14:13 PM

UHD Chosen for Curriculum Redesign and Problem-Centered Learning Project

The University of Houston-Downtown has been named as one of the seven minority-serving institutions chosen to participate in the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) project entitled "Advancing Underserved Student Success Through Faculty Intentionality in Problem-Centered Learning." The project, funded by a grant from TG Philanthropy, will examine the effects of clear student learning expectations and problem-centered instructional strategies on the development and success of underserved college students.

The project builds upon existing research on intentional and effective classroom strategies, high-impact educational practices and programs, and assessment approaches that use rubrics to evaluate students' demonstrated achievement.

"Minority-serving institutions have an important role to play in understanding how colleges and universities can improve success outcomes for underserved students. The seven institutions chosen for this project have demonstrated a commitment to student success, quality educational experiences, and assessment — each of which is essential for advancing real change in higher education," said Ashley Finley, AAC&U's Senior Director of Assessment and Research.

The project at UHD will be coordinated by the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) and a group of facilitating faculty members, including Rachna Sadana, Adriana Visbal, Yuanyuan Kang, John Kelly and Creshema Murray.

Under the leadership of AAC&U researchers, Ashley Finley, Senior Director of Assessment and Research, and Tia McNair, Senior Director for Student Success, the team will:

  • Develop problem-centered, high-impact learning experiences and assignments;
  • Create strategies for clearly articulating expectations and goals for learning;
  • Use VALUE rubrics to directly assess student work for demonstrated achievement of Essential Learning Outcomes, such as integrative learning and problem solving; and
  • Create faculty portfolios to enable instructors to document and reflect upon effective teaching practices.

AAC&U is the leading national association concerned with the quality, vitality, and public standing of undergraduate liberal education.