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
2018: Volume 30 Number 2
Reviewers for Issue 30(2)
Deborah Abowitz Bucknell University
Norris Armstrong University of Georgia
Richard Baker Adams State College
Chris Burkett Columbia College
Robert Carpenter Eastern Michigan University
Jessica Chittum Association of American Colleges and Universities
Susan Clark Virginia Tech
Erin Colbert-White University of Puget Sound
Leslie Cramblet Alvarez University of Denver
Elizabeth Davis University of Georgia
Denise DeGarmo Southern Illinois University
Peter Doolittle Virginia Tech
Susan Epps East Tennessee State University
Mark Fink Retired
Adam Friedman Wake Forest University
Mike Garant University of Helsinki
Lilia Gomez-Lanier University of Georgia
Jennifer Gonyea University of Georgia
Leslie Gordon University of Georgia
Cara Gormally Gallaudet University
Barbara Grossman University of Georgia
Thomas Chase Hagood University of Georgia
Nila Ginger Hofman DePaul University
Deyu Hu Virginia Tech
Angela Jaap Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Kathleen Jones Virginia Tech
Steven Jones Georgia Gwinnett Collete
Sara Kajder University of Georgia
Alireza Karbalaei Farhangian University
Pamela Kiser Elon University
Colleen M. Kuusinen University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Jacquelyn Lee University of North Carolina Wilmington
Heather L. Mello Nazarbayev University
Diane Nauffal Lebanese American University
Debbie Phillips University of Georgia
Lisa Rohde University of Nebraska - Lincoln
CindyAnn Rose-Redwood University of Victoria
Marsha Rossiter University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
John Schramski University of Georgia
Kevin Sellers Unafiliated
Brian Stone Boise State University
Amy R. Trawick
Sarah Zenti University of Georgia

Abstract: This study highlights how teaching a research methods course to undergraduate students can be a successful endeavor when active learning is the main method of learning and teaching. In this study, the effectiveness of using active learning in the experimental group to achieve the learning outcomes and final product of a freshman-year writing and research course was researched. The sample included two groups of female students (n=256 students), one control group (n=137) which received traditional lecture and assignment type instruction and one experimental group (n=119) which received instruction through active learning techniques. The effectiveness of active learning was measured by quantitative analyses of overall final exam scores and individual writing and research skills of the two groups. Results of the study indicated that active learning significantly improved the overall skills of the participants as demonstrated by an increase in final exam scores and individual writing and research skills. The research discusses the most and least improved skills, as well as pedagogical implications for teaching a writing and research course using active learning.

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Abstract: Misalignment between student preferences and instructor practices regarding writing feedback may impede student learning. This sequential explanatory mixed-methods study addressed postsecondary online students' preferences and the reasons for their preferences. A survey was used to collect 93 responses from postsecondary students attending a large private online university; data collection included interviews with a subsample of 4 participants. Findings indicated students preferred proximal, detailed, supportive feedback to enhance their writing skills and to understand deductions assessed by instructors. Findings may increase instructor awareness of students' preferences and enhance collaboration in the feedback process to promote writing skill development and improve academic outcomes.

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2018 - Research Article
Helker, K., Wosnitza, M., Mansfield, C., Eugster, B.
Views: 311       [3027]
Abstract: University teachers work in a highly complex environment, meeting the multiple and sometimes competing demands of striving for high quality teaching and research. While a growing body of research focuses on the relevance of schoolteachers' sense of responsibility and its outcomes for teaching and student learning, teacher responsibility has been neglected in research with university teachers. This research, consisting of two consecutive qualitative and quantitative studies, sets out to explore university teachers' sense of responsibility for teaching at different stages of their career and in different academic contexts. Participants were 199 German and 80 Australian university teachers. Results of quantitative data analysis show that all university teachers most strongly feel responsible for their teaching and relationships with students. The focus of university teachers' sense of responsibility on teaching was also shown in the qualitative data. Differences between the samples of the two studies, however, appeared with regard to further objects of responsibility. Cluster analyses, including the frequencies of statements, revealed three types of university teachers in each study: teaching- and student-oriented university teachers in both studies, achievement-oriented teachers in the German/Swiss, and administrative-oriented university teachers in the Australian sample. Implications for university teachers' work contexts and training are discussed.

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2018 - Research Article
Williams, G., Case , R., Reinhart, E.
Views: 330       [3040]
Abstract: This article describes a narrative study exploring the challenges that international teaching assistants (ITAs) encounter when using humor in North American university classrooms. Twenty participants were recruited from twelve teaching fields. Each ITA participated in two interviews and a videotaped teaching observation. The participants talked about their use of humor in the classroom and the reasons they were reluctant to engage in humor. These autobiographical narratives were then subjected to thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2013). Findings from this study revealed that the ITAs specified linguistic, cultural, social, and authoritative challenges to using humor, but then explore the ITAs' personal strategies to overcome these obstacles. The article concludes with a discussion of how humor can benefit ITA training programs and provide a way to explore the connections between language, culture, and pedagogy.

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Abstract: Existing research on student acceptance of the flipped classroom in higher education is somewhat equivocal: some students appreciate the opportunities for active learning that a flipped classroom affords, whereas others expect their learning to occur via in-class lectures. The current study sought to disentangle some of these mixed results by manipulating aspects of hypothetical flipped and traditional classroom environments through a vignette comparison approach. In the first study, a third of the participants reported a preference for a flipped classroom that utilized video lectures as the primary pre-class preparation activity, in comparison to a traditional classroom characterized by at-home reading and in-class lecture. In contrast, the second study demonstrated that half of the sample preferred the flipped approach when the pre-class participation activity was presented as a menu of choices including, but not limited to, video lectures. Across both studies and class preferences, quantitative and qualitative analyses indicated that participants believed they would learn more in their chosen class environment, and they attributed more positive personal characteristics to their preferred instructor. Implications for instructors contemplating a switch to the flipped classroom from a more traditional approach are discussed.

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2018 - Research Article
Abbot, S., Jumonville Graf, A., Chatfield, B.
Views: 280       [3059]
Abstract: Peer tutoring in undergraduate education can provide many benefits to students and instructors. However, the roles and responsibilities of peer tutors can be complex and varied, even within a single program. In particular, navigating between students and faculty can challenge peer tutors' sense of purpose and role clarity. In order to bring the voices of peer tutors themselves into the scholarly conversation about peer tutoring in higher education, this article provides a case study of a peer tutoring program at a small, private, primarily undergraduate institution. We find that professor-student relationships, role clarity and expectations, and tutor positionality are significant themes in peer tutors' understanding of, and satisfaction with, their tutoring experiences.

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2018 - Research Article
Colvard, N., Watson, C., Park, H.
Views: 583       [3386]
Abstract: There are multiple indicators which suggest that completion, quality, and affordability are the three greatest challenges for higher education today in terms of students, student learning, and student success. Many colleges, universities, and state systems are seeking to adopt a portfolio of solutions that address these challenges. This article reports the results of a large-scale study (21,822 students) regarding the impact of course-level faculty adoption of Open Educational Resources (OER). Results indicate that OER adoption does much more than simply save students money and address student debt concerns. OER improve end-of-course grades and decrease DFW (D, F, and Withdrawal letter grades) rates for all students. They also improve course grades at greater rates and decrease DFW rates at greater rates for Pell recipient students, part-time students, and populations historically underserved by higher education. OER address affordability, completion, attainment gap concerns, and learning. These findings contribute to a broadening perception of the value of OERs and their relevance to the great challenges facing higher education today.

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2018 - Instruction Article
Cheney, A., Terry, K.
Views: 811       [2775]
Abstract: In this paper, it is argued that education, especially in the online learning setting, should be viewed as a complex, dynamic endeavor. Design and evaluation grounded in systems thinking principles of relationships and connectedness, as well as complexity theory concepts such as self-organization and emergence, prove valuable tools for understanding what happens in education and helping to improve both theory and practice in online learning. Immersive environments provide rich opportunity for exploring these ideas, and they can help researchers and practitioners gain a rich understanding of education through complexity theory.

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2018 - Instruction Article
Schmitt, E., Eilderts, L.
Views: 253       [2958]
Abstract: Recent technological developments have afforded a proliferation of flexible online opportunities for teacher education (e.g., Chen, 2013). Videoconferencing (VC) is one of the most effective ways to engage students in collaborative learning (Wegner, 2015), as it makes in-class interactions more feasible (Bannan-Ritland, 2002). This descriptive study discusses the online teaching of graduate students in a TESOL program from the point of view of sociocultural theory (SCT) Lantolf and Thorne (2007) and media naturalness theory (MNT) (Kock, 2011). It analyzes the use of VC as the sole medium of instruction of future ESL teachers (N=12) who participate synchronously from different locations, including on-campus and distant classrooms. The participants' exit slips, as well as post-course anonymous surveys, are analyzed to identify elements of VC that have worked well and those that present challenges. The results provide an insight into what makes VC a compelling tool for the training of ESL teachers.

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Abstract: The process toward academic literacy aims at developing academic reading and writing together with higher academic competences of increasing relevance for undergraduate students as future teachers and researchers. Such a process is even more complex in ELT vocational courses where non-English speaking trainees study English as a system while they are in the process of becoming proficient users of this foreign language. This paper shares our action research experience with undergraduate non-native students at an English teacher training program in Argentina. From the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) approach, the implementation of data-driven learning (DDL) assignments has proved to contribute to their process of enculturation and the promotion of subject learning while fostering the development of disciplinary thinking.

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Abstract: Every class has a first day, yet many professors only read the syllabus to students rather than more intentionally leveraging the day to set up understandings that enhance learning and classroom management. Logic, experience, and research indicate that it is not just content expertise that matters to student experience and learning: it is also the environment that the faculty member creates-ideally engaging students as active participants. This paper will increase awareness of the importance of planning and performing the first day, review alternative first day approaches in terms of the primary goals they satisfy - content connection, interpersonal connection, student face needs, motivation, and expectation setting - and provide a detailed outline, and rationale, for a flexible, transdisciplinary first day exercise, the Three Boards Activity, that offers benefits to both the students and faculty member and is adaptable to any size class. Handled thoughtfully, the first day can do more than convey basic information: it can also set the tone and model optimal attitudes and behavior for the classroom.

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Abstract: A recent (2015) study conducted by the Society of Human Resource Managers concluded that nearly half of US employers, across industries, believe recent college graduates to be lacking in requisite competencies for communication, broadly, and writing, in particular. This paper describes an advanced writing course in public relations that seeks to ameliorate this proficiency gap by using experiential learning modules, small group learning methods, authentic exercises, and instructional scaffolding techniques to improve student writing and promote workplace readiness. The module series, Writer's Bootcamp, is a short, intensive, and rigorous collaborative among students and instructor aimed at shaping independence and aptitude in writing. Authentic exercises, derived from real-time, real-world situations, were assigned. Students in small groups worked together to appropriate the piece (from the PR Toolbox, a collection of trade writing), collaboratively script, and present a response in thirty minutes. An assessment of learning outcomes involving the programmatic writing rubric, critical incident reports (verbal), and a reflection instrument (written) indicates the Bootcamp as engaging, gratifying, and transformative by students. Limitations are discussed followed by implications for teaching and learning in upper-level, pre-professional writing courses.

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2018 - Instruction Article
Neal, K., Amendola, N., Baudinette, S., Jeske, D., Joyce, S., Martorana, R., Smith, E.
Views: 220       [3025]
Abstract: The design of assessment in undergraduate history courses, as university populations grow and change, must adapt to meet and serve a range of new pedagogical imperatives and student constituencies in order to ensure both disciplinary integrity and the development of employability skills transferable to work in other fields. In delivering an elective course on Medieval history we have developed the "Medieval Expo," a team-based assessment task that challenges students to develop a presentation aimed at educating a general audience on a specific aspect of Medieval history. The task aims, primarily, to develop students' ability to communicate complex information to a non-specialist audience as well as develop effective teamwork skills: two valuable characteristics for humanities graduates entering any career, while still reinforcing the importance of historical study. A "scaffolded research" model, providing foundational structures that guide student research, is combined with opportunities for students to exercise creative freedom, providing suitable pedagogical support yet maximizing opportunities for student engagement. The reported benefits of this task include increased student engagement with the course content; smoother transitions to tertiary study through the formation of friendships, which is crucial for retention; and increased awareness of the employability skills embedded in the liberal arts.

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Abstract: Learning child protection requires more of students than simply understanding 'what to do' in legislative and policy terms. Students must reflect on their implicit belief systems to effectively respond to child protection concerns as future professionals. This is an instructional article describing a scenario-based survey methodology to increase students' awareness of the ways in which they understand child abuse concerns. First, the important role of universities in readying students to work in the human services is acknowledged, along with a comment on the state of published literature in this area. Second, I set out the theoretical framework informing the approach, drawing on Worldview concept and Mezirow's Transformational Learning Theory, which underpins a social justice approach to education. Third, the instructional methodology is detailed. Finally, the outcome of the session is presented in a series of thematic reflections. The paper concludes that the methodology adopted is effective and powerful in supporting students to increase their awareness of their own worldviews and how they relate to broader national child protection policies and practices. Adequate preparation of students, planning for student incivility, and, importantly, self-reflection on the part of the lecturer are key tools that should be considered if lecturers plan to adopt this method.

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Abstract: Interest in service learning has increased in the past two decades, partly due to recent accumulation of knowledge about its beneficial outcomes to participants and society. This manuscript describes a small group basic communication course taught in a service learning format at a small liberal arts college. Qualitative comments as well as quantitative data from an anonymous survey (n = 112) indicate that the small group basic communication service learning course was beneficial to students in terms of aspects including personal development, clarification of career goals, a sense of connectedness with the community, and a sense of fulfillment in assisting others.

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2018 - Instruction Article
Mellon, A., Sestero, C.
Views: 225       [3038]
Abstract: To address the recent calls for integration between liberal arts education and the business curriculum, we designed the team-taught interdisciplinary course How to Cell: Marketing Meets Microbiology. The course blended multiple introductory courses, focused on environmental issues involving microbiology, and addressed how they were being "marketed" to the public. It introduced students from business, science, and other majors to presumably unrelated topics. Our main objective was to help students gain a greater sense of awareness about the roles of business and science in environmental management activities.

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