Document Sample
Apperson, Jennifer M., Laws, Eric L. and Scepansky, James A. 2006. The impact of presentation graphics on
students’ experience in the classroom. Computers and Education 47:116-126

        While many colleges and universities are investing a lot of money and effort in developing multimedia
presentations for the classroom, there have been few empirical studies that measure the actual value of such
presentations on student learning and perceptions of the classroom experience. Most studies that have been
conducted do not show a significant increase in student performance in classes that use presentation graphics
than those that are strictly lecture. However, students tend to report a perceived increase in learning in such
classes and had a more positive opinion of the course including multimedia presentations. The authors wanted
to assess courses that used PowerPoint presentations in several different disciplines. Student self-perceptions
and attitudes regarding the use of these presentations and final grades in the class were also studied. The
authors predicted that PowerPoint presentations make for more entertaining and interesting courses and in turn
lead to improved grades.
        Ten classes (five courses in four disciplines) across two terms were assessed at a comprehensive state
university in the Mid-Atlantic, with approximately 4,000 students. The classes in the first term did not utilize
PowerPoint. Otherwise, course materials, including textbooks, assignments, and exams, were the same. Two
hundred and eighteen students were enrolled in the non-PowerPoint sections and 181 were in sections where
PowerPoint was used. Majority of students were female and freshmen or sophomores. Students completed
Student Assessment of Instruction surveys and the Impact of Presentation Graphics Survey.
        Students who were enrolled in the PowerPoint sections reported that the use of PowerPoint made it
easier to be focused and interested in the course material and did not feel that the use of PowerPoint
interfered with class discussion. These students were also more likely to want to take another course offered by
the same professor when PowerPoint was used since they felt the professor knew and presented the material
well and in a way that facilitated student learning. These students also believed that the significance of course
material was presented much more clearly and objectives were also more evident.
        Despite these student perceptions that, all in all, PowerPoint made for a better, more informative,
entertaining, interesting class, student performance as reported by their grades did not support the idea that
use of PowerPoint actually enhanced student learning. The improved learning environment was merely a
perception on the part of the students and not an established truth. But since the use of PowerPoint seems to
improve student perceptions, attitudes, interest, and opinions of a course and its instructions, it certainly does
not hurt to work harder to incorporate more of these presentations in one‟s class.
Association of American Colleges and Universities. 2002. Greater Expectations: A New vision for Learning as
Nation Goes to College. Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities. Available online: Accessed on May 3, 2007.

    This report recommends that colleges and universities help students to become intentional learners who are
adaptable, integrative, and continuously learning. Intentional learners are empowered individuals because of
their intellectual skills, informed through a deeper understanding, and responsible for their own actions and
civic values. The report lists desired outcomes for different facets of the intentional learner:
    1. Empowered: skillful communication, both oral and written, in diverse settings; resourceful problem-
         solving skills; teamwork and leadership skills
    2. Informed: appreciation of creativity, imagination, and products of diverse cultures; participation in
         global or cross-cultural communities
    3. Responsible: civic engagement; personal reflection and evaluation

To help students achieve the skills and experiences that they need to be successful contributors in a global
environment, the report recommends that institutions provide students with the tools that they need to
successfully navigate their educational experiences to achieve their desired goals. This includes productive
advising that helps students to map and understand the choices they can make to achieve their desired goals.
Advisors can encourage students to enroll in progressively challenging courses, appropriate to their personal
talents and skills, to help them maximize their development. To make sure students are making decisions that
are good for them, especially when at a community college where they will need to transfer to complete their
bachelor degree, advisors need to remain abreast of degree program requirements at their own institution, as
well as the typical transfer institution, so that the advisors actually can advise accurately.
        To promote success among its students and well as itself, institutions should:
    1. establish clear, straightforward goals for student learning so that academic departments and general
        education outcomes can be brought in line
    2. develop curricula that support integration of student knowledge and development of cognitive skills
        over successive terms, via general education and specific disciplines. To do so, community colleges will
        need to work more with their transfer universities and colleges to ensure that gains made at the first two
        years continue on at the bachelor degree-granting institution
    3. convince faculty that they “own” the entire curriculum—not just their own courses or those within their
    4. conduct regular student progress assessments; conduct and utilize research to improve a learner-
        centered approach for course development and implementation
    5. establish a center to promote faculty professional development and share research of innovations in
        teaching and learning
    6. institutional administrators must place student learning at the forefront of budget planning
    7. develop robust academic advising systems to help students understand the expectations of learning at
        the college level and help students develop a plan that will help them navigate their programs of study,
        the requirements of the degree (including at the transfer institutions they may attend) and the resources
        available to them at the institution to help them succeed (e.g., tutoring/writing centers, financial aid,
        counseling, etc.).

The report has several recommendations for faculty:
   1. work with fellow faculty to clarify desired outcomes for courses and student learning
   2. examine teaching practices and courses to determine if they reflect the desired outcomes, are suitable
       for your students and their abilities, and promote active learning
   3. participate in faculty professional development programs and initiatives
   4. contribute to interdisciplinary discussions to help promote and align the educational experience.
Baer, John. 2003. Grouping and achievement in cooperative learning. College Teaching 51(4):169-174

          The author wanted to assess the impact of selective grouping of students for collaborative exercises in
class, creating a diverse group based on academic ability, comparing such groups to those of much similar
academic ability in an undergraduate educational psychology course. The study was conducted over three
terms, using 137 students (mostly white, female, and sophomores) in a private liberal arts college, where the
average combined SAT score was 1060 and minimum GPA was 2.5. Sixty-eight students were assigned to the
homogeneous group and 69 to the heterogeneous group based only on achievement in this particular course.
In each of the six course sections, there were six teams created with three or four students. However, for the first
portion of the course, students worked in randomly assigned groups and, with no explanation for the reason,
they were reassigned to either the homogeneous or heterogeneous groups less than halfway through the term.
Some courses used strictly homogeneous groups and others, heterogeneous, which was randomly determined.
          Group assignments typically required students to: discuss a question raised by the professor in class,
thinking and sharing ideas on a topic; analyze, critique or evaluation arguments, conclusions or experiments;
apply a concept; or review a topic by asking questions. Group activities were never graded. Students were
given a multiple-choice quiz prior to the selective grouping process, which was used as a benchmark for
assessing differences, and there was no significant difference between groups at this stage.
          Outcomes of the project were measured via the midterm and final exams. The homogeneous group
did significantly better on the final exam than did the heterogeneous groups. Significant differences on the
midterm, which was administered four weeks into the project, were borderline and favored the homogeneous
group. Lower performing students had similar results whether they belonged to a homogeneous or
heterogeneous group. The opposite was true for average and higher performing students, who both benefited
by participation in a homogenous group. Results indicate that in situations where group projects are not
graded and are completed during class time, higher levels of achievement are obtained by selectively
grouping students based on academic performance in that class. If different assignments (graded and/or
requiring work outside of class), the results may have been different.
          While there was no attempt for this study to discover why homogeneous groups showed higher levels of
achievement, it is hypothesized that groups consisting of students of similar academic ability engage in levels of
discussion which is appropriate for the level and understanding of all of the students involved in a
homogeneous group, whereas in a heterogeneous group, discussion may not be as deep or understandable
for all involved.
Barr, Robert B. and Tagg, John. 1995. From teaching to learning: A new paradigm for undergraduate
education. Change 27(6):12-25

         The paradigm shift to which the title alludes is the movement away from the concept that instruction is
the primary purpose of a college to the focus being on learning. The authors equate the focus on instruction as
being equal to the focus of General Motors to operate assembly lines. The concentration should be on the
product and not the process. Under the instruction paradigm, an institution‟ mission is to provide instruction or
to teach-the focus is not student learning. They teach to provide instruction. They may concentrate on the
number of courses being offered. For the learning paradigm, the school instructs in order to produce learning.
If the students fail to demonstrate learning, then the institution has failed in its mission. The authors do note that
students also have responsibility in their learning, but if the institution does not provide the right environment to
promote learning, then that which will occur will be limited.
From Chart 1. Comparing Educational Paradigms (16-17).
                      Instruction Paradigm                                                               Learning Paradigm
                                                                Mission and Purposes
Provide/deliver instruction                                                   Produce learning
Transfer knowledge from faculty to students                                   Elicit student discovery and construction of knowledge
Offer courses and programs                                                    Create powerful learning environments
Improve the quality of instruction                                            Improve the quality of learning
Achieve access for diverse students                                           Achieve success for diverse students
                                                                 Criteria for Success
Inputs, resources                                                             Learning and student-success and outcomes
Quality of entering students                                                  Quality of exiting students
Curriculum development, expansion                                             Learning technologies development, expansion
Quantity and quality of resources                                             Quantity and quality of outcomes
Enrollment, revenue growth                                                    Aggregate learning growth, efficiency
Quality of faculty, instruction                                               Quality of students, learning
                                                           Teaching/Learning Structures
Atomistic: parts prior to whole                                               Holistic: whole prior to parts
Time held constant, learning varies                                           Learning held constant, time varies
50-minute lecture, 3-unit course                                              Learning environments
Classes state/end at same time                                                Environment ready when student is
One teacher, one classroom                                                    Whatever learning experience works
Independent disciplines, departments                                          Cross discipline/department collaboration
Covering material                                                             Specified learning results
End-of-course assessment                                                      Pre/during/post assessments
Grading within classes by instructors                                         External evaluations of learning
Private assessment                                                            Public assessment
Degree equals accumulated credit hours                                        Degree equals demonstrated knowledge and skills
                                                                  Learning Theory
                                                                              Knowledge exists in each person‟s mind and is shaped by individual
Knowledge exists “out there”
Knowledge comes in “chunks” & “bits” delivered by instructors                 Knowledge is constructed, created, and “gotten”
Learning is cumulative and linear                                             Learning is a nesting and interacting of frameworks
Fits the storehouse of knowledge metaphor                                     Fits learning how to ride a bicycle metaphor
Learning is teacher centered and controlled                                   Learning is student centered and controlled
“Live” teacher, “live” students required                                      “Active” learner required, but not “live” teacher
                                                                              Learning environments and learning are cooperative, collaborative,
The classroom and learning are competitive and individualistic
                                                                              and supportive
Talent and ability are rare                                                   Talent and ability are abundant
Definition of productivity: cost per hour of instruction per student          Definition of productivity: cost per unit of learning per student
Funding for hours of instruction                                              Funding for learning outcomes
                                                                   Nature of Roles
                                                                              Faculty are primarily designers of learning methods and
Faculty are primarily lecturers
Faculty and students act independently and in isolation                       Faculty and students work in teams with each other and other staff
Teachers classify and sort students                                           Teachers develop every student‟s competencies and talents
Staff serve/support faculty and the process of instruction                    All staff are educators who produce student learning and success
Any expert can teach                                                          Empowering learning is challenging and complex
Line governance; independent actors                                           Shared governance; teamwork
Benjamin, Ludy T., Jr. 2005. Setting course goals: Privileges and responsibilities in a world of ideas. Teaching of
Psychology 32(3):146-149

         The author discusses how faculty can increase the involvement, responsibility and learning of students
through better understanding of goals and expectations by both faculty and student. To better understand
what students expect from a course, the author recommends conducting a survey of student expectations.
Faculty can share the results and discuss how they compare with faculty expectations. Faculty and students
can then mull over how the two sets of expectations can be blended to create a course with which all can be
satisfied. Such discussion, consideration and respect of student expectations can make the class more
meaningful for them. By knowing what students expect, faculty can adapt by making more linkages between
course material (that may or may not have already been planned for the course) and student expectations.
Faculty do not teach for their own amusement but for a specific purpose—to help students learn. Without
knowing what the students want to learn, faculty will be challenged to satisfy their students or create an
environment that motivates students to learn more and with more depth.
Bernstein, Jeffrey L, Scheerhorn, Sarah, and Ritter, Sara. 2002. Using simulations and collaborative teaching to
enhance introductory courses. College Teaching 50(1):9-12

         It has been argued that simulations are useful educational tools for they stimulate active participation of
the student, who needs to made decisions, solve problems, and deal with the ramifications of those decisions,
developing their critical thinking skills. Such exercises can also serve to motivate the student regarding course
materials. To help run successful simulations in introductory courses, some instructors may opt to utilize student
assistants who had taken the course in the past and are familiar with the simulation. This increases the number
of individuals who can help and monitor student progress. In this particular study, the simulation took place in
an introductory political science class. In this class, students are assigned roles as members of Congress,
lobbyists, administration, and the media. Goals for these simulations have included the creation of a federal
budget and passage of legislation on controversial topics (e.g., gun control and abortion). Student assistants
were assigned responsibility of assisting particular groups within the simulation (e.g., administration and
congressional committees) and wrote papers reflecting on the experience and the benefits of assisting in the
class. Students who were taking the class were more at ease at asking questions of student assistants than they
were of the professor, and the assistants also served as role models, proving that it was possible to be successful
in this project.
         In order to do the simulation, it was necessary to condense some of the course material, so the class
had less depth than the traditional lecture-only class. However, the authors believe that the students became
more knowledgeable of the material that was covered, especially in the simulation, and those lessons more
likely would stay with the students after the term was completed. Helping with the class also gave the student
assistants another opportunity to work with the material and the ideas, internalize them better, and educate
their fellow students regarding strategies and information that they needed. Having student assistants
benefited the faculty in that the students felt comfortable providing feedback on how the simulation could be
improved from the student perspective.
Bolin, Aaron U., Khramtsova, Irina, and Saarnio, David. 2005. Using student journals to stimulate authentic
learning: Balancing Bloom’s cognitive and affective domains. Teaching of Psychology 32(3):154-159

        Among the taxonomy of educational objectives, there are cognitive objectives, which measure how
much information a student has learned, and affective objectives, that measure how much the student has
internalized or created a personal value for what has been cognitively learned. Affective cognition has not
received as much attention, even though it helps to define why one needs to know something. Motivation and
interest can contribute to a student‟s desire to learn something. The authors contend that instructors need to
find a balance between cognitive and affective learning, demonstrating the connection between what is
learned in the classroom and how it relates to the “real world.” The authors demonstrate this balance through
the use of student journal writing. Journals can be used to encourage students to reflect upon course material
and their personal lives, providing a venue for self-expression. Over the course of a term, the journal can show
student development in knowledge, understanding and meaning. The authors created a survey to measure
student course expectations and how they impacted course evaluations. Their hypothesis is that “students‟
course expectations, affective journal outcomes, and cognitive journal outcomes would predict a significant
portion of the variance in student evaluations of course outcomes even after controlling for variation due to
instructor, student gender, and student achievement”(155).
        The sample consisted of 172 introduction to psychology students (predominately lower classmen) at a
state university. Student journals consisted of prompted writing exercises in which students were asked to relate
course topics to their personal lives. Results show that instructor and student achievement did not significantly
impact student evaluations of the course. Gender had a minor significant impact on results. Course
expectations and affective journal outcomes did have a significant influence on course evaluations. The
journals gave the students an opportunity to understand the importance and relevance of the material they
are studying and better understanding leads to better course evaluations.

[A recommended approach for grading journals is by measuring the amount of effort put into the journal by
the student.]
Caboni, Timothy C., Mundy, Meaghan E. and Duesterhaus, Molly B. 2002. The implications of the norms of
undergraduate college students for faculty enactment of principles of good practice in undergraduate
education. Peabody Journal of Education 77(3):125-137

         This article looks for empirical support for Chickering and Gamson‟s (1991) seven principles of good
practice for undergraduate education. The authors compare if and how norms expressed by students support
those principles that require student support in order to be successful. The College Student Behaviors Inventory
questionnaire was sent to 1,000 undergraduate students at a highly selective, mostly residential research
university, of which 214 were returned. For the most part, the sample was representative of the general student
population, other than a slight under-representation of males and fraternity members. Four variables,
corresponding to the four student-dependent principles, were student-faculty interaction, cooperation among
students, time on task, and student high expectations.
         Results indicate that, at least at this institution, there were student norms in place that support three out
of the four student-dependent principles: student-faculty contact; cooperation among students; and
communication of high expectations. Time on task did not meet the criteria for being a norm. Significant
differences in some norms were found between Whites and non-Whites (too few minority students at university
participated to allow for breakdown into specific race categories). Non-Whites were less supportive of
behaviors that went against good faculty-student interaction as well as cooperation among students. No
significantly differences were found between males and females or class standing. There were some significant
differences found based on Greek membership. Members of fraternities were less upset by behaviors that went
against the norm in faculty-student contact than were sorority members or non-Greek students.
         Since the students at this particular institution demonstrate norms that support three of the principles of
good practice, faculty would likely be more successful in incorporating these principles into the teaching and
learning strategies. In general, Whites and fraternity members were less supportive of the norms than non-
Whites and sorority or non-Greek individuals.
Cambridge, Barbara L. 1996. The paradigm shifts: Examining quality of teaching through assessment of student
learning. Innovative Higher Education 20(4):287-298

        The author comments on how much student evaluations have come to be the primary source of
determining the teaching effectiveness of an instructor, with the argument that students may not be in the best
position to evaluate their professors and how a student may interpret an evaluative question may differ from
the intended meaning of that question. Cambridge assesses different approaches to assessing effective
teaching and learning conducted through a collaboration by students, instructors and faculty peers. The
author supports the use of course portfolios that incorporate some representative student work. By providing
information regarding course design, objectives, and pedagogical strategies with student work to demonstrate
learning, peer evaluators can assess the connection between the way the course was taught and the way that
students learned.
        To take this a step further, some institutions have started using portfolios created by students to reflect
their work and progress within their major, including self-reflections on what they felt they learned. These
portfolios can be used by both the student, faculty, advisors, and future graduate programs to assess the
growth and skill exhibited by the student, the teaching practices that helped them to become successful, and
any changes that may be needed to encourage future success. In-class assessments that can help faculty
identify areas where students may require more explanation or alternative approaches include the “minute
paper” in which instructors can ask students to quickly reflect on what was the most confusing aspect of a
day‟s lecture, for example.
Cambridge, B. L. (2005). Promoting student success: What new faculty need to know (Occasional Paper No. 12).
Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

         Faculty who are new to an institution, have a lot of information to digest as they acclimate to their new
school, its system, and its students. There are several things that new faculty can do to ease this transition and
facilitate student success. New faculty should study the school‟s mission statement and see how to incorporate
it into all they do. Doing so can assist new faculty in better understanding the institution, what it considers to be
important, and its students. New faculty should learn what support programs and resources are available to
students at the school so that, when needed, one can refer students to the appropriate people. Learning
about the culture, rituals, history, and their significance can help new faculty to appreciate the role these
features have on the educational experiences of the students on campus. New faculty should appreciate the
value of reviewing institutional effectiveness publications and assessment that can help professors meet the
needs and expectations of students, adapting courses as necessary. New faculty should not hesitate to seek
out others at the institution who can provide useful advice and guidance to support professional development.
New faculty should not be afraid to develop reciprocal feedback loops, allowing students to comment on the
instruction of the course to help improve the course as the professor provides feedback to students regarding
their assignments. New faculty should also align themselves with the philosophy of accountability and
assessment. It is difficult to know what needs to be improved if no assessments are made. Exploring new
instructional approaches, portfolio creation, and utilizing the school‟s center for teaching and learning can
help to improve a new faculty member‟s performance as an instructor.
         Practices utilized by other institutions include:
     1. Offer faculty development workshops that instill the institution‟s mission, values, and philosophy and
         helps to understand the nature of the school‟s student population (e.g., commuting v. residential; part-
         time v. full-time; many non-school obligations, etc.).

   2. Investigate and experiment with innovative instructional methodologies to improve student learning,
      using assessment to determine what works and what does not. Meet and discuss with others on campus
      to find out what they have tried to improve student learning.
Canon, Patrick. 2006. Enhancing understanding and interest through group discussion. College
Teaching 50(1):210-211

         In this article, the author relays how he prepared his students for group discussion in an
intro to international politics course, laying the foundation for fruitful group discussions. Students
had to find an article about international politics and take 10 minutes to summarize the article,
including key historical background, policies and the like. That student would then discuss what
was addressed in the article, asking and responding to questions, including theories thought to
be involved and consider why the issue was important or interesting. After these discussions, the
articles and issues that students had chosen were used for larger class discussions. A member
from each group who was not that day‟s discussion leader was chosen to summarize the article
and its issue and the remaining members of the group had to respond to questions from the rest
of the class. A questionnaire at the end of the course indicated that students felt that this
discussion strategy was an effective mode of inquiry, exposure to diverse ideas, and exercise in
critical thinking. Students also reported that in anticipation of their turn as discussion leader, they
made an effort to listen to the news (including international broadcasts) and read newspapers
on assorted political issues.
Chickering, Arthur W. 2006. Every student can learn—if… About Campus May/June:9-15

          This article addressed if a student‟s prior learning and individual learning styles are taken
into consideration by a postsecondary institution, then the student‟s likelihood of actually
learning and succeeding in college improves. The author argues that “We need to learn how to
recognize, respect, and respond to the wide-ranging individual differences among our diverse
learners” (11) and doing so will result in learning that actually will be retained once the course is
          During recruitment and orientation, institutions should gather data regarding what are
currently each student‟s academic goals and under what conditions does the student best
learn. Schools can also ask students what knowledge and skills they already possess that will
help them learn in college. This helps to get students thinking about why they want to go to
college, how they are going to achieve their academic goals and how the institution will help to
achieve them. Students can also attend seminars that provide information on different learning
style concepts to help them identify approaches that they currently use or ones they might want
to try adopting. Allowing students to discuss personal life experiences that may have some
bearing on their academic aspirations can help create a more positive environment, especially
for first-generation students and adult students, who may otherwise feel that they have many
more limitations and their practical life experiences are of no benefit in college.
          Faculty should strive for timely, productive, and personalized feedback for students to
help maintain their motivation and to help provide them with direction. Helping students to find
and maintain their direction can be achieved by requiring that students file learning plans that
must be reviewed, updated and revised, during their tenure at the institution. This allows
students to identify their goals and the steps that must be taken to reach them, clearly
monitoring achievements that have been made and recording changes along the way. To
further encourage students to get involved with their field of study and the world in general,
service learning opportunities, internships, practicum experiences and invitations to work with
faculty on research projects can allow students to apply information and skills that they acquired
and developed in the classroom to real world applications. Such opportunities can also help
the student to decide if the discipline truly is the one in which s/he ultimately wants to be
Chickering, A. W., & Kuh, G. D. (2005). Promoting student success: Creating conditions so every
student can learn. (Occasional Paper No. 3). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for
Postsecondary Research.

        One way to help students learn is to foster self-responsibility in learning. On the
application, an institution can consider asking students to respond to three questions: 1. how
does the student want to learn; 2. how does the student learn best; and 3. what current level of
knowledge and experience does the student already possess that pertains to what s/he wants
to study at school? These questions can also be posed during campus visits and orientation,
which will stimulate students to think about these important areas. The authors also recommend
that orientation programs and first-year seminars should be used as a vehicle for students to
discover their learning styles and abilities, to stimulate self-reflection. Having a center for
teaching and learning that can assist faculty in researching and implementing new instructional
methods. Faculty should be encouraged to provide their students with timely, individualized,
and detailed feedback, so it is clear to the student where his/her strengths and weaknesses lie.

Some ways other institutions put this into practice include:
   1. Orientation experiences that focus on the whole person:
      academic, social, moral. Expose students to classroom
      experiences, campus tours, club/organization fairs. Share with
      new students success stories of current/former students—or let
      them meet these students in person.
   2. First-year experiences that focus on teamwork, active learning,
      and student responsibility.
   3. Have centers for teaching and learning excellence that serves as
      a resource to faculty to learn about innovations in teaching and
      how to determine the learning styles and abilities of students.
   4. During first-year experiences, have students develop individual
      learning plans that list personalized outcomes to meet goals such
      as oral/written communication, interdisciplinary research, and
      collaborative learning. Depending on the skill and experience of
      the study, the learning plans will vary.
   5. Encourage independent study (especially during intercession),
      essentially doing research and having increase interaction with
   6. Encourage/require students to submit drafts of papers via
      Blackboard so they can receive feedback prior to turning papers
      in (a technique that seems to work well for a commuter university
      in California).
Coffman, Sara Jane. 2003. Getting student to take responsibility for their learning. College
Teaching 51(1):2-4

The author recommends ten ways by which faculty can stimulate students to become more
responsible for their own learning.
    1. Instructors should ask their students why they are taking the class. Since many students
        may have merely signed up for the course because it fit their schedule or because their
        advisor told them to take it, asking students this question can make them reflect upon
        their motivation for taking the class and how it fits their needs and expectations. Having
        the students turn in an essay reflecting on the course descriptions and objectives, the
        textbook, and their personal goals can encourage students to truly think about the
    2. Professors can encourage student to come to class prepared by using a textbook that
        offers study guides or exercises that the students can be required to complete for a
        grade. Also, students can be forewarned on the syllabus to come to class prepared to
        respond to a specific question. Instructors also can create interesting homework
        assignments that capture student interest and make them want to come to class to
        discuss the assignments.
    3. Faculty can use the first 10 minutes of class, when students are reportedly most attentive,
        to truly capture student interest by using stimulating questions, objects, video footage or
        whatever approach is appropriate for the course to stimulate student attention.
    4. Professors can encourage student discussion and participation, letting them know that
        the instructor does want to know what the students are thinking and that they can
        contribute meaningfully to the course.
    5. Instructors can help foment a collaborative learning atmosphere by having student pair
        up in study groups so that students can help one another do well on exams and
    6. Faculty can instruct students on proper group etiquette by having each group write
        down and accept rules by which they will abide during the project. This way, everyone
        will know their responsibility for the success of the group.
    7. Professors can generate deeper cognitive thinking by advising students to delve deep to
        explore issues, causes, results, conclusions, etc. Instructors can tell students to elaborate
        and support their answers at every given opportunity.
    8. Faculty can help students understand how they learn by giving them a learning styles
        inventory and explain how different styles process information. This can help students
        understand how they learn and ways that they may be able to improve upon it. Also,
        instructors can encourage their students to provide feedback on how the course is being
        instructed and ways that things could be adapted so that they could learn better. Peer
        feedback on student presentations and papers can be a useful tool and skill that
        students may need in future employment.
    9. Professors can make sure that students have paid attention throughout the class by
        asking them to write a summary of the day‟s events, discussion or lecture or give them a
        brief quiz before letting them leave.
    10. It is advised that faculty do not try to “save” their students from their irresponsibility.
        Professors should let students know that there are repercussions for not submitting work
        when it is due or taking exams when they are scheduled (barring emergencies or
        acceptable excuses, of course). Through these hard lessons, students will learn to
        appreciate good time management and work habits.
Connolly, Mark R., Bouwma-Gearhart, Janna L., and Clifford, Matthew A. 2007. The birth of a
notion: The windfalls and pitfalls of tailoring an SoTL-like concept to scientists, mathematicians,
and engineers. Innovative Higher Education 32:19-34

         In lieu of using the term Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), some have
proposed using Teaching-as-Research (TAR) to engage more research-oriented faculty (i.e.,
those in science, engineering, and mathematics). The authors questioned the use of this
terminology and interviewed 43 faculty to determine if the use of TAR and other discipline-
specific terms regarding teaching and learning actually make anything more clear. The
University of Wisconsin-Madison‟s approach to foster student learning in the science, technology,
engineering and math resulted in their coining the phrase teaching-as-research, to which they
felt that STEM faculty would be more responsive than to the “scholarship of teaching and
learning.” The authors wanted to see how STEM faculty who participated in the Center for the
Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning defined TAR, its goals and methods and how
well faculty practices actually fit the TAR intent. Typically, STEM faculty are considered not to be
as focused on teaching as they are on research, whereas faculty in the so-called “soft” sciences
are more focused on the student, learning goals, and teaching practices.
         The sample consisted of interviews of randomly selected TAR program participants (24)
and TAR facilitators (19) who had helped to plan and teach the courses. Variations in the
components and rigor of TAR were found. Reflection upon one‟s teaching and student learning
was often only a minor consideration. Using the work of others to inform one‟s teaching and
sharing one‟s approaches and outcomes were also not often considered by the STEM-TAR
members. Young faculty tended to define TAR in relation to one‟s own discipline whereas more
seasoned faculty linked it to scientific inquiry in a more generalized way.
         A problem with the use of TAR instead of SoTL is that many instructors may not clearly see
how to implement the ideologies of the new term without pre-existing examples to demonstrate
the idea in action. While the use of TAR and associated terms did seem to appeal to STEM
faculty, the university may have difficulty expanding the initiative to other fields. It would not be
feasible to create new terminology for every major area of study when they all essentially refer
to SoTL.
Coppola, Brian P. and Jacobs, Dennis C. 2002. Is the scholarship of teaching and learning new
to chemistry? IN Huber, Mary Taylor and Monreale, Sherwyn P. (eds.): Disciplinary Styles in the
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Exploring Common Ground. Washington, DC: American
Association for Higher Education, pp. 197-215.

         The need for more research of teaching and learning in chemistry courses is recognized,
and improvements in teaching methodology are needed to improve student persistence in
classes, such as introductory chemistry courses, that are requirements for several areas of study.
If students fail to perform well in these classes, they may not be able to pursue their goal of a
degree in a particular scientific or engineering field. Innovations in teaching strategies and
awareness of teaching adaptation to meeting varied student learning styles are necessary to
assist all students to succeed. The authors call for chemistry faculty to conduct assessments of
learning outcomes amongst their own students, since the faculty implicitly know the design of
the course and can best interpret the results of student learning, identifying areas within course
design and instruction that can be changed to improve student performance. Asking how
students learn in chemistry lectures and labs can assist new faculty in developing effective
teaching strategies and assist established faculty to remain abreast of the changing learning
habits of new students. Chemistry faculty need to overcome the impression that assessments of
learning outcomes fall only into the realm of social sciences and have no place in the hard
Cramer, Kenneth M., Collins, Kandice R., Snider, Don, and Fawcett, Graham. 2007. The virtual
lecture hall: Utilisation, effectiveness, and student perceptions. British Journal of Educational
Technology 38(1):106-115

         The authors introduce the use of the Virtual Lecture Hall (VLH), a computer-based
application that unites PowerPoint presentations with live-recorded audio clips to facilitate the
review of course lecture material by students at a later time. The goal of the VLH is to promote
better course material retention and student satisfaction. In this article, the results of an
assessment of the student learning and engagement associated with the use of VLH are
         The authors wanted to overcome the issue with creating slide narration using programs
inherent to PowerPoint, which typically results in files too large to conveniently download. They
created a new add-in for PowerPoint which synchronized voice recording with slides on the
computer as the lecture was given, which the authors argue requires little post-lecture
production efforts and was easy for students to access.
         For this study, data were collected regarding when and for how long students accessed
the VLH. Students completed a study reflecting on their opinions of the VLH‟s effectiveness, if
they thought the VLH would improve their performance in the class, and if they would like the
VLH to be offered in other courses. It was hypothesized that students who utilized the VLH often
and for longer periods of time would perform better on exams compared to their scores that
predated their access to the VLH.
         There were 839 students in an introduction to psychology class at the University of
Windsor, Ontario. Each time students accessed the VLH for the course, the student identification
number, the particular lecture access, and the time/duration of the access were recorded.
Students were also asked to complete a survey on their thoughts and opinions on the VLH, their
expected class grade, and how many classes they have had missed up to the time of that
particular survey. The VLH was not made available to the students until five weeks into the term,
after the first midterm exam.
         Results revealed that 165 different students accessed the VLH, resulting in over 2,000 hits.
The average length of time on the site was 75.9 minutes. Students who used the VLH more often
and for a longer duration had significantly higher second midterm exams. Students who used
the VLH sparingly did not see any major impact on their test scores. Results of the student
surveys showed that students viewed the VLH favorably and nearly 75% agreed that the VLH
would help improve their learning in the class. More than half of the users responded that they
thought the VLH would improve their course grades. Over 90% of the users felt that VLH should
be offered in more courses. Of those who used VLH, 54% expected a B in the class and 47% had
missed between one to three classes. There was no statistical association between the number
of classes missed and use of the VLH.
         One explanation posited for the relatively low use of the VLH is that the technology was a
new introduction to the university and many students may have been uncertain how to utilize
this resource.

A visit to the University of Windsor website ( reveals that instead of Virtual
Lecture Hall, the program is now called SHOWTIME.

To read about the latest efforts regarding this program and to view a sample lecture, visit
Cukras, Grace-Ann G. 2006. The investigation of study strategies that maximize learning for
underprepared students. College Teaching 54(1):194-197

         It is known that self-regulated learners are adaptable in study approaches that they use
depending on the nature of the course material and the form of assessment being used.
Through trial and error, students learn which strategies work for them and which do not.
However, not all students are as adept in knowing which approaches work best for them and
are most suitable for the situation.
         In this study, students from the Bronx Community College were taught about several
different study strategies and were given time to determine which ones they wanted to use and
that they thought would best serve them. BCC can be classified as serving the most
academically at-risk students who are part of the City University of New York system. College
assessments show that 95% of the student population is deemed under-prepared for at least one
basic college skill. Participants in this study had been placed in upper level of remedial reading
classes. Study strategies tested include encoding, organizing, monitoring, and employing a
study plan.
         After spending several weeks learning these strategies, students were given chapters
from two different freshman-level textbooks in history and psychology, each chapter was better
suited to a different set of study strategies. Exams were multiple choice and essay. Prior to the
exam, students were asked which strategy or strategies they employed while preparing for the
test. In this study, monitoring and employing a study plan were the strategies that showed a
statistically significant and consistent relationship with test performance. Using a study plan
allows the student to take control over the entire study process, incorporating aspects of the
other strategies—the most comprehensive approach.
De Sousa, D. J. (2005). Promoting student success: What advisors can do (Occasional Paper No.
11). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

        A way to view one‟s position as advisor is to see oneself as a talent developer, with the
sentiment that any student can learn if provided the right conditions and support. In order to
best serve one‟s students, the advisor should know his/her students-their background,
expectations, and goals. Advisors can also serve as motivators, encouraging students to
challenge themselves. Advisors can identify and “catch” students who may need of additional
academic or social support to achieve their educational goals. Advisors can impart strategies
for success in college and provide information on campus culture and how things are done at
the school.
        Approaches used by other institutions include:
     1. Meet with student advisees in a first-year seminar on a weekly basis during the first term.
     2. Develop an advisement handbook given to new students. The handbook contains all of
        the information students need to have regarding how to complete their degrees in a
        timely manner (and in the case of community colleges, what they need for successful
        transfer to a four-year institution). It also contains a checklist which students can use to
        monitor their progress.
     3. The university can promote informal interaction between advisors and advisees by
        providing funds to support dinners and get-togethers.
     4. Minority success can be encouraged through a Faculty Minority Mentor Program,
        helping minority students adjust to college life through fruitful interaction with faculty
     5. Develop and support student leadership programs that can increase student interaction
        with each other, with the school, and the community.
De Winstanley, Patricia Ann and Bjork, Robert A. 2002. Successful lecturing: Presenting
information in ways that engage effective processing. IN Halpern, Diane F. and Hakel, Milton D.
(eds.): Applying the Science of Learning to University Teaching and Beyond. New Directions for
Teaching and Learning, No. 89. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, pp.19-31.

        The authors state that the lecture is not evil and does not have to be counterproductive
in a world where active and collaborative learning are viewed as more beneficial to student
learning. They review aspects of effective processing of information by students (e.g.,
interpretation and elaboration; attention; and generation and retrieval practice) and ways in
which lecturing can promote them. For example, lecturing while using PowerPoint can be
detrimental to effective processing by students because it divides students‟ attention between
what an instructor is saying and what is being displayed on the screen. Divided attention has
been shown to be detrimental on direct tests of memory. Students may be challenged to
commit an answer to a direct question though they may recall the “impression” or some
familiarity with the material.
        The authors offer several strategies to improve the ability of the lecture to contribute to
successful student learning, including: spacing of information presented in lectures (spreading
out the material over time rather condensing it; reiterate key points throughout the term); induce
encoding variability (present information from various perspectives and illustrate relevance of
key ideas in several different contexts); provide structure (e.g., supply students with lecture topic
and outline with headings and subheadings, an approach shown to encourage note-taking);
imagery and other mnemonic devices (visual and mental imagery with vivid examples and
analogies help retain ideas in memory); and evaluative elaboration (encouraging students to
explain the “why” of things on their own.
Durrington, Vance A., Berryhill, Amy, and Swafford, Jeanne. 2006. Strategies for enhancing
student interactivity in an online environment. College Teaching 54(1):190-193

        This article relates some strategies for developing an interactive online environment and
stimulating student participation in courses delivered online. The authors recommend creating
an open, supportive learning environment, which includes providing a detailed syllabus
containing guidelines for course expectations and assignments. By providing the students with a
clear description of what they are supposed to do, they may be better able to manage their
times and complete assignments when required. The creation of a discussion forum for the
exchange of ideas, questions and answers is another way instructors can create a more
supportive learning environment. Another way to encourage students is to provide timely, useful
feedback and to acknowledge when emails have been received, though the professor may
not be able to fully respond at that time. Letting students know how quickly they can expect
feedback is lessen student anxiety while waiting to hear from the instructor. By setting
expectations and requirements for participation in asynchronous discussion forums led by the
instructor can increase student participation by insisting that students post comments with
requisite frequency (e.g., two times a week). Professors can also stipulate the depth of thought
to be used in questions or responses and provide students with examples. Providing links to
sources for students to investigate regarding the discussion topic can also be useful. Students
also can lead discussion forums, defining their topic and own expectations for participation,
which may include referring to cited sources or addressing both sides of an issue. If students are
not participating as expected, the moderator (student or instructor) can contact those students
to encourage increased quality contributions. The guidelines that a student moderator creates
give the instructor a method of evaluating the moderator performance and make
recommendations or congratulations as needed. Instructors may also opt to use problem-
based learning that requires students to work together in groups to develop solutions to the
problems presented. Groups can be given their own chat rooms and discussion forums to
communicate and students may decide to continue contact via email and phone. While
resolving the scenarios may take longer than in the traditional classroom, this approach to
learning can increase student interaction, participation and engagement with the course
El Khawas, E. (2005). Promoting student success: Small steps campuses can take (Occasional
Paper No. 9).
Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

          The following suggestions for how colleges and universities can promote student success
are derived from top-performing institutions on the National Survey of Student Engagement.
While these institutions are traditional 4-year schools, some of their practices may be applicable
in the community college setting. The first recommendation is that the school‟s president and
senior administrators must publicly promote the institution‟s commitment to student success and
what the school is doing to demonstrate this commitment. They must prove that the entire
institution, not just specific divisions such as academic affairs, share this dedication to student
success. The administration must present a clear message and possess the motivation and
energy to get others on campus involved.
          Institutions can simplify the processes that students must navigate to improve access to
student resources and services. By limiting the confusion, students will be able to more easily find
the people and services that they need. An institution may see more success by tackling
smaller, more readily rectified issues than attempting to do a massive, all-encompassing
overhaul. If major curriculum changes are being planned, schools should encourage student
participation in discussion of the changes to be made. Student mentors also can be involved
with faculty in designing materials for learning community courses. Institutions should remember
to utilize input from staff, such as athletic coaches, librarians, and food service personnel, since
they have much interaction with students outside the classroom and can help foster
connections between the students and the school. Colleges and universities can work to create
ties to local employers, which helps to generate links with the community as well as potential
jobs for students.
          Practices utilized by other institutions include:
     1. Research and report on initiatives in teaching and learning and publicly present findings
          and how the university/college can utilize them to promote the institution‟s commitment
          to student success. Demonstrate and convince others why such a commitment is
     2. Have faculty groups prepare reflective essays on the function and merit of academic
          rigor, especially for students who may be under-prepared for college.
     3. Develop a “Common Intellectual Experience” for first-year students that uses the same
          readings for all students and has required out-of-class activities.
     4. Redesign core curriculum so that teaching loads can be lightened, allowing faculty time
          to develop new course materials and research teaching innovations.
     5. School funding for student organizations can stipulate that for every $1,000 given to the
          group, for example, the group‟s members must each volunteer and do ten hours of
          community service.
Flint, Wendy. 2003. Problem-based learning: A corporate training model for community
colleges. Community College Journal 73(6): 24-27

         The author reflects on the appeal of problem-based learning; it provides real world, work-
based situations that students can use to test and apply theories and materials learned in class.
It helps to develop critical thinking skills, which are highly desired in the workplace. Problem-
solving encourages students to become engaged, collaborative, inquisitive, problem-solvers
who afterwards reflect and share ideas, information, and opinions with others on what they have
experienced and learned. Students develop their presentation and communication skills by
preparing reports, plans, brief and visual representations of their findings. Problem-based
learning can utilize case studies and simulations. Such practices have also been used by
corporations for workplace training, indicating their usefulness for developing desired skills
among employees.
Flowers, Lamont, Osterlind, Steven J, Pascarella, Ernest T, and Pierson, Christopher T. 2001. How
much do students learn in college? Cross-sectional estimates using the College BASE. Journal of
Higher Education 72(5):565-583

          In this study, the authors analyzed the large database collected on college students of
all class levels from multiple institutions using the College Basic Academic Subjects Examination
(CBASE). The authors wanted to look at the effects of college year on CBASE scores while
controlling for student pre-college characteristics (e.g., race, sex, academic ability) and
institutional environment (e.g., average academic ability of the student population). The
authors wanted to see when the largest net effects occurred in a student‟s college career. They
also tried to determine what conditional effects had influence on the net scores and if they
varied by year in college. CBASE data represent students from 56 four-year institutions in 13
states. Students volunteered to participate in the study and data were gathered over five years.
Students were representative of the “traditional” college student and represented the racial
demographics for the institutions surveyed. CBASE measures academic achievement in English,
math, sciences and social studies, as well as interpretive, strategic and adaptive reasoning skills.
Sample sizes varied by academic area tested: 19,363 math; 19,461 science; 19848 social studies;
and 19,717 English; and 18,418 Composite score. Over half of the sample was comprised of
senior (53%), followed by juniors (17%), sophomores (16%), and freshmen (14%).
          The results revealed that sex by year had a significant correlation with academic growth
so the sample was divided by males and females for further analysis. Comparing freshman and
senior composite CBASE results, senior males have a slightly larger degree of gain over freshman
males than do senior females over freshman females. The major college impact on composite
CBASE scores occur during the first two years of college. Differences between freshman and
sophomore males in net gains represents 95% of the estimated total difference between senior
and freshman males. Among females, differences between the first two years represents about
98% of the difference seen between senior and freshman females. When look at the different
fields, females had significant larger net gains in math between the freshman and sophomore
year than they did cumulatively between their freshman and senior years. Gains in science for
both males and females seemed to stabilize after the sophomore year. The authors conclude
that males in this study appear to have an academic advantage over females, showing more
signs of academic achievement between freshman and sophomore years. Largest gains for
both sexes were seen in English.
          Overall, the authors conclude that the results of this study support the claim that college
education is a “‟gendered experience‟” and may be better suited for masculine learning styles.
Women may not find the college environment as supportive, thereby leading to lowered
academic gains. However, the authors posit that the differences in CBASE results correlated
with sex may indicate differences in course selection between males and females. It is possible
that males took more math and science courses as upper classmen than did females, but such
information was not part of this study. The CBASE is designed to measure general education
knowledge and skills and most general education courses are taken as underclassmen. This
would explain the larger gains seen between freshmen and sophomores than between seniors
and freshmen. Also, males tend to major in science and math more so than females, which
would contribute to the larger gains shown by males in these areas. The selectivity of the
institution did not have an impact on results.
Garner, R. L. 2006. Humor in pedagogy: How ha-ha can lead to aha. College Teaching

         The use of humor in the classroom has been observed to lessen stress and anxiety and
positively impact self-esteem and motivation. Humor can make class materials more appealing
and engaging, stimulating student learning. It also can be used to create rapport between
students and instructor. Assorted studies have indicated that students are more receptive of
divergent thinking and had better retention of information when humor is used, which can also
convey enthusiasm for the subject matter. However, humor must be used appropriately and
judiciously, since not everyone shares the same sense of humor.
         This study was designed to assess the use of humor as a pedagogical tool and its
relationship with student learning and retention. Course satisfaction and student evaluation of
the instructor and delivery style was also measured. It was hypothesized that students in a
“humor” section would display higher course satisfaction and retention of course materials than
students in a “non-humor” section. Undergraduates (94) from a four-year university volunteered
to review recorded lectures about statistics, since that course often was deemed as odious. It
seemed a subject ideal for testing the impact of humor. After viewing the recorded lecture,
students completed a survey to gather their impression of the material present, the instructor,
and the mode of delivery. After watching the third and final video, student were asked to recall
the content of all lectures that were shown. The instructor and lecture content was identical.
Video editing had been used to add the humorous segments of the lecture, which had been
approved by a group of “judges” as being appropriate and relevant use of humor. Students
were randomly assigned to a humor or non-humor group and there were no significant
differences based on sex or race per group. The humorous lectures, as well as the instructor and
lesson communication for those lectures, had significantly higher reviews than the non-humor
sections. Also, students in the humor section retained significantly more knowledge regarding
the information presented in those lectures. There was no significant different in opinion
regarding mode of delivery between the sections.
Graesser, Arthur C., Person, Natalie K., and Hu, Xiangen. 2002. Improving comprehension
through discourse processing. IN Halpern, Diane F. and Hakel, Milton D. (eds.): Applying the
Science of Learning to University Teaching and Beyond. New Directions for Teaching and
Learning, No. 89. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, pp. 33-44.

        The authors discuss ways in which to encourage deeper understanding of course
materials that can lead to better retention of the information. They introduce the basics of
discourse processing that progress from shallow to deeper understanding. Instead of asking
students to identify key words or definitions or concepts, instructors can promote deeper
comprehension of the material by asking questions about situation models, reasoning, or
inferences, for example.
        The authors relate several methods that have been shown to have a significant impact
on student learning. Instructors can encourage students to create their own explanations
(answering why, how, what if, and what if not questions with supporting elaborations). Students
should be taught to constantly inquire, while in class or when reading course materials. Another
way to stimulate deeper comprehension and inquiry is by challenging student beliefs, making
them justify their opinions with supporting evidence and explanations. Tutoring can encourage
deeper student understanding because in these more personal situations, students are asked to
elaborate more often, until it is clear that the material is understood. Students are prompted by
the tutor to explain further if the answer was not enough. In the classroom, students can be
required to teach their fellow classmates, an exercise that requires that the students truly know
their material in order to be effective. Another way in which students can learn to think more
deeply about what they have read in a textbook is for them to question the author and his or
her motivation, claims, assumptions or conclusions.
Hamilton, Sharon J, Banta, Trudy W., and Evenbeck, Scott E. 2006. Undergraduate learning: The
not-so-easy road to writing and committing to them. About Campus 11(4):9-17

           This article relates the efforts of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis to
incorporate its Principles of Undergraduate Learning throughout the student experience at the
institution. The PULs were meant to help students to become more “intentional and reflective “
about how their curricular and co-curricular activities are integrated and contribute to learning.
The university itself wanted to be more deliberate in how the entire college experience, inside
and outside of class, contributes to the general education of the student. Through much
debate, the university was able to identity those principles that they thought best represented
their goals and strove to have learning outcomes for each major reflect these principles.
Incorporation of the principles, describing how a course met these principles, would help
students to internalize the principles and the role the principle‟s play in learning.
           The six core principles that were approved and integrated into every aspect of the
university are described: core communication and quantitative skills; critical thinking; integration
and application of knowledge; intellectual depth, breadth, and adaptiveness; understanding
society and culture, and values and ethics. Departments were asked to demonstrate how the
PULs would be integrated into their programs and submit reports of their progress. It is their belief
that students will come to recognize the value of being able to show what they know and can
do in relation to the learning outcomes and PULs and see the value that such knowledge and
skills will aid them as they continue their studies and enter the workforce.
Hassel, Holly and Lourey, Jessica. 2005. The dea(r)th of student responsibility. College Teaching

          The authors make recommendations regarding changes that institutions and faculty can
do to improve student responsibility, making students realize that they play an important role in
their own education. They conducted a survey of over 600 undergraduate students at two
different institutions in Wisconsin to garner a general appreciation of student opinion on grading,
personal accountability, and the student role in learning. It is believed that many students do
not realize what is required in the pursuit of a college degree. Students being viewed as
consumers, who are paying for and expecting a product (A‟s, credits, a degree, etc.) rather
than apprentices who are there to learn, has also served to undermine the importance of
responsibility and accountability on the part of the student. Having students evaluate the
instructor places pressure on the instructor to “please” the student, by inflating grades and
lessening grading requirements. Institutions should consider how a course is evaluated, focusing
on the rigor of the course rather than student satisfaction with his or her grade. Faculty and
institutions should stress the importance of good class attendance and have repercussions for
missing classes (e.g., loss of points). In introductory courses during the first crucial term of college
attendance, professors should stress and elucidate expectations for student behaviors and the
repercussions if they fail to meet those expectations.

This article includes some appendices that are worth reviewing:
              A. Guidelines for students on how to succeed (or fail) in a university-level course
                  {very nice!}
              B. Example of survey used for this study
              C. Recommendation for a student evaluation that assesses rigor and not grades

Text from Appendix A. (Hassel and Lourey, 2005:9-10)
How to Succeed in a University-Level English Course
Attending Class and Meeting Deadlines
     1. You should be in class, on time, prepared, and attentive
     2. If you miss many days in class, expect those absences to affect how well you understand what is going on in
         class. Class activities develop necessary information not found in your readings
     3. If you miss a day, get missed assignments, notes, and handouts from your study partner BEFORE you return to
         class to be as ready for class as students who were there. If your study partner disappears, take the initiative
         and get another one.
     4. Turn in your work on time. Due dates are clearly indicated on the syllabus.
Taking Notes
         1. I expect you to know what I tell you in class, even if I say it only once.
         2. Write your notes legibly, in outline form, and rarely in full sentences
         3. Write down definitions, deadlines terms to look up later, homework assignments, revisions to the syllabus,
              key quotes, dates, and anything I emphasize
         4. Actively use these notes when reviewing for discussions, papers, exams. You should also Xerox these notes
              for study partners when they‟re absent
         1. …is not cramming
         2. …is a consistent, frequent, and active reviewing of notes, annotations, and readings.
         3. Keep up with the readings.
         4. Test your knowledge with a partner or with a study group. Education research and surveys of graduates
              show that informal study groups are a key to student success in college.
         5. Work on long-term projects consistently (papers, research projects), rather than procrastinating.
         6. Since no one is checking up on you, you do have the choice not to study, as defined above. However,
              expect that choice to seriously impact your grades. It is your choice.
Time Management
         1. Write due dates on a calendar and schedule times for studying.
         2. Expect to spend SIX hours per week studying, as defined above, for this course. That‟s two hours out of
              class for each one hour in class: the rule of thumb for every college-level course.
         3. If you procrastinate or do not practice this type of studying (spending less than the expected six hours of
              study time per week), some weeks will require more than six hours of work. (Plus, that kind of cramming
              typically does not produce grades as high as the above definition of studying. Again, it‟s your choice.)
          1.   There are different ways of reading for textbooks, articles/essays, and literature (short fiction, poetry,
               novels). Reading essays and lit quickly does not lead to a well-developed understanding of these types of
          2.   Annotate your reading by marking key quotes and terms, noting important symbols, jotting down
               questions, writing brief paraphrases (main points) of paragraphs or sections for easy review. Use
               highlighters sparingly, if at all. A better form of annotation is with a regular pen or pencil, underlining only
               the most key sections and writing notes in the margins or on Post-It Notes.
          3.   Always, always, always have a dictionary handy. You simply must look up words you‟re unsure about in
               the dictionary, or else you will not understand what you‟re reading.
          4.   Look up historical references in an encyclopedia or online.
          1.   Treat writing as a process of prewriting, drafting, and editing (which includes what we call proofreading),
               with most of the time spent in the prewriting and editing stages.
          2.   Think carefully about the purpose and audience of each essay before you state writing.
          3.   Have a clear sense of organization in your writing, including an introductory paragraph with an explicit
               thesis, focused body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
          4.   Always write formally for a university level English course (appropriately formal diction, grammatically
               correct, proofread, typed, neat).
          5.   Bring your work to the writing tutors in the learning lab.

How to Fail in a University-level English Course
Attending Class and Meeting Deadlines
     1. Be late to class.
     2. Miss more than a couple of weeks of class in a semester.
     3. After missing class, do nothing to get caught up.
     4. Try to hand in work late, even when deadlines are firm.
Taking Notes
     1. Sit back in your seat and trust that you‟ll remember everything said in class.
     2. Take minimal notes: Write down only what I tell you to write down.
     1. Fall behind on your readings or skip some.
     2. Treat your notes as a mere record of class: Write the notes, bring them to class (sometimes), and put them
         away when you get home. Don‟t look at them otherwise.
     3. Procrastinate.
Time Management
     1. Use only the syllabus as your calendar to remind you of due dates.
     2. Spend t he same amount of time working on this course as you did with high school classes.
     1. Skin your readings.
     2. Read without a pen or pencil in hand, and don‟t take notes.
     3. Dictionary, schmictionary! Skip over words you don‟t know, and assume that if a word is familiar to you, you
         must know what it means.
     1. Write essays the day before they‟re due.
     2. Feel free to use slang, and write the way you talk to your friends. After all, the class is pretty laid back.
     3. Don‟t worry about correctness or polishing your writing. Your ideas are all that really matter!
Hutchings, Pat, editor. 1998. The Course Portfolio: How Faculty Can Examine Their Teaching to
Advance Practice and Improve Student Learning. Washington, DC; American Association for
Higher Education.
Available online:
80/10/e4/c7.pdf. Accessed on May 3, 2007.

       The chapters of this publication, written by numerous authors detail different approaches
and uses of a course portfolio and discuss how the portfolio can be used to improve and
demonstrate student learning in these courses.

Shulman, Lee S. Knowledge through teaching. Pp. 5-12
        In this chapter, Shulman discusses several ways to view a portfolio. It can be seen as
describing the course anatomy and how well the parts of the course add up to the whole and if
the modes of assessment match the course description and goals. The portfolio can reflect the
natural history and evolution of a course over time (both over the term and over years). How
does the course unfolded and what changes have taken place? Such an approach is often
narrative. One can view a course portfolio as a reflection of course ecology, showing how the
course fits into the curriculum and goals of the department and institution—how the course fits in
as part of a larger system. Instructors should ask themselves what is worth teaching, how it can
be simplified, reorganized, integrated and representative of what the instructor knows and what
s/he wants others to understand, which may change the way the instructor actually teaches the

Hutchings, Pat. Defining features and significant functions of the course portfolio. Pp. 13-18.
        Hutchings discusses the role of the portfolio as an archive or display of the instructor‟s
“work” that can be a useful tool for discussions of promotion and tenure. The portfolios can be
used to demonstrate how the instructor focuses on student learning and provide examples of
that learning. Hutchings defines the characteristics of a well-taught course portfolio as: elements
of design (goals and intentions as listed in syllabus, for example); enactment/implementation of
goals and intentions; and results (student outcomes that demonstrate the goals). Portfolios are a
tool, assessing if the outcomes truly meet the goals and if revisions are needed. They can also
be used for personal reflection, inspiration for discussion among other faculty, and a basis for
recognition of faculty demonstratively committed to student learning.

Martsolf, Donna. A course portfolio for a graduate nursing course. Pp. 25-30.
        Martsolf recommends collecting weekly feedback from students, asking what they are
learning (in their own words), how that learning occurred, and what difficulties they had with
course content. This demonstrates student learning and areas where more instruction and
guidance may be needed. The feedback can be included in the portfolio as evidence of
student learning and adaptation of the course to maximize student learning.

Hutchings, Pat. How to develop a course portfolio. Pp. 46-55.
        Hutchings recommends that faculty begin with defining a hypothesis that the portfolio
should address, which will influence what materials are included in the portfolio. Are there any
pressing issues or intriguing problems that the instructor would like to explore? Does the instructor
want to summarize or reflect on a new strategy for technique for teaching and student learning
that may need to be revised or at least reviewed for success? Portfolios should include discussion
of the course design, evidence of enactment (student comments or selection of student works);
personal reflection; and an annotated table of contents to facilitate reading by reviewers.

Bernstein, Daniel. Putting the focus on student learning. Pp 76-83.
         Portfolios can demonstrate how course goals for student learning are being met and
how the instructor‟s practices affect student performance. They can record goals, measures,
instructional method, summarize data from exams, and instructor reflection on the course.
“Minute papers” in which students writes anonymous statements regarding what they do or do
not understand in the course can be used to track general trends in learning. An online
discussion forum also can serve as a record of what students do or do not understand.
Instructors may want to demonstrate student learning regarding concrete material like key
terms, applications and comparisons or higher cognitive order skills such as synthesis and

Jacobs, B. A., & Schuh, J. H. (2005). Promoting student success: Using financial and other
resources to enhance
student success (Occasional Paper No. 7). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for
Postsecondary Research.

         Student success should be in the forefront of all decisions regarding allocation of money.
Lessening the need for students to work off-campus, the college/university can create more
opportunities for students to work on campus. Schools can foster interdisciplinary study and
experience for students by financially supporting the development and execution of learning
communities. Students who have taken those courses in the past can serve as learning
community mentors. Construct buildings and learning spaces that are inviting and attractive.
Create spaces that are natural meeting places, conducive for out-of-class discussions between
faculty and students and students with their peers. Establish grants and funding that can be
used to support research and implementation of innovative methods for student learning and
success. Creative research projects spearheaded by both students and faculty can be
supported via a grant program, and the school should ensure that such funding opportunities
are advertised. Institute events that recognize student success and those who played a part in it.
Students can nominate outstanding faculty, who are recognized at a luncheon and may
receive a monetary award. Celebrate the success of top nominated students at a luncheon or
dinner, displaying or publishing their work. Continue investment in technology to support
learning. Students adept at technological innovations can coach faculty. Schools should assess
if departments, divisions, and initiatives that receive funding are producing the desired results
and if continued funding is justified or should be adjusted.
         Ways in which other institutions are incorporating financial resources in student success
initiatives include:
     1. Dedicate money for the creation of more on-campus employment opportunities for
     2. Encourage the creation of learning communities linking the humanities, science, and
         social sciences, and utilize students who had taken these courses previously to serve as
         student mentors.
     3. Construct or renovate spaces adjacent to classrooms and faculty offices that serve as
         natural gathering areas to encourage discussion between students and faculty outside
         of class or as areas of study.
     4. Create early detection and intervention programs to identify and help students
         (especially new or transfer students) who are in need of assistance to succeed.
     5. Financially support research by students and faculty and advertise funding opportunities.
     6. Reward luncheons/dinners in recognition of top faculty nominated by students (with
         cash awards), as well as recognition for top students, whose work and efforts can be put
         on display or published.
7. Foster a service-learning program that involves faculty, student and academic affairs,
   students and student groups.
Johnson, Chris and Lomas, Cyprien. 2005. Design of the learning space: Learning and design
principles. Educause July/August:16-28

         The authors embrace the definition of learning spaces as being “the full range of places
in which learning occurs, from real to virtual, from classroom to chat room” (19). They discuss the
traditional way in which classrooms have been designed, typically focused on space
requirements as the end product and not the intangible goal of learning. They argue that the
most effective way of constructing successful learning environments is to have the college or
university play a more integral role in the design of new building construction or the
refurbishment of existing structures, ensuring that the end goal is student learning and success
and not only square feet. The role of technology, adaptable spaces, learning principles and
activities will impact the design.
Johnson, John A. 2006. Beyond the learning paradigm: Customizing learning in American
higher education: 10 Bellwether principles for transforming American higher education.
Community College Journal of Research and Practice 30(2):97-116

The guiding principles used by Alabama Southern Community College to help transform higher
education are (101-115):
   1. Create a “culture of high expectations” founded on trust, innovation, commitment to
       professional development
   2. Be an agent of change embracing, predicting and defining the desired future, creating
       partnership networks to align and amplify resources and influence
   3. Establish measurable learning outcomes that create distinctive student portfolios
   4. Empower all faculty, staff, students and partners to be leaders in an organic network
       [organic because of the people involved and network because we are all integral parts
       of a system that needs all parts to function properly]
   5. Assess the learning styles of all entering students, and empower faculty and students with
       knowledge and skills to customize learning
   6. Provide customized learning activity options in every course to optimize success for each
       and every student
   7. Develop curriculum networks within and among colleges to improve/expand learning
       activity options
   8. Expect all faculty (full and part-time) to gain the technology skills needed to amplify
       learning and learning options
   9. Provide reliable, use-friendly technology in every classroom and learning environment
   10. Assess learning lately external to the classroom instructor; when professional judgment is
        involve more than one instructor/judge. (Maintain instructor as advocate, not judge)
Joint Information Systems Committee. 2006. Designing Spaces for Effective Learning: A guide to
21st Century Learning Space Design. Available online: Accessed on May 24, 2007.

         In this report, JISC details how the physical environment of a building or classroom can
be used to encourage and support learning. The use of technology, movable furniture, and
even the way students are first greeted when they enter a building can stimulate collaboration
and excitement for the educational possibilities to take place. JISC provides numerous designs
for different classroom and non-classroom (formal and informal) environments that promote
learning and presents examples of how different institutions in the UK have utilized effective
learning spaces. The information given in this report also includes recommendations for
renovation of existing buildings. If interested in learning more about the particulars of effective
learning spaces, how to design them, and things to consider, refer to this report.
Keeling, Richard P. (ed.). 2004. Learning Reconsidered: A Campus-Wide Focus on the Student
Experience. Washington DC: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators-Student
Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

         This report addresses “transformative education”, which the contributors to this tome
define as “a holistic process of learning that places the student at the center of the learning
experience” (preface). They question if the current format used to organize and run most
colleges and universities are effectively focused on student learning and success. To be truly
transformative, students must be presented with a multitude of diverse opportunities for
intentional learning, both in and outside the classroom. To learn, students (and the
postsecondary institution) must consider what they “know, who they are, what their values and
behavior patterns are, and how they see themselves contributing to and participating in the
world in which they live”(9). To the contributors of this report, the division of student affairs can
play a significant role in student learning because students learn best through “action,
contemplation, reflection, and emotional engagement as well as information acquisition” (11)
via events, groups, and other extracurricular activities.
         The report offers numerous suggestions for ways in which the division of student affairs
can increase its integration to successful student learning in all areas and how student affairs
can lead assessment of learning outcomes. Professional development of student affairs
personnel (as well as faculty) will likely be needed to ensure that they have the knowledge and
skills necessary to successfully implement and execute learning-centered programs and
practices college-wide. Recommendations spanning the institution as a whole also are made.
Kezar, A. (2005). Promoting student success: The importance of shared leadership and
collaboration (Occasional Paper No. 4). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for
Postsecondary Research.

        To help promote shared leadership and an environment of collaboration, an institution
should ensure that faculty, staff and administrators are all committed to the institution‟s mission
and vision. Make certain that new hires are made aware of these statements and philosophies
and that they actively adopt them. Have institution-wide events to nurture a sense of
community on campus, and use these events as opportunities of promote collaboration
(between students, faculty, staff and administrators) and student success. Institutions should
encourage shared governance, to empower all levels of personnel (including students). Schools
should work to break down the Silo mentality, and develop systems that unite different divisions
across campus. Institutions should also strive to empower faculty by encourage leadership
positions amongst faculty.
Approaches that have been used by other colleges/universities include:
   1. Student talents and strengths are encouraged and acknowledged by faculty, staff and
        administrators, creating a more positive learning environment instead of focusing on
        student shortcomings.
   2. Have everyone (faculty, staff, administrators, students and the public) contribute to
        discussions on the facets of student success and how to reflect them in university/college
        policy and practice.
   3. Hold discussions with the campus community to discuss results from engagement surveys
        and teach faculty how they can utilize these data to improve the student experience.
   4. Get students involved in campus task forces, committees and governance groups. At
        the University of Kansas, the vice-president of the University Council is a student and the
        university president attends only as a faculty member.
   5. Dispel the Silo mentality. Remove barriers (whether physical, technological or
        ideological) that keep different divisions within the university/college from being able to
        work together, share tasks, and team teach. Encourage
        interdisciplinary/interdivision/interdepartment collaboration by having such experience
        play a role in the determination of merit pay and promotion.
   6. Create structural links between divisions that all play a part in student success. At
        Longwood University, the vice-president of student affairs reports to the provost, who
        serves on the tenure committee and guarantees that the out-of-class experiences of
        students are represented during meetings of the academic deans. With tenure board
        involvement, faculty will participate more in student affairs programs and initiatives.
   7. Encourage and support staff to see themselves as “an extension of the classroom,” that
        they too have a part to play in student success.
   8. Have faculty and administrators share responsibility with student affairs personnel in
        addressing student crises and providing support.
Have faculty of all departments and disciplines work together to create a “common intellectual
experience” for students.
Kinzie, J. (2005). Promoting student success: What faculty members can do (Occasional Paper
No. 6). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

In this paper, Kinzie (2005) reflects upon what faculty members can do to promote student
learning and success. Though not an issue for undergraduate-only institutions, senior faculty can
serve as role models of the institution‟s dedication to undergraduate education by teaching
lower division and introductory courses, as well as engaging in applied and service learning
projects. Senior faculty can also oversee seminar courses led by students and test innovative
approaches in teaching and addressing the needs of under-prepared students. Faculty should
not be afraid to challenge their students, appropriate to the students‟ abilities. Faculty should
help students learn their own potential, the skills needed for academic success, and
responsibility for their own education. Faculty should share advice and examples of what makes
successful students succeed in class and on assignments. Make students aware of support
services available on campus, such as writing and tutoring centers. Get students actively
engaged in their course materials, by utilizing group work, peer review, study groups, and
practical experiences with course materials (hands-on) when appropriate. Utilizing service
learning experiences that complement course materials is another way of reinforcing classroom
experience and knowledge. Encourage student participation in classroom decision-making,
giving students another method of becoming actively involved instead of being passive.
Provide feedback to the students that actually is useful, and allows them to recognize areas and
develop agendas for improvement. Make time for personal, face-to-face meetings and
encourage email communication. Keep students informed about events in class and on
campus and consider having students submit draft versions of papers via the internet for
feedback. Develop means of improving student accountability and commitment to their own
education, such as peer teaching and leadership activities.
         Initiatives and programs utilized by other institutions include:
     1. Create named professorships to recognize faculty achievement in undergraduate
     2. Encourage faculty to develop learning communities
     3. Help students to recognize that success in college is possible and support their efforts to
         succeed by instituting early warning systems and develop first year experience programs.
     4. Have weekly meetings between new and senior faculty to discuss instructional
         approaches, both established practices and innovative ones.
     5. Consider an evaluation system of student work that includes faculty, peers, and
         members of the community who serve as external reviewers.
     6. Develop diversity experience that take into account the limited spare time that some
         students have due to family and work obligations. Cultural trips to local museums,
         heritage sites or events, as well as service-learning experiences can provide opportunities
         for diversity exposure for students who may otherwise not be able to participate in such
         activities. These activities can be completed on weekends or during school vacations,
         such as Spring Break.
     7. Encourage student participation on institutional committees for education and
         curriculum review, which encourages student-faculty interaction beyond the classroom.
Knowlton, Dave S. 2003. Evaluating college students’ efforts in asynchronous discussion: A
systematic process. Quarterly Review of Distance Education 4(1):31-41

       The author provides a recommendation for effectively evaluating student participation in
asynchronous online course discussions. Instructors should formulate what criteria will be used to
evaluate online discussions and share that information with the students. Evaluative criteria
should help students to understand how well they understand the key concepts espoused in the
course. The author recommends suggesting students to consider (35):
            Is the contribution mechanically clear enough for readers to understand your
            Does the contribution cite assigned readings or other resources as a means of
               addressing the specific topics and/or questions?
            Does the contribution seem to be based on factually-correct ideas that are
               generally accepted as discipline “truths”?
            Does the contribution contain “critical thinking” that is indicative of the
               paradigms in the field?

When evaluating a student‟s remarks to postings by fellow classmates, the instructor should
consider: respectful tone and comment inspires further discussion or expands scope of
discussion. Faculty may want to provide resources or examples of critical thinking so students
can establish a baseline for what is critical thinking and what is not. Faculty also should
encourage students to provide peer and self-evaluations through use of checklists (either
dichotomous or using a Likert scale). Students also can be asked to write self-evaluations,
examining how they met criteria and how they will change their participation to improve
meeting those criteria.
        Peer evaluation groups can be used to provide more discussion and personalized
feedback, with students learning from each other‟s performance and feedback. Faculty should
use formative feedback, providing more than a mere letter grade on a project. Productive
comments and advice better serve the student than a letter grade.
Kuh, George D. 1996. Guiding principles for creating seamless learning environments for
undergraduates. Journal of College Student Development 37(2):135-148

          To improve student learning, it is necessary to more effectively and intentionally
incorporate student affairs, whose dominion over student extracurricular environments can have
significant impact on learning. By recognizing the potential for student learning and
development outside of the classroom, student affairs can join with faculty and academic
affairs in creating what the author calls the “seamless learning environment,” which recognizes
that learning does not only occur in the classroom. Kuh discusses several principles for creating
and maintaining these seamless environments and their implications for student affairs.
          Enthusiastic leaders can bring excitement and motivation for institutional improvement
through cooperation within and across divisions. If necessary, a special task force can be
implemented to exemplify the commitment, energy, and creativity needed to make the
seamless learning environment a reality. The institution should strive to formulate a “common
vision of learning” so that all parties understand how the student experience in class, in their
residence halls, in libraries, etc., should look so that everyone knows what the desired goal is and
can work to achieve it. The institute should develop a common language and philosophy so
that communication regarding the seamless learning environment is clear. Collaboration
between individuals, departments, and divisions should be encouraged since all are working
towards a common goal—successful student learning. Schools should investigate how their
respective college cultures impact student learning and determine what may need to be
altered in order to improve learning. Also, schools should ask their students what it is that they
want, comparing their goals and practices with those of the institution. Colleges and universities
must be cognizant that the focus is on systemic change, and not on individual aspects of the
Kuh, G. D. (2005). Promoting student success: What campus leaders can do (Occasional Paper
No. 1). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

          Student learning success is not only the responsibility of faculty or the academic affairs
office. It is a campus-wide mission, requiring collaboration between different areas and offices
throughout the institution. Student learning and success should be the central theme of the
institution‟s mission and vision. The leaders of the institution (president, deans, provost etc.)
need to be role models of the commitment to student learning and success. The faculty and
staff, who may feel overextended in their responsibilities, need to see that their leaders are just as
committed as they area to student education and success. Institutional leaders must
communicate this dedication with their fellow employees. Providing recognition for employees
who exemplify the commitment to student success and education is paramount. The institution
should do regular reviews of initiatives being used in the classroom, to determine which ones
work and which do not, encourage institutional-wide adoption of the initiatives found to work
(where appropriate). Put people who have a history of completing tasks in charge of student
success initiatives—to monitor and encourage co-workers. Recruit faculty and staff who share
the vision of student success and dedication to student learning.
          Some practices used by other colleges and universities include:
     1. Faculty and staff are periodically reminded by senior administrators about the
          commitment shared by all towards student success.
     2. Presidents take every opportunity to remind colleagues, students, the public and other
          stakeholders that the institutions are dedicated to high quality educational experiences
          and life experiences for the students.
     3. Rewards (with cash stipends) and recognitions for faculty exemplifying excellence in
     4. New students are required to take an “adjustment course,” which focuses on the
          development of study skills and development.
     5. Before the start of the academic year, new students are required do a common reading
          and write a reflective essay, the best of which are printed in school publications.
     6. Students must complete an Independent Learning Experience before they graduate.
          Internships, study abroad or research projects can meet this goal.
     7. Hold campus-wide debates that include both faculty and students, regarding the
          meaning of diversity and what the institution is doing to meet diversity goals.
     8. Have meetings with new faculty and senior faculty and administration to introduce and
          reinforce the institution‟s values and goals.
Kunselman, Julie C and Johnson, Katherine A. 2004. Using the case method to facilitate
learning. College Teaching 52(3):87-92

        This article relates the use of case studies to augment student learning and critical
thinking in six different criminal justice courses. They argue that case studies can help students to
grapple with difficult and complicated issues and discuss socially or politically important topics.
Since the American criminal justice system is complex, techniques to help students digest it in
manageable ways are important. Students were given scenarios and worked in groups, where
they represented advisory boards to police chiefs, and parole boards, and group discussions on
the use of police discretion, social construction of social problems, mandatory sentencing (e.g.,
Three Strikes rule). Class discussions also included Zero Tolerance policies in schools, gun control,
drug legalization, and juveniles being tried as adults in criminal court.
        In this study, students in the criminal justice classes were asked for feedback regarding
the usefulness of assignments, productivity of class meetings, stimulation of interest in course, and
the overall value of the course.
Most students felt that the assignments were either excellent or very good (94%) and a vast
majority (95%) thought that class time was used productively by doing these case studies, as well
as finding the case studies stimulating. Student written comments supported the idea that the
case studies helped make the connection between what was being learned in class and the
“real world,” revealed that students actually did think in a way that that they might not have
thought before if not encouraged to do so by these projects, and that students were excited
and engaged by the material.
Lichtenstein, Marsha. 2005. The importance of classroom environments in the assessment of
learning community outcomes. Journal of College Student Development 46(4):341-356

         In this report, the authors explore student responses regarding learning community
environments and how these work together to create a positive or negative learning experience
for students. The sample consists of freshman at a large, public, community university in the
Southwest. There had been concerns regarding student persistence and completion rates,
which led to the adoption of learning communities in an attempt to improve both. At this
university, learning communities consisted of two linked courses, with shared topics meant to
capture student interest. Instructors participated in a three-day training seminar to expose them
to different instructional approaches that could be used to enhance the learning communities.
Focus groups from learning communities that paired English Composition with another content
course were convened in order to ask students about their experiences in the learning
community classrooms. Transcripts of these discussions were reviewed and student comments
placed into three main areas: linkages (materials, policies, faculty, content course and English
course); pedagogy and instruction; and community. Then student comments were used
separate positive and negative remarks and created a profile for each learning community
based on these comments. Students were also asked to complete an online survey, asking
more about linkages, peer relationships, transition to college, and the impact of the community
on learning/improving academic skills. This online survey was added to check the reliability of
the focus group interview data regarding positive, negative, and mixed categorization of the
different learning communities. If 75% of the class was satisfied, the learning community was
given positive marks; if 75% were dissatisfied, the community was categorized as negative. All
other response rates were noted as mixed. Student records were used to collect data on
enrollment history, demographics, grades, and academic preparedness. Based on these
records, there were no significant differences between students involved in learning
communities or not involved. Nor were there significant differences in student ACT or high
school grades between learning communities.
         Positive classroom environments had multiple linkages between the two courses involved
in that particular learning community, faculty who were accessible and attentive, focus on
active/experiential learning, support for academic and social transition to college, and a sense
of community. In negative communities, these characteristics were either absent or present in
such a way as to be detrimental to the community environment. Communities having mixed
environments generally lacked strong linkages between courses, subject matter, and faculty,
with a heavier emphasis on lecture-based instruction rather than active learning. Positive
community environments demonstrated their linkages by shared syllabi, readings, and topics for
discussions and assignments. Students were also cognizant that their instructors met together to
discuss the courses and the faculty were perceived as being open and accessible. Faculty
taking the time to get to know their students also added to the experience. Faculty assistance
(both in and outside of class) in study and writing skills acquisition and improvement helped
students adjust to college demands. The use of group projects, service learning, and peer
review also seemed to augment student impressions of the community. Formation of friendships
with others in the learning community promoted a sense of camaraderie and connection in
both academic and social settings. Comments that the learning community was key to helping
the student transition into college were common. Negative community environments, as could
be expected with such a moniker, were the antithesis of the positive community experience. For
mixed communities, the most frequent complaint was a lack of connection between the topic
course and the English course.
         In general, a comparison of student outcomes between learning community and non-
learning community students found no significant difference. However, when communities were
divided into their positive, negative, and mixed groups, the positive communities show higher
persistence rates and higher grades. The positive feelings and experiences that students had
with the learning communities necessarily did not extend to the university, as revealed by NSSE

Take home: Learning communities, in and of themselves, will not necessarily improve student
outcomes, learning experiences, or satisfaction with the institution. If a school truly wants to
create a successful learning community environment, it should strive to emulate the
characteristics demonstrated by the positive learning communities shown here, which should
improve the probability of success for both students and institution.
Linderholm, Tracy. 2006. Reading with purpose. Journal of College Reading and Learning 36(2):

        The way in which a student‟s reading differs depends on the purpose of that reading (to
learn something or for relaxation), a fact that has only been recently studied. Students often
have difficulty generalizing textbook materials for they are focused on learning specifics instead.
The author relates some of the background empirical research on the subject of purposeful
reading. In other research, students reading for entertainment demonstrated a more shallow
yet broad understanding of the materials, whereas students reading with the expressed purpose
of learning had a better, specific recall of information covered in the text, though both groups of
students were reading the same material. The author poses several recommendations on how
instructors can coach their students to employ suitable reading approaches for class:
        1. Advise students not to read in social environments or in the presence of distracting
             items such as the
            television or computer.. Reading in such environments may predispose the student
            read the materials in a more leisurely format, which does not promote deeper
        understanding of the
        2. Suggest to students that they use a designated study area for serious reading, which
             helps place the
            students in the mindset that they are reading to learn.
        3. To discourage students from merely skimming materials, encourage them to think of
             daily readings
            as preparations for an exam as though it were being administered the next day, to
        foment more
            digestion of the material contained within the reading, rather than having a more
            appreciation of what was covered.
        4. Encourage students to think of possible exam questions during and after doing
             assigned readings,
            testing themselves on their ability to answer those questions to help get students more
            understand the materials.
        5. Openly discuss with students the differences in reading approaches and the impact
             that they have
            on learning. Encourage students to evaluate their own reading styles and assess how
        well their styles
            actually meet their learning needs.
        6. Talk with students who swear that they are spending a lot of time reading and
             studying but perform
            poorly on exams. Discuss their reading strategies and alternative approaches that
        can help them
            do better on exams (instead of re-reading to memorize materials as stated in the
        book, encourage
            paraphrasing and summarizing in their own words).
Magolda, P. (2005). Promoting student success: What student leaders can do (Occasional Paper
No. 8). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

          Student involvement and participation in campus events, participating in institutional
committees and governance, and responsibility for their own educational success is promoted
at different colleges and universities in different ways. For example, students can become tutors
and peer mentors (like a residence hall assistant) or lead student organizations. When involved
in a club or organization, students should be fully cognizant of the history, mission, and values of
that organization. This will allow the students and student leaders to be able to articulate why
the organization exists and what it supports. Working with faculty and staff advisors, who
encourage and support the group‟s goals, help organization leaders and members to feel
empowered. Student leaders learn how to assess situations, resolve conflict, learn time
management skills, set goals, and move towards successful completion of these goals, while
incorporating feedback from members and mentors, and involving members in the entire
process. Student leaders and group members will learn to appreciate the role they play in the
campus community and in the community as a whole. Student judicial courts can be
implemented to foment responsibility among members of the court and those brought in before
them. Student leaders can create workshops to review the organization‟s mission and values
with new members and refresh the memories of current members and to set agendas for the
year. Creating rituals for recruitment, investiture into leadership positions, and to mark the
beginning and ending of academic years can help create excitement and engagement with
the organization, its members, and the campus community.
          There are numerous practices that have been recognized among highly performing
institutions as recognized by the National Survey of Student Engagement, which include:
     1. Use student organizations to advance the university/college mission and goals (e.g.,
          Gonzaga uses student groups to promote the university‟s Jesuit mission, values, civic
          engagement and service learning).
     2. Student groups can come together to help discuss and address concerns on campus.
          For example, George Mason University‟s student groups encouraged discussion on
          campus after September 11, 2001, to help the campus community as a whole to better
          understand Islam and to help Muslim students to not feel alienated or in danger due to
          confusion and feelings caused by that day.
     3. Involve students in the school‟s governance. The University of Kansas requires that most
          policy committees include 20% of members who are students, allowing students to feel
          and be involved in institutional decisions.
     4. Create centers for training student leaders and peer educators. Students can assist in
          the orientation, teaching, and first-year experience of other students. To do so, the
          center can provide these students with intensive training on tutoring and instruction and
          require weekly participation in campus or community service groups.
     5. Create a campus environment that stimulates, encourages and expects student
          participation in clubs and organizations.
Manning, K., & Kuh, G. D. (2005). Promoting student success: Making place matter to student
success (Occasional Paper No. 13). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for
Postsecondary Research.

         Creating a sense of attachment between the students and the school is an important
component of student engagement. There are several ways in which institutions can nurture a
connection between students and the physical location that is the college/university. A visually
inspiring campus, either due to natural beauty or architecture, can generate much appeal
between students and their school. Incorporating the campus features as educational tools can
also encourage a deeper link (e.g., studying campus botany or architectural history). Schools
can develop spaces that encourage “‟social catalytic‟ interactions.” Rooms in buildings can be
furnished with moveable tables and chairs, white boards, and an atmosphere that inspires and
promotes discussion and exchange of ideas. By developing deeper ties to the community,
through offering services to the public in which the students can become involved, schools can
promote connections between all involved. The school should utilize rituals and traditions that
re-affirm the institution‟s expectations and encourage student participation.
         Institutions have various ways that they try to create a sense of space and attachment
between students and their campus:
    1. Utilize natural and constructed campus features in educational endeavors (e.g., botany,
         zoology, entomology, ecology, art history, technology, engineering, architecture, etc.)
    2. Design spaces to inspire and encourage discussion, engagement, and appreciation.
    3. Create traditions that have meaning and re-affirm school values. For example, Winston
         Salem State University has new students go through a rite of passage (Lambs to Rams).
         University of Kansas uses a “Traditions Night” to teach new students what it means to be
         a student at that institution. The ritual includes participation of upper classmen to help
         the freshman through the transition into a “Jayhawk.”
Martin, Deanna C and Arendale, David. 1994. Review of research concerning the effectiveness
of SI from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and other institutions from across the United
States. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of the Freshman Year Experience.Available
online: /data/ericdocs2/content_storage_01/0000000b/
80/26/9a/49.pdf. Accessed on May 7, 2007.

          This presentation addressed the use of the Supplemental Instruction (SI) model to assist
struggling students obtain better understanding of course material, and improve persistence,
grades, and eventual graduation of these students. Supplemental instruction is directed at high
risk courses (historically having a 30% rate of grades of D or F or course withdrawal), rather than
high risk students, so seeking assistance through such programs is not perceived as personally
negative on the part of the student. Supplemental instruction is provided by a special staff
within the learning center, rather than being an additional responsibility for the course instructor.
However, the staff work intimately with the course instructor to develop the ancillary instruction.
Student SI leaders attend the lectures for which they will provide the extra assistance, take notes,
read course materials, and direct multiple breakout sessions per week (essentially serving like a
teaching assistant without actually doing any grading for the instructor). The SI leader is a role
model for other students, showing others different note-taking and learning/study strategies.
These student leaders are not to serve as out-of-class instructors, re-lecturing material or
introducing new material. They are not meant to help students make up material that they
missed because the students did not attend class. Instead, they help to structure study sessions
and foment collaborative learning.
          Assessments of the effectiveness of SI at other institutions have shown that students
utilizing SI do perform better than those who do not, even when taking conditional factors (prior
academic achievement, ethnicity, etc.) into consideration. SI also has shown to improve
grades, as well as persistence and graduation rates among participating students.
          The University of Missouri-Kansas City is very happy to share their material regarding the
Supplemental Instruction program and provide advice on how to implement such a strategy at
one‟s own institution ( They can provide data
regarding financial cost and time required to plan and implement such a program.
          Supplemental Instruction promotes student engagement by giving students opportunities
to serve as student leaders, and providing students a more supportive, individualized
educational environment and time to develop social collaborative relationships with peers.
McCarthy, J. P. and Anderson, Liam. 2000. Active learning techniques versus traditional
teaching styles: Two experiments from history and political science. Innovative Higher Education
24(4): 279-294

         To encourage deeper and more active learning among students in history and political
science classes, the authors assess the use of role-playing and collaborative exercises. In the
history class, students used assigned nationalities or ethnicities as part of a role-playing endeavor
to explore multiculturalism in colonial America. In the political science class, students critically
evaluated the worded of opinion poll surveys and how the wording can cause bias in responses.
         For the multiculturalism role-playing exercise, students were assigned the group that they
would represent and these groups had to meet outside of class prior to the in-class activity to
collectively answer a series of general questions whose responses had to be handed in to the
instructor. Students had to answer questions such as “What is the nature of your contact with
the other groups? What are the costs and benefits to you? What are your motivations for being
in North America? What is the role of women in your society or group” (284). In class, a debate
was held on topics such as why Europeans were in the Americas; reasons why Europeans should
work collectively with Native Americans; and what would happen if war should break out.
To assess the effectiveness of the role-playing, a large enrollment class, having eight breakout
sessions was used, with two breakout sessions serving as controls, in which traditional instructor-
led discussions were used. Results showed that students who participated in the role-playing
debate performed significantly better on the essay portions of the exam that addressed the
topic covered.
         For the political science survey study, students worked in pairs to assess survey questions
to determine if the wording of the question would predispose a survey participant to provide a
desired response. Two sections of the same course were used in this study. One section did the
survey project while the other merely received similar information in a traditional lecture format.
Again, students who participated in the active learning project performed significantly better on
the exam.
         However, the authors caution that the samples were not random and do not represent a
truly scientific means of assessing the effectiveness of active learning approaches on student
learning outcomes. It is argued that much of the learning demonstrated from the historical role-
playing came from preparing for the debate than the debate itself. For both projects, students
who were involved in the active learning exercises demonstrated higher levels of engagement
with the material and the course.
McClanahan, Elaine B. and McClanahan, Lon L. 2002. Active-learning in a non-majors biology
class: Lessons learned. College Teaching 50(3):92-96

         The authors provide advice based on their personal experiences implementing active
learning exercises into their non-major biology courses. Their respective teaching approaches
are different—one following the more traditional instructor as leader approach and the other—
the instructor as guide approach. The authors decided to co-teach large enrollment
introductory biology courses, which required adaptation of teaching styles for both. They
designed their courses to use exams, reading reflections, study journals, and problem-based
learning activities. They combined lecture and learning activities into the same lecture period.
The authors found it useful to find a strategy that is suitable for one‟s personal teaching style,
design student learning outcomes for a topic and choose active learning strategies that can
achieve those outcomes. It is useful to let students know at the beginning of the term that their
participation is expected. After activities, instructors should hold a “debriefing” to help students
reflect over what they just did and what learning that took place. Instructors should encourage
frequent student feedback, to discover what aspects of the class worked best for them in
regards of learning and what suggestions that would make for improvement. Faculty also
should track their own personal feelings regarding the activities—what worked and what did
not—so that possible changes to future classes can be remembered and made.
McKinney, John O., McKinney, Kathleen G., Franiuk, Renae, and Schweitzer, John. 2006. The
college classroom as a community: Impact on student attitudes and learning. College Teaching
54(3): 281-284

         The article explores the creation of a sense of community—a caring, supportive,
invigorating atmosphere—in the college classroom to encourage and promote student success.
The research conducted by the authors was designed to measure the sense of community in the
classroom and determine how it corresponds with student satisfaction with and performance in
the class. Students in a psychology class at a university in the Midwest were given a “sense of
community” survey at the beginning and end of the course, which was designed with
community-enhancing activities throughout. The test group consisted of 40 students, and a
control group, comprised of students from a different section of the same course, was used for
comparison. Mid-term and final exams served as measures for the learning that occurred during
the semester in that course.
Six variables that have been used to define the sense of community include: connection,
participation, safety, support, belonging, and empowerment. Connection was encouraged by
getting to know something about the person who sat next to you in class; participation was
stimulated through reflective writings on readings and discussion in class. Safety was founded by
getting to know one‟s neighbors and discuss course topics. Support was fomented by the
professor getting to know the students and talking with them, inside and outside of class.
Student empowerment was represented by students asking questions or having the ability to
voice opinions, challenge ideas, and develop a sense of community activism (getting due dates
of exam dates moved with justification). In general, those students who had the highest “sense
of community” scores showed the most improvement between exams. {Quantitative results
were not provided in this article}
Meletiou-Mavrotheris, M., Lee, C., and Fouladi, RT. 2007. Introductory statistics, college student
attitudes and knowledge—a qualitative analysis of the impact of technology-based instruction.
International Journal of mathematical Education in Science and Technology 38(1):65-83

        There has been little previous research measuring the impact of technology on student
learning outcomes in statistics courses. The authors conduct a qualitative assessment of learning
outcomes between students in a technology-based introductory statistics course and a non-
technology section of the same course. They wanted to determine how the technology
influenced student motivation, attitude and understanding of concepts in the introductory
course. Student interviews were conducted three months after they had taken the statistics
courses. Students were invited to participate in the interviews to create a representative sample
of students who had received As, Bs, and Cs in the course. Twenty-two students, seven of whom
had a technology-based statistics course, participated.
        The results revealed that while students in the technology-based courses had a better
appreciation of the role of technology in statistics and had better classroom enjoyment and
experiences, there was no difference found between the basic statistical knowledge of students
who had a technology-based course compared to those who did not. The non-technology
students had a better understanding of statistical techniques while the technology-based
students had a better grasp on empirical applications of these techniques. However, students in
both courses demonstrated only a superficial understanding of statistical applications. Also,
students in the technology-based courses were frustrated by their inability to understand the
concepts that underlie the computer applications. So while technology helped to make the
course more enjoyable, it did not help students to have a better understanding of statistics than
students who did not take a technology-based course.
Mentzer, Gale A., Cryan, Johnrobert, and Teclehaimanot, Berhane. 2007. Two peas in a pod? A
comparison of face-to-face and web-based classrooms. Journal of Technology and Teacher
Education 15(2):233-246

        This research aimed to compare student learning outcomes and student perceptions
and satisfaction with online and in-class sections of an early childhood education class. The
classes used the same syllabus and instructor. The online students were required to attend at
least two “live chat” sessions a week to serve as class discussion sessions. Both sections were
given small group assignments to complete and they each had access to the instructor‟s course
notes. Students wishing to enroll in the course had to let the department know if they were
amenable to taking the course online or the traditional in-class format. If they had no
preference, students were randomly assigned to a section. If students designated a preference,
they were encouraged to enroll in other sections of the course that were not a part of this study.
The Visual, Aural, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic (VARK) instrument was used to measure learning
preferences for the students and a modified Flanders‟ interaction analysis instrument, which
included videotaped lectures and reviews of “live chats”, was also administered.
        The sample consisted of 18 students in each section. There was no significant difference
in learning style preferences between the sections. The results indicate that while the students
have different experiences in the course (as revealed by student perceptions), their learning
outcomes are similar. Students in the online course gave the instruction, and the course as a
whole, lower marks than did the students in the traditional in-class section, though evaluations
for both sections were still above average. Students in the online section were more likely to
forget to turn in or were less motivated to complete assignments than those in the face-to-face
class. While this study is hardly representative, it is interesting that it does not support the idea
that online courses are better, more engaging, and produce better-performing students than
traditional in-class courses.
Mupinga, Davison, Nora, Robert T., and Yaw, Dorothy C. 2006. The learning styles, expectations,
and needs of online students. College Teaching 54(1):185-189

          In order to be effective educational environments (going beyond merely being
convenient), instructors who design and teach online courses must be aware of the diversity in
student learning styles and expectations in order to help students to be successful. Students in
online-courses must be self-motivated, disciplined and have good written communication and
time management skills; however, students who may be lacking in these areas may enroll in an
online course because of the convenience of course delivery and scheduling. In this particular
study, the authors wanted to determine the learning styles and expectations of students enrolled
in online courses and determine how this information can be used to make these courses more
          The sample consisted of students enrolled in online courses in the Department of
Industrial Technology Education at Indiana State University. Data were collected from a sample
of 131 students taking three web courses. Students completed a Myers-Briggs Cognitive Style
Inventory online. With an online course, students tended to expect communication with the
instructor, instructor feedback, and a challenging online course. The top needs of online
students were technical assistance, flexible and understanding instructors (especially in relation
to assignment deadlines), advance course information and sample assignments. No particular
learning style predominated among students who were enrolled in the online courses included
in this study. However, over half were introverts, sensors and judgers. Students can determine if
taking an online course is right for them by completing a free survey
( s=522.l010u944m.088x214b00).
Instructors may use listservs and forums to discuss course material, giving students time to think
about the material before posting their ideas. Podcasts and PowerPoint presentations posted
online can provide a more audio-visual display of course material that may help students to
digest information.
National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise, Association of
American Colleges and Universities. 2007. College Learning for the New Global Century.
Washington, DC; Association of American Colleges and Universities. Available online: documents/GlobalCentury_final.pdf. Accessed on May
3, 2007.

          This report addresses what American college students need to learn in their
postsecondary education in order to be successful in the 21st century and a global world. It also
suggests policies that institutions should adopt to provide what is necessary in a modern college
education. At the very basic level, “The LEAP National Leadership Council recommends, in sum,
an education that intentionally fosters, across multiple fields of study, wide-ranging knowledge of
science, cultures, and society; high-level intellectual and practical skills; an active commitment
to personal and social responsibility; and the demonstrated ability to apply learning to complex
problems and challenges” (4). This report stipulates that 21 st century college students need to
develop an understanding of human cultures, as well as the natural and physical world, through
their education in history, languages, arts, social sciences, humanities, mathematics and
science. Students need to develop multiple skills (e.g., critical thinking, analytical, teamwork,
problem-solving, etc.) and to do so, a curriculum that extends beyond any one discipline must
be developed to continually challenge students with an array of problems and projects that
create an environment in which these skills can grow.
      Colleges and universities can help their students increase their sense of personal and social
responsibility by promoting civic engagement, establishing a foundation for lifelong learning,
and encouraging the development of their abilities to think and act ethically. To strengthen
what students have learned and help them to internalize these skills and information, schools
should strive to integrate learning across the curriculum and across disciplines, healing students
to form interconnections between what they learned in one class with another. Employers
desire college graduates who have developed strong critical and creative thinking skills,
leadership abilities, and a global vision. Students, and their future employers, will benefit more if
they can move away from a narrow vision, thinking only within the major or discipline. Those
who can integrate the various aspects of a liberal education that can lead to innovative
thinking will be better able to adapt to the changing needs of the workplace and the world. To
best serve their students, colleges and universities need to develop a liberal education for all of
its students. While studying a field in depth within a major is necessary, students need to learn to
recognize the value and importance of the liberal education, seeing it more as a benefit than a
nuisance.          To determine if a college or university is providing what students truly need in their
education, the report poses several questions(20-210:
      1. How can we ensure that graduates are well prepared to participate in an
          interdependent global community?
      2. How can we prepare graduates for a global economy in which change and innovation
          are constants?
      3. How can we prepare all graduates for a world shaped by scientific and technological
          advances and challenges?
      4. What kinds of learning are needed for knowledgeable and responsible citizenship?
      5. How do we help graduates compose lives of meaning and integrity?
Since the tradition has been for the liberal/general education to occur during the fist two years
of study, community colleges play an important role in establishing this foundation for many
students. The report lists several principles that postsecondary institutions can follow to improve
the educational experience and outcomes for their students (26):
          1. Make the essential learning outcomes a framework for the entire educational
               experience, connecting school, college, work and life
          2. Focus each student‟s plan of study on achieving the essential learning outcomes and
               assess programs
       3. Immerse all students in analysis, discovery, problem solving, and communication
       4. Teach through the curriculum to far-reaching issues—contemporary and enduring—
            in science and society, cultures and values, global interdependence, the changing
            economy, and human dignity and freedom
       5. Prepare students for citizenship and work through engaged and guided learning on
            “real-world” problems
       6. Emphasize personal and social responsibility, in every field of study
       7. Use assessment to deepen learning and to establish a culture of shared purpose and
            continuous improvement
To help include students more in their education, institutions may want to consider holding
student focus groups to inquire about the learning goals from the students‟ viewpoint. Schools
should show students how to integrate their learning outcomes with a carefully planned,
purposeful program of study.
Oblinger, Diana G. (ed.). 2006. Learning Spaces. Educause e-book. Available online:
http://www.educause. edu/LearningSpaces/10569. Accessed May 29, 2007.

        This edited e-book from Educause consists of 43 chapters presenting theories and
examples regarding the role of learning spaces (formal, informal and virtual) and technology in
student learning and how learning spaces can be used to foster a sense of community on
campus. The main page, from which all chapters can be accessed, can be reached by the link
listed above. The entire book was too sizeable to warrant downloading
( A list of the chapter titles is given below.

Chapter   1    Space as a Change Agent                    Chapter   23   London School of Economics: BOX
               Challenging Traditional Assumptions &
Chapter   2                                               Chapter   24   Messiah College: Boyer Hall
               Rethinking Learning Spaces
                                                                         Michigan Technology University: Center
               Seriously Cool Places: The Future of
Chapter   3                                               Chapter   25   for Integrated Learning & Information
               Learning-Centered Built Environments
               Community: The Hidden Context for                         MIT: The Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Chapter   4                                               Chapter   26
               Learning                                                  Complex
               Student Practices and Their Impact on
Chapter   5                                               Chapter   27   MIT: Steam Café
               Learning Spaces
               The Psychology of Learning
Chapter   6                                               Chapter   28   North Carolina State University: Flyspace
               Linking the Information Commons to
Chapter   7                                               Chapter   29   North Carolina State University: SCALE-UP
               Navigating Toward the Next-Generation                     Northwestern University: Information
Chapter   8                                               Chapter   30
               Computer Lab                                              Commons
Chapter   9    Trends in Learning Space Design            Chapter   31   Ohio State University: Digital Union
                                                                         Olin College of Engineering: Academic
Chapter   10   Human-Centered Design Guidelines           Chapter   32
                                                                         and Olin Centers
               Designing Blended Learning Space to                       Pennsylvania State University: Smeal
Chapter   11                                              Chapter   33
               the Student Experience                                    College of Business
               Sustaining and Supporting Learning                        St. Lawrence University: Center for
Chapter   12                                              Chapter   34
               Spaces                                                    Teaching and Learning
Chapter   13   Assessing Learning Spaces                  Chapter   35   Stanford University: Group Spaces

Chapter   14   Learning How to See                        Chapter   36   Stanford University: Wallenberg Hall
               City of London: Sir John Cass Business                    University of Arizona: Manuel Pacheco
Chapter   15                                              Chapter   37
               School                                                    Integrated Learning Center
                                                                         University of British Columbia: Irving K.
Chapter   16   Denison University: MIX Lab                Chapter   38
                                                                         Barber Learning Centre
                                                                         University of Central Florida:
Chapter   17   Duke University: Perkins Library           Chapter   39   Collaboration and Multimedia
               Eckerd College: Peter H. Armacost                         University of Chicago: USITE/Crerar
Chapter   18                                              Chapter   40
               Library                                                   Computing Cluster and Cybercafe
               Estrella Mountain Community College:                      University of Georgia: Student Learning
Chapter   19                                              Chapter   41
               The Learning Studios Project                              Center
Chapter   20   Hamilton College: Science Center           Chapter   42   Virginia Tech: Math Empourium
               Indiana University-Purdue University
Chapter   21                                              Chapter   43   Virginia Tech: Torgersen Hall
               Indianapolis: The ED Corridor Project
               Iowa State University: LeBaron Hall
Chapter   22
Pascarella, Ernest T., Edison, Marcia, Nora, Amaury, Hagedorn, Linda S., and Terenzini, Patrick T.
1998. Does community college attendance influence student’s educational plans? Journal of
College Student Development 39(2):179-193

        The authors wanted to test the validity of the claim that attending a community college
lowers a student‟s pre-college aspirations to earn a bachelor‟s degree. Theories as to why
community college attendance may have this effect include the difficulty in the transfer process
to a four-year institution (course transfer, acceptance into four-year school; ability to afford
continuing education). Community college students also may be uncertain of the different
atmosphere of four-year institutions and may not think they are capable of making the
adjustment. Some researchers believe that community colleges themselves with the fostering of
a “cooling out” atmosphere lead students away from transferring to four-year institutions and
earning their bachelor‟s degree. The authors wanted to directly assess the claim of “cooling
out” in community colleges by surveying students‟ attendance after one and two years in
college (both four-year and two-year institutions) and educational plans for students of varying
        The sample consisted of data from 18 four-year and five two-year institutions and first-
year students who had participated in the National Study of Student Learning in the early 1990s.
The sample included in this study totaled 1,645 students (119 two-year college students and
1,1526 four-year students). Results revealed that two-year college students were more likely to
drop out of college; however there was no bias in regards of sex, race, or pre-college ability. Of
students at the two-year colleges who originally had reported aspirations to obtain a bachelor‟s
degree, 11.8% had lowered their expectations by the end of their first year in college, compared
to 5.2% among four-year college students. At the end of their second year of study, 22.8% of
two-year college students and only 4.2% of four-year students had dropped their hopes of
earning a bachelor‟s degree. Results were significant. When the samples were weighted up to
the national population, results were similar.
        When confounding factors were taken into consideration, the differences between the
educational aspirations between two-year and four-year college students at the end of the first
year of study became non-significant. However, the aspirations at the end of the second year
of study remained significant. The authors compared attendance at a two-year college and
magnitude of precollege plans (earning a master‟s or doctorate versus bachelor degree only).
For students who wanted to obtain a master‟s degree or higher, attending a two-year college
had a small, positive (but not significant) effect. For students who originally planned only to earn
a bachelor‟s degree, attending a two-year college had a significant, negative effect on
lowering educational plans.
        Impact of these findings include providing more than transfer centers. Community
college students who indicate that they want to obtain a bachelor‟s degree may require more
assistance and support to help them complete their tenure at the college successfully and
transfer to a four-year institution.
Pascarella, Ernest T., Pierson, Christopher T., Wolniak, Gregory C., and Terenzini, Patrick T. 2004.
First-generation college students: Additional evidence on college experiences and outcomes.
Journal of Higher Education 75(3):249-284

         This study set out to expand upon the research of Terenzini et al. (1996) on the cognitive
development of first-generation students. In Terenzini et al. (1996), the authors compared
differences in cognitive gain only between first-generation students with students with a family
history of postsecondary education only through the first year of their college-going experience.
The current study would examine these differences through the second year of college. Sample
data originates with the NSSL study of the early 1990s. First-generation students are more likely to
take fewer credit hours, work for pay more hours per week, and less likely to live on campus than
their peers with a family tradition of college education. They also had lower levels of
volunteerism, contact with peers outside of class, and athletic participation. First-generation
students also had lower grades through the third year of the study, despite other controls that
were in place.
         There were no truly consistent or significant advantages or disadvantages seen across all
years of the study in all areas or with the different subsamples (first-generation; one parent with a
college degree; both parents with a college degree). The only consistent negative effect found
was for educational degree plans in the second and third years of college. Compared to
students whose parents both had college degrees, first-generation students had significantly
lower degree aspirations at the end of the second and third years. This finding was still
significant for the second year results even when academic and non-academic factors were
controlled. Academic performance did seem to have some impact on the end-of-third-year
degree aspirations for first-generation students. In general, the authors note that were significant
differences were found, they were modest. Extracurricular activities appeared to have
significant positive impact on the cognitive development and degree plans for first-generation
students than for multi-generation students, even though first-generation students were less likely
to engage in such activities. If they are able to persist beyond the first year, first-generation
students tended to have only minor differences in cognitive gains compared to multi-generation
college students.
Poirier, Christopher R. and Feldman, Robert S. 2004. Teaching in cyberspace: Online versus
traditional instruction using a waiting-list experimental design. Teaching of Psychology 31(4)59-

        In this study, students were placed on a wait list for an introductory psychology class and
they indicated if they were open to taking the course online or in the traditional face-to-face
context. Students were then randomly assigned to one section of the course. To create similar
testing environments, students were required to take exams in class, meaning online students
had to come to campus to take their exams. The sample size was small, with nine students
assigned to the larger lecture format class and 12 to the online section of the course. Results
revealed that online students answered a higher percentage of exam questions correctly, while
there was no significant difference in performance on the class papers between modes of
course delivery. While the course evaluations were good for both the online and traditional
delivery sections, online students gave the course higher ratings than did the traditional students.
Online students tend to feel that they had more interaction with and feedback from the
instructor. Both sets of students reported that they spent five hours a week on the course
(lecture, readings, assignments, etc.). Results were also compared with students in the large
lecture class who had not agreed to be randomly assigned to a section of the course. There
was no significant difference with the other samples used in this study.
        It is acknowledged that course satisfaction may have been influenced by the fact that
the traditional students were part of a large, lecture-only format class whereas the online section
had fewer students.
Proctor, Briley E., Prevatt, Frances, Adams, Katherine, Hurst, Abigail, and Petsher, Yaacov. 2006.
Study skills profiles of normal-achieving and academically-struggling college students. Journal
of College Student Development 47(1):37-51

         Some studies have shown a positive correlation between the amount and quality of
notes a student takes and performance on exams about lecture materials. Students often have
difficulty keeping up with the lecture while note-taking, knowing what information should be
noted, and being able to interpret the notes outside of class. This study looked at studying skills
of an assortment of groups at an institution (high GPA v. low GPA; students with learning
disabilities and those without; those with recorded academic difficulties and those without). Two
hundred sixty-three students at a large university in the Southeast participated in the study. The
Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) was used, which is commonly utilized to screen
for students at risk for poor academic performance since LASSI scores have been found to be
positively correlated with GPA.
         Results show that the academically struggling groups had weak study skills as
represented by their LASSI scores compared to their counterparts. The lower performing groups
showed weaknesses in concentration, motivating, ability to select main ideas and appropriate
test strategies. These results were compared with a sample of other low-performing students
from other institutions and similar results were found. Struggling students tend to show the same
weaknesses in study skills in comparison with their better-performing classmates. This knowledge
can be used by advisors and other service providers to provide assistance for at-risk students
(admitted with low GPA, have a documented learning disability, etc.). It is suggested that
students receiving low scores in Motivation may require more intentional advising and
counseling for career and course selection. Students scoring low on the selecting main idea
and test strategies criteria may be referred to study skills classes to help overcome these weak
Salter, Daniel W. 2003. Exploring the ‘chilly classroom’ phenomenon as interactions between
psychological and environmental types. Journal of College Student Development 44(1):110-121

         This study wanted to assess evidence of the “chilly classroom” that has been alleged to
explain differences in male and female student performance in a class, when all other factors
are equal. The author provides an introduction to the theory behind idea that such a
phenomenon exists. The study consisted of 421 students from 12 different class cohorts at a
Midwestern college, with 321 females and 100 males. No other demographic data had been
collected for this study, so the effects of other conditional factors are unknown. Students were
asked to select a course from their past that they felt was to be either a good or poor fit (the
choice was the student‟s). Students completed a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator-Form G and the
Salter Environmental Type Assessment; Experimental Form A1. More students (253) chose to
discuss courses that were a good fit, compared to 168 students who chose courses that were a
poor fit. Learning style seemed not to be related to classroom fit. For thinking-oriented students,
regardless of sex, the classroom climate did not appear to have any relationship with perceived
fit. Feeling-oriented students seemed to be more sensitive to classroom environment and
perceived fit. This effect was more pronounced for feeling-oriented students who were female,
with these students preferring feeling-inclined classrooms. Males who were feeling-oriented
appeared to have less sensitivity to classroom fit.
         To help provide more nurturing environments where feeling-oriented female students can
develop the interpersonal ties that are important to them, schools can establish women‟s
centers or learning communities more suited to the feeling-oriented student. Faculty also can
be made more aware of the differences in classroom needs for thinkers and feelers and the
impact that classroom environment can have on student “comfort.”
Saville, Bryan K., Zinn, Tracy E. and Elliot, Marcus P. 2005. Interteaching versus traditional
methods of instruction: A preliminary analysis. Teaching of Psychology 32(3):161-163

         The authors discuss the effectiveness of inter-teaching in which students engage in
reciprocal instruction and tutoring and collaborative learning. Students teach each other rather
than listening solely to the professor. The instructor provides guidance for the activity, students
pair up to discuss prepared guidelines and questions, with the instructor patrolling the classroom,
correcting any factual fallacies and providing assistance when needed. Students advise the
instructor regarding course materials that were difficult to understand and require more lecture
from the instructor. The authors measured the efficacy of inter-teaching via traditional methods
by collecting data on 84 student volunteers who agreed to participate in the study. Students
were assigned to groups that utilized different teaching approaches: inter-teaching, lecture,
and reading, which were all utilizing the same article and a control group that was not exposed
to the information contained within the article. One week after they participated in their group,
students were given a brief quiz to test what they had learned. Members of the inter-teaching
group significantly answered more questions correctly than the other groups. There were no
significant differences between the lecture, reading or control groups.
          The authors suggest that inter-teaching was more successful in this experiment because
it encourages collaboration between students and required that students understand the
material well in order to be able to explain it to one another. It is believed that inter-teaching,
where faculty utilize the information that students provide regarding what materials are difficult
to understand, provides greater motivation and empowerment of students, who can appreciate
that the instructor listened to their request for more information on a particular topic.
         The authors recognize the limitations of this study might bias the results (small sample size,
possibility of a priori knowledge of the subject matter) [and I might suggest no control for prior
academic achievement of the students]. A sample of 3,320 students completed questionnaires
that asked about the course teaching, faculty-student interaction, peer interaction, and
perceived workload. By creating a classroom environment that had quality, engaging
instruction and good faculty-student interaction a student‟s perception of course workload will
decrease because of increased engagement with the course. While the impact of peer
interaction was not significant, the authors believed it still had an indirect effect. Faculty can
create a challenging, quality course which requires much work on the student‟s part, but if the
course is engaging and stimulating, encouraging student interaction with the faculty and other
students, then the students will likely perceive the workload as acceptable and not a burden.
Schuh, J. H., & Kuh, G. D. (2005). Promoting student success: What department chairs can do
(Occasional Paper No. 10). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary

        Department chairs are in a position of leadership and can help direct their constituents
to achieving a demonstrated commitment to student success. Departments can offer
workshops on how to assess different student learning styles or developing alternative forms of
assessment. In institutions were faculty serve as advisors, department chairs can encourage
faculty members to have frequent contact with their advisees, especially during the first year of
study, to ensure that the student‟s transition to college is going well. Advising efforts, whether to
individual students or to clubs, can be used as part of the annual review process for faculty.
Departmental chairs can instill in new faculty the expectations the university/college has
regarding their performance and duties, providing feedback for continued success. Chairs
should also strive to make certain the transition to a new school is as seamless as possible for
incoming faculty, providing guidance and resources that they will need. Institutions with high
rates of graduation and engagement have retained advisement as a responsibility of faculty,
rather than as a service provided by other staff. Student involvement in the faculty selection
process should be encouraged, allowing students to have a voice regarding the individual with
whom they will be working in the coming years. Department chairs can arrange for monthly
informal social gatherings between students and faculty. Chairs should cultivate an
environment of assessment and continuous improvement.
        Ways in which other institutions have encouraged department chairs to be more
proactive regarding student learning and success include:
    1. Promote faculty to provide timely, frequent, and productive feedback to students—in
        person, on paper or online.
    2. Encourage student advisement by including such activities in the annual performance
    3. Facilitate the acclimation of new faculty (and perhaps remind older faculty) by hosting
        weekly discussions on institutional concerns, instructional methods, etc.
    4. Ease transition to a new institution by ensuring incoming faculty have a mentor and
        receives clear instruction regarding departmental and institutional expectations.
    5. Support the creation of a research opportunity funding program to encourage student-
        faculty collaboration on research projects.
    6. Create comfortable meeting and study spaces in the department for faculty and
        student interaction.
    7. Set aside some discretionary funds to support a student peer instructor or tutor within the
    8. Encourage assessment to help courses evolve and become more successful.
Seifert, Tricia A., Pascarella, Ernest T., Colangelo, Nicholas, and Assouline, Susan. 2007. The
effects of honors program participation on experiences of good practices and learning
outcomes. Journal of College Student Development 48(1):57-74

         The number of honors programs at public two-year colleges have increased 40% since
1989. However, honors programs have been criticized for essentially removing the best students
from the general classroom, where other students could benefit from their contributions to the
class, and reserving the best services, programs, and support for the best-performing students.
However, there has been little research that effectively measures the impact of honors programs
on student learning. This study was designed to use a longitudinal dataset of pre-test and post-
test assessments. The authors wanted to test the hypotheses that honors students are exposed
to more good practices in their undergraduate education and that they would demonstrate
higher cognitive gains by the end of the first year than their non-honors peers (with all other
factors being held equal). Data originated from the NSSL study of the early 1990s.
         Results showed that honors students were exposed significantly more often to six out of 20
good practices in undergraduate education than their non-honors peers during the first year
(extend of course-related interaction with peers; academic effort/involvement; number of
textbooks and assigned readings; use of higher-order questioning techniques by faculty;
instructor feedback; instructor skill and clarity). Essentially, the honors programs were found to
provide a more challenging and intensive academic environment. Honors program
participation also appeared to improve first-year cognitive gains (significant in most areas
except for reading comprehension). When good practices were controlled, honors students still
outperformed their classmates, which went against expectations. The amount of cognitive gain
experienced by the honors students was also unexpected. It was thought that since honors
students showed higher pre-test cognitive ability, that they should show lower amounts of gain
at the end of the first year, though this was not the case. It was concluded that participation in
honors programs served to accentuate differenced in cognitive development inherent to honors
and non-honors students. For the most part the net effects of honors program participation were
general, except for composite cognitive development or reading comprehension. Composite
cognitive development in males and for students whose families had parental incomes higher
than the median was better served by honors participation than for females or for students
whose parental incomes were below the median. Participation in honors programs had a
significant positive effect on gains in reading comprehension for students of color. In general,
honors students and non-honors students reported having rather similar in-class and out-of-class
Sokolove, Phillip G., Arbach-Ad, Gili, and Fusco, Judith. 2003. Student use of internet study
rooms for out-of-class group study in introductory biology. Journal of Science Education and
Technology 12(2):105-113

         This article reports on the use of online, virtual study rooms for students in an introductory
biology class to study together in groups. The authors wanted to determine if students actually
would use online study rooms if they were made available to them and discover who students
compared online group study to meeting in person. The introductory biology class was a large
enrollment (approximately 250 students), predominantly freshmen section. Students met three
days a week for lecture and once a week in smaller breakout sessions. Students had been
randomly assigned to permanent, cooperative learning teams, consisting of three to five
students, working together on assignments in class and in the smaller sections. Prior to each
exam, students were given a set of questions to be used as a preview of the exam. About two-
thirds of the exam questions would be based upon information contained within the review
questions. Students were not permitted to ask the instructor or teaching assistants about answers
for these review questions but they were encouraged to work with their fellow students outside
of class. Students were advised that online study rooms would be made available to them to
facilitate their collaborations outside of class. An online multi-user virtual environment was
created with 25 single-team study rooms (students would enter their assigned room upon log-in
to the site), each with a „whiteboard‟ for comments. Students could even personalize their
“study room” with furniture. Discussions that take place are automatically emailed to the
student when s/he logs out (if the student personally obtained a “recorder”). The instructor
could log-in, see which rooms were “in use,” and visit with the students. Students can even visit
the “student center” and the “outdoors” while in their virtual environment.
         In this pilot study, 99 students in 25 teams gave permission for their online collaborative
discussions to be recorded and analyzed and a survey was included with the final exam. Results
indicated that 47 students actually used the virtual study rooms. Nineteen studied exclusively
online with their study partners, while the remainder met in person as well as online. Ten
students, who had access to the virtual study rooms, only met with their teams in person. The
remaining students reported that they studied alone or in person with students other than their
in-class groups. Of those students who met both online and in person, eleven rated both
experiences as equally effective for studying, while two students gave a slight edge to the online
meetings. Fifteen students reported that online group studying was less effective and they
reported to spending more time meeting in person. So, of students who used both modes of
meeting (in person or online), they met face-to-face more often and rated these in-person study
sessions more productive. Students who met only online spent more time in their virtual study
rooms than did the other students (meeting almost three hours), but they reported a mean
satisfaction score lower than that for online experiences of students who met both in-person and
online. The ten students who met only in person spent more time with their teammates (4.8
hours, on average) and gave the experience a higher satisfaction score.
         So virtual studying was given a lower satisfaction rating and was used less often than in-
person study groups. However, students did recognize the useful of having the online meeting
option. Seventy-four percent of students who had spent sometime studying together online
reported that they would use the virtual study room if it were made available for other classes.
Students felt that if the instructor, teaching assistant, or peer tutor would have made the virtual
study sessions more effective. For those students who did not use the online study rooms, most
reported that the difficulty of agreeing to online meeting times or technical issues made it too
         While the authors have not finished reviewing the archived student discussions in their
study rooms, they have noted that these transcripts can be useful in identifying course material
that students find difficult and determine how the instructor can be more explicit about key
terms, concepts, etc. in future lectures.
Sternberg, Robert J. and Grigorenko, Elena L. 2002. The theory of successful intelligence as a
basis for instruction and assessment in higher education. IN Halpern, Diane F. and Hakel, Milton
D. (eds.): Applying the Science of Learning to University Teaching and Beyond. New Directions
for Teaching and Learning, No. 89. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, pp. 45-53.

         The authors explore the idea of why some individuals do poorly in college but excel in life
after graduation. It is hypothesized that the reason these students did poorly was because the
teaching and assessment protocols used by their institution were too narrow and did not match
the inherent abilities of the students. Sternberg et al. (2002:46) define successful intelligence as:
“1. the use of an integrated set of abilities needed to attain success in life, however an
individual defines it, within his or her sociocultural context. People are successfully intelligent by
virtue of 2. recognizing their strengths and making the most of them at the same time that they
recognize their weaknesses and find ways to correct or compensate for them. Successfully
intelligent people 3. adapt to, shape, and select environments through 4. finding a balance in
their use of analytical, creative, and practical abilities.”
         To support successful intelligence, instructors can expose students to several different
examples of concepts in the class, giving students various ways in which to relate to the
material, and offer varied ways of assessing student comprehension of the information. Faculty
and students need to be adaptable to changing learning environments, not fearing risk and
mistakes from which one can learn. Instructors should teach their students to think analytically
and creatively and learn how to use this knowledge in practical applications.
Terenzini, Patrick T. 1999. Research and practice in undergraduate education: And never the
twain shall meet. Higher Education 38:33-48

         The author wants to address the disconnect between what educators know from
research on how students learn and how instruction is done in the classroom. It is known that
students learn best from challenging, diversified, engaging, active, reflective, stimulating,
collaborative experiences encouraging problem-solving with real world applications, both in
and out of the classroom. However, classroom instruction is generally teaching-focused (faculty
pouring information into the student) instead of learning-center (student exploring the
information with guidance from the instructor).
         The author calls for a deviation from the old way of teaching towards a new way of
learning, focused on opportunities that allow the challenging, diversified, engaging, etc.
environment for students to prevail. These learning environments should acknowledge that
students learn at different rates, instead of expecting that student characteristics and abilities
are comparable and constant. In teacher-centered scenarios, the course materials are
produced, processed and delivered without any input or actions required by the student. The
student merely procures the end product, already neatly packaged. Instead, the author
recommends that students should take a more active role in their own education (a more “pick
your own strawberries, apples, blueberries” approach rather than the mass-produced and
distributed scenario).
          One reason for the disconnect between research and practice is that educational
research is typically held with low regard by administrators and policy makers. Also, articles on
educational research are often written for the wrong audience(typically, other scholarly
researchers) instead of those who actually could use the information gained through the
research (faculty and administrators). For those who lives depend on academic publications,
there is more merit placed on publication in scholarly journals using their own vernacular rather
than being more accessible to the general public in academia. Even when the research is
available, the recommendations suggested may not be instituted because of resistance to
change. A shift to a learner-centered approach to education requires an active commitment
on the part of the school and its faculty and staff in order to be made real. But the necessary
changes in policies, processes, and personal roles may require more effort than the initial zeal
may be able to sustain.
Tinnesz, Christine G., Ahuna, Kelly H., and Kiener, Michael. 2006. Toward college success:
Internalizing active and dynamic strategies. College Teaching 54(4):302-306

         A large university in the Northeast utilizes a course on Methods of Inquiry (MOI), which
encourages student responsibility and growth in critical thinking skills. Students are shown and
explore active learning strategies. This project assesses the effectiveness of a course if explicit
teaching of active learning strategies actually increases student academic success. Can
students who are shown the principles and theories of active learners apply these concepts in
their own education and become self-regulated learners? In the MOI course, students are
shown how to think within the discipline, asking questions and seeking answers appropriate to
the field of study; how to become more deeply involved with the material; to think like an
instructor of a course; and to monitor how well they are comprehending the material. Students
are shown different techniques in note-taking, reading, concept mapping and elaboration, and
creating mock exams. Students attend lectures and individual weekly meetings with a peer
monitor. The program requires a lot of personnel [and associated expense], including teaching
assistants who oversee the peer mentors, who assist about 10 students each. The lectures are
taught by the directors of the MOI program at the university. The monitoring of mentors,
assistants, and students is considered to be integral to the success of the course.
         Over a four-term period, the researchers wanted to determine if there are demographic
patterns in pre- and post-test scores assessing active and dynamic learning strategies. The
sample consisted of 680 students, predominately lower classmen and of relatively diverse ethnic
backgrounds. Students were administered the Revised Experimental Version of the Dynamic
and Active Learning Inventory (DALI-R), asking about learning strategies the students employed.
Differences between scores at the beginning and end of the course show a significant positive
change in both active and dynamic learning strategies used by the students. There were no
significant differences in results based on sex, year in school, class section, or ethnicity.
         Results show that active and dynamic learning strategies can be taught and have
significant, positive benefits to all students, regardless of race, sex or year in school. [It would
have been interesting to see what the significance of results were based on academic ability.
Did lower performing students have bigger gains?]
Van Ast, John and Field, Dennis W. 2005. Reflections of community college students regarding
mentee/instructor teaching and learning effectiveness. Community College Journal of Research
and Practice 39(3):173-189

         The article provides background information on the Community College Induction
Mentoring (CCIM) program institutionalized in Iowa for the community college and Iowa State
University to help pair new faculty with established faculty, who would mentor new hires on best
practices, establishing goals and action plans. Current faculty who were selected as mentors
received training on being an effective mentor before being released to assist the new hires.
Students of the new hires were invited to submit their evaluations of the teaching and learning
that took place in the classrooms of the new faculty. These data were compared with those of
classes whose instructor was not part of the CCIM program. Results indicated that the program
was effective in improving teaching and learning. The mentoring program was designed to
provide support for new faculty during their first two years at the institution, focusing on
psychosocial and career development, enriching responsive educative experiences, and
continuing assessment and feedback. This particular research wanted to assess the
effectiveness of the CCIM program.
         Community college student evaluations and demographic data (1.049) were collected
over three years on new hires who were either in their first year or second year of teaching at the
school. Students were asked about: course organization, clarity, relevancy; instructor being
considerate of students; stimulating lectures and activities; instructor feedback; instructor
enjoyment of the class. Students were also asked if: they were encouraged to ask questions; if
their input was valued; they were encouraged to succeed and use additional resources to help
them do so; if they felt actively involved in the learning process; if course content and teaching
styles were adapted to match various ways of teaching; consistent and appropriate feedback;
relevant readings and assignments; if their understanding of the course subject was increased
by taking the class. Students were asked to consider their responses for their current CCIM
instructor and for a class where the instructor was not in the CCIM program.
         Results indicated that five of the nine hypotheses tested were supported for both first and
second year instructors. These five hypotheses were (186): “1. students will rate their reactions
higher for the CCIM instructors than for the „comparison‟ classes‟ instructors; 2. students will
evaluate their learning higher in the CCIM instructor‟s class than in their „comparison‟ classes; 3.
nontraditional students will evaluate their learning higher than traditional-aged students; 4.
students in required program/major courses will evaluate their learning higher in those courses
than in their general education courses, based on comparisons of the CCIM instructors with
other instructor; and 5. students in organized academic programs will evaluate their reactions to
the CCIM instructors higher than those taking single courses.” Those hypotheses that were
rejected include (186): “1. students in required program/major courses will rate the reactions to
their instructors higher in those courses than in general education courses, based on comparison
of the CCIM instructors with other instructors; 2. students in organized academic programs will
evaluate their learning from CCIM instructors higher than those taking single courses; and 3.
female students will rate their instructors higher overall (both reaction and learning) than male
students.” One hypothesis was supported for first-year CCIM instructors but rejected for second-
year CCIM instructors: non-traditional students (ages 24-up) will rate their instructor‟s/class‟
reaction higher than traditional students (18-13)” (186). In general, students perceived a higher
level of teaching and learning in courses where their instructors were participants in the CCIM
Walker, Christopher O., Greene, Barbara A., and Mansell, Robert A. 2006. Identification with
academics, intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, and self-efficacy as predictors of cognitive
engagement. Learning and Individual Differences 16:1-12

        The authors wanted to examine what factors may influence how a student becomes
engaged with course materials. They provide a brief review of previous research on how
students identify with academics(how much the student‟s self-esteem is based on academic
outcomes or value academic achievement), intrinsic/extrinsic motivation, and self-efficacy. It is
believed that the more students identify with academics, the more they will be motivated to
succeed in their studies and have higher GPAs. This characteristic is believed to be shaped (and
can be changed) by experiences, both positive and negative. Intrinsically motivated students
have an inherent desire to learn and succeed (internal satisfaction), whereas extrinsically
motivated students are driven by a desire to attain something outside of oneself (external
award). Self-efficacy pertains to the conviction that one can perform a task successfully. The
higher the self-efficacy, the more the student believes s/he has the skills necessary to complete
the task. Cognitive engagement refers to how the student processes material (deep—relates
new material to existing knowledge; shallow—rote memorization without interconnection with
previous knowledge).
        The sample consisted of 171 volunteers (evenly divided between the sexes, aged 18-22
years, mostly White) from a large university in the southwest. Four questionnaires were used to
measure efficacy, extrinsic/intrinsic motivation, and identification with academics. Results
revealed that extrinsic motivation alone was able to predict shallow cognitive engagement,
whereas identification with academics, self-efficacy, and intrinsic motivation were variable in
their ability to predict deep cognitive engagement.
Wankat, Phillip C., Felder, Richard M, Smith, Karl A., and Frank Oreovicz. 2002. The scholarship of
teaching and learning in engineering. IN Huber, Mary Taylor and Monreale, Sherwyn P. (eds.):
Disciplinary Styles in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: Exploring Common Ground.
Washington, DC: American Association for Higher Education, pp. 217-237.

         This book chapter reviews the history of engineering education in the US, the
development of scholarship in teaching and learning in engineering education, challenges it
faces, and recommendations for future practice. After World War II, more emphasis was placed
on scientific, mathematical, and theoretical skills rather than empirical, practical experience, as
had been the previous focus of engineering education in the US. From apprenticeship to Ph.D.
degrees, the education requirements for engineering have evolved, and opportunities for
practical training experience were replaced with discussions of theory. The Accreditation Board
for Engineering Technology adopted Engineering Criteria 2000 in 1996, which placed more
emphasis on the assessment of learning outcomes in engineering education than had been
seen previously. Developmental workshops specifically for engineering faculty have been
instituted at individual schools as well as nationally. Very few studies on learning outcomes in
engineering programs have utilized rigorous quantitative standards, and qualitative studies
slowly have been increasing. It has been argued that the scholarship of teaching and learning
should be considered in yearly, tenure, or promotional evaluations of faculty, assessing teaching
effectiveness, scholarly teaching activities, and educational/developmental efforts that can be
measured through learning outcome assessments, student/peer evaluations, self-assessment,
and course portfolios. Engineering programs should consider consulting with other disciplines
that have a longer track record of student assessment and active research and application in
teaching and learning. Likewise, engineering departments and faculty can assist other
disciplines in improving the role of innovative technology in their classrooms and learning
environments, as well as assist in applying for funding for interdisciplinary projects.
Whitt, E. J. (2005). Promoting student success: What student affairs can do (Occasional Paper No.
5). Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.

     Whitt makes several recommendations for the office of student affairs and what it can do to
promote student success. Student affairs should dedicate itself to the educational mission of the
institution, creating a seamless learning environment, both in and out of the classroom. Develop
co-curricular programs with other departments that have high amounts of student contact,
place the focus on student achievement. For example, during orientation or first-year
experience gatherings, place more emphasis on intellectual and academic content, rather
than social. Encourage students to make the most of educational opportunities available to
them, such as advising, co-curricular activities, community service, and internships. Raise
student awareness of the opportunities and value of such experiences. To promote student
success, institutions should develop early warning systems to alert of students who may need
additional help (whether academic or social) to succeed. Meetings between faculty, athletics,
academic advisors, and other staff can help to identify students who may need this extra
attention. Provide structure and support for new students during recruitment and orientation so
they can easily learn how the institution operates and how to succeed. Provide diverse learning
opportunities and promote diversity within and outside of the classroom. Promote and support
programs and individuals who are dedicated to student success and student learning, as well as
create settings on campus that support learning (both formal and informal settings. Some
initiatives used by other institutions include:
     1. Blur the boundary between in-class and out-of-class learning experiences. Student life
          programs can also encourage intellectual growth while developing social skills and
     2. During orientation and recruitment activities, emphasize appropriate expectations,
          attitudes and behavior for college life.
     3. Offer an array of organizational and club activities that promote diversity and learning
          experiences out of the classroom.
     4. Have regular meetings between advisors, faculty, athletic staff, etc. to identify and
          discuss students who they feel are in need of academic or social support.
     5. Establish an academic support services unit, directed towards helping new, readmitted
          or transfer students adjust to the university/college. Include advising and support, peer
          advisors, freshman seminars and a faculty-based early warning system for students in
     6. Create a unit that supplies mentoring and advising services for new students to ease their
          transition into college life. The unit can also synchronize support programs for reading,
          math, science and critical thinking.
     7. Create more on-campus job opportunities for students, to increase their interaction with
          university/college personnel and faculty, as well as to lessen their dependence on off-
          campus jobs.
Create space that fosters learning. These can be formal spaces, such as an entire building
dedicated to academic services (tutoring, advising, career counseling, library, etc.).

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