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Abstracts, Volume 33

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Volume 33 / Issue 1

Education at a Crossroads: Intrinsic Motivation or Extrinsic Rewards  - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

Peer Coaching: Professional Development for Experienced Faculty

Therese Huston and Carol L. Weaver

Abstract: The professoriate, as a whole, is growing older and more experienced; yet institutions often overlook the professional development needs of mid-career and senior faculty. This article, based on a review of the literature and the development of a peer coaching project, examines peer coaching as a professional development opportunity for experienced faculty that meets many of their immediate needs and offers a variety of longer-term benefits to their institution. Six recommendations for creating a peer coaching program emerge from the literature and the authors’ experience.

Learner-centered Leadership: An Agenda for Action

Michael Harris and Roxanne Cullen

Abstract: Institutions are attempting to revitalize undergraduate education through the shift of the dominant pedagogy to a learner-centered focus. While this is encouraging, it is crucial to acknowledge that most of the efforts and literature on the learner-centered paradigm have necessarily focused on strategies for faculty. It is, however, equally important for administrators to consider the impact of the paradigm shift on their roles. Professional development and leadership training that takes into account the need for both a technical shift and shift in perception is key to the success of the transition to a new paradigm.

Weaving Together Undergraduate Research, Mentoring of Junior Faculty, and Assessment: The Case of an Interdisciplinary Program

Elizabeth Thomas and Diane Gillespie

Abstract: Scholars in teaching and learning value student research and program assessment as strategies to promote excellence in undergraduate education. Yet, in practice, each can be complex and difficult to sustain. This case study demonstrates how undergraduate research, mentoring of junior faculty, and assessment can be integrated in ways that enrich the educational experiences of students and the professional development of faculty and improve research on teaching and learning. The authors describe a lively undergraduate research project that became tied to the mentoring of assistant professors and then to program assessment. We conclude with recommendations for implementing such a project in other academic settings.

A New Method of Linking Courses: A Theologian and a Sociologist Share Their Experience

Michaela Galles and Paul J. Olson

Abstract: In this article we briefly address the rationale for linking courses and the types of student learning communities that exist in various institutions of higher education. We then describe a new method we used to link our theology (Protestant Churches in America) and sociology (Racial, Ethnic, and Gender Inequality) courses in which no students were enrolled in both courses. We discuss the practical aspects of our linkage and conclude by highlighting the evaluation of the linked courses. We found that the students went beyond the stated learning objectives and that all parties involved in the courses were satisfied with the new undertaking.

Integrating Undergraduate Peer Mentors into Liberal Arts Courses: A Pilot Study

Tania Smith

Abstract: This article presents research and narratives on the integration of course-based peer learning assistants into seven courses. A new curricular peer mentoring program was piloted in the 2005–2006 academic year in an interdisciplinary liberal arts college at a large Canadian research university. Undergraduate students enrolled in a practicum course which supported their learning while they collaborated with the “host instructor” of the course in which they served as peer mentor. Assistants’ roles varied and included individual tutoring, help via email, online discussion facilitation, small group facilitation, in-class presentation and discussion facilitation, and extracurricular study groups. Their integration into scheduled class activities resulted in participating students’ perception of enhanced learning. Data included peer mentors’ assignments, host instructor feedback, and student surveys.

Volume 33 / Issue 2

Faculty Engagement in the Academy - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

The Effects of Engagement in Inquiry-Oriented Activities on Student Learning and Personal Development

Shouping Hu, George D. Kuh, and Shaoqing Li

Abstract: Using data from the College Student Experience Questionnaire research program between 1998 and 2004, this study examined the effects of student engagement in inquiry-oriented activities on a range of self-reported college outcomes. The results indicate that (1) engaging in inquiry-oriented activities has significant and positive effects on a global measure of gains; (2) engagement has positive effects on some college outcomes but negative effects on others; (3) the effects of inquiry-oriented activities are conditional, with some students benefiting more than others. This study reveals the complexity of the influences of inquiry-oriented activities on college students and points to implications for institutional policies and programs that may be effective in fostering desired college outcomes.

Beyond Lip Service: An Operational Definition of 'Learning Centered College'

William C. Bosch, Jessica L. Hester, Virginia M. MacEntee, James A. MacKenzie, T. Mark Morey, James T. Nichols, Patricia A. Pacitti, Barbara A. Shaffer, Suzanne P. Weber, Rosalie R. Young

Abstract: Faculty, staff, and student perceptions of high-quality learning experiences were explored using focus groups attempting to define a “learning-centered” college. Common themes emerged suggesting that a successful learning community requires faculty-student collaboration, effective communication, critical thinking skills, reciprocal respect, faculty passion for learning, high expectations of both students and faculty, a variety of teaching and assessment strategies, and student engagement in and responsibility for learning. All groups stressed the need for learning opportunities outside the classroom in both intellectual and social situations. These themes provide a conceptual framework for future campus initiatives, which has broad relevance for other institutions.

Transforming the College through Technology: A Change of Culture

James A. McLoughlin, Lih-Ching Chen Wang, and William A. Beasley

Abstract: In this article we address the implementation of sustainable technological change among the faculty, staff, and students in the College of Education and Human Services at a mid-western urban institution. We examine cultural factors common to institutions of higher education and then describe particular planning and implementation processes employed at one institution to move faculty and staff from a state of minimal technology use to one of substantial technological competence over a period of years. The process turns out to be robust and stable despite growth over time. We conclude with recommendations for other educational institutions facing similar needs for cultural change in the use of technology.

Long-term Strategic Incrementalism: An Approach and a Model for Bringing about Change in Higher Education

Norman Evans and Lynn Henrichsen

Abstract: Innovation and reform are crucial to progress, but higher education institutions are by nature highly resistant to change. This article describes long-term strategic incrementalism, an approach to change advocated by L. Cuban, How scholars trumped teachers: Change without reform in university curriculum, teaching, and research, 1890–1990, Teachers College Press, New York, NY, 1999, and proposes a model based on this approach as a proven way of successfully carrying out change within higher education. The approach and model are illustrated through two cases involving reforms—one at the department level and another at the institutional level.

Fitting the Mold of Graduate School: A Qualitative Study of Socialization in Doctoral Education

Susan K. Gardner

Abstract: Doctoral student attrition in the United States has reached alarming proportions, with reported rates of approximately 50% across disciplines (Nettles and Millett 2006). Attrition rates of underrepresented populations have been reported at higher rates across disciplines (Council of Graduate Schools 2004), pointing to a disparate experience for these students. Socialization has been shown to be a determining factor in doctoral student success and retention (Turner and Thompson 1993) while not necessarily reflecting how the socialization experience differs by disciplinary and institutional contexts. Through this qualitative study I sought to understand the effects of the socialization process upon doctoral student success and retention in the disciplines of chemistry and history at two institutions. Results highlighted a disparate experience for women, students of color, students with families, part-time students, and older students. Suggestions for policy, practice, and further research are included.

Volume 33 / Issue 3

Global Higher Education - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

The 'Virtual Face' of Institutions: What Do Home Pages Reveal About Higher Education?

Katrina A. Meyer

Absrtact: This research investigated the use of home pages by 40 higher education institutions, of which ten each were Doctoral/Research, Master’s, Baccalaureate, and Community Colleges. The institutions were also grouped by region and were drawn from 40 different states. Using an instrument based on criteria for evaluating web sites (Gurak 2001), the descriptive study answered three research questions. (1) How are higher education institutions using their home pages? (2) How well do these home pages perform? (3) What does higher education’s “virtual face” say about higher education in general? Findings indicate that institutions use their home pages for students and for functionality; and, while many home pages were well-designed, a minority were messy, required users to hunt for important services, and were difficult for the inexperienced user. The findings indicated that higher education’s “virtual face” may indeed be functional for insiders, but it was confusing to users who are new to higher education or the web.

Honors Education and the Prospects for Academic Reform

George M. Dennison

Absrtact: Honors education has the potential to serve as the foundation for reform of undergraduate education. Calls for reform during the last three decades have not resulted in change, in large measure because of the failure to engage the faculty and students in the effort. While prescriptions for change have abounded, conditions on campus and within society at large have not proven favorable. This article suggests that the implementation of Honors education helps to create the conditions supportive of reform.

Successful Inter-institutional Resource Sharing in a Niche Educational Market: Formal Collaboration Without a Contract

Elizabeth H. Dow

Absrtact: Funded by an Institute for Museum and Library Services National Leadership grant, five universities developed a system to provide archives education courses—a niche curriculum—to each other. They use compressed video over Internet 2 in a resource-sharing collaboration across five states and two time zones. The original grant ran from 2002–2005, during which time the collaborative offered eight courses to 140 students. Between 2006 and 2008, it offered eleven courses to 177 students. This article details the administrative model, based solely on school- and department-level agreements, which have enabled this resource-sharing collaborative to thrive after grant support ceased. While developed for archives education programs, the model could enhance any niche curriculum program.

Reshaping Institutional Boundaries to Accommodate an Engagement Agenda

Lorilee R. Sandmann and David J. Weerts

Absrtact: Key voices influencing higher education are increasingly aware of engagement in effecting change. Public research universities have missions compatible with engagement, but efforts to institutionalize it may conflict with their underlying values. Using boundary expansion as the analytical framework, this study compared the institutionalization of engagement at two types of public research universities. Land-grant universities implement engagement primarily through outreach and extension in specialized units. At urban or metropolitan universities, engagement is more often a university-wide agenda, impacting teaching, research, and partnerships. The difference between the two approaches can be explained by examining institutional capacity for boundary reshaping and expansion.

Exceptional Female Students of Color: Academic Resilience and Gender in Higher Education

Erik E. Morales

Absrtact: In researching the exceptional academic performance of 31 female and 19 male low socioeconomic college students of color, three distinctly female approaches to exceptional achievement arose from the data. These included the inordinate degree of familial resistance faced by the females and their approaches to that resistance, the value and importance of post-college goals and ambition, and the presence of effective cross-gender mentoring relationships. The impact of racial, ethnic, class and gender-based identities in relation to academic performance is also explored.

Volume 33 / Issue 4

Budget Cuts 101: Performance and Priorities - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

Effects of Studio Space on Teaching and Learning: Preliminary Findings from Two Case Studies

Summer Smith Taylor

Abstract: Recognizing that traditional classrooms do not facilitate active learning, colleges and universities are increasingly converting traditional classroom space into studio space. Research indicates positive effects on student learning when studio classroom space is combined with active learning pedagogy, but the research does not separate the effect of the space from the effect of the pedagogy or address the effect of the space on teaching. The case studies described in this article suggest that studio space can launch teachers into active learning pedagogy and can increase the positive effects of that pedagogy on learning. Teachers and students perceived direct effects of the space itself.

Departments in Academic Receivership: Possible Causes and Solutions

Tammy Stone

Abstract: This article explores the concept of academic receivership in U.S. colleges and universities. Academic receivership occurs when control of an academic department or program is removed from the faculty and an outside chair is put in place by the college or university administration. A literature review is supplemented by a small survey to assess how common receivership is and how it is administered. Combined, these elements allow for a discussion of the warning signs that a department is becoming dysfunctional and a procedure to guide a department through the receivership process.

Program Assessments: Success Strategies for Three Canadian Teaching Centers

Dieter J. Schonwetter, Debra L. Dawson, Judy Britnell

Abstract: Program assessments are an essential part of the ongoing survival of teaching centers performed by faculty development personnel at institutions of higher education. Little research is available to guide developers in performing these assessments. In this article we describe assessments conducted at three Canadian universities and highlight the theoretical models used to guide the process. Reflections on the strengths and challenges are discussed for each program assessment for the purpose of assisting faculty developers in performing similar program assessments of their faculty development offices.

Undergraduate Student Socialization and Learning in an Online Professional Curriculum

Karri A. Holley and Barrett J. Taylor

Abstract: Using data collected from a qualitative case study of an online baccalaureate nursing program, we examined the influence of online degree programs on undergraduate student socialization and learning. We considered how components of socialization—knowledge acquisition, investment, and involvement—are influenced by the online context. The findings suggest the importance of considering non-academic influences in regards to nontraditional student experiences. The theoretical intersection of online learning and undergraduate student development offers new and significant areas of research, specifically related to the pedagogical role of faculty and the impact of social engagement. Implications for future research and practice are offered.

Curriculum Mapping in Higher Education: A Vehicle for Collaboration

Kay Pippin Uchiyama and Jean L. Radin

Abstract: This qualitative study makes the case for the implementation of curriculum mapping, a procedure that creates a visual representation of curriculum based on real time information, as a way to increase collaboration and collegiality in higher education. Through the use of curriculum mapping, eleven faculty members in a western state university Teacher Licensure program aligned and revised the teacher education curriculum across a sequence of courses. An increase in collaboration and collegiality among faculty emerged as an unintended outcome as a result of participation in the project.

Volume 33 / Issue 5

The Intersection of Teaching and Advising - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

Message in a Bottle: University Advertising During Bowl Games

Michael S. Harris

Abstract: Through this descriptive qualitative study of institutional advertisements aired on television during the 2006–2007 college football bowl season, I sought to understand the messages communicated by colleges and universities to external audiences. The findings demonstrate the focus on selling the private benefits of higher education and call into question the effectiveness of university marketing and branding efforts.

The Role of Doctoral Advisors: A Look at Advising from the Advisor's Perspective

Benita J. Barnes and Ann E. Austin

Abstract: The doctoral advisor is said to be one of the most important persons—if not the single most critical person—with whom doctoral students will develop a relationship during their doctoral degree programs (Baird 1995). However, we have limited knowledge regarding how doctoral advisors see their roles and responsibilities as advisors. Therefore, through in-depth interviews, we explored the perceptions of 25 exemplary doctoral advisors, who have graduated a large number of doctoral students, about their roles and responsibilities as advisors. We conclude this article with implications for doctoral education.

Brokering Community-University Engagement

Miles McNall, Celeste Sturdevant Reed, Robert Brown, and Angela Allen

Abstract: Although substantial areas of agreement exist regarding the characteristics of effective community–university partnerships for research, there is little empirical research on the relationship between the characteristics of such partnerships and their outcomes. In this study, we explored the relationship between partnership characteristics and partnership outcomes. Analyses of the relationships between partnership dynamics and perceived benefits show that (1) effective partnership management is associated with increased research on a community issue, problem, or need; (2) co-creation of knowledge is associated with improved service outcomes for clients; and (3) shared power and resources are negatively associated with increased funding for community partners’ organizations. Our findings suggest that effective partnership management and opportunities for the co-creation of knowledge are practices that are worthy of deliberate cultivation within community–university partnerships for research.

Designing Blended Inquiry Learning in a Laboratory Context: A Study of Incorporating Hands-On and Virtual Laboratories

Eva Erdosne Toth, Becky L. Morrow, and Lisa R. Ludvico

Abstract: This article reports on the development of a methodology that integrates virtual and hands-on inquiry in a freshman introductory biology course. Using a two time × two order-condition design, an effective combination (blend) of the two environments was evaluated with 39 freshman biology participants. The quantitative results documented no significant effect of presentation order but demonstrated a significant effect of the combined learning experience. The qualitative results showed a strong preference by students for the virtual work preceding the hands-on laboratory. The study provides practitioners an effective alternative to traditional instructional practices by combining virtual and hands-on inquiry learning.

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