The SoTL Advocate

Supporting efforts to make public the reflection and study of teaching and learning at Illinois State University and beyond…


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Studying Outcomes from Study Abroad: Pre-Travel Thoughts

Written by: Jennifer Friberg, Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning and Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University

Study abroad has become something quite common at many college campuses, Illinois State University included. Faculty may believe that such experiences for students constitute out-of-class opportunities to develop, apply, and/or synthesize knowledge and skills learned in the classroom. Students may engage in study abroad programs to see the world, nurture an appreciation of different cultures, develop enhanced disciplinary/vocational knowledge, or grow interpersonal/intrapersonal skills. This is not an exhaustive list! There are many faculty and student motivations for the growth in study abroad; however many who participate in such programs aren’t able to cite systematic evidence about student learning as a result of study abroad participation…So, my question is (for reasons that will become evident below) what does SoTL tell us about study abroad?

briggs blogCindy Miller-Perrin and Don Thompson published an article titled “Outcomes of Global Education: External and Internal Change Associated with Study Abroad” in New Directions for Student Services in 2014. This article provided a lovely literature review of possible learning outcomes resulting from scholarship on the study abroad experience, broadly categorizing these into two groups, explained below with a sampling of evidence:

External learning outcomes (focused on interpersonal and disciplinary learning) as a result of study abroad have been noted in areas such as second language acquisition, intercultural learning, globalization, and disciplinary knowledge. Internal learning outcomes have been noted in areas such as emotional, intellectual, and spiritual growth following study abroad.

Though there is a good deal of SoTL work focused on external learning outcomes post-study abroad, Miller-Perrin and Thompson (2014, p. 80) report that:

“Although much attention in the research literature has focused on external outcomes, internal changes that occur in the lives of students who study and live abroad are also important…and, despite the importance of internal change, research addressing [these changes] has not received as much attention in terms of their connection to study abroad experiences.”

In my perusal of study abroad SoTL, I have noted other voids in extant research, most notably those focused on purpose and duration. Faculty plan and lead study abroad experiences for students for a variety of reasons that might impact learning outcomes and, similarly, the length of trip could impact learning outcomes (e.g., short term vs. long term study abroad. We don’t know far more than we do know – that much is clear!

In the last two years, I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in three study abroad trips with students from my department. I have attended two as a faculty chaperone. I will serve as the director for the third in March 2017, as I accompany 33 students to Spain as part of a cultural immersion experience. Anecdotally, I believe that the students on the first two trips I was part of learned a great deal, developing an enhanced intrapersonal awareness as part of the travel process. As these were simply observations, I wanted to develop a study to investigate the outcomes of this experience for students. I have a bit of data to report, relative to internal/external learning outcomes already…and we haven’t even traveled yet!

A bit about this program to understand my context for study: Students attending this trip are all speech-language pathology majors from my university (two are graduate students, 31 are undergrads). Three-quarters of students had been out of the country before. This is a short-term, faculty-led trip which will take us to Spain for 10 days over my institution’s spring break. We plan to visit five cities and engage in a “day with a speech-language pathologist” practicing in Spain to learn about professional practices abroad. Students will earn three academic credits towards an independent study for participating in pre-travel meetings, travel activities, personal reflection, goal setting activities, and one post-travel meeting.

During our first pre-travel meeting, students were asked to list five things that they hoped to learn as a result of their study abroad experience. Results were as follows (categories where more than 5 students reported similar outcomes are reported):

External Learning Expectations (N=36) Internal Learning Expectations (N=52)
Learn about Spanish culture (n=14)

Become more knowledgeable about Spanish landmarks and history (n=6)

Speak Spanish with greater confidence (n=5)

Learn about speech-pathology practices in Spain (n=5)

Change my own self-perspective (n=10)

Be present (e.g., put my phone down; n=10)

Develop greater independence (n=9)

Take chances outside my comfort zone (n=9)

Develop an adventurous spirit (n=7)

 

Additionally, I asked each student to set a three personal goals that they would work towards before and during their study abroad experience. I provided no requirements as to what areas these goals needed to address, rather I asked students to focus on aspects of their own lives that growth would be impactful in their goal setting. A total of 99 goals were submitted. Of these, 19 of the students’ goals focused on external learning outcomes (primarily cultural learning and empathy) while 80 were focused on internal learning outcomes (broadly critical self-examination and mindset). Happily these more internally-focused goals were consistent with work my colleague Erin Mikulec and I have been doing in terms of defining “knowledge of self” as a result of out-of-class learning, which will potentially add additional layers of richness to our separate, but ongoing work (Friberg & Mikulec, 2016).

So, while there is the least amount of information in extant SoTL literature on internal learning, my students have shown a clear indication that expected internal learning outcomes are most predominant in their minds, pre-travel. During our trip, students will journal regarding growth towards achieving their goals and have been asked to submit at least one photo per goal, showing (from their own perspective) growth in their areas of focus. I am beyond curious to see how my students will represent their learning visually. Analysis of their reflective journals, final goal progress reports, and other qualitative data will – hopefully – yield interesting outcomes to grow the evidence-base for study abroad. Stay tuned!

Are you in the process of studying outcomes from study abroad? Please share in the comments below!

Blog References:

Friberg, J. C. & Mikulec, E. (2016). Developing a taxonomy to measure out-of-class learning. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Los Angeles, CA.

Miller-Perrin, C. & Thompson, D. (2014). Outcomes of global education: External and internal change associated with study abroad. New Directions for Student Services, 146, 77-89.


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Where Can My SoTL Be Published?

Written by Jennifer Friberg, Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL and Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University

By far, the most frequent question I’m asked by faculty at Illinois State University who are interested in SoTL is “if I do this sort of project, where can my SoTL be published?” It’s a great question in light of the need to share our SoTL work in order for it to be…well, SoTL. While there are numerous venues to present and share SoTL informally across disciplines, many faculty are interested in traditional publication outlets to share their work with others for a variety of reasons (e.g., disciplinary value placed on journal publication). I have to believe that this question is not isolated to faculty at my institution!

While ISU’s SoTL website has always featured a great list of SoTL publication outlets, I’ve been working on updating this list and providing additional information related to aims and scope for each of these journals. These updates will be completed shortly and the URL will be updated here upon their completion. Until then, here’s what I’ve been working on in table format: a list of currently publishing SoTL-friendly journals, with hyperlinks and brief descriptions of the aims/scope for each journal. Please note that this initial effort focuses ONLY on cross- or multi-disciplinary SoTL journals. Look for a similar list/table for separate disciplines in the future!

I hope you find this summary useful. Please feel free to suggest other outlets that I may have left off this list in error in the comments section below.

Journal Name Aim/Scope/Description of Journal

(excerpted, sometimes verbatim, from websites)

Academic Exchange Quarterly Academic Exchange Quarterly welcomes submissions that contribute to effective instruction and learning regardless of level or subjects. We welcome papers derived from doctoral study, presented at conference/symposium/workshop, or original research conducted under a grant or fellowship.
Active Learning in Higher Education Active Learning in Higher Education is an international, refereed publication for all those who teach and support learning in Higher Education and those who undertake or use research into effective learning, teaching and assessment in universities and colleges. The journal has an objective of improving the status of teaching and learning support as professional activity and embraces academic practice across all curriculum areas in higher education.
Assessment Update Assessment Update is dedicated to covering the latest developments in the rapidly evolving area of higher education assessment. Assessment Update offers all academic leaders up-to-date information and practical advice on conducting assessments in a range of areas, including student learning and outcomes, faculty instruction, academic programs and curricula, student services, and overall institutional functioning.
College Teaching College Teaching provides an interdisciplinary academic forum on issues in teaching and learning at the undergraduate or graduate level. The journal publishes three kinds of articles. Regular, full-length articles of up to 5,000 words reporting scholarship on teaching methods, educational technologies, classroom management, assessment and evaluation, and other instructional practices that have significance beyond a single discipline. Full-length articles also describe innovative courses and curricula, faulty development programs, and contemporary developments. Quick Fix articles, up to 500 words, present techniques for addressing common classroom problems. Commentaries, up to 1,200 words, provide thoughtful reflections on teaching.
Higher Education Research and Development Higher Education Research & Development informs and challenges researchers, teachers, administrators, policy-makers and others concerned with the past, present and future of higher education. The journal publishes scholarly articles that make a significant and original contribution to the theory, practice or research of higher education. We welcome theoretical, philosophical and historical articles and essays that address higher education in any of its dimensions. Equally, we welcome empirical higher education studies, which employ qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies including big data. All articles must propose fresh critical insights into the area being addressed and be appropriately framed for an international audience.
Innovative Higher Education Innovative Higher Education publishes diverse forms of scholarship and research methods by maintaining flexibility in the selection of topics deemed appropriate for the journal. It strikes a balance between practice and theory by presenting articles in a readable and scholarly manner to both faculty and administrators in the academic community.
Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning The Interdisciplinary Journal of Problem-Based Learning publishes relevant, interesting, and challenging articles of research, analysis, or promising practice related to all aspects of implementing problem-based learning in K-12 or post-secondary classrooms.
International Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning is an international forum for information and research about the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and its implications for higher/tertiary education. This journal publishes manuscripts that fall into two main categories: research articles and essays.
International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education The International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education provides a forum for higher education faculty, staff, administrators, researchers, and students who are interested in improving post-secondary instruction. The IJTLHE provides broad coverage of higher education pedagogy and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) across diverse content areas, educational institutions, and levels of instructional expertise.
Journal of Effective Teaching The Journal of Effective Teaching is an electronic journal devoted to the exchange of ideas and information about undergraduate and graduate teaching. We invite contributors to share their insights in pedagogy, innovations in teaching and learning, and classroom experiences in the form of a scholarly communication which will be reviewed by experts in teaching scholarship. Articles which draw upon specific-discipline based research or teaching practices should elaborate on how the teaching practice, research or findings relates across the disciplines.
Journal of Faculty Development The Journal of Faculty Development is an independent, peer-reviewed journal published by New Forums Press. Issued three times yearly, it is a medium for the exchange of information regarding faculty development in post-secondary educational institutions. The Journal of Faculty Development invites a wide variety of manuscripts, ranging from research studies (using qualitative or quantitative methodologies) to those focused on theory and philosophy that are related to issues in faculty development, professional development, higher education pedagogy, curriculum, leadership, program design and implementation, and evaluation and assessment.
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning The Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL) is a forum for the dissemination of the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education for the community of teacher-scholars. Submissions should be theory-based and supported by evidence. JoSoTL’s objective is to publish articles that promote effective practices in teaching and learning and add to the knowledge base. Themes of the journal reflect breadth of interest in the pedagogy forum and include the following: data-driven studies, reviews, case studies, and invited comments/reviews.
Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice The Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice is a peer-reviewed journal publishing papers that add significantly to the body of knowledge describing effective and innovative teaching and learning practice in the higher education environment. The journal aims to provide a forum for educational practitioners in a wide range of disciplines to communicate their teaching and learning outcomes in a scholarly way. Its purpose is to bridge the gap between journals covering purely academic research and more pragmatic articles and opinions published elsewhere.
Journal of Excellence in College Teaching The Journal on Excellence in College Teaching is a peer-reviewed journal published at Miami University by and for faculty at universities and two- and four-year colleges to increase student learning through effective teaching, interest in and enthusiasm for the profession of teaching, and communication among faculty about their classroom experiences. The Journal provides a scholarly, written forum for discussion by faculty about all areas affecting teaching and learning, and gives faculty the opportunity to share proven, innovative pedagogies and thoughtful, inspirational insights about teaching.
Research and Practice in College Teaching Research & Practice in College Teaching’s objective is to publish articles focused on promoting student learning. Articles should address themes around promoting effective practices in teaching and learning. The Journal reflects the breadth of the work in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Articles in the following categories are sought: data-driven studies, literature reviews, and case studies.
Teaching and Learning Inquiry Teaching and Learning Inquiry (TLI) features original research and commentary on SoTL. TLI publishes insightful research, theory, commentary, and other scholarly works that document or facilitate investigations of teaching and learning in higher education. These may include empirical and interpretive investigations, theoretical analyses, thought-provoking essays, or works employing other genres. TLI showcases the breadth of the interdisciplinary field of SoTL in it’s explicit methodological pluralism, its call for traditional and new genres, and its international authorship.
Teaching in Higher Education Teaching in Higher Education publishes scholarly work that critically examines and interrogates the values and presuppositions underpinning teaching, introduces theoretical perspectives and insights drawn from different disciplinary and methodological frameworks, and considers how teaching and research can be brought into a closer relationship.
Teaching Professor The Teaching Professor is a newsletter (published 10 times annually) that focuses on topics such as instructional technology, faculty mentoring, academic integrity, assessment, course design, student engagement, online education, and even instructor confidence. Articles dig into specific aspects of these broader categories. Authors approach topics from different perspectives and present original ways to consider familiar topics and themes.

 


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Considering a SoTL Conference This Year?

Compiled by Jennifer Friberg, Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL and Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University

SoTL conferences are a wonderful experience for those interested in the scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning. In the years I’ve attended such conferences, I have found SoTL folks to be welcoming, collaborative, and interesting. SoTL conferences are also quite facilitative – folks talk about big and small ideas in the sort of commons that Hutchings and Huber (2005, p.1) describe as:

“… a conceptual space in which communities of educators committed to inquiry and innovation come together to exchange ideas about teaching and learning and use them to meet the challenges of educating students.”

What can we look forward to in the upcoming year? Are calls for papers still open? Where can you get more information? Hopefully the following table with selected conferences will help answer some of these questions! Additional conference opportunities/ information can be found here on the ISU SoTL website. Happy planning!

Conference (with link to site) Conference Dates Location Call for Papers?
SoTL Commons March 29-31, 2017 Savannah, Georgia, USA Closed
Midwest Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference April 7, 2017 South Bend, Indiana, USA Closed
2017 Learning Conference: Engaging Every Learner May 3-4, 2017 Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada Open through 2/28/17
SoTL Conference May 15-16, 2017 Tiffin, Ohio, USA Opened on 1/25/17 (no end date specified)
Lilly International Conference: Evidence-Based Teaching June 1-4, 2017 Bethesda, Maryland, USA Open through 2/15/17
EuroSoTL June 8-9, 2017 Lund, Sweden Closed
Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education June 20-23, 2017 Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Closed
Teaching History in Higher Education Conference ** September 13-14, 2017 London, United Kingdom  
International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSoTL) conference October 11-14, 2017 Calgary, Alberta, Canada Open through March 15, 2017
POD Conference (for professional developers) October 25-29, 2017 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Not yet open

**This is the only disciplinary conference on teaching and learning that I have featured here. I’d like to add more to my website (and in future blogs), so please comment below if you know of other conferences that might be interesting to include on future conference lists! Many thanks!

 

Blog Reference:

Hutchings, P. & Muber, M. T. (2005). Building the teaching commons. Carnegie Foundation for                the Advancement of Teaching.

 


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Spring SoTL Offerings at ISU

The Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning will offer three events this spring: two workshops and a brown bag lunch with the Chair of our IRB to discuss protection of human subjects in SoTL research.

Reservations via email to Jen Friberg (jfribe@ilstu.edu) will be taken for ISU faculty, starting next Monday, 2/6/17.  Read below for details on each event:

screen-shot-2017-01-30-at-8-34-16-am


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New SoTL Journals to Explore

Written by Jennifer Friberg, Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL and Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University

Recently, three new SoTL journals have been established to focus on research on teaching and learning. The focus of each is different, but each makes unique contributions to the evidence-base for making pedagogical decisions or reflecting on teaching and learning. The mission and scope, current article listing (if available), and link to receive updates for each journal are provided below.  Other new SoTL journals will be highlighted over time. Please email Jen Friberg (jfribe@ilstu.edu) if you are aware of new(er) SoTL journals that could be featured in a future blog!

Art History Pedagogy & Practice (mission and scope copied from AHP&P website)

Art History Pedagogy & Practice (AHPP) is a peer-reviewed, open-access e-journal dedicated to advancing teaching and learning in art history. The journal provides a forum for scholarly discourse that articulates and presents the range of pedagogical methods for learners in formal, informal, and virtual learning environments. Art History Pedagogy & Practice embraces multiple research models that examine the effectiveness of instructional strategies and technologies that build the skills, theories, concepts, and values necessary to art historical practice. Art History Pedagogy & Practice also fosters exchange between art history and allied fields including art and museum education, studio art and design, visual and material culture, and the digital humanities by considering the role of technology and the material object to enhance understanding and intellectual development.

AHP&P recently published their first issue, which included the following contributions:

Those interested in regular updates related to the work of AHP&P should register to join the journal’s email list.

 

Research & Practice in College Teaching (mission and scope copied from the journal’s website)

Research & Practice in College Teaching’s objective is to publish articles focused on promoting student learning. Articles should address themes around promoting effective practices in teaching and learning. The Journal reflects the breadth of the work in the scholarship of teaching and learning. We accept articles in the following categories.

  1. Data-Driven Studies
  2. Literature Reviews
  3. Case Studies

Research & Practice in College Teaching just published their second issue, which included the following contributions:

 Those interested in regular updates related to the work of this journal should register to join the journal’s email list.

 

Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders (mission and scope copied from the journal’s website)

Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences & Disorders (TLCSD) publishes articles that reflect current and exemplary scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) research in speech-language pathology and audiology. Articles submitted to TLCSD may also reflect current trends in the format of SoTL work, including original research, quantitative or qualitative in nature, reflective essays and case studies, both grounded in the literature. Manuscripts related to teaching and learning in continuing education contexts as well as in higher education will be considered. We invite manuscripts which also fall within the umbrella of evidence-based education in CSD, including:

  • Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Research
  • Scholarly Teaching
  • Early Discoveries
  • Reflections on SoTL
  • Student Voices
  • Book Reviews: Two types of Book Reviews will be considered for publication:
    • Critical reviews of SoTL texts specific to speech-language pathology or audiologywhich examine academic and/or clinical applications to teaching and learning in CSD
    • Reviews of new (non-CSD)SoTL texts which critically examine content and describe possible applications to academic and/or clinical CSD teaching and learning.

TLCSD plans to publish their inaugural issue in late winter/early spring of 2017.

Those interested in regular updates related to the work of TLCSD should register to join the journal’s email list.


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Taking a Scholarly Approach to the New Academic Term

Written by: Jennifer Friberg, Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL and Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Illinois State University

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-12-42-50-pmMany of us have are anticipating (or maybe already experiencing!) a new academic term. My fellow Redbirds have one more week before we are back in the classrooms of Illinois State University. Recent conversations with colleagues have revolved around course design/prep and general thoughts about the upcoming semester. I’m guessing this is the case at most colleges and universities.

For me, the weeks before a new term are always times of reflection and consideration. I ask myself questions like: What worked last time I taught this class? What didn’t work? How can I engage more students in a way that makes sense for my course and my course design? Again, I’m guessing that I’m not alone in pondering these topics. And, while we can choose answer these questions via SoTL inquiry, that isn’t always possible for a number of different reasons (resources, competing priorities, etc.). Thankfully, there is ample research on teaching and learning that we can apply to help answer these questions — we just have to access it!

The following resources each describe the evidence base for common beginning of the academic term issues: How do I construct a syllabus? How will my students best learn? What is the advantage of various grouping strategies for my students? What are “best” practices for the first day of class? Happy reading and have a great term!

The Center for Teaching and Vanderbilt University constructed a very useful webpage to highlight important, evidence-based considerations for syllabus construction, addressing questions such as:

  • What are the most important elements of a learner-centered course syllabus?
  • What is the relationship between syllabus construction and course design?
  • How can the tone of the syllabus impact learners?
  • What other resources are available to support faculty in constructing “good” syllabi?

Indiana University of Pennsylvania have gathered a reference list of “what to do on the first day of class,” with cross-disciplinary research and evidence from several different disciplines (e.g., sociology, psychology, calculus, English), as well.

Kathleen McKinney collated a sampling of things we know about learning from SoTL research, outlining findings from seminal texts in teaching and learning from the last decade.

Rick Reis from Tomorrow’s Teaching and Learning offers suggestions — grounded in evidence — for establishing collaborative groups for students, and in so doing, offers pros and cons for random, instructor generated, self-selected, and mixed groups.

 

Public domain photo downloaded from: https://pixabay.com/en/teach-word-scrabble-letters-wooden-1820041/


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Taking a Winter Break

snowThe SoTL Advocate will be taking a short winter break from December 22, 2016 through January 9, 2017. No new posts will be published in the hopes that we can all enjoy a bit of rest and reflection to rejuvenate ourselves a bit.

If you can’t resist, here are links to a few of our past blogs that might make for timely reading:

Additionally, I would invite you to check out other excellent SoTL blogs and explore a bit on the following sites:

Wishing you all happiness and health in the coming new year all the way from Normal, Illinois-

Jen Friberg