Teaching, Learning & Assessment

Funded GE Area A1, A2, A3, and B curriculum development and professional learnin

Would you like to be part of an effort to improve students' academic reading, class grades, and retention at CSUMB while also contributing to a national study on the impacts of faculty development? We are inviting faculty who teach GE Area A1, A2/3, and B courses or are interested in the development of those courses, to participate in a study funded by the American Council on Education (ACE) and Strata Education Network. Participants will receive a stipend and professional development on incorporating Reading Apprenticeship strategies into their courses.

Eligibility: Part- and full-time lecturers and tenure-line faculty willing to implement Reading Apprenticeship strategies in a course they are teaching in spring 2018 while also contributing to the development of GE Area A or B curriculum.

Stipend: $750


In spring 2018, the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment and Communication Across the Disciplines will be begin providing professional development on using Reading Apprenticeship and threshold concepts to help student transfer the intellectual skills across multiple courses and contexts. This pedagogical framework builds on the results of institution-level assessments of the intellectual skills from 2014 - 2017, CSUMB's stretch curriculum for first-year students (CAD 100: Oral and Written Communication Seminar), and the fall 2017 work of the ILO1 Intellectual Skills Coordinators, Assessment Scholars, and 25 faculty members who drafted threshold concepts for each of the intellectual skills. Faculty working on this project in spring 2018 will collaborate with Cooperative Learning Center student tutors.

Project goals

  • Faculty engagement and learning about reading apprenticeship, threshold concepts, and teaching for transfer.
  • Improved student engagement and learning in Area A and B courses.
  • Model syllabi for A1, A2, A3, and B courses that can go into course consent in fall 2018.
  • Activities that foster student encounters with threshold concepts in oral communication, writing, information literacy, and critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning.

What this will require of you

  • Incorporate Reading Apprenticeship strategies systematically into your spring 2018 class(es), including pre- and post-surveys and assessments.
  • Collaborate with Cooperative Learning Center student tutors.
  • Maintain a teaching log during the spring 2018 semester (estimated time: ~15 min. of writing for each class that incorporates an RA activity).
  • Participate in a learning community that will meet about five or six times during the spring 2018 semester, for about 2 hours each meeting.
  • Complete periodic feedback surveys on your professional development experience and its impacts on you and your teaching.
  • Participate in an interview and/or focus group.

Use of class time

  • Bringing Reading Apprenticeship into your class means making thinking, problem solving, and reading strategies more explicit--both your students' and your own. In the beginning of the semester, that will mean taking time for activities that help students learn to read for your class. Later in the semester, it will mean more explicit modeling and active peer problem solving in class.
  • Depending on how your course is currently structured, this could reduce the time you can present new material in class as much as 10%, but it is likely to result in deeper learning and an increase in students' ability to learn from the reading.
  • Focusing on threshold concepts in your classes should increase students’ engagement with the work in the class, but it may also result in greater confusion and anxiety among students, as they move in and out of the “liminal space” of the threshold. At the same time, acknowledging that such feelings are a normal part of the learning process can be liberating and motivate deeper, more engaged learning.

What you would get

  • Free professional development, including a Reading Apprenticeship intensive before the semester begins to get you situated.
  • A $750 stipend.
  • A supportive community to help you incorporate Reading Apprenticeship into your teaching.
  • (Hopefully) improved student performance in your classes.
  • The pleasure of adding to our knowledge about teaching that works.

Selection criteria

  • Level of interest
  • Experience teaching GE Area A1, A2/3, or B courses
  • Experience assessing student achievement in one or more of the intellectuals skills (preferred but not required)
  • Department and college affiliation (to ensure broad representation)

Application deadline had passed.

For more information or to inquire about available space email Rebecca Kersnar at rkersnar@csumb.edu

Background information and resources