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
2019: Volume 31 Number 3

2019 - Research Article
Cornér, S., Pyhältö, K., Lofstrom, E.
Views: 548       [3411]
Abstract: The focus of this study was to explore doctoral supervisors’ perceptions of the factors contributing to doctoral studies. The study draws on the job demands-resources (JD-R) framework to analyze supervisors’ perceptions of core resources and challenges at different levels of doctoral education. The data comprise 15 semi-structured interviews with professors in their roles as supervisors in economics, medicine, natural sciences, engineering, humanities and social sciences at three Finnish universities. The supervisors identified a variety of resources and challenges related to structures, organization of doctoral studies, the scholarly community, supervisory relationships, and individual competence. Slightly more challenges than resources were identified. The challenges described were related to structural elements and embedded in the research community, whereas many of the perceived resources were associated with social aspects of work. The results highlighted the importance of different supervisory resources such as a good supervisor-student relationship, support of the research team, and international contacts, as ingredients of high-quality supervision in the doctoral process. The study also showed that many of the challenges require focusing on and developing the whole community rather than individuals.

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Abstract: For over two decades, national conversation has focused on the need for learner-centered instruction in postsecondary education. Yet, in light of this conversation, relatively little is known about why faculty utilize these methods. What influences faculty members to employ learner-centered instruction in the classroom? This study utilizes data from the 2013 administration of the HERI Faculty Survey and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) to explore characteristics that influence faculty members’ use of learner-centered instructional practices in the college classroom. The findings suggest that individual faculty demographic characteristics, such as age and sex, and work experience characteristics, such as participation in faculty development activities, exert influences on the use of these teaching practices. This research contributes to gaps in the extant literature and expands knowledge about faculty members’ use of learner-centered instruction through exploration of a large, national data set.

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2019 - Research Article
Alenius, P., Aldahdouh , T., Holubek, V., Al-Masri, N., El-Holy, A., Linden, J., Korhonen, V.
Views: 483       [3435]
Abstract: Only a few studies have examined work cultures, teaching approaches and self-efficacy beliefs of academic teachers outside Europe, North America, and Asia. This mixed-method study investigated the following research questions: 1) What kinds of approaches to teaching and self-efficacy beliefs can be identified among academics in the selected Palestinian university?, 2) Are there disciplinary or career-stage differences in the teachers’ approaches to teaching or concerning their self-efficacy beliefs?, 3) What features of academic and teaching culture can be identified among these academics? and 4), Which factors affect teaching and learning in this institution. Quantitative data were collected from 119 teaching staff through an online, self-reported questionnaire. Qualitative data consisted of four focus group interviews with 18 teaching staff. The results showed that teaching staff reported high self-efficacy beliefs, whereas the teacher-centered approach was slightly more dominant than the student-centered approach. In qualitative data, the social and religious mission of teaching was highlighted; universities should primarily educate ethically conscious people who would serve their communities and society. The academic culture encompassed many features of contrived collegiality in which collaboration relies mainly on formal practices and is based less on informal, voluntary collaboration among teachers.

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2019 - Research Article
Pilotti, M., Aamir, S., Al Ghazo, R., Al Kuhayli, H.
Views: 411       [3452]
Abstract: The main aim of the present investigation was to examine conditional reasoning skills in college students whose educational past had emphasized verbatim learning. A successive independent-samples design was utilized to explore the effects of instruction that explicitly targeted critical thinking principles in either freshman students or sophomores. Conditional reasoning scores of freshman students were not higher than those of sophomores, even when the impact of either GPA or self-efficacy was statistically controlled. Furthermore, the students in our sample performed as well as students with a similar educational past, whereas both scored below students whose education had deemphasized verbatim learning. In addition to past educational practices, differences in performance arose from processing load. Not surprisingly, self-efficacy and processing load (as determined by a test read in the second language), but not GPA, predicted conditional reasoning scores. We conclude that demanding cognitive computations, such as those of a conditional reasoning test taken in a second language, not only reflect the test-taker’s knowledge, but also are sensitive to processing load, and past educational practices, as well as self-efficacy since confidence in one’s abilities translates into effort and persistence.

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Abstract: The focus of classroom incivility research thus far has been at the individual discipline and large public or specialty institution level, which limits the generalizability of findings. Surveying undergraduates (N = 150) at different types of schools (2-year public, 4-year public and 4-year private) and majors on their perceptions of incivility in college classrooms found that older students and students planning on attending graduate school rate uncivil behaviors as more serious, and white students who are not gun owners are more likely to report seeing such behaviors more frequently. Suggestions for future research and novel methods to reduce incivility are discussed.

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Abstract: Previous studies have implemented a quantitative method to explore the relationship between teacher self-disclosure and student participation in the educational context, particularly in communication courses. In this study, a qualitative method in data collection and analysis is used to fill this methodological gap to observe whether teachers’ use of self-disclosures to explain the course content encourages student participation during the teaching-learning process in the university English language classroom in Morocco. Four teachers of English agreed to support this study by planning to include relevant self-disclosures in class. The research method for data collection is direct observations of undergraduate students in six English language courses in the department of English studies. Based on the results, this study suggests that teachers’ use of self-disclosures to explain the course material served as an effective instructional practice, without using questioning techniques or cold-calling, to motivate the learners to self-select turns to interact with their teacher and reciprocate their personal information while engaging in occasional laughter.

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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.


Abstract: The rapid changes in our society have amplified the need for adult learning opportunities. However, adults often make decisions not to persist in formal learning experiences in a smooth, linear fashion. The decision to pause or terminate formal learning is a complex behavioral decision that includes knowledge, the cognitive process, personal belief, and environmental context. Because the construct of numeracy also necessitates the use of content, cognitive processes, dispositions, and context, this study examined the link between adults’ numeracy abilities and learning readiness and commitment. This study analyzed the program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) Survey Adult Skills which was collected via a representative national random sample. The findings suggest numeracy abilities have a small, positive relationship to readiness to learn and learning persistence.

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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.


2019 - Research Article
Stenberg, L.
Views: 446       [3478]
Abstract: The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of group work on student outcomes. The study explores the incorporation of group work in assessments for first year international students. Group work was primarily used in this study to enhance learning amongst international students in Australia. The study utilized multiple-choice questions answered individually and afterwards in groups which were mostly formed by the students themselves. The results of the study support the existing literature on the potential of group testing to enhance learning in a collaborative environment. The results of the study suggest that group work has a positive effect on students’ marks. That is, group members could have a positive impact on assessment marks where the group mark is significantly higher than a student’s individual mark for an assessment. The results also suggest that assessed group work has a significant positive effect on a student’s final exam mark, which in contrast to group assessment, is a closed-book individual assessment.

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2019 - Research Article
Mäenpää, K., Järvenoja, H., Peltonen, J., Pyhältö, K.
Views: 426       [3553]
Abstract: This longitudinal study explored the development of Finnish undergraduate nursing students’ motivation regulation profiles during two years in traditional and blended learning environments. Also, the association between the profiles and experienced study engagement, burnout and academic performance was investigated. The data were collected with a survey and included motivation regulation, study engagement, and burnout scales that were combined with students’ entrance examination scores, study credits, and grade point averages. Regardless of the learning environment, a majority (62.3%) of the students showed a sustainable, highly developed motivation regulation profile over time. They reported strong study engagement, higher academic performance, and reduced susceptibility to cynicism when compared to the students with less-developed motivation regulation profiles. However, individual reciprocal transitions between motivation regulation profiles over time were found with a group of students. As such, motivation regulation is changeable and influenced by situational components in learning. This aspect should be emphasized in developing professional higher education and teaching.

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2019 - Research Article
Finn, K., Benes, S., FitzPatrick, K., Hardway, C.
Views: 422       [3602]
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to use a grounded theory, qualitative approach to gain a deeper understanding of students’ self-regulated learning processes in a required first-year gateway Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) course that is critical for success in health care-related academic programs and professions. At the end of a two-semester sequence in A&P, students were recruited to participate in individual 30-minute semi-structured interviews based on questions related to their metacognitive beliefs and behaviors. Investigators reviewed verbatim transcripts from 25 primarily first-year students and identified four major themes: 1) career orientation, 2) relevance of Anatomy and Physiology, 3) success as the ability to earn good grades, as well as retention and ability to apply materials, and 4) student behaviors referring to the learning and metacognitive strategies reported by students. Within the theme of student behaviors, four sub-themes emerged: collaborative work with peers, self-responsibility, self-awareness, and evolution as learners. The results of this study will help investigators to design and implement strategies to improve success in this course for pre-health professional students.

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2019 - Research Article
Miller, R., Struve, L., Howell, C.
Views: 463       [3631]
Abstract: Emotional labor accompanying academic work is often gendered and racialized, and such labor may be heightened for those teaching diversity courses. This article reports on interviews with 38 faculty members teaching diversity courses required as part of general education programs at three predominantly White liberal arts colleges in the Southeastern U.S. Findings detail the types and examples of emotional labor performed, as well as faculty members’ rhetorical framing of the concept as either an expectation or choice and their attempts to set boundaries around emotional work or opt out of performing it altogether. This study leads to implications for faculty and graduate student training and socialization, as well as implications for institutional leaders to acknowledge, value, and limit emotional labor.

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Abstract: Public speaking is a highly important skill for a graduate to achieve, and despite many students reporting high public speaking anxiety, this is rarely addressed in current undergraduate degree courses. The following paper evaluates the effectiveness of a course aimed at reducing students’ levels of public speaking anxiety via a relatively simple and resource minimal approach. Twenty-nine students completed 9 sessions aimed to improve public speaking confidence. Across the sessions, students progressed from conducting informal presentations in front of small numbers of students towards formal presentations of academic content in front of increasingly larger audiences. In a latter session, students were also encouraged to reflect on their experience of the course and to note any skills they had developed. Delivery of the public speaking program resulted in significant reductions in scores on two standardized measures of public speaking anxiety, the Audience Anxiousness Scale and the Personal Report of Communication Apprehension. It is suggested that University departments should consider offering courses for students which allow them to practice public speaking.

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Abstract: Reading is an “invisible” skill, making it challenging to address in a college classroom. Yet, it is fundamental to disciplinary thought. Inspired by the “signature pedagogies” conversation, I wanted to find ways to make more visible in my classroom what I do when I work with readings. This gave rise to several questions: How can I make reading practices in my discipline more transparent to students? How can they develop the habits of mind necessary to link this particular way of reading to a particular way of disciplinary thinking? In fact, how can students be held accountable for doing the reading in the first place? This article reflects on how I placed reading at the core of my class design. I include discussion of the overall purpose of reading, assessment of reading, the reading list, reading logs, and in-class active learning exercises that engage with the readings.

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2019 - Instruction Article
Hartman, J., Morris, K.
Views: 516       [3551]
Abstract: Increasing numbers of university students seek to take coursework in an online format. However, it is a challenge to successfully translate a highly interactive face-to-face course, such as educational supervision in the educational leadership preparation program, to the online format. Course objectives require candidates to demonstrate effective interpersonal supervisory skills and behaviors. This article describes the frameworks for designing effective online coursework and how they were applied to develop the supervision course to enable candidates to meet the course goals. Specific types of active engagement strategies, assignments, and technology used are described. The aim of the article is to provide a case study that is detailed and specific to inform others faced with the same challenge of teaching highly interactive, interpersonal behaviors and skills in online courses.

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2019 - Instruction Article
Bruce, J., McKee, K., Morgan-Fleming, J., Warner, W.
Views: 422       [3574]
Abstract: Transformative leaders are committed to values and outcomes that serve the long-term interests of society (Caldwell, Dixon, Floyd, Chaudoin, Post, & Cheokas, 2012). The Oaks Leadership Scholars Program is rooted in the premise that the transformation of self, required to become a transformative leader, can be supported through development of active and public identities of learner, ally, advocate, and activist through engagement in related behaviors and participation in Communities of Practice surrounding social justice causes. Students are nominated for the program, proceed through the application process, are interviewed, and are selected from throughout the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University based on their (“their” will be used interchangeably in this manuscript as both a singular or plural pronoun) engagement in learner and ally identities and their interest in, and commitment to, issues of justice and equity. Included in this article are the program’s learning objectives, teaching component examples, evaluation results, and a description of future directions for the program.

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2019 - Instruction Article
Ornelles, C., Ray, A., Wells, J.
Views: 489       [3585]
Abstract: Online courses are now a significant part of the higher education landscape. Faculty awareness of the needs of the changing population served, the inherent challenges in learning online, and the importance of enhancing student engagement are of paramount importance to successful online course design. Knowledge of theory and research in adult learning and student engagement, as well as Communities of Inquiry, provide a foundation for understanding teaching and learning in this context. This foundational knowledge has been synthesized in this article into a framework of critical components for engagement of adult online learners that can be used to inform development of online course assignments and activities that maximize student engagement and learning. A tool for embedding the critical components for student engagement is provided to support instructors’ development of online courses.

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