August 19, 2020

"Habits of Mind": Ensuring Student Success in General Education Courses

Room: ESLC 053


General education courses present numerous challenges and opportunities for instructors. In the past, college professors have largely focused on content transmission, oftentimes at the expense of teaching transferable skills that prepare first-generation and non-traditional students to navigate the "hidden curriculum" of university-level academic work. Over the past academic year, Dr. Gossard and Dr. Babits created a series of "Habits of Mind" assignments in their high-enrollment general education history survey courses (HIST 1110 and HIST 1700) to provide hundreds of USU students the opportunity to develop important study skills. These habits of mind assignments have emphasized such skills as effective note taking, improving one's time management, and annotating complex texts. Other habits of mind activities, many of which take under 30 minutes for students to complete, also focus on the important ”yet overlooked” skills of self-regulated learning. In their introductory courses, for instance, Gossard and Babits teach students to develop a growth mindset. This workshop will provide an overview of the habits of mind assignments that Gossard implemented in HIST 1110 and Babits used in HIST 1700. Participants will leave the workshop with some concrete ideas to implement into their courses. Importantly, as a workshop, participants, along with Gossard and Babits, will brainstorm ways to customize habits of mind assignments for the needs of different disciplinary ways of thinking.

*Participants will learn how to incorporate (and gain ideas for) study skills and self-regulated learning assignments into a general education course to ensure student success.

Lisa GabbertJulia M. Gossard

Associate Dean & Associate Professor

Julia M. Gossard is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Associate Professor of History, and Distinguished Associate Professor of Honors Education at Utah State University. Gossard earned her Ph.D in History at the University of Texas at Austin. An award-winning educator and a specialist with high-impact teaching practices, Dr. Gossard’s teaching portfolio is expansive, ranging from engaging online introductory surveys to historical research methods and graduate courses in history and theory.

Chris Babits

Lisa Gabbert

Temporary Assistant Professor of U.S History, History of Sexuality, and History of Psychology

Dr. Babits is an interdisciplinary scholar with specializations in the history of the modern United States, lived religion, gender and sexuality, and psychology. His courses include HIST 1700: American Civilization, HIST/RELS 4910: Religion and Politics in the Modern U.S., HIST 4990: Undergraduate Research Capstone, and HIST 6880: History of Psychology.