2016 Kemper Speaker on Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Sep. 7, 2016

2017 Kemper Speaker on Excellence in Teaching and Learning
2017 Kemper Speaker: Helen Chen on Representing Student Learning

Provost Julian Schuster invites the Webster University community to activities featuring the fifth Annual William T. Kemper Speaker on Excellence in Teaching and Learning, Helen L. Chen. Chen, Director of ePortfolio Initiatives in the Office of the University Registrar and a research scientist in the Designing Education Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, will speak on Wednesday, Oct. 12, and will lead a faculty workshop and other conversations throughout the day on the topic of documenting, sharing, and evaluating learning through innovative mediums. 

Dr. Chen’s talk will offer ideas that will help departments conceptualize how to use portfolios and other representation of learning to increase the quality and efficiency of assessment while giving students the opportunity to communicate their learning for their immediate and long-term goals.  Faculty members who are looking to add an integrative component to their curriculum that will help students to connect the dots from their learning and experiences will benefit from hearing what contemporary practices support this, and will gain insights into how universities are beginning to document and credential new forms of learning (such as studying abroad or completing an experiential capstone).

In the coming months, Webster University will engage in a number of activities to measure and reflect on student learning, such as emerging credit for prior learning initiatives, preparation for forthcoming visit from the Higher Learning Commission, and the continuous improvement of our practices for assessing our Global Citizenship Program.  The ideas and trends explored by Dr. Chen will provide rich information for the university community at this important time in our work.

Keynote Presentation

"Redesigning Representations of Student Learning in the Digital Era”
Wednesday, Oct. 12, 11:30 a.m.
East Academic Building, room 253

How can the spectrum of learning, educational success, capacities and skills that are produced by a 21st- century liberal education be effectively documented, assessed, and demonstrated to diverse stakeholders? From traditional transcripts to evidence-centered ePortfolios, how can these representations of learning become more “representative” of the unique opportunities, interactions, and experiences afforded by an education at Webster?  In this talk, we will collectively brainstorm and explore how we can strengthen learners’ self-understanding of what they know and can do and empower innovation in both learners and campus educators.


Wednesday, Oct. 12, 1 p.m.
East Academic Building, Edward Jones Commons

A reception will follow the presentation, with refreshments and conversation on the topic of representations of student learning. All are invited to the reception including those who are unable to attend the talk or workshop.

Faculty Workshop

'From learning outcomes to evidence of learning: Brainstorming strategies for the design of effective assessment approaches'

Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2 p.m.
East Academic Building, Room 202
RSVP to askfdc@webster.edu

Working backwards from the evidence and artifacts of learning that are produced from engaging in study abroad, projects, and other high-impact experiences, this session will address three questions focused on the theme of evidence and their possible implications for ePortfolio tools:

  • What does evidence look like (evidence OF WHAT)?
  • Who would be interested in looking at evidence (evidence FOR WHOM)?
  • What are the different uses of evidence (evidence FOR WHAT PURPOSE)?

We will explore how design thinking tools and processes (http://dschool.stanford.edu/) can be used to inform and support creative approaches to how we document, assess, and communicate the journey from outcomes to evidence of student learning in ways that are compelling and persuasive to multiple stakeholders.

Speaker Bio

Helen L. Chen is a research scientist in the Designing Education Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of ePortfolio Initiatives in the Office of the University Registrar at Stanford University.  She is a co-founder of EPAC, an ePortfolio community of practice, and serves as a board member for the Association for Authentic, Experiential and Evidence-Based Learning and a co-executive editor for the International Journal of ePortfolio. Helen has collaborated with the Association of American Colleges and Universities on a variety of higher education and assessment-related initiatives and is a co-author of Documenting Learning with ePortfolios: A Guide for College Instructors.  Her current research and scholarship focus on engineering and entrepreneurship education; the pedagogy of portfolios and reflective practice in higher education; and redesigning how learning is represented in traditional transcripts and academic credentials.

tags:  academics, webster life, webster today, faculty development center, faculty, strategic plan, kemper speaker,