Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 49

18

contInued

Res Life

students to learn about themselves and
how to live and work with others.”
Fink contends that to achieve
memorable and lasting change in
learners, educators must design learning
experiences with goals that spring from
the highly regarded taxonomy developed
by Benjamin Bloom to differentiate
three types of learning – cognitive,
affective, and psychomotor – and to
emphasize that remembering is only
a small part of learning; students
must also be involved in experiences
that require higher-level skills such as
creating and evaluating. Fink suggests
that the special value of this type of
learning gives learners an intellectual
power and “the energy they need for
learning more about [a subject] and
making it part of their lives.” Are these
the same goals you want staff members
to realize through your diversity and
inclusion educational programs? Fink
maintains that traditional learning in
the form of foundational knowledge
(understanding and remembering
information and ideas), application
(skills, critical and creative thinking,
managing projects), and integration
(connecting ideas, people, realms of life)
are more impactful when they are paired
with learning about oneself and others
(human dimension goal); developing
new feelings, interests, and values
(caring goal); or becoming a self-directed
learner (learning how to learn goal).

Follow Through with Feedback and
Assessment
Once you have established significant
learning goals for your educational
program, consider how you will gather
evidence that staff members are learning
what you want them to know. Educator
Grant Wiggins recommends using
authentic assessments that are realistic,
require judgment and innovation,
and ask the student to do the subject.
Authentic assessments replicate or
simulate the contexts in which staff
will be tested and assess each staff
member’s ability to use information
gained in training to solve a problem
or complete a task. A high potential

learner-centered activity frequently
used by housing and residential life
professionals is Behind Closed Doors
(BCD), an interactive role play activity
that places staff in a variety of situations
they may face while working in student
housing. When well designed, BCD
is not only a teaching and learning
activity but also an excellent tool for
feedback and assessment. Diversity
education experiences presented prior
to BCD provide staff with opportunities
to practice empathetic listening and to
confront inappropriate or insensitive
language, experiences that are then
applied to unique BCD scenarios.
Debriefing should also be part of the
process; this support enables staff to
evaluate their own performance, as well
as receive peer and professional staff
feedback. Self-assessment opportunities
also can be provided through pre- and
post-tests, quizzes, reflective essays, and
journaling.
Fink encourages educators to
provide FIDeLity feedback: feedback that
is frequent, immediate, discriminating
(based on standards and criteria such
as rubrics), and offered lovingly. This
kind of feedback is fundamental to
creating a safe learning environment.
Tiffany Gonzales, an area coordinator at
Northwestern University in Evanston,
Illinois, notes that it is important for
educators to recognize that sharing
personal stories about one’s experience
can be painful for students. “Last year
I facilitated a new staff orientation
class on microaggressions. At the end
of class, an RA cried as she shared
how microaggressions affected her.
Fortunately another professional
staff member was able to talk with
her immediately after the class and I
followed up with her several times after
the class.” In this instance professional
staff modeled care and compassion for
staff, engaged in perspective taking, and
enabled staff to learn from each other.

Select Teaching and Learning
Activities
Selecting teaching and learning activities
is the part of Fink’s ICD model that

most professionals will instinctively
gravitate to first. It is easy to jump over
establishing learning goals and/or
developing assessment and feedback
strategies and begin planning the active learning portion of the workshop,
but this approach is highly ineffective
and creates what Fink calls a broken
learning experience; if, for example, a
learning goal is to “promote understanding of unique cultures and heritages,”
the teaching and learning activities
should be closely related to this goal. At
Western Washington, residence life staff
use a Japanese presentation style to facilitate self-disclosure about social identities. As Hui-Ling Chan explains, “We
ask RAs to prepare 10 Powerpoint slides
about themselves with five identities we
outline and five of their choosing. In
Pecha Kucha style, staff may only discuss
each slide for 20 seconds. The activity
is followed up with conversations about
perspective taking and social identities.”
With an activity such as this, students’
presentations will help educators assess
the extent to which they understand the
concept of social identities.
Education on topics of diversity
and inclusion cannot consist merely
of a series of disjointed workshops
on a variety of topics. The more that
key messages can be reiterated and
key concepts applied in a variety of
situations, the more the learners will
gain a fuller mastery of the material
and understand how to use it and why
it matters. Though it takes time and
intentional effort to develop memorable
learning experiences that will meet the
housing and residence life program
learning goals, the effort has the
potential to strengthen student learning
about diversity and inclusion and
prepare staff to be more proactive. tS

Virginia
Albaneso Koch

is the associate director
of residential services at
Northwestern University
in Evanston, Illinois. She
completed her doctoral
dissertation on the curricular
design of resident assistant
programs in 2012. Email:
v-koch@northwestern.edu.
July + August 2013

49



Talking Stick - July/August 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Talking Stick - July/August 2013

Talking Stick - July/August 2013
Contents
New Member Highlight
Vision
Just In
Your ACUHO-I
Transitions
Res Life
Business Operations
Facilities
Calendar
Common Space for the Common Good
Marketing the Residential Experience
Conversations
First Takes
Reporting Out
New Members
Snapshot
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Talking Stick - July/August 2013
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Cover2
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 1
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 2
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Contents
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - New Member Highlight
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 5
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Vision
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 7
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Just In
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 9
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 10
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 11
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 12
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Your ACUHO-I
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 14
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Transitions
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Res Life
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 17
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 18
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 21
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Business Operations
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 21
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 22
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 23
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Facilities
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 25
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 26
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Calendar
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Common Space for the Common Good
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 29
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 30
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 31
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 32
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 33
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 34
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 35
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Marketing the Residential Experience
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 37
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 38
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 39
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 40
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 41
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 42
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 43
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Conversations
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 45
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 46
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - First Takes
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Reporting Out
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 49
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 50
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 51
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 52
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 53
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - New Members
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - 55
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Snapshot
Talking Stick - July/August 2013 - Cover3
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