First Year Colloquium: Discovering the Authentic Self

Joan Riley (Human Science) · Round 4

The First Year Colloquium (FYC) provides an opportunity to equip students as they begin their Georgetown journeys with the skills and self-awareness needed to become their best, authentic selves. For this course to be effective as a high impact practice (AAC&U, 2008), faculty must have the capacity to create meaningful, engaged, and reflective learning. Teaching content in which they are experts, faculty must be able to effectively create a learning climate that is characterized by intentionality, interaction and reflection (Clayton-Pedersen & Finley, 2010). In such a learning climate, students will be able to develop new ways of thinking and engaging, normalize the feelings and emotions that are part of the transition to college, develop skills to be reflective and to "thrive" in college.

During Spring 2015, this ITEL project, led by Principal Investigator Joan Riley, is integrating faculty development workshops biweekly for 2 hours. These incorporate expert resources to focus on skill building in areas that include reflective writing and leading difficult classroom conversation; integration of e-portfolio platform into each course content; development of impactful project-based assignments and group evaluation methods; integration of self-awareness tools such as activity trackers, emotional intelligence testing (EQI), personality inventory (Myers-Briggs) and other instruments; and, discussion of faculty needs, reflections, goals and strategies throughout the workshop experiences. Through this project, Riley is creating a community of faculty learners to design and practice pedagogy innovation and to share lessons learned and best practices with faculty colleagues. The project also aims to facilitate engagement by giving students ownership and purpose, providing motivation, and creating a community of learners.