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Abstracts, Volume 32

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Volume 32 / Issue 1

Understanding Change in the Academy - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

Collaborative Course Development for Online Courses

Haixia Xu and Libby V. Morris

Abstract: Developing a course for online instruction requires content knowledge and understanding of the interactivity, technological requirements, and possibilities in the asynchronous environment. Using a case study method, the researchers investigated the development of an online humanities course by a team of faculty and instructional designers. Data were collected through observation of face-to-face planning meetings, document analysis of group postings at the online site, and interviews with the team members. Using Berge’s typology of online facilitator roles and Stark and Luttuca’s framework on academic plans, this study examined the roles assumed by team members and the curricular decisions.

The Concept of Readiness in the Academic Department: A Case Study of Undergraduate Education Reform

Virginia S. Lee, Michael R. Hyman, and Geraldine Luginbuhl

Abstract: While there has been emphasis on the institution and individual classroom as loci of learning and reform, less attention has been paid to the academic department. However, precisely because its structure is so endemic to institutions of higher education, the academic department may be the most logical and potent site for change. Using a case study approach, this paper examines the conditions under which change in undergraduate education takes hold and flourishes in the academic department, advances the concept of readiness, and explores its implications for those who wish to promote change in the department.

The Birth of a Notion: The Windfalls and Pitfalls of Tailoring an SoTL-like Concept to Scientists, Mathematicians, and Engineers

Mark R. Connolly, Jana L. Bouwma-Gearhart, and Matthew A. Clifford

Abstract: Despite calls for greater agreement in defining the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), terms that resemble SoTL are proliferating. An NSF-sponsored center for teaching and learning coined its own term, teaching-as-research (TAR), believing it would resonate better with research-active scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. To understand whether this was a wise strategy, we interviewed 43 participants from courses that sought to explain and demonstrate TAR. Our study found that participants defined TAR with varying complexity and that disciplinary concepts generally provided “conceptual handles” for making sense of TAR. However, tailoring a term to particular disciplines entails several challenging tradeoffs.

An Exploratory Study of the Conflict Management Styles of Department Heads in a Research University Setting

Christine A. Stanley and Nancy E. Algert

Abstract: Conflict in the university setting is an inherent component of academic life. Leaders spend more than 40% of their time managing conflict. Department heads are in a unique position—they encounter conflict from individuals they manage and from others to whom they report such as a senior administrator in the position of dean. There are very few studies that seek to ascertain the conflict management styles of department heads and how these impact leadership and professional development. This qualitative research study explored the conflict management styles of 20 department heads across a variety of disciplines and with varying levels of experience at a public research extensive university in the South. Based on an analysis of conflict management styles, the article offers implications for the professional development of department heads.

Volume 32 / Issue 2

Invigoration from Within - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

The Rise and Fall of Innovative Education: An Australian University Case Study

Thomas F. Patterson, Jr.

Abstract: From 1980 to 1995, the University of Western Sydney at Hawkesbury (formerly Hawkesbury Agricultural College) in Richmond, New South Wales, Australia, pioneered an innovative undergraduate degree in Systems Agriculture based on experiential education, systems thinking, and adult learning theory. Today this program is in trouble and has reverted back to a more traditional teacher-directed approach. This article discusses the rise of the innovative education paradigm at Hawkesbury, the unique Systems Agriculture program itself, and its eventual decline. Reasons for both the shift to innovative education and its eventual downfall are explored. Implications for institutions of higher education contemplating innovative educational approaches are suggested.

An Empirical Assessment of Cooperative Groups in Large, Time-compressed, Introductory Courses

Dawn Vreven and Susan McFadden

Abstract: We measured student knowledge and motivation at the beginning and end of a three-week general psychology course. Two large lecture sections (N = 215 and N = 154) were compared; one used a cooperative learning process, and one did not. Student knowledge significantly improved in both sections, but there was no additional benefit derived from using cooperative learning. Interestingly, student motivation significantly decreased in the cooperative learning section. With recognition of the study’s limitations, we conclude that cooperative learning has limited efficacy in large enrollment, compressed courses.

The Impact of Centers and Institutes on Faculty Life: Findings from a Study of Life Sciences Faculty at research-Intensive Universities' Medical Schools

Sarah A. Bunton and William T. Mallon

Abstract: This article reports on the impact of organized research centers on professional effort, productivity, and perceptions of work satisfaction for life sciences faculty members at research intensive universities’ medical schools in the U.S. Results indicate that senior center-affiliated faculty members taught less but worked more total hours than peers not affiliated with centers. Senior affiliated faculty members were more productive than their non-affiliated peers and were more likely to be principal investigators on externally funded grants. Center-affiliated faculty members were more likely to be dissatisfied with their mix of activities and workload but more likely to be satisfied with job security and autonomy. Implications beyond this context are suggested.

Channel One Revisited: Prospective Teachers and the Role of American Higher Education

A.J. Angulo and Susan K. Green

Abstract: This study examined perceptions of college of education students and their experiences with Channel One, a privately-owned news service used in public education. Given that about one-third of middle and high schoolers in the US view the broadcast every school day, the authors surveyed 172 freshmen to discern their views and attitudes toward Channel One programming and commercials and the role colleges and universities might play in relation to this media service. While most studies on Channel One have been conducted from a K-12 point of view, the goal of this study was to reconsider the topic from the perspective of prospective teachers and post-secondary education.

The Three-ring Circus of Academia: How to Become the Ringmaster

Michelle L. Toews and Ani Yazedjian

Abstract: The three-ring circus of academia is made up of research, teaching, and service. It is also characterized by continuous action that must be facilitated by the academic ringmaster. Academic life is more difficult than most anticipate because the responsibilities are time-consuming, diverse, and conflicting. Therefore, this article focuses on strategies faculty members can develop to meet these pressing demands. Specifically, we begin with a discussion of how to balance research, teaching, and service. We then highlight strategies faculty members can use in becoming an effective academic ringmaster. We conclude with a discussion of life outside the “big top.”

Volume 32 / Issue 3

University and College Life and the People at its Core - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

Higher Education Trust, Rank and Race: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis

Page A. Smith and Alan R. Shoho

Abstract: This study involved an analysis of faculty trust in a large southwestern institution. After reviewing the literature, we identified a valid and reliable instrument, the Higher Education Faculty Trust Inventory, to measure higher education faculty trust in administrators, colleagues, and students. We then used this instrument to gauge various aspects of faculty trust, and we found significant trust differences among professors of varying academic ranks (i.e., adjunct, assistant, associate, and full professor). We found, however, no significant trust differences in regard to race. Finally, we discuss the findings within a context of implications for future research and practice in higher education.

Multiculturalism Incorporated: Student Perceptions

Patrick L. Bruch, Jeanne L. Higbee, and Kwabena Siaka

Abstract: Multicultural education has transformed higher education both in terms of research and in terms of student experiences. Given the complexity of our institutions, the overall effects of these transformations are mixed. Building on the successes and strengths of multicultural education as it is currently incorporated in institutions and programs will involve better understanding how it is perceived, positively and negatively, by those who are experiencing it first hand. In this article we seek to contribute to this reflection through a discussion of a survey of students’ perceptions of multiculturalism in a large first-year program in a research university.

Teaching-for-Learning (TFL): A Model for Faculty to Advance Student Learning

Clifton F. Conrad, Jason Johnson, and Divya Malik Gupta

Abstract: In light of the widespread recognition of the enduring challenge of enhancing the learning of all students—including a growing number of students representing diverse racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds—there has been an explosion of literature on teaching, learning, and assessment in higher education. Notwithstanding scores of promising new ideas, individual faculty in higher education need a dynamic and inclusive model to help them engage in a systematic and continuous process of exploring and testing various teaching and assessment practices to ensure the learning of their students. This paper introduces a model—Teaching-for-Learning (TFL)—developed to meet this need.

Engaging Undergraduate Students in Research Activities: Are Research Universities Doing A Better Job?

Shouping Hu, George D. Kuh, and Joy Gaston Gayles

Abstract: Engaging undergraduate students in research activities has been advocated as an innovative strategy to improve American higher education (Boyer Commission, Reinventing undergraduate education: A blueprint for America’s research universities. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, Stony Brook, NY, 1998). This study compared the frequency of undergraduate student research experiences at different types of colleges and universities from the early 1990s through 2004. The results indicate that the frequency of student research experiences increased since 1998 at all types of institutions and that students at research universities were not more likely than their counterparts elsewhere to have such experiences. The findings were consistent across major fields. To live up to their claims, research universities must find additional ways to involve undergraduates in research with faculty members.

Volume 32 / Issue 4

Higher Education and Sustainability - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

A Feminist Perspective on Parental Leave Policies

Margaret W. Sallee

Abstract: This article focuses on the ways that three feminist theories—liberal feminism, cultural feminism, and feminist poststructuralism—might be used to craft parental leave policies. After examining each theory in detail, the article concludes by offering one example of an ideal parental leave policy that combines the best features of each theory to produce a policy that is responsive to faculty needs and works to change gender roles. Often faculty and administrators implement policies without truly thinking through the theories that underpin the policies. This article provides the tools to help create theoretically informed policy.

A Network Approach to Preparing Underrepresented Students: The LEAD Model

David J. Siegel

Abstract: Results are reported from an empirical study of an interorganizational collaboration to prepare underrepresented students for elite postsecondary education and beyond. The LEAD (Leadership Education and Development) Program in Business is an initiative involving twelve U.S. universities, nearly forty multinational corporations, a federal government agency, and a nonprofit organization working together to introduce students to business education and careers in business. This article analyzes the conditions that give rise to the collaboration, its essential structural characteristics, and the consequences that flow from it.

Revitalizing an Existing Honor Code Program

Pauline Melgoza and Jane Smith

Abstract: This article addresses academic integrity initiatives at a large research university. The article explains the rationale for the creation of the honor system office and its evolution to date. Data collected from academic violation cases during the program’s first two years are included.

Integration of Sustainability in Higher Education: A Study with International Perspectives

Kausi Sammalisto and Thomas Lindhqvist

Abstract: This study examined the impact of a procedure implemented and used at one Swedish university to promote integration of the concept of sustainability into courses. The study is based on a literature study and a case study at the University of Gävle in Sweden, where faculty members are asked to classify their courses and research funding applications regarding the contributions thereof to sustainable development. The results of the study indicated that this procedure can indeed stimulate faculty members to integrate sustainable development in their courses. It is clear that the reported changes in courses were also influenced by other factors such as the increased general awareness of environmental issues.

Volume 32 / Issue 5

‘Measuring Up’: A New Perspective - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

Exam Scams and Classroom Flimflams: Urban Legends as an Alternative Lens for Viewing the College Classroom Experience

Claire Howell Major and Nathaniel Bray

Abstract: Campus-based urban legends have the potential to convey and construct student culture in higher education. Basic qualitative and humanistic research methods were used to collect, analyze, and interpret legends related to the academic experience of collegiate life.

Development of an Interdisciplinary, Intercultural Master's Program on Sustainability: Learning from the Richness of Diversity

Rietje von Dam-Mieras, Angelique Lansu, Marco Rieckmann, and Gerd Michaelsen

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to describe a joint effort between three European and six Latin American universities to create an international Master’s degree program on Sustainable Development and Management. Faculty members from these institutions are working together on this unusual and innovative project, which recognizes the importance of ICT (Information and Communication Technology) tools in international projects and programs. The article provides information about the ongoing interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue and the learning process that is occurring throughout the development of the program.

Perceived Utility of Methods and Instructional Strategies Used in Online and Face-to-face Teaching Environments

Peggy E. Steinbronn and Eunice M. Merideth

Abstract: The purposes of this study were to compare the instructional methods and strategies identified as useful in online teaching environments with those used in a face-to-face teaching environment, to investigate relationships between the perceived usefulness of instructional strategies and methods used by higher education faculty in both teaching environments, and to identify instructional methods transferred from an online to a face-to-face teaching environment. The following instructional methods were found to have a significant relationship with the instructional environment: student collaborative projects, student-to-student electronic discussions, lecture (direct instruction), questioning and feedback to students, and e-mail communication with the instructor.

The Social and Political Structuring of Faculty Ethicality in Education

L. Earle Reybold

Abstract: This study examined the experience of faculty ethicality in education. Research questions focused on faculty characterizations of professional ethics, related socialization experiences, and responses to dilemmas. Interviews were conducted with 32 faculty members and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Findings describe the experiential dimensions of faculty ethicality and the influence of a higher education ethos on professional reasoning and decision making. The tenure and promotion process is the most influential dimension; but faculty reward systems in general, as well as personal and family identification, also help to structure ethicality. Four elements of academic ethicality are discussed: standard, information, diversity, and integrity.

An Exploratory Study of the Supervision of Ph.D./Research Students' Theses

Tricia Vilkinas

Abstract: Twenty-five faculty members were interviewed to determine how they supervised their Ph.D. students’ thesis preparation. A content analysis of the interview data indicated that the majority of them were task-focused. They supported their students intellectually, emotionally, and structurally. Some academics considered their students as colleagues, and a few developed research teams. Watching the students grow and develop and doing research with them as colleagues were the most enjoyable aspects of the supervision process. The integrated competing values framework (ICVF) was used to illustrate how most of the study participants were task-focused and were not able to deliver paradoxical roles; nor were they able to reflect on their supervisory capabilities and learn from those reflections.

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