Claire Howell Major, Ph.D.
Professor of Higher Education
University of Alabama
Making Learning Visible as an Essential Element of Effective Teaching
Time, Date, and Location: 10:00 - 11:30 a.m., Thursday, March 14, BCH 125
Teachers regularly engage in assessment. Indeed, whenever we take stock of what went well in a class session or online learning module, we are assessing teaching. Whenever we informally gauge whether students are understanding as well as we’d hope, we are assessing learning. These regular activities can be harnessed in a powerful process that can inform teaching and improve learning. In this session, participants will learn about learning assessment, which involves linking learning goals, instructional practices, and assessment activities in a seamless whole. They will learn how this approach is not only assessment of learning but also for learning.
Claire Howell Major is Professor of Higher Education at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Major has extensive teaching experience in higher education. Early in her career, working as a Teaching Assistant and then adjunct faculty member, she taught more than forty sections of developmental studies English, freshman composition, and sophomore literature. During this time, she taught across institutional types, including at a large urban community college, a two-year historically black college and university, a two-year technical institution, a public 4-year institution, and a large research institution. After completing her PhD, she worked as director of a center for teaching, focused specifically on problem-based learning, at a small private four-year religious institution. Her work there involved helping faculty across the university integrate innovative teaching methods into their courses. Now at the University of Alabama, she teaches masters and doctoral level courses in the Higher Education Administration program. She most often teaches courses on college teaching, technology in higher education, and reading research in the field of higher education.
Major’s research interests are in the areas of faculty work, pedagogical approaches, technology for teaching, and online learning. She also focuses on issues of higher education in popular culture and higher education as a field of study. She typically draws on qualitative methods to answer her research questions. She has authored and co-authored several books, including Learning Assessment Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty (with Elizabeth Barkley published by Jossey-Bass), Online learning: A guide to theory, research, and practice (published by Johns Hopkins University Press), and Collaborative learning techniques: A handbook for college faculty (second education, with Elizabeth Barkley and Pat Cross, published by Jossey-Bass). She has also published books on qualitative research methods. Major also publishes her work in leading education journals, such as Teachers College Record, The Journal of Higher Education, and Research in Higher Education, and Higher Education. She presents her work at national and international conferences.
Major’s professional service also focuses on teaching and learning in higher education. She has created new programs for her college, including an Executive EdD in higher education administration and a Graduate Certificate in College Teaching. She has chaired more than 26 dissertations, has co-chaired an additional 17, and has served on countless committees. She has served on her College’s Assessment Committee, and as an Education Consultant for the College of Community Health Service. She also has served as a mentor for the University of Alabama’s Tide Together mentoring program, which is designed to help doctoral students from underrepresented populations such as first-generation students, students of color, or women in the STEM disciplines acquire the skills they for success in their future careers.
Major holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from The University of Georgia, an M.A. in English from The University of Alabama at Birmingham, and a B.A. from University of South Alabama.