Sunday, October 20, 2013

Apple Cinnamon Loaf

My sister posted a recipe on for an apple cinnamon loaf. I was so hungry for something sweet I had to make some. Here is my variation. I wanted to make it parve (dairy-free) and so I substituted vanilla almond milk for cow’s milk and I replaced the butter with vegetable oil and applesauce. The original recipe calls for 1 apple. The loaf really needs two apples or about 2 cups, but since I had only one, I was not able try a second apple.

1/3 cup brown sugar (not packed)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup applesauce
2 large eggs
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups whole wheat flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ cup almond milk (or use rice or soy)
1 apple, peeled and chopped ( or more to equal about 2 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease and flour a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
3. Chop apples and place into a heat-able container. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar, shake until well coated, then microwave for 2 minutes
4. Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and set aside. Beat white sugar and butter together in a bowl using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.
5. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until light yellow; add vanilla extract.
6. Add flour, baking powder, and milk. Beat well.
7. Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
8. Cover with half the apples and half the brown sugar cinnamon mixture.
9. Lightly pat apples into batter.
10. Pour the remaining batter over apple layer; top with remaining apples and remainder of the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.
11. Lightly pat apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using a fork or spoon.

13. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 40 minutes.

Note:  This was revised on October 25, 2013 after I baked a second batch.

New President Interview -- Part 23 Living Bridges –Part 3

What are the roles of experience and assessment?

Q: What is the role of experience in a theory of education? What is experience?

A: Since all knowledge comes from experience, education is the understanding of the results of experience. History is experience of a group or community;
scientific experiments create a controlled experience. Learning to interpret experience is the business of education. Misunderstanding the experience has a negative effect on education and knowledge. As educators any experience that is mis-education has the effect of distorting growth and skewing future experience. An experience may engender positive or negative responses. A rich experience has the possibility to put a person in a positive groove or a deep negative rut.[fn 1

The learning experience needs to be engaging and develop the power of judgment and intellect. Enhancing the classroom experience to encourage understanding of previous human experience is the goal of the College. Improving the kinds of experience the student have in the College is part of assessment and continuous improvement.

Q: What is the role of assessment in advancing the student experience? How do you define progressive education?

A: In the progressive education model, the central concept of learning focuses on student learning experience rather than the teacher’s expertise.

Learning outcomes as a result of the class experience need to be assessed and measured from the beginning of the course through its completion. The student learning outcomes (SLOs) include what the student knows (facts, figures, etc.),
skills developed, what they are able to do with the facts and skills, and how their attitudes or psyche have changed to enable life-long learning. Assessment is not a new concept. The earliest article below is from 1972. The John Dewey first talked about progressive education in the 1930’s.

With that said, the word “assessment” is a poor use for the concept we want to describe. When I hear the word, I associate it with monetary assessments such as for taxes, dues, condo fees, or fines. “Assessment” as used in education has nothing to do with financial issues. Perhaps we should use the term, “continuous evaluation” or a fuller term, “student learning assessment?”

In a document published by the Higher Learning Commission, “Student learning, assessment, and accreditation,” [fn 2] they state that they “realize assessment of student learning is an ongoing, dynamic process that requires substantial time; that is often marked by fits and starts; and that takes long-term commitment and leadership.”

Since the assessment process measures learner performance, it is student-oriented rather than institution-centered.

Q: How does the student learning assessment process work in non-classroom learning situation for example the college library?

A: Assessment measures changes in the behavior of library users as a result of their contact with the library's programs, resources and services. Any measurement measures student knowledge before known contact and what skills, abilities, attitudes, knowledge and values were changed. This measurement is difficult. In a classroom based class there is always the “nothing” before the “something” during the learning process. Learning a spiral starting on a solid base and ending is a peak that can serve as the base for further learning. Learning activities in the library or in extra-curricular activities are hard to evaluate because there is no clear moment of “nothingness.” Working on a committee or participating in an event have educational and social rewards, but the learning outcomes are hard to measure when compared with the classroom learning. The assessment process searches for measurable statements concerning what students will know/think and be able to perform as a result of their contact with library programs. Statements about what the library should/ could do to bring about desired outcomes are not part of student learning outcomes.

The assessment of outcomes measures the library contributions to the college’s educational mission as a whole. The assessment of student learning outcomes is designed to improve library services through a feedback loop that includes systems planning, instruction and individual staff/ faculty behavior. The improvement process is intended to identify areas for the library to improve the system, methodologies, and behavior as the means to affect learning changes in the individual.

Q: How does one figure out outcomes for the library programs?

A: The assessment process begins with an analysis of the College's mission, goals, and objectives. Then one identifies of the elements that the library program and mission supports with the purpose of understanding the effectiveness the library programs as a part of the mission of the College.
Assessment does not need to demonstrate the academic rigor of a research project, but must be easily administered and yield quality results.

Q: It sounds as if the process of evaluating the library programs and other non-classroom based learning a vital part of the academic program. Have these issued been discussed in the past?

A: Unfortunately my predecessors never made the connections between classroom learning and non-classroom learning. The culture never developed the attitude among non-faculty that they are part of student success. It is a long struggle to teach business and administrative people of their role in the education process. Sometime it is not the learning that students struggle with, but all the craziness that goes on out the classroom. Making changes in time-ingrained processes and way of perform takes a lot of effort. We are working hard to rid the College of self-defeating practices. The change process included both changes in administrative rules and trying to change the way people think about the whole educational process. Only through constant reminders can we change the way we behave and work toward a common set of goals.

Q: You have left me with a lot the think about. Thank you very much.


[1] From Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning.  Levels of learning range from low (superficial learning) to high (deep learning). The taxonomy  describes the lower levels of educational objectives beginning on the bottom and the higher levels toward the top. The pyramid s a list of verbs from   for use when creating student learning outcome statements.    From a Pepperdine University web site, “Writing SLOs, “

[2] “Student learning, assessment, and accreditation” Chicago, Higher Learning Commission, 2007.  Retrieved on Oct. 18, 2013 from the HLC web site:

Typewriters in the Library

Obsolete library technologies

This week a student, who looked a little lost, came to the library and asked, “Where are typewriters? “ I was a little taken aback. In all the time I have worked as a librarian, none of the libraries has typewriters for students to use. I asked this student if she meant computers. She didn’t. I asked what she needed a typewriter for. Did she need to file out a form? She needed to write her class paper. I tried to point her to a computer, but she was even more perplexed. She left the library in a haze. This person was not an elderly person or a 19 year old fresh out of high school.

Most of the students are very used to all kinds of electronic devices. At one time cell phones were forbidden in class, now teachers are finding ways to use phones as part of their instruction. Students have even photographed a cover of a book and come to library to find it.

Typewriters have a long history in libraries. Now they are obsolete technology. Back in 1975 I bought a library typewriter which is pictured below.

This typewriter has two keys near the return that have the foreign language accents, grave, acute, circumflex, and umlaut. I still have this typewriter as a relic. I haven’t used it in more years than I can remember, but below is a picture from 1977 when I used it to type catalog cards. Notice the correction fluid in the background. Now when people ask about correcting mistakes, I say, “Use the backspace.”

Before the days of library computers, libraries and dormitories had rooms with public typewriters. From the University of Michigan web site: here are two pictures of students from 1951 typing away. Notice the woman putting a coin in the slot to use the typewriter and the ash tray for her cigarette.

I remember the public typewriters, but since I had my own portable typewriter, I never used one.

Keyboarding skills are very important, but the computer word processing programs offer much more power. People can edit and perfect their writing so much easier than in the pre-computer days. A few minutes after the first student asked for a typewriter another student asked about typing his paper. He knew that the library had computers, but he didn’t know how to use word processing. Sorry word processing tutoring is beyond the scope of a librarian.