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 3
Reviewers for Issue 30(3)
Norris Armstrong University of Georgia
Pete Cannell The Open University in Scotland
Amy Cheney Appalachian State University
Susan Clark Virginia Tech
Kristina Collins Texas State University
Clare Dannenberg University of Alaska Anchorage
Terrence Doyle Ferris State University
Teresa Foulger Arizona State University
Christopher Gearhart Tarleton State University
Rebecca Mattern Ghabour Wilmington University
Lilia Gomez-Lanier University of Georgia
Jennifer Gonyea University of Georgia
Barbara Grossman University of Georgia
Sylvia Henry University of the West Indies
Brian Higgins University of Kentucky College of Medicine
Randy Hollandsworth Piedmont College
Deyu Hu Virginia Tech
Angela Jaap Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Alan Knowles MacEwan University
Jacquelyn Lee University of North Carolina Wilmington
Laura Levi Altstaedter East Carolina University
Heather L. Mello Nazarbayev University
Henry Merrill Indiana University
Marina Micari Northwestern University
Laura Ng University of North Georgia
Gale Parchoma University of Saskatchewan
Clemente Quinones Georgia Gwinnett College
Laura Saret Oakton Community College
John Schramski University of Georgia
Laura Sujo-Montes Northern Arizona University
Krista Terry Appalachian State University
John Thompson Buffalo State College
Kenneth Tyler University of Kentucky
Sylvia Valentin Niagara University
Sandra Watson University of Houston - Clear Lake
Norhasni Zainal Abiddin Universiti Putra Malaysia
Sarah Zenti University of Georgia

Abstract: This research provides an analysis of disciplines and disciplinary differences regarding the pedagogical value and content of post-graduate teaching certificates in higher education. Findings and recommendations are based upon a survey (N = 450) of department heads and doctoral students at Canadian research-focused universities. Participants were surveyed regarding their perceptions of the value of a credentialed teaching certificate for new academics seeking employment, as well as whether they believe the pedagogical knowledge and skills that typically comprise teaching certificates are valuable. Examining whether a strongly held disciplinary identity in more senior academics contributes to these differences, the survey results demonstrate significant differences between disciplines for the overall value and, in some areas, the content of teaching certificates, especially in department head responses. Relatedly, the open-ended survey comments show a deeply ingrained disciplinary identity, particularly for those holding the department head roles, which in turn reflected several participants’ perceptions of disciplinary teaching and learning knowledge and skills as holding superior value to generic, transdisciplinary programs. Recommendations include a renewed focus in educational development initiatives on linking transdisciplinary approaches to specific disciplinary contexts, further connecting overarching pedagogical theories to pedagogical content knowledge as it is translated in practice.

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2018 - Research Article
Terry, L., Zafonte, M., Elliott, S.
Views: 492       [3053]
Abstract: In higher education, despite disciplinary expertise and teaching experience, faculty who are asked to implement curriculum into new modalities, particularly ones that rely heavily on technolo-gy such as blended learning, may be intimidated and overwhelmed. However, instructors may be more willing to explore new modalities if they feel that support is available. Professional Learning Communities, or PLCs, support instructors embarking on teaching in new modalities and and us-ing new technology to support and expand their instruction. The current study looks at how a PLC was utilized to support faculty who piloted a blended learning model of course instruction. Seven faculty members from different disciplines shared their perceptions of how PLC meetings affected their ability to teach in the blended learning modality. Various sources of qualitative data, including surveys, interviews, and meetings notes, were analyzed to see the ways in which the faculty mem-bers viewed and utilized the PLC. Faculty reported that the PLC provided support, new ideas, and enhanced teaching and learning outcomes. The interdisciplinary nature of this collaborative group was particularly helpful in allowing instructors to expand their pedagogical practices within this new modality. They also felt more comfortable in their own ability to teach in this modality after receiving feedback from their peers who were also teaching blended learning sections for the first time. This preliminary study provides support that PLCs can assist in shaping faculty skills and boost interdisciplinary collaboration when faculty adapt their teaching to a new pedagogical modali-ty, such as blended.

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Abstract: In 2009, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) called for more interdisciplinary and community-engaged approaches to teaching and learning in the agricultural and life sciences to better respond to the food system challenges of the 21st century. As a result, institutions from across the nation have responded with a number of experiential learning and service-learning frameworks and practices aimed to enhance the academic experience for both student and community stakeholders. Sustainable agriculture education, with its explicit focus on experiential learning, interdisciplinarity, and values-based programming, has emerged as a promising approach to strengthen the fabric of agriculture and life sciences education. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the complex role of service learning as a central approach to undergraduate teaching and learning where interdisciplinary teaching, experiential learning, and community engagement are core goals. Specifically, we conducted a single embedded case study of a sustainable agriculture education program at a land grant university to explore how this triad was organized and possible service learning outcomes. Our case study was informed by semi-structured interviews of faculty and community partner stakeholders, participant observations of faculty and students, and secondary data analysis of course syllabi and other programmatic artifacts. Despite different understandings and practices of service learning by faculty within this, we found a common core of best practices. We conclude with criteria and best practices to guide teaching and learning from this triad perspective.

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2018 - Research Article
Hanson, P., Savitz, F., Savitz, R., Rauscher, M.
Views: 269       [3068]
Abstract: This study examines the extent to which adjunct professors (a) perceived that they have applied six effective teaching principles (Ramsden, 2003), and (b) perceived that they have been educationally prepared to implement such principles. A purposeful sampling of adjunct professors was conducted. Relationships between whether or not the respondents had a professional teaching degree (bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree in education) and dependent variables (a) and (b) were addressed. Adjunct professors holding professional teaching degrees perceived that they implemented effective teaching principles to a statistically significantly greater extent than did their non-professional teaching degreed counterparts. Adjunct professors holding professional teaching degrees also perceived that they were better educationally prepared to implement effective teaching principles than were their peers without such degrees.

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Abstract: The development of critical thinking skills forms an important part of many higher education courses and has become increasingly visible in syllabi and assessment criteria. Yet, in spite of this, students often struggle to understand what it is and to demonstrate it in their work. This paper aims to explore how students understand the term critical thinking and to identify some of the key factors which influence this. An in-depth case study was conducted with four first-year undergraduate students in the education faculty of a university in England. Data were collected through thematic interviews and stimulated recall interviews. Key findings highlight that students believe strongly in the importance of developing critical thinking skills, yet while they can speak relatively easily about more abstract definitions of the term, they often find it difficult to do and to identify in their own work. Findings suggest that their conceptualizations are influenced by their prior educational experiences and vary according to discipline. Implications for pedagogy include the need for explicit guidance on critical thinking, the provision of substantial opportunities for practice, and the need to engage in dialogue across disciplines to highlight opportunities for promoting connection-making and transfer between different contexts.

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2018 - Research Article
Lightner, R., Benander, R.
Views: 271       [3074]
Abstract: Recommendations about syllabi design have emerged over the last two decades. From a Promising Syllabus, to a Graphic Syllabus, to a Student-Centered Syllabus, faculty are encouraged to purposefully set the tone with this document. Few studies examine students’ impressions of these documents. In order to do this, we created four types of syllabi with consistent course content. First, we presented a focus group with four different syllabus types and gathered their comments. Then, larger groups of students rated the syllabi to reflect their impressions of the documents, their instructor, and the upcoming course. Finally, a group of instructors indicated their preferences and reactions. Student ratings revealed a preference for warmth, clarity, and brevity. We discuss notable differences between student and instructor ratings and offer recommendations.

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2018 - Research Article
Millward, P., Rubie-Davies, C., Wardman, J.
Views: 189       [3084]
Abstract: This article reports on the final phase of a three-phase project and investigates the characteristics of high-achieving students at a university. It also reports student evaluations of a low-cost program aimed at supporting them, assesses their levels of satisfaction, and evaluates the applicability of the program across three institutions in the tertiary sector in New Zealand. Quantitative data were collected from 126 participants prior to the introduction of the program and 55 participants were interviewed. End-of-year data were gathered via a questionnaire and one focus group interview. The findings indicated that the participants appeared to have stronger intrinsic motivation, resilience, and self-belief when compared with participants from other undergraduate groups participating in international studies. Interviewed participants expressed pleasure at being identified as high-achieving, appreciated their involvement in the study, and as a consequence were considering transitioning to postgraduate study. We concluded that this low-cost program was an effective strategy for supporting high-achieving undergraduate students across three different universities’ departments and that other tertiary institutions might find the strategy useful.

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Abstract: The positive effects of diversity coursework on college students are uncontested and the majority of institutions now require some form of diversity content. However, not all students engage in this content in the same way, and heterosexual White male students may show ardent resistance to diversity courses and the faculty teaching them. Faculty of color disproportionately teach diversity courses, and some White faculty may avoid teaching about topics of human difference altogether. This article shares the results of a phenomenological study with 92 undergraduate White heterosexual male participants at 10 institutions throughout the United States. Data analysis reveals participant perceptions of the lack of depth in required diversity courses, of the need to weave diversity throughout the major course of study, and of the skills and behaviors of faculty teaching diversity content. Recommendations to incorporate the teaching of diversity and pedagogical strategies for faculty are offered.

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Abstract: This study examined English Learners’ (ELs) self-efficacy beliefs in a U.S. university setting by using a survey, interviews, and focus group discussions. The results identified that ELs from different disciplines had positive self-efficacy beliefs about their overall English learning, and self-efficacy was related to ELs’ age, years of English learning, country of origin, and previous educational level. However, ELs in this study lacked confidence and self-efficacy in learning in academic courses, and they faced challenges when using academic language. Effective instructional strategies such as social modeling, social persuasion, motivational feedback, group work, and participative assessment methods were identified by ELs in this study.

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2018 - Research Article
Mandeville, D., Perks, L., Benes, S., Poloskey, L.
Views: 278       [3158]
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to develop a concise composite measure of mindset and intellectual development in order to inform pedagogical strategies to support students’ intellectual growth. A development sample of undergraduate students (n = 295) completed the 37-item pilot Mindset and Intellectual Development Scale (MINDS). The dataset was analyzed using Principal Component Analysis to determine the orthogonal dimensionality of the scale and for item reduction. The MINDS was shown to have eleven items describing two orthogonal dimensions: Intellectual Maturity and Mindset. An additional item was included to control for the social desirability bias. The MINDS collapsed what often are seen as separate dimensions of learning in order to capture a more robust underlying construct of intellectual development with which to assess undergraduate students’ metacognitive states.

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Abstract: This study examines the structure of the inventory, the second part of the Experiences of Teaching and Learning Questionnaire (ETLQ). Three hundred and sixty-four students participated in the study. To strengthen the validation of the ETL, the short version of Approaches to Learning included in the ETLQ was substituted by its widely-used, full-version Approaches and Study Skills Inventory for Students (ASSIST). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses tested the factor structure of the inventory. Twenty questions covered four factors: “Congruence and coherence in course organization,” “Teaching for understanding and encouraging learning,” “Support from other students,” and “Integrative learning and critical thinking”. Appropriate associations between these factors and (a) the subscales comprising the deep, surface, and strategic scales (b) acquired knowledge, generic skills, and (c) self-evaluation supported the validation of the instruments. The factors seem highly similar to those reported in previous studies and Cronbach coefficients were appropriate. The study suggests the ETL as a valuable instrument to be used across cultures and different contexts.

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Abstract: Supervisors’ feedback can be taken as the most powerful pedagogical tool in thesis writing. However, relatively little is known about the type of information supervisors focus on and the language functions supervisors use to communicate with their students. Data collected from eight supervisors’ written feedback to students’ theses at Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia were coded, tabled, and converted into percentages for analysis. The results of this study showed a wide range of supervisors’ practices concerning the functions and types of written feedback. While the supervisors favored feedback on the genre knowledge the most and directive clarification language functions was most frequently used to communicate with the students, little or no attention was given for the expressive approval of language functions. Overall, the results of this study suggest that supervisors’ written feedback can be taken together in regard to the process of effective communication. Finally, implications for better supervision practices and further research are presented that could shed light on the strengths of using other research tools.

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2018 - Instruction Article
Copeland, S., Furlong, M., Boroson, B.
Views: 320       [3127]
Abstract: Since the advent of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs, first in K-12 and now in college curricula, many variants of STEM have arisen to include other disciplines in developing cross-disciplinary literacy among students. This paper briefly defines our own variant STE[A]M branch within the context of cross-disciplinary teaching and learning and then describes an interdisciplinary course, The Science in Science Fiction, in which professors of Biology, English, and Physics provided a range of science fiction texts which undergraduate and graduate students studied and discussed in depth. Students then produced and presented collaborative cross-disciplinary research on topics of their choice from the course work. Finally, students provided input on their experiences with collaborative cross-disciplinary teaching and learning. The overall effect was extremely positive. This article provides a framework for other faculty who would like to model this approach.

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2018 - Instruction Article
Hung, A.
Views: 570       [3128]
Abstract: Gamification, which introduces game mechanics into a non-game setting, has been considered a potential way to improve student learning, motivation, and engagement. Empirical studies of gamification often focus on students' outcomes and/or their perceptions of the gamified system while giving less attention to the rationale behind the conceptualization and design process itself. This article uses gamification as a lens through which to re-imagine a learning environment, drawing on design thinking methods of problem solving. Design thinking is an approach to addressing “wicked problems” that do not have simple, right answers. By using gamification as a form of design thinking, this article explores ways that gamification can help instructors take apart and re-configure courses that are challenging to design, using a graduate-level online philosophy course as a worked example. Readers are provided the rationale behind the iterative prototypes and the culminating reflection of the process. The article concludes by arguing that gamification's contribution is not limited to student outcomes and that it can be also be used as an innovative approach to course design.

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2018 - Instruction Article
Henry, B., Garner, C., Guernon, A., Male, B.
Views: 254       [3141]
Abstract: Learning activities to develop interprofessional collaboration align with goals for professional preparation to improve health outcomes. A problem-based case study approach can offer formal and informal learning interactions that promote information exchange and collaborative practice. The purpose of this instructional article was to describe a five-stage student-designed case study and analysis activity to accomplish student learning outcomes for developing knowledge and skills in evidence-based case analysis through interprofessional collaboration. Four main learning outcomes included gaining knowledge of other professions, planning and reviewing care interventions, evaluating outcomes of other practitioners, and facilitating inter-professional case conferences and team working. An example case scenario and lessons learned are presented. This paper offers key learning points for educators and students related to the literature in problem-based learning and interprofessional education. The results confirm the feasibility of student-designed case studies as a problem-based experiential learning activity. Potential benefits for students include increased knowledge of, and appreciation for, other disciplines gained through practicing and reflecting on peer feedback. Information exchange between the students allowed interprofessional learning to occur. Students from different disciplines collaborated in the development of strategies for planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating a health program.

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2018 - Instruction Article
Marlatt, R., Cibils, L.
Views: 232       [3142]
Abstract: Teacher educators strive for student engagement in their pre-service curricula. Recent studies of university-level engagement have focused on the need for active learning pedagogies. Grounded in anti-deficit approaches that are relevant, responsive, and sustaining for diverse cultures and literacies, this article discusses the use of autobiographical writing as a strategy for active student engagement in college Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and English Language Arts (ELA) settings. By creating these opportunities, teacher educators can encourage their students to cultivate community and a sense of belonging while they explore teacher identity. When college classrooms are transformed into spaces to expand the imagination, the implementation of such writing exercises has the potential to enhance teaching and learning now and in the future.

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