Keynote Speaker: Michael Wesch, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University
ExamSoft is excited to welcome the 2017 ExamSoft Assessment Conference (EAC) keynote speaker, Michael Wesch, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University. Dr. Wesch’s keynote speech, Life 101: Lessons from Students in Pursuit of a Real Education, will provide insight into the ethnographic knowledge gained from observing learning patterns through unconventional techniques as a means of discovering where students place true value.
Life 101: Lessons from Students in Pursuit of a Real Education
Why do some “A” students seem so lost upon graduation while some “C” students seem to have it all figured out? Why do some leave full of wonder and ready for a lifetime of learning while others seem to be shutting down and tuning out? Why do students that we have trained so deeply in a discipline seem unable to apply what they learned in real world scenarios? Why are some so afraid of what they might find in the “real world” while others can’t wait to jump in?
For over a decade I have been considered a “very good teacher.” I have won several major awards, including a national Professor of the Year award. But if I measure my success based on my own students’ self-perceptions of their happiness and success, the results are mixed at best. To find out more, I have started doing true ethnographic fieldwork among students. I started by simply taking my lunches with them and listening to their life stories. I visited alumni in their homes and discovered how their education was influencing their lives today. Then I became a student again, challenging myself to learn new things to remind myself of all the struggles and joys of learning. I did fieldwork at frat parties, college bars, and midnight life-philosophy discussions. From these studies, I found that those who are successful find that what was most important was not the “stuff” they learned, but how they have changed.
They moved beyond routine expertise and skills toward what researchers call “adaptive expertise”—a capacity to address novel, messy, complex problems that are frequently encountered in the real world. Doing this requires more than just learning knowledge and skills. So how can we assess this kind of learning? And how can we make sure that our assessments are encouraging the deep learning and adaptive expertise that our students need to be successful?
Take a deeper look at how researching the complex college experience can help your students achieve success in society during Dr. Wesch’s keynote at EAC 2017.
Dr. Wesch is a recipient of the Carnegie Foundation’s coveted U.S. Professor of the Year Award and has been lauded for his experimental work regarding the effect of social media and digital technology on global society on education. He frequently experiments with the various possibilities for creating genuine connections with students to develop learning at a deeper level and encourage student success. His most recent book, Human No More, explores how conditions of the online world shape identity, place, culture, and death within virtual communities.
Check back soon for more speakers!