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Abstracts, Volume 36

Select an article title to access full articles at SpringerLink.

Volume 36 / Issue 1

Chalk Talk: Teaching Tips from the UGA Teaching Academy - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

Tackling Suboptimal Bachelor's Degree Completion Rates through Training in Self-Regulated Learning (SRL)

T.D. Reeves and A.E. Stich

Abstract: In response to both problematic and extant gaps in Bachelor’s degree completion rates, this mixed methods study investigated whether a theoretically based undergraduate course intervention measurably contributed to participants’ competence as self-regulated learners. Respective quantitative and qualitative analyses of data collected from two samples showed that intervention participants experienced growth in the targeted self-regulatory constructs. Moreover, differential effects by race/ethnicity and gender were not observed. We conclude with a discussion of this study’s implications for institutions of higher education, pertinent considerations in designing and implementing this self-regulated learning intervention, and a review of the literature on effective practices for doing so.

Advancing Diversity in STEM

P.L. Hill, R.A. Shaw, J.R. Taylor, and B.L. Hallar

Abstract: Although progress has been made, greater efforts are needed to promote faculty diversity at the college and university levels, especially in STEM fields. Thus, it is important to elucidate best practices both for increasing awareness of diversity issues pertaining to higher education and for implementing change. This article focuses on the outcomes of a diversity workshop for college and university faculty hosted by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, Division of Science and Research. More specifically, it elucidates how participation in the workshop translated into practice at the faculty participants’ home institutions.

Transformational Partnerships: A New Agenda for Higher Education

J. Butcher, M. Bezzina, and W. Moran

Abstract: In this article we develop the concept of transformational partnership and illustrate how such an understanding has enriched the relationship between a particular university and a school system. Transformational partnerships are different in purpose, nature, and strategies from transactional partnerships. They are based upon genuine engagement and a focus on common goals and mutual benefits. In transactional partnerships each institution pursues its own goals with little consideration of mutual goals or shared purpose. The areas of community engagement, leadership, and transformational partnerships provided key concepts for analysing the case study showing how higher education institutions can think and work differently with other institutions, organizations, and groups to achieve mutual benefits.

Developing Peer Mentoring through Evaluation

R. Hall and Z. Jaugietis

Abstract: Peer mentoring programs are an important component in the strategy to enhance the first year undergraduate experience. The operation of these programs needs to be informed by evidence as to their effectiveness. In this article we report on a six-year study of the development of a peer mentoring program in which feedback is used to improve program implementation. Evidence from surveys of participants in the program shows that this process has significantly enhanced their experiences and that the effects of these benefits have increased throughout the life of the program. Moreover, participation in the program enhanced the leadership, communication, and organizational skills of the peer mentors.

21st Century Competencies for Doctoral Leadership Faculty

L. Hyatt and P.E. Williams

Abstract: Graduate and post-graduate programs were initially developed by universities to increase discipline-specific mastery. Faculty members impact both the content and quality of such programs as they are responsible for making it relevant in the current climate while also addressing the changes envisaged for society tomorrow. Although studies exist regarding faculty competencies in various disciplines and for preparing future faculty members, there is a paucity of research specific to competencies necessary for faculty members who currently teach in doctoral leadership programs. This Delphi study explored 21st century competencies required in the next decade for faculty who currently teach in doctoral leadership programs in U.S. institutions.

Volume 36 / Issue 2

91 Years Later—What Didn't We Hear? Are We Listening Now? - Editor's Page

Kay Gillespie

Finding an Analytic Frame for Faculty-Student Interaction within Faculty-in-Residence Programs

Miriam Mara and Andrew Mara

Abstract: In this article we describe a case study analyzing how a Faculty-in-Residence program fosters student engagement. Using Cox & Orehovec’s typology to add granularity to the National Study on Student Engagement’s criteria for student engagement, we suggest best practices for the implementation of these in-situ faculty engagement programs.

Studying the Professional Lives and Work of Faculty Involved in Community Engagement

Kerry Ann O’Meara, Lorilee R. Sandmann, John Saltmarsh, and Dwight E Giles, Jr.

Abstract: Community engagement is one of the major innovations that has occurred in higher education over the last 20 years. At the center of this innovation are faculty members because of their intimate ties to the academic mission. This article examines the progress that has been made in understanding this critical area of faculty work. It builds on past research to consider how the conceptualization of faculty community engagement influences the kinds of questions we ask about it and the kinds of recruitment, support, and professional growth we provide. Implications of the study and for the practice of faculty community engagement are provided for researchers, administrators, and faculty members.

Reconsidering the Relationship Between Student Engagement and Persistence in College

Shouping Hu

Abstract: Using data from two rounds of surveys on students in the Washington State Achievers (WSA) program, this study examined the relationship between student engagement in college activities and student persistence in college. Different approaches using student engagement measures in the persistence models were compared. The results indicated that the relationship between student engagement and the probability of persisting was not linear. Even though a higher level of social engagement was related to an increased probability of persisting, a higher level of academic engagement was negatively related to such probability. The findings have strong implications for educational research, policy, and practice.

Educating Students in Real-world Sustainability Research: Vision and Implementation

Katja Brundiers and Arnim Wiek

Abstract: Readers are invited to imagine students helping to solve real-world sustainability problems brought to them by societal stakeholders and simultaneously learning about and contributing to sustainable changes in society. Effective sustainability research education engages students in just that. Higher education institutions are implementing this vision of education in entire curricula, individual courses, and extracurricular research activities. In this article, we build on the literature to describe a vision of sustainability research education and present an evaluative scheme for measuring its effectiveness. We apply the scheme to two sustainability research-education projects in Switzerland to test its applicability and to identify achievements of the projects and the areas where improvement is needed. Areas for improvement include collaboration between academics and practitioners, joint problem definition, and the guidance of students to participate successfully in collaborative, real-world projects.

A University Program with 'The Whole World as a Focus': An Icelandic Response to Globalization

Sue Books, Hanna Ragnarsdóttir, Ólafur Páll Jónsson, Allyson Macdonald

Abstract: The International Studies in Education program at the University of Iceland illustrates how one university is responding to global trends in higher education. Through a case study we examined the significance of an innovative B.A. program, which is taught in English, aligned with values affirmed in critical multiculturalist scholarship, and designed to respond to demographic changes including a sharp increase in Iceland’s immigrant population. The experience of students, teachers, and administrators raises important questions about institutional responsibilities, both local and global; about the role of English in an international studies program; about de facto segregation of students; and about the significance of local context in global trends in higher education.

Volume 36 / Issue 3

Women in Higher Education: Access, Success, and the Future - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

The Power of Inquiry as a Way of Learning

Virginia S. Lee

Abstract: Since the publication of The Boyer Commission Report (1998), inquiry-guided learning, has acquired a certain cachet and is often suggested as a universal answer for various teaching and learning ills, particularly in research universities. However, while the report focused on inquiry-guided learning, it defined the term only generally or chiefly by anecdote. Twelve years later confusion still exists about what inquiry-guided learning really is and how to do it, whether in a single course or across the curriculum. This article offers a review of representative literature on inquiry-guided learning as well as guidelines for classroom and curriculum practice to address this confusion and to offer clarity.

Creating an Innovative Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate Program

Kathleen L. McFadden, Shi-Jie (Gary) Chen, Donna J. Munroe, Jay R. Naftzger, and Evan M. Selinger

Abstract: In response to a growing movement within higher education to provide interdisciplinary educational programs, this study describes the creation of an interdisciplinary graduate certificate program in healthcare policy and management. Building on prior research, we surveyed healthcare executives to examine their perceptions about the need for such a program and the importance of core subject areas. Drawing on our findings as well as the literature on “interactional expertise” and “wicked problems,” we provide a detailed method for launching an interdisciplinary program. Our process may be useful in guiding other institutions interested in setting up new interdisciplinary programs of their own.

Collaboration between Faculty Members and School Counselors: An Experience from a Case-based Course

José M. Coronel Llamas

Abstract: This article describes the experience in Spain of a specific collaboration between university teachers and school counselors, which used case-based approaches in a teacher training program. The collaboration ran for four years and involved 300 graduate students, two university teachers, and six school counselors. Three basic features enabled this collaboration: a) horizontal relationships, b) a spirit of mutual help and confidence, and c) autonomy. The outcome of the experience can be evaluated in terms of both the case-based teaching process itself and its impact on student learning and the professional development of teachers and counselors involved.

Benchmarking the Degree of Implementation of Learner-Centered Approaches

Phyllis Blumberg and Laura Pontiggia

Abstract: We describe an objective way to measure whether curricula, educational programs, and institutions are learner-centered. This technique for benchmarking learner-centeredness uses rubrics to measure courses on 29 components within Weimer’s five dimensions. We converted the scores on the rubrics to four-point indices and constructed histograms that indicate how learner-centered courses are and which specific learner-centered components are used. We applied this benchmarking technique to a curriculum sample to illustrate how the data can be used and interpreted. These analyses form a snapshot of teaching that can be used in accreditation self-studies and for faculty development.

Using Technology to Enhance Higher Education

Susan L. Renes and Anthony T. Strange

Abstract: Whether our students are sitting in the room with us as we teach, sitting in their home listening, participating by video-conference, or answering discussion questions on an online platform, technology can play a pivotal role in student learning. In this article we discuss technology in higher education, specifically its role in hybrid or online formats. As Renard (2005) so eloquently stated, "No generation has ever had to wait so little time for so much information" (p. 44). Presented here is a discussion of the types of students who benefit from distance learning, the factors that prompt instructors to engage in distance learning, and what instructors should know about distance education before they begin teaching with this kind of delivery.

Volume 36 / Issue 4

The Quest for Innovative Strategies to Increase Productivity - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

Managing Change—Engaging Faculty in Assessment Opportunities

Maureen Snow Andrade

Abstract: Regional accrediting bodies require evidence that higher education institutions are meeting their stated goals. Institutions have answered this call for accountability by assessing student learning. Managing change in order to implement assessment practices is a challenge, however, particularly when autonomy, academic freedom, and shared governance are involved. Leadership theories offer practical strategies for administrators instituting assessment-related change. Using these theories as a guide, this article provides suggestions for leading assessment initiatives, garnering faculty support, and establishing a culture of assessment. The suggestions are organized around a four-frame model based on the premise that leaders must consider multiple perspectives to be successful.

What is the Best Way to Achieve Broader Reach of Improved Practices in Higher Education?

Adrianna Kezar

Abstract: This article examines a common problem in higher education – how to create more widespread use of improved practices, often commonly referred to as innovations. I argue that policy models of scale-up are often advocated in higher education but that they have a dubious history in community development and K-12 education and that higher education leaders should shirk policymakers’ push to use a scale-up model of change. These thoughts are conceptual and are based upon a critical review of literature in community development and K-12, but I also draw upon empirical data in reviewing examples of widespread use of innovations in higher education.

Methods of Inquiry’: Using Critical Thinking to Retain Students

Kelly H. Ahuna, Christine Gray Tinnesz, and Carol VanZile-Tamsen

Abstract: In the late 1980s a large northeastern university implemented a critical thinking course for undergraduate students. Combining insights from cognitive psychology and philosophy, this class was designed to give students concrete strategies to promote self-regulated learning and ensure academic success. The analyses in this study are based on university warehouse data for three consecutive entering freshmen cohorts, resulting in a sample of 9,665 students, 1900 of whom had successfully completed the course. Results show these students are more likely to be retained or to exit successfully by the second, third, fourth, and fifth year as compared to those students who do not complete the course.

Action Research as Signature Pedagogy in an Education Doctorate Program: The Reality and Hope

Debby Zambo

Abstract: Debates about the education doctorate continue; and, while some individuals focus on the problematic, others work to distinguish this degree from the Ph.D. The author is part of the latter, and in this article I explain how faculty members at one university are using action research as a signature pedagogy to create stewards of practice, that is, school leaders who have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to pinpoint educational problems, design solutions, and create effective change. A content analysis of action research dissertations was used to prove stewardship. I investigated the challenges that sparked students’ actions; the actions they took in response; and the benefits, if any, they gained from this experience.

Learning Organization Disciplines in Higher Education Institutions: An Approach to Human Resource Development in Jordan

Samer Khasawneh

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of higher education faculty members concerning the application of the learning organization disciplines, as proposed by Senge (1990), in the university environment. The study surveyed 202 faculty members at the Hashemite University, one of the leading state universities in Jordan. Results of the study indicated overall moderate-to-high application of all the learning organization disciplines as indicated by their mean values, which ranged between 3.40 and 3.62 on a five-point Likert-type scale. Faculty members in this study recognize that they adequately master learning through professional development, challenge their mental models and assumptions to improve educational practices, have an individual vision that is harmonious with the organizational vision, work as teams, and value systems thinking. The article ends with several practical and theoretical recommendations.

Volume 36 / Issue 5

The Generation X Faculty is Arriving! - Editor's Page

Libby V. Morris

The Role of Teaching Assistants in Student-Centered Learning: Benefits, Costs, and Negotiations

Mary C. Wright, Inger Bergom, and Michael Brooks

Abstract: As more faculty members utilize student-centered methods, we should also expect to see an increase in graduate teaching assistants (TAs) who are asked to co-teach these classes. However, little is written about the challenges TAs face and the adjustments they make when teaching student-centered courses. This study examined a student-centered course taught by the hevruta method, a dyadic approach that emphasizes text-based student discussions. Although students reported significant learning gains, both they and TAs had to negotiate new instructional roles. Based on student and TA feedback, strategies are presented to facilitate effective student learning in a student-centered course co-taught by TAs.

Creating an Online Learning Community: Is it Possible?

Jennifer L. Murdock and Amy M. Williams

Abstract: As institutions are moving towards offering more online and distance education courses, scholars have reported that instructors may have difficulty developing learning communities among students enrolled in these courses (DiRamio and Wolverton 2006). The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in students’ perceptions of a learning community when enrolled in an online or on-campus introduction to counseling course. Participants were beginning graduate and advanced undergraduate students interested in pursuing a higher education degree in counseling. Results indicated no significant difference in students’ perceptions of learning communities based on course format.

Informal Science Education: A Practicum for Graduate Students, “Informal Science Education: A Practicum for Graduate Students

W.C. Crone, S.L. Dunwoody, R.K. Rediske, S.A. Ackerman, G.M. Zenner Petersen, R.A.Yaros

Abstract: We present results from a course, “Informal Science Education for Scientists: A Practicum,” co-taught to graduate students in STEM-related fields by a scientist/engineer and a social scientist/humanist. This course provides a structured framework and experiential learning about informal science education during a semester-long experience. The data collected across six years of the course (11 ≤ n ≤ 16 for each) provide strong evidence that the course has been effective in encouraging graduate students in STEM-related fields to feel more skilled at and confident with informal science education. Details are provided as to how manipulation of the course structure (i.e. making it project-based, emphasizing understanding audiences, stressing the iterative nature of design, and increasing evaluation research training) influenced the student outcomes.

The Development of a Service-Learning Program for First-year Students Based on the Hallmarks of High Quality Service-learning and Rigorous Program Evaluation

Bradley H. Smith, James Gahagan, Samuel McQuillin, Benjamin Haywood, Caroline Pender Cole, Clay Bolton, Mary Katherine Wampler

Abstract: We describe six hallmarks of high quality service-learning and explain how these considerations guided the development of a Transitional Coaching Program (TCP) during the first three years of implementation. We have demonstrated that the TCP is acceptable, feasible, and sustainable. Improvements have been seen in the degree of impact on learning objectives, but statistically significant change has not yet been achieved. This project highlights the importance of looking beyond satisfaction and engaging in rigorous assessment of learning objectives and ongoing quality improvement through attention to best practices and evidence-based, continuous quality improvement.

An Examination of the Factors that Shape the Engagement of Faculty Members and Academic Staff

Crystal G Lunsford and Hilda Nyougo Omae

Abstract: In this article we discuss some of the factors that influence how faculty members and academic staff at Michigan State University connect their scholarly activities to external audiences. Logistic regression was used to analyze data collected using an institutional-wide survey. Findings reveal that appointment type, discipline, and demographic attributes influence the type of engaged activities—teaching, research, and service—in which faculty members and academic staff are involved. We discuss the implications for practice and research.

A Behavioral Approach to Building Cognitive Foundations for Effective Thought and Action

Eric Pappas and Jesse Pappas

Abstract: This research documents the process and results of an approach to teaching university undergraduates intentional self-development skills designed to promote self-generated goals, routines, and lifestyle choices. These skills may provide effective behavioral foundations for developing metacognitive awareness, intentionality, and individual well-being. The results of six original behavioral interventions, implemented in two James Madison University courses, provide initial support for the effectiveness of these instructional methodologies.

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