Here are the general categories of questions we came up with:
1. What and where is Gen Ed?
2. What is the role of and means of implementation of Gen Ed in the majors, esp. at a college of technology?
3. What about Gen Ed and the First Year experience?
4. What do students know about Gen Ed and think about it?
5. How do we think about science in Gen Ed in relation to the humanities?
6. What is the connection between City Tech’s mission and its concept of Gen Ed?
7. How do I bring Gen Ed into my course, esp. with big content/structure requirements?
8. How do we market Gen Ed to students, faculty, and staff at City Tech?
Following are rough notes from our group discussion of question 7. How do I bring Gen Ed into my course, esp. with big content/structure requirements?
Group members (let me know if I missed anyone, or if I have spelled your name wrong, and I’d be happy to fix it): Justin, Daniel, Laina, Viviana, Jonas, Paul, John
Redefine the question: What is general education, and how can we bring it into our courses, esp. those with big content/structure requirements?
– limited # of credits available for gen ed
– consistency of delivery, standardization of syllabi, skill level of instructors (full-timers vs adjuncts)
– rigidity of syllabus (driven by many concerns, including accreditation requirements, course sequencing and prerequisites, etc)
– managing large classes, student/teacher ratio, managing grading/assessment
– for adjuncts, assign 6cr teaching to gain 1 hour of office hours, use office hours as for communication with department as well as student communication
– alternative teaching methodologies/assignments can help address grading/assessment challenges in large classes
– cross-disciplinary courses can expand breadth of knowledge available to students in relatively few credits
– create a reference e.g. “20 components of general education” as an aid in developing projects and assignments (when you create an assignment, try to include 5 or 6 things from the list — if nothing else, referring to the list would keep gen ed goals in our minds)
– work within the structure by modifying existing assignments
In response to question #3, “What about Gen Ed and the 1st year experience?” our group explored the following ideas:
-inclusion of more learning communities, especially in highly structured majors
-asking students to read a common piece of literature before starting school. This piece of literature can be discussed at the New Student Orientation as well as remedial and ENG1101 courses.
-offering a college wide lecture series
-incorporation of a common experience among all students focused on, among other ideas, diversity, sustainability, race…