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Abstracts, Volume 35

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Volume 35 / Issue 1

Leadership and the Future of Higher Education - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

Building Civic Capacity on Campus through a Radically Inclusive Teaching and Learning Initiative

Alice Lesnick and Alison Cook-Sather

Abstract: In this article we explore the definition and development of civic capacity at a liberal arts college through a specific teaching and learning initiative. This initiative encourages faculty, staff, and students to share the roles of teacher, learner, and colleague as they gain educational opportunities and foster these for others. Through a description of two programs and analysis of participants’ reflections, we identify four stages of change that foster civic capacity. We suggest that this initiative invites a re-interpretation of the institution as a site of educational opportunities and raises questions about how to broaden access to these opportunities.

Becoming 'Effective' Citizens? Change-Oriented Service in a Teacher Education Program

Susan V. Iverson and Jennifer H. James

Abstract: The authors investigated the impact of 22 pre-service teachers’ participation in a change-oriented service-learning project on their conceptions of citizenship as civic actors and civic educators. The goal of this project was to push students toward adopting more critically conscious and activist conceptions of citizenship as aligned with the needs of a democratic society. Using Eyler and Giles’ (1999) typology of effective citizenship as an analytic framework, we describe how students’ participation in this project led to demonstrated growth along all five dimensions of effective citizenship. Yet, analysis revealed that, despite the project’s change-orientation, students’ conceptions of citizenship failed to move beyond personal responsibility to include enhanced social consciousness and the importance of collective action. Thus, we raise critical questions about what constitutes “effective citizenship” in a democratic society and the role of higher education in preparing teachers to embody and enact such a vision.

A New Compact for Higher Education: Funding and Autonomy for Reform and Accountability

James M. Kallison, Jr. and Philip Cohen

Abstract: Over the past few decades, America’s social compact for higher education as a public good has effectively lapsed as government support of higher education has diminished. Given the need for a highly educated workforce in today’s knowledge-based global economy, we propose a new compact for higher education that couples increased funding with increased institutional accountability. While the compact must retain academic freedom as an essential component of higher education, this autonomy must co-exist with rigorous accountability standards. Accountability systems should be multifaceted, as different methodologies have differing strengths and limitations. All systems should, however, inform the public and provide for institutional improvement.

Designing the Sustainable Foodshed: A Cross-Disciplinary Undergraduate Environmental Studies Course

Nevin Cohen

Abstract: This article demonstrates the educational value of an undergraduate course that integrates design and the liberal arts to teach about ecological systems, using study of the university campus as the means to connect theory and practice. It presents the curricular goals, objectives, results, and lessons learned from a qualitative case study of a cross-disciplinary course that required design and liberal arts students to develop innovative solutions to improve the sustainability of The New School’s food system. Student and faculty evaluations suggest that an integrated design and liberal arts course can be an effective and enjoyable method to learn about sustainability and urban systems; and it helps students learn different techniques for research, problem-solving, and communication.

The Teacher Exception Under the Work for Hire Doctrine: Safeguard of Academic Freedom or Vehicle for Academic Free Enterprise

Joy Blanchard

Abstract: According to the “work made for hire doctrine” of the Copyright Act, the creators of artistic and literary works are not legally granted ownership of works created in the course of employment; ownership rests with the employer. However, through de facto custom and court dicta, academics may enjoy a “teacher exception” that grants them copyright ownership of publications and course materials. Though there are several benefits behind this practice, the question of intellectual property ownership has blurred as institutions are investing in distance education and commissioning faculty members to create online courses.

Volume 35 / Issue 2

Reform and Re-invention in Public Higher Education - Editor's Page

The Pursuit of Wisdom: A Modest, but Essential, Prescription for the Future

Steven B. Sample, President, The University of Southern California

Abstract: Although higher education leaders are occupied with important issues such as accessibility, globalization, funding, and innovation, another issue – moral education – must be addressed if we are to equip students to navigate the future. One need not adhere to a particular religious orthodoxy or propound any sectarian dogma to engage students in the examination of values. The rare context and crucible of heterogeneous and heterodox postsecondary institutions provide an environment in which students, guided by their professors, can learn to wrestle with thorny questions, to maintain their intellectual and moral autonomy, and to take responsibility for their actions.

Creating Adaptable Universities

Graham B. Spanier, President, The Pennsylvania State University

Abstract: Shifting demographics, rising costs of operations, a changing competitive landscape, reductions in state appropriations, pressures for accountability, and a widespread economic decline characterize the environment in which today’s colleges and universities operate. This article examines some of the current responses to these challenges and outlines opportunities for advancing the mission of higher education in the 21st century. The topics covered include student centeredness, interdisciplinary research, access and affordability, technology, globalizing our universities, and service.

The 21st Century: The Century of the American Research University

William E. (Brit) Kirwan, Chancellor, Maryland University System

Abstract: Higher education in America has experienced periodic “inflection points” that have served to significantly alter the higher education landscape and dramatically change the focus and actions of the American research university community. We are on the leading edge of a new inflection point that could be—despite prevailing economic challenges—an opportunity for higher education to meet and address some of the great challenges facing our nation, such as economic competitiveness, health care and health care delivery, and environmental sustainability. These are challenges higher education is, in fact, uniquely suited to address.

Transforming America's Universities to Compete in the "New Normal"

Robert H. Bruininks, President, The University of Minnesota, with Brianne Keeney and Jim Thorpe

Abstract: The challenges faced today by U.S. colleges and universities have been accelerated by the current economic downturn, but they are not the result of it. Consequently, we should not expect a sudden reversal of fortune when the economy rebounds. Changing demographics and spending priorities coupled with increasing competition and demands for accountability mean that universities face a “new normal” in which they must embrace a clear vision of the future, including access and opportunity for all learners and a culture of entrepreneurship and service.

Volume 35 / Issue 3

Understanding the Contemporary University - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

From Medicine to Teaching: The Evolution of the Simulated Interaction Model

Benjamin H. Dotger, Sharon C. Dotger, and Michael J. Maher

Abstract: Medical education institutions frequently simulate interactions between future health professionals and standardized patients. This manuscript describes a partnership between a teacher preparation institution and a nearby medical institution, outlining specific procedures associated with the use of standardized parents, students, and paraprofessionals in helping future teachers and school leaders navigate common problems of practice. Implications center on the potential of this pedagogy to help bridge the gap between teacher preparation and practice as well as the applicability of this pedagogical approach to other higher education professional preparation programs.

A Study of Online Discourse at The Chronicle of Higher Education

Katrina A. Meyer

Abstract: Given the explosive growth of online communications, new forms of discourse are an intriguing topic of study. This research focused on ten online discussions hosted by The Chronicle of Higher Education, using content and discourse analysis of the postings to answer several questions. What is the “conversational scaffolding” used by posters in higher education-related online discussions? Are academic online discussions more like speech or writing? Additional questions dealt with how posters identify themselves, who their audience is, what motivates them, how accurate and political they are, and what the experience of reading these online discussions is like. Based on the analyses, these posters were more likely to write correctly although with diary-like personal insights. Through the analysis I also identified both positive and negative aspects of the online discussion experience.

Constructing an Entrepreneurial Architecture: An Emergent Framework for Studying the Contemporary University Beyond the Entrepreneurial Turn

Jim Nelles and Tim Vorley

Abstract: Universities are engines of the knowledge-based economy, both as sites of knowledge production and exploitation. Over the past two decades a “Third Mission” for universities has been articulated, alongside teaching and research; and this third mission is understood as commercial engagement. While growing literatures on the entrepreneurial university and university entrepreneurship have emerged, they are broadly conceptualized and overly fragmented. In this article we advance the concept of entrepreneurial architecture as an analytical framework to understand the organizational dynamics of the contemporary university and fuse two dominant discourses on the entrepreneurial evolution of higher education. We offer a pragmatic approach for institutions to respond to the challenges of the Third Mission.

Pedagogy for Equity: Teaching in a Hispanic-Serving Institution

Anne-Marie Nuñez, Elizabeth Murakami Ramalho, and Kimberley K. Cuero

Abstract: Three female tenure-track faculty members at a Hispanic-Serving Institution explored how their cultural backgrounds inform their pedagogical approaches toward equity. They drew upon Mills’s (1959) and Collins’s (1993) frameworks to examine how their personal biographies, local social contexts, and broader systemic institutions affect their teaching processes for diverse students. These teaching processes include limiting assumptions about students, encouraging students to consider their own personal biographies in relation to the social world, welcoming students’ multiple modes of expression, serving as role models, and challenging inequities in schooling. They conclude with recommendations for enhancing inclusivity in student learning and faculty development.

Accelerated Learning: A Study of Faculty and Student Experiences

Nicolette Lee and Briony Horsfall

Abstract: In this study we explored faculty and student experiences of accelerated learning. We conducted interviews with faculty members who had delivered the same course in 12 and 6-week timeframes, and we analysed a student survey. Students reported overall positive experiences in the accelerated courses, particularly in the social aspects of learning, higher than usual motivation, and confidence in their learning. However, both faculty and students raised concerns about the scope and timing of assessment tasks, student workload expectations, faculty workload, and administration of courses. We offer recommendations regarding implementation, assessment practices, and management of learning in an accelerated timeframe.

Redefining Without Undermining Liberal Education

D. G. Mulcahy

Abstract: We have long associated the ideal of a liberal education with an ideal of the educated person. Cognitive science, constructivist views of education, a new appreciation of the significance of practical knowledge, and a heightened awareness of the potential of education for social progress have had an impact on these ideals. As a consequence, new critiques and conceptions of liberal education challenging the viability of the traditional ideal have emerged. What these are is the subject of analysis here. Particular attention is given to the notion of many-sided development and the promise it holds for innovation and revitalization in liberal education.

Volume 35 / Issue 4

Faculty who Inspire - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

Contemplative Administration: Transforming the Workplace Culture of Higher Education

Laura E. Beer

Abstract: A contemplative approach to higher education is receiving increased attention and application in the classroom. Applying contemplative practices to administration, however, has received little attention in the literature. This case study offers a unique look at Naropa University and its implementation of contemplative administration. Findings indicate that incorporating contemplative practices into administrative life has benefits to faculty and staff members including an appreciation of being able to bring their personal lives into the workplace in a safe and supportive way and a strengthened commitment to the University’s mission.

The Quality of Reflection in Student Journals: A Review of Limiting and Enabling Factors

Janet E. Dyment and Timothy S. O’Connell

Abstract: Although reflective journals are widely used across many disciplines in higher education, the research that examines their use presents an unclear picture of the quality of reflection found in them. Some research reveals that student journals contain primarily deeply reflective entries. Yet other research presents a less optimistic perspective, finding that a majority of student journals contain mostly descriptive accounts of events, with little to no critical reflection present. In this article, we seek to explore these conflicting results and identify a series of factors that may limit or enable high quality reflection in student journals. Such factors are clarity of expectations, training, responses, assessments, relationships with the lecturer, and developing the practice. We draw upon our reading of the literature, our multi-phase research project on journal writing, and reflections on our own teaching practice.

Physical Space and the Resource-Based View of the College

Sam J. Fugazzotto

Abstract: Space serves as a key resource for colleges and universities, and institutions exchange information about it with each other and with prospective students. Using content analysis to examine several widely circulated publications, this study looked for differences in the value attributed to space when institutional leaders present it to students and to other institutions. More broadly, I hope to suggest how differences in the presentation of space could indicate divergent priorities that can damage institutional trustworthiness.

Now I'm Ready: The Impact of a Professional Development Initiative on Faculty Concerns with Program Assessment

Don Haviland, Seon-Hi Shin, and Steve Turley

Abstract: This article examines the impact of a faculty professional development effort on the understanding, confidence, and attitudes of education faculty related to program assessment activities. We applied literature on the adoption of innovations, institutional effectiveness, and professional development to a case study of a series of workshops on assessment. The results suggest that faculty members had improved skills and knowledge, understanding, confidence, and attitudes regarding assessment following the workshops. The opportunity for faculty members to collaborate with colleagues on assessment and to develop an understanding of the kinds of supports in place for assessment work were important elements in the gains.

Effectiveness of a Conflict Resolution Training Program in Changing Graduate Students' Style of Managing Conflict with their Faculty Advisors

Julie L. Brockman, Antonio A. Nunez, and Archana Basu

Abstract: We investigated the conflict management preferences of graduate students with their faculty advisors and assessed the effects of participating in a conflict resolution workshop on those preferences. One hundred and twenty-one graduate students completed the pre-workshop surveys, and 69 participants completed the post-workshop surveys after seven workshops conducted over a 3 year period. Nineteen subjects participated in three post-workshop focus groups. The quantitative pre-workshop data showed that avoidance and accommodation styles for managing conflict were preferred among participants. Participants showed a trend towards a statistically significant increase in the collaborating score post-workshop relative to pre-workshop levels. The qualitative data indicated that students applied skills taught during the workshop, including interest-based principles, when interacting with faculty.

Volume 35 / Issue 5

The Problem of Defining and Communicating Quality in the 21st Century - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

The Virtual Sabbatical: A Pioneering Case Study

Patricia Easteal and Nicole Westmarland

Abstract: International exchange is an important aspect of academic life. Thus, international sabbaticals are, in general, seen as a measure of research collaboration, networking, and international standing. There are, however, a few groups who are likely to be disadvantaged by such criteria even though they may be implicit, that is, those for whom international travel is problematic. Using reflective learning, the researchers conducted a virtual sabbatical for six months as a metaphorical “ramp”—that is, a way of making international sabbaticals accessible to more people. We now present a case study of this action research project, which answers the following questions. How does the concept of a virtual sabbatical fit holistically within the context of higher education? How can the aims of the sabbatical be fulfilled in a virtual context? What are the problems and successes of the virtual sabbatical?

Measuring Social Capital as an Outcome of Service Learning

Maria J. D’Agostino

Abstract: Service-learning has been put forth as one of the proposed solutions to increasing social capital. However, service-learning research has not significantly addressed the impact of service learning on social capital. Unlike most previous studies, this research used quantitative analysis to measure the effect of university service-learning programs on social capital by examining the question: What impact do service-learning programs have on social capital post-graduation? This study showed that service learning addresses the civic engagement problem by providing evidence suggesting that service learning predicts social capital post-graduation.

Mentoring and Student Persistence in College: A Study of the Washington State Achievers Program

Shouping Hu and Yanli Ma

Abstract: Using survey data on the third cohort of scholarship recipients in the Washington State Achievers (WSA) program, this study first examined how the assignment of college mentor and student engagement in mentoring vary based on student and institutional characteristics and then examined the relationship between mentor assignment and different mentoring aspects of the WSA program and student persistence in college. The results from this project indicated that Asian American students were more likely to have an assigned college mentor and that Hispanic students were more likely than White students to turn to their college mentors for support and encouragement and had a higher level of perceived importance of their overall experiences with mentors. Among all WSA recipients, having an assigned college mentor was positively related to the probability of persisting in college; among those who had an assigned college mentor, the probability of persisting was positively associated with the extent to which the recipients turn to mentors for support and encouragement and with their perceived importance of experiences with mentors.

Students as Consumers of Knowledge: Are They Buying What We're Selling?

Jill A. Singleton-Jackson, Dennis L. Jackson, and Jeff Reinhardt

Abstract: Academic entitlement, an attitude marked by students’ beliefs that they are owed something in the educational experience apart from what they might earn from their effort, has received attention recently in the literature. In previous work, academic entitlement has been shown to be related to parenting styles and personality constructs. The current study departs from previous research by taking a phenomenological approach to understanding academic entitlement. Focus groups were conducted with a total of 52 first-year students. Responses were coded into six facets of academic entitlement: product value of education, social promotion, role of professors, teaching assistants, administrators, and shoppers or scholars.

Facilitating Student Learning: Engagement in Novel Learning Opportunities

Ieva Stupans, Sheila Scutter, and Karma Pearce

Abstract: Many novel learning approaches in recent years have involved innovative technologies; however, other creative approaches can also be used to facilitate the learning of new or difficult concepts. In this article we explain how novelty and fun can be introduced into the learning experience without the need for advanced technologies. The novel activity described in this manuscript is grounded in the theory of instructional design and represents a form of experiential learning where knowledge acquisition results from peer interaction and feedback in an entertaining and low risk environment. Most importantly, student learning outcomes were enhanced by the introduction of this creative strategy.

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