Tiered Feedback - Faculty Learning Communities
Faculty Learning Communities have been a staple of the College STAR program since its inception. The 2016-2017 year, however, will feature the debut of the first multi-campus virtual faculty learning community.
Dr. Lindsay Masland, an assistant professor of psychology at Appalachian State, is leading a virtual community on tiered feedback. This is a system she has used with success to manage the time it takes to grade student work where the assessments are more subjective and the work itself may be presented in a variety of formats. This can be a common experience when faculty design a course with a focus on Universal Design for Learning principles that provide learners with multiple ways to demonstrate what they know.
The Tiered Feedback Learning Community currently has 10 members, and they are using the Zoom platform for virtual face-to-face meetings. Faculty represent a variety of disciplines from English composition to dance. Masland said early on it also became apparent that they needed an asynchronous on-line group to keep people engaged even when they were unable to participate in the virtual face-to-face meetings. They are also using this on-line group as a place where members can post rubrics and journal articles.
Masland said members are becoming comfortable with the concept and are looking forward to implementing tiered feedback into their spring courses. A beauty of the approach, however, is that a faculty member can try it with a single assignment. Some faculty began experimenting with tiered feedback shortly after they became comfortable with the concept.
College Star is planning to add additional project-wide learning communities in 2017 to partner faculty and staff members across different college settings and facilitate shared learning and research around instructional practices that align with the principles of UDL.