The SoTL Advocate

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

Volume 3 (2015) of Gauisus is published!

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Written by Kathleen McKinney, Cross Chair in SoTL at Illinois State University

Gauisus is the internal, blind peer-reviewed scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) publication at Illinois State University (ISU). At ISU we define the scholarship of teaching and learning as the “systematic reflection/study on teaching and learning [of our ISU students] made public.” The first volume of Gauisus appeared in 2009 in print and pdf form and contained 13 traditional scholarly articles or notes. The second and subsequent volumes are multi-media publications and appear on line every late spring. Each will contain several representations of SoTL work. Representations may be scholarly papers or notes, online posters, videos, wikis or blogs and so on.

The purposes of Gauisus are the following: 1) to provide instructors writing about their teaching and learning a local but peer reviewed outlet to share what they and their students have done and learned and 2) to offer other instructors and students an accessible publication to read to obtain a sense of, and learn from, some of the scholarly teaching and SoTL projects conducted by their colleagues on our campus. Gauisus means glad, gladly, or joyful in Latin, as in the Illinois State University motto/logo, “Gladly we learn and teach.” Reviewers are volunteers from ISU, and sometimes beyond, who must apply and are selected based on their experience with SoTL and reviewing scholarly work.

Volume 3, 2015 contains the following SoTL representations. (

Cross-Curricular Learning in Communication Sciences and Disorders: Leaving the Silos Behind

Jennifer Friberg • Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

Heidi Harbers • Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders

This project describes student perceptions of learning following the completion of a cross-curricular end-of-semester project in communication sciences and disorders. Results indicated that students increased knowledge in several key areas, particularly in the integration of material from two separate graduate courses.

Unwilling or Unable? Measuring Anti-Asian Implicit Biases of Pre-Service Teachers in Order to Impact Teacher Effectiveness

Nicholas D. Hartlep • Educational Administration and Foundations

This exploratory scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) study analyzes undergraduate students’ performances on an Implicit Association Test (IAT). The purpose of this exploratory SoTL study was to measure the levels of implicit bias that two groups of pre-service teachers held toward Asian Americans. Two sections of students in a Social Foundations of Education course took an Asian IAT at the beginning and ending of a 6-week summer session. This research examined what students attributed their IAT results to. Family, friends, and upbringing (environmental and external) were salient attributions across both sections of the Social Foundations of Education course as determined by pre- and post-IAT writing assignments. Students’ justifications did not change during the 6-week course, which may show that students believe their biases are what they are, suggesting they don’t feel bad that they may harbor anti-Asian biases.

How Volunteer Service Projects Enhance Learning and Classroom Community: A Longitudinal Study

Phyllis McCluskey-Titus • Educational Administration and Foundations

Wendy Troxel • Educational Administration and Foundations

Jodi Hallsten Lyczak • School of Communication

Erin Thomas • Student Affairs

Brandon Hensley • Educational Administration and Foundations

This article shares the results of a longitudinal study conducted to assess student learning up to six years following participation in a volunteer service project with undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in a first-year seminar class and a first-year master’s degree course about college students. Data was collected using an open-ended survey and analyzed for relevant themes. Results are presented with implications for teaching and learning using collaborative volunteer service as a methodology.

Developing The Impact of Relevance and Teacher Immediacy on Cognitive and Affective Learning

John F. Hooker • School of Communication

This study was an experimental investigation into the impact of lecture topic relevancy and teacher immediacy on students’ cognitive and affective learning. Students at Illinois State University (ISU) were recruited from multiple sections of Communication 110, a course required of all first-year students. Therefore, a variety of majors were included. The results revealed that students learned more with a highly relevant lecture topic. Students also learned more with a highly immediate instructor. There was no interaction between immediacy and relevance, contradicting previous research that suggested an overlap between the two. Pedagogical implications of the findings are discussed.

Instructional Podcasts to Support Thesis Writing: Student and Committee Member Perceptions

Julie Raeder Schumacher • Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

Podcasts support autonomous learning; however, literature is limited on using podcasts to educate students on technical processes separate from course content, such as writing a thesis manuscript. The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of instructional podcasts on thesis writing for Master’s students in our department. The study revealed that students’ writing preparation and confidence was significantly increased after listening to a series of instructional podcasts. Responses from committee members showed positive trends in students’ writing. This study demonstrated podcasts provide one possible means of communicating departmental expectations of the thesis writing process.


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