Speelman – SENCER model course – Riverscape

Well I chose the Riverscape project because it sounds great in theory and I bet it even works out pretty well – but when you start looking at their goals and course work and evals, there seem to be some holes. Makes me wonder how much is “implied” in my syllabus – and by that I mean how much is just in my head that I think others understand.

This project brings three separate classes together to work on one project – which requires some major coordination. That being the case, their course objectives are separate (listed below – you can tell they are written by three different individuals – and the environmental science goals sound like someone sharing their environmental thoughts) with major combined activities – which are field trips (5 regular weekday trips and two weekend trips – one is an overnight).

Their evaluation is where things get a little sketchy. First they had students complete the Student Assessment of Learning Gains – which they said students complained was lengthy and refused to complete (not very helpful). Then they listed the university course evaluations – which is a satisfaction survey (no further comment). The final piece was more legitimate sounding – it was “a reflective electronic exit portfolio to show their supervising teacher in the student teaching clinical practicum that they know and can do the skills delineated by the INTASC (Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium) Standards for Preservice Teachers”. I’m not convinced however, that these really assess the following goals(?)

Course Objectives – Education 608 Directed Practicum
Successful completion of this course requires students to:
1. Demonstrate competency in writing and implementing clear, concise, and comprehensive lesson plans.
2. Plan and implement a diverse set of learning activities and experiences to address one content area for a grade level of the Virginia Standards of Learning.
3. Analyze instructional capabilities through a variety of data collection techniques, written directions, taped sessions, peer feedback, self-analysis, case study, and instructor feedback.
4. Analyze case studies to explore alternative classroom scenarios.
5. Develop a classroom management plan.
6. Demonstrate strategies for developmentally appropriate practice.
7. Demonstrate instructional technology in classroom presentations.
8. Demonstrate awareness of the connection between educational theory and instructional practice.
9. Participate in a professional organization appropriate to the content or grade level where the student expects to practice.

Course Objectives – English 218 Applied Communication
Students will continue to refine their personal writing processes (including pre-writing, organizing, drafting, revising, and editing techniques) and will learn how to apply these processes to a variety of “real world” situations. Students will:
1. Describe how technical communication differs from other forms of communication.
2. Analyze and refine individual writing processes to adapt to various purposes, audiences, formats, and work settings.
3. Describe and apply principles of collaboration, audience analysis, and corporate ethos.
4. Write and edit a variety of print, oral, and electronic documents, including letters, memos, instructions, web pages, recommendation reports, and proposals.
5. Describe, analyze, and apply inductive and deductive methods of logic and development.
6. Demonstrate effective technical research strategies, evaluate print and electronic sources, and document sources using APA style.
7. Apply principles of effective graphic design, including use of text, white space, and visuals.

Course Objectives – Environmental Science 203
Students should realize that our earth’s living system is fragile; it has already felt the pressure of our growing numbers and desires. They should understand that they are part of the system and should work to preserve its natural operation. Applications of principles encountered in this course are numerous and immediate. Students should come to realize that the efforts of science and technology can be accomplished without disrupting ecological balances.

A long-range objective of this course is to arm students with knowledge about man and his environment that can be applied in later life. Acting and voting responsibly on issues involving the environment is necessary for our society to continue without destroying the quality of life around us.
A final objective of this course is to give students first-hand experience of environmental problems.

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One Response to Speelman – SENCER model course – Riverscape

  1. Dr. Metzker says:

    I know this is a VERY late response but I’ll chime in anyway. I was struck by the assessments you mention. It appears they were tacked on after the course was designed. Or that the faculty teaching the course didn’t demonstrate the value of the survey to the students. I agree those surveys can be very long and students don’t like taking the time to fill them out. I have found, however, that if you take the time to explain the importance of the survey and how they will be used to improve the course in the future students will generally fill them out honestly.

    This is a good advertisement for designing assessments as you design the goals and activities, so the assessment is integrated into the course.

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