International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
IJTLHE
International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
IJTLHE
International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
IJTLHE
International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
IJTLHE
2008: Volume 20 Number 3
Reviewers for Issue 20(3)
Craig Abrahamson James Madison University
Joyce Alexander Indiana University
Karen Bell Central Michigan University
Margo Bowman Wayne State University
Simon Cassidy University of Salford
Patricia Coward Canisius College
Leslie Cramblet Alvarez University of Denver
Cathlin Davis California State University, Stanislaus
Dr. Susan Dean Gilbert Lees-McRae College
Mary Dereshiwsky Northern Arizona University
Tracey Devonport University of Wolverhampton
Susan Dicklitch Franklin & Marshall College
Peter Doolittle Virginia Tech
Fernanda Duarte University of Western Sydney
Anna-May Edwards-Henry The University of the West Indies
Linda Evans University of South Florida
John Ewing Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Francine Glazer New York Institute of Technology
Lynne Hammann Mansfield University
Tony Harland University of Otago
Thomas Hergert St. Cloud State University
Perry Hinton Westminster Institute of Education, Oxford Brookes University
Nila Ginger Hofman DePaul University
Dennis Humphrey Premier Academic Solutions
Angela Humphrey Brown Piedmont College
Mark Israel Faculty of Law, University of Western Australia
Cindy Ives Athabasca University
Ian Kinchin King's College London
Stephen Lapan Northern Arizona University
Jeffrey Liles St. John Fisher College
Yiping Lou Louisiana State University
Diane Nauffal Lebanese American University
Catherine O'Callaghan Iona College
Nneka Nora Osakwe Albany State University, Albany, Georgia
Carol Parker Sam Houston State University
Anthony Perry School of Psychology
Marsha Rossiter University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Christine Rubie-Davies University of Auckland
Iris Saltiel Troy University
Kay Sambell Northumbria University
Sarah Semon University of South Florida
Alain Senteni Virtual Centre for Innovative Learning Technologies, University of Mauritius
Tom Sherman Virginia Tech
Siew Ming Thang The National University of Malaysia
Karen Thoms St. Cloud State University
Mary Timothy Appalachian State University
Erin Webster-Garrett Radford University
Susan Wilcox Queen's University
Frank Wray University of Cincinnati
Aman Yadav Michigan State University
Sandra Zerger Hesston College

Abstract: The population of students pursuing higher education is increasingly diverse. Research suggests, however, postsecondary instructional beliefs and practices have not evolved in ways that effectively respond to diverse students’ unique needs. This scholarly self-study examined the nature and impact of using differentiated instruction in an introductory-level graduate course comprised of students who varied significantly in terms of their levels of readiness, their interests, and their learning profiles. The findings suggest differentiation had a positive and meaningful impact on student learning. Students’ class performance and their reflections on the experience indicated that students were appropriately challenged and were able to find meaning and relevance in the course content and activities. Themes emerging from this study highlight the necessity for pedagogy that reflects college students’ (a) diverse ways of learning, (b) diverse interests, experiences, and goals, and (c) diverse personal circumstances. Insights gleaned from this investigation are offered and recommendations for future research are provided.

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Abstract: This study aimed at investigating the psychometric properties of two inventories for the measurement of learning style preferences in a Greek sample: Kolb’s (1985) Learning Style Inventory (LSI) and the Index of Learning Styles (ILS) by Felder & Soloman (1999). The inventories were administered in a total of 340 Greek university undergraduate students of different disciplines (education, psychology, and polytechnics) and primary school teachers. Regarding the LSI, our sample was found to strongly prefer the accommodative and the divergent learning style. Results indicated that in the Greek sample the LSI had a satisfactory reliability but its construct validity was weakly supported. No significant differences were found in relation to discipline, a finding that calls the discriminant validity of the inventory into question. Regarding the ILS, our sample showed a preference for the visual and the sensing learning style; its reliability was barely acceptable but the construct and the discriminant validity were well-supported. In conclusion, this study revealed psychometric weaknesses in both inventories suggesting that they could be used as a tool to encourage self-development of an individual within a discipline group, but not as a tool for grouping them according to given learning styles.

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2008 - Research Article
Bain, A., Lancaster, J., Zundans, L.
Views: 1103       [394]
Abstract: Pattern language is the lexicon used to express the schema of a field of professional practice (Smethurst, 1997). This lexicon is frequently presumed to exist in communities of practice in educational settings, although the findings derived from the longitudinal study of schools (Elmore, 1996; Goodlad, 1984; Lortie, 1975; McLaughlin & Talbert, 2001; Sizer, 1987) indicate that the presence of such a lexicon is much more likely to be the exception than the rule. This study sought to establish the differential effects on pattern language of embedding evidence-based practice in the design of an inclusive education teacher preparation course. Embedded design involves creating selfrepeating patterns in the instructional design of a course by expressing essential design features at multiple levels in the teaching and learning experience. In this case study, classroom communities of practice were employed as a learning context for students to develop their pattern language and as vehicle for applying the embedded design principle. The study also sought to establish whether increases in the frequency and sophistication of pattern language use increased as the pre-service course progressed through four teaching cycles and students learned more about inclusive approaches. The results indicate that pattern language frequency and sophistication covaried with participation in the course, and increased over time. The findings are discussed within the context of building more rigorous teacher preparation programs and the role of embedded design in pre-service inclusive education.

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Abstract: This study examined the relationship between teacher written feedback and change in the disciplinary writing of tertiary students in their final year of undergraduate study. The student texts and teacher written feedback examined arose naturally out of a third year disciplinary-based unit in which each student submitted a text three times over the course of a semester, each time receiving feedback and a mark prior to rewriting and resubmitting. In analyzing the relationship between the different types of feedback and the changes that occurred, the feedback was categorized according to the issue that was being addressed, the manner in which it was given, and its scope. The different types of feedback were directly related to the changes that occurred in the students’ subsequent rewrites. The analysis shows that certain types of feedback are more strongly related to change than other types of feedback. In addition, the analysis shows that change is further influenced by the balance between the various individual points of feedback and the degree to which they reinforce each other. The findings show that the use of feedback that is strongly related to change can improve the writing of students in the disciplines.

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2008 - Research Article
Williamson, D., McDougall, R., Brien, D.
Views: 1115       [445]
Abstract: Writing courses are increasingly popular in higher education. This paper presents a pedagogic approach that combines theory and practice, in an accessible way, to help students appreciate the interrelation of styles and contexts, and develop skills for writing in a range of genres. The approach is characterised as adaptive application. It is illustrated by the modification of a traditional tutorialgroup structure to provide a new setting in which students can immediately apply key terms of rhetorical theory as they negotiate differentiated experiences as writers, readers, speakers, and listeners. This change in classroom practice is achieved by adopting and adapting the roles, organizational genres, and communication conventions of the committee meeting. The resultant hybrid form of committee-tutorial assists students to engage collegially in the disciplinary study and practice of writing. It also encourages them to consider how they may transfer their understanding of rhetorical principles and techniques to writing endeavours in other scholarly and social settings.

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2008 - Research Article
Lester, J., Evans, K.
Views: 1367       [451]
Abstract: Instructors often teach in isolation with very little collegial interaction guiding their practice. In light of the research that exists identifying the value of collaboration within learning environments, the merits of such isolated practice must be questioned. Even though collaboration within educational settings has been identified as critical to the development of both instructors and students, highly collaborative approaches to team teaching have not been fully explored. The purpose of this study was to examine our own experience as team teachers in a team taught, educational psychology course. Through a phenomenological analysis of our lived experiences as instructors engaged in collaboratively teaching an undergraduate course, we gained understanding of the benefits of team teaching within a broader context. A thematic structure emerged that captured our experience of the process of co-teaching. This shared thematic structure consisted of one ground theme, named we didn’t have a manual for this/finding our way through, and five themes, each providing insight into how we made sense of team teaching. The five emergent themes were (a) You can’t shoot from the hip; (b) Following and leading . . . all of us together; (c) If we walk away disagreeing, is it okay?; (d) The presence of another pushed us to go deeper; and (e) You build something bigger. Implications for the use of team teaching in higher education are also explored, highlighting the value of collaborative praxis.

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Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of students with performance-based, in-class and learner-centered, online assessment and the effects of these formats on comprehensive exam scores in an educational psychology course required of participants in a teacher education program. In our quantitative analysis, we investigated the effects of in-class and online exams on undergraduate students’ performance on an in-class comprehensive final (n=141). Students were randomly assigned by course section to take one proctored exam in-class and two other unit exams online in a learner-centered format. At the end of the course, students in all sections took a proctored comprehensive final, consisting of a series of multiple choice questions closely aligned with questions from the unit exams. No significant differences were found between content items initially assessed utilizing the traditional, in-class format and the learner-centered online format. In our qualitative analysis, students in one of the six sections (n=22) were selected to participate in openended interviews. A phenomenological method was used to collect and analyze responses to the question: “When thinking about your experiences with both the in-class exam and Blackboard exams in [course name], what stands out for you?” Findings from our qualitative analysis resulted in separate yet balanced themes for participants’ perceptions of in-class and online exams. For both categories of themes, the constructs of stress, control, and knowing stood out for participants. Implications of this research project are discussed in relation to the use of learner-centered assessment.

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Abstract: Many researchers emphasize the significance of employing inquiry learning in shaping preservice elementary teachers’ tendencies to teach science. Using an interpretive research methodology, this study examined the influence of employing an inquiry-based teaching approach on teaching biology to preservice elementary teachers at the Hashemite University in Jordan. The purpose was to explore 3 teachers’ perspectives of the teaching approach as well as to examine the effect of taking such courses on their future intentions to use inquiry. Findings indicated that participants were generally supportive of an inquiry-based learning strategy as they saw value in the inquiry experience provided from their course. Finally, the study suggested that support should be devoted to encourage the continuation and development of inquiry-based laboratories to better prepare prospective teachers. Furthermore, collaboration between postsecondary science teachers and science educators should be established to promote understanding of inquiry learning.

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Abstract: The author (a university instructor) and her community partner (a public school teacher) have collaborated in teaching an academic service-learning course in special education. This collaboration, the RAP (recreational activities project), was completed by university undergraduate students and young adults with cognitive impairment and/or developmental disabilities. The author discusses the results of this six year project, and implications for both university students in teacher training programs and young adults with disabilities. This article analyzes the quality of social relationships of young adults with and without disabilities and discusses the benefits of a union between qualitative research methods and academic service-learning.

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2008 - Research Article
Monaghan, C., Columbaro, N.
Views: 1435       [561]
Abstract: The application of Communities of Practice (CofP) can potentially serve as an effective learning strategy for higher education classrooms by contributing to student professional development while fostering a desire for life-long learning. The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess the effectiveness of this learning strategy and help educators understand how integrating CofP experience in the higher education classroom can help students become more engaged in lifelong learning. Students involved in CofP during two different graduate courses provided their reflections on this learning strategy through their papers and journals. Findings indicated that, despite the often individualistic nature and constrained graduate course environment, participants felt that the use of CofP was beneficial for enhancing relationship skills and acquiring knowledge about topics of interest quickly and effectively.

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2008 - Instruction Article
Lauer, T., Hendrix, J.
Views: 1170       [329]
Abstract: In this study, we assessed small and large group discussions and repeated writing assignments with the intent to objectively measure the values of these learning pedagogies. We crafted a model where students researched a question, formulated a written answer, discussed it with their peers, and revised their answers. Then, we did it with repetition to provide practice and experience. Improvements in understanding due to discussions were measured at 12%, while improvements of writing skills increased 29% during the course of the semester. Because we carefully structured the methodology and intent of the assignments, we suggest the assessment data could be used for quantitatively measuring student learning.

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2008 - Instruction Article
Trask, B., marotz-bade, R., settles, b., gentry, d., berke, d.
Views: 1190       [355]
Abstract: This article highlights the importance of mentoring processes in the education of future scholars. The purpose is to recommend that scholars link the process of mentoring graduate students with promoting a scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL). It suggests that through this process graduate students will acquire some of the skills they need to be successful in careers that require teaching as a central component of their work. Recommendations are provided for informal and formal mentoring initiatives.

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Abstract: This article describes a possible praxis for an undergraduate learning theories course. The philosophies of “a language-based theory of learning” (Wells, 1999), writing across the curriculum (Young, 1994), learner-centered education (Lambert & McCombs, 1998), and critical-thinking (Paul, 1995) are interwoven with the rationale and practice of this course. The paper is structured with descriptions of the institutional context, the theoretical frame, the course organization, the writing assignments and criteria used in this course. In addition, samples of student writing are reviewed to demonstrate students’ developing sense-making of the content studied. Possible crossdisciplinary applications and the author’s self-reflections about the course viewed through “constructivist dilemmas” (Windschitl, 2002) are addressed in the conclusion.

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2008 - Instruction Article
Lalley, J., Gentile, J.
Views: 1428       [393]
Abstract: We examine the argument that teaching will be more effective if adapted to individuals -what we call the interaction/adaptation hypothesis. What is likely correct about this hypothesis (but needs more research) is that modality of instruction may need to be adapted to certain types of content (e.g., geometry vs. literature) or to domain of objectives (e.g., cognitive vs. psychomotor). What is also correct (and has much empirical support) is that instruction needs to be adapted to the learners' prior knowledge and experience vis-avis the material to be learned. What is incorrect is that instruction should be adapted to learners' styles. We describe some of the major historical conceptualizations of adapting to individual differences, including summaries of the empirical evidence on these approaches. Finally, we offer an alternative approach--namely adapting to individuals' prior knowledge.

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2008 - Instruction Article
Brank, E., Fox, K., Youstin, T., Boeppler, L.
Views: 1257       [424]
Abstract: The current research employs the use of content analysis to teach research methods concepts among students enrolled in an upper division research methods course. Students coded and analyzed Jimmy Buffett song lyrics rather than using a downloadable database or collecting survey data. Students’ knowledge of content analysis concepts increased after a lecture on the topic of content analysis, but they further improved after participating in the song coding, data cleaning, and writing of results. Additionally, students reported high satisfaction with the project and believed it was an interesting and enjoyable technique for learning about research methods. We provide suggestions for incorporating similar data collection activities in undergraduate research methods courses.

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2008 - Instruction Article
Deed, C.
Views: 1241       [448]
Abstract: Conversations between educators and students about choices and strategies are an important pedagogical mechanism to examine the abstract concept of learning. Although students have tacit knowledge about their approach to learning, they are often unable to coherently communicate their ideas. Drawing on the theory of metacognition, the technique of strategic questions is outlined as a means to represent, organize, and communicate students’ abstract ideas about themselves as learners. Strategic questions provide a metacognitive language that allows students and teachers to examine a learning experience. In particular, reasoning for decisions and action, doubts or concerns, explanation of engagement and effort, and values and expectations. A case study is outlined of the use of strategic questions within a pre-service teacher education degree as a method that supports a reflective practitioner approach to learning.

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2008 - Instruction Article
McLeod, S., Brown, G., McDaniels, P., Sledge, L.
Views: 1334       [471]
Abstract: In response to widespread concern that many American students do not write well enough to meet the requirements of higher education and the workplace, the College Board’s National Commission on Writing in America’s Schools and Colleges has called for a writing revolution. A key component of this revolution is evaluation, with particular emphasis on the need to align writing standards, writing instruction, and writing assessment. Teachers of writing want to provide their students with the kind of quality feedback that coaches and personal trainers provide their clients, but large classes and heavy teaching loads often frustrate their intention. Peer assessment can alleviate this problem. In fact, research indicates that when students are given valid and reliable assessment instruments to guide the process, feedback from peers can be as effective as—or more effective than—feedback from professors. As a direct response to the Commission’s call for curricular alignment, Jackson State University has launched the Reader’s Assessment Project, a project that seeks to harness the power of Peer Assisted Learning by developing and applying a series of analytic Peer Assessment rubrics for specific rhetorical modes. While analytic rubrics are useful in identifying broad areas for improvement in student writing, such rubrics are sometimes difficult to use because they address general qualities of effective writing without reference to the way those qualities operate in specific rhetorical modes, such as comparison/contrast or process. Analytic scoring also tends to be timeconsuming. The Reader’s Assessment Project at Jackson State University seeks to overcome these drawbacks by developing mode-specific analytic instruments that are aligned with the reading process. In this article, members of the Reader’s Assessment team review the relevant literature, outline the conceptual framework and methodology of the project, and explain how they have harnessed the power of Peer Assisted Learning with the Reader’s Assessment rubrics through a strategy that they call CARE (creating a reassuring environment).

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Abstract: The goal of this paper is to examine how our personal pursuits—hobbies, activities, interests, and sports—can serve as a metaphor to reflect who we are in our teaching practice. This paper explores the notion that our favorite personal pursuits serve as metaphorical mirrors to reveal deeper assumptions we hold about the skills, values, and actions we encourage, recognize, and reward in our classrooms. The paper has four principle objectives: first, to understand the importance of identifying the skills, values, and actions that form our basic assumptions of knowing in our personal pursuits and teaching practices; second, to appreciate the importance of reflection on experience as an epistemology for self-knowledge and for developing in our teaching practices; third, to understand the power of metaphors to enhance our ability to see previously unavailable and therefore unexamined assumptions; and fourth, to examine and challenge for validity, through dialogue, our assumptions to improve our teaching practices. In addition, in this article we offer a metaphorical mirror exercise designed to help facilitate application of personal pursuits through reflection and dialogue to one’s teaching practice.

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Abstract: Immersion service-learning courses provide increased opportunities for faculty and students to experience the transformational effects of service-learning. This paper focuses on the experiences of faculty and the responses of students who took part in several immersion service-learning courses taught between 2005 and 2007 during the Winter term at Elon University in North Carolina. Four major themes were identified as being significant in these immersion service-learning courses: 1) sharing living space impacts the student-faculty relationship, 2) immersion faculty leaders are placed in multiple roles with multiple opportunities for role modeling, 3) immersion faculty experience their own transformative learning, which often further complicates their roles as leaders, and 4) immersion faculty leaders often experience role conflict in maintaining leadership roles and assessing student work in immersion courses. We conclude that while the role conflicts must be negotiated faculty modeling service behavior may have stronger lessons for students and their future civic engagement than other on-campus service learning courses.

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