2:30-5:00 p.m., April 19, 2005
Mary Gates Commons
A key concern at UW Tacoma as a junior/senior-level institution that is shared by our partner community colleges in the region is ensuring a smooth transition for students from their community college to UWT. In this session, we will describe our joint effort in using Course Portfolios to document and share knowledge about student learning of software development in a 2-year and a 4-year institution and to improve the quality of teaching in our respective courses at different institutions. The course portfolio, well known as a method for advancing teaching practice and improving student learning is a set of documents that "focuses on the unfolding of a single course, from conception to results" (Hutchings, 1998). During the winter quarter, 2005, we undertook a project to each develop a course portfolio for different courses that we teach across the "institutional divide" a 100-level Introduction to Programming course prepared by Qi at TCC and a 300-level Software Development course prepared by Josh at UWT.
Our goal was primarily to open our classroom doors to one another, to critically examine the teaching that we are enacting and the learning that our students are undertaking. We wanted to ask of ourselves and of one another why we were teaching the topics that we teach, in the ways in which we teach them. And we wanted to more systematically examine and reflect upon evidence of student learning from the work that students were providing to us. Our use of the course portfolio is novel, not in the concurrent preparation and critique of our portfolios, but in our using this setting to examine different courses within the same discipline and curricula across institutions. We will report on lessons learned, both about our own courses and also about the use of course portfolios as a means for disseminating knowledge and practice.