The Cross Papers Fellowship 2020 Awarded to Peter Ufland


End-of-semester course surveys are regularly used by colleges to gain insight into the quality of teaching and learning on their campuses. Despite this reliance, many instructors and staff recognize the limitations of this method of evaluation. Peter Ufland, recipient of The Cross Papers Fellowship 2020 and Assistant Professor of History at University of the District of Columbia Community College, will explore the use of midterm student feedback as a preferred evaluative method in The Cross Papers, Number 23.

Not surprisingly, the topic of teaching and course evaluations has garnered considerable attention in the scholarly literature. Research abounds on the problems associated with course evaluations, alternative models of assessing teaching, and the proper implementation and use of such mechanisms. This issue of The Cross Papers is intended to broaden awareness and understanding of midterm student feedback strategies and their utility in improving teaching and learning in higher education. The monograph will illustrate the differences between end-of-semester and midterm evaluations in terms of their approach, philosophy, use, and foci, and present several methods of gauging teaching and learning that focus on the students’ experiences.

The Cross Papers began in 1997 as a resource to provide community college faculty with practical, effective instructional techniques based in educational theory and research. “Since the beginning, The Cross Papers have served as guideposts to assist community college faculty in support of student learning,” said Rufus Glasper, League President and CEO. “Early awareness and effective action demonstrate a student-centered and evidence-based approach to course evaluation and appropriate intervention. As thought leaders in pedagogy and how students learn, faculty who adopt the idiom ‘the sooner the better’ in reference to course assessment create an opportunity for improved outcomes and student success.”

The format for The Cross Papers monographs was established by K. Patricia Cross, who wrote the first seven issues. After retiring, she ensured continuation of the series by working with the League for Innovation in the Community College to establish The Cross Papers Fellowship. With her generous support, the fellowship continues to this day.

“It is a great honor to have been chosen to carry on the work of K. Patricia Cross,” said Ufland. “I hope that in adding to The Cross Papers, my discussion of midterm student feedback surveys will help improve the educational experience and outcomes of all community college students.”

In addition to writing the 23rd issue of The Cross Papers, Ufland will present his work during a Special Session at the League’s 2020 Innovations Conference in Seattle, Washington. Following the session, he will be available to sign copies of the monograph.

The Cross Papers Fellowship includes a stipend of $2,000 to support research and writing, complimentary registration to the 2019 Innovations Conference, travel expenses up to $1,000 to attend the conference, a plaque commemorating the recipient’s designation as a Cross Papers Fellow, and ten copies of the print edition of The Cross Papers issue.

To purchase copies of past issues of The Cross Papers, visit the League Store. Number 23 will be available in March 2020.

All issues of The Cross Papers are also available in digital form through iStream, the League’s comprehensive, subscription-based digital library for faculty, staff, and administrators.