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Campus Resources: WKU – Dr. Mienaltowski Assessment Materials

Dr. Andrew Mienaltowski, an Assistant Professor at Western Kentucky University (WKU), found that the students in his class came with varying approaches to learning, and as freshman college students they did not have the meta-cognitive skills to understand if they were experiencing either a learning, or studying problem. After seeing a 40% failure rate in his freshman psychology class, Dr. Mienaltowski, developed in-class assessment to improve learning and increase engagement. The first thing he created was a reading guide that closely tied the course objectives, to the textbook and to the course content. This reading guide provided a framework from which the students could reflect, learn and ask questions during in-class discussion.

Dr Mienaltowski has since developed listening exercises where students are asked to listen to information on related topics, respond to the topic in writing and discuss the topic in class. This change in formative classroom assessment has resulted in students who are more engaged with the content and are asking more content related questions. His philosophy has shifted from merely lecturing on the content and administering summative assessments to include more formative, feedback-oriented assignments during the term. His courses are now structured to provide more scaffolding to students both inside and outside the classroom.

Dr Mienaltowski has graciously agreed to share some the materials he has developed for his class. Each of the resources includes some background to illustrate how the example is used and sample documents to demonstrate his approach: