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EPIC Learning Plan for HSS

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Beth Anne Cornell

on 18 June 2015

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Transcript of EPIC Learning Plan for HSS

By the time Wentworth students conclude their EPIC learning experience in the Humanities and Social Sciences they will have:

1. Worked collaboratively and in teams to plan and execute research-based projects;

2. Identified complex problems and demonstrated strong problem-solving skills;

3. Sought out and interacted with external collaborators beyond the Wentworth academic community;

4. Demonstrated strong analytical thinking and communication skills through both oral presentations and written work;

5. Applied interdisciplinary approaches to learning and problem solving.

Externally Collaborative
Project Based
Definition: Collaboration between course participants and entities external to WIT academic departments for the purpose of expanding the scope of students' academic experience beyond the classroom.

social service agencies
other colleges and universities
non-profit organizations
for-profit businesses
non-academic agencies within the WIT community (for example, ACCELERATE, CCLP)
hospitals and other healthcare organizations
public officials, politicians
Definition: A comprehensive instructional approach to engaging students in sustained, collaborative education based on exploration of real-world problems and challenges. A collaborative or individual project in which the focus involves engaging students with a topic that must be researched, analyzed, curated, archived, or disseminated to the community.

major presentations (documented in PowerPoint, Prezi, outlines, etc.)
audio projects
digital timelines
poetry/writing portfolios and publications
proof of concept projects
original works of art, exhibits or installations
websites and other digital materials
group projects that are researched, documented, and presented either to the class or to external audiences

Interdisciplinary: A field of study that crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought; a course or program of study involving two or more major areas and departments simultaneously.

The HSS department represents a range of disciplines including: American Studies, Archaeology, Art History, Communications, Economics, English Literature, Film, History, Media Studies, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, and Sociology.
Intra- and interdepartmental guest lecturing

Team teaching involving two or more instructors from different disciplines within the College of Arts and Sciences and/or other colleges within the Institute

Themes in Humanities and Social Sciences Course
EPIC Learning Plan for the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Definition: Flexible pedagogy courses offered in HSS are courses that may not incorporate one of the three elements of EPIC learning.

A flexible pedagogy course will rely on the instructor's expertise and experience to teach a course that meets rigorous learning outcomes and that achieves goals complementary to or distinct from EPIC learning.

A foundational practices class (an ENGL I or ESL class, for example) that lays the foundation for the kind of analytical thinking and written work required in EPIC courses.

A class iteration in which the instructor determines that teaching methodologies outside of EPIC learning are the most effective pedagogical tools for conveying content and assessing student success.
THE DETAILS: Strategies for effective implementation of EPIC learning in Humanities and Social Sciences
Themes in the Humanities & Social Sciences
Themes in the Humanities and Social Sciences (THS) will be a fully EPIC course offered in each of the three semesters. The course will focus on a unique theme each semester.

The course will have flexible meeting hours to support creative learning methodologies. For example a Fall THS might be scheduled in traditional two-hour blocks, while the Spring THS is scheduled in three-hour and one-hour blocks, and the Summer THS in a four-hour block. Instructors will determine the best format in which to accomplish the learning outcomes two semesters prior to the course offering.
Each THS class will be developed and taught by two or more HSS faculty representing different disciplines, fields, or areas of expertise.

The course will be offered to students from every major who have completed the Freshmen English sequence.
The course will require a flexible learning space, including lecture halls, display space, and traditional classrooms, and may include off-site visits.
The HSS department will offer its first THS class in the Spring of 2015.
BHAG: By 2020 ALL WIT students will take one THS class as one of their five HSS electives.
THS will give each faculty member an opportunity to engage with EPIC learning, and by 2020 THS will be a required course, insuring that each student will have a fully EPIC learning experience in HSS.
Each faculty member in HSS will teach THS in a rotation managed by the department chair. The goal will be to group interdisciplinary faculty within HSS to create opportunities for creative collaboration.

The THS course will include the same standards for rigor required of all HSS elective courses.
Work Plans & Instruction/Assessment Rubrics
Before the start of any EPIC learning collaboration, instructors will develop rubrics for instruction/assessment and work distribution and submit this plan to the appropriate chairs prior to the start of the course.
Presentation of Work:
The HSS Showcase
Beginning in the Spring of 2015 the HSS department will host The HSS Showcase at the end of each fall and spring semester. The HSS Showcase will provide an opportunity for instructors and students who have participated in EPIC courses to showcase student scholarship.

Jan 29
Feb 5
Mar 6
Feb 20-28
Jan 21
Nov. 21
Academic Leadership Offsite Meeting
The Chair and the Plan point person (in her role as VP of the Senate) attend the offsite meeting in which the ALT worked in small groups to discuss "Targets, Tactics, and Measures" for EPIC learning.
The CAS small group discussed the need for Learning Outcomes for EPIC, and this discussion inspired some of the language included in the HSS EPIC Learning Outcomes.
Presentations and Adjustments
2-20: HSS EPIC Strategic Plan Team meets to review and discuss the draft plan before distribution to faculty; plan e-mailed to all HSS faculty

2-25: HSS Department meeting to review plan; more adjustments made.

2-28: Plan Team presents draft plan to Dean Hafford; additional adjustments made.
Final Presentation
Ron Bernier meets with Pat Hafford, Provost Pinizzotto, and Associate provost Susan Paris to present the plan.
Russ Meets with HSS to discuss EPIC
HSS Meeting to Discuss EPIC
Faculty review Provost's EPIC slides regarding definitions and timetables for EPIC.
Faculty share the details of current EPIC work and discuss benefits, strategies, difficulties, and possibilities.
Faculty agree to develop a HSS strategic plan for EPIC.
Outlining the Plan
All HSS faculty are invited to e-mail the Plan's point person with ideas, questions, and concerns regarding EPIC.
The Plan point person gathers and synthesizes the data.
Follow-up e-mail sent to faculty with specific guidelines and questions, including a request to consider possible Learning Outcomes for EPIC.
Spirited EPIC e-mail discussion continues with input from nearly all faculty in HSS.
Full transcript