With generous support from the Teagle Foundation, the ACM will sponsor a Collegium on Student Learning over the next two years. The opening conference in this project will take place on Friday-Sunday, November 21-23, at Monmouth College.
The Collegium seeks to deepen faculty members’ understanding of how students learn, and more specifically, of how students acquire the skills and knowledge that are the hallmarks of a liberal education: critical thinking and analysis, integration across disciplines, reflection about the goals of education, and development of expertise through focused research with faculty. Recent research on metacognition—learners’ abilities to predict their performance, to monitor their learning, to reflect on progress, and to make adjustments to achieve their goals—is particularly provocative for liberal arts faculty and will be a specific focus of the Collegium.
The Collegium Conference will begin Friday evening with a keynote address by Patricia M. King, Professor of Higher Education at the University of Michigan. King’s teaching and research focus on learning and development among late adolescents and adults, including college students. Professor King’s keynote will offer a broad overview of new cognitive research on learning and the brain, with particular focus on metacognition.
The weekend conference, from Friday evening to Sunday noon, will move from a broad overview of the research on how students learn to more practical applications on how this research informs teaching at liberal arts institutions. Saturday sessions will feature more detailed considerations of metacognition, including issues of novice/expert learners, self-reflection, conscious control of learning, analyzing the effectiveness of learning strategies, identifying preconceptions and misconceptions, and transfer of knowledge issues. Ideally, these sessions will connect to work already started on ACM campuses. The conference will especially focus on practical application of the research to teaching: What difference does this research make for the ways we teach? What do we want to know about what our students know and how they are learning, especially as it relates to the metacognitive practices we are considering? How do we move from the research to classroom assignments? How do we know if our teaching practices are making a difference? The conference will conclude with a Sunday morning workshop session aimed at developing concrete next steps in this multiple-year project. Throughout the conference, campus colleagues will be given opportunities to work together.
Interested faculty should contact their Academic Dean no later than Wednesday, October 1, 2008. Deans should identify participants to Betsy Hutula <email@example.com> at ACM by Monday, October 6, 2008. Contact John Ottenhoff <firstname.lastname@example.org> with questions.