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Step 3 – work on the syllabi

Once faculty develop a shared definition of student learning and a common conceptual framework for the program, the work to redesign student learning experiences begins. Most often it begins with the course syllabus. The syllabus communicates how student learning develops and progresses during the course. It also provides clarity about expectations and how student learning will be assessed. The master syllabus may require continuous revision as best practice changes. Therefore, the syllabus must be explicit about performance activities, the ways they are assessed, and any opportunities for students to revise and resubmit their work.

Step 4 – align instructional strategies

Once a course is constructed there is a need to align instructional strategies and techniques with course goals and embedded performance assessments. Diagnosis of current instructional approaches may be needed. One effective strategy is to set aside time for an instructional diagnosis and to invite students to participate in these sessions. Providing time for conversation among faculty can build connections that strengthen and enhance teaching. Providing time to attend local, regional and national conferences, engaging in research, and utilizing university faculty development centers are avenues that support excellence in teaching. Promoting better thinking using higher order thinking skills is central to the role of higher education. Thus increased awareness that problem-solving skills must be an integral part of the course delivery is important.

Final thoughts

The challenge to strengthen the preparation of school leaders is central to the school improvement conversation. As a result, school leader preparation programs are faced with increasing demands and mounting pressure to alter the content and structure of their programs.

As conversations proceed they invariably result in confronting long-standing norms about the role and function of higher education, about the freedom of individual faculty to design courses, and about collection and use of data that may reveal trends and patterns among courses and faculty that were never discussed.

The challenge is to maintain a focus on students and their need to be highly skilled, thoughtful practitioners able to both know and use the knowledge they acquire in their programs.

References

Boyer, E. L. (1990 – 01). Priorities of the professoriate . NY: Jossey-Bass

Center for Teaching Effectiveness. (n.d.) Teaching and learning theories . Retrieved February 14, 2008 from (External Link)

Center for Teaching Effectiveness. (2005). 9 principles of good practice for assessing student learning . Retrieved February 14, 2008 from (External Link)

Council of Chief State School Officers. (2008). Educational leadership policy standards: ISLLC 2008 . Retrieved June 3, 2009 from (External Link)

Cross, K. P. (1998) What do we know about students’ learning and how do we know it? Presented as the AAHE National conference on Higher Education, Atlanta, Georgia, March 24, 1998. ERIC Document reproductions No. ED446539

Cross, K.P. (2005). Collaborative Learning Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. (with Elizabeth F. Barkley and Claire Howell Major) San Francisco: Josse-Bass.

Eichinger, R. W.&Lombardo, M. M. (2003). Leadership architect. Minneapolis, MN. Lominger International: A Korn/Ferry Company. http.//www.lominger.com

Farr, M. (2003). Language Varieties, Culture and Teaching the English Language Arts .

Gleason, P. ( ) Timeline for the scholarship of teaching and learning . Retrieved February 18,2008 from (External Link)

Hengeland,C.(n.d.), Questions: One aspect of teaching excellence . Retrieved February 14, 2008 from (External Link)

Hoyle, J. R. (2005). The standards movement in educational administration: The quest for respect. In T. Creighton, S. Harris&J. C. Coleman (Eds.), Crediting the past, challenging the present, creating the future (pp. 23-42). National Council of Professors of Educational Administration.

Forest, James JF.(1998). The teaching-oriented professoriate: International trends among faculty who prefer teaching over research. Dissertation. Retrieved February 18, 2008 from: (External Link)&Exp=02-16-2010&FMT=7&DID=738057401&R

Kellerman, B. (2007). What every leader needs to know about followers. Harvard Business Review , December, (pp. 84-91)

Leithwood, K.S., Louis, K. S., Anderson, S.,&Wahlstrom, K. (2004). How leadership influences student learning . Minneapolis, MN: Center for Applied Research and Education Improvement, University of Minnesota, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Ontario and The Wallace Foundation.

Levine, A. (2005). Educating school leaders . Washington, DC: The Education School Project Report

Marzano, R.J. (1992). A different kind of classroom: Teaching with dimensions of learning. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J.,&Pollock, J. E. (2001). Classroom instruction that works: Research-based strategies for increasing student achievement . Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Mid Continent Research for Education and Learning. www.mcrel.org/dimensions/whathow.asp .

National Science Foundation. (External Link)

Ornstein, A. C. (2003). Accountability: The finger is pointing at the teachers. In Pushing the envelope: Critical issues in education , (pp.95-104). NY: Merrill Prentice Hall.

Spelling, M. (2006). A test of leadership: Charting the future of U.S. higher education. ED Pubs, Eucation Publications Center, U. S. Department of Education. www.edpubs.org .

Svinicki, M.D. ( ) A comparison of some alternative teaching modes . Retrieved February 14, 2008 from http:///www.utexas.edu/academic/cte/sourcebook/teachingmethods.html

The Foundation Coalition (n.d.). EC 2000 a-k Instructional Modules. Retrieved on February 18, 2008 from (External Link)

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Source:  OpenStax, Performance assessment in educational leadership programs; james berry and ronald williamson, editors. OpenStax CNX. Sep 26, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11122/1.1
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