Monday, January 23

4:00 - 5:00 PM - Faculty Forum: Gen Ed Committee invites faculty to a discussion on the Future of AGES
Olin Auditorium 

6:30 PM - Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center's Book Discussion
"City of My Dreams", the first in a series by Per Anders Fogelstrom
RSVP to sag@augustana.edu or 309.794.7204
Swenson Center, Denkmann Building

7:00 PM - Nature Reads: An Evening of Nature Literature
Faculty and students share their favorite accounts of the beauty of nature
Brew by the Slough, Tredway Library, 4th floor 

Tuesday, January 24

10:30 AM - "What's New with Windows 7 and Office 2010"  CANCELLED
Olin 109 

10:45 AM - General Student Recital"
Wallenberg Hall, Denkmann Building

11:30 - 11:50 AM - Tuesday Reflection - Beth Lyons '12
Ascension Chapel, Founders Hall, 2nd floor

4:30 - 5:30 PM - Ekklesia Study Group
Old Main 121

5:00 - 6:00 PM - After Hours Prose & Poetry
Tredway Library, Room 518 

Wednesday, January 25

9:30 - 10:30 AM - Coffee and Conversation
CEC Conference Room, Sorensen Hall, 1st floor

12:00 - 12:50 PM - Faculty, Staff & Administrators' Bible Study
New Bible Study Series: "Justice for the Poor" featuring a 10-minute DVD introduction to each of the six sessions by Jim Wallis, editor-in-chief of Sojourners Magazine."
Bring your lunch and a Bible
Chicago Room, College Center

3:45 PM - ACTL session:  "Reflection - in the Classroom and Over the Course of the Major"
presented by Rebecca Cook, Kristin Douglas and Stephanie Fuhr
Tredway Library, 2nd floor South end 

7:00 PM - Hispanic Film Festival: Octubre
Film is in Spanish with English subtitles. Rated R. Free admission
Olin 102 

7:30 PM - Community Lecture Series: "The Epistemology of Moral Controversy" presented by Doug Parvin
Free Admission
Olin 122 

Thursday, January 26

10:30 - 11:20 AM - Convocation - Callie Crossley:  "Civil Rights History: Back to the Future?"
Centennial Hall 

6:30 PM - Mad Hatter Tea Party
Karin Youngberg will discuss tea party scenes from various Alice in Wonderland films. This event celebrates the 180th anniversary of the birth of Lewis Carroll, author of "Alice in Wonderland".
Tea and tarts will be served
Bettendorf Public Library, 2950 Learning Campus Drive, Bettendorf, Iowa 

7:00 PM - "Let's Talk About It: Making Sense of the American Civil War"
Steve Warren will lead this third session on the American Civil War.
For details or to register and obtain copies of program materials, visit 2nd fl. reference desk or call 309.524.2470. Free admission.
Moline Public Library, 3210 41st Street, Moline, Illinois 

Friday, January 27

4:00 PM - Friday Conversation: Gen Ed Committee invites faculty to a discussion on the Future of AGES
3:30 PM
- refreshments
Wilson Center 

6:00 - 9:00 PM - Sights and Sounds Exhibit
This free event features photography from both Augustana students and Quad-Cities high school students. The exhibition runs through 2-24-12.
Bucktown Center for the Arts, 225 E. 2nd Street, Davenport, Iowa 

7:30 PM - "How I Learned to Drive", a play about one young woman's complicated relationship with her uncle
Jennifer Popple, director
Recommended for junior high and older. Tickets are $11 for the public, $9 for senior citizens and students. Order tickets.
Potter Theatre, Bergendoff Hall

Saturday, January 28

7:30 PM - "How I Learned to Drive", a play about one young woman's complicated relationship with her uncle
Jennifer Popple, director
Recommended for junior high and older. Tickets are $11 for the public, $9 for senior citizens and students. Order tickets.
Potter Theatre, Bergendoff Hall
SABBATICAL REPORT following the performance presented by Adam Parboosingh.  Faculty, staff, students are invited to attend.

8:00 - 9:30 PM - James Galea
Called "magic's best card shark" Australian magician James Galea made his debut on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
$8 for the public; free for Augustana faculty, staff and students
Centennial Hall 

Sunday, January 29

1:30 PM - "How I Learned to Drive", a play about one young woman's complicated relationship with her uncle
Jennifer Popple, director
Recommended for junior high and older. Tickets are $11 for the public, $9 for senior citizens and students. Order tickets.
Potter Theatre, Bergendoff Hall

4:00 PM - Travel Reads Book Club "No Reservations"
This colorful coffee table book by Anthony Bourdain will be discussed.
Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
Evald Great Hall 

5:30 PM - Pea Soup Supper and Civil War Program
Pea soup supper served by the American Scandinavian Association. Mike Wendell, administrator of the Bishop Hill Heritage Association and Dan Dauw, a Civil War re-enactor, will speak on "Swedes in the Civil War".
5:30 - social hour
6:00 - dinner
$10 for adults and $5 for students. Make reservations by 1-23-12 - 309.762.8303 or email Loryann Eis
Westerlin Residence Center lounge 

Volume 9, Issue 19 - January 23, 2012

Delicious Ambiguity

If there was a magic potion that turned glum, unkempt, "I dare you to learn me some teachin," students into captivated, self-directed, and perpetually inquisitive knowledge hounds, we'd all want to know about it, right? Of course, student development doesn't quite work that way. And yet, there are specific pedagogical exercises that seem to be pretty influential in our first year students' growth - for those students lucky enough to encounter in it.

One such exercise is reflective learning. Although we often think of reflection as something that might be found in a journal assignment (or a mirror), it can happen in lots of settings and formats. And while some criticize reflection as little more than rationalized navel gazing, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that reflection - when facilitated well - can be a powerful learning tool. So I decided to see if reflective learning had any impact on the educational development of our first-year students who participated in the Wabash National Study in 2008. After all, since many of the "high-impact experiences" we often talk about (e.g., study abroad, internships) are rarely accessible to freshmen, we need to know the kinds of learning experiences that can make the first year of college more than "just a year of waiting to get to the good stuff."

The Wabash National Study accounted for reflective learning by combining three questions. They asked, "During the current school year,

Available responses included 1=never, 2=sometimes, 3=often, and 4=very often.

It turns out that the frequency of reflective learning reported by students at the end of their first year significantly influenced increases in Attitudes toward Literacy, Intellectual Curiosity, Intercultural Competence, Psychological Well Being, Socially Responsible Leadership, and Civic Engagement. These increases continued to be true even after accounting for differences in incoming ACT score, sex, gender, socio-economic status, instructional clarity and organization, integrative learning, and higher order thinking.

This finding is even more interesting because the average scores on each of these outcomes didn't change during the first year. In other words, while there were enough students who either regressed, increased, or stayed the same on each of these outcomes to keep the overall averages static, the students who made gains on these outcomes seem to have (at least) one thing in common - increased reflective learning experiences.

Coincidentally (ok, not really), on Wednesday of this week (1/25) at 4 PM, Kristin Douglas, Rebecca Cook, and Stephanie Fuhr will host a presentation in the Treadway Library about the ways that Biology has successfully infused reflection into the major. They'll talk about the challenges and successes they have seen and hopefully give you some ideas of ways that reflective learning might work in your course or major. In addition, Ryan White, Director of the Center for Vocational Reflection, is offering a one-time stipend to help faculty integrate reflection into their courses. If I weren't on an airplane on Wednesday, I'd be there.

I hope you'll attend and consider finding ways to infuse this "magic potion" into your teaching. Maybe it's not really an instant elixir - think of it a time-release capsule.


Make it a good day,

Mark