SoTL Academy

Concurrent Session Descriptions 


Session A

Monday, May 20

11:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m. 

A1: Workshop - Room EC 316
Preparing Effective Pre-service Teachers using an Integrated Approach within the Practicum Setting
Luchara Wallace
Western Michigan University

This research bridges the gap between what is currently offered and what has been empirically proven as essential components of effective teaching. Upon embarking upon this scholarship of teaching and learning, it was determined that more was needed to best serve pre-service teachers pursuing a teaching certificate in special education. The research utilized five essential methods to ensure the success of students pursuing a teaching certificate in special education. This presentation will show how using an integrated approach to pre-service teacher preparation increases the effectiveness of pre-service special education teacher candidates.

A2: Workshop - Room EC 611
SoTL and Methodology: From Trading Zones to Big Tents
Jeffrey L. Bernstein
Eastern Michigan University
In this workshop, I extend Huber and Hutchings’ idea of methodological trading zones, suggesting how we can learn from, and borrow, techniques from across the disciplines for investigating student learning.  The aim is to find ways to more rigorously address student learning, and test our hypotheses about what contributes to it, in a way that shows respect for standards of evidence across different disciplinary traditions.  In so doing, I outline ways in which our work can enable the scholarship of teaching and learning to take place under a broader tent of participation from across the disciplines.
A3: Workshop - Room EC 515
Engage Students with the Text
Helen Woodman and Monica Frees
Ferris State University
Surfing the Net has added “efficiency” and “immediacy” to what we read, but faculty want students to be more than “decoders of information.” Faculty want students to read deeply, make connections, read without distractions, and become engaged with the text materials. This session will show instructors how to help students interact with the text he/she is given to read. The session will provide immediate examples that can be used in the next class session.
A4: Workshop - Room EC 614 
Developing Transparent Learning through Workplace Learning and Reflection
Kimberly Michelle Hurns
Washtenaw Community College
To prepare students for professional careers, learning must be embraced as an employability skill.  Through refection, student learning will be visible to them to codify incidental and informal learning while understanding learning as a process and skill for themselves.  This workshop will introduce the constructs workplace learning (formal learning, informal learning, and incidental learning) and reflective practice as tools to construct effective learning experiences while making learning transparent.  Participants will discuss the application of the constructs and draft teaching plans and reflection prompts. Experiential Learning Model (ELT) and other learning models will be discussed as the foundation of the workshop’s research.
A5: Workshop - Room EC 314 
Seamless Learning: Connecting to Educational Opportunities Outside of the Classroom
Michelle Burke, Marlene Kowalski-Braun, Brian Jbara, and Eric Klingensmith
Grand Valley State University 
Faculty can enhance students’ learning by recommending or assigning out-of-class experiences. The Division of Student Services at GVSU identifies AAC&U LEAP learning outcomes achieved through their co- and extra-curricular programs. This workshop will provide information about four semesters of data collected in the ABC (Academics Beyond the Classroom) initiative, connecting Student Services Programming to General Education goals. 

Session B

Monday, May 20

1:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m. 


B1: Presentation - Room EC 614
IRB Considerations in SoTL Research: A Expert Panel Discussion 
Andrea Beach, Western Michigan University
Julia Mays, Western Michigan University
Maureen McGonegal, Ferris State University
Paul Reitemeier, Grand Valley State University
Luchara Wallace, Western Michigan University
Conducting SoTL research often requires approval by our institution's IRB, which can be an unfamiliar process for faculty in diverse fields.  Even researchers within fields that regularly use human subjects may be uncertain how to meet IRB expectations for protection of participants in their SoTL projects. This panel discussion with IRB members and SoTL researchers will probe common issues related to conducting SoTL research and offer solutions that can address researcher, participant, and IRB interests.
B2: Presentation - Room EC 611
Quasi-Experiment Examining Cafeteria-Style Grading in Social Work Education
Brandon Youker and Allyssa Ingraham
Grand Valley State University 
Cafeteria-style grading system is an individualized student assessment method whereby students choose their assignments from an expansive and diverse pool of assignments. In this study, students are non-randomly assigned to two sections of the same social work course. The first section received cafeteria-style assignments and grading system (i.e., experimental group) while the comparison section received the traditional method of grading. Students in both sections video record a demonstration exercise; the recordings are reviewed and scored by experts from a panel of social work professors. Preliminary results show an effect on student attendance and on variation in points accumulated by students. 
B3: Presentation - Room EC 515
Inquiry and Representation Within and Across an “Unsettled” Mathematics Methods Course
Jeremiah Holden
University of Michigan-Flint, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The classroom is a space “unsettled” and new inquiry and representation methods are necessary to make student learning visible.  Findings from the Mathematics as Multispacing Project, a research initiative investigating curricular and pedagogical designs for mathematics methods courses informed by place and digital media, address the need for teacher educators to invent methods of inquiry to better understand and make visible pre-service teacher learning across mobilities and geographies.  Findings concerning course design and enactment – and about place, media, and equity – will be discussed in relation to how the classroom-as-container may be unsettled when teaching and learning mathematics.
B4: Presentation - Room EC 316
Making Middle School Students’ Thinking about Science Visible Through Games and Scientific Investigation
Chiron Graves, William Spotts, Lauren Mayleben, and Christopher Valasin
Eastern Michigan University
This study was conducted to determine if student thinking could be revealed using games and scientific discourse to help improve their understanding about science concepts. The study involved 7th grade students participating in an after-school science club. The club facilitators, two pre-service science teachers, used a Family Feud-type game to identify student preconceptions about plant growth. Data gathered from this game was used to guide scientific discourse between the students and the facilitators resulting in a student-designed investigation about plant growth. Student understanding was re-assessed at the end of the club to determine if any changes in understanding occurred.

Session C

Monday, May 20

2:15 p.m - 3:15 p.m. 

C1: Presentation - Room EC 614
IRB Considerations in SoTL Research: A Expert Panel Discussion 
Andrea Beach, Western Michigan University
Julia Mays, Western Michigan University
Maureen McGonegal, Ferris State University
Paul Reitemeier, Grand Valley State University
Luchara Wallace, Western Michigan University
Conducting SoTL research often requires approval by our institution's IRB, which can be an unfamiliar process for faculty in diverse fields.  Even researchers within fields that regularly use human subjects may be uncertain how to meet IRB expectations for protection of participants in their SoTL projects. This panel discussion with IRB members and SoTL researchers will probe common issues related to conducting SoTL research and offer solutions that can address researcher, participant, and IRB interests.
C2: Workshop - Room EC 314
Metacognitive Memoirs: Making Thinking Visible
David Coffey
Grand Valley State University
Metacognition is the awareness of one’s thinking. Memoir is a genre usually referring to a piece of autobiographical writing focusing on some problematic event. Together they represent a powerful tool for helping learners experience what it means to monitor their thinking while solving problems and communicating their efforts to others. This approach builds on the ideas presented in How Students Learn: History, Mathematics and Science in the Classroom (National Research Council, 2005) and the research of Alan Schoenfeld (1992) on fostering metacognition in a college mathematics course. Participants in this workshop will participate in activities used in courses for preservice math teachers that apply this approach.
C3: Presentation - Room EC 515
GVSU Inventory of Instructional Practices
Scott Grissom, Shannon Biros, Shaily Menon, and Robert Talbert
Grand Valley State University
The NSF-funded study is designed to document current awareness and use of evidence-based instructional practices in GVSU science and math classrooms.  A broader goal is to identify institutional barriers to adoption of these approaches.  The project includes three components: 1) faculty interviews in February / March, 2) a comprehensive faculty survey in March / April, and 3) pilot programs to increase faculty adoption (Fall 2013).  Investigators will share preliminary results as well as their experiences implementing the protocol and applying for IRB approval.
C4: Presentation - Room EC 316
"The Organism is Always Right": Hewing to the Visible with B.F. Skinner
Jan Worth-Nelson
University of Michigan-Flint
Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner’s theories of behaviorism were denounced 50 years ago by many critics -- from Noam Chomsky to Benjamin Spock. But today his ideas are reflected in almost every realm of our lives, from MOOCs to Facebook.  Skinner focused on what could be observed, measuring not what “is” or “isn’t,” as he put it, but the evidence of “does” or “doesn’t.”  Further, he advocated reinforcement-based strategies for learning, strongly echoing contemporary calls for formative approaches.  Might reclaiming Skinner make us better teachers?  This presentation, reviewing Skinner’s basic premises with an eye toward application, suggests a resounding yes.


Session D

Monday, May 20

4:00 p.m - 4:45 p.m. 

D1: Roundtable - Room EC 614
Fostering Collaborative Learning in Health Informatics
Gokul Bhandari
University of Windsor
The purpose of this session is to discuss the potential impact (as well as challenges and opportunities) of simulated online resources in fostering collaborative and experiential learning to students enrolled in health informatics courses.
D2: Roundtable - Room EC 314
Making The English Major Visible: Public Discourses in Capstone
Corinna McLeod, Hazel McClure, Amy Masko, and Ashley Shannon
Grand Valley State University
This roundtable will discuss the evolution of the Capstone course in the English Department at GVSU. Formerly a course on critical theory, the new Capstone asks students to conduct a semester-long research project that draws on the expertise they have accrued in the course of their major and culminates in a public presentation at the Capstone Conference. Presenters will discuss the development of the course; ways in which students engage with concretizing knowledge; and future directions for making student work even more visible across campus and beyond.
D3: Roundtable - Room EC 515
The Visibility of Success through GVSU’s Freshman Academy
Scott Stabler and Margery Guest
Grand Valley State University 
Grand Valley State’s Freshman Academy offers students from underrepresented high schools and first generation college students the chance for a college diploma. We propose a roundtable discussion about a new part of the Freshman Academy program: the connecting of a history and reading course. The big question entails how our connected instruction can help make students successful. This is what we would like to discuss at the roundtable. 
To promote teaching success we propose the following (but would like more input): (a) observe each other to assure congruency, (b) obtain mid-semester feedback for both classes, (c) utilize peer observations and feedback, (d) use student assessments to denote progress, (e) use a Survey Monkey to ask students questions specific to the course, and (f) utilize student evaluations.
D4: Roundtable - Room EC 316
Making the Learning of French-Canadians Visible: A Case Study at the University of Windsor
Jean-Guy Mboudjeke
University of Windsor
This session will present a project to foster bidialectalism (mastery of two dialects) as a way of making the learning of French by French-Canadian students (henceforth FCS) visible. It will argue that the vernacular French of FCS carries features which, though once legitimate, are today despised and at odds with the norm of standard French. To make their learning visible, FCS must master the standard norm. When they don’t, they experience linguistic insecurity which may discourage the use of their mother tongue, thus making their learning /mother tongue invisible. To remedy this situation, the vernacular should be visible in teaching.



Session E

Tuesday, May 21

11:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m. 

E1: Presentation - Room EC 611
A Blended Guided-Inquiry Classroom: Design and Impact on Student Learning
Edward Baum
Grand Valley State University
Teaching methods such as process-oriented guided-inquiry learning (POGIL) produce superior learning outcomes, but students may find it confusing and often self-report poorer performance than is actually the case.  This leads to a lack of student engagement among other problems. This presentation describes the implementation of a blended POGIL course in chemistry for non-science Honors majors that is intended to address such problems. Blended instruction proves to be less confusing and more economical of time than guided-inquiry instruction alone.  Student engagement is improved in the blended POGIL classroom.   The described strategy is broadly applicable to teaching in any discipline.
E2: Workshop - Room EC 421
Moving a Discipline Forward:  Examination of Organizational Culture and Efforts to Increase the Acceptance of SoTL
Jennifer C. Friberg and Sarah M. Ginsberg 
Illinois State University; Eastern Michigan University 
This presentation will seek to identify methods for gaining cultural change and present key factors that have contributed to the increased cultural acceptance of SoTL within a reticent professional organization/discipline since 2006. Presenters will draw connections between an organizational theory framework for cultural change and real-life examples of past and current efforts to increase the success of SoTL within professional disciplines.
E3: Presentation - Room EC 614
The Use of Electronic Media for Classroom Assessment: Looking at Learning Through Students’ Eyes
Francis Burns
Ferris State University
Student journals provide a remarkable window into student learning.  I use electronic “student journals” in my chemistry classroom to improve learning. On a weekly basis, my students summarize and reflect upon their week’s work: lecture notes, laboratory tasks/experiments, and outside work. As a result, large amounts of high-quality information can be easily collected and used for assessment. Because courseware offers a variety of electronic communication and writing tools, instructors can fashion assignments to enhance student learning, as well as investigate learning.  Discussion of the use of courseware and the results from an analysis of students’ writing and reflections will be presented.
E4: Roundtable - Room EC 515
Extracurricular Activities and Classroom Experiences: A Survey of What Matters to Employers
Chris Ward and Dan Yates
The University of Findlay 
In today’s environment, undergraduate students need to have an academic and professional plan as early as their freshman year.  This includes the type of extracurricular activities to get involved in as well as how to develop goals.  A pilot survey sent to employers revealed some interesting information that will prove useful as we advise our students how to best spend their time, in and out of the classroom, in order to be positively viewed by prospective employers for internships or entry level positions.
E5: Roundtable - Room EC 316
The Visible Benefit of First-Year Writing
Scott Caddy
University of Michigan-Flint
First-year writing courses are required on virtually every college campus. However, the benefits of writing as a skill and tool for deeper learning are often overlooked. This roundtable session aims to deconstruct the purpose of first-year writing courses while re-thinking them as vehicles for visible student learning and writing. Learning outcomes, curriculum design, and classroom anecdotes will be centerpieces for discussion.



Session F

Tuesday, May 21

1:15 p.m - 2:15 p.m. 


F1: Workshop - Room EC 421
Making Student Learning Visible in Real Time with Peer Instruction and Classroom Response Systems
Robert Talbert
Grand Valley State University
Peer instruction is a teaching method in which students solidify conceptual knowledge through individual and group responses to concept-oriented questions, often deployed using classroom response systems or “clickers.” In this workshop, we will give an overview of the SoTL research literature on peer instruction and the use of classroom response systems in a variety of disciplines, discuss best practices for implementing peer instruction and clickers in the classroom, and examine some preliminary results from the use of peer instruction and clickers in the presenter's mathematics courses at GVSU. 
F2: Presentation - Room EC 611
Facilitating Student Reflection Using The Kawa River Model
Carla Chase and Patricia Graf
Western Michigan University
The Kawa River Model uses the metaphor of a river to facilitate goal writing and treatment planning for clients of occupational therapy practitioners. Because students and educators go through a similar process, this model was used with students as they were preparing for their final fieldwork/internship experiences. Through one-on-one sessions, students were able to identify barriers as well as supports and strengths to overcome those barriers to their learning and growth as professionals.  This session will be an overview of the process used during the project as well as a description of what was learned along the way.
F3: Presentation - Room EC 614
Enhancing Spatial Thinking through the Use of Learning Technology
Greg Rybarczyk
University of Michigan-Flint 
University level geo-spatial courses involving Geographic Information Systems (GIS) traditionally utilize statistical, graphic, or mapping softwares and technology to reinforce spatial thinking skills. Despite the fact that these courses are inherently “technology loaded,” few studies exist concerning the effectiveness of learning technology in maximizing student learning retention in geo-spatial courses.  This study attempts to fill this pedagogical void by providing statistical evidence of the utility of “clickers” in an undergraduate level geo-spatial course at the University of Michigan-Flint.  The results from this session will aid instructors in all disciplines who are intent on integrating and measuring the value of clickers in their classroom.  
F4: Roundtable - Room EC 515
The Integration of Personal Financial Knowledge into Multi-disciplines: The first step of reinforcement
Dan Yates and Chris Ward 
The University of Findlay 
This study represents an extension of longitudinal studies regarding personal financial literacy.  Graduating students must have a financial plan in place as they enter the workforce along with a “game plan” on how to attack their college debt.  A college personal finance course can help each student develop their personalized financial plans.  However, other college or university disciplines can help reinforce sound financial principles in their courses.  If you think about it, “money” is a common denominator that links everyone together in our society.  Shouldn’t our universities and colleges be responsible for helping their students become excellent “money managing” stewards?
F5: Roundtable - Room EC 316
A Learning Community Model to Support At-Risk First Generation College Students: Benedictine University’s Emerging Scholars Learning Community Program
Beth Ransdell Vinkler, Kelly Kandra, and Julie Cosimo 
Benedictine University 
This roundtable invites participants to discuss the implementation and formative evaluation of a learning community model designed to address the particular needs of first generation college students who have been identified as at-risk in terms of college readiness.  After a brief presentation of Benedictine University’s Emerging Scholars Learning Community program, participants will be invited to critique the model, to discuss their own experiences involving learning communities or other effective strategies for meeting the needs of this student population, and to suggest research methods and questions appropriate for analyzing the long-term effectiveness of such a program.


Page last modified May 20, 2013