2016 - Volume 5

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

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Table of ContentsEditorial BoardCall for Papers
Individual articles can be accessed below. The full volume of the journal is available at the following link:

Active Learning Strategy Edition

The Power of Podcasting: Perspectives on Pedagogy

Stephanie Maher Palenque

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.1

This paper examines the origins of podcasting, the value of podcasting in higher education, the influence of podcasting on student learning and engagement, and possibilities for future development in this area. The writings of other researchers in this field, such as Perkins (1999), Mayas, and de Freitas (2004), who postulate that podcasting complements a Constructivist approach in the classroom, provide much of the research foundation for this paper. The connection between podcasting information in multiple singleconcept blocks and the traditional chunking of classroom material draws on Simonson’s research. This notion has roots in the research connected with learning and long term memory (Newell, 1990; West & Grigolini, 2010). Podcasting in higher education is a modern-day manifestation of the theories of eminent scholars such as Dewey, Piaget and Vygotsky (Ng’ambi & Lombe, 2012). It supports active, social and creative aspects of learning, and provides opportunities for reflection, self-paced and independent learning.

Engaging the online student: Instructor-created video content for the online classroom

Kimber Underwood, Jeff Martin

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.2

The online platform in higher education is growing at a rapid pace; however, detractors claim the lack of personal connection between student and teacher presence will never allow online to reach the same level of quality instruction found in a live classroom setting. While there will always be drawbacks with both the live classroom and online learning platforms, the use of instructor-prepared video in the online classroom has allowed professors to engage their students at a level often higher than that of the traditional classroom experience. This paper will discuss the current literature on the topic of online classroom video and present suggested uses for those given the opportunity to reach students through the virtual classroom setting.

Stand Up Comics: Instructional Humor and Student Engagement

Amy Wortley, Elizabeth Dotson

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.3

This paper examines the use of instructional humor in higher education settings and makes connections between the levels of student achievement in academics and the influence of appropriate instructional humor. The work of prominent researchers such as Wanzer, Frymier, and Irwin (2010), and Segrist & Hupp (2015), who postulate that instructional humor and student information processing are intimately connected, drives much of the research foundation. Humor not only encourages student retention of information but serves to create a hospitable, welcoming atmosphere which makes learning more enjoyable for all involved. This closely corresponds with the work of Merolla (2006) and his research on decoding ability and humor production, and is expanded upon in terms of student psychological wellness (Conley, Travers, and Bryant, 2013). The connections between information retention and stress are shown to be alleviated in part by appropriate instructor humor usage.

Rubrics-Sharing the Rules of the Game

David Balch,Robert Blanck,David Howard Balch

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.4

The topic and purpose of this paper is to explore within the literature the theoretical foundations and applications of rubrics in the process of evaluation of retained learning and mastery of knowledge within the educational environment. The first step of the research was to assemble a definition of the term rubric from a historical perspective. From the literature, a summary of the process of creating rubrics and a listing of the types or variations of rubric formats is presented. The general types of rubrics include Holistic, Analytic, Developmental (which is considered a subset of the Analytic Rubric) and Single-Point Rubrics are described. A checklist for measuring qualities of a good rubric is provided. A discussion of the incorporation of the educational goals, objectives and learning outcomes of rubrics is reviewed. Over time, recommendations for modification and adapting to different instructional approaches has emerged within the literature and are proposed as the theoretical foundations. The theoretical foundations included in the rubric styles were: Bloom’s Taxonomy, Costa’s Three Levels (which are based upon the foundation of Bloom’s Taxonomy) and a modification of Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels. The Developmental Rubric is presented with several theories from authors in the field of human development, including; Jean Piaget, Lawrence Kohlberg, Erik Erikson, Lev Vygotsky and John Dewey. The outcome of this literature research for the educator is a set of working examples illustrating the variations or adaptations of rubric styles. In the final analysis, the simplicity and complexity of the rubric design and its application is dependent upon the educator and the learning environment.

Ethnography of Communication in Praxis in the Literature Classroom

Carol Hephurn

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.5

In this article, I suggest that an applied communication approach using Dell Hymes’ framework of “ethnography of communication” could serve as an intervention strategy in order to promote a greater sense of shared community within the college literature classroom. I explore this framework with consideration on how this communication approach could be used as a way to help students identify with stories that contain culture-specific language in the form of speech codes. This framework promotes shared knowledge, which is necessary for member identification, and thus is critical to promote greater sensitivity to an author’s cultural community. This article offers researchers interested in the intersection between applied communication research and ethnography the opportunity to study the ways mediated communication can create cultural sensitivity through an insider’s view of the heritage, the language differences, as well as the patterns of speech often found in ethnically diverse literature.

Open Educational Resources: A Review of Attributes for Adoption in an Online Bachelor's Degree Program

Patricia Neely, Jan P. Tucker, Angela Au

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.6

As concerns about the skyrocketing costs of a college degree have converged with the increasing availability of open educational resources (OER), higher education administrators are asking faculty and curriculum designers to use OERs to design courses and programs. This case study explores the decision making process and outcomes of an online, for-profit university’s attempt to build low-cost business degree programs using open educational resources. The paper concludes with a list of suggested criteria for evaluating open source content when designing similar programs.

Student's Responses to the Critical Incident Technique: A Qualitative Prespective

Mohamed A. Ali, Sally Zengaro, Franco Zengaro

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.7

This qualitative research reports findings on whether students’ reflective writings during the course of one semester produced qualitative differences in several courses offered online and on-ground at two different universities. Eighty-six students from two universities responded to Brookfield’s (1995, 1998) critical incident questionnaire. Because of the descriptive nature of our research design, our study utilized a qualitative descriptive methodology for the purpose of data analysis. The basic findings of our research indicate that reflective practice enables students to think reflectively upon course expectations. Engaging students in reflective practices during the course of a semester helps faculty gauge students’ engagement or disengagement with course materials.

Response to Intervention for Student Success in Higher Education: Is It Possible?

Sylvia Harkins

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.8

This study is a literature review to determine what research says about the relationship between Response to Intervention (RtI) and online student success. Response to intervention is a model used to provide students tools and resources to be successful and engaging in the classroom for academic and behavior challenges (Wright, 2007). Online education has become the hottest idea for obtaining a degree in higher education (Wright, 2007). Adult students of all ages, professions and levels of education seek to step into the next level in completing a degree program. Some adult students may not realize the rigor and demands of an online learning environment and find it more challenging than expected. This literature review will examine what research says about RtI, student learning and student success in online higher education.

Self-Authoring Practices Across Literacy Contexts: The Intersection Between Readers, Texts, and Discussants 

Katie Peterson

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.9

An increasing amount of attention has been paid to the ways in which classroom discussions shift in response to varying contextual conditions (Allen & Moller, 2009; Morrow & Smith, 1990) and group composition (Allen & Moller, 2009; Evans, 1997). Recently, researchers have suggested that the classroom might be a place to explore and develop both academic and social identities. Johnston (2012) argued the current focus on academics in schools “has blinded us to the fact that when children grow up, they are not only going to be wage earners. They are going to be citizens, parents, spouses, teachers, politicians, artists, managers and so forth” (p. 113). Thus, school is a place where children learn academics in addition to social and emotional competencies that will help them foster healthy and productive relationships in their lives outside the classroom walls.

A Case Study of Spirituality in Senior Center Education: Qualitative Research in Adult Education

Laura Demarse

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.10

This article presents a case study on the role of spirituality in adult education at a suburban senior center located in the southeast region of the country. The purpose of the case study was to understand the deeply personal role of spirituality in adult education as seen through teaching seniors and examine the personal manifestation of spirituality through the life experiences of three adult educators. The research questions examined how the participants implement spirituality in their teaching practice, as principally informed by their personal definitions of spirituality, and how these personal experiences of spirituality influence and shape their work as adult educators. The case study used non-participant observation and semi-structured interviews, which provide the narratives that informs the basis of this study. Three themes emerged from the data: (a) interconnectedness and contemplative practices, (b) strength and capacity building and (c) social support and community building. These themes link the personal life experience of the adult educators to unique findings which are consistent with the current scholarly discourse on spirituality in adult education; thus provide additional depth and scope to ground in practice.

The Benefits and Barriers of Virtual Collaboration Among Online Adjuncts

Lori Schieffer

DOI: 10.9743/JIR.2016.11

Online education is a current trend in higher education. This has left colleges needing to hire more part-time remote adjuncts to fill the fluctuating number of available courses. Because remote online adjuncts are susceptible to isolation, the need has arisen to study the benefits and barriers of virtual collaboration. The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative study was to examine the virtual collaboration lived experiences of remote online adjuncts. The study helped unveil the motives and lived experiences of online adjuncts engaged in collaborative work. The composite description revealed nine themes about how participants experience virtual collaboration. The study suggests that higher education leaders would be well-served to focus their efforts on leadership that will promote virtual collaboration practices. It is advisable that higher education leaders look for ways to provide leadership to connect collaborators, create opportunities for collaboration, and define clear roles for virtual collaboration. Remote online adjuncts may find camaraderie, social connections, opportunites to participate in scholarship, opportunities for for self-reflection, and the chance to develop a sense of pride through virtual collaboration. Barriers that must be overcome for virtual collaboration included trust, lack of time and feelings of pressure to participate.


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