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ACM-Teagle Collegium on Student Learning

ACM formed the Collegium on Student Learning in 2008 with the generous support of a $150,000 grant provided by the Teagle Foundation.

Fifteen faculty members from across the disciplines and representing 12 ACM colleges participated in the ACM-Teagle Collegium.

The two-year project sought to deepen faculty members’ understanding of how students learn, and more specifically, of how students acquire the skills and knowledge that are the hallmarks of a liberal education: critical thinking and analysis, integration across disciplines, reflection about the goals of education, and development of expertise through focused research with faculty. Recent research on metacognition served as a focal point for the Collegium.

The grant-funded activities of the Collegium project wrapped up with a conference on "Understanding Student Learning" in fall 2010 at Macalester College. 

The work of the Collegium did not end at that time, though, as members of the group continued their individual and collaborative projects on metacognition, have remained in contact with each other, and have disseminated the results of the project at national conferences.

Disseminating the results and continuing the work

ISSOTL Conference presentations

Collegium participants presented two sessions at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning conference in Milwaukee in October 2011.

  • Rachel Ragland (Lake Forest College), David Schodt (St. Olaf College), John Ottenhoff (ACM), and Dan Bernstein (U. of Kansas) presented on the Collegium as a faculty development project.
  • Diane Angell (St. Olaf College), Kristin Bonnie (Beloit College), Kent McWilliams (St. Olaf College), Rachel Ragland (Lake Forest College), Steve Singleton (Coe College), and David Thompson (Luther College)  gave presentions on their metacognitive projects.

Read more about the ISSOTL Conference presentations.

Collegium panel presentation at AAC&U

With an overflow crowd on hand, members of the Collegium presented a panel on "Metacognition in Liberal Education: A Report on Student Learning" at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and University (AAC&U) in January 2011 in San Franciso. 

Each of the four faculty presenters talked about strategies and practical exercises they’ve used in their courses. The exercises are designed to help students understand how they learn, and then to use that understanding to gauge their progress in a course, make adjustments so they study more effectively, and ultimately improve their grasp of the course material.

The participants in the panel were:

  • Kristin Bonnie, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Beloit College;
  • John Ottenhoff, Vice President of ACM;
  • Holly Swyers, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Lake Forest College;
  • David Thompson, Associate Professor of Spanish, Luther College; and
  • Karl Wirth Associate Professor of Geology, Macalester College.

Read more about the presentation at the AAC&U meeting in Inside Higher Ed and on the ACM website.

Metacognition on the Teagle Liblog

In November 2009 posts to the Liblog, the Teagle Foundation's liberal arts blog, three members of the ACM community provided an inside look at some of the exciting developments that are coming out of the work of the Collegium and on ACM campuses.

  • "The evidence is mounting that teaching students how to think about their thinking can transform our teaching and student learning," according to Karl Wirth, Associate Professor of Geology at Macalester College. In his post, Toward a Metacurriculum on Metacognition, Wirth outlines some of the ways he has designed more metacognition into his courses.
  • Consortial collaboration has led to a powerful way of building community for new students at Lake Forest College, writes Rachel Ragland in Metacognition in First Year Studies. An Assistant Professor of Education, Ragland describes how the ACM-Teagle Collegium's work on metacognition is being directly applied on her campus, and is getting a thumbs up from students.
  • In Working Together, ACM Vice President John Ottenhoff reflects on the hard work – as well as the need for "play" time – that goes into successful collaborations, and the payoffs that make it worthwhile.

ACM-Teagle Collegium, 2008-2010

Phases of the project

With funding from the Teagle Foundation, the Collegium project had four phases:

For more information

For more information about the ACM-Teagle Collegium on Student Learning, contact the ACM office (312-263-5000).