Anathea Portier-Young, Assistant Professor of Old Testament, Duke Divinity School
Anathea Portier-Young enrolled in the CIT’s Spring 2006 Fellows program designed for faculty teaching large classes. In Fall 2006, Portier-Young was teaching the course “Old Testament Interpretation,” a core requirement of all incoming Divinity students, and she wanted to explore ways to approach learning activities and manage course logistics in a class expected to have close to 200 students.
During the Fellows program, participants were introduced to methods that could be used to enhance student learning, including approaches to lectures, group activities and grading with large courses. Portier-Young explored class activities including guided note taking to give her students a clearer picture of important topics in the course. She also tried use of a class wiki for communication and collaborative writing, and developed grading rubrics for essay assignments. In addition, Portier-Young looked at methods to improve her lectures for better student understanding and engagement.
Outcomes reported from this Fellowship included that students demonstrated better comprehension of material and more confidence in assignments with the grading rubric, and the wiki received participation from most students in the class. Portier-Young plans to streamline and improve the activities in the future.
Project start date: 1/2006
Funding awarded: $1,250