Scholars

 

Abstracts of Scholar Projects are available below.

Scholar Sessions Schedule:

 Mentor Group  Scholar Session 1 
Friday, 5/31
9:45 - 11:00am
 Scholar Session 2 
Friday, 5/31
2:30 - 3:45pm
 Scholar Session 3 
Saturday, 6/1
10:30 - 11:45am
 Scholar Session 4 
Saturday, 6/1
1:45 - 3:00pm
Mentor Session
Sunday, 6/2
8:15 - 9:00am
 Coward  The role of diagrams in institutional change as a tool for sensemaking
(Beard)
attend other
mentor group's
scholar session
Improving Comprehension of Academic Articles Produced in American Sign Language
(Mulrooney)
Active Learning and Student Engagement in a Social Sorority
(Kurtyka)
           All           
 Dewar  Emphasizing Mathematical Definitions and their Roles
(Brandt)
A Social Network Analysis of Service-Learning and Student Collaborations
(Butler)
attend other
mentor group's
scholar session
Will critical reflection change the classroom instruction of parochial secondary math teachers?
(Kreide)
 All
 Flecky  Can Concept Maps Deepen Students Understanding about Conceptual Relationships in Freshmen Human Biology?
(Tassini)
Flipping the Classroom to Correct Student Misconceptions
(Jacobson)
Identifying additional course evaluation methods to assess student engagement in synchronous online classes
(Shoepe)
attend other
mentor group's
scholar session
 All
 McEnery  Does eliciting student feedback impact the quality of instruction and student learning outcomes for non-majors in required courses?
(Rieman)
attend other
mentor group's
scholar session
Non-remedial Reading Courses: College Jumpstart or Waste of Time?
(Peak)
The Perceptions of Using Online Story Telling: From Course Material to Student Constructivist
(Ehrlich)
 All
 Perkins  Becoming a Teacher: New Teaching Assistants, Positional Identity, and Inquiry-based Learning in University STEM Classes
(Gormally)
A Blended Approach to Logic Instruction in Philosophy
(Graham)
attend other
mentor group's
scholar session
Multimedia Storytellers: In Search of the Narrative Focus
(Francis)
 All
 Scharff  Using Audio Introductions to Reinforce Student Programming Skills in Introductory Computer Science Courses
(Kokensparger)
Levels of Learning Identified in an Inquiry-Based Math Course
(Katz)
Think-Alouds as Instructional and Assessment Methods
(Phillips)
attend other
mentor group's
scholar session
 All

 

Abstracts:

Beard, Joanne-- Teaching and Learner Support, The Open University
The Role of Diagrams in Institutional Change as a Tool for Sensemaking
Helping others to make sense of and understand new and sometimes complex ideas is a challenge which we all face. Diagrams and pictorial representations are among the many tools we can use to help with ‘The acts of making sense, and giving sense about’ something new (Gioia and Chittipeddi,1991). But how can we make best use of diagrams as a tool? This project is using a SOTL approach to explore the extent to which diagrams, alongside narrative text or vignettes, can be used to promote or enhance understanding. The foci for the project are university staff rather than students and the immediate context is institutional change in teaching and learning. Using the SOTL approach should ensure that the learning arising from the exploration of these questions is applicable elsewhere.
Keywords: Institutional Change, Diagrams, Tools, Storytelling.
Mentor Group: Pat Coward
Scholar Session 1: Friday, 5/31, 9:45am – 11:00am

Brandt, Jim -- Mathematics, Southern Utah University
Emphasizing Mathematical Definitions and their Roles
Definitions are central characters in the development of mathematics. Unfortunately, many students fail to see the importance of definitions and, instead, focus almost entirely on computational techniques. We think that if students had a better understanding of definitions, then they would be more successful in learning mathematics and applying their knowledge. Our project involves teaching a college algebra course where students engage in activities designed to encourage deeper understanding of mathematical definitions. We will measure student success in this and subsequent courses.
Keywords: Mathematical Definitions, Classroom Activities, Task-Based Interviews .
Collaborators: Jana Lunt, Mathematics, Southern Utah University; Gretchen Rimmasch, Mathematics, Southern Utah University.
Mentor Group: Jackie Dewar
Scholar Session 1: Friday, 5/31, 9:45am – 11:00am

Butler, Melanie -- Mathematics & Computer Science, Mount St. Mary's University
A Social Network Analysis of Service Learning and Student Collaborations
Research literature has shown that service-learning projects can have many benefits for students. My project aims to extend the current research base to include a longitudinal study of the impact of service-projects on social and academic collaborations and a comparison of these collaborations, in number and longevity, to those of students who do not complete a service-learning project. Data collection will include surveys at different points in time across semesters. Social network analysis will be employed for analyzing this data. The presentation will include more details on study participants and some of the basics of how social network analysis can be used. I hope to discuss several remaining questions about the research design, such as how best to form a control group and how to handle a small number of study participants.
Keywords: Social Network Analysis, Service Learning.
Mentor Group: Jackie Dewar
Scholar Session 2: Friday, 5/31, 2:30pm – 3:45pm

Ehrlich, Donna -- Education, Creighton University
The Perceptions of Using Online Story Telling: From Course Material to Student Constructivist
For many in higher education and in particular, non-traditional online students, storytelling as a reflective tool allows students to express knowledge and discuss the course curriculum, adding another dimension of student engagement and critical thinking. Stories tend to be more analytic than advisory. By using the constructivist approach, students express knowledge constructed as the result of storytelling. This research seeks to understand the perceptions of online learning and the migration from course materials to the student’s specific knowledge as it relates to storytelling. This research will employ a phenomenological approach in order to understand the essence of constructing knowledge through the use of storytelling in the discussion forum in an online class.
Keywords: Constructivism, Online Teaching and Learning, Storytelling, Discussion Forum.
Collaborator: Jeff Ehrlich, Public Affairs, Park University.
Mentor Group: Lillian McEnery
Scholar Session 4: Saturday, 6/1, 1:45pm – 3:00pm

Francis, Dawn -- Communication, Cabrini College
Multimedia Storytellers: In Search of the Narrative Focus
Immigration. Human trafficking. Global warming. These issues are topics that students elect to explore in a Multimedia Storytelling course. The purpose of the course is to enable Communication majors to become proficient in narrative journalism using multiple media platforms. Interestingly, students have no problem learning to use media technologies. Technology is not a barrier to students’ achievement of course outcomes. Students struggle, though, with finding the story. This struggle manifests in students producing non-narrative, fact-laden, informational reports on their topic. How can we effectively teach students to find the story in their issue/topic? This scholar endeavors to answer this question by conducting a case study investigation into methods for instructing multimedia journalism.
Keywords: Multimedia, Journalism, Narrative, Storytelling.
Mentor Group: Kathleen Perkins
Scholar Session 4: Saturday, 6/1, 1:45pm – 3:00pm

Graham, Kevin -- Philosophy, Creighton University
A Blended Approach to Logic Instruction in Philosophy
Recent studies including (Folley 2010), (Jefferies and Hyde 2010), and (Vernadakis et al. 2011) suggest that blended instruction, which incorporates elements of online and traditional face-to-face instruction, can produce learning outcomes that are superior to those produced by traditional instructional methods alone. My proposed project will explore whether this general thesis holds true in the specific case of an upper-level symbolic logic course for a medium-sized audience of predominately philosophy majors. “The project will investigate whether it is possible to enhance student learning in an upper-level symbolic logic course by recording lectures for the course as audio lecture captures, assigning students to view the lectures online through a learning management system prior to class, and devoting 45 to 60 additional minutes of class time per week to working through logic problems collaboratively. Devoting additional time to collaborative problem-solving activities in class could help the weakest students to gain proficiency in applying problem-solving skills through repetition and could help the strongest students to attain even higher levels of mastery by allowing the instructor and the class to work through at least one advanced problem that would really challenge them in each class meeting."
Keywords: Hybrid Teaching, Symbolic Logic, Philosophy.
Mentor Group: Kathleen Perkins
Scholar Session 2: Friday, 5/31, 2:30pm – 3:45pm

Gormally, Cara -- Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology
Becoming a Teacher: New Teaching Assistants, Positional Identity, and Inquiry-based Learning in University STEM Classes
Teaching assistants (TAs) play an important role in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math education. The aim of this study was to understand how TAs use their positional identity (including gender, race, ethnicity, age) as a resource to construct themselves as teachers. Specifically, this study explored the role of positional identity in the process of learning to teach science as inquiry, and for taking ownership of this pedagogical stance. Teaching science as inquiry upends traditional teacher-student roles, shifting power and responsibility for learning. Consequently, positional identity may be important as novice TAs establish a teacher identity. The study utilizes a narrative approach to learn from TAs' stories as told through interviews and written reflections. Preliminary findings suggest that positionality contributes to shaping TAs’ perceptions of the world, views about learning and teacher identity. Studying positionality may help us to support instructors as they take ownership for innovative pedagogical strategies.
Keywords: STEM, Inquiry-Based Learning, Teaching Assistants, Positional Identity.
Mentor Group: Kathleen Perkins
Scholar Session 1: Friday, 5/31, 9:45am – 11:00am

Jacobson, Nancy -- Biology, Ithaca College
Flipping the Classroom to Correct Student Misconceptions
Many misconceptions about science and evolution are difficult to dispel and inhibit students from applying what they learn to real-life situations. It is important for students to understand how questions and answers are driven by hypotheses which shape the scientific process and how disagreement is essential for scientific progress. By putting lectures on-line and using class time for active learning, i.e. flipping, I should be able to challenge my students to understand the subject matter more deeply and correct some of their misconceptions whilst keeping an engaging class structure that is important for learning. In the laboratory, students will form hypotheses and test them in response to questions or problems, which should dispel misconceptions they have about science. So will flipping my classroom better allow my students to correct their misconceptions about science and evolution?
Keywords: Flipping, Misconceptions, Active Classroom, Investigatory Labs, Video Lectures.
Mentor Group: Kathy Flecky
Scholar Session 2: Friday, 5/31, 2:30pm – 3:45pm

Katz, Brian -- Mathematics & Computer Science, Augustana College
Levels of Learning Identified in an Inquiry-Based Math Course
Many proponents of inquiry-based learning (IBL) claim that students in IBL courses spend more time doing higher-order tasks than in other courses. In this project, I develop a tool for addressing these claims in a way that captures the student experience as a whole. My IBL Modern Geometry students have reported on the amount of time they have been spending on the coursework, what percentage of that work they think falls at each of the levels of Bloom's Taxonomy, and how those percentages compare to the percentages in their other courses. Initial evidence suggests (i) that the student responses are reliable and sensitive to weekly changes in my course and (ii) that the students support the claim of increased higher-order activities.
Keywords: Inquiry-Based Learning, Bloom's Taxonomy.
Mentor Group: Lauren Scharff
Scholar Session 2: Friday, 5/31, 2:30pm – 3:45pm

Kokensparger, Brian -- Journalism, Media, and Computing , Creighton University
Using Audio Introductions to Reinforce Student Programming Skills in Introductory Computer Science Courses
Introductory computer science students are often overwhelmed by the constant demand to learn new programming concepts, so they may not take the time on their own to step back and summarize what they have learned and what worked best for their learning. These students also characteristically do not have well-developed verbal skills. This project investigates an intervention that requires the students in one section of an introductory computer science course to produce audio introductions to their submitted programming assignments. How will such an intervention impact their programming and oral skill development, and what other impacts might it have (e.g. on student attitudes toward the course, student understanding of their own learning)? The scholar will present pilot data (survey results, a 3rd-party assessment of student programming, and audio file excerpts), with the hope of receiving assistance in developing a rubric and other support materials to determine the efficacy of this intervention.
Keywords: Summarizing, Storytelling, Computing, Audio.
Mentor Group: Lauren Scharff
Scholar Session 1: Friday, 5/31, 9:45am – 11:00am

Kreide, Anita -- Education, Loyola Marymount University
Will critical reflection change the classroom instruction of parochial secondary math teachers?
Research utilizing public pre-service teachers suggests that beliefs and practices influence one another and evolve together through reflection on the inconsistencies between their practice and beliefs about mathematics education (Beswick, 2005, 2007; Guskey, 1987; Lasley, 1980; Mezirow, 1990; Watson and De Geest, 2005;Wilkens and Brand, 2004). Few studies involve parochial teachers who are classroom practitioners. Pre and post surveys, reflective journal entries, and exit interviews will be utilized to triangulate data in a mixed-methods approach. Gaining a better understanding of the role of teacher beliefs in parochial teacher’s instructional methods will aid instructors in course preparation and development.
Keywords: Teacher Beliefs, Classroom Practice, Mathematics Experience.
Mentor Group: Jackie Dewar
Scholar Session 4: Saturday, 6/1, 1:45pm – 3:00pm

Kurtyka, Faith -- English, Creighton University
Active Learning and Student Engagement in a Social Sorority
On campuses nationwide, students’ in-class learning is complemented by out-of-class learning via participation in student organizations, residence life, service work, and a host of other opportunities for campus and community involvement. Out-of-classroom spaces are important to scholars of teaching and learning because they present examples of “learner-centered teaching,” which “emphasizes knowledge and skills that are constructed by students, rather than directed by instructors” (Brackenbury 13). Using qualitative methods, this study examines the learning practices of a social sorority on a Midwestern university campus, focusing on how students learn and teach about the sorority’s practices, and how their learning is linked to deeper levels of involvement and engagement in the sorority. Overall this study aims to answer the question: How can studying students’ out-of-classroom learning inform our thinking about active learning and student engagement in the classroom?.
Keywords: Active Learning, Qualitative Research, Sorities, Extracurricular Learning.
Mentor Group: Pat Coward
Scholar Session 4: Satuday, 6/1, 1:45pm – 3:00pm

Mulrooney, Kristin -- Linguistics, Gallaudet University
Improving Comprehension of Academic Articles Produced in American Sign Language
My research focuses on how to improve students' summaries of academic articles by helping students understand these articles. I am interested in teaching students to read a text as an ‘expert’ in the discipline would read it. How do I make steps required for engaging an academic text at a deeper level transparent to students?
The data from a first-year general-studies course at Gallaudet University include videos of students responses to ‘guided viewing’ assignments as well as the drafts of the students summaries.
The academic articles and the summaries produced by students are composed in American Sign Language. .
Keywords: Reading Comprehension, American Sign Language.
Mentor Group: Pat Coward
Scholar Session 3: Saturday, 6/1, 10:30am – 11:45am

Peak, Charity -- Behavioral Sciences & Leadership, US Air Force Academy
Non-remedial Reading Courses: College Jumpstart or Waste of Time?
With less than 50% of high school students testing at the college readiness level on the SAT (College Board, 2012) and nearly 40% of postsecondary learners taking remedial coursework (Bettinger & Long, 2009), it is not surprising that college students are increasingly unable to meet the reading expectations of professors. Even highly selective postsecondary institutions, such as Harvard, now offer reading courses to their typically above average student populations. Little research addresses whether these courses, isolated from the context of regular studies, really help improve college success. Hence, this study seeks to understand the story of high performing, non-remedial students through the lens of college reading skill development by asking: How do reading courses attempting to ‘enhance’ rather than ‘remediate’ affect student academic performance? Utilizing a longitudinal mixed methods approach, we plan to explore outcomes from an elective reading enhancement course offered at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA).
Keywords: Reading, College Readiness, Student Success.
Mentor Group: Lillian McEnery
Scholar Session 3: Saturday, 6/1, 10:30am – 11:45am

Phillips, Jeff -- Physics, Loyola Marymount University
Think-Alouds as Instructional and Assessment Methods
Problem-solving is widely considered one of the most import sets of skills for success in all science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses, yet many STEM students struggle to solve real-world problems. One of the primary shortcomings of novice problem-solvers is a lack of self-monitoring that would allow students to identify and correct their own errors. This project aims to assess how asking students to do think-alouds improves these problem-solving skills. By recording think-alouds, students are making the internal process observable to themselves, classmates and researchers, thereby facilitating feedback and assessment. Thus far, several hundred sample think-alouds have been collected in from students enrolled in introductory physics courses. Work is currently focused on developing a rubric by which the amount of self-monitoring in the think-aloud recordings can be measured.
Keywords: Self-Regulation, Problem-Solving, STEM, Think-Alouds.
Mentor Group: Lauren Scharff
Scholar Session 3: Saturday, 6/1, 10:30am – 11:45am

Rieman, Patricia -- Education, Carthage College
Does Eliciting Student Feedback Impact the Quality of Instruction and Student Learning Outcomes for Non-Majors in Required Courses?
This project is based upon the work of Schmidt, et al (2011), who investigate how improved communication of expectations impacts student motivation, metacognition, and the learning environment.
Undergraduates who minor in secondary education (content area majors) must take a reading and writing instructional methods course and often question why it is required. The purpose of this study is to determine whether providing anonymous feedback and both, hearing and seeing the instructor’s responses increased students’ learning outcomes and their perceptions of the quality of the instruction. Students anonymously completed a series of five online surveys during the semester to provide the instructor with feedback. After each survey, the instructor shared the results with the students and commented on the feedback both verbally and in writing. At the end of the semester, data was analyzed qualitatively with a thematic analysis of the students’ comments on the surveys.
Keywords: Student Feedback, Student-Instructor Communication, Learning Outcomes.
Mentor Group: Lillian McEnery
Scholar Session 1: Friday, 5/31, 9:45am – 11:00am

Shoepe, Todd -- Health & Human Sciences, Loyola Marymount University
Identifying Additional Course Evaluation methods to Assess Student Engagement in Synchronous Online Classes
A recent investigation of student engagement allowed us to conclude that synchronous online class sessions (1) can promote high levels of student engagement, (2) a broad variety of instructor prompts must be used in order to promote across a spectrum of student engagement, and that (3) care should be taken in order to craft and facilitate learning activities in synchronous online class sessions in order to achieve desired learning outcomes. However, in this investigation, no category of engagement was significantly correlated to class performance. Therefore, the purpose of this application is to seek help from the IISSAM group to identify and integrate new evaluation models to empirically quantify the benefits to learning of these high rates of engagement in online synchronous class sessions.
Keywords: Synchronous Online Teaching, Hybrid Teaching, Webconferencing, Engagement, Evaluation, Assessment.
Mentor Group: Kathy Flecky
Scholar Session 3: Saturday, 6/1, 10:30am – 11:15am

Tassini, Larry -- Biology, Canisius College
Can Concept Maps Deepen Students Understanding about Conceptual Relationships in Freshmen Human Biology?
The courses Human Biology and Musculoskeletal Anatomy are freshmen courses which are gatekeeper courses for Majors in Health Education, and Athletic Training. Over time, the growing volume and increasing complexity of knowledge has posed new problems for learning especially in the sciences. The study’s purpose is to determine whether concept maps help students engage in their own learning and build on previous learning. We want to assist the students realize they can learn science, by using concept maps (Novak and Gowin, 1984). Students are trained to draw maps and taught the basic principles of concept maps. With appropriate guidance, the students independently draw concept maps without a list of terms and propositions. The concept maps challenge students and improve their understanding about the relationships between important ideas. The concept maps are great formative assessments to help us understand students’ own strengths and weaknesses..
Keywords: Student Centered Instruction, Concept Maps, Undergraduate Human Biology.
Collaborator: Ann Wright, Biology, Canisius College
Mentor Group: Kathy Flecky
Scholar Session 1: Friday, 5/31, 9:45am – 11:00am

 

Interested in what previous scholars thought about the mentored sessions? Check out the IISSAM 2012 Voices.

 


 

Please contact us at iissam@lmu.edu with any questions.

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