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The Reach - Phi Theta Kappa's Blog

The Reach

All the latest information, news and stories to inspire and inform Phi Theta Kappa members

Honors in Action at Honors Institute

Honors in Action at Honors Institute

The 49th annual Honors Institute is officially underway at Wake Forest University in North Carolina!

The week kicked off Monday evening with a Readers Theatre performance written and directed by Steve Schroeder, advisor to the Phi Beta Chapter at the College of DuPage in Illinois. Advisors and Faculty Scholars took the topic of gold through the eight themes of the 2016/2017 Honors Study Topic, How the World Works: Global Perspectives. 

A welcome social/game night followed the first general session, giving participants a chance to meet fellow attendees. Tuesday morning began with a moving presentation by photojournalist Eman Mohammed, the first female photographer to document the conflict in Gaza, and the evening wrapped with a wildly entertaining presentation on Disney by University of Virginia professor Dr. Carmenita Higginbotham.

Wednesday brought Dr. Stephanie Coontz and a presentation on nostalgia and “The Way We Never Were.” An afternoon tour of Old Salem followed, and the day ended in a big way as Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman, the duo behind Choir! Choir! Choir! brought down the house by sharing the secret behind what they do and leading the group in a sing-along. Check out the video on our Facebook page. 

During the day Tuesday, a series of Honors in Action educational forums were held to give attendees an in-depth look at Honors in Action overall as well as best practices for completing an Honors in Action Project. See the schedule.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing the information presented in each session with you here on the blog. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek at two of Tuesday’s presentations.

Session: Using the Honors in Action Planning and Judging Rubric
Presenters: Monika Byrd, Dr. Liesl Harris and Martha Petry

Four best practices for using the Honors in Action Rubric:

1. Study the rubric before, during and after your project. Do not use the rubric as a mere evaluation tool once your project is complete. Go ahead and see what will be expected of you before you begin working.

2. Highlight words that differentiate the quality of the content you provide in your Honors in Action write-up. For example, what is the difference in engaging in “substantial” versus “considerable” research? Figuring out these differences will result in a stronger project.

3. Note the subtle differences in what is asked of you via the rubric. For example, what is the difference between exercising leadership skills and advancing leadership skills? Again: knowing this difference will increase the Honors in Action experience and the overall effectiveness of your project.

4. When you have written your Honors in Action entry, have at least three outside readers “grade” the entry using the rubric. This review/grading process will allow readers not familiar with your project to point out gaps or confusing sections of your write-up. Remember: you know your project inside and out. You need readers who are not familiar with your project to provide fresh eyes. Revise your entries based upon their feedback. 

Session: Best Practices for College Projects
Presenters: Cassie Bryant, Dr. Molly Harris and Mary Linder

Six strategies for developing a College Project:

1. Focus on the process.

2. Remember that the emphasis should be on intentional and on-going communication.

3. Create purposeful leadership development opportunities.

4. Your project should support the college’s mission.

5. Answer the questions, using the rubric as a guide.

6. Outcomes should be both qualitative and quantitative.



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