On January 19, four faculty members from the University of Minnesota Crookston business department participated in an Assignment Charrette Workshop. Using a unique virtual format, faculty workshop teaching assignments with several faculty members from the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Labovitz School of Business and Economics. Although faculty often solicit peer feedback on research papers, only recently has course design and assignments served as a focus for peer review.

During the half day workshop, faculty members worked in small breakout groups sorted by discipline. Each participant was able to invite the other group members to provide them with feedback on problems or aspects of designing, implementing, or assessing student work. Faculty in the disciplines of accounting, health management, and human resource management participated in this inaugural workshop.

U of M Crookston Associate Vice Chancellor Shawn Boyne worked with Interim Associate Dean Jannifer David from UMD to design the workshop. Boyne participated in a similar workshop when she served as a Fellow with the American Council of Education at James Madison University. The workshop design is modeled on a framework established by the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA). 

The purpose of the exercise is to improve assignment design and assessment of student work as well as to create opportunities for faculty members to network with faculty from another campus. 

“I really appreciated the opportunity to get to know a faculty member from the Duluth campus who is teaching in the same field,” Accounting Lecturer Grace Menze shared after the workshop. “The benefit of the Charrette is that it is not going to end with this one-time meeting. We also plan to meet again in the future. Because the faculty member from the Duluth campus is teaching the same subject matter, we will continue to connect going forward to have more discussion concerning the course content, curriculum, etc.”

A new member of the U of M Crookston faculty, Dr. Julie Smith Hinders, who serves as program director for the Health Management Program, echoed Menze’s comments. 

“It was great to be able to network with other health management faculty and to get feedback from one another on not just the assignments, but on other program-related topics as well,” said Hinders. “I truly feel the group I met with will continue to keep in touch and we even discussed how we might be able to work together in the future.”

Crookston faculty members who participated in the workshop included Kara Bowen, Julie Hinders, Megan Kragness, and Grace Menze. Participants from Duluth included Angie Braud, Kim Dauner, Lawrence Loi, and Jennifer Schultz.

“Given the positive feedback, we will be looking for opportunities with other campuses to allow more faculty to participate,” Boyne stated. “I look forward to working with the faculty to expand professional development and networking activities.”


Story Contact: Shawn Boyne
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