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Teaching, Learning, and Assessment

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Teaching and Learning at Pratt

Center for Teaching and Learning

The Center for Teaching and Learning fosters a collaborative faculty community that builds on current best pedagogical practices across all disciplines and teaching modalities at Pratt: classroom, studio pedagogy, experiential learning, group-work, field- trips, and more. The Center aims to create an interdisciplinary and reflective learning environment to address important and often difficult issues in a diverse classroom. The CTL’s guiding values are community, reflection and action. The Center is ultimately guided by a commitment to promote contemplative and reflective teaching that supports social justice through critical, inclusive, and embodied practices with teachers who are passionate about their course content and also intentional about how they teach the ‘whole’ student.

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All-Institute Learning Goals

Developed by a task force and revised based on community feedback, the goals here provide a framework for understanding and guiding the education Pratt offers its students at all levels of study. These goals articulate in broad terms the substance and skills that students can expect to gain through the totality of learning opportunities available at Pratt.

New Faculty Orientation

Faculty Orientation at Pratt gives new faculty the opportunity to engage in conversation about Pratt, with sessions devoted to discussions about how we support our faculty and students, with sessions on: 

  • Supporting faculty in their teaching, with a focus on resources available and a workshop session on helping ALL students achieve the goals we set for them (bring a syllabus for one of your classes, so that you can think through—in specific terms—how you’ll gauge student success in achieving learning outcomes)
  • Supporting faculty in their creative work / research, with time to engage with Pratt’s Associate Provost for Research and Strategic Partnerships
  • Supporting student success, with a focus on the holistic support available to students in the form of academic and Student Life resources, the policies and processes that guide the work we all do, and the kinds of challenges that tend to come up in any given semester

This will also be a chance for you to learn about Pratt’s system of shared governance and how you can participate in it. Our goals are for you to leave this Orientation having completed key new hire processes that will let you function easily and effectively in the Pratt community, learned some key things about how Pratt works as well as the resources we have to support you, and energized by the prospect of participating in the Pratt community.

Sign up for Faculty Orientation

Student Excellence

Teaching and learning at Pratt are guided by a commitment to providing the most up-to-date, relevant and rigorous learning experiences for students. From designing assignments and syllabi to creating program-level outcomes and discussing innovative pedagogical and curricular approaches, faculty and administrators are continuously researching and implementing best practices for the students’ academic experiences. Students are also involved in their learning through student organizations, such as the Student Government Association, and through various reflective practices at the course and program level. 

Pratt’s current instructional development initiatives include:

  • Support for research on student learning through five multidisciplinary Faculty Learning Communities
  • The development of Institute-wide Pratt Integrative Courses (PIC)
  • Access to Resources – The Project Lounge on the 2nd floor of the Pratt Library supports teaching and learning with access to resources, space for workshops and seminars, and an informal site for networking. 
Faculty Learning Communities

The FLC’s are multidisciplinary and emphasize faculty and staff learning through community building and action-research. The FLC participants are engaged in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as they pose problems about learning issues, use appropriate methods to study the problem and apply their findings to their teaching practice. The FLC participants will share their research findings through peer review, public conferences, and publications. Read more about Faculty Learning Communities.

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Faculty Development Through Pratt Integrative Courses

The Pratt Integrative Courses are designed as interdisciplinary explorations of a wide range of possible content, putting into practice multiple ways of thinking and ways of making. Students will acquire and integrate skills and competencies from both studio and general education classes, recombining them in novel and unexpected ways that test, challenge, and expand their creative/critical capacities. 

PICs capture, promote and institutionalize integrative learning and contribute to a new curriculum that facilitates the crossing of departmental boundaries. Faculty work with colleagues to address ways of achieving the student learning outcomes that are common to all PICs, thereby becoming part of a cross-departmental community engaged in an institute-wide curricular initiative.

The PIC universe thus aims to provide a framework where support and feedback on syllabi, the creation of assignments and the sharing of challenges faced before and during the classes, are essential parts of the offering. PICs provide a learning enterprise for faculty that allows for academic, intellectual and pedagogical growth in a collegial environment, while being at the forefront of curricular innovation and beyond, with the potential of contributing to the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

Outcomes and Assesment

Pratt Institute is dedicated to an outcomes and assessment based education experience. All academic units have program outcomes, and Student Outcome Assessment Plans guide faculty in their design, implementation and revision of curriculum. Programs are also regularly reviewed by peers, while various degree programs have discipline-specific accreditation bodies that facilitate their work. This overall dedication to a robust outcomes-based education at the program, school and institute levels ensures rigorous, up-to-date, and fluid curricula that provide the essential learning outcomes of the disciplines while retaining the flexibility to adjust to an ever-changing academic landscape.

Ensuring Online Courses are Accessible

For more information on, resources related to, and best practices for ensuring online courses are accessible, please visit our Online Resources for Class Accessibility page.

Pratt’s Archived Instructional Development Initiatives 

Assessment x Design

In 2014, faculty and staff at Pratt Institute initiated a series of collaborative efforts focused on teaching, learning and assessment, with the goal of supporting student, professional and organizational learning. For example, the Assessment x Design Project supported action research projects to build a community of pedagogical practice at Pratt Institute (Banta, et al., 2002). Faculty and staff conducted research on course and program assessment which they presented in a symposium in Spring 2015.

Pedagogical Strategies for Equity and Inclusion

The “Pedagogical Strategies” series of faculty development workshops targets ways that faculty across the campus can incorporate techniques that help support non-native English speakers’ success in their classes. The Intensive English Program (IEP) faculty shared their expertise in developing assignments and activities that engage and incorporate students who are new to the specificity of the linguistic, cultural, and academic expectations of a North American art school. They identified some of the assumptions that underlie our teaching practices so that they can be made more explicit and attainable to a wider range of students.

To see the archive of workshop videos and materials, log in to the ePortfolio page with your onekey information.

Inclusive Pedagogy scholars Program

The Inclusive Pedagogy Scholars Program (IPSP) is initiated by faculty, students, and administrators at Pratt Institute. This initiative was proposed and developed by Black Lives Matter Pratt and the Social Justice/Social Practice Collective. IPSP is supported through the generosity and commitment of the Provost’s Office. Its mission is to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and social justice on campus. By researching and assessing the needs of individual schools, the IPSP program will synthesize, strategize, and implement positive actions in order to address issues of exclusion, in both the curriculum and pedagogical practices used in classrooms and studio spaces across the Institute.