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DARTs: Discuss-Apply-Reflect Tools Workshops

Join colleagues for a DART this semester at BCC’s Teaching and Learning Center, Room 341:

Intro to Reading Apprenticeship for All Disciplines

Part 1: Tuesday Feb 11, 12:20 – 1:15pm           

Part 2: Tuesday Mar 11, 12:20 – 1:15pm

“When secondary and college students don’t read with understanding, or avoid reading academic texts altogether, what can help? Reading Apprenticeship draws on teachers’ untapped expertise as discipline–based readers and on students’ untapped strengths as learners. The result is a research–based, research–tested partnership that benefits students and teachers alike. Randomized controlled studies have shown that with Reading Apprenticeship,

        • Teachers increase the effectiveness of their disciplinary teaching.
        • Students build both reading and subject area competence.
        • Students gain the dispositions to engage, problem solve, and persevere when faced with challenging academic texts.”

This workshop series is a great opportunity to learn about Reading Apprenticeship and try out some of the approaches with your students. If you are interested in pursuing it further, West Ed offers many trainings and classes, some online.


Socrative on Every Device

Socrative: Free Student Response System

Part 1: Wed Feb 12, 12:20 – 1:15pm      

Part 2: Wed Mar 12, 12:20 – 1:15pm

Socrative is the perfect way to conduct Classroom Assessment Techniques, do a review, or give a quiz, using whatever device your students already have. Many controlled studies, for example this one demonstrate the effectiveness of student-centered techniques using clicker systems, and with Socrative, there’s nothing to buy or maintain.

“Simple & Smart: Socrative is a smart student response system that empowers teachers by engaging their classrooms with a series of educational exercises and games. Our apps are super simple and take seconds to login. Socrative runs on tablets, smartphones, and laptops. Engaging: Teachers login through their device and select an activity which controls the flow of questions and games. Students simply login with their device and interact real time with the content. Assessment: Student responses are visually represented for multiple choice, true/false and Short Answer questions. For pre-planned activities a teacher can view reports online as a google spreadsheet or as an emailed Excel file.”


Writing Across the Curriculum

Part 1: Tue Feb 25, 12:20 – 1:15pm     

Part 2: Tue Mar 18, 12:20 – 1:15pm

“Writing across the curriculum is a pedagogical movement that began in the 1980s. Generally, writing across the curriculum programs share the philosophy that writing instruction should happen across the academic community and throughout a student’s undergraduate education. Writing across the curriculum programs also value writing as a method of learning. Finally, writing across the curriculum acknowledges the differences in writing conventions across the disciplines, and believes that students can best learn to write in their areas by practicing those discipline-specific writing conventions.”

In this DART we will brainstorm ways to generate writing instruction and assignments that make transparent the conventions of a particular discipline, but also translate to other classes and coursework.




Making Assignments Visual

Part 1: Thu Feb 27, 5:00 – 6:30pm    

Part 2: Thu Mar 27, 5:00 – 6:00pm

MMART instructor Daniela Nikloaeva will share results from a FIG, including video of student responses to different styles of assignment instructions, and provide tools for communicating assignments more effectively through visual representation in order to set students up for success.



Tools for Successful Student Presentations

Part 1: Tue Apr 1, 12:20 – 1:15pm     

Part 2: Tue Apr 29, 12:20 – 1:15pm

Communication instructor Dr. Cora Leighton shares strategies and rubrics to help students increase success and decrease anxiety for all kinds of class presentations, whether formal finals or quick report-outs.




What is a DART?

DARTs (Discuss-Apply-Reflect-Tools) are 2-part series workshops for staff and faculty to share and implement research-validated strategies for student engagement and access across the disciplines.  Participants meet once to learn a strategy and plan how they’ll apply it. Then they try it out in their classrooms/areas, and meet once more 2-4 weeks later to reflect on their experience, share ideas, make adjustments, and if relevant, provide data for assessment. Stipends may be available for participants and facilitators.

What do you mean by a “research-validated strategy…”?

A technique or tool for teaching and learning that has been shown to increase student success/retention, particularly for underrepresented populations and students testing in below transfer level courses. Extensive research shows that active learning (students required to do something with the material during class in addition to listening) is more effective. Here are some examples of student engagement techniques. DARTs may also address other nuts-and-bolts of effective teaching and learning, such as effective syllabus and assignment creation or effective use of technology.

Participant Responsibilities:

  • Attend two meetings
  • Use strategies in classroom/area, and collect data as appropriate
  • Report on experience at second meeting, and submit short report in writing in form requested by facilitator

Facilitator Responsibilities:

  • Facilitate two interactive meetings that model the active learning we’re promoting
  • Prepare materials for participants and website, including brief research/rationale, summary of strategy, and suggestions for use, with choices that could be adapted to any discipline
  • Work with TLC Coordinator to collect/communicate/publish records as appropriate

What people are saying about DARTs…

“DARTs are so really great…and easy!  To meet this way, discuss things, and use methods immediately was really helpful.”

“I didn’t even know that I had such technology in my classrooms before your workshop!  Now I not only know that it’s there, I know how to use it to enhance my lessons.”

What if I’m already using this strategy? Great! Join colleagues to share how you use it, and consider new applications/refinements.

How do I sign up? Email, or just show up to the first meeting!


  • Teaching and Learning Center

    Tuesday 22 July 2014


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