The Office for Academic Excellence and Assessment (AEA) has historically been tasked with advancing the assessment of student learning. For more than fifteen years, AEA, through various programs, has introduced innovative forms of teaching, developed faculty's reflective practices, and encouraged a variety of forms of assessing student learning. In essence, AEA works to empower educators as agents of transformative learning.
Learning rarely occurs in isolation; therefore, you are invited to join with your colleagues (and students) in one or more Formative Learning Communities. The relationship between education and formation is rooted in our Jesuit pedagogical paradigm. Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm consists of: Context, Experience, Reflection, Action, and Evaluation. Originally expressed by St. Ignatius of Loyola, Peter Felten and colleagues have recently applied "formative development of the whole person" to education outside the traditional Jesuit context, in their book, Transformative Conversations: A Guide to Mentoring Communities Among Colleagues in Higher Education. What they have discovered is a long-held truth: all education is formation.
At Creighton, where all are encouraged and developed to be "life long learners," faculty and professional staff are reminded that their ongoing formation experiences are important for our educational excellence and invited to share perspectives or even challenge traditional assumptions by: joining us in an exploration of collaborative and innovative teaching practices; utilizing a variety of faculty/assessment mentoring resources; and celebrating a variety of creative methods by which to study and assess our students' learning, as showcased in the 2014-2015 AEA Development Grant Series and the annual Distinguished Educator in Teaching as Scholarship award.
This year's AEA programs are as diverse as your teaching-learning interests and offered in a variety of venues (distance, online, and face-to-face) and formats (single session trainings, 60-90 minute presentations and/or semester-long series). As we begin the 2014-2015 academic year, it is imperative that we come together to support ourselves and our work through Formative Learning Communities. Stated another way, I echo the invitation extended in "Transformative Conversations," (2013, p. 29).
Join in and contribute to these explorations and discussions by finding the topic and Formative Learning Community that best matches your interest and availability; you are encouraged to begin our academic year with your own commitment to teaching, learning, and reflective evaluation, as guided by Ignatian pedagogy and the Creighton tradition. When we (faculty, staff, students) join together as a collaborative, educational community, we encourage and are able to celebrate the best of Creighton's educational experiences.
For inquiries about faculty development programming, contact Michele King at 402.280.3036 or Mary Emmer at 402.280.1109.
Read more about opportunities for Teaching and Learning, view our recent Teaching and Learning Connections newsletter.
For a list of publications that feature scholarly discussion of the art and practice of teaching view the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Journals.