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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

ODU Faculty Featured by National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment

A "desire to improve" was the motivator for 11 Old Dominion University faculty members who attended a statewide faculty development opportunity earlier this spring.

In February, faculty and administrators traveled to John Tyler Community College for a full-day workshop on redesigning assignments and improving student learning. The workshop was led by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) and sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV).

It provided faculty with the opportunity to receive feedback from peers about their assignments.

Two Old Dominion University faculty members - Narketta Sparkman-Key, assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Services, and Remica Bingham-Risher, director of quality enhancement plan initiatives for the University - were featured in the NILOA newsletter about its faculty development efforts.

At the event near Richmond, small groups of faculty from two- and four-year colleges and universities wrestled with issues such as ensuring that assignments measure authentic student learning, assessing outcomes and communicating clearly to students.

Besides facilitating discussions, NILOA sought to guide faculty through the workshop process and provide them the tools so they could replicate the model on their campuses, leading similar workshops within their departments or colleges.

Sparkman-Key told NILOA she wanted to participate in the workshop to "make myself better" and stay on top of the latest educational tools available. "I want to give my students the most innovative thing that's out there," she said.

Bingham-Risher said that getting students involved in their own learning and seeing how faculty can impact learning were two important reasons for attending the workshop. The workshop gave her more ideas and tools to use in her role helping Old Dominion faculty redesign assignments and curriculum in the Improving Disciplinary Writing program.

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness & Assessment worked with SCHEV to make sure Old Dominion University was included in the NILOA workshop. The office's role is to expose more faculty and administrators to faculty development opportunities linked to student learning.

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