Beginnings with the density of soap

Beginnings are perhaps the single most important moment in a relationship. The complication with starting off day one with a community building exercise in a collegiate class - unlike the scenes shown in movies - is add/drop. For the first three days the class role is an unstable and shifting field of play, with students appearing on and disappearing from the role. Last spring I had opted to do an introduction to physical science and that the mathematics underneath a system explains the system - juggling stationary versus juggling on a RipStik produced parabolic arcs of different widths to an external observer, but the quadratic nature of the mathematics remains the same.]

Fall 2018, however, introduced new 50 minutes class periods (class periods have been 55 minutes since I came on board in 1992). There was still the requirement to be met of introducing the syllabus, and, in the wake of the adoption of Schoology January 2018, I also distributed a tech websites and apps handout aimed …


The southwestern ethnogarden was still in relatively good shape at the start of this term. so I opted to start the class in the Haruki cemetery area and introduced the class to the plants in the cemetery before moving over to the ethnogarden to the east of the cemetery. I noted that the cemetery gets cleaned up only on the week of the vernal and autumnal equinoxes.

Cleaning up around the Senna alata
On the left Senna alata, on the right Jasminum sambac
Cleaning around the Cymbopogon citratus
Jacqueline hand pulls the Ischaemum polystachyum (paddle grass)

The class is large this term - 27 at the start. There were more hands than space in which to deploy those hands. There was a fair amount of standing around, but that was for a lack of tasks to be done and not idleness.

Schoology training for faculty at the Yap campus

When one tours a country, seeing a place for the first time through the windows of a tour bus, one does not necessarily understand what one is seeing. One still gets a broad impression of what the country contains. I opened the workshop in that manner, presenting a tour through the features of Schoology. The presentation is eighty-six slides that cover a number of aspects of Schoology - a bus tour through some sections of Schoology.

I noted that even with an empty campus, and fiber optic connectivity, the latency I was seeing suggested that once students arrived on campus, there might yet be bandwidth issues. Knowing that Google Drive Assignments performs well in a low-bandwidth environment, I opted to share the Google Drive Assignments presentation after the morning break.

After lunch I worked one-on-one with individual faculty. The ways in which each faculty member sets up a grade book and associated grading system is unique to each faculty member. There are also other unique needs …

Assessment of Schoology usage by faculty

An estimated usage of Schoology spring 2018 based on student surveys suggested that on the order of 83% of the national site college faculty were using Schoology in support of their courses. At that time a separate survey of faculty reported that 90% of the faculty at the national site were using Schoology learning management system. The national site faculty survey, being an anonymous self-report, was thought to over-estimate Schoology usage among national campus faculty. Faculty who were not using Schoology might have been less inclined to submit a survey as Schoology usage is mandated at sites connected to the Internet by fiber optic cable.

In December 2018 survey forms were distributed to 37 faculty mailboxes at the national site, a meager six surveys were returned. The sample size was too small to draw any useful conclusions.

A separate unpublished analysis of student logins done in December 2018 by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness indicated that 95% of the students at t…

Assessing general education science program learning outcome 3.5

General education science program learning outcome 3.5 states that students will be able to:

Perform experiments that use scientific methods as part of the inquiry process.
This outcome serves institutional learning outcome eight quantitative reasoning where students will demonstrate the:

Ability to reason and solve quantitative problems from a wide array of authentic contexts and everyday life situations; comprehends and can create sophisticated arguments supported by quantitative evidence and can clearly communicate those arguments in a variety of formats.

Taken together, the assessment for program learning outcome 3.5 ought to provide evidence of an ability to create data supported documents that communicate results of experiments performed using scientific methods. In science classes with a laboratory component, laboratory reports provide documentation of students engaging in gathering data, analyzing data, and discussing results. The laboratory reports may also include tables of da…

Obtaining TracDat data from Schoology

Entering data into TracDat remains a manual procedure at this institution. This task can be facilitated in upcoming terms by setting up Schoology to associate course learning outcomes with assignments during the term. This makes data entry into Schoology as quick and as painless as possible.

Enter you course learning outcomes in the Resources section of Schoology. This only needs to be done once: the learning outcomes, called learning objectives in Schoology, remain in place term after term.

I have my course learning outcomes organized in folders.

To add course learning objective, choose a Custom Learning Objective.

Enter your learning outcome. Learning outcomes usually do not have a title on course outlines, the title has to be invented. Enter one outcome as one objective (ignore the plural in the Description above!)

One can also include specific learning outcomes as seen above, although only course level outcomes are tracked in TracDat. 

As one creates assignments, online test quest…

Assessing Learning in Ethnobotany

SC/SS 115 Ethnobotany proposes to serve four program learning outcomes through three course level outcomes. The course serves learning outcomes in general education, the Micronesian studies program, and the Agriculture and Natural Resources program.

PLO SC/SS 115 CLO GE 3.4 Define and explain scientific concepts, principles, and theories of a field of science. 1. Identify local plants, their reproductive strategies, and morphology. GE 4.2 Demonstrate knowledge of the cultural issues of a person’s own culture and other cultures.

MSP 2 Demonstrate proficiency in the geographical, historical, and cultural literacy of the Micronesian region. 2. Communicate and describe the cultural use of local plants for healing, as food, as raw materials, and in traditional social contexts. ANR 2 Demonstrate basic competencies in the management of land resources and food production. 3. Demonstrate basic field work competencies related to management of culturally useful plant resources and foods.