Guiding Principles for a Learning-Centred College by variablepitch339


									Educational Support & Development
Guiding Principles for a Learning-Centred College A Preamble
What is the "Guiding Principles" document? Why was it produced? In August 1999, a college team* comprised of students, staff, administration and faculty came together for the purpose of examining ways that Camosun might become a more learning centred college. It seemed important to clarify what we meant by learning-centredness. In so doing, it also seemed appropriate to specify the principles of learning-centred practice that would be apparent in a college where student learning is central to all we do. The outcome of this yearlong effort is the attached document, which states the overriding purpose of the college and outlines four principles that guide and focus our activities. The principles are based on sound practice and reflect recent research. Dialogue throughout the institution has involved individuals from across the college (students, staff, faculty and administrators). This dialogue has contributed to the development of this present document.

What are some uses for this document? This document reflects what many of us are already doing in practice. It helps to make what we do explicit and declares our values. It stimulates dialogue and reflection. It provides us with the opportunity to critically examine and reflect upon our beliefs and practices about teaching and learning, and about our own professional development. As well, this document gives us a guide to how we could enhance or improve the learning opportunities and services, which we provide to students. In contrast, the document is not intended as a prescription. It is seen as a living document. We anticipate that it will evolve as the college evolves. Some practical examples of how this document could be used across the institution include: • • • • • • assistance with renewing our institutional mission, goals and strategic plan a foundation for course, program and institutional evaluation a guide for curriculum renewal a guide for development and renewal of our services to students a marketing tool for our courses, programs and services to the external community a foundation for how we showcase our successes internally and externally

Our college team* has facilitated workshops with the college community this past year. The purposes were to discover the sound learning centred practices that exist across the institution, and decide where as a college we would like to advance our activities towards becoming a more learning centred community.

*College Team Members: Marc Bissley, Kevin Carter, Janine Chesworth, Linda Cross, Doug Crowther, Faye Ferguson, Julie Martin, Barb McCallum, Eleanor McKenzie, Paul Merner, Bob Priebe, Bryan Teixeira, Lynda Warren

Educational Support & Development
Camosun College Guiding Principles for a Learning-Centred College

Student* Learning is the Primary Purpose of Camosun College
The primary purpose of Camosun College, student learning, invites us to continually focus on the goals, decisions, and processes that support learning- centred practice. In this way, we consciously and collectively foster the development of Camosun as a learning-centred college. A Learning-Centred College: • • • • • Supports student learning consistently as a first priority Assesses and evaluates every service and program in the context of how it supports and contributes to student learning Fosters a climate in which the promotion and support of student learning is recognized as everyone's responsibility, and everyone is respected and valued for their contribution Fosters the learning needs of all of its members Demonstrates its effectiveness through a commitment and ability to change in order to improve learning

Four Guiding Principles of Learning-Centred Practice
With student learning as the purpose and focus of everything we do at Camosun College, we are guided by the four principles listed below. In relation to each principle, there are several statements that focus and guide the actions and practices of all members of our college community. Principle 1: People who access Camosun College are diverse Student diversity is recognized when: • • Students are understood and valued as unique individuals who come to the college with diverse needs, backgrounds, and abilities. All services and programs are planned and implemented based on an understanding of the diversity of our student community

Principle 2: Learning is an active process occurring in a variety of social contexts Learning is fostered when: • • • • • Students are actively engaged in their own learning Students are able to contextualize new learning Learning builds on each student's prior knowledge, abilities and experience Students are encouraged to learn from and with each other Students take responsibility for their own choices and actions as part of their learning processes

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Learning how to learn is an essential outcome of educational processes Students contribute to the planning and assessment of services and programs Students are able to transfer and use knowledge and abilities in a variety of contexts including work, family and community. Students are able to link knowledge, experience and applications in ways that help them comprehend meaningful relationships and a broadened understanding of the world.

Principle 3: Assessment is fundamental to learning Assessment fosters learning when: • • • • • • Assessment contributes to an understanding of learning needs Assessment processes directly relate to intended learning outcomes as well as the experiences that lead to these outcomes Assessment processes validate for the student that the learning has value beyond the classroom Assessment processes are ongoing and cumulative, depicting student growth towards increasingly complex understandings Assessment processes promote and foster each student's ability to be an effective self-assessor Assessment is used to guide the improvement of learning and assessment strategies

Principle 4: All staff, faculty, and administrators at Camosun College are learners Learning needs of employees are most likely to be met when: • • • • • • It is recognized that all employees contribute to student learning All employees are actively involved in their own on-going learning and development Employees actively collaborate, thereby continually learning from and with each other The college supports the on-going learning and development of all of its employees All employees involved in the facilitation of learning have knowledge and abilities related to effective educational practice as well as a sound understanding of their discipline Employees who reflect and foster the learning values of the college are recognized and celebrated

* "Student" refers to both a student and a prospective student. A student is an individual who has a formalized relationship with Camosun College while pursuing his/her educational goals. A prospective student is an individual who comes in contact with and/or expresses an interest in pursuing his/her educational goals through Camosun College

Members of the team involved in the development of this document are: Marc Bissley, Kevin Carter, Janine Chesworth, Linda Cross, Doug Crowther, Faye Ferguson, Julie Martin, Barbara McCallum, Eleanor McKenzie, Paul Merner, Bob Priebe, Bryan Teixeira, Lynda Warren

Educational Support & Development
Feedback from College Community Learning Centred Practice Workshops Summer 2001
General Comments • • • • • • • • The document needs a preamble or a preface. There needs to be a glossary How do we formalize these concepts? Where will this document be housed? How do we keep this document alive and evolving? How do we integrate this into what we do on a day-to-day basis? Can we put this in the calendar? How do we tie this to the mission and strategic plan? How do we assist the staff/ administrators in making the shift from being administrators to educators? How would this benefit student learning? It is critical that we have Principle #4 - it is critical for us as a learning organization

Feedback on Guiding Principles Principle #1 - Diversity Comments and suggestions: • • • 1st bullet should also include that students have different goals. Is it people or needs that are different? Although it is not the intent, does the second bullet need some clarity? Will all students interpret this as having to meet their individual needs?

Principle #2 - Learning is active, occurs in social contexts Comments and suggestions: • • • Add - 'learning is foster when it is valued' How does the college demonstrate the value of learning? (E.g. How could it be demonstrated in the decision-making process? How could it be included in all course outlines and college-wide outcomes?) The current wording still infers that learning is top-down; the interaction and mutual learning between instructor and student is not highlighted

Principle #3 - Assessment Comments and suggestions: • • • • What is the difference between the second indicator and the eighth indicator? They both address contextualizing learning. Add a statement that emphasizes the positive aspects of assessment - e.g. to assist students in establishing goals Add statement that feedback should be conveyed in a manner that is understood. There is no reference to assessment being a collaborative relationship

Principle #4 Comments and suggestions • • There is nothing in the document that expresses that instructors and students, specifically, are involved in the learning There is no reference to the collaborative aspect of learning

Examples of learning centred practice at Camosun • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • The college provides childcare services Electrical Trades offers self-paced programming for students Many of the T&T programs provide students with field and site visits Co-op programs and other learning activities that promote student learning in community and business BASIS program in Business Student tutoring - 2nd year students are hired to assist first year students (help with academic courses and learning the ropes) Existence of demographic profile at Camosun, it helps us define the diversity of our student group Referrals to and assessments done by ABE - tight linkages between programs and ABE Students may do upgrading, then are supported in a study skills environment where they can learn skills assisting them to learn how to learn In selective courses, students are engaged in group projects, and do thorough self assessments In Business courses/programs the case study method is often used - one approach that is taken is asking students to look at "what if's…." Hotel Restaurant - students work together and learn on-site in a practical environment (Dunlop House), then go to co-op and apply what they have learned, and finally they return to the on-site practical environment In one program, students have a series of self-directed modules. Students self assess, follow through with what they need to learn, the self assess again at the end Students are expected to take part in group work Electrical Trades offer PLA option to students One trades program offers students the change to write a practice exam in their final year. This exam is structured to be similar to the provincial exam they will be required to write Assessment is on going in all programs so students receive regular feedback about their progress Annual PD days (College Connections) Ongoing lunchtime PD activities throughout the college Informal learning happens all of the time New faculty assigned to experienced "mentors" Completion of Part A of course outlines Learning outcomes initiatives Peer tutoring, Learning Skills course/workshops, Student Success facilitators, counseling, First Nations Advisors, Disability Support Services - all assist students to be better and more independent learners Circle seminars in First Nations Community Studies program demonstrates collaborative learning and defines all participants as being equal in the learning process Recent colleague training Customization in BEST program to meet student needs Flexibility in ABE to accommodate students' schedules learning styles, etc. Recognition of training needs of administration/deans; administration needs to be seen as being actively involved in learning and college events Student Success Facilitators: - e.g. A single mother was having financial difficulties and could not pay rent and go to school. She was ready to quit. She sought assistance from the SSF, obtained

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information regarding subsidized housing and now she is graduating from her program. HHS philosophy Statements: - to capture diversity - ethnicity, background i.e. Academic preparation, learning styles Teaching and Learning Fair: Human Services programs have a fair somewhat like a poster session - students teach specific learning outcomes and receive feedback. There is a wide range of topics. Dental students also do something similar. Nursing: Active learning - programs are designed with a minimum of lectures. Emphasis is on the time to practice and the practice component is integrated into all curricula HHS Evaluations - Use the feedback to create ways of being, goals and strategies within the program HHS Learning Communities: - Teaching/learning work on Saltspring Island Development of part time programs to create flexibility Sharing PD activities at staff meetings Sharing faculty presentations that are done at conferences Celebrating student accomplishments: students displaying their work, student awards, celebrations/parties

What could Camosun do to become more learning centred? • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • A good orientation program for all new faculty and all new Chairs Find out what contributes to student success and implement findings Put up signs around the campus that would give us directions about where to find "areas" and "people" Make the guiding principle document more transparent in the college's decision making process i.e. how decisions will impact students and their learning Faculty performance reviews: to what degree has faculty been involved/exposed to learning centred activities (e.g. instructional skills workshops, innovative teaching strategies) during their evaluation period? Continuing (renewed) commitment t diversity; that the ability to meet the diverse needs of students be considered in the delivery of services and the rationalization process The Guiding Principles document contrasts with the perception that Camosun is still very much tied into the industrial model of education and that his model influences the relationship between faculty and administration Be committed and consistent in what we do. Walk the talk. Develop a college vision that people can buy into - this document could form part of that vision. In employee orientation, give this document to every person, with expectations for its use Hire people who believe in this vision Incorporate the document into the strategic plan, vision, mission, and our new initiatives and projects Have people dialogue about this document. Form informal groups. Talk with students. Incorporate something like this as a thought for the day, or thought for the week" on everyone's mail system in the morning. Give people an opportunity to give feedback about what they think. Have students develop their own learning goals, and have checkpoints through the course of their experience Develop more cohort models in Business Administration Program Continue with the rationalization process so more resources are devoted to areas that require supports. We have to realize that we cannot be all things to all people Improve our publicity and marketing of who we are and what we offer. Make people aware that we are a learning centred institution, with small class sizes, good teaching/learning opportunities and a wide variety of courses and programs. More opportunities that model the ABT/staff training. A recommendation would be to finish what we start.


Organizational support for employee learning

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