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Thursday, June 23 • 13:45 - 14:45
CON07.06a - Using Large Group Projects to Foster Learning and Understanding across Diverse Student Populations

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What are some of the ways educators can get diverse students to work together on LGBT topics across differences of identity, lived experience, and relationship to the subject? In particular, how can we encourage students to form effective learning communities? In this paper, the authors explore the use of large group/whole class projects to increase student engagement with each other and to bridge differences in student knowledge and experience. Both of the authors teach courses with LGBTQ content, including one course in Women’s Studies called “Contemporary Queer Topics” and one in Media Studies called “HIV/AIDS: Representation, Cultural Production and Activism.” Wendy Pearson has used large group projects (groups of 10-12) for a variety of pedagogical reasons, including encouraging students of different genders, sexualities, races, classes and abilities to work together. Susan Knabe has created whole-class group projects that promote interaction between all members of the class.

In this paper, we will discuss the practical and pedagogical problems involved in getting students to work productively in large groups; these include teaching interpersonal relationship skills, negotiation and moderation skills, and the ability to assess and divide up work to make the most of a diverse range of abilities, knowledges, and interests. Both of us use peer and self-assessment methods to ensure that quality work is rewarded, to keep students accountable, and to promote self-reflexivity. In addition, these assessments require students to reflect on the assignment itself and provide us with useful feedback in terms of teaching strategies for working with diverse student populations, student-driven curriculum design and assessment, changing pedagogy to empower students, student response to self-assessment itself, and promoting student creativity and collaborative learning. We will provide specific examples of the issues we have encountered and will invite discussion of methods for inspiring excellent student engagement and creating worthwhile results.

Presenters
SK

Susan Knabe

Susan Knabe is an Associate Professor cross-appointed between Women's Studies and Feminist Research and the Faculty of Information and Media Studies. She is also Associate Dean, Undergraduate at FIMS. Recent publications include the edited collection Reverse Shots: Indigenous Film... Read More →
WP

Wendy Pearson

Wendy Gay Pearson is an Associate Professor and also Undergraduate Chair of the Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research. She is the co-editor of Reverse Shots: Indigenous Film and Media in an International Context (2014) and co-wrote the book Zero Patience (2011). She... Read More →


Thursday June 23, 2016 13:45 - 14:45
UCC 59

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