Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Their Characteristics, Our Perceptions

Step 1 in Fink's course design process calls for us to "Identify Important Situational Factors." Question no. 4 on the worksheet asks for us to characterize the learners.

In trying to think about this, I remembered the campus wide e-mail I had sent in June 2009 just as the Learning Frameworks Committee was getting started. I read through all the responses, of course, when I first received them, but I wanted to present them in a way that might reveal the larger picture and maybe facilitate some sort of analysis.

So I re-sent them to this address:

I lightly edited the results and applied labels as best I could. The right hand column shows those labels sorted so that the issues mentioned most often are at the top of the list. Of course, this is not a scientific survey (as they say) but I thought the responses did provide a rich overview of our students (and, incidentally, of our perceptions.

What do you see? (Don't forget you can look up a particular word with the search box in the upper left corner of the screen.)

I don't think there are many surprises here but perhaps seeing all the perceptions organized this way will help us think through the material better and also to give proper attention to the most imposing factors.

Here's the text of my original e-mail...

The Question: NEW TO RICHLAND STUDENT - What does she look like?

The answer is not blonde and 5 ' 2". Well, I guess it sometimes is, but that's not the point of the question.

I'm on the district committee that is charged with developing a new required course for students who enter college with less than 12 credits. This was one of the recommendations of the DCCCD Core Curriculum Group headed by Becki
Williams last year. It's currently called the LEARNING FRAMEWORKS course and is scheduled to begin in Fall 2010..

Our first assignment is to come to the next meeting and tell the committee what the "new to college student" looks like at Richland.

Since that covers a lot of territory I thought I'd get some help. From YOU. If you're game.

The idea, of course, is to build a profile so we'll KNOW who we're going to be teaching. So we can tailor the course to their real needs.

Feel free to contribute just a little piece or an extended dissertation. Thanks in advance :)

Gary Duke, 6/4/2009

Other opinions can be added by sending an e-mail to: The subject line will become the heading for the blog post.

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