Incorporating the Diversity of Academic Disciplines in a College-Wide First-Year Seminar Course to Address University Problems

Author

Jennifer T. Edwards

College of Liberal and Fine Arts

Tarleton State University

Citation

Edwards, J. T. (2016). Incorporating the Diversity of Academic Disciplines in a College-Wide First Year Seminar Course to Address University Problems. Tarleton State University.

Description

Through this interactive group assignment, students are required to utilize their skills and their academic majors to solve a problem on campus (DQP – Applied and Collaborative Learning). At the end of the assignment, the students presented the problem and solution in a presentation format to the Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA).

Background Context

This assignment is the signature assignment for my First-Year Seminar Course (college-wide) for first-time in college students attending Tarleton State University. This group assignment serves as an introduction to research in the College of Liberal and Fine Arts – First Year Seminar Course (LFA 100) at Tarleton State University. Students divide into groups of four to five to form their research projects. Each group is required to utilize their skills and their academic majors to solve a problem on campus. At the end of the assignment, the group will present the problem and solution in a presentation format to the Dean of the College of Liberal and Fine Arts.  The First-Year Seminar course is mandatory for all first-time in college students attending Tarleton State University.

Alignment and Scaffolding

I incorporate this assignment after emphasizing the FYS course material (i.e. – financial literacy, etc.):

I. Background of the Problem (at least four sources from library databases). [Week 11]

II. Full Explanation of the Problem at Tarleton (at Least Two Paragraphs) – [Week 11]

III. How Can the Problem Be Solved Through the College of Liberal and Fine Arts (COLFA)? Explain how the problem could be solved through the COLFA group. Take me step-by-step. Make sure you apply each of your group members’ majors to the proposed solution for the campus! (Longer Section – One Introductory Paragraph and Bullet Points for the steps) – [Week 12]

IV. Potential Benefits of the COLFA Solution (One Paragraph) – [Week 12]

V. Potential Negative Impacts of the COFLA Solution (One Paragraph) – [Week 13]

VI. Candid, Informal Responses from Each Group Member about the Project. What did you think? (Bullet Points) – [Week 14]

VII. Group Presentations for University Leaders (VP of Student Life, Provost, etc.)! & Peer Evaluation of Group Members (Teamwork Value Rubric) [Week 15]

Reflections

I incorporated this assignment in my basic public speaking courses and my First-Year Seminar courses with positive feedback from students. The students are reluctant to work in teams, but they appreciate the approach by the end of assignment. The best part of the assignment is the feedback from university leadership. They are excited about the presentations and they utilize the information from the presentations in future decisions.


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