Doing Things Differently: Scaling Up at Guttman ·…

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    mcnrc December 7, 2013

    Doing Things Differently: Scaling Up at Guttman CommunityCollege


    1. Summary

    2. Authors

    3. Part I: Current Status

    4. Part II: Catalyst and Connector

    5. Part III: Developmental History

    6. History

    7. Decisions

    8. Opening the College

    9. Connections to Core Strategies

    10. Our Next Steps

    11. Connections to Other Sectors of the Catalyst

    12. Pedagogy

    13. Prof essional Development

    14. Outcomes Assessment

    15. Technology

    16. Supporting Documents

    17. Conclusion



  • Guttman Community Colleges scaling up story, in many ways,begins in August 2012, when we welcomed our f irst group ofstudents to the college. But, in another important way, theconversation and f ocus on ePortf olio and learning beganearlier than that, in the init ial planning phases of the college. From the onset of the planning and preparation f or this newcollege, the f ocus of our work has been to do thingsdif f erently. The use of ePortf olio is no exception to thismantra. We began with ePortf olio at scale by the end ofthe f irst week of our Summer Bridge program every studentat the college had an ePortf olio. In that f irst year, we wereonly 300 students and approximately 15 f ull- t ime f aculty; weaccomplished a tremendous amount while encountering many challenges along the way. Guttmans Scaling UpStory, while it does not span a large timef rame, is rich in successes, challenges, and lessons learned about theprocess of creating an institutional culture of learning using ePortf olio.

    AuthorsLaura M. GambinoChet JordanNate Mickelson

    For a printable, PDF version of Guttmans Scaling Up Story, Click Here.

    Part I: Current StatusStella and Charles Guttman Community College, f ormerly theNew Community College at CUNY, is beginning its secondacademic year with ePortf olio as the centerpiece ofinstitutional and pedagogical learning. Our core values ref lecta college-wide init iative of collaborative learning and theintegrated exchange of ideas. Focusing on high- impactpractices, our college is deeply committed to student andf aculty learning communities, an integrated f irst-yearexperience that serve as a pathway to the major curricula, thepermeation of technology throughout teaching and learning,and active course, program, and institutional- levelassessment. Each of these practices relies on ePortf olio asa source of connectivity, ref lection, and collaborative analysis.

    Our ePortf olio project is at scale. Every student at the college has an ePortf olio that they actively usethroughout their f irst year experience and in their programs of study second-year courses. ePortf olio is theplace where students demonstrate, articulate, and ref lect on their learning while connecting their classroomexperience to advising, co-curricular, and experiential learning. As we f ormally launch our outcomesassessment work in our colleges second year, ePortf olio is the means by which we will assess our GuttmanLearning Outcomes (GLO). ePortf olio is also used by our Student Success Advocates (f irst year advisors) andour Career Strategists (second year advisors) to help student set goals, identif y personal strengths andweaknesses, and develop academic and career plans.

  • Our f irst year was challenging. Much of our work f ocused on getting everyone at the college introduced toePortf olio pedagogy students, f aculty, and administrators. We also worked to develop comprehensive plansf or our GLO assessment and ePortf olio-related prof essional development. Over the course of the year, wedid see a deepening of understanding of ePortf olio pedagogy f rom many of our f aculty, and students beganto take ownership of their ePortf olio and an understanding of the ways in which ePortf olio can help themconnect their learning experiences into a cohesive whole. We learned f rom our f irst year s work and madechanges to the way we introduced ePortf olio to both students and f aculty during this current academic year. We already see the posit ive results of our ef f orts students are more engaged with ePortf olio and f aculty areintegrating ePortf olio pedagogy into their curriculum. Building on this success, we rencently launched anePortf olio taskf orce, at the request of our president, Scott Evenbeck, to spread the use of ePortf olio acrossour institution.

    Our C2L team views challenges as opportunit ies to consistently learn as we build, revisit, and revise ourpractices and processes. As we look f orward, our most signif icant challenge will be integrating the use ofePortf olio in our second year coursework, which f ocuses on the programs of study. We are just beginning oursecond year here at the college and much work still needs to be done in this regard. We are conf ident,however, that we have built a solid base of understanding of ePortf olio as a pedagogical and advising tool. We look f orward to the challenge of creating a programs of study ePortf olio experience f or our students asthey begin to prepare their portf olios f or transf er and employment. With student learning as our f ocus, we arecommitted to using ePortf olio as an instructional practice that will inf orm senior colleges and f uture employersof student success.

    Part II: Catalyst and ConnectorAt Stella and Charles Guttman Community College, ePortf olioserves as both a catalyst and a connector in a number ofways. First and f oremost, ePortf olio catalyzes learning student learning, f aculty learning, and institutional learning. The integration of ePortf olio into the Summer Bridge andFirst Year curricula provides students multiple opportunit iesto demonstrate, articulate, and ref lect on their learning. Students also use ePortf olio to learn about themselves asthey set goals, identif y strengths and weaknesses, anddevelop academic and career plans. By examining studentePortf olios, f aculty learn about what works and doesnt workat the course and program level. And, by using ePortf olios towork with the Guttman Learning Outcomes, we are learning as an institution, identif ying ways in which we canimprove and create a better learning experience f or our students.

    ePortf olio also serves as a connector, bringing together pedagogy, prof essional development, and outcomesassessment. We see assessment as an inquiry-based prof essional development process. Our assessmentplan outlines a three-year plan f or assessing each GLO; the f irst year will f ocus on inquiry and investigation,the second on ref lection, and the f inal year will f ocus on integration. Ways to improve our pedagogy will be thef ocus of the inquiry and on-going prof essional development is integrated throughout the process. ePortf olioalso connects academic work and advising, bringing together f aculty and staf f to talk about the whole student with students ePortf olios at the center of that conversation.

    Part III: Developmental History


  • The New Community College proposed to use the ePortf olioas a means of assessing student learning across thecurriculum and co-curriculum and, more importantly, as a toolf or enhancing student and institutional learning. Planning f orthe Colleges ePortf olio Init iative began in early 2010, inparallel with other development ef f orts, through the work ofa committee of CUNY f aculty, institutional researchers, andindustry experts. The committees report, issued in March2010, recommended a whole college portf olio assessmentsystem grounded in learning outcomes and collaboratively-scored rubrics. Thus f rom the beginning, the ePortf olio hasbeen an institutional priority. The report emphasized thatclear communication about learning outcomes, the use of the ePortf olio, and the results of assessment, alongwith consistent institutional support would be crucial to the success of the init iative. The report laid out af ramework f or developing the system, including the f ollowing points:

    Specif ying course, program and institutional learning outcomes and rubrics f or grading and assessment;

    Identif ying artif acts students would submit during the mandatory pre-college program, 1stsemester,2nd semester, and at graduation;

    Conducting ongoing training f or f aculty, staf f and students in the use of the system and in ref lectivepedagogy;

    Building assessment practices that include both f ormative and summative assessment by f aculty andself -assessment by students;

    Linking portf olio assessment to f aculty and curricular development ef f orts coordinated by the Centerf or College Ef f ectiveness.

    Committees of f aculty and staf f worked on the elements of this f ramework over the past two years .A team off aculty took part in the Making Connections ePortf olio and Mini-Grant Seminar Progam during the 2010-2011academic year. We made great progress prior to the opening of the college: Digication was selected as theePortf olio platf orm; learning outcomes and some rubrics were draf ted; signature assignments were developedf or submission during the f irst year; a template f or student portf olios was created; prof essional developmentworkshops were of f ered, including sessions with Elizabeth Clark (LaGuardia CC), Laura Gambino (Guttman),and Jef f Yan (CEO of Digication); and student work f rom the Summer Bridge program was sampled andassessed.


  • The key driver of the implementation of ePortf olio atGuttman has been commitment at every level to using thesystem to support and enhance student learning. While therehave been logistical challenges, f aculty and staf f are inagreement about the value to students of integrating theePortf olio in all courses and co-curricular activit ies. Forexample, on the recommendation of a committee of f acultyand staf f charged with developing co-curricular programs f orthe College during AY 2011-12, the student ePortf oliotemplate includes a section tit led Campus & CommunityConnections f or showcasing and ref lecting on learningstudents achieve of f campus. The system is being viewed asa space where students will make connections among courses, experiences, and their daily lives.

    Opening the College

    In August 2012, Guttman of f icially opened as the f irst newcollege in the CUNY system in over f orty years. As arequirement of the institutional model and core curriculum,students participated in a three-week Summer BridgeProgram. In order to establish what Randy Bass calls aculture of learning where students see themselves asstakeholders in their own education, one of the f irstobjectives of Summer Bridge was to have each studentcreate an ePortf olio using a predesigned template. Embedded within each student portf olio were pages thatinclude several Signature Assignments which will be assessedusing our institutional learning outcomes rubrics. One of ourcore goals is to extend the scope of the college outward intothe City. During Summer Bridge, students and f acultyparticipated in a f ield exercise which examined iconic New York City locales through multiple lenses. Studentsreported their f indings through multimodal presentations in ePortf olio. Through the Center f or CollegeEf f ectiveness, Dr. Laura Gambino led a team of f aculty in gathering and evaluating data f rom Summer Bridge.

    The Center f or College Ef f ectiveness (CCE) is charged with collecting institutional data, analyzing andreporting inf ormation, and consulting with f aculty and staf f on best practices through prof essionaldevelopment. Making Use of Evidence, Advancing through Prof essional Development, and Aligning withInstitutional Planning are three vital Core Strategies that intersect in the Center on College Ef f ectiveness. Thereliance on these strategies f or institutional growth allows us to continue to close the loop in developingpractices that characterize a learning-centered culture f or both students and f aculty. As the Faculty Scholarf or Teaching, Learning, and Assessment, Dr. Gambino serves as an active leader in the CCE. Leading thisef f ort, the Center will guide the use of Portf olio as an integral tool f or assessing our Guttman LearningOutcomes. This assessment will serve as a learning process f aculty and staf f , and will providerecommendations f or short- and long-term curricular planning.

    We are actively developing pedagogical best practices within ePortf olio. Our f irst-year courses are designedto promote experiential learning and increase student success and retention rates. Students participate in athree-component City Seminar course which f ocuses on Reading and Writ ing, Quantitative Reasoning andCrit ical Issues. Not only are these sections linked through a tethered curriculum, classroom activit ies andscaf f olded Signature Assignments are connected through ePortf olio, allowing students and instructors toparticipate in a dynamic exchange of ref lection and idea-sharing.

  • Students also incorporate their co-curricular experiences intotheir ePortf olio. Students not only ref lect on academic work,but on the entirety of their college experience. StudentSuccess Advocates, Graduate Coordinators, and PeerMentors serve as the point of intersection between academiccourses and the co-curriculum. Graduate Coordinators andPeer Mentors work in collaboration with Student SuccessAdvocates and f aculty to ensure that each student isreceiving individualized and supported instruction. RandyBass argues that ePortf olio should enable students to moreeasily make connections among the courses in a degreeprogram and between General Education courses andprogram courses. Students are actively working within their ePortf olios as they maneuver through theircourse assignments. Our college is not only embedding assignments into ePortf olio, we are also bringing theplatf orm to the f oref ront in courses and in Studio. The visual presence of ePortf olio is alive in ourclassrooms. Guttman is committed to providing students with the skills they require to develop evidence-based inquiry projects that are relevant to contemporary issues and prof essions. In order to maximize inputf rom various stakeholders, our peer mentors are trained to assist students in capitalizing on the f unctionalityof ePortf olio as a way t...


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