Assessment

Grants - Topic: Assessment - 43 results

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Improving Classroom Instruction in the Department of Theology

Awarded Grant
Stanley, Christopher
St. Bonaventure University
Undergraduate School
2000
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
A project to (a) assess the quality of classroom instruction in the Dept. of Theology at SBU and (b) give faculty the resources they need to create a more stimulating educational experience for general education students, majors, and Masters students.
Proposal abstract :
A project to (a) assess the quality of classroom instruction in the Dept. of Theology at SBU and (b) give faculty the resources they need to create a more stimulating educational experience for general education students, majors, and Masters students.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to assess the quality of classroom instruction in the Department of Theology and to give the faculty resources to create a more stimulating educational experience. With the funds they intended to cover three types of activities: personalized consultations and classroom observations by an educational consultant for each department member; workshops led by experts in educational theory and practice; a series of discussions among theology faculty base don common readings in educational theory and practice.
They found that university-wide curricular changes that affected their department created an environment of openness to new ideas for teaching. They were able to take good advantage of this energy for departmental renewal. Evaluations of participants indicated that the activities of the grant had a major impact on all department members, many of whom found themselves rejuvenated as teachers as a result of the success of new models of instruction. On a departmental level it created an unprecedented ongoing dialogue about pedagogical matters that, in their assessment, transformed the culture of the department. Finally, it generated an interest in assessment and evaluation within the department. Overall, enrollments increased as students responded favorably to the changes.
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Remodeling our Teaching: A New Model for a New Curriculum

Awarded Grant
Fraser, Elouise|DiRaddo, Colleen
Palmer Theological Seminary - Eastern Univ
Theological School
2000
Topics: Technology and Teaching    |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
A three year project to do intensive theological, philosophical and practical work on a pedagogy that will undergird and guide their incorporation of technology into teaching and learning at the seminary. This project involves new themes, areas of study, and assessment tools for a new competency-based curriculum.
Proposal abstract :
A three year project to do intensive theological, philosophical and practical work on a pedagogy that will undergird and guide their incorporation of technology into teaching and learning at the seminary. This project involves new themes, areas of study, and assessment tools for a new competency-based curriculum.

Learning Abstract :
From this grant we have learned the following principles. There must be commitment to the curriculum vision at the top level of administration followed by support of faculty to facilitate learning to teach in a new way. Even with these present, change occurs slower than anticipated. Changing the way one thinks about teaching from what has been experienced in theological education requires support, time and a willingness to see small incremental change. Faculty learn from each other by having regular scheduled opportunities to talk together about teaching. Thus individual work with one faculty member is multiplied by scheduling "Faculty Show & Tells" - sharing what has and has not worked and problem solving together. Finally, each time a new faculty member joins the community is an opportunity to intentionally orient and train someone in the Seminary's way of designing and teaching courses for an integrated curriculum that informs what is taught.
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Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Project

Awarded Grant
Walvoord, Barbara
University of Notre Dame
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Supports the participation of two religion faculty (Kyle Roberts, Trinity International University, and Paul Keim, Goshen College) in an interdisciplinary faculty project on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, sponsored by the Kaneb Center at Notre Dame.
Proposal abstract :
Supports the participation of two religion faculty (Kyle Roberts, Trinity International University, and Paul Keim, Goshen College) in an interdisciplinary faculty project on the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, sponsored by the Kaneb Center at Notre Dame.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to support research to assess the curriculum approach of the REACH program (Relevant Education for Adults) of Trinity International University. This research was a project of the Kaneb Center of Notre Dame University. They sought to develop a questionnaire to analyze how their liberal arts approach to biblical studies is received and appropriated by students in the foundational courses of their Christian Ministry major.
Researchers report that the original objectives were met to a degree. They were able to discern to a limited degree some apparent progression in students from the first course through the final course. However, the research tool was unable to provide clear criteria to determine objectively the results. The most beneficial outcome was in acquiring a "snapshot" of student perceptions of the Bible and their approaches towards solutions to contradictions they observed in the Bible.
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Putting Bible 105 on Solid Ground: Strengthening Messiah College by Improving its Basic Bible Class

Awarded Grant
Cosby, Michael
Messiah College
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching    |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Faculty workshop to explore and develop a pedagogical philosophy, structure, and resources for improving the required introductory Bible class at Messiah College.
Proposal abstract :
Faculty workshop to explore and develop a pedagogical philosophy, structure, and resources for improving the required introductory Bible class at Messiah College.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought funding for a faculty conference aimed at improving the content and delivery of the basic Bible course. This included developing a consistent methodological approach, a statement of philosophy and expectations, the construction of web pages for biblical resources for teaching, and the development of computer-generated visual aids for instruction. An important outcome they hoped to achieve was the assessment and mentoring of adjunct biblical faculty.
The faculty conference enabled curriculum standardization. The remainder of the project focused on evaluating and mentoring the Bible teachers in the school, especially the adjunct professors. A high quality of teaching was observed and individualized mentoring had the effect of affirming teaching and strengthening morale. A website was developed and used to great benefit by the faculty.


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Making the Grade: Enhancing Learning through Evaluation

Awarded Grant
Holeman, Toddy (Virginia) |Green, Joel
Asbury Theological Seminary
Theological School
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
A session each semester and a 3-day workshop on using formative and summative evaluation of students as a way to enhance teaching through ongoing critical reflection. Methods will include Classroom Assessment Techniques, Bloom’s Mastery for Learning, and individual and group critical reflection on teaching.
Proposal abstract :
A session each semester and a 3-day workshop on using formative and summative evaluation of students as a way to enhance teaching through ongoing critical reflection. Methods will include Classroom Assessment Techniques, Bloom’s Mastery for Learning, and individual and group critical reflection on teaching.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to employ aspects of mastery learning to prepare faculty to use formative and summative evaluation as a way to improve teaching and ultimately enhance student learning. They hoped to help faculty learn to differentiate between formative and summative evaluation, as well as to learn to use it positively and effectively in their teaching.
The project consisted of a Readiness Phase, which included two guest presentations to the faculty related to teaching, evaluation and classroom assessment techniques. In the second phase, a Mastery Learning Institute was held, led by a nationally known leader in the topic. The participants worked these new techniques into their classes over the following semester and were evaluated by the workshop consultant. Participants reported that they found ways to customize the usage of the techniques in ways that enhanced their teaching effectiveness.
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Student Portfolio Assessment Across the New Graduate Curriculum

Awarded Grant
Finan, Barbara
Ohio Dominican University
Undergraduate School
2001
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
1 and 1/2 day workshops to acquaint theology faculty with the concepts of student portfolios, to assess the use of these and to discuss students’ use of the portfolio from a personal and theological perspective.
Proposal abstract :
1 and 1/2 day workshops to acquaint theology faculty with the concepts of student portfolios, to assess the use of these and to discuss students’ use of the portfolio from a personal and theological perspective.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to support a special project on student portfolio assessment designed to enhance teaching and learning through integration of portfolio assessment across their new graduate curriculum in theology. They hoped to pioneer theology faculty use of portfolio as an assessment tool to evaluate student growth in three competency areas: personal, theological and professional.
Workshops were held in collaboration with colleagues from their departments of Education and Social Work, who had considerable experience and expertise in the use of portfolios. The workshops included information on current research on portfolios in assessment, along with opportunities to devise strategies and templates for introducing the process to students. As a result, three of the participants began a process for developing a set of portfolio guidelines for the campus community.
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Building a Community of Learners

Awarded Grant
Cohen, Norman|Grant, Andrew
Hebrew Union College - New York Jewish Institute of Religion
Undergraduate School
2002
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Preparation of faculty to apply learner-centered approaches to teaching, assessment and advisement within a new College-wide integrative core curriculum: an all-faculty retreat, consultations and training sessions, committees on assessment.
Proposal abstract :
Preparation of faculty to apply learner-centered approaches to teaching, assessment and advisement within a new College-wide integrative core curriculum: an all-faculty retreat, consultations and training sessions, committees on assessment.

Learning Abstract :
Overall, we are pleased to report that the College-Institute has made tremendous progress implementing the Core Curriculum and assessment protocols. We have now had a full year of experience with narrative assessment on each HUC-JIR campus--Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York and Jerusalem. Faculty pairs have been meeting with second year rabbinical students in small groups and individually. The meetings focus on individual growth and each student's own journey, emphasizing larger enduring questions that grow out of the Core Curriculum.

Students have been positive about their experiences with integrative teaching. Those enrolled in a team-taught course during their Year-In-Israel at the Jerusalem School, were enthusiastic. We would like to see more faculty planning courses together. This will require additional training, leading to the development of alternative integrative models tailored to different types of courses. For example, we would like to develop more short-term intensive integrative models.

We are now in the midst of a comprehensive strategic planning process. As part of that process, we have reviewed the Rabbinical program, as well as all other programs of the College-Institute. Much of the focus of Strategic Planning has been on the successes and challenges of the Core Curriculum. We have sought to use our experience in planning and implementing the Core Curriculum, including its integrative and assessment aspects, as a model for our other programs, such as the Cantorial and Education programs. We continue the process of taking a hard look at the lessons of the process to determine what we can incorporate across the programs of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion.
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Assessment of the Revised Master of Divinity Degree Program

Awarded Grant
Sachs, John |Kane, Thomas
Weston Jesuit School of Theology
Theological School
2002
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Following a major curriculum revision, Weston is interested in assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching, learning and formation in the three years of the new M.Div. program.
Proposal abstract :
Following a major curriculum revision, Weston is interested in assessing and evaluating the effectiveness of the teaching, learning and formation in the three years of the new M.Div. program.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to assess student learning that occurred as a result of their new M.Div. curriculum. They sought to contract with Interaction Associates (an internationally known consulting firm, who helped them develop and implement the revised M.Div. program) to plan and execute a process of evaluation and development.
The project directors report that the chief issues and concerns that were raised of the teaching and learning in the new curriculum focused on several new areas: the first year Ministry and Vocation seminars, the second year Theological Synthesis course, the third year Integrative seminar, the overall flexibility of the program, and the needs of the students preparing for either lay or ordained ministry. As a result of the study, several recommendations were made: eliminate the Ministry and Vocation seminar, reduce the Theological Synthesis course to less credit hours, continue the Integrative Seminar with the inclusion of case study work and a final evaluation by the whole faculty, increase electives, and decrease departmental requirements.
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Cultivating Faculty Interchange Around Teaching and Learning

Awarded Grant
Carr, David
Union Theological Seminary, NY
Theological School
2003
Topics: Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
A series of luncheon meetings to discuss issues surrounding teaching and learning, to experiment with a process of peer observation and evaluation of teaching, and to plan a workshop with an outside consultant to address teaching and learning issues that have emerged in the colloquium.
Proposal abstract :
A series of luncheon meetings to discuss issues surrounding teaching and learning, to experiment with a process of peer observation and evaluation of teaching, and to plan a workshop with an outside consultant to address teaching and learning issues that have emerged in the colloquium.

Learning Abstract :
This project has reinforced our sense of the importance of structuring learning about teaching into a faculty's life. Overall, the workshop on teaching during a required "day of work" for the faculty, though more expensive in time and money, was more successful in reaching a broad group of faculty and having sustained discussion about teaching, than the optional, periodic lunches, though focusing such lunches around specific topics can be helpful. Having the right resource person from outside the faculty can be important too. Not only are the skills of the person important, but having them present adds an extra sense of purpose and focus to the discussion of teaching. It was very difficult, however, to move forward on peer observation of teaching as envisioned by the grant.
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Antiracism and Multicultural Education at Episcopal Divinity School

Awarded Grant
Kwok, Pui Lan
Episcopal Divinity School
Theological School
2003
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
A faculty retreat and focus groups will seek to evaluate and consolidate the work on antiracism and multi cultural education at EDS by engaging faculty, students and alumni in critical dialogues.
Proposal abstract :
A faculty retreat and focus groups will seek to evaluate and consolidate the work on antiracism and multi cultural education at EDS by engaging faculty, students and alumni in critical dialogues.

Learning Abstract :
The project enabled EDS to evaluate and consolidate the work on antiracism and multicultural education at EDS by engaging faculty in critical dialogues through a retreat and faculty colloquia. A consultant was invited to lead a faculty discussion in the spring, and resources on multicultural pedagogy and theological education were gathered and provided to faculty.
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Collegial Observation and Pedagogy Enhancement

Awarded Grant
Quanbeck, Philip|Kleckley, Russell|Edwards Farley, Barbara
Augsburg College
Undergraduate School
2003
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Designing Courses   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for the Augsburg College religion department faculty to assist one another to teach outside of their particular sub-disciplines; and support for an evaluation process designed and implemented by the faculty to assess both the teaching and learning that takes place in two new required courses at Augsburg College.
Proposal abstract :
Support for the Augsburg College religion department faculty to assist one another to teach outside of their particular sub-disciplines; and support for an evaluation process designed and implemented by the faculty to assess both the teaching and learning that takes place in two new required courses at Augsburg College.

Learning Abstract :
The most significant effect of the activities supported by the grant was the change in the Augsburg College religion department culture. We moved from being a collegial department to being a department of close collaboration in the teaching of the new religion courses within general education. It has become a practice and habit to see the courses (REL 100 and 200) as a shared enterprise. To that end we continue to develop shared projects and assignments and seek the expertise of colleagues. We also have created a shared culture of ongoing revision and adaptation in course content and teaching styles. The challenge now will be the sustaining of the culture. The greatest challenge we encountered had to do with assessment and differentiating assessment of student learning, assessment of teaching and assessment of the grant activities.
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Peer Evaluation and Teaching Portfolio Development for Doctoral Students in the Graduate Division of Religion, Emory University

Awarded Grant
Bounds, Elizabeth|Patterson, Barbara
Emory University
Undergraduate School
2004
Topics: Preparing Graduate Students to Teach   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Project Purpose. To strengthen the teaching training program for doctoral students in religion at Emory University by revising the evaluation process in two ways: 1) reframe the overall process of evaluation to focus on producing a teaching portfolio; 2) develop a peer evaluation process as part of the second year teaching experience. Project Goals. Primary Goal: Revise process for evaluating doctoral teaching in order to improve skills and to promote self- sustenance ...
Proposal abstract :
Project Purpose. To strengthen the teaching training program for doctoral students in religion at Emory University by revising the evaluation process in two ways: 1) reframe the overall process of evaluation to focus on producing a teaching portfolio; 2) develop a peer evaluation process as part of the second year teaching experience. Project Goals. Primary Goal: Revise process for evaluating doctoral teaching in order to improve skills and to promote self- sustenance of program. Secondary Goals: 1) Begin to devise an overall evaluation process which will enable doctoral students to compile a teaching portfolio; 2) Revise written evaluation process by which faculty evaluate doctoral students as part of their portfolio; 3) Develop a peer evaluation process which will contribute to the students' learning and which can continue to be sustained, regardless of financial support; 4) Offer a workshop in peer evaluation that will train students and a select group of faculty in peer evaluation skills.

Learning Abstract :
The project's main goal was to "revise the process for evaluating doctoral teaching in order to improve skills and to promote self-sustenance of program." The project was centered on the development of graduate student teaching through use of peer teaching reviews.

Graduate students were equipped with basic skills for peer mentoring. They collectively worked with the project directors to enhance skills in peer mentoring, develop their abilities to reflect on how the experience can improve teaching, and to discuss future training needs. The program was mutually regarded as a positive experience and they shared a hope for future training. Ongoing work also involves specific attention to development of knowledge and skills in teaching religious practices and expansion of knowledge about teaching and learning resources.
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Faculty Retreat/Workshop: Translating Departmental Outcomes Assessment Into Institutional Effectiveness

Awarded Grant
Golubov, Alexander
St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary
Theological School
2004
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty retreat/workshop to translate departmental outcomes assessment into institutional effectiveness.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty retreat/workshop to translate departmental outcomes assessment into institutional effectiveness.

Learning Abstract :
The project has enabled the Seminary to make significant progress in its development of a comprehensive institutional assessment plan, which will provide an objective basis for the betterment of theological teaching and learning being accomplished by our school; the improvement of courses and programs for effective curriculum revision; feed the results into an overall strategic planning process; and provide objective measures of institutional effectiveness.

To a significant degree, the project enabled us to: 1) Focus on institutional improvement efforts; 2) Define and document effective educational practices both in the general field of theological education, and in the particular guilds of academic theological inquiry (e.g., Church History, Pastoral Arts and Praxis, Patristics, Scripture, Spirituality, and Theology); 3) Understand and elaborate effective educational practices to promote student learning in theology, and improve institutional effectiveness as a school of professional formation and theological education; and 4) Steer in-house professional discourse about educational assessment and evaluation in the teaching and learning of theology and religion.
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A Wholistic Assessment Process for a Multiracial-Multicultural Seminary

Awarded Grant
Russell, Keith|Flesher, LeAnn
American Baptist Seminary of the West
Theological School
2004
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project with the following aims: 1. Re-education of faculty about wholistic assessment practices; 2. Creation of outcome-based learning objectives; 3. Creation of an assessment process and resources to assess curriculum, student learning, faculty effectiveness and institutional well-being; 4. Construction of an assessment process that adequately reflects a multiracial-multicultural theological educational institution.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project with the following aims: 1. Re-education of faculty about wholistic assessment practices; 2. Creation of outcome-based learning objectives; 3. Creation of an assessment process and resources to assess curriculum, student learning, faculty effectiveness and institutional well-being; 4. Construction of an assessment process that adequately reflects a multiracial-multicultural theological educational institution.

Learning Abstract :
Through a process of reeducation around evaluation and assessment of the seminary MDiv curriculum, the faculty members of ABSW have come to understand that the measure of a student's learning is in essence an evaluation of pedagogical effectiveness. The tables have been turned. We, the faculty of ABSW, no longer understand our role primarily as one of assessing student performance; rather, we have knowingly created a process that will measure our effectiveness as educators. And, we hope to get high marks!
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The Teaching of World Religions in the Community Colleges of Kansas: Colleagues’ Colloquium

Awarded Grant
Turner, Regina |Costin, June
Butler Community College
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a two-day collegial conference with invited faculty of world religions from across the state of Kansas. Participants in the conference will share information about courses taught, learn adult teaching methodologies, develop a collegial network, and discover resources for teaching world religions.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a two-day collegial conference with invited faculty of world religions from across the state of Kansas. Participants in the conference will share information about courses taught, learn adult teaching methodologies, develop a collegial network, and discover resources for teaching world religions.

Learning Abstract :
Two colloquia were held last year to discuss the teaching of world religions in the community colleges of Kansas. A total of twenty different individuals from nine different community colleges attended. The other colleges, though invited, were unable to send a representative. Of the 14 participants (along with the project co-directors) who attended the second meeting, 11 were repeat attendees, thus affirming the value of our gathering. We were in agreement that teaching courses in the field of world religions presents a number of challenges in today's socio-cultural context. Some of these challenges are inherent in teaching within any area that touches on personal beliefs and traditions. Others can be attributed to ever-changing current events and rhetoric. Our colloquia demonstrated that we can provide each other not only with printed resources (such as syllabi, text suggestions, and methodological techniques), but also with colleagues with whom we can discuss these resources in our specific socio-cultural context.
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Advancing Ongoing Program Review as Proactive Pedagogy by Creating Learning Communities that Foster Assessment

Awarded Grant
Hammond, Jay
Saint Louis University
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Project Purpose. To form learning communities that will train our own faculty leaders so there is faculty ownership of the assessment processes as we inaugurate the third phase of the department's strategic plan: formalize a standardized model for ongoing program review that is learning-centered, pedagogically driven, and practically actionable. Project Goals/Outcomes. The projects desired outcomes are to: (1) embed clear assessment rubrics in the department's program review that make the ...
Proposal abstract :
Project Purpose. To form learning communities that will train our own faculty leaders so there is faculty ownership of the assessment processes as we inaugurate the third phase of the department's strategic plan: formalize a standardized model for ongoing program review that is learning-centered, pedagogically driven, and practically actionable. Project Goals/Outcomes. The projects desired outcomes are to: (1) embed clear assessment rubrics in the department's program review that make the reflexivity between learning outcomes and teaching methods more visible and practical, (2) design a protocol for ongoing revised program review that more explicitly provides constructive feedback for advancing a departmental culture of assessment through critical, creative, careful and collaborative reflection about the practices of teaching and learning, (3) integrate the new electronic delivery/collection of the department's undergraduate and graduate assessment and evaluation tools, (4) foster proactive assessment in the department by conducting three weekend retreats for the faculty where they can reflect on the scholarship of teaching and share their insights and critiques as they devise and implement a standardized assessment model for ongoing program review, (5) offer all interested faculty one-course release time so they can increase their familiarity with, facility toward and participation in the assessment process, (6) compose a departmental handbook on assessment (student learning) and evaluation (faculty teaching) that outlines the model for cultivating ongoing departmental reflection on pedagogical excellence and its implementation, and (7) manifest the department's commitment to ongoing assessment of student learning by creating a departmental assessment committee to help ensure that the DTS faculty own all assessment processes and that those processes are both practical and pedagogically relevant.

Learning Abstract :
The grant's title attempted to triangulate three elements that enabled our faculty to see assessment as a tool rather than an inconvenience. We engaged each element with a question. First, why do we teach? The collective answer – so students learn – enabled us to view assessment as proactive pedagogy underwriting the teaching/learning/grading process. Second, what do we teach? Here the importance was on functioning as learning community that created the department's learning goals. Third, how can we measure/improve student learning? In response, the faculty created numerous rubrics that help measure learning, and with these rubrics, we recommitted ourselves to ongoing review so student learning improves. Time and communication were the invaluable assets in answering these questions. In and through the conversations, the faculty answered another question: who are we as a department? We learned that mission and identity lie at the heart of assessment. Although we had heard this before, we had little corporate understanding of what it meant because the department had never explicitly discussed together why, what and how we teach.
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Religion Inside/Out: Pedagogical Issues Past, Present and Future

Awarded Grant
Fry, Jeffrey|Agnew, Elizabeth|Brackett, Jeffrey
Ball State University
Undergraduate School
2005
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a one day conference dedicated to several goals: 1) to heighten sensitivity about pedagogical issues among faculty while also brining to light strategies for addressing these issues in an effective manner; 2) to assist participating faculty in the on-going process of assessing curricular offerings; 3) to advance students’ understanding of the field of Religious Studies; 4) to contribute to preparing for the department’s five-year self-assessment beginning in 2006-07, and 5) to foster ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a one day conference dedicated to several goals: 1) to heighten sensitivity about pedagogical issues among faculty while also brining to light strategies for addressing these issues in an effective manner; 2) to assist participating faculty in the on-going process of assessing curricular offerings; 3) to advance students’ understanding of the field of Religious Studies; 4) to contribute to preparing for the department’s five-year self-assessment beginning in 2006-07, and 5) to foster collegial ties among faculty in religion across the state of Indiana.

Learning Abstract :
In hosting their conference, they were reminded of the importance and joy of receiving active mentoring, in regards to teaching religious studies, from senior scholars in the field. The conference not only provided an impetus to thinking about classroom teaching, but it also fostered fruitful reflection on the various ways faculty mentor students and other faculty, and on the links between pedagogy and curriculum. They also learned that students' participation in planning, attending and evaluating events such as this conference can be enlivening and empowering experiences.
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Developing a Framework for Assessing Seminarian Progress in the Master of Divinity Degree Program (M. Div.) at Roman Catholic Seminaries

Awarded Grant
Latcovich, Mark
St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology
Theological School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Educating Clergy   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to: develop consensus across member seminaries of the Midwest Association of Theological Schools (MATS) about assessment processes and products related to the major responsibilities of a newly ordained priest; bring to MATS seminaries current best practices and current research related to the development of professional workers in other fields; and create broadly validated assessment tools that will be integrated into practice by MATS seminaries and shared ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to: develop consensus across member seminaries of the Midwest Association of Theological Schools (MATS) about assessment processes and products related to the major responsibilities of a newly ordained priest; bring to MATS seminaries current best practices and current research related to the development of professional workers in other fields; and create broadly validated assessment tools that will be integrated into practice by MATS seminaries and shared with seminaries across the nation.

Learning Abstract :
The project enabled a group of seminary educators to collectively design a framework for integrating the formational components of the Program for Priestly Formation (e.g. human, intellectual, spiritual and pastoral dimensions) into specific outcomes, behaviors and performance tasks. This was accomplished in the design of the DACUM. The DACUM provides for us a realistic perspective of what students should know and be able to do at the completion of the program through specific duties, tasks and behaviors. The challenge for the group is to create further rubrics and performance actions that will allow students and faculty to assess the integration of the skills, knowledge and affect integrated by students for their future ministry. (Seminaries have adopted Shulman's idea that a student's learning of the theological dimensions of leadership and ministry is not ultimately gauged by knowledge of the concept, but by the ability to exercise leadership through performance actions.) The seminaries that participated in this project are now ready to apply the DACUM to their curricula. One model that we hope to develop with future funding is the portfolio that will designate specific rubrics, performance evaluations, and select written work from across the M.Div curriculum to demonstrate the student's engagement and motivation, knowledge and understanding, performance and action, reflection and critique. One year was beneficial in meeting the primary goal of the grant. However, we realize that it will take two years for the dissemination of our work to begin to be utilized within the classroom.
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Educating Clergy: Integration Across the Curriculum

Awarded Grant
Huber, Donald
Trinity Lutheran Seminary
Theological School
2006
Topics: Educating Clergy   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a one day faculty workshop to discuss the book Educating Clergy and to strengthen the formation of clergy through discussion courses designed to enhance integration between the courses in various disciplines, integration between coursework and contextual experience, and attention to progression from students’ first year to the final year.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a one day faculty workshop to discuss the book Educating Clergy and to strengthen the formation of clergy through discussion courses designed to enhance integration between the courses in various disciplines, integration between coursework and contextual experience, and attention to progression from students’ first year to the final year.

Learning Abstract :
The project consisted of a one-day workshop/retreat, facilitated by Wabash consultant Dr. Kathy Talvacchia, for faculty members of Trinity Lutheran Seminary. In plenary and small group discussion we reflected on the "three apprenticeships" (cognitive, practical, identity/ethical) of professional education introduced in the book Educating Clergy as a means of analyzing vertical integration (progressive integration in which later courses and field experiences build upon early courses and experiences) and horizontal integration" (between the various courses and field experiences in each year of study) in the curriculum. We especially attended to "horizontal" integration, as faculty members were divided into groups according to which semester or year in the M.Div. program they had significant responsibilities for teaching core classes. Rich and fruitful conversation revealed ways our work can complement and reinforce one another's teaching across the disciplines. Recognizing the usefulness of further conversations attending to "horizontal integration," and the need for more conversation about "vertical integration," we committed ourselves to ongoing structured conversations on this topic.
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Faculty Workshop in Integrated Pedagogies

Awarded Grant
Shenk, Sara|Stutzman, Ervin
Eastern Mennonite Seminary
Theological School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to solicit feedback from students about what makes for good teaching and to gather faculty to reflect on teaching practice, enhance collaborative conversation, discover tools and resources for improving teaching, and engage in conversation about a community-wide apprenticeship.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a project to solicit feedback from students about what makes for good teaching and to gather faculty to reflect on teaching practice, enhance collaborative conversation, discover tools and resources for improving teaching, and engage in conversation about a community-wide apprenticeship.

Learning Abstract :
Even though the retreat was held near the conclusion of the semester, the grant allowed the faculty to "come away" to reflect on their teaching and the change in venue proved to be a significant factor in freeing faculty to engage with good energy. The workshop focused on teaching effectiveness with some reference to the integrated pedagogies. Dr. Hawkins helped the faculty to construct a foundation for pedagogical reflection, with enhanced awareness of vocabulary and concepts that will inform ongoing discussion. The workshop was a culmination of a yearlong effort to invite faculty to reflect on their pedagogy. The workshop successfully elicited a communal conversation for better mutual understanding of pedagogical principals and practices. Individual faculty differences were affirmed even as each was shown ways to improve his/her craft. The faculty also began to make connections between pedagogy and the curriculum revision which will largely define their work for the next couple years.
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Developing Learning Outcomes for Effective Teaching

Awarded Grant
Stairs, Jean
Queen's University
Undergraduate School
2006
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a one day faculty workshop to examine how the concept of learning outcomes can improve course delivery and student engagement with the course material. As a result of this retreat, faculty will have an increased understanding of the pedagogical implications of “learning outcomes” and their use in student assessment, be able to clearly articulate how they are assessing students in foundational courses and how these assessment pieces relate ...
Proposal abstract :
Support for a one day faculty workshop to examine how the concept of learning outcomes can improve course delivery and student engagement with the course material. As a result of this retreat, faculty will have an increased understanding of the pedagogical implications of “learning outcomes” and their use in student assessment, be able to clearly articulate how they are assessing students in foundational courses and how these assessment pieces relate to “learning outcomes” principles, and identify places on their syllabi where learning outcomes principles could be more effectively employed to increase student learning.

Learning Abstract :
Queen's Theological College received a grant in order to hold a day-long workshop for theological faculty to develop learning outcomes for effective teaching. The aims of the workshop were to: 1) gain an increased understanding of the pedagogical implications of learning outcomes, 2) articulate how to assess students and how assessment pieces relate to the learning outcomes, 3) identify places where learning outcomes principles could be more effectively employed. In the development of learning outcomes for the M.Div program faculty discovered that the attributes they had self-identified matched and achieved a balance within all four of the outcome areas identified in the standards of the Association of Theological Education, namely 1) religious heritage, 2) cultural context, 3) personal and spiritual formation, 4) capacity for ministerial and public leadership. It was noted that learning outcomes for foundational courses were most often set in in relation to Bloom's Taxonomy of learning in the "cognitive domain" - knowledge, comprehension and application. In foundational courses within the area of ministerial and public leadership, it was more likely that learning outcomes included Schulman's level of learning described as "Commitment and Identity."
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Theology in the Seminary - Classroom Accountability and Excellence

Awarded Grant
Lilles, Anthony
St. John Vianney Theological Seminary
Theological School
2006
Topics: Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty in-service program with specific training in writing instructional objectives in order to effectively integrate their specific theology course outcomes with the mission statements of their academic departments and the primary mission statement of the seminary.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a faculty in-service program with specific training in writing instructional objectives in order to effectively integrate their specific theology course outcomes with the mission statements of their academic departments and the primary mission statement of the seminary.

Learning Abstract :
The Wabash Center has substantially contributed to curriculum development and improvement of student learning, leading to accountability and excellence in teaching. Orienting faculty to learning outcomes and incorporating them into courses was one of the workshop objectives and is evidenced in syllabi now produced. Father Brennan surpassed expectations by presenting material in a compelling way to achieve faculty "buy-in". A review of departmental meeting minutes shows that this improved discussions on discerning the quality of student learning and teaching. The workshop moved the faculty toward excellence in teaching by effectively communicating an appropriate use of learning outcomes. Individual faculty have begun to think in terms of assessing individual student performance and the quality of overall student learning throughout the curriculum. In particular, the institutional self-study submitted to ATS for attaining accreditation reflects a greater awareness of the importance of degree program standards and outcomes, and developing strategic plans to promote and protect the quality of theological education offered at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary.
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Assessing Religion Assessment Tools in Kansas Community Colleges: Colloquium III

Awarded Grant
Turner, Regina |Costin, June
Butler Community College
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
This project will support a colloquium with selected religion teachers from Kansas community colleges to discuss the following questions: 1) How do the teachers of religion in the community colleges of Kansas assess student learning in their classrooms? 2) Is there incorporation of belief structures in course content and/or assessment? 3) What quantitative and qualitative testing methods are employed? 4) Are there additional assessment tools that teachers should utilize? 5) What is the role ...
Proposal abstract :
This project will support a colloquium with selected religion teachers from Kansas community colleges to discuss the following questions: 1) How do the teachers of religion in the community colleges of Kansas assess student learning in their classrooms? 2) Is there incorporation of belief structures in course content and/or assessment? 3) What quantitative and qualitative testing methods are employed? 4) Are there additional assessment tools that teachers should utilize? 5) What is the role of the institution’s assessment requirements? The primary goal is to increase awareness of the importance of assessment and to offer increased skills in the development of classroom assessment tools.

Learning Abstract :
We assess student learning in religion classes in a variety of ways allowing room for student creativity and personal engagement. Although personal beliefs are part of the conversation, the conclusion was that testing should require the student to present the facts/teachings of course texts. The process design of the meeting generated a list of quantitative and qualitative assessment methods. If there is one area that represents the greatest area of learning in this colloquium, it is to be flexible and open to variety.

The two exciting outcomes of this colloquium are discussed above. One is the formalization of Association for Kansas Community College Teachers of Religious Studies and the other is the possibility of an additional state colloquium and organization for the future. The only disappointing aspect of the meeting was that a number of possible participants had last minute conflicts and were unable to attend.
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Assessment of the Impact of Specialized Theological Education on Pastoral Ministry

Awarded Grant
Fortune, Marie
FaithTrust Institute
Non-Degree Agency
2007
Topics: Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Educating Clergy   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The Project will help assess the effectiveness of seminary faculty in preparing students for pastoral ministry shaped by healthy boundaries and good judgment in pastoral relationships. The outcome of this assessment will serve to better prepare seminary faculty to effectively provide specialized teaching in theological education. In turn, the preparation of students for pastoral ministry will be enhanced. The assessment will focus on faculty and administrators previously trained by FaithTrust ...
Proposal abstract :
The Project will help assess the effectiveness of seminary faculty in preparing students for pastoral ministry shaped by healthy boundaries and good judgment in pastoral relationships. The outcome of this assessment will serve to better prepare seminary faculty to effectively provide specialized teaching in theological education. In turn, the preparation of students for pastoral ministry will be enhanced. The assessment will focus on faculty and administrators previously trained by FaithTrust Institute through the Seminary Project.

Learning Abstract :
For nearly ten years, FaithTrust Institute has educated the faculty and administrators of seminaries on professional ethics in pastoral ministry through the Seminary Project. The key objective of this training is to prepare future pastoral ministers to be aware of and address issues of professional ethics within their congregations and their denominations. Recently, FaithTrust Institute convened a gathering of 15 faculty and administrators to assess the impact these trainings have on student learning. Participants believe strongly that FaithTrust Institute should continue its training and expand it to include all seminaries in the Association of Theological Schools. Students benefit from learning about healthy boundaries, the role of judicatory committees, and ministerial ethics is an issue of power and abuse rather than an issue of "sexual morality." Success of the FaithTrust Institute Seminary Project is reflected in seminaries incorporating the training and educational materials into their curriculum on a permanent basis.
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Introduction to the Study of Religion and E-folios

Awarded Grant
Kim, Nami|Karim, Jamillah
Spelman College
Undergraduate School
2007
Topics: Technology and Teaching    |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The project will enable the project directors to offer two half-day workshops on E-folios Management. This workshop will teach faculty members in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies the basic concepts and skills of e-folios management, as well as ways to use e-folios to meet learning expectations effectively. The grant will help faculty members to create an opportunity to become better equipped in assigning e-folios in the proposed course, ...
Proposal abstract :
The project will enable the project directors to offer two half-day workshops on E-folios Management. This workshop will teach faculty members in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies the basic concepts and skills of e-folios management, as well as ways to use e-folios to meet learning expectations effectively. The grant will help faculty members to create an opportunity to become better equipped in assigning e-folios in the proposed course, which will enhance the learning outcomes of course material.

Learning Abstract :
From this highly useful project, we have learned the importance of collaborating with colleagues who also aspire towards more effective teaching and learning. We also learned the value of securing the expertise of consultants who share innovative best practices and teaching methods. We have learned that trying out new methods in the classroom creates new levels of excitement and enthusiasm that further enhances the teaching processes and learning outcomes. From the logistical dimensions of this project, i.e., setting up accounts for our budget and arranging various programming aspects, we have learned patience and key administrative skills. Key items that will contribute to the expanding conversation on teaching and learning are how to most effectively use e-folios and other tools in a context in which the Internet plays a significant role in students' learning outside the classroom and how to create a standard syllabus that represents the interests and passions of all of the professors who teach the course.
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Designing a Student Portfolio for Assessing Seminarian Progress in the Master of Divinity Degree Program (M.Div.) at Roman Catholic Seminaries

Awarded Grant
Latcovich, Mark
St. Mary Seminary and Graduate School of Theology
Theological School
2007
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Educating Clergy   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
This project builds upon and extends work initiated last year to develop a framework for assessing student progress at Roman Catholic seminaries. A team of seminary educators and senior staff of Education Development Center will complete the design of an assessment model that integrates the major and minor occupational responsibilities of successful priests and the behavioral attributes called for in priestly formation. The team will then research, review and prioritize ...
Proposal abstract :
This project builds upon and extends work initiated last year to develop a framework for assessing student progress at Roman Catholic seminaries. A team of seminary educators and senior staff of Education Development Center will complete the design of an assessment model that integrates the major and minor occupational responsibilities of successful priests and the behavioral attributes called for in priestly formation. The team will then research, review and prioritize elements of student portfolios that are most applicable to the assessment model. They will then draft a design for a portfolio that can collect and display evidence of seminarian progress as measured by the assessment model.

Learning Abstract :
Outcome assessment tools for the depth and breadth of the Master of Divinity degree remains a complex challenge for most divinity schools. While successful academic performance is evaluated through capstone seminars and comprehensive exams, the overall assessment of a student's personal growth, pastoral skills, spirituality and leadership abilities are often clouded by reported ratings of only successful academic performance. Without specific examples of evidence in these other domains, the student's self-knowledge of the integration of formational elements may never be adequately assessed. Portfolios enable the measurement of multiple dimensions of student progress through the collection of different types of data and materials in order to achieve an integrated portrait.

The Midwest Association of Theological Schools represented in this project by the collaboration of eight Roman Catholic seminaries researched portfolio use and design. They incorporated the four pillars of priestly formation; human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral with the DACUM of duties and tasks of ordained priests in order to create a portfolio template for seminaries.

The merits of this project demonstrate that an integrated portfolio for M.Div students is possible. Each school will need to adapt their current academic program and design portfolio components around their program outcomes and goals. A portfolio model requires the commitment of an institution and its faculty, the creation of an assessment-minded culture within the school, and graduated implementation and monitoring. Currently there are a few schools beginning to pilot this work for future implementation. Time commitment, facilitation of the portfolio process and ongoing monitoring of student performance remain challenges for seminaries with minimal human resources and budgets. Nevertheless, portfolios help bridge the gap between formation in seminaries and ongoing formation and continuing education of future church leaders.
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Developing Pedagogical Approaches that Foster Multicultural/ Multiracial/ Multiethnic Diversity

Awarded Grant
Martell-Otero, Loida
Palmer Theological Seminary - Eastern Univ
Theological School
2007
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
This project entails the formation of a core group that will examine pedagogical approaches that foster multicultural, multiracial and multiethnic diversity at Palmer Theological Seminary. This core group will, at the end of the year, become a standing committee that will aid other faculty in assessing their own pedagogical strategies as well as providing newer resources such as bibliographies and assessment tools. During the year of training, the core group ...
Proposal abstract :
This project entails the formation of a core group that will examine pedagogical approaches that foster multicultural, multiracial and multiethnic diversity at Palmer Theological Seminary. This core group will, at the end of the year, become a standing committee that will aid other faculty in assessing their own pedagogical strategies as well as providing newer resources such as bibliographies and assessment tools. During the year of training, the core group will further their insights and pedagogical abilities regarding approaches and resources that intentionally foster multicultural and multiethnic sensibilities. Specifically, the group will examine their syllabi, curriculum, bibliographies, and assessment tools to see how these take into consideration “difference” and how their classrooms aid the student in becoming aware of “difference” in their own learning and future ministries. An important aspect of this teaching self-evaluation is to factor in the reality of “embodiment”: how we assess and are assessed by others based on our physicality.

Learning Abstract :
The Diversity Colloquy at Palmer Theological Seminary provided me with the opportunity to dialogue with a group of exceptional and dedicated colleagues whose collective wisdom and experiences I have come to appreciate. Collectively, the experience allowed us to affirm the creative pedagogies we already practice in the classroom and to learn new strategies from each other. It gave us the courage to be more creative. It also heightened our awareness that to be a truly diverse institution is a complex and difficult enterprise. Everyone must be involved. I now teach students the skills I learned as the project's director about writing grants and their implementation. The single most important insight I gained was from a colleague who shared that the immigrant experience meant that one was "always careful of one's geography." Teaching in classrooms that foster diversity implies being respectful of others' geographies and appreciative of their gifts.
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A Study of Tacit Curriculum at Denver Seminary: Improving Teaching and Learning Through an Understanding of Institutional Culture

Awarded Grant
Payne, Don
Denver Seminary
Theological School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The need to explore Denver Seminary’s tacit curriculum emerges from several factors: fifty percent growth in the student body over the past five years, relocation to a new campus, redirection of the seminary’s vision ten years ago, and the transition from being a primarily denominational seminary to a multi-denominational seminary over the past twenty-five years. These changes have added challenges to the pursuit of our mission by complicating ...
Proposal abstract :
The need to explore Denver Seminary’s tacit curriculum emerges from several factors: fifty percent growth in the student body over the past five years, relocation to a new campus, redirection of the seminary’s vision ten years ago, and the transition from being a primarily denominational seminary to a multi-denominational seminary over the past twenty-five years. These changes have added challenges to the pursuit of our mission by complicating institutional self-understanding. This project is intended to identify factors in our institutional culture that have educational implications, assess the extent to which these factors correspond to our stated mission, provide to decision-making bodies data that will address incongruities, and identify the process involved when an institution attempts to explore and respond to its tacit curriculum. External consultants will immerse themselves in our culture to conduct ethnographic research and provide reports to decision-makers for integration into our assessment of student learning.

Learning Abstract :
In order to better understand the relationship between our tacit curriculum and our stated educational mission, our consultant made multiple campus visits, conducting an ethnographic study involving formal student interviews, informal faculty interviews, observations in chapel services, a faculty meeting, special events, time in students hangouts, and reading seminary publications.

Results of the study showed high overall student satisfaction with their seminary experience and particularly with the faculty. The most significant challenges surfaced by the study were that (1) our students do not value or engage each other well as learning resources, (2) our facilities and space often constrict the formation of meaningful relationships, and (3) some program structures work against our stated value of adult learning.

Reponses to the report have included consultation with an architect to redesign key student spaces, retention of a second consultant to assist our faculty with collaborative learning, and review of educationally cumbersome programs.
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A Collegium on Leadership Outcomes Pedagogy for Theological Programs in the United Church of Canada Context

Awarded Grant
Stairs, Jean|Wyatt, Peter
Queen's University
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The ATS and The United Church of Canada (UCC) are encouraging theological schools to develop and implement a greater degree of integration in theological education programs, based on the ATS Guidelines for Assessing Learning and the UCC Leadership Outcomes Framework. Successful implementation will include the capacity to assess the achievement of more intentionally sought outcomes for church leadership. The recently approved UCC Leadership Outcomes Framework reflects an invitation to UCC ...
Proposal abstract :
The ATS and The United Church of Canada (UCC) are encouraging theological schools to develop and implement a greater degree of integration in theological education programs, based on the ATS Guidelines for Assessing Learning and the UCC Leadership Outcomes Framework. Successful implementation will include the capacity to assess the achievement of more intentionally sought outcomes for church leadership. The recently approved UCC Leadership Outcomes Framework reflects an invitation to UCC theological schools to work in a denominational partnership. The goal of this proposed grant project is to gather approximately 60 regularly appointed faculty in Testamur granting schools and denominational guests from UCC schools that are ATS accredited along with faculty with whom we relate from UCC diaconal and Native ministry centres. The gathering will hear about the learning outcomes work already underway by faculty/faculties and will explore how faculty are integrating (or can integrate) this work into their teaching practice. Faculty in UCC schools have some awareness of the ATS/UCC Learning Outcomes Project but this gathering will provide an opportunity for faculty to deepen their understanding and participate in building a partnership in leadership outcomes pedagogy in the UCC context. It will aim to build trust among theological faculty and build toward significant change. A focus group of faculty from across Canada has met to refine and vet the final design for the collegium.

Learning Abstract :
The major learning that emerged from this project is that the partnership between the church and its schools in context of The United Church of Canada and in relation to academic preparation for ordained ministry needed to undergo a cultural shift. The church needed to own its role in determining learning outcomes for ministry leadership and assume responsibility for strategies that will assess candidates' readiness for ministry. At the same time, theological schools needed to understand how their learning outcomes for M.Div programs and assessment strategies can draw into closer alignment with the church's defined expectations. The dance between theological schools' autonomy and the church's expressed learning outcomes for ministry leadership remains complex but strengthened. A greater awareness of learning outcomes pedagogy has been achieved with individual faculty members and within theological schools. All schools now report that they are working on defining learning outcomes applicable to ministry programs and with full awareness of the UCC's Learning Outcomes Framework for Ministry Leadership.
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Developing Learning Objectives and Core Competencies

Awarded Grant
Stivers, Laura
Pfeiffer University
Undergraduate School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to facilitate reflection among the faculty members of the Pfeiffer University School of Religion about learning objectives and core competencies for our vocational and academic programs in religion, as well as implementation and assessment of our learning objectives and core competencies.
Proposal abstract :
The purpose of this grant is to facilitate reflection among the faculty members of the Pfeiffer University School of Religion about learning objectives and core competencies for our vocational and academic programs in religion, as well as implementation and assessment of our learning objectives and core competencies.

Learning Abstract :
At the start of our project we did not know if we were on the same page in how we envisioned our programs, but found that through discussion that we had unanimous agreement on all of our learning goals and competencies. We learned that having learning goals and competencies in writing gives us a foundation for developing our programs and our syllabi, and gives us a standard by which to assess our teaching practices and other activities that we promote in our department. Articulating these goals and competencies also gives our students a better picture of what is expected of them in their learning. We hope to meet again to pursue how we can better connect our learning goals and competencies to our teaching philosophies and strategies, and to have discussion about innovative ways we can design our learning environment.
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MDiv Review: Capstone Course for Integration and Assessment

Awarded Grant
Hornbacker, Tara
Bethany Theological Seminary
Theological School
2008
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
MDiv Review (F302), our current capstone course, has held varying degrees of relationship to the rest of the Ministry Formation sequence and the assessment of student learning. Course content depends on which of the three faculty members teach the course and differs in style and substance from year to year. Goals: 1) Determine overall course objectives coherent with Ministry Formation sequence. 2) Create a teaching model providing assessment of student learning according ...
Proposal abstract :
MDiv Review (F302), our current capstone course, has held varying degrees of relationship to the rest of the Ministry Formation sequence and the assessment of student learning. Course content depends on which of the three faculty members teach the course and differs in style and substance from year to year. Goals: 1) Determine overall course objectives coherent with Ministry Formation sequence. 2) Create a teaching model providing assessment of student learning according to new MDiv curricular objectives. 3) Implement a model for feedback for student learning assessment. Activities: Three faculty members will participate in collaborative research to create parallel syllabi for each venue in which F302 is taught. They will participate in retreat setting meetings to integrate the new curricular objectives toward individual assessment of student outcomes and programmatic assessment of curricular work in an ongoing manner. This group will initiate a feedback loop for assessment of integrative learning.

Learning Abstract :
The project group implemented familiar methods of action and reflection in reviewing curriculum and setting capstone course objectives to reflect curricular objectives. We created parallel syllabi for distance education and face-2-face course work with integrity for course goals and learning platforms. The capstone course both builds upon the foundational ministry formation courses in a coherent manner and helps to establish an assessment loop to the whole curriculum. Data gathered from analysis of MDiv Review portfolio, along with student and faculty evaluation can be fed back into the system for constant improvement. Best practices in assessment can lead the way to fulfilling excellence in teaching and learning while holding the distinctive character and educational ethos of the institution in the forefront. The project group modeled collegial participation and excellence in the four educational terms we hope to teach our students: Interpretation, Integration, Communication, and Anticipation.
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Coaching Models for Guiding Faculty Work in Curriculum and Course Assessment

Awarded Grant
Reistroffer, Dianne
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Theological School
2008
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The dual purpose of this fellowship is to explore the connection between coaching and assessment in theological education as a means of guiding faculty work in educational evaluation and to investigate coaching models that will introduce faculty to program and course assessment in ways that lower their resistance to assessment activity, enhance their teaching, and strengthen the seminary’s overall educational mission.
Proposal abstract :
The dual purpose of this fellowship is to explore the connection between coaching and assessment in theological education as a means of guiding faculty work in educational evaluation and to investigate coaching models that will introduce faculty to program and course assessment in ways that lower their resistance to assessment activity, enhance their teaching, and strengthen the seminary’s overall educational mission.

Learning Abstract :
Theological faculty members are open to assessment activity when the work relates directly to teaching and learning in a seminary context, is rooted in collaborative, purposeful inquiry, draws upon and makes effective use of the personal-professional experiences of each participant, and is conducted in groups where one or more colleagues are willing to serve in a coaching or facilitating role.
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Designing Courses with Learning Outcomes in Mind

Awarded Grant
Ascough, Richard
Queen's University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The objectives of this grant are threefold: to learn more about learning outcomes, to learn more about designing for teaching with cases and to learn more about best practices in course design. To pursue these goals, the activities of the grant will include research and writing, interviewing faculty, and creating and applying a rubric.
Proposal abstract :
The objectives of this grant are threefold: to learn more about learning outcomes, to learn more about designing for teaching with cases and to learn more about best practices in course design. To pursue these goals, the activities of the grant will include research and writing, interviewing faculty, and creating and applying a rubric.

Learning Abstract :
As a result of this fellowship I recognized that there is much confusion about learning outcomes among faculty, of whom many demands for outcomes are being made, but no clear guidance is given. Through reading and research I developed a strong sense of how to design appropriate learning outcomes for courses. At the same time, I can articulate problems with poorly developed outcomes and help instructors understand where there is a disjuncture with their course design. The development of a rubric for designing course outcomes, outputs, and objectives has proven particularly helpful to me and to others, and I hope to develop the rubric further for wider dissemination. Overall, I am more confident that I can explain to instructors how learning outcomes can be used for improved course design that puts student learning at its center.
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Creating a Culture of Pedagogical Reflection in the Hastings College Department of Philosophy and Religion

Awarded Grant
Deffenbaugh, Daniel
Hastings College
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
As in most departments across the country, the religion faculty at Hastings College has had few formal opportunities to reflect critically on our pedagogy, especially from a theoretical perspective. To this end, our proposed project will seek to establish 1) a working reference library that can be utilized for informing teaching practices and 2) opportunities for bi-annual departmental workshops where issues of teaching, learning outcomes, and assessment can be discussed. We will ...
Proposal abstract :
As in most departments across the country, the religion faculty at Hastings College has had few formal opportunities to reflect critically on our pedagogy, especially from a theoretical perspective. To this end, our proposed project will seek to establish 1) a working reference library that can be utilized for informing teaching practices and 2) opportunities for bi-annual departmental workshops where issues of teaching, learning outcomes, and assessment can be discussed. We will also develop a department-specific assessment instrument for evaluating classroom effectiveness.

Learning Abstract :
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Making Menudo in a Stone Soup World: An “other” Reading of Christian Scripture

Awarded Grant
Sánchez, David
Loyola Marymount University
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Diversity and Social Justice   |   Research and Writing on Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
The goals of this project are as follows: 1) A review of the literature produced by contemporary Latino/a biblical scholars to assess the commonalities and differences within them; 2) An analysis of the shared hermeneutic textures and points of differentiation among those scholars; 3) An ethnographic assessment of how these shared and opposing textures play out in the institutions in which we teach; 4) The project will also ask the question if Latino/...
Proposal abstract :
The goals of this project are as follows: 1) A review of the literature produced by contemporary Latino/a biblical scholars to assess the commonalities and differences within them; 2) An analysis of the shared hermeneutic textures and points of differentiation among those scholars; 3) An ethnographic assessment of how these shared and opposing textures play out in the institutions in which we teach; 4) The project will also ask the question if Latino/a storytelling differs in the academy as pertains to tenure status; 5) The composition of a chapter for an edited book.

Learning Abstract :
"Making Menudo in a Stone Soup World: A Latino/a Reading of Christian Scripture" explored the history of biblical hermeneutics, progressive hermeneutical models, and histories of North American cultural experience. The project surfaced shared and non-shared perspectives about hermeneutics in biblical scholarship among Latino/a scholars. The project paid close attention to the role of Latino/a story telling in the classroom and examined how privilege works in the story telling process.
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Improving Program Assessment

Awarded Grant
Robinson, Joanne
University of North Carolina - Charlotte
Undergraduate School
2009
Topics: Relating Pedagogy and Curriculum   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
This grant will support the development of a clear statement of learning objectives for religious studies majors and a system of assessment that will help us guide curriculum decisions in the future.
Proposal abstract :
This grant will support the development of a clear statement of learning objectives for religious studies majors and a system of assessment that will help us guide curriculum decisions in the future.

Learning Abstract :
This grant gave our department many tangible results, but the best and most lasting outcomes are intangible: time spent in productive and provocative discussions, in negotiating our identity as a department and within the discipline, and in working toward a common goal. We cannot thank the Wabash Center enough for its support in helping us revise our curriculum to better serve our students. This grant afforded us the luxury of time to focus on defining the learning outcomes that served as the foundation for both revising our curriculum and for building a new system of assessment. I hope that an article about our experience will inspire others to review (or create) learning outcomes that reflect their department's faculty strengths and their expectations of students. Moreover, I hope it will open up discussions about how best to assess what religious studies majors learn during their years in our classrooms.
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Learning From Our Graduates: Alumni Experiences of Ministry and the Revision of Our MDiv Degree Program

Awarded Grant
Schlager, Bernard
Pacific School of Religion
Theological School
2014
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Project funding will support the reconfiguration of how religion, theology, and pastoral ministry skills are taught to the rapidly-changing student body in our MDiv program. This project will support twelve faculty members each interviewing three alums who have graduated since 2003. As a seminary that remains deeply committed to our MDiv degree as one important component of our mission, we are currently revising this degree to better meet the rapidly-changing needs ...
Proposal abstract :
Project funding will support the reconfiguration of how religion, theology, and pastoral ministry skills are taught to the rapidly-changing student body in our MDiv program. This project will support twelve faculty members each interviewing three alums who have graduated since 2003. As a seminary that remains deeply committed to our MDiv degree as one important component of our mission, we are currently revising this degree to better meet the rapidly-changing needs of (1) those interested in traditional and emerging forms of church ministries, and (2) those who desire a strong theological education for their current and future work as change agents in organizations outside of traditional religious institutions. We know that we have much to learn from these 36 alums as our seminary undergoes its most significant renovation of its faculty, degrees, and related programs since the early 1970s.

Learning Abstract :
As Pacific School of Religion (PSR) undertakes a revision of our MDiv degree program, this Wabash-funded project supported the work of five faculty members and one senior administrator who interviewed (and, in most cases, shadowed) 30 of our recent alums in their current ministry/work settings. The goal of these interviews was to understand the work of these alums so that our revised degree remains responsive to current trends in ministry and better prepares future PSR students to succeed in traditional and non-traditional fields of service to church and society. The conclusions of this study include (1) "5 Affirmations" of the degree program: Field Education; Contextual Learning Opportunities; The Graduate Theological Union (GTU); Community Life; and PSR's Centers; and (2) "4 Recommendations for Improving the PSR MDiv Degree Program": eradicating Racism and White Privilege/Supremacy; Spiritual Formation; Community Life; and the need for a course in Non-Profit Administration and Management.
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How the Pastoral Mind Shapes Pedagogy at Six Seminaries

Awarded Grant
Lincoln, Timothy
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Theological School
2014
Topics: Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
What presuppositions about the work of ministry do professors bring with them when they teach? How do these same presuppositions shape the way that professors teach? This project addresses these questions using qualitative research. The researcher will gather data from professors and graduates of seven seminaries. Using interactive qualitative analysis, the researcher will discover themes about religious leadership and the relationships between these themes. An external evaluator will provide feedback ...
Proposal abstract :
What presuppositions about the work of ministry do professors bring with them when they teach? How do these same presuppositions shape the way that professors teach? This project addresses these questions using qualitative research. The researcher will gather data from professors and graduates of seven seminaries. Using interactive qualitative analysis, the researcher will discover themes about religious leadership and the relationships between these themes. An external evaluator will provide feedback to the researcher at the mid-point of the project. Participating schools will receive reports on findings. In addition, larger analysis will inform suggestions for changing teaching and learning in other settings. Grant funding will enable the researcher to study schools in Massachusetts, Illinois as well as Texas. Findings will be shared with the schools that participate in the study, at conferences, and on a study website.

Learning Abstract :
Using interactive qualitative analysis, participating faculty and ministry practitioners created mindmaps of what it is like to be a minister serving a congregation. A mindmap depicts aspects of a phenomenon as elements (themes) in a closed system. Themes are arranged from the most influential (drivers) to those most influenced or shaped by other themes (outcomes). The maps of professors and pastors shared several themes in common included Caring, Leading, and Word & Sacrament. Pastors named some themes not articulated by faculty, such as Witnessing God's Action, Pastoral Maturity, and Accountability. Professors and ministers generally disagreed about the relationships between themes, especially about which themes were drivers. Findings should move theological schools to ask their graduates in congregational ministry about their actual (rather than ideal) work and lives and to take seriously what graduates say when faculty consider changes in pedagogy and the curriculum.
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Teaching Qualitative Research in Theological Education for Enhancing Leadership for Change in the Church

Awarded Grant
Willhauck, Susan
Atlantic School of Theology
Theological School
2015
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
This project consists of a Symposium of practical theological faculty who teach qualitative research in order to examine the purposes and pedagogies involved toward the formation of effective pastoral leadership, and to put forth a rationale for the teaching, learning and evaluation of qualitative research in M.Div. programs. Qualitative research methods are part of the curriculum at Atlantic School of Theology (which hopes to host the Symposium) and at ...
Proposal abstract :
This project consists of a Symposium of practical theological faculty who teach qualitative research in order to examine the purposes and pedagogies involved toward the formation of effective pastoral leadership, and to put forth a rationale for the teaching, learning and evaluation of qualitative research in M.Div. programs. Qualitative research methods are part of the curriculum at Atlantic School of Theology (which hopes to host the Symposium) and at other schools of theology. At AST qualitative research methods are seen as congruent with ministerial practice because they help students learn how to assess the needs of a congregation and/or community. The purpose of this project is to determine how the teaching and learning of qualitative research methods can develop leadership capacities in ministry students.

Learning Abstract :
I learned that qualitative research is an essential tool for the formation of ministers, and is increasingly becoming part of the theological curriculum in the U.S, Canada and elsewhere. An "ethnographic disposition" can equip theology students to learn to assess a social context, to produce knowledge in that context and to transform it. While there are pedagogical challenges in the teaching/learning of QLR, these can be creatively addressed through understanding it as a disposition rather than as applied competencies. There is no silver bullet in theological education to quell the tide of church decline, but theology students can be better equipped to lead in their contexts. Leaning qualitative methods can enhance the practice of leadership for change as students learn and embrace the arts of listening, attending to people, holding back judgment, observing and analyzing to get at the meanings of things in order to disrupt the status quo.
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Consultation on Bible in the General Education Curricula

Awarded Grant
Giles, Terry
Gannon University
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Series of four full-day meetings that gather representatives from regional institutions that have introductory courses on Bible in the general education curriculum. Topics will consist of the rationale for the presence of such courses, the use of new communication technologies and evaluation/assessment in such courses, and consideration of the future cultural role of biblical studies.
Proposal abstract :
Series of four full-day meetings that gather representatives from regional institutions that have introductory courses on Bible in the general education curriculum. Topics will consist of the rationale for the presence of such courses, the use of new communication technologies and evaluation/assessment in such courses, and consideration of the future cultural role of biblical studies.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to bring together representatives of colleges and universities from the Eastern Great Lakes region for a series of four consultations on the Bible and general education curriculum. The purpose of the consultation was to assess the rationale for those courses and to evaluate various methodologies used in teaching them. Ultimately, it hoped to examine and articulate the role of Biblical studies in the core curriculum of an
American university at the commencement of the 21st century.

They found that there is no one normative approach to Biblical texts in general educational curriculum. Rather, the curriculum should be learner centered, focusing on helping students to discover their own answers. Biblical courses will remain key to curriculum in the 21st century because of the ways in which Biblical literacy helps to create an historical reality by which to evaluate immediate experience. Also, it helps students read primary texts. Computer technology and the internet are key resources for teaching Bible in the 21st century.
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Consultation for Learning Bible at Seattle Pacific University

Awarded Grant
Wall, Robert |Steele, Les
Seattle Pacific University
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty within an Institution   |   Teaching in Specific Contexts   |   Teaching a Specific Subject   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Two departmental retreats with outside professional consultants, the first to consider the pedagogy of a Scripture course intended for the traditional college sophomore, and the second to reflect on and assess the teaching of that course during the prior year.
Proposal abstract :
Two departmental retreats with outside professional consultants, the first to consider the pedagogy of a Scripture course intended for the traditional college sophomore, and the second to reflect on and assess the teaching of that course during the prior year.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to develop a consultation on learning Bible at Seattle Pacific University in order to develop new strategies for teaching scripture as a required course. This would be accomplished through faculty retreats with nationally known scholars of teaching, as well as conversations with student focus groups.
The project director reports that the consultation was provocative and successful in accomplishing the stated goals. They reported the following implications of the consultation on the future of the Bible course: 1. develop a process to train and utilize advanced students as participant observers; 2. use of the "clearness meeting" to engage in formative faculty conversations regarding teaching and vocation; 3. to develop longitudinal surveys to evaluate long-term student learning; 4. to support and encourage writing and consultation on issues related to the course; 5. use of teaching portfolios for faculty teaching this course.
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Teacher Assessment in Religious Studies and Theology Departments in Undergraduate and Graduate Education in Three Institutions

Awarded Grant
Kollar, Nathan
St. John Fisher College
Undergraduate School
1999
Topics: Gathering Faculty across Institutions   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Research to discover, gather, improve, create, test, and evaluate teaching assessment instruments for religious studies and theology teachers in undergraduate and graduate education in three Roman Catholic institutions.
Proposal abstract :
Research to discover, gather, improve, create, test, and evaluate teaching assessment instruments for religious studies and theology teachers in undergraduate and graduate education in three Roman Catholic institutions.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to gather a team of five scholar-teachers with extensive administrative experience to study teacher assessment in three Roman Catholic religious studies and theology departments. Their purpose was "to gather, discover, improve, create and test teaching assessment instruments for religious studies and theology teachers."
The team of five met monthly for a year to discuss ways to become more effective teachers and how to encourage others to become better teachers. In gathering and reflecting upon assessment literature they found very little was addressed to the specific needs of theology and religious studies. They experimented with new assessment techniques and reviewed the results. They discovered that "the most important instrument for classroom assessment is gathering with concerned faculty to discuss our mutual classroom expectations, experiences, and experiments."
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Teaching and Learning Workshop for Wartburg Theological Seminary Faculty

Awarded Grant
Priebe, Duane
Wartburg Theological Seminary
Theological School
1999
Topics: Innovative Teaching and Best Practices   |   Technology and Teaching    |   Identity, Vocation, and Culture of Teaching   |   Assessment

Proposal abstract :
Support for a teaching and learning workshop for Wartburg Theological Seminary Faculty, to be led by a Wabash Center consultant.
Proposal abstract :
Support for a teaching and learning workshop for Wartburg Theological Seminary Faculty, to be led by a Wabash Center consultant.

Learning Abstract :
The project sought to fund a workshop on teaching and learning conducted by Wabash center faculty, reproducing for single faculty the process used for the Wabash Teaching Workshops. This included focus on one's vocation as a teacher, exploring teaching methods, teaching assessment, grading teachers as mentors, diversity among students, technology, collegiality of teachers and accountability in teaching.
They found that the workshop significantly expanded their use of educational technology in teaching. They describe it as having had "a major and lasting, transforming effect on the teaching of several courses." Their discussions on curriculum were fruitful, highlighting several contended areas that required extended work in a future workshop. The discussions on their common work as Wartburg faculty were very positive and useful. Finally, they found the outside facilitators connected to the Wabash Center to be excellent.
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