Teaching and Assessment Spotlight
Rebecca Silton, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Clinical Psychology
Department of Psychology
A few of Becky’s teaching accomplishments:
2013 Sujack Master Teacher Award
2014-2016 Fellow at the Center for Experiential Learning
Length of time at Loyola:
Hobbies and interesting facts:
My favorite summer vacation spot is the Outer Banks of North Carolina -- I love the beach :)
When I was ten-years old I wrote a letter to the editor that was actually published! The letter was about saving the rainforest. At about the same time, I also helped start my neighborhood recycling program.
Description of featured teaching practice:
Students in my Neuropsychological Assessment course, which is taught to Clinical Psychology students, lead the development of the syllabus during the first week of class. This class was primarily graduate students, except for two undergraduates, and was a small seminar course. It also was unique in that most of the students in this class had taken a class together the prior semester, so the community and connections between the students were established prior to this process.
By letting the students design the syllabus content (e.g., domains covered by the course, primary assignments), it allowed the syllabus to be meaningful for students, as well as very current to the current body of research. Through this process, students engaged very highly in the class, and could see clearly how the content translated to their ultimate desire to work as clinical neuropsychologists. This did involve a high amount of work on my part, particularly at the beginning of the class, in terms of identifying readings that fit key student-identified domains and then becoming familiar with all of these readings. But my hope was to use the course to prepare students to "hit the ground running" during their first practicum experience so that leaders in the field, when teaching them through practicum, can appreciate how well Loyola students are trained. It was a true joy for me to be there in the class.
Also of note is that all students have access to the final presentations and related materials from the class through Google Docs, allowing students to use them in the future for working with clients and preparing for clinical licensing and board exams.
How Becky’s teaching practice relates to the mission and values of Loyola, such as the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm and Transformative Education:
Individualized education, such as that engendered by allowing students to assist in developing the frame of the syllabus, can be transformative, as it helps students find his or her interests, passion, what they don’t like, and set up his or her own learning plan. We can think of the syllabus as a group learning plan—where the students ARE in their learning. This approach also reflects the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm elements of context and reflection, as we reflect on how our own individual background comes into play in approaching others with disabilities. Also, students develop weekly written posts to share with other students, using a note-taking program called Evernote. This is a way to share thoughts and ideas, to post comments, and to bring those comments and ideas into class continually.
What Becky loves about Loyola:
I really enjoy the other faculty in Psychology and the students that I work with—that’s why I’m here. Faculty are collegial, collaborative, and conducting interesting and relevant research. Students are always very curious and inquisitive; they want to learn about the world and themselves, and they are really smart and ask good questions. They bring to the classroom very interesting and diverse backgrounds, both undergrad and graduate students.