The SoTL Advocate

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

A Sample of Funded SoTL Research Projects: Inspiration for Ideas, Connections, and Applications

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Written by: Kathleen McKinney, Outgoing Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL, Illinois State University

Sometimes it is useful to acquire and share a sense of SoTL projects in progress or planned on your (or other) campuses.  This may contribute to new ideas and questions, to potential new connections and networks, and to possible cross-disciplinary and/or cross-institutional applications.

In this blog post, I share the names and disciplines as well as the project titles of just a sample of the SoTL research being conducted at Illinois State University. If you want to connect, email addresses for these researchers are available via the search box on the university home page (http://www.illinoisstate.edu). As projects are completed, and as required when accepting funds, recipients submit a representation or summary of the project (paper, power point, poster, blog post…). Once submitted, these summaries can be viewed by clicking on the grant competition title and then the particular project at http://sotl.illinoisstate.edu/grants/.

These projects have received some type of funding from our Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL via highly competitive grant programs. Sometimes the area of SoTL research was ‘open’; other times, the area was specified in order to gain greater understanding of the impact on our students of a University priority or initiative. Thus, I also share a bit about the goal/purpose and process of each grant program.

I encourage blog readers to comment with related information or links about SoTL research and grant programs on their campuses or in their organizations!

2015–2016 Going Global with SoTL Mini-grants ($1,000 each)

This program provided mini-grants to study the developmental and learning outcomes of Illinois State University students as a result of global, international, or cross-cultural curricular or co-curricular experiences. These experiences could have been part of, for example, an ISU class or program on campus, a study abroad experience, a co-curricular travel and/or volunteer experience, etc. as long as a global/international/cross-cultural component was clearly a major aspect of the assignment, opportunity, or experience. We received and reviewed twelve applications and were able to support five.

  • Study Abroad Experience in Peru and Students’ Development, Aysen Bakir, Marketing
  • Interpreting the Frames: A Study of Six Art Education Students’ Integration of Their Study Abroad in Australia Experience Into Their Classroom Teaching Practices, Judith Briggs, Art
  • History Teacher Candidates and Discipline-Specific Pedagogy: Theory, Policy, andPractice in England and the United States, Richard L. Hughes and Sarah Drake Brown, History
  • Preparing Future Early Childhood Teachers: Furthering InterculturalDialogues among Early Childhood Pre-service Teachers across the Globe, Miranda Lin, School of Teaching and Learning
  • Exploring and Understanding Global Diets from a Sociocultural Perspective: ACase of Pre-service Teachers in Thailand, Taiwan, and the U.S., Do-Yong Park, School of Teaching and Learning

June 2016 SoTL Research Mini-Awards ($700 each)

The purpose of these awards is to provide a small amount of funding to support work on SoTL projects that are currently in progress (e.g., design stage, IRB stage, gathering or analyzing SoTL data, working on a creative or scholarly representation of the SoTL study/results, travel to present SoTL). Selected applicants had to make a convincing case that a SoTL project about ISU students is on-going and that the award will be used for work/activities in the month of June to further the project’s progress, completion, application, or visibility. They also agreed to submit a blog post to The SoTL Advocate about the project by October. Applications about all SoTL topics or research questions were welcome. We received and reviewed twenty-three applications and had the funds to support eight.

  • Investigating Methods for Improving Graduate Student Writing, Becky Achen, Kinesiology and Recreation 
  • Using Interrupted Case Studies to Teach Developmental Theory, Bill Anderson, Family and Consumer Sciences
  • When Privilege and Oppression Becomes ‘Real’ in the Life of Emerging Social Workers, Deneca Avant, Social Work
  • Exploring the Learning Process, Perceptions, and Confidence in Experiential Research Project Scaffolding in Two Allied Health Undergraduate Courses, Jackie Lanier, Health Sciences, Julie Schumacher, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Rachel Vollmer, Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Student Stories of Free Speech Acts on Campus: A Digital Documentary Film, Maria Moore, Communication 
  • Factors Associated with Students’ Integration of Course Content in Online Discussions, Nancy Novotny, Mennonite College of Nursing and Elahe Javadi, Information Technology
  • A Holistic Approach to Learning about Laryngeal Cancer through an Innovative Independent Study Experience, Lisa Vinney, Communication Sciences Disorders
  • Group Contingency Interventions in Special Education Courses, Virginia Walker, Special Education and Kristin Lyon, Special Education

2016–2017 SoTL University Research Grants (about $5,000 each)

The program provides scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) small grants to study the developmental and learning outcomes of ISU students. For 2016-2017, projects must focus on a teaching-learning issue(s) explicitly related to out-of-class learning opportunities experienced by ISU students. This would include, but is not limited to, study abroad, civic engagement experiences, service learning, involvement in co- or extra-curricular activities, and so on. Each proposal, must be from a team of at least one faculty/staff member and at least one student (graduate or undergraduate). Team members may be from the same discipline or include members from more than one discipline. We received and reviewed nineteen proposals and were able to fund or partially fund five.

  • Evaluating Graduate Student Out-of-Class Learning: The Professional Field Trip, Rebecca Achen and Clint Warren, Kinesiology and Recreation
  • Intentional and Integrated Field Experiences’ Contribution to Health Education Teacher Candidate Achievement of Learning Outcomes Relevant to Youth Disproportionately Affected by Health Disparities, Adrian Lyde, Health Sciences
  • Development of Leadership Competence through a Service Learning Project in a Dietetic Internship, Julie Raeder Schumacher, Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Learning through Teaching and Dialogue: A Student-Directed Vocal Health Education Program, Lisa Vinney, Communication Sciences and Disorders
  • Exploring the Potential of a Diverse Set of Service Learning Projects to Increase Dietetics Students’ Self-Efficacy in Nutrition Education, Rachel Vollmer, Family and Consumer Sciences
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