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
2023: Volume 35 Number 2

Abstract: Modern social problems are complex, multifaceted, and challenging to solve. Scholars are increasingly applying the concept of social innovation as a path to addressing social issues. Social innovation is an interdisciplinary framework for producing social change that requires creativity, problem-solving skills, and collaboration across systems. Higher education is progressively understanding the need to provide interdisciplinary educational opportunities for students; however, little is known about the effectiveness and impact of providing interdisciplinary learning experiences grounded in a social innovation framework. This article describes and analyzes an interdisciplinary summer fellowship program focused on social innovation for graduate students in social work, business, and the humanities and social sciences. The program employed multiple pedagogical approaches, including classroom-based instruction, field learning, and interdisciplinary teamwork. We used qualitative and quantitative pre- and post-evaluation student feedback to examine students’ learning and overall experiences. We found that the fellowship was a dynamic learning experience, through which students strengthened their communication skills and translated academic concepts into practical ideas. The experience also impacted the students’ career trajectories, influencing students to pursue careers that involved working toward social progress in a variety of ways.

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2023 - Research Article
Kymäläinen, H., Häsä, J., Södervik, I.
Views: 202       [4447]
Abstract: The first study year at university predicts the progress and quality of later studies. The aim of our study was to explore factors that affect first-year agriculture students. In the end of their first year, 49 students answered a questionnaire measuring self-efficacy, approaches to learning, and study-related burnout. They also reported the factors that enhanced or impeded their studies. According to their approaches to learning, students were clustered into three profiles. One of these represented successful students with an organized approach, strong self-efficacy and little burnout, and another a more unorganized group. The third group had a dissonant profile and suffered from the highest burnout levels. The enhancing factors most often mentioned were peer support and regular assignments. These were recognized by the organized group. The most common impeding factors were activities outside of studies, recognized by the unorganized group, and high workload, recognized mostly by the dissonant group. Pedagogical implications are discussed.

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2023 - Research Article
Daniels, L., Alston, L.
Views: 155       [4441]
Abstract: As a discipline, educational psychology is somewhat idiosyncratic in terms of content and methodologies. Such idiosyncrasies are likely rooted in the philosophical history of the discipline which involves both the empirical tradition of Thorndike and the contextualized pragmatics of James and Dewey. Despite this, there is little teaching about epistemological and ontological beliefs in most educational psychology doctoral programs. The purpose of this research was to (a) describe educational psychology doctoral students’ epistemological and ontological beliefs and (b) determine the effectiveness of a four-part activity in supporting students’ learning about epistemology and ontology. This study represents scholarship of teaching and learning. We analyzed 14 doctoral students’ responses to a four-part activity to describe their epistemological and ontological beliefs. Second, we used a parallel convergent mixed method design to analyze quantitative and qualitative data describing students’ learning from the activity.Students showed eclectic epistemological and ontological beliefs that were overall more epistemologically relativist than realist. For ontology, there was much more variability on the extent to which students believed truth exists and can be known in the discipline. All students, regardless of their epistemological and ontological beliefs, showed growth through the in-class activity. This is the first study to describe the epistemological and ontological beliefs of a sample of doctoral students in educational psychology. The results of this study and the pedagogical materials on which they are based can help the discipline itself and its students become more aware of its philosophical history and diversity.

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2023 - Research Article
Hershkovitz, A., Lahav, O.
Views: 207       [4440]
Abstract: This article presents a study of a full-day, university-organized, online hackathon that aimed at designing solutions to problems raised in remote learning and teaching. The event, with about 80 participants, was carried out during the COVID-19 pandemic when many schools were closed and shifted to emergency remote teaching. The hackathon participants were challenged to design innovative solutions to authentic problems that have been raised during this situation. Using an online questionnaire, to which 28 of the hackathon participants responded, we quantitatively and qualitatively examined how the event had affected them. Findings suggest that participating in the hackathon mostly contributed to the participants' recognition of the importance of collaboration, and their thinking about academy–society relations. These contributions were driven by the way the hackathon was designed and handled, and the fact that it was held online enabled some of its unique contributions. We also show that online, shorter-than-usual hackathon still has a meaningful, multi-faceted contribution to their participants, and conclude with recommendations for planning such events.

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Abstract: In this article, we demonstrate how Legitimation Code Theory (LCT) can be enacted to explore the nature of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) in higher education. Specialization and semantics from LCT are applied to define SoTL practice and map cumulative knowledge building processes. As members of the Faculty Development Committee (FDC), we enact LCT tools to conceptualize our professional development. We provide SoTL narratives as well as vignettes depicting how LCT led to positive transformative learning. The article concludes that LCT tools, with their explanatory power, can be utilized to form highly effective components of a faculty development program.

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Abstract: This research confirms that incorporating concepts of Ba and Omoi with action research promotes higher levels of learning. Currently, action research, Ba, and Omoi are understudied in military institutions and college programs. Using a case study approach and two cycles of action research, this project addressed how learning occurred for students and instructors in a two-term program at a military university. Findings showed how Ba and Omoi were integral in establishing a psychologically safe learning environment, learning and growth occurred on multiple levels for students and instructors as they struggled with imposter phenomenon, and students struggled with negative capability.

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Abstract: Using undergraduate students in the research methods course in Child Development as participants and keeping the instructional approach consistent, this study examined two research questions. The first research question tested the effect of two classroom settings, active learning classrooms (ALCs) versus computer labs, on students’ learning. The results found that students in ALCs performed marginally better than computer labs for overall course grades and papers, but not for exams. The second research question tested the relationship between the reduction of negative feeling state and learning and investigated whether the relationship differed based on the classroom setting (ALCs vs computer lab). There were differential relationships between the reduction of negative feeling state and the performance of specific assignments by classroom settings. This study highlights the complexity of the impact classroom settings might have on students’ learning and how it might be related to students’ emotional states and their learning.

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Abstract: The abrupt shift to online teaching and learning during the COVID-19 pandemic put a strain on the education sector the world over. Using the social constructivist theory, this study postulates that faceto- face teaching and learning does not seamlessly translate to online instruction both in terms of pedagogical practice and learner experiences. This study explores students’ experiences with the quality of online learning during the pandemic. Data were collected through focus group discussions with undergraduate students across seven faculties. A thematic analysis of the responses reveals that participants mostly reported negative experiences with online learning arising from factors such as lack of compatible digital devices and conducive virtual class learning spaces. This study provides rich data that contributes to an understanding of students’ experiences with online teaching and learning during the pandemic and thus, provides insights into how lecturers’ online pedagogical practices influence students’ perceptions on the quality of online learning.

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2023 - Research Article
Ndoye, A.
Views: 212       [4400]
Abstract: Using a sample of 1031 students from a public university, who responded to the NSSE survey in the Spring of 2018, this study explored the relationships between high-impact practices (HIPs) and several student academic performance metrics. Student responses to the NSSE HIPs participation questions were combined with their academic performance (GPA, credit hour completion, years-to-degree). Linear regression results show that the number of HIPS is a significant predictor of all academic performance metrics. The study also found significant differences between student populations and across course delivery modes regarding their participation in HIPs.

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2023 - Research Article
Hinck, J., Davis, S., Clayton, A., Wilson, S., Leon, M.
Views: 227       [4401]
Abstract: New instructors often face feeling like an imposter. This article explains an innovative contribution called the Music-Coaching-Improv (M-C-I) Framework of 15 skills that includes the top five ways to use music, five key coaching skills, and five core improv skills. The M-C-I Framework was the foundation for three improv exercises that were selected due to their effectiveness in training the overlapping skills of active listening, support, letting go of judgment, being in the moment, cocreation, and acceptance that supported instructors overcoming the imposter phenomenon. This article examines how music, coaching, and improv training in an instructor development program influenced participants (n = 19) to overcome the imposter phenomenon and boosted instructors’ overall confidence in self, as well as their identity as an instructor. Many leaders serve as an instructor, mentor, or part of a command team during their career. Understanding how to overcome the imposter phenomenon benefits oneself and others they lead.

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2023 - Research Article
Kniffin, L., Greenleaf, J.
Views: 224       [4395]
Abstract: This study is an appreciative inquiry (Cooperrider & Srivasta, 1987; Priest et al., 2013) into hybrid courses offered in Fall 2020, which included a combination of face-to-face and online elements. The courses in this study were part of an academic leadership studies program at Fort Hays State University and were taught in the hybrid format for the first time in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the study was to identify the assets of the hybrid modality of instruction in order to retain and implement them post-pandemic in any modality. Our findings include three themes: (1) perceptions of hybrid learning, (2) student motivations, and (3) design considerations—which all demonstrate a positive outlook on hybrid learning with considerations for designing effective courses. We offer recommendations in three areas including (1) administrative considerations, (2) course design, and (3) opportunities to prepare students for a continuum of virtuality.

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Abstract: This research contributes to the body of knowledge regarding mathematics anxiety, self-efficacy, and performance in mathematics. Specifically, this study analyzed these constructs as they pertain to undergraduate business students enrolled in entry-level, prerequisite mathematics courses. Information was collected via surveys utilizing the Mathematics Self-Efficacy and Anxiety Questionnaire (MSEAQ). Results based on regression modeling were consistent with prior research involving the relationship between mathematics anxiety and performance, with self-efficacy serving as a mediator. Data indicated an inverse relationship between math anxiety and math self-efficacy, an inverse relationship between math anxiety and students’ expected grade, differences in math selfefficacy by business major, and partial mediation support for math self-efficacy on the inverse relationship between math anxiety and expected grade. Discussion extends to instructional strategies for mathematics and business educators alike that support self-efficacy and alleviate mathematics anxiety for business students in the infancy of their program.

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Abstract: Fully online courses and degree programs are popular with students today. It is important that these courses provide the same rigor and value of a traditional learning experience in a face-to-face classroom in order to ensure mastery of concepts and learning objectives. Online classes typically have suffered due to a lack of hands-on experiences for the students. One remedy to this is to include simulated hands-on work in the course through online laboratory exercises. The belief is that these simulated labs allow students to actively engage in the learning process, thus providing a traditional learning component in the online classroom. This research investigates the effectiveness of online laboratory exercises in enhancing student understanding of core concepts taught in introductory astronomy courses. Identical classes, one with and one without an online laboratory component, were compared using pre- and post-quizzes to compare the percent gain in content mastery between the classes. A Likert-style end survey was used to quantify student perception of the laboratory component. This study showed that students in the classes with online laboratory exercises demonstrated significant gains in scores compared to those without the labs. Further, the study indicated that different styles of online labs vary significantly in effectiveness and that labs with a component of realism result in the highest gains in student learning. Finally, the survey results showed that students believed the labs helped them to learn the course material and that the labs were an effective “hands-on” experience in an online environment.

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Abstract: The study is a part of the Erasmus+ project Skill-UP: Matching graduates’ skills and labour world demands through authentic learning scenarios. Higher education provides many different opportunities for students’ learning, though there are limited possibilities for them to learn through collaboration in authentic learning experiences. The article reports on a study which investigates meanings of authentic learning scenarios in higher education in relation to the employability of higher education graduates in a course within the bachelor’s programme in study and career guidance at Stockholm University, Sweden. Pre- and post-questionnaires on the employability skills of new graduates were completed by final year students. In a focus-group interview, higher education teachers discussed how they achieve authenticity in these learning scenarios. The course helped the students improve their employability skills such as creative thinking, teamwork, subject-specific skills, communication and interpersonal skills, and analytical thinking. The teachers’ conclusion was to keep the authentic learning scenario in the course and further develop the teaching instructions. We consider that authentic learning scenarios are of considerable benefit to higher education in relation to the employability of graduates. The conclusions drawn from the study are that the intervention with authentic learning experiences supports students to improve several employability skills. The teachers’ deduction is to keep the authentic learning scenarios in their teaching at university and further develop the teaching instructions which shows that the authentic learning scenarios can support university teachers to improve their course design in higher education by incorporating the model of authentic learning.

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Abstract: Given the demands of modern working life, university studies should support students’ life-long learning and agency. This article explores the types of agency learners from an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course described in interviews. The interviews were conducted in two groups in 2 consecutive years, in two stages: at the end of the EAP course as well as 6 to 7 months later. Through thematic content analysis, three types of agency were identified: instrumental agency, operational agency, and reflective agency. These types usually differed in terms of the contexts in which the learners placed the agency, the positions the learners took, and their descriptions of whether the agency continued or ended. Furthermore, individual learners often described different types of agency within the same interview. This highlights the messiness, fluidity, and dynamic changes in the ways of speaking as the key aspects when learners were authoring their agency. The findings are used to critically evaluate current higher education language teaching practices and discuss what kind of higher education language teaching challenges the students’ answers reveal, particularly in regards to compulsory language studies for students of other fields.

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2023 - Research Article
Onal, S., Butts-Wilmsmeyer, C., Serrano, C., Dickey, P., Bracey, G., Locke, S., Fickas, J., Gopalan, C.
Views: 188       [4375]
Abstract: Following COVID-19, teaching was abruptly shifted from a live to a virtual format, posing a challenge to both students and faculty. There is a need to employ alternatives, emphasizing targeting the factors that suit Generation Z students for effective learning while maintaining social distancing. Understanding students' perceptions about the educational environment plays a vital role in planning and implementing teaching strategies for the future. Flipped teaching (FT) has been a successful instructional method because it embeds active learning strategies and some remote learning for which students are responsible. This study examined the perceptions of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students (N = 265) while transitioning to online learning in classrooms implementing FT instruction for two cohorts: faculty expanding FT skills and novice FT faculty from a public university and a community college. Findings showed a significant difference between the two groups, with the transitions being more difficult in the courses taught by the novice versus the more experienced faculty (p < 0.01). Qualitative data analysis indicated that the FT classrooms eased the transition to fully online learning. The major challenges students faced were the lack of interaction with faculty and peers and a sense of community. In conclusion, FT eased the transition of college students in STEM courses to remote learning during COVID-19.

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Abstract: There is a large body of research on how to improve student learning through active learning and metacognition. However, without well-structured guidelines, students do not tend to actively engage with the taught material, peers, and the instructor at a desirable metacognitive level (Deslauriers et al., 2019). To address this problem, a research-driven assessment structure is integrated into a non-traditional course called “Methods for Mathematical Problem Solving” (M2PS). Methods for Mathematical Problem Solving was designed by the author to teach students effective study principles stemming from cognitive science. The assessments include synchronous check for understanding (CFU) assignments to further investigate the taught ma1terial through reading assignments and reflective writings, followed by asynchronous quiz reinforcements, and concluded with journaling to ensure successful implementation of the principles into study schedules. This cycle of learning and implementation is carried throughout the 7 weeks of this hybrid course. The classroom culture, grounded on metacognition and active learning, is purposefully modeled by the instructor. In this article, we focus on a sample of assessments that are tailored to enhancing active learning and metacognitive skills. Assessments are employed in a low-stakes, distributed fashion to reduce anxiety over a curriculum built on an abundance of theoretical and empirical research. These assessments can be easily adopted into traditional classrooms with instructors’ deliberate efforts. The purpose of creating these assessments is to improve student learning outcomes by instilling metacognitive skills while turning on the “active learning” mode. The end-of-course celebratory event signified the importance of developing this course, specifically for first-year undergraduates.

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Abstract: In Cell Biology, a sophomore/junior undergraduate-level high-enrollment core course, students are expected to develop a broad and detailed understanding of the functioning of eukaryotic cells. For example, some of the more challenging biological concepts include machinery involved in the replication and translational processes, protein trafficking/orientation in membranes, as well as both G protein-coupled receptor and receptor tyrosine kinase signal transduction pathways. In this instructional article, we describe prior published reports of the use of interactive demonstrations of several of these key biological concepts in the classroom. Furthermore, we narrate our efforts to integrate several of these disparate evidence-based techniques (EBTs) with supplementation of our own demonstrations into a common cell biology curriculum. We have adapted these EBTs to suit large lecture classrooms (200+) as well as extended it to an online course format. We expect the hands-on nature of these learning activities will facilitate active learning of these challenging concepts in the short-term, while helping narrow achievement gaps for marginalized students, increasing student retention in majors such as Cell and Molecular Biology, and lastly for enhancing student success in post-graduate career goals over the long-term. Our overall goal is to share our own experiences deploying these approaches in-person and online that could potentially lead to a more widespread adoption of these learning props in undergraduate cell biology education as well as to stimulate research interests in evaluating the effectiveness of this unique and expanded collection of prop demonstration activities for undergraduate cell biology courses.

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2023 - Instruction Article
Santiago, A., Bartesaghi, M.
Views: 221       [4475]
Abstract: In this article, we examine the course Women and Leadership Discourse as research in practice. As Craig and Tracy have argued (1995; 2021), practical theory examines data from everyday practices and is consequential to social life. The course centers on women's leadership, issues of leadership dynamics, and women’s roles in organizations. As scholars and instructors, we move to transform research into embodied awareness, teaching students of all genders to be poised for career satisfaction because they understand how critical encounters in organizations work, and how to navigate them. In discussing course design, we describe the pedagogical ways which facilitate collaboration, engagement, and critical thinking while using a constructive learning framework. In addition, we offer an outline of course practices and assignments that combine research, action, interest, and awareness. This model framework is an understanding of leadership as discursive construction (Fairhurst, 2007), thus providing students with the tools to manage organizational life.

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2023 - Instruction Article
McMahon, S., Ahmed, Z., Bemiller, M.
Views: 481       [4406]
Abstract: Restorative justice (RJ) is a philosophy and set of practices that center harms and needs. Within a classroom setting, an RJ pedagogical approach invites a process of shared learning that attends to critical issues of equity, power, and voice. Utilizing an autoethnographic approach, this manuscript includes critical reflections from three faculty members from diverse disciplines and positionalities about the use of RJ approaches to teaching in our respective classrooms. This paper includes discussion about the intersection of RJ with critical pedagogy, power differentials, and pragmatic issues of classroom structure learning design.

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