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
2022: Volume 33 Number 3

2022 - Research Article
Pacheco Diaz, N., Walker, J., Rocconi, L., Morrow, J., Skolits, G., Osborne, J., Parlier, T.
Views: 42       [4083]
Abstract: End-of-course evaluations are a central part of the accountability system at American universities. They are used formatively to evaluate the way courses are delivered and the effectiveness of teaching practices. Therefore, institutions may use these instruments to make course changes or tenure and promotion decisions. The purpose of this research study was to gain a better understanding of how faculty use the evaluation results. Faculty from a southeastern U.S., research intensive university received a survey containing 28 Likert-scale items and two open-ended questions. Quantitative data were analyzed with descriptive statistics, while a thematic analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data. Most participants in our study (89%) reported that they use the feedback provided by the end-of-course evaluations to make changes in their courses. In the qualitative section, faculty believe that end-of-course evaluations provide meaningful input regarding student learning; however, they stated that they would like to see more open-ended questions within end-of-course evaluations. Findings from our study suggest that faculty value the information they receive from students, but end-of-course evaluations need to be better targeted to the needs of the course and faculty using it.

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Abstract: With the growing interest in student-centered approaches to learning, it becomes important to look at student learning experiences in the self-directed learning environment as students may feel uncomfortable and unprepared for the demands associated with student-centered learning environments (SCLEs). This qualitative study explored student beliefs about teaching and learning and described how students reacted in a technology-intensive SCLE. The results showed that students' learning experiences in the SCLE resulted in different types of reactions in relation to their beliefs about teaching and learning: match, conflict, confirmation, appreciation, withdrawal, and transformation. This study suggests that teachers and educational practitioners acknowledge individual differences, provide personalized support and guidance, and encourage students to become self-directed learners.

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Abstract: As higher education institutions see increased rates of autistic college students, faculty members are prompted to work more intentionally in enhancing their teaching practices’ inclusivity. Future faculty (e.g., graduate students and postdocs who have teaching aspirations) are well positioned to engage in professional development that best prepares them for teaching a wide variety of diverse student populations. This mixed methods evaluation study examines how an inclusive teaching course, designed for future faculty and utilizing principles of Universal Design (UD), influenced their knowledge of and readiness to teach autistic college students. Through completing a unit on autism, future faculty illustrated their enhanced comfort and preparation in teaching autistic college students, as well as their familiarity with autism. Participants also demonstrated particular examples of how to use UD principles to adapt their teaching practices, across a wide array of classroom contexts, which will not only better serve autistic students, but also students broadly.

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2022 - Research Article
Smith, A., Schieber, D., Austin, T.
Views: 46       [4039]
Abstract: While there are many measures of anxiety, there are few measures or descriptions of confidence. This study considers students’ perceptions of what it means to be or to look confident during undergraduate presentations. Findings show students placed high value on effective posture as the most common behavior that was causally connected to a presenter’s confidence, as well as ensuring that their vocal delivery is audible and includes minimal pauses.

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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.


2022 - Research Article
Kinch, K., Sølberg, J., Horgan, B., Adler, J., Hayes, A., Hurowitz, J., Rice, M.
Views: 46       [4063]
Abstract: Engaging students in research can take many forms and such research-based learning is widely perceived as beneficial for student engagement and learning outcomes. Here, we report on our experience with organizing a cross-institutional seminar series dedicated to the question of where on Mars to land a coming NASA Mars mission. The seminar series was connected with the professional process for answering the same question and was organized through teleconferences and an internet site together with local discussions at seven participating institutions. We report on our own reflections as well as student reactions collected through group interviews at five participating institutions. We discuss the results against a model for research-based learning. Coordinating the seminar series across seven institutions and several time zones proved inspiring but challenging. Many specific aspects of how the class was organized could have been improved, but students generally reported high levels of engagement derived from the cutting-edge research nature and current relevance of the subject matter.

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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.


2022 - Research Article
Bledsoe, R., Richardson, D.
Views: 30       [4070]
Abstract: Reacting to the Past (Reacting) is an active-learning pedagogy utilizing elaborate historical role-playing games. This study examined the effect of Reacting on student academic self-efficacy, perspective taking, engagement, and perceived learning, and considered whether these outcomes were impacted by the type of role a student assumed. Students from Reacting classes completed surveys prior to beginning and after completing the game. Students in similar non-Reacting classes completed surveys at approximately the same time. Students involved in Reacting reported more engagement, perceived learning, and self-efficacy than students enrolled in comparable courses. Reacting participants in roles that aligned them to a faction with a committed perspective reported more improvement in self-efficacy than participants in non-aligned roles. The article concludes with a consideration of pedagogical interventions to respond to the study’s findings.

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Abstract: Employers value soft skills and often report a “skills gap,” resulting in calls on higher education to teach these skills more widely. However, few studies have examined faculty perspectives on soft skills. The researchers conducted a nationwide survey of faculty in the fields of business, education, engineering, library science, nursing, and social work to explore whether and how they are teaching soft skills. Most faculty believe soft skills are important and are integrating them into their courses, although there are variations by discipline. Methods for teaching soft skills are varied, but “passive” approaches like readings and lectures are most prominent. The results have implications for curriculum development and will be of interest to faculty across these disciplines as well as employers in the associated industries.

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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.


2022 - Research Article
Chun, J., Cennamo, K.
Views: 46       [4106]
Abstract: Peer learning is a strategy designed to enable learners to become active learners. Previous research reveals that college students need support to learn the tasks of their roles in enhancing peer learning. The model of peer learning presented in this paper incorporates scaffolding strategies to design structured peer learning activities in a higher education setting. This model was developed based on the sociocultural theory of zone of proximal development, foundational concepts of scaffolding, as well as three dimensions for operationalizing scaffolding. It includes four steps: (a) knowing each other, (b) learning together, (c) checking what you learned, and (d) finalizing the peer learning. This model can assist peers in choosing the appropriate scaffolding tactics for peer learning. Moreover, guidelines in the model are beneficial for instructors who wish to enhance their skills in designing peer learning activities and training peers.

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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: Pedagogical approaches in higher education are evolving. Instructors are tasked with meeting the needs and preferences of the modern student and their desire for increased input in higher education courses. As such, this study sought to provide a manageable example of how flexible weighting schemes can be incorporated into assessments for undergraduate courses, in addition to examining whether doing so increased student grades. This study also examined students’ motives for selecting a given assessment weighting scheme and if students would have selected an alternative weighting scheme upon completion of the course. Final grades and selected assessment weighting schemes from 159 students across two courses were collected. Written feedback from students in one course was also collected and subjected to content analysis. Results suggest that the majority of students did not choose the weighting scheme that would have given them the highest grade. Additionally, content analysis of written responses highlighted six motives behind students’ choices (e.g., self-assessed strength in type of assessment). Lastly, of those students that did complete the optional written feedback, the majority indicated they would have chosen a different weighting scheme and that their self-perceived strengths regarding assessments did not help them choose the most appropriate weighting scheme. In conclusion, this study provides valuable insight into the implementation and outcomes of using flexible assessment in undergraduate courses.

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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.


2022 - Research Article
Liu, R., Liu, X., Hutson, L.
Views: 38       [4124]
Abstract: This study aims to provide preliminary validation for a newly designed instrument to evaluate teaching effectiveness through student classroom engagement and learning gains. The instrument is titled the Middle Semester Classroom Survey of Student Engagement and Learning (MS-CSSEL); it consists of 31items to measure student classroom engagement in three dimensions and 19 items to measure student learning gains in three dimensions. To validate the instrument, 634 undergraduate students in a four-year research university participated in this study. The multidimensional Rasch model was used to conduct the analysis. The findings indicated that (a) items displayed a good fit to the Rasch model; (b) dimensions were distinct from each other; and (c) the items displayed high reliability. This instrument measures teaching effectiveness in a new perspective and provides college teachers with a new tool to gauge student engagement and learning gains for conducting evidence-based teaching improvement.

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2022 - Research Article
Crabtree, J., Zhang, X., Ray, D.
Views: 36       [4182]
Abstract: Learning how to solve problems using computer programming is very challenging for beginners. Supplemental instructors (SIs), who lead tutoring sessions outside of normally scheduled class time and are usually peers of the students they tutor, can be of great assistance. However, since these tutors are also taking classes themselves, it can be difficult for them to juggle the demands that are placed on their time. This research investigates the impact and pedagogical efficacy of the presence of SIs in the classroom during the normal lecture. We present a detailed comparative examination of academic outcomes and student experiences for two sections of an introductory programming course that uses Python as the programming language: one with SIs in attendance and one without. Our counter-intuitive findings suggest that these mentors can have the same positive impact on their mentees without attending lectures along with their mentees. The results can inform future expenditures in time and resources when considering how best to provide supplemental assistance, particularly as related to introductory computer programming courses but with implications for other courses as well.

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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: In this study involving blended learning in higher education, a Basics of Law (5 ECTS) course was implemented using a flipped classroom approach and a learning diary. Forty-six (N=46) students participated in a study that evaluated the students’ experience of the course implementation. The specific objective of the study was to analyze students’ opinions on how the flipped classroom, learning materials, and learning diary were experienced and how these could be developed. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed, and students felt the flipped classroom was a practical model for promoting learning in blended learning and legal courses. The flipped classroom and learning diary were expressed to promote students to reflect on learning and deepen their understanding of the subject. The flipped classroom encouraged students to take a more active role in their learning process and enhanced their self-directing skills. The learning diary allowed the whole learning process to be considered in the assessment, and it was suitable to be used instead of an exam. The importance of well-designed course materials and face-to-face classes emerged from the responses. For development purposes, the classroom activities should be carefully pre-planned to activate students for joint discussions and exchanging of ideas. As the main contribution, this study supports that the learning diary is effective in enhancing learning along with the flipped classroom and verifies that the use of these together can be recommended. This research also highlights that the instructor’s inspiring and coaching attitude has a positive impact on students' learning motivation.

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2022 - Instruction Article
Gummerson, W., Guramatunhu-Mudiwa, P., Howard, B.
Views: 39       [4044]
Abstract: Curriculum revision does not always turn out exactly the way that educators envision. In 2007, Appalachian State University revised its school administration Master’s Degree (MSA) and Graduate Certificate in School Leadership (GCSL) Programs to meet new state mandates for principal certification. The process was called “revisioning.” Standards for School Executives were embedded throughout courses and an electronic e-portfolio replaced the School Leaders Licensure Assessment (SLLA). Despite the initial success of these reforms, the faculty concluded after several years that some of the evidence provided by principal candidates in their portfolios needed to be improved. Using curriculum mapping, course alignment, and the creation of formative capstone projects, the program initiated a second “revisioning,” desiring to improve the School Administration programs. This article discusses the research basis for each of these pedagogical practices and how the school administration faculty applied that research to improving the knowledge and skills of principal candidates. An example of a formative capstone project and ten recommendations for improving the pedagogy of principal preparation and other practitioner programs are provided.

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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.


2022 - Instruction Article
Kerrigan, J., Aghekyan, R.
Views: 49       [4055]
Abstract: This paper explores the effective online teaching practices and activities used for an asynchronous online learning environment. During the 15-week semester, students had various opportunities to learn rigorous content while utilizing various technological tools. The course, called "How People Learn," offered diverse and exciting readings to students interested in education as a social science. We felt that the course design helped students learn effectively in the asynchronous online environment. The same course was taught online by two different instructors, yet the course outcomes were very similar. Our paper outlines the course’s design and purposeful creation of active learning activities in the asynchronous online setting. At the end of the article, we recommend a series of technological tools applicable for use in similar asynchronous online courses.

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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.

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