged and actively responsible for their own learning and living and assessment in partnership with faculty, staff and administrators
  • Faculty question whether student-centered learning can be done with large classes and with our current teaching loads
  • Student-centered learning and living requires a change in how students are treated and focuses attention on learning and meeting students' service or business needs
  • Buy-in by faculty, staff and students will be difficult
  • Student-centered learning and living can be accomplished here if we take small manageable steps and not try to make radical changes at once
  • Covering material as we now do often is faculty centered. We need to put the onus on the students to learn
  • Some of our policies and practices are paternalistic
  • Faculty need to hear about many models of student-centered learning and given resources to make changes
  • Recognition that many elements and examples of student-centered learning and living already exist here

Working Effectively with the Student Discipline Committee
Elena Umland, Greg Manco, Cindy Sanoski

October- November 2002

  • Inconsistencies in ways academic violations are handled
  • Faculty must clearly define their academic honesty policies in their syllabi and discuss them with students in class
  • Many situations of plagiarism arise in clinical settings. Preceptors there have different standards than we have
  • Students should be told that faculty can spot plagiarism examples from Websites easily
  • If a faculty is going to bring a case, that person needs to develop the supporting evidence
  • If a faculty needs guidance on how to prepare a case, they should seek advice from a current committee member. All faculty committee members are happy to help
  • Documentation and forwarding to the Student Discipline Committee should be done promptly
  • Some faculty feel that the punishments are not severe enough. Probation may not have much impact on the student, except to keep them from graduating
  • The penalties are not always reinforced and enacted by the student's Dean
  • What we consider plagiarism in this country may not be so in other cultures
  • Students come from other cultures and need to be made aware of our standards
  • The most frequent cases brought to the Student Discipline Committee involve plagiarism, cheating and drugs and alcohol. There are more academic integrity issues than the social or legal discipline issues

  • What are the philosophical implications of a culture of
    learning-centered teaching?
    Catherine Bentzley, Leslie Ann Bowman,
    Peter Miller, Andrew Peterson

    November 2002

  • Faculty prefer the phrase learning-centered teaching over student-centered learning
  • Hard to overcome the emphasis on grades, especially in the professional programs, yet we need to focus on learning
  • As learning-centered teaching may not be as efficient for faculty, we may need to make some hard decisions in terms of content coverage, teaching loads, other responsibilities, etc.
  • Student pride in accomplishments is an important aspect in this culture of learning-centered teaching. Currently students see what they need to do as another hurdle to overcome
  • Must work with students on learning how to learn
  • Allowing students to redo and revise promotes greater learning
  • Memorization of facts is not intent; intent is ability to apply facts to solve real problems
  • Students may take more responsibility for their learning if they can see connections
  • Individual feedback and ideas on how to improve are important
  • Group learning often works well in large classes
  • Faculty must be willing to share more power with students
  • Self and peer assessment is essential, with student ownership over assessment criteria
  • Faculty need to learn about many different models, be given time (release or summer pay) to make changes








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