Special Issue: Best in Class

2019 Volume 8 Issue 2

ISSN 2159-0281 (Print)
eISSN 2159-029X (Online)




Individual articles can be accessed below. The full volume of the journal is available at the following link:

Defining Effective Online Pedagogy

JOHN STEELE | RICK HOLBECK | JEAN MANDERNACH

 

This article summary provides a structure to think about instructional strategies, best practices, and online pedagogy as it applies to your teaching. We offer a brief discussion of key contextual factors that may influence the generalizability of the online teaching suggestions provided throughout this special issue. In addition, we offer reflective questions to guide your application of the instructional approaches discussed.

Ten Strategic Points: A Framework for Doctoral Dissertations Students to Conceptualize

their Research Design in a Doctoral Residency Program

CYNTHIA BAINBRIDGE | CRISTIE MCCLENDON | JUNE MAUL

 

This study examines doctoral student perceptions regarding learning acquired during a weeklong residency program wherein they were exposed to a strategic framework designed to help conceptualize the design for their dissertation study. Using a simple quantitative, pre-experimental, one group pre-post-test, design, a questionnaire was developed to measure student perceptions. During the residency, students are taught this framework which is founded on theories and models from the fields of education and psychology. The 10-point model provides a multifaceted approach to enabling doctoral students to conceptualize the design for their own doctoral dissertation working within an environment that supports cognitive and social development. This approach provides students with a model and faculty feedback to create an aligned research study early in their program of study. Students responded to 15 questions regarding their understanding of the 10 required components of the study on Day 2 and again on Day 4 of the residency. Data were analyzed using Wilcoxen Signed Rank Test. The results indicated there was significant improvement in student self-reported learning and understanding of the various elements of the 10 strategic points model between the pre-posttest results. 

The Goldilocks Paradox: The Need for Instructor Presence but Not Too Much in an Online Discussion Forum

ELIZABETH LARSON | JACOB AROZ | ERIC NORDIN


 

Online education has seen tremendous growth in higher education as more universities have started to offer different modalities of learning. As of 2014, it is estimated that over 28% of students enrolled at a higher learning institution completed some, if not all, of their coursework online (Allen & Seaman, 2016). While there is a considerable amount of research on online education and student engagement, the impact of instructor engagement has not been as thoroughly researched (Seaton, 2014). Furthermore, student perceptions on instructor engagement has not received significant attention in research. This is an important gap as overall, research shows that positive learning outcomes is strongly linked to student involvement, engagement, and their perception of belongingness (Schwehm, Saxton, & Stuckey, 2017).

Virtual Professional Communities: Integrative Faculty Support to Foster Effective Teaching

KATIE SPRUTE | CRYSTAL MCCABE | LYNN BASKO | PAUL DANUSER |   JEAN MANDERNACH

 

Growth in online and traditional course offerings has resulted in a subsequent increase in higher education’s reliance on adjunct faculty. Supporting effective teaching for remote and traditional adjunct faculty presents several unique challenges (e.g., engagement, time, motivation, inclusion). To address these challenges, we wanted to establish a Community of Practice and launched course-specific Virtual Professional Communities (VPCs). VPCs were designed to provide a unique opportunity to connect faculty (full-time and adjunct) teaching the same courses to share instructional materials, dialogue about instructional challenges, and increase opportunities for networking. A reflective analysis overviews the challenges and benefits of utilizing VPCs with an emphasis on strategies to support teaching effectiveness in the online classroom.

Exploring Quiz-Style PowerPoint Games as an Innovative e-Learning and Teaching Pedagogy

NIKKI SQUIRE

 

Using game-based learning strategies, such as quiz-style PowerPoint games as an e-learning and teaching pedagogy can make a positive impact on how students learn, how they process and retain information, and how they interact with digital media. However, little is known about their impact on students’ information literacy development. This quantitative comparative research study examined differences among online freshman students’ posttest information literacy (IL) summative scores comparing information literacy (IL) pedagogies (traditional versus quiz-style PowerPoint game) and response to the online formative assessment using the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation model combined with the application of the framework as grounded in the behavioral and cognitive learning theories of Bloom’s Taxonomy and Sweller’s CLT. A comparative analysis using a non-parametric analysis of variance for both hypothesis 1 and 2 indicated no significant difference in IL summative scores between the traditional pedagogy and the quiz-style pedagogy groups (p>.05), and a significant difference between IL summative scores based on student response for hypothesis 2 (p<.05). Two recommendations for practice for higher education leadership were (a) to encourage active learning strategies, such as quiz-style PowerPoint games or other game-based pedagogies for teaching and learning for online first-year writing courses, and (b) to encourage college faculty to use online formative assessments in their classrooms to help increase student participation, interaction, and most of all, course performance.

Reflective Practice through Mentorship: A Program Reflection

EMILY POTTINGER | REBEKAH DYER | JENA AKARD

 

Reflection is an essential practice within the field of teaching. In addition, education is a profession that is in a constant state of flux as new research, theory, and policy is created. Because of this, teachers must continually evaluate, assess, and reflect in order to stay abreast with new initiatives, practices, and expectations within the classroom. However, maintaining this ever-changing knowledge requires collaboration. Both reflection practice and teaching practice benefit greatly through interactions and mentorships among colleagues. The following will explore and reflect upon how one college used a faculty mentorship program to improve adjunct faculty’s reflective and teaching practices through collaboration.

Using OBS to Create Video Lectures for Online Counseling Students

DANIEL A. KAUFMANN

 

Online learners face a different set of obstacles than their classroom-based counterparts as they seek to develop clinical skills solely through interaction with the content of an independent learning curriculum. While ground campus learners benefit from classroom content such as lectures or roleplay activities with their peers to rehearse clinical abilities, online students may struggle to identify ways to connect with the source material in a manner that leads to becoming a professional counselor confident in their own theoretical orientation and the related skillset. To this point, some information is available to explain the impact on using video lectures to allow for class time to experience a flipped classroom format. However, this does not extend to online learners who neither get the benefit of an in-person lecture or counseling related experiential activities during class time. This reflection will seek to bridge this gap, explain how to use software commonly used for streaming video games to make the online class more vibrant, and extend additional learning opportunities to students early in the counseling curriculum who may not have identified their flow yet as an independent learner.

Active Classrooms: Great for Academic Performance, but can They Improve Student Health?

A Critical Literature Review

MIKE SWOBODA

 

This critical literature review explores the concept of the active classroom to identify past program designs and offer future direction for active classroom programming intended to promote student health and well-being. Active classrooms have long been shown to improve academic performance, but little research has been conducted on the potential health benefits to students and the proposed design of such a program. This review bridges the gap between past methodologies and future programming and offers suggestions for fundamental pedagogical changes to enhance student engagement, activity, and overall health and well-being.

The Intersection of Theory and Practice in Teacher Preparation Courses

BRANDON JUAREZ

 

The high percentage of new teachers who leave the profession within the first five years of teaching motivated the teacher educator to consider an alternative path to andragogically approaching course content. Thus, the teacher educator grappled with the process of transitioning theories of the content to application-based andragogy. The intersection of theory and practice came to fruition in one teacher preparation course. To this end, the teacher educator set out to foster a learning environment that yielded safety and trust for pre-service teacher candidates to participate in simulations throughout class sessions. In this summary, the teacher educator illuminates innovative and practical teaching practices, solutions to overcoming obstacles, and how this approach can be utilized in other curriculum and content areas.

Alternative Mentoring for Psychology Students

LAURA CHESNIAK-PHIPPS | LAURA TERRY

 

The ratio of full-time psychology faculty to psychology students on a college campus can often present difficulty in providing individual mentoring. Further, because psychology students can apply their degrees in a variety of ways, mentoring is a critical component to success post-graduation, whether a student chooses to pursue a career or graduate school. In response to this issue, two, full-time psychology professors created and implemented a mentoring program in an attempt to reach undergraduate students in a group setting. This paper will outline the pilot semester of the program and discuss implications for future programs.

Using Board Games to Engage Non-interested Students in Accounting Classes

KELLY DAMRON

A board game is used in financial accounting courses as a means to engage students actively in their own learning. Since many students are intimidated by accounting or find the topic uninteresting, the use of games, especially a board game, encourages them to engage actively. After playing the board game, the students in the classroom appreciate a better connection between the accounting topics they learned and how to use accounting in their professional or personal lives. This activity requires the faculty member to run an organized classroom and ensure students are completing the activity as directed. 

Enhancing Online Learning for Public Health Graduate Students

DULCE MARIA RUELAS

The use of Web 2.0 tools in an online graduate public health program is an opportunity to further engage students with supporting technology and enhance the reflexivity and satisfaction of the student and instructor dyad. This reflective practice summary article discusses the use of Flipgrid and Loom as tools to further describe assignments and navigation of the public health community. A decision tree was created and used to evaluate which Web 2.0 tool was most appropriate in the first two courses of the Master of Public Health (MPH) program. After a trial and error period, the results demonstrated a clear distinction between the first two courses of the program. Based on the needs of the student and alignment with public health curriculum, Loom is better suited for the initial course and Flipgrid for the second course. Further assessment of these tools and evolving technology advancement on embedding videos can be made to assess retention rates in these courses.

Implementation of Instructional Videos in an Online Healthcare Research Methods Course

DANIELLE HENDERSON

A research methods and statistics course is a crucial component of any health care professions program. Statistics is a difficult subject for students to learn, but studies have shown implementing short video lectures in the online platform can enhance student learning and improve course success rates. The purpose of this paper is to detail the implementation of weekly instructional videos in HLT-540, a course with high withdrawal and fail rates, and discuss the impact this had on course success. Short instructional videos were developed and implemented in weeks 2-8 of the 8-week course to provide students with a live demonstration of best strategies for completing assignments, conducting data analysis, and interpreting results. Following the implementation of the instructional videos, 90.5% of students who completed the course between January and March of 2019, passed. In addition, in end-of-course surveys, students commented on the value of the instructional videos. The 90.5% course success rate and EOCS feedback supports the continuation of the use of instructional videos in HLT-540 to support student mastery of course objectives. It is important to continue to explore why course success rates increased, so the information can be shared amongst faculty.

This is How We Do It: Getting Students to Read the Textbook

ALLI SCHILLING | HELEN G. HAMMOND

Many of the courses taught at the college level are extremely reading intensive; covering as many as seven chapters over a two-week time span. Reading the textbook in courses such as these is the foundation on which success is built. So, how can instructors get students to read? Faculty teaching in the College of Business at a large private university located in the Southwest United States set out to unpack this mystery and explore ideas to ensure that students have the tools and resources to be successful in class—and to start holding them accountable for their own reading.       

Helping Students Engage with Written Feedback

HEATHER I. BRODY | JENNIFER M. SANTOS

Instructors consistently complain about students not reading or using feedback. To address this issue, the authors designed an in-class feedback exercise. The authors found that when students recognize the importance of feedback on writing assignments, they look forward to getting, reading, and using such feedback, and instructor efficacy increases.

The Flipped Classroom for College Students: An Evaluation of Research and Trends from Traditional and Online Faculty

REBEKAH DYER | THOMAS DYER

The researchers of this article offer a diverse perspective in explaining and implementing teaching practices. One is an Associate Professor in the College of Education teaching undergraduate and graduate courses specific to the field of special education in a traditional setting and occasionally teaching online classes as an adjunct. She has been teaching at the university level for over eight years. The other researcher is an Associate Professor in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences who is a full-time online faculty member teaching undergraduate students. He has been teaching full-time online for over eight years and teaches traditional classes as an adjunct. Both faculty members utilize the same Learning Management System (LMS) to deliver their courses. They have both noticed a shift in how students prefer to learn. Together they pondered how the flipped classroom model can impact both online and traditional students and instructors.

Effective Assessment For Early Courses in Computer Science: Instruments Other Than Out-Of-Class Programming Assignments

LYDIA FRITZ

This is an experience paper that describes methods of student assessment in introductory- and intermediate-level computing courses. The paper explains the need for alternate methods in the evaluation of out-of-class programming assignments and enumerates several options that have been incorporated into freshman- and sophomore-level courses. I show how these techniques provide a more reliable assessment of student mastery of course objectives. In addition, I describe benefits in terms of increased student intellectual engagement and a deeper mastery of essential foundational material.

SoTL Snapshots


 
Increasing Social Presence Through Live Chats | Mary Beth Nipp
Connecting with Online Students by Occasionally Tooting (not Blowing) One’s Proverbial Horn | Priscilla Bamba
Giving Choices for Definition Arguments | Kevin Boyd
Increasing Master of Public Health Faculty Communication, Collaboration and Consistency Through Flipgrid | Danielle Henderson | Dulce Maria Ruelas
Two-Way Instructor To Student Communication Using Remind | Kimberly Werking | Marcela Knapp | Rick Holbeck
Supporting Faculty Communication and Effectiveness: Web 2.0 Professional Learning Communities | Thomas Dyer | Stefan Koukoudeas

Connecting with Students Using "Code Words" | John Steele | Samia Humphrey

Matrix of Value: Study Summary | John Steele | Sarah Robertson | Jean Mandernach

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