School of Communication

Point Park Professor Presents on Assessment and Curriculum Innovation

Monday, October 03, 2016

 Tatyana Dumova, Ph.D., participated in the annual conference of the Pennsylvania Communication Association at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Submitted photo

Tatyana Dumova, Ph.D., professor in the School of Communication, participated in the annual conference of the Pennsylvania Communication Association Sept. 23-24 at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

Dumova presented “Information Literacy Assessment in a University-Wide Core Theme Course for First-Year Students” as part of a panel on “Assessment in the Context of National Communication Association Learning Outcomes.” She also made a poster presentation titled “Creating Clusters of Excellence within Graduate Programs in Communication” about the challenges facing graduate programs offered by small colleges and universities and strategies for potential solutions.

“A cluster of excellence is a strategic grouping of curriculum offerings within an academic program aimed to create synergistic effects in student learning,” Dumova explained.

Such a cluster was developed at the School of Communication and included two core graduate classes, two elective graduate seminars and two graduate directed study courses. Graduate student research presentations at state and regional academic conferences served as a marker of excellence.

Dumova, who taught in the cluster, supervised over 100 graduate directed study courses resulting in 35 graduate student conference presentations at the state and regional levels. All student submissions were reviewed by faculty members from colleges and universities in Pennsylvania and other states.

“The cluster of excellence approach can be replicated by a single faculty member or a group of faculty working collaboratively,” Dumova said. “Indicators of excellence can also vary.”

According to Dumova, small schools are uniquely positioned to make an impact on the quality of their students’ overall educational experiences by integrating high-impact educational practices such as faculty-guided research in the curriculum.

Each year PCA conference features presentations by faculty and students from Pennsylvania colleges and universities including University of Pittsburgh and Penn State campuses, Duquesne, Carlow, Chatham, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, Geneva College and many others.

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