Ivory Tower to Lighthouse Beacon: Extreme Makeover, Academe Edition: Practical Suggestions for Adopting a Newly Assessed Course

Valarie Meliotes Arms, Drexel University, USA

Abstract

English teachers have long recognized that “authentic” assignments involving real world tasks produce better writing because students see the immediate purpose. With the help of an enthusiastic IT group and a willing, though occasionally “reluctant” and skeptical faculty, I synthesized much of my research on pedagogy and classroom experience to develop English Alive: A Hybrid Learning Community for students from all majors. English Alive provides a multi-pronged approach to engaging students with technology that allows for data gathering necessary for assessment. We focus on authentic assignments drawn from the professions and the use of the full range of 21st century communication technology. We have reduced teacher class time in favor of more student online writing time and first hand experiences. The program is built on ‘projects” that require students to recognize the value of primary and secondary research in something as basic as describing a local community. The class also emphasizes the techniques for clarity in communication, whether the final project is a presentation, a poster or an essay.
Read more

The Applicability of Speech Act Analysis to Course Evaluation: A Small-Scale Pilot Study

Alison Devine, Edge Hill University, UK

Abstract

The current paper has both a substantive and methodological focus. Substantively, it finds that the online discussion board postings of students enrolled on a postgraduate certificate in teaching and learning display evidence of students’ applying course studies in their workplace, but that these displays are mostly limited to comments regarding their own physical activities and (affective) approaches, rather than any attempt to disseminate their learning any more widely. Methodologically then, this paper argues that speech act analysis (SAA) can be of partial use to the course evaluator who is seeking evidence of an impact on practice as one means of triangulating data, but that there are three types of evidence of impact on practice apparent in the students’ online postings and a detailed understanding of these types can aid in enhancing student learning.
Read more

Models for Success Initiative: Evidence Based Learning in a Latino Community

Edith Esparza-Young, Texas A&M University, USA

Abstract

This paper examines the use of evidence-based learning to adapt and modify teaching practices to best serve the needs of pre-service teachers during the induction period. Research has shown that the attrition and retention rates of teachers during the first four years are at odds. The data collection consists of archived self-reflections by the participants along with university personnel, public school officials, mentoring teachers, and professors.
Read more

Innovations in the Traditional Chinese University Classroom

Shaobin Ji, Wenzhou Vocational and Technical College, Wenzhou, China

Abstract

Traditionally, the Chinese classroom has been a place where lecturers transmit knowledge to learners. However, with the revolution in modern information technology, the traditional Chinese classroom has been systematically replaced by a virtual and multiple-function classroom where students and their instructors have more opportunity to exchange views on topics jointly set by the learners and instructors. So far the so-called “three-in–one classroom” has emerged from cooperation between higher learning institutions and their industrial counterparts. This paper addresses some critical issues related to this new pedagogical approach, where students are much more actively involved in industrial production as well as in traditional learning. It touches on issues concerning teaching effectiveness, assessment, the changing role of teachers, integrating textbooks with information available online or in the workplace, and the complementary roles of faculty and industry experts in student training.
Read more

Students’ Attitudes towards Modes of Evaluation

Mordechai Miron, Tel Aviv University, Israel

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to determine the attitudes of Israeli students towards different modes of evaluation. The Sample consisted of 346 undergraduate students who were enrolled in six different faculties. The instrument used in the study was a questionnaire. The analysis of the data indicated that there were significant differences among students’ attitudes from different faculties towards each mode of evaluation.
Read more

“Please Sir, I Want Some More” – MORE! Oliver Twist in the 21st century

Andrew Sackville Edge Hill University, UK

Abstract

Are resources for learning really diminishing? Where does most of our learning take place? What are the resources we actually use? This paper questions the conventional views of “diminished resources”, “learning” and “resources” and argues for the recognition of the learning that takes place both within and outside the workplace. Using two small case studies from very different areas – clinical education and heritage learning – the paper focuses on the learning that takes place within both the workplace and the broader area of “leisure time” activity. It presents a challenge to all teachers: to review their learning facilitation strategies.
Read more

Evidence-Based Learning: Three Institutions and Three Teaching Firms Together Prepare Students to Succeed

Hans-Peter (Hepi) Wachter, University of Oklahoma, USA

Abstract

Evidence-based learning (EBL) is not foreign to the teaching in a design school. Very much related to the EBL concept is the engagement in environmental design problems, which require students to analyze and synthesize a problem in the built environment. This paper will argue that design students immersed in collaborative, evidence-based learning (CEBL) are, after completing the learning experience, more highly motived and better prepared problem solvers than traditional cognitive learners and that such students integrate better what they know. The project discussed emanates from multi-disciplinary design collaboration between architecture students and interior design students at the University of Oklahoma and from faculty and resources of the Texas A&M University and the College of Architecture at the SE University in Nanjing, China. Each of the three universities has a close relationship with a working architectural firm that was involved in the process. Using a professional project and engaging design professionals from the participating firms as advisers, clearly shifted the teaching approach toward evidence-based learning. One single synchronous guest lecture series, available through video conferencing to all participants, minimized organizational efforts, cost, and sustainability in the classroom and insured a single focus on content. The contacts each institution had to affiliated teaching firms and practitioners brought a wealth of expertise into the classroom and enriched student learning otherwise too difficult to accomplish.
Read more

Using Semantic Differential to Explore Life Sciences Academics’ Perceptions of Academic Identity

Anne Margaret Tierney, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Abstract

Semantic Differential was used as a means to collect quantitative data about UK Life Science Academics’ perceptions of Academic Identity. Data were analysed using Mann-Whitney U Test and Effect Size. The purpose was to investigate potential differences in perception of Academic Identity between traditional “Research-Teaching” and “Teaching-Only” academics. Perceptual differences were also investigated between other academic groupings. Analysis revealed significant differences between groups of Life Science academics in areas of Research and Pedagogy. In practice, this has the potential to impact on student learning due to subconscious priority-setting by academics. However, it is also an opportunity for Educational Developers to support engagement with SoTL, developing both individuals and institutions’ expertise in Teaching and Learning. Semantic Differential was used to investigate differences in perceptions of Academic Identity in UK Life Scientists. Differences were found in perceptions of Research and Teaching, in three different academic groupings.
Read more