CEC FIPP Activity Report Name Ruth Roach Date September 16, 2010 Department English FIPP Partner Chris Richardson Class title & section # English B, Section 9635 Name of Activity/Strategy Out-of-Class Learning at Campus Event Category: (Please select only one.) (Reminder: You will submit one report from each of the categories.) Classroom Activity Classroom Environment Classroom Expectations Feedback & Evaluation Homework & Out-of-Classroom Learning Experiences Briefly describe the activity/strategy, providing enough detail so that a colleague can replicate the activity/strategy. 1. Introduction My FIPP partner and I decided to try to use campus activities relevant to each of our fields to stimulate students' interest and for application of learning in our fields--applied knowledge being a higher order of thinking. 2. Set-up & Supplies We only needed to indicate the pertinent context for the campus event and indicate the expected field-related learning outcomes, so they would gain the maximum educational benefit from the experience. 3. Directions Students in my English class were instructed to observe closely the aspects of the cultural presentation in celebration of Latino Heritage Month. The presentation included a mini-lecture by a history professor, a young spoken-word artist presenting from his upcoming book of poetry entitled "Illegals," and performances by two musical ensembles: a decoratively dressed mariachi band with a range of traditional guitars and Aztec dancers who were also decoratively dressed and performed several traditional dances with explanations of their dances made throughout. Students then were to write a half-page summary of the event to give to me before they departed. What worked well? I liked the positive feedback about the event itself that emerged, though I was not surveying students about this activity formally. In particular, students found the campus event enjoyable, which improves the learning environment, and informative, which impacts learning outcomes positively. What would you change? Students seemed to need more time to complete this summary, rather than complete it on the same day. I especially want them to generate an outline prior to completing this summary in the future, which requires more time. Therefore, I would modify the activity to an outline only due by the end of class time; I may, alternatively, sign-off on their notes only before departing, and have the summary as a homework assignment instead altogether so that they can attend the campus event without the need to outline or draft the paragraph on the spot. Would you use the activity/strategy again? Why or why not? I would definitely use this activity again. Though I have incorporated campus events into the range of learning experiences offered to my classes in the past, this time I am benefiting from the reflection about the use of the campus activity in my pedagogy, to improve its effectiveness in achieving educational outcomes. As a result, I am convinced by what they said of the event, and their initial writing about it, that a refined summary assignment about a campus event of this nature will be worthwhile for both its tangible and intangible impact on the students and their writing. Please describe any student learning and/or changes that you observed after the implementation of the activity/strategy. My students seemed to be affirmed by attending this event which featured the culture of many of them positively. In my view, the cultural exchange was also positive for those not directly represented by the performers and presenters, though the Aztec troupe has an African American member! At some level, this offers a productive exchange of ideas and mutual appreciation, in addition to a stimulating writing assignment which goes beyond pedantic topics in terms of impacting students' perceptions of society, and ultimately impacting society when they join the ranks of society's leaders upon graduation!