The SoTL Advocate

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


Leave a comment

New Volume of Gauisus Published

The fifth volume of Gauisus, ISU’s internal, multimedia SoTL publication was published today. This volume features the work of 26 Redbirds (13 faculty and 13 students) across six departments/schools. Work in this volume is organized into two tracks: SoTL Research and Scholarly Approaches to Teaching. The Scholarly Approaches to Teaching track is new to this volume and represents an effort to highlight application of SoTL research to inform decision-making. Abstracts and hyperlinks for each article can be found below.

The call for Volume 6 of Gauisus is now open. Past volumes of Gauisus can be accessed here. Happy reading!

 

TRACK: SoTL Research
Math Anxiety Among First-Year Graduate Students in Communication Sciences and Disorders
Jamie Mahurin Smith • Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Students in allied health fields use math for a variety of tasks in their classes and in the field. Math anxiety can interfere with completion of these tasks; no published reports describe the prevalence or extent of math anxiety in this population. Two cohorts of first-year graduate students in communication sciences and disorders (CSD; n = 73) used the modified Fennema-Sherman Mathematics Attitude Survey to evaluate their own math ability and math anxiety. For many of the survey items, a strongly bimodal response pattern was observed. Across both cohorts, one group of students felt confident and competent with regard to math-related tasks, while another group reported anxiety and doubt. The presence of strongly divergent feelings about course material may present challenges for instructors and students alike. Potential responses are discussed.
Acquiring Global Competencies at Illinois State University
Maria Schmeeckle, Editor • Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Our “Senior Experience” research capstone class sought to answer the following question: “What types of global competencies are college seniors acquiring at Illinois State University, and what school-sponsored experiences allow them to acquire these competencies?” To answer this, our team of nine students conducted 30 semi-structured interviews with a diverse group of students in their senior year at Illinois State University. We focused on seven competencies identified by ISU’s Office of International Studies and Programs: Critical Cosmopolitanism, Social Cohesion, Cultural Sensitivity, Social Responsibility, Intercultural Communication, Bilingualism, and Global Dexterity. We found that almost all of our participating seniors perceived that they had acquired some degree of the seven global competencies and found them to be important for their lives. Interview participants reported the highest exposure to cultural sensitivity, social responsibility, and intercultural communication, and the lowest exposure to bilingualism. Within course-related activities, classes and professors appeared to be the best sources of global competency development. Within non-course-related activities, student organizations were mentioned the most often. In their final reflections, the research team suggested that the university make greater efforts to help students realize that they are acquiring global competencies, which are tangible skills in our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.
The student researchers collaborated on all aspects of the research process, including refining research questions, reading and synthesizing the literature, developing the interview guide, conducting interviews, transcribing and analyzing the interviews, summarizing the findings, and connecting findings back to related studies and ISU’s internationalization efforts. In alphabetical order, the student researchers were: Jonathan Aguirre, Michael Drake, Felicia Kopec, Alicia Ramos, Shelby Stork, Stacy Strickler, Erin Sullivan, Annie Taylor, and Melisa Trout.
Improving the Graduate Student Experience thought Out-of-Class Experiences
Rebecca AchenSchool of Kinesiology and Recreation
Clint WarrenSchool of Kinesiology and Recreation
Hannah JorichSchool of Kinesiology and Recreation
Amanda FazzariSchool of Kinesiology and Recreation
Ken Thorne
 • School of Kinesiology and Recreation
This study evaluated student experiences and learning outcomes related to the professional field trip, which is designed to encourage connection between students and improve professional skills. Twenty-two graduate students attended the trip to Milwaukee, WI, where they participated in a networking event with industry professionals, toured an arena and Marquette athletics, and attended a baseball game. The trip was evaluated using pre- and post-trip surveys, a focus group, and interviews with professionals that the students interacted with. Results suggested the trip met students’ expectations, improved their connection to their cohort, clarified their professional goals, and improved their networking skills.
Using Simulations to Improve Interprofessional Communication and Role Identification between Nursing Student and Child Life Specialist Students
Peggy Jacobs• Mennonite College of Nursing
Sheri KellyMennonite College of Nursing
Keri Edwards • Department of Family and Consumer Sciences
Lynn Kennell Mennonite College of Nursing
Cindy Malinowski Mennonite College of Nursing
Based on Recommendations by the World Health Organization to improve patient outcomes through teamwork and communication, the college of nursing collaborated with the child life specialist program to incorporate interprofessional collaboration into existing simulations. A quasi-experimental design with a pre and post-test regarding roles was used to discover how 3rd semester undergraduate nursing students and 3rd semester graduate child life specialist students (CSL) communicate during four simulated pediatric care scenarios. Consenting to participate were 49 nursing students and 4 CLS students.  The intervention group included a CLS. Videotaped simulations and audio taped debriefings were evaluated with the validated Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric (ICAR). Significant differences were found in communication and collaborative patient family approach. Nursing students showed greater growth in role understanding of the CLS (pre-13.69, post-14.13) compared to the CLS of the nursing role (pre-8.6, post-9.4).  Students recognized the need to continue to improve their teamwork and communication.
Challenging Pre-Service Teachers; Evolutionary Acceptance in Introductory Biology
Rachel Sparks• School of Biological Sciences
Rebekka Darner Gougis• School of Biological Sciences
In this study, we examine the efficacy of an instructional intervention on pre-service teachers’ acceptance of evolutionary theory. We used diagnostic question clusters with ORCAS (Open-ended questioning, student Responses, Contradictory claims, Assessment of contradictions, and Summary) discourse to elicit students’ prior knowledge and compel evaluation of claims with evidence. Pre-and post-instruction evolutionary acceptance, nature-of-science understanding, and conceptual knowledge about evolution were measured qualitatively and quantitatively, indicating the instructional treatment was effective in fostering acceptance and understanding of evolution. We discuss implications for further research and preparing pre-service teachers for teaching evolution concepts.
TRACK: Scholarly Approaches to Teaching
Exploring the Designed Environment and Human Behavior Course
Taneshia West AlbertDepartment of Family and Consumer Sciences
Miyoung HongCollege of Architecture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Core competencies such as analytical skills, content knowledge, and awareness of human behavior set the foundation for learning among emerging interior design professionals. A human behavior course is the perfect medium to synchronize these ideas in the context of interior design challenges. Presently, significant gaps exist regarding the pedagogical approaches that prepare interior design students to integrate these skills into innovative design solutions. This paper discusses how objectives identified through the literature review influence the creation of lecture activities, project assignments, and student assessment to meet each identified objective. The authors offer respective strategies for building the course curricula.


Leave a comment

First CSI-SoTL Student Cohort Earns Certificates

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

CSI-SOTL reception photo

Last Thursday, April 13, 2017, eleven ISU students were recognized at a reception for completing the Certificate of Specialized Instruction in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CSI-SoTL). Representing ten disciplines and four colleges, these students earned this certificate by completing three program phases:

  • In Phase 1, students attended a series of three workshops in the fall of 2016 to learn about SoTL and scholarly teaching (SoTL and My Teaching and Learning, Planning a SoTL Project A, and Planning a SoTL Project B).
  • Phase 2 engaged students in a 1:1 mentoring experience with a disciplinary faculty mentor who had experience in SoTL. Students and their mentors designed a SoTL research project focused on a teaching/learning question identified by the student, problem-solving methodological issues, human subjects research considerations, and possible audiences for their SoTL work. While students were not required to conduct the SoTL project they planned, each student left Phase 2 with a blueprint to complete this project in the future.
  • Phase 3 consisted of individual, written reflection on SoTL, scholarly teaching and learning, the CSI-SoTL program, and the mentor/mentorship process.

The CSI-SoTL program was co-developed and co-sponsored by the Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL and the Graduate School at ISU. Both units would like to acknowledge both the students who earned their CSI-SoTL certificates as well as their faculty mentors, who volunteered their time and expertise to support their mentees this semester:

Taylor Bauer, COM (Mentor: Dr. Maria Moore, COM)

Olga Cochran, ENG (Mentor: Dr. Susan Burt, ENG)

Patricia Huete, SOC (Mentor: Dr. Frank Beck, SOC)

Matt Johnson, CHE (Mentor: Dr. Jean Sawyer, CSD)

Elizabeth Jones, ENG (Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Friberg, Cross Chair)

Jillian Joyce, COM (Mentor: Dr. Cheri Simonds, COM)

Theo Nzaranyimana, AGR (Mentor: Dr. Rob Rhykerd, AGR)

Mijan Rahman, ENG (Mentor: Dr. Susan Hildebrandt, LLC)

Lauralyn Randles, SED (Mentor: Dr. Olaya Landa-Vialard, SED)

Joe Rice, POL (Mentor: Dr. Michaelene Cox, POL)

Raj Sankaranarayanan, TEC (Mentor: Dr. Anu Gohkale, TEC)

Congratulations to all CSI-SoTL participants!

For additional information regarding the CSI-SoTL program, email Jen Friberg (Cross Chair in SoTL, jfribe@ilstu.edu) or Amy Hurd (Director of Graduate Studies, arhurd@ilstu.edu). 


Leave a comment

New Funding Opportunities for ISU SoTLists!

The Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning at Illinois State University is accepting applications for two grant programs: FY18 University Research Grants and FY17 Summer Mini Grants. Information related to each of these funding programs can be accessed via the Cross Chair website. An overview is provided for each program below. Contact Jennifer Friberg (jfribe@ilstu.edu) with questions.

FY18 University Research Grants:

The Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning requests proposals for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning URG Grant Program. The program provides scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) small grants to study the developmental and learning outcomes of ISU students. For 2017-2018, funded projects can focus on the systematic study/reflection of any teaching-learning issue(s) explicitly related ISU students.

Grants of up to $5,000 are available. Funds may be used for any appropriate budget category (e.g., printing, commodities, contractual, travel, student help, and salary in FY18). While 4-5 grants are expected to be awarded, all awards are subject to the availability of funds allocated for FY18. Proposals should be submitted by 5/22/17.

urg summer

FY 17 Summer Mini Grants:

The Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning requests proposals for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning URG Grant Program. The program provides scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) small grants to study the developmental and learning outcomes of ISU students. This funding program will award six mini-grants of $600 each to ISU faculty via a competitive application process. These funds will be awarded as a June 2017 stipend for work on a new or ongoing SoTL project at any stage of completion (e.g., writing an IRB, analyzing data, writing up findings). Proposals should be submitted by April 24, 2017.

mini summer


Leave a comment

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


Leave a comment

STLHE 2017 Call for Papers & Reviewers is Open

Call for Proposals and Reviewers is open for the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education‘s 2017 conference in Halifax.

stlhe

Proposals Due: December 12, 2016 

The institutes of higher education of Halifax invite you to submit your conference proposals and to pass along this invitation to your colleagues and staff.

There are several themes, threads, and formats through which to submit a proposal for #stlhe2017.

Higher education is continually at a gateway, a liminal space, where possibility and advancement is available. In this context, what is the role of the post-secondary institutions, classrooms, and teachers in supporting students in their quest for higher learning? Understanding where we have come from, and where we are now, is key to understanding where we are going, and how we can develop and change over the next century to meet the needs of our changing student demographics.

Proposals may be submitted (and a submission template is available for download) on the conference website.

For those interested in reviewing submissions, please use this form

For more information, please contact stlhe2017@smu.ca

We look forward to hosting you in Halifax!

#STLHE17

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Reflecting on Phase One of ISU’s New CSI-SoTL Program

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

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 10.18.48 PMEarlier this year, I wrote a blog describing the Certificate of Specialized Instruction in SoTL (CSI-SoTL) program I co-developed in concert with my colleague, Amy Hurd, Director of the Graduate School at Illinois State University. Amy was interested in developing certificate or badging programs in various areas of focus for ISU’s graduate students; I was interested in developing a long-term effort to engage graduate students in the pursuit of scholarly teaching and engagement in the scholarship of teaching and learning. Thankfully, a collaboration was timely for both of us and the CSI-SoTL program emerged.

Quite honestly, Amy and I were unsure what type of interest students would have in our CSI-SoTL program. We created marketing flyers and sent information describing the program to all graduate students at ISU. Students with “a strong interested in teaching at the college/university level following graduation” were encouraged to participate. No stipends or course credit were offered as “carrots.” Rather, we hoped that students truly interested in learning about SoTL would join the program. Our goal was 10 participants; 13 enrolled. The breakdown of participants was as follows:

  • 7 males, 6 females
  • 8 doctoral students, 5 Master’s students
  • 12/13 students were involved in teaching within their discipline
  • Representation from the following disciplines (n): sociology (1), communication (2), English (3), politics and government (1), information technology (1), special education (2), economics (1), chemistry (1), and agriculture (1)

As conceptualized, the CSI-SoTL program was developed to help graduate students understand the purpose, definition and applications of SoTL to support current and future teaching, learning, and research efforts. Students enrolled in the CSI-SoTL program just completed the first of three phases:

  1. A three-workshop series on the topics of SoTL and My Teaching and Learning, Methods for SoTL, and Sharing My SoTL Work (October-December, 2016)
  2. Developing a SoTL project in consultation with a faculty SoTL research mentor (January-March, 2017)
  3. Systematic reflection during and after completion of workshops and project planning (Completed in April 2017)

Following the completion of Phase One, students were asked to evaluate their experiences across all three workshops the attended. Students indicated the following with quantitative data based on a Likert-type scale where 1=strongly disagree and 5=strongly agree:

Mean SD
I was well informed about the objectives of each workshop in the series. 4.53 .52
I understand the difference between scholarly teaching and the scholarship of teaching and learning. 4.62 .51
Workshop content was relevant to my role as a student. 4.54 .66
Workshop content was relevant to my role as a teacher. 4.62 .51
The content of these workshops stimulated my interest in teaching and learning. 4.62 .51
I am more likely to engage in scholarly teaching/learning as a result of my attendance at these workshops. 4.85 .38
I am more likely to engage in SoTL as a result of my attendance at these workshops. 4.85 .38

When asked to describe the most valuable aspects of the Phase One workshops, students provided the following feedback:

  • I really enjoyed learning about what SoTL is and how it’s different from just “good teaching” and “scholarly teaching.” I also appreciated the resources that were provided.
  • The most valuable aspect was the feedback from fellow members of the group. The ability to discuss your questions or concerns with a receptive, intelligent audience helped me grow in my pursuits.
  • Getting to know other people’s SoTL research ideas.
  • In-depth discussion of research interests/questions.
  • Facilitator catered information to each participant’s disciplinary background, which helped to incorporate a diversity of opinions.
  • I view these workshops as a crucial step toward effective pedagogy. All graduate teaching assistants could benefit from this certification training.
  • First session was very educational and made me wish I had learned this was a field sooner.

Students offered the following suggestions to improve Phase One:

  • It would be great to send an email out in advance outlining specifically what we’ll be covering in each section.
  • The workshops were great. The only interesting addition might be an online discussion between workshops to talk with one another.
  • I feel like they could be longer! More work time together to bounce ideas off one another.
  • Could have some materials included and distributed before meeting every session like pre-memo email with articles and links.
  • Have homework.
  • More workshops! Perhaps have this as a for-credit class.

So, what to do with all this information? Plan for next year’s CSI-SoTL program!! While I am not sure that we will offer this program for course credit in the future, Amy and I will chat about ways to integrate students’ feedback to create a better experience for the next group of enrollees. I am already planning to integrate more “out of class” work and am intrigued by having an online discussion group for “in between” workshop queries, reflections, etc.

What is to come for this year’s CSI-SoTL participants in Phases Two and Three? I am in the process of matching each student with a faculty mentor with SoTL experience from their own discipline to plan a SoTL project. Together, each student-mentor pair will develop a detailed plan for a SoTL research project including research questions, methods, ethical considerations, and dissemination outlets. Students will share their projects with each other at an end-of-program event where they will be awarded their certificate for completing the CSI-SoTL program.


1 Comment

CSI-SoTL: Helping Graduate Students Learn about the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

 

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

Last week, I identified several opportunities for ISU faculty, staff, and students in my blog post. This week, in an effort to define and explain a new program at ISU this fall, I will focus on one specific initiative: the Certificate of Specialized Instruction in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CSI-SoTL). The CSI-SoTL program was developed following two successful SoTL Reading Circles in the summers of 2015 and 2016. Students indicated a need for expanded programming, which I have endeavored to provide.

This program was co-developed by the Office of the Cross Endowed Chair in SoTL and the Graduate School at ISU to provide expanded opportunities for graduate students to engage in study and reflection of research on teaching and learning to facilitate successful work as students and as future faculty.

The following provides a bit more information about why the CSI-SoTL program was developed, who might benefit from participating, and what the program will look like as it unfolds this academic year:

Program Benefits

Through a focus on understanding SoTL, learning about how to apply SoTL and thinking about conducting SoTL research, the CSI-SoTL program is aimed at helping participants succeed as students, teachers, and researchers. As many future college/university teachers lack opportunities for purposeful study and reflection on teaching and learning as part of their graduate school experience, this program provides a unique opportunity for participants to gain knowledge and skills in these areas.

All students who complete the certificate program will be provided a certificate and letter of completion for the program that can be appended to professional vitas/resumes in the future to indicate their focused study and reflection in the area of SoTL.

Aims

Participants the CSI-SoTL program will develop a thorough understanding of the purpose, definition and applications of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) to support current and future teaching, learning, and research efforts. Specifically, through in-depth discussions and reflection on SoTL, participants in this program will:

  • Conceptualize SoTL as a form of action, practitioner, classroom-based research
  • Understand the impact of SoTL upon their own teaching and learning
  • Apply SoTL to improve their own teaching and learning
  • Become familiar with resources that facilitate scholarly teaching and SoTL
  • Develop/plan a SoTL research project to conduct in the future

Process

Throughout the year, participants in the CSI-SoTL program are expected to:

  1. Attend a series of three fall seminars*, including:
    • SoTL and My Teaching and Learning 
    • Planning a SoTL Project A (Methods)
    • Sharing a SoTL Project B (Dissemination) 
  2. Develop a SoTL research project in consultation with a faculty SoTL research mentor. Research plans will include research questions, methods, and a plan for dissemination (please note that participants do NOT have to complete their research project, they simply need to outline a plan for a potential SoTL project). Participants will be matched with a faculty member as close to their disciplinary field as possible. Times will be arranged individually for each participant for this part of the CSI-SoTL program in January and February of 2017.
  3. Systematically reflect on their experiences in learning about SoTL while completing the CSI-SoTL program, focusing on the impact of the program on future teaching, learning, and research endeavors. A specific format will be provided as a starting place for all reflections. Reflections will be submitted in April/May 2017.

*Please note that participants will be asked to prepare for each session with a brief reading assignment and a brief written reflection.

Current Program Status

Happily, I can report that over a dozen graduate students are enrolled and are set to begin the CSI-SoTL program in early October. Careful study of this program is planned with outcomes shared here on this blog in the summer of 2017.