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Vol. 5 No. 1 Spring 2012
Institute for Teaching and Learning Connections

"Learning by Osmosis": Assumed Metadisciplinary Learning That Doesn’t Happen. Educating in Fractal Patterns XXXIII*

Ed Nuhfer, California State University–Channel Islands

As the data from a research project began to roll in over the past seven months, the phrase “learning by osmosis” kept entering my mind. I cannot remember where or when I first heard that cryptic phrase or whether it held a similar meaning for others. I consulted the e-incarnation of Delphi, The Oracle of Google, to discover that others perceived “learning by osmosis” just as I did: a learning by assimilation of skills and knowledge that occurs through an unconscious process. 

Is this process real? Effective? Do we ever rely on that process when we teach? What does this have to do with fractals? Hold onto these thoughts as we diffuse our attention across the membrane that separates this introduction from the discussion that follows.

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Learning Management System Analytics: John Goodlad meets the Digital Age

John Whitmer, Associate Director,
CSU System-wide Learning Management Systems & Services
CSU Office of the Chancellor, Academic Technology Services
CSU Chico

Learning analytics is defined as the measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and [optimizing] learning and the environments in which it occurs. (Siemens, 2011)

Increasing Data about Students

Over 30 years ago, John Goodlad conducted his seminal study “A Place called School” (1984) by studying the day-to-day practices of K-12 students in their classrooms.  Through direct observation and interviews with over 27,000 individuals, Goodlad and his research team made discoveries that continue to impact our thinking about effective educational practices.  Conducting this research required funding from 14 major foundations and a small army of researchers.  Goodlad’s research has been called the “Rolls-Royce of Educational inquiries.”  (p.ix)

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The CSU-ITL GE symposium: Assessing General Education Under EO 1065.

October 26-29, 2011, Berkeley, CA: Consider measuring the impact that a group of courses chosen by students over the course of their academic career has on their skills and knowledge at the time of graduation. In addition, most of these courses have little direct bearing on their academic degree that they earn.  Sounds like a daunting task, doesn’t it.  However, this is the challenge of assessing general education.

On September 16, 2011, Chancellor Reed signed Executive Order 1065 (superseding EO 1033) requiring that GE programs in the CSU have outcomes consistent with the AAC&U LEAP outcomes and that those GE programs undergo regular review in a fashion parallel to that of academic degree programs with assessment of student achievement  of GE program outcomes.

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April 13, 2012
15th Annual CSU Symposium on University Teaching pre-conference workshop: "Planning & Implementing Scholarship of Teaching Projects"

April 14, 2012
15th Annual CSU Symposium on University Teaching

April 23, 2012
CSU Institute for Teaching and Learning Webinar: Mid-Career Faculty: Needs, Challenges, and Opportunities

May 4th and 5th, 2012
Twenty-Sixth Annual California State University Student Research Competition

June 25-27, 2012
CSU Institute for Teaching and Learning Summer Institute: GE Assessment Part II: Tools and Strategies

August 1-3, 2012
Moodle Moot West

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