I Just Know…

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A recent Science Post satirical article titled, “I just know” replaces systematic reviews at the top of the evidence pyramid, is a pretty funny read with a darker side.

While the article focuses on medical science (“There is no science backing up my claim that the homeopathic pill cured their cold, but in my gut I just know it did.”) it got me thinking about the teaching and learning work we do here at Carleton and our levels of evidence.

What evidence–beyond “I just know”–do we accept for what we have done in Carleton courses or for what we hoped to have done? If evidence more robust than “I just know” was available for our teaching and learning endeavors, would we want to gather it? What if it was easily available? Any instructional technology we use at Carleton can help with the collection of evidence. And with thoughtful design, that collection of evidence can be “easy” while still being meaningful.

The AT [un]workshop series this term will focus on ways we can plan for and collect evidence. For example, there are four opportune moments in courses to collect evidence of student learning (or teaching!): at the beginning of the course, day to day, before/after key assignments or exams, and the end of the course. For the [un]workshop series this Spring Term we’ll focus on the day to day opportunities and specifically, the instructional technologies you may already be using that can make that evidence collection easier than you might think.

Here’s the list of [un]workshops for Spring term.

We build in time at [un]workshops for discussion but you’re also always welcome to just track us down to talk about T&L evidence or any topic that we can help with.

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Janet Russell

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