“We do many things in our teaching without questioning why we do them. Teagle, by constantly encouraging us to answer questions about the reasons and consequences of our practices helped me rationalize some of my teaching practices, while it also led me to change or abandon some others.” –Graduate student participant
Outcomes of the Teagle Collegium on Inquiry in Action at Indiana University show that this model is highly effective for identifying and overcoming challenges to preparing graduate students to adopt evidence-based approaches to teaching in the Liberal Arts that they will carry with them into their careers as college and university faculty. The Collegium model brings together faculty and graduate students from four departments, representing different knowledge domains and diverse teaching traditions in order to ask questions, generate new teaching practices, and share emerging information on contextualized ways to foster high quality student learning . Each departmental team is composed of 4-5 graduate students and one faculty mentor who together consider how to teach in ways that are framed by the theory on what works and based on evidence of student learning. The teams work within their disciplinary contexts and also share across departmental lines with their colleagues in 12 meetings of the full Collegium. Graduate-student fellows of the Collegium read essential literature on learning, design and implement new teaching practices in their classrooms, assess student learning in response to those innovations, and share their results and plans for the future with the full Collegium as well as formally in other public venues, including conference presentations and web publications. The Collegium meetings are lively, challenging, and supportive spaces for interactions that cause all participants to reconsider the foundations of teaching practice so that they are informed by learning theories. Over just three years, thirty-six graduate students taught 4569 undergraduates in 31 different courses in the humanities, social sciences, and life sciences with enhanced attention to reflective teaching practices, learning assessment, alignment of learning theory and pedagogical practice. These factors taken together suggest that these graduate students, chosen for their graduate programs based on their promise as outstanding researchers, are now savvy, informed, and responsive teachers ready to contribute to undergraduate education at Indiana University and across the country. Future directions of this work include studying (1) how teaching innovations travel and transform from formal learning communities and pedagogy classrooms through informal networks employed in “water cooler” discussions and multisection courses taught by graduate students, (2) how the Collegium model can be transferred from departmental to cognate cohorts that would allow departments with smaller graduate student populations to participate, and (3) how the Collegium model adapts to faculty cohorts that design and implement teaching innovations and then collect and analyze assessment data on their impact.
Impact on Students over 3 Collegium Years
- Collegium faculty taught 1506 undergraduate students in their courses.
- Collegium faculty taught 105 graduate-student teachers in pedagogy courses or supervised teaching.
- Collegium graduate students taught 4569 undergraduate students.
Graduate students taught 31 different courses over three years (often multi-section):
- A105/A103 Human Origins and Prehistory (Taught 2 years)
- A200 Nomadic Pastoralism
- A208 Anthropology of Arts and Expressive Behavior (Taught 2 years)
- A460 Archaeologies of Latin America
- B200 Bioanthropology
- B301 Bioanthropology Laboratory
- Biblical Hebrew
- E104 Lost Tribes and Sunken Continents
- E105/A104 Culture and Society (Taught 3 years)
- E302 Laboratory in Ethnography
- E445 Seminar in Medical Anthropology
- Freshman Interest Groups
- L230 Forensic Anthropology
- P200 Introduction to Archaeology
- B300 Vascular Plants (60 students in four sections; the changes then adopted course-wide. Taught 2 years.)
- L104 Introductory Biology: Biology of the Senses
- L104 Introductory Biology: Human Biology
- L113 Biology Laboratory (24 students in one section for spring 2009; the Teagle project was then adopted course-wide for 2009-2010, affecting a total of about 800 additional students. Taught 2 years)
- L211 Molecular Biology
- L376 Biology of Birds
- M200 Microorganisms in Nature and Disease
- M485 Molecular genetics
- M 435 Viral Tissue Culture Lab
- P451Integrative Human Physiology
- Q201 Biological Sciences for Elementary-School Teachers (Taught 2 years)
Communication and Culture
- C122 Interpersonal Communication, A Cultural Approach (Taught 3 years)
- C121 Public Speaking (Taught 2 years)
- C201 Race and the Media
- C205 Introduction to Communication and Culture (taught 3 years)
- C324 Persuasion (Taught 2 years)
- C420 Video Games in American Culture
36 Course Portfolios
Authored by each of the graduate student fellows of the Collegium, documenting their goals and processes in teaching and their assessments of teaching innovations and impact on students’ learning during the Collegium year.