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
2017: Volume 29 Number 2
Reviewers for Issue 29(2)
Susanna Calkins Northwestern University
Robert Carpenter Eastern Michigan University
Susan Clark Virginia Tech
Leslie Cramblet Alvarez University of Denver
Patricia Cranton University of New Brunswick
Elizabeth Davis University of Georgia
William Flora East Tennessee State University
Teresa Foulger Arizona State University
Lilia Gomez-Lanier University of Georgia
Jennifer Gonyea University of Georgia
Cara Gormally Gallaudet University
Angela Jaap Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Steven Jones Georgia Gwinnett Collete
Kathleen Jones Virginia Tech
Jacquelyn Lee University of North Carolina Wilmington
Fiona Lyddy National University of Ireland Maynooth
Lisa McNair Virginia Tech
Henry Merrill Indiana University
Diann Moorman University of Georgia
Maung Thein Myint Civil Engineering Dept, New Mexico State University
Laura Ng University of North Georgia
Kim Niewolny Virginia Tech
Marion Palmer IADT, Dun Laoghaire
Debbie Phillips University of Georgia
Ralph Preszler New Mexico State University
Rhoda Scherman Auckland University of Technology
Paul Suttles University of Georgia
Connie M. Tang Stockton University
Daniela Truty Northeastern Illinois University
Sharon Valente University of Hawaii West Oahu
Joan Watson Digication
Michele M. Welkener The University of Dayton
Ann Woodyard University of Georgia
Sarah Zenti University of Georgia

2017 - Research Article
Boyd, D., Bath, C.
Views: 423       [2482]
Abstract: This research considers the views and perspectives of a group of students on an Education Studies and Early Years course in an English university that took part in an arts project inspired by the philosophy and pedagogy of the Reggio Emilia preschools in Italy. This ethnographic study included semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire which provided further themes for discussion. The intention of the research was to explore why the students perceived this style of learning as so difficult in order to support future pedagogical development on the course. Findings suggest that there is more preparatory work needed before students can comfortably engage with this approach to study.

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Abstract: This article reports a multifaceted course assignment involving the development of information literacy skills, speed partnering, a brief team VoiceThread presentation, and peer evaluations of the presentations. The assignment was rooted in Chickering and Gamson’s (1989) highly regarded principles of good educational practice, as well as the pedagogical literature on speed partnering, collaborative learning, use of VoiceThread, and peer evaluations. It was piloted in a high enrollment introductory family course and in an advanced close relationships seminar. The instructors employed both quantitative and qualitative methods as a basis for both formative and summative evaluation of the assignment. Student responses were generally favorable. For example, 75% of students said speed partnering was an average or good way of forming partnerships. Other results showed that the assignment generated student enthusiasm and engagement in the course material, enhanced learning, and fostered peer relations. Student reactions to conducting peer evaluations were mixed. Despite some initial shortcomings, overall the students and instructors perceived this assignment as successful.

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Abstract: Drawing from a design and development research approach, specifically model research, this study investigated the perspectives of higher education faculty and administrators regarding their experiences with a university-wide electronic portfolio implementation initiative. Participants in the study were fifty-two faculty and administrators at a large research university in the United States who were either continued users or recent abandoners of electronic portfolios. Survey and interview data were used to understand participant perspectives on the electronic portfolio implementation process, including perceived enablers and barriers to adoption of this instructional technology. Study findings and Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) theory informed the development of a six-component electronic portfolio implementation framework. Three external experts in systemic change were then asked to review the framework. Feedback from these external experts was incorporated into a revised version of the framework that is presented here. The framework can be used by an educational institution to support the successful adoption and integration of electronic portfolios regardless of where the organization is within the implementation process.

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Abstract: Instructional designers are tasked with making instructional strategy decisions to facilitate achievement of learning outcomes as part of their professional responsibilities. While the instructional design process includes learner analysis, that analysis alone does not embody opportunities to assist instructional designers with demonstrations of empathy for learners. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to investigate the influence of empathy on instructional strategy decisions made by instructional designers for adult learners. Twelve expert instructional designers, having at least five years of experience, participated in the study (six females, six males). Telephone interviews provided the method for data collection to arrive at the essence of participants’ lived experiences with the phenomenon. A brief questionnaire, which also collected demographics, established criteria for study participation. Findings indicated that empathy for adult learners was an important concept used by participants to identify and mitigate educational challenges faced by adult learners. Six themes emerged from data analysis: criticality/importance of empathy in instructional design, instructional strategies that should reflect empathy, knowledge of the audience/learners, hindrances to demonstrations of empathy vary, the understanding that online learning requires different considerations, and relevancy. Findings may extend discussions about empathy for adult learners in the instructional design process.

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Abstract: Education research in computer science has emphasized the research of web-based learning environments as a result of the latest technological advancement in higher education. Our research aim is to offer new insights on the different teaching strategies in programming education both from a theoretical and empirical point of view as a response to the theory-scarce nature of the subject. We have classified the teaching themes in computing education research based on the students' experience and reviewed the respective teaching methods introduced by the previous literature in the subject field. Our research results confirm that despite the benefits brought by technology to higher education and the high quality of the programming courses, there exist challenges associated with programming education environments that need to be addressed with further research. We bring up the concepts of student-centered pedagogy and personalized learning environments in response to the challenges faced by students in programming education. Specifically, we will analyze these challenges via teaching strategies and by considering the students' needs in a collaborative learning environment. Our research results are especially valuable to the understanding of the development of the programming education environment. We will open up new research opportunities in the quality management of distance learning.

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2017 - Research Article
Ndoye, A.
Views: 436       [2594]
Abstract: Effective and durable learning achievements can result from students’ engagement in their own learning. This study explored students’ perceptions of the mechanisms and processes through which peer and self-assessment can contribute to their learning. More specifically, the study investigated students’ perceived ways in which peer and self-assessment can help engage them in their own learning, make them take responsibility for it, and develop their collaborative learning skills by promoting a positive and supportive learning environment. Students in a graduate class participated in this study. Results indicate that, according to students’ perceptions, peer and self-assessment contribute to their learning through effective feedback, a supportive learning environment, and collaboration among learners. A higher level of awareness of course expectations and requirements, combined with abilities to identify learning gaps and develop strategies to fill those gaps, are the mechanisms through which students perceived that peer and self-assessment promote their sense of responsibility towards their own learning. Students’ dispositions to work in groups can impact the benefits of peer and self-assessment.

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As an open-source journal, IJTLHE makes articles freely available. This utility allows you to email the current article to anyone you wish. Simply enter their email address and click on Submit.


2017 - Research Article
Weston, C., Ferris, J., Finkelstein, A.
Views: 615       [2629]
Abstract: While educational development has long been aligned with organizational development in the literature (Berquist & Phillips, 1975; Gaffe, 1975), in practice this link has faded with time. Schroeder (2011) has recently asserted that given the broad-based changes in teaching and learning that are taking place at universities, it is important that educational developers take an organizational development role and lead institutional level changes in teaching and learning (p. 1-2). For many of us, it has not been apparent how to initiate or clarify a leadership role in organizational development. We share the story of how we came to recognize that our role in leading an institutional change initiative to re-envision classroom spaces was organizational development. We contextualize our experience in a way that makes it meaningful for practitioners seeking to clarify or enhance their own organizational development roles. From our experience, we have gleaned lessons that might be of use to colleagues in the field. First, organizational development should become part of a curriculum for educational developers. Second, we should move from intuition to intention in our organizational development efforts.

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Abstract: This case study used qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate challenges of learning and teaching research methods by examining graduate students’ use of collaborative technology (i.e., digital tools that enable collaboration and information seeking such as software and social media) and students’ computer self-efficacy. We conducted virtual focus groups and surveyed graduate education students taking required research methodology courses in Klang Valley (Malaysia) and Florida (USA). A thematic analysis showed learning research methods evoked emotions for students, students used collaborative technology for learning primarily at one university, and students needed support to access online literature and data sources. Survey results indicated that all students, however, had high levels of computer self-efficacy. Overall results showed that Malaysian women had the strongest computer self-efficacy belief. Our study suggests that collaborative technology for learning and teaching research methods may be underutilized to engage student learning and that faculty responsible for teaching methods courses need to be aware of the emotional side of learning and offer supports, such as collaborative technology, to connect students.

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Abstract: This paper illustrates a radical course design structured to create active and situated learning in which students participate in communities of practice within the classroom, replicating real-life work situations. This paper illustrates the approach through a People Management module, but the approach is also used across a range of disciplines such as History and Psychology. The Matrix Classroom is a two-stage format which organizes students, firstly into specialism groups developing expertise in a specific aspect of knowledge, and secondly into applied task groups in which they apply their knowledge to a particular case, industry, time-period, or event. The design creates two temporary communities of practice which allow students to participate by both taking leadership roles and acting from the periphery, thereby gradually increasing their exposure and confidence in authentic work situations. This structure creates a peer support network of elected student leaders from whom they can gain “specialist” support. The active nature of the student-led activities are designed to re-contextualize abstract concepts into specific problem situations, thus preparing students for graduate life.

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2017 - Instruction Article
Shostya, A., Morreale, J.
Views: 346       [2568]
Abstract: This case study contributes to the higher education curriculum development literature by showing how a faculty-led short-term study abroad experience can become the catalyst for student research and offer students an international perspective. The authors analyze students’ reflections and provide data collected over the years of taking undergraduate business and economics majors on a study abroad course to China to learn about the country’s political, social, and economic dynamics. The paper argues that a faculty-led study abroad program provides a unique platform that helps students find appropriate research topics, gather quantitative and qualitative data, and develop meaningful relationships among observed phenomena. We find that the whole experience of involving students in research through a faculty-led international course enhances the students’ understanding of research, broadens their intellectual horizons, and enhances their interest in, and facility to, understand international issues. Recommendations from the authors’ experiences with curriculum development through a faculty-led study abroad course are offered to show how the undergraduate research experience can be enhanced.

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Abstract: Research mentors strive to ensure that undergraduates gain research skills and develop professionally during mentored research experiences in the sciences. We created the SURE (Specialized Undergraduate Research Experience) Workbook, a freely-available, interactive guide to scaffold student learning during this process. The Workbook: (1) identifies mentees’ relevant strengths and areas for improvement, (2) encourages effective long-term goal setting, (3) ensures clear communication to facilitate a positive mentor-mentee working relationship, (4) exposes mentees to all phases of the research process, (5) develops mentees’ autonomy for research and related professional experiences, and (6) offers mentors a concrete assessment tool to evaluate student participation and development over the course of the research experience. Hands-on research experiences can be invaluable and transformative in undergraduates’ professional development, and we predict that the additional structure and standardization provided by the SURE Workbook will help maximize student learning and performance during such experiences. Thinking ahead, mentees who cultivate positive attitudes about research by using the SURE Workbook may be more inclined to pursue research professions and effectively mentor others when they graduate.

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2017 - Instruction Article
Cunningham, S., Bartesaghi, M., Bowman, J., Jennifer, W.
Views: 259       [2587]
Abstract: How does one create a class where the theoretical concepts emerge through classroom practice and engagement? This is the question that Mariaelena posed to herself when taking over the position of Director of the Interpersonal Communication course at the University of South Florida. In this essay we describe how we worked through a new way of teaching—and doing—interpersonal communication that captures Carey’s (1989) focus on the centrality of process over product. We did so by way of some important tools of what is alternatively known as critical or process pedagogy (e.g., Elbow, 1986; 2013): an interpersonal dynamic that includes ongoing grading, writing to learn, and the portfolio method. This semester-long, process-oriented portfolio assignment is effective and beneficial because it facilitates an important shift in the power dynamic of the classroom by disrupting students’ expectations for evaluation and shifting the learner’s orientation from product to process. We share our portfolio method because we believe it can be adapted to fit the unique cultures and needs of other humanities and social sciences courses, instructors, and institutions.

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Abstract: Flexibility in assessment is usually achieved by giving students choice over the assessment weighting, type or format, the timing, the criteria, or the overall assessment result. This study, however, demonstrates the development of a flexible assessment regime where students were given the choice to invest in within-semester tasks designed to encourage the development of higher order thinking skills. This was accomplished by incorporating two compulsory summative assessments and two optional tasks focused on the process of learning. Students could choose whether to invest extra time to complete all four tasks, or to concentrate their effort only on the compulsory assessments. Evaluation of the flexible assessment regime was conducted using a survey incorporating quantitative and qualitative questions. The data showed that students came to value the flexible assessment regime by the end of the semester. Qualitative responses indicated students thought they had developed their higher order thinking skills, but were unaware of how these skills were of benefit in their disciplinary context. A follow-up interview study was conducted to further understand students’ responses. These discussions indicated that students thought the assessment options allowed them to scaffold their learning throughout the semester, reduced overall student stress, and encouraged the development of higher order thinking skills. This study therefore demonstrates that flexibility in assessment allows students to take a proactive role in their learning. When combined with activities designed to develop critical thinking, this assessment strategy can be effective in developing higher order thinking skills.

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2017 - Instruction Article
Nunez Rodriguez, N., DiSanto, J., Varelas, A., Brennan, S., Wolfe, K., Ialongo, E.
Views: 351       [2641]
Abstract: A cohort comprised of high school and college teachers met for one year to build understanding of the critical transition of high school students to college. The seminar analyzed how current reforms in both systems will impact student skill development and preparedness for college work. The discussions highlighted the need to clarify expectations for college freshmen regarding syllabus policies, deadline observations, and the importance of defining consistent classroom management strategies. This program also focused on the need to increase the dialogue between high school teachers and college professors as there exists reciprocal unawareness regarding curricular changes and the learning environment faced by students at both academic levels.

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Abstract: This paper presents a case study of a Competency-Based Education Introduction to Psychology course conducted in a small, private, traditional university in the western United States. Two competency-graded sections were offered, one online and one in the classroom. Eleven undergraduate students completed the online section, and 24 students completed the classroom-based section of the course. For both sections, we present the course design including learning outcomes, course projects, grade assignments, instructional methods, and both student and instructor reflections on learning outcomes. This case study illustrates how competency-based courses can be designed and executed in a traditional academic environment in both online and classroom-based courses.

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