Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference

Presenter Resources & Materials​​

Many of the following presenters have made their session materials (PPTs, handouts, posters) available to participants electronically. Please click on the names of the presentations (below) to access the session materials.​

Panel 1

Jeffery L. Bernstein and Brooke A. Flinders

Bernstein, Eastern Michigan University; Flinders, Miami University

What are Collaborate Structures and Why Should We Bother?
(Download Presentation)

In the first 20-minute talk in this session, we’ll discuss the literature on collaborative teaching and learning. We’ll consider the various types of collaborative structures, which can be utilized at the course level, at the programmatic level, and at the institutional level. Finally, we’ll reflect on why we’ll never “go back” to teaching in isolation.

Sara E. Box, Benjamin C. Bower, and Jeffrey L. Bernstein

Eastern Michigan University

How Peer Mentors Facilitated Learning in a Campaigns and Elections Class

This session will highlight an innovative collaborative course design using peer mentors in a Campaigns and Elections Class. We’ll discuss the project from the perspective of the peer mentors and will present findings from our research on the efficacy of this project. Finally, we’ll discuss ways in which others can adopt this model to enhance student learning in their own classrooms.

Cassandra Perkins, Katelyn Gilb, and Brooke A. Flinders

Miami University

The Development of a High Impact Leadership Structure

This discussion will focus on the design and implementation of a three-tiered undergraduate internship program as a collaborative structure. We’ll provide links to the Association of American Colleges and University’s “High Impact Educational Practices” (Kuh, 2008). An undergraduate student and recent graduate will reflect on their experiences in the classroom and beyond. Our structure is an example that promotes undergraduate leadership and peer-to-peer mentoring.

Panel 2

Jessica Alexander, Jenny Kindred, and John Koolage 

Eastern Michigan University

Performing Faculty Stories: how to craft and use story as a teaching and learning tool
C2 is an ensemble of faculty, staff and students who create and use theatre to address issues surrounding teaching and learning for faculty and staff audiences.  Most significant in C2’s repertoire is the development of faculty narratives and stories, which are crafted to generate awareness, shift attitudes or behaviors and/or improve classroom teaching.  Performing faculty stories benefits the faculty performer by encouraging self-reflection and altering classroom or teaching practices.  Sharing faculty stories with faculty audiences creates a culture of compassion and empathy and allows a safe way for faculty to reflect on their own classroom behaviors, attitudes and practices.

In this session we will perform faculty stories and dissect the process of their development.  We then will provide a workshop on the development of participants own faculty story and its use within their campus or academic community.

Victor Piercey

Ferris State University

Curricular Innovation and SOTL
Curricular innovation and course development are fertile ground for the scholarship of teaching and learning projects.  I will present examples of questions and results from my own work in general education mathematics.  I will conclude with broad lessons learned that can be applied to any innovative course development.   

Panel 3

Henry Ho and Inna Piven

Ho, Ferris State University; Piven, Otago Polytechnic, Auckland International Campus

Perceptions of International Students on Intensive Learning at a Tertiary Institution in New Zealand
The rapid integration of the intensive mode in course delivery at various universities indicates that the context of higher education is changing. Over the years, a range of accelerated programs has been developed in response to “the global context of education”, “the financial constraints” and “the character and composition of students” (Davies, 2006). Although the higher education market demonstrates growing interest towards an intensive mode of course delivery, so far research on the benefits of such an approach, particularly from international students’ perspectives, has been limited.

This research attempts to analyze international students’ perceptions of intensive delivery in the context of New Zealand tertiary business education. The research also seeks to understand a link between the intensive mode of business courses and the international students’ academic performance. The research employs a paper-based questionnaire (in five point Likert scale) for data collection. 122 completed questionnaires were returned. Participants in this research were enrolled in an Applied Management degree at the Auckland campus of Otago Polytechnic in New Zealand.

The results indicate that international students in the intensive mode found the course more interesting and rated the course higher overall as compared with the traditional mode. The international students also believe that intensive courses offer more opportunities for feedback, and interaction with the lecturer. The research contributes to institutional knowledge by offering novel insights into international students’ perceptions of the intensive course design. In this regard, research findings may help institutions in designing more attractive courses for international students and provide them with a compelling education experience.

Michael Scantlebury

Grand Valley State University

Transformative Learning and Teaching Hospitality and Tourism Research

This presentation/discussion seeks to engage colleagues in the conversation about transformative learning and how learning objectives in the teaching of hospitality and tourism research might be assessed.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein

Professor of Political Science
Eastern Michigan University

Defending Our Life: How the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Can Help Rescue an Academy Under Siege

Higher education faces numerous challenges and threats to its autonomy in the current political climate, many of them connected to the cost-to-value ratio of a college education.  The scholarship of teaching and learning, if leveraged correctly, can provide a way for the academy to answer these challenges.  I discuss ways in which we can engage in practice of SOTL, and reasons why we should do so.  I aim to demonstrate how the scholarship of teaching and learning movement can help restore teaching, and learning, to the prominent places they deserve within our institutions of higher education.

Jeffrey Bernstein is Professor of Political Science at Eastern Michigan University, where he has been on the faculty since 1997.  He holds a B.A. from Washington University and an M.A. and Ph. D. from the University of Michigan.  His research interests include public opinion and political behavior, citizenship education, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.  Bernstein was a 2005-06 Carnegie Scholar with the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in Palo Alto, California.  He is co-editor and contributing author of Citizenship Across the Curriculum (Indiana University Press, 2010) and of numerous scholarly articles and book chapters, many co-authored with the kind of remarkable students who make being an academic so much fun, and so rewarding.

Panel 4

Audrey Bernard and Sarah Ginsberg

Eastern Michigan University 

Future of SOTL Mentorship
Mentoring is increasingly employed in higher education as a useful tool toward the advancement of the scholarship of teaching and learning. This presentation will present contemporary, learner centered models of mentoring where both the mentor and protégée mutually learn and benefit from the relationship. In addition, the documented benefits and challenges of learner centered mentoring models will be explored. The presenters will highlight their mentorship experience between a doctoral student and seasoned faculty member as an example of how the scholarship of teaching and learning can be effectively incorporated into a learner centered mentoring relationship. Participants will engage in conversation about successful mentoring models and experiences which emphasize the scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education.

Ronda Mitchell

University of Illinois – Springfield 

Using Portraiture to Understand Going Into Teaching in K-8 After Another Career
The purpose of this study was to determine what motivated nontraditional students to go into teaching after another career and reveal why they were sure, by their second year of experience, they would stay in teaching.  Research shows that between 40% and 50% of beginning teachers leave after the first five years.  I used the “participant as ally-essentialist approach” (Witz, 2007) to understand the participants’ stories.  While doing the literature review, I found that there was little qualitative research on why nontraditional teachers enter the teaching profession and whether or not they will remain in the profession.  I explored the participants’ stories and worked with a time line.  The three research questions were: 1.What were nontraditional second year teacher beliefs, and to what extent does it seem likely, that one will stay in teaching? 2. What were the nontraditional teachers’ personal paths to deciding on education as their career? 3. Did life experiences play a role in leading them to education?  The primary data source was focus groups and one to three one-on-one in-depth follow-up interviews.  I went through the IRB process to conduct the research for my dissertation and because I taught in the School of Education at the site, education students in the accelerated program had been enrolled in one to three of my courses. I developed eight portraits of participants who talked about their career progression.  These portraits are intended to help the readers understand these individuals’ lives as career switchers.  There are three major findings that emerged from my research questions, Motivation and Inspiration to Transition into Teaching, Using Past Skills and Maturity from Earlier Experiences, and Larger Life Aspects.  The results of this study would be helpful to two audiences: to teacher education programs and to school districts looking to hire teachers.  

Panel 5

Teresa Collins

Tiffin University 

Flipping the Freshman Composition Course
(Download Handout and Presentation)
The flipped classroom model began in 2004 with science teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams at Woodland Park High School in Colorado.  High school teachers quickly embraced the model in which course lectures and homework are reversed.  In other words, students watch or listen to a video lecture before class and then work collaboratively with their instructor completing hands-on assignments in class.  College teachers have recently begun to experiment with the model as well.  Several semesters ago, I began flipping my freshman composition course with very positive results.  Before each class session, my students prepare by watching a short video lecture, read a related text, and complete a simple assessment.  I created all the course lessons using SoftChalk and upload the SCORM files to our university’s learning management system.  I do not use any packaged materials supplied by publishers, but create the learning modules myself including all lectures and assessments.  This way, I have the flexibility to adjust for the varying ability levels and specific needs of individual classes.  When we meet in the classroom, my students and I write together and critique our work.  Students are divided into small 4-person teams where they brainstorm a daily prompt, write together, and conduct an immediate peer-review.  I move between groups coaching them as I observe their progress.  In the face-to-face class, as I write with my students, I model desired writing behaviors, and this process has resulted in immediate improvement in my students’ attempts to master academic writing conventions, modes, and formats.  I have seen dramatic improvement in both my students’ level of writing and their ability to apply close reading of texts.  

Erin Laverick

The University of Findlay

Multilingual Writing: Going beyond Translation
Over the past ten years, there has been a marked increase in the number of international students coming to study in universities across the United States.  Open Doors confirms for the 2013 2014 academic year alone, there was an eight percent increase of college-level international students studying in the United States.  With such a large number of English language learners (ELLs) entering college, instructors need to adjust their teaching methodologies to help students learn in a multicultural and multilingual environment.

One specific type of multilingual pedagogy called for by Horner et al. is translingual writing.  It calls for writing teachers to move away from standard written English to a more flexible composing style in which language variation is valued, allowing students to bring their native languages and cultures into their writing.

Using my classroom as a research space, I designed a study in which ELLs were encouraged to use their native languages in academic writing.  When students completed their assignment and received grades for their work, they completed a survey in which they reflected on the writing assignment and whether or not using their native language helped them communicate differently with an audience.  After students completed the surveys, I further analyzed their writing in order to better triangulate and analyze the data presented in the surveys.

Results show students used their native languages in their writing; however, few failed to move beyond what Hall defines as “superficial lexical borrowing” (33).  In addition, images from the students’ countries populated the texts, strengthening the argument that multimodalities contribute to students’ abilities to communicate with an audience (Takayoshi and Selfe).  

In this presentation, I will introduce the design of this study and share preliminary findings.  I will also share selections of student work in order to best demonstrate the findings of this study.


Panel 6

Szymon Machajewski

Grand Valley State University

Gamification of Classroom and Online Activities to Build Learning Engagement
Student progress, retention, and professional success can be linked to academic engagement. Meaningful gaming builds engagement through peer instruction, crowdsourcing, learning networks, badges, and other pedagogical methods.  Technology empowers educators to adopt such methods in both classroom and online environments.  Specific classroom and online activities will be demonstrated to incorporate gamification in teaching.

Lauren Salisbury
The University of Findlay

Practices and Pitfalls of Teaching and Learning in Course Management Systems
Course management systems (CMS) like Blackboard, Moodle and Desire2Learn, have become ubiquitous in university spaces. While these systems are often adopted campus wide, few have investigated the complications that arise when instructors apply familiar pedagogical practices to digital spaces. This study examines the strategies instructors employ and likewise abandon in CMS. Using one-on-one interviews with first -year composition instructors and observations of their Blackboard course sites, I correlate instructors’ perceptions of CMS, their face-to-face classroom pedagogies, and degree and method of CMS application. Despite instructors’ desires to use CMS successfully, I argue few reflect effective online pedagogies or even their own teaching practices in their course sites. As a result, more comprehensive training must be implemented to teach instructor users not only how to use digital tools, but why to use them.

Panel 7

Megan Adams and Estee Beck

Bowling Green State University

Using SoTL to Build Praxis in Rhetoric and the Digital Humanities
Scholars across disciplines are calling for institutions of higher education to prepare students to engage in media-rich, 21st century communication environments. Often cited is the New London Group’s (1996) recommendations that we teach students multiliteracies, or that we work to show them how to be effective rhetors and composers across multiple platforms by using a range of media. We believe that SoTL is particularly suited to help us spearhead this work, because of its attention to good and scholarly teaching informed by reflective research. In this presentation we will share the results our own efforts at bridging research and practice as it relates to composing and the digital humanities. Discussions will focus on how to offer teaching and learning workshops connected with literacies needed in the information age. Specifically, we will center on issues dealing with privacy and surveillance and new media activism as these as our particular areas of expertise. However, we are eager to use this space as an opportunity to hear and learn from others who are interested in teaching and scholarship along these lines.

Joseph Tripp

Ferris State University

Engaging Pre-calculus Students with Concept-Intensive Problem Situations
The presenters will discuss a qualitative case study that reveals noteworthy features of a group of pre-calculus students’ dispositions toward engaging with concept-intensive problem situations.  The context of the study is a pre-calculus college classroom in which an innovative teaching approach and concept-oriented materials were employed with the aim of engaging students collaboratively with novel problem situations.  The findings of the study will be presented.

Panel 8

Nicole Diederich, Courtney Bates, Elkie Burnside, and Sarah Fedirka

The University of Findlay

Teaching the Reluctant Learner: Creating a “Common Ground of Intellectual Commitment” in Required Second-Level Writing Courses
Current scholarship demonstrates that millennial learners “are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach” (Skiba and Barton 2006).  The challenge for twenty-first century teachers is to create Boyer’s “common ground of intellectual commitment” among a new generation of learners who expect collaborative, experiential, and technologically-driven learning environments.  This challenge is magnified when teaching reluctant non-majors in required courses, especially composition.  

The presentations in this roundtable demonstrate how a community of reflective practitioners incorporates the scholarship of teaching and learning, specifically that focusing on millennial learners, at the programmatic level and within individual second-level writing courses.  The first presentation discusses how we have attempted to engage reluctant non-majors at the programmatic level by diversifying second-level writing courses while continually assessing the learning outcomes shared across these diverse offerings.  The next two presentations demonstrate practical application of this approach.   One of the first second-level writing courses developed in our program was Writing and Literature, which introduces predominantly non-majors to the conventions of literary study.  The section of this course discussed here challenges the recalcitrant learner by promoting reading and writing for pleasure; the course also attempts to demystify the complexity of writing by having students develop only one major paper over the semester.  Most recently created, Introduction to Writing for the Sciences, a course designed specifically for science majors, emphasizes writing for both the general and specialist audiences these students will encounter in their scientific fields.  Presenters will address how, despite the differences in their courses, they achieve the shared learning outcomes.  Attendees will leave the session with a copy of those learning outcomes and specific course exercises. The roundtable concludes with a discussion of how we measure our success in creating this “common ground of intellectual commitment.”

Panel 9

Scott Caddy

University of Michigan – Flint

Approaching SoTL Practices with International Students

As colleges and universities become increasingly diverse, the demographics of student bodies are also becoming diverse. At the University of Michigan-Flint, an example of this can be seen in the makeup of the student body. Our international student population has skyrocketed, providing a unique challenge to many instructors, especially those teaching general education courses. As a result, the English program has launched a bridge program to help incoming international students matriculate into general education courses.  However, this program is also the result of challenges and concerns addressed by faculty and students alike - challenges which may hinder the learning process and addressing issues within the SoTL community. The aim of this roundtable is to unpack some of the challenges to teaching international students within the scope of SoTL practices. As an English instructor, several barriers often exist between myself and students that need to be overcome before real learning can begin (such as language and cultural barriers). I will use some of my experiences and testimony from students and faculty alike to begin a conversation: how do we, in the SoTL community, address barriers with our students to achieve learning? What happens when these barriers go beyond “getting it” and become cultural barriers? Are the deconstruction of these barriers necessary SoTL practices as well? A discussion with the attendees of this roundtable can address these questions, as well as additional experiences other faculty (and students) have had regarding related issues.​

Peggy Liggit, Matt Schumann, and Chelsea Lonsdale

Eastern Michigan University

SoTL Research on the Margins – Voices Including Adjunct Faculty
This roundtable discussion has two goals: one, to invite adjuncts in regardless of their relationship to the institution and celebrate the work they do; two, to discuss institutional obstacles/issues to supporting Adjunct Faculty SoTL research.

Educators have long viewed teaching and learning as more than classroom exercises: they fit into a way of life for which education is an identity as well as a profession. So what happens when that identity is shaped by low wages, unstable employment, institutional hierarchies, and barriers to professional advancement? These are real issues for part-time faculty across much of American academia--so much so that the Chronicle of Higher Education sponsors a special project dedicated to tracking their plight. On one side, SoTL could have much to say about disadvantages and barriers that prevent part-time faculty from flourishing, not least in comparison to better-established colleagues. On the other, it is important to note, to celebrate, and if possible to learn from the achievements of teaching and learning on the margins of American higher education.

In this roundtable session, we invite participants at all levels of employment to share evidence of teaching and learning from their classroom and professional experiences, and to discuss institutional challenges that part-time and adjunct faculty face due to their marginalized status. We will frame this conversation by offering our own respective reflections and undertakings, experienced jointly through a professional development seminar led by the Faculty Development Center at Eastern Michigan University.

Panel 10

Scott Grant, Chris Ward, and Dan Yates

The University of Findlay

The Scholarship of Teaching: What is the Mission of Centers for Teaching And Learning?
A quick “google” of Centers for Teaching and Learning resulted in more than 230,000,000 hits!  As more institutions develop these centers, how do they determine their mission and objectives? How are they structured?  What is the utilization? The University of Texas has eight areas of focus:  Course Design, Engagement, Assessment, Flipping Your Classroom, Resources for New Faculty, Professional Development, Learning Management System, and Technology-Enhanced Learning.  Other institutions have developed Curriculum-enhancement or Learning-environment grants, Faculty Writing Circles, faculty-to-faculty lunches, and peer evaluation.  As a new faculty member, this might be a bit overwhelming to embrace all of these new ideas. A more seasoned professor may feel the same way.  They may ask, if I “flip” a classroom or use “clickers”, am I somehow a better professor?  Do I need to document then publish these results to be considered a good professor?  The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is very similar to our newly-developed student experiential learning tiers.

When we think of experiential learning, what comes to mind?   As defined by our institution, some examples are internships, study abroad, service learning, and undergraduate research.  We expect students to move through the tiers to higher-order thinking as well as more meaningful and persistent experiences.  This same approach should be used for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.   While the easy thing to do might be to drag out the PowerPoint slides or hit the play button, we must continue to provide our students with the skills and dispositions needed to make them employable as well as have a meaningful life.  Do we have the same expectation of ourselves?  Are we so caught up in the day-to-day tasks or deadlines, that we have lost the curiosity and drive to be life-long learners?  An open discussion of this evolving practice is needed.

Jeffrey L. Bernstein
Eastern Michigan University

Thinking about Methods: Perspectives on How We Do What We Do
In this workshop, I extend Huber and Hutchings’ idea of methodological trading zones, suggesting how we can learn from, and borrow, techniques from across the disciplines for investigating student learning.  The aim is to find ways to more rigorously address student learning, and test our hypotheses about what contributes to it, in a way that shows respect for standards of evidence across different disciplinary traditions.  In so doing, I outline ways in which our work can enable the scholarship of teaching and learning to take place under a broader tent of participation from across the disciplines.

Panel 11

Gokul Bhandari

University of Windsor

Linking Scholarly Teaching and SoTL through Wittgensteinian Pedagogy
Potter and Kustra (2011) define scholarly teaching (ST) and SoTL in terms of various elements that they consider both necessary and sufficient. They also outline several models examining the relationships between ST and SoTL and contend that the overlapping Magisteria model makes it possible to have multiple entry points from ST to SoTL and vice versa. In this context, I propose that the notion of tacit teaching may serve as yet another strand unifying the concepts of ST and SoTL. Burbules (2008) defines tacit teaching as “the many forms of informal instruction-some intentional, some unintentional, ...- by which skills, capacities, and dispositions are passed along within a domain of practice.” Based on Wittgenstein’s writing style in Philosophical Investigations and his own personality as a philosopher and teacher, I will discuss how tacit teaching may serve as a Wittgensteinian link between scholarly teaching and SoTL in the following manner: Demonstrate how tacit teaching encourages students to think critically; Discuss how tacit teaching involves intentional activities and how most deliberate teaching may include a tacit dimension; Discuss why this approach is essentially Wittgensteinian in nature-"showing the fly the way out of the fly bottle; and Conclude that the tacit teaching may be the strand linking ST and SoTL.​

Vince Laverick

The University of Findlay

Current Disconnect from Perceived Reflection and True Reflection in the Classroom

Current research signifies a clear trend toward reflection and collaboration to increased student performance (Bambrick-Santoyo , 2010, Hargreaves & Shirley, 2012, Holmgrem, 2005, Pella, 2015).  However, there is a disconnect between actual reflection and what is occurring in current classrooms.  When applying Rodgers’ (2002) definition of reflection, which includes scientific inquiry, collaboration with others, and desire for growth, to current Northwest Ohio teachers’ definitions of reflection, it is clear true reflection is not occurring within the classroom setting.  

In a qualitative teacher as scholar study, the responses indicated a difference between reflection and a typical self-analysis for survival in the classroom.  The results displayed a self-analysis of practices on an individual and localized level.  Definitions such as “Reflection is looking back at your lesson/unit and deciding what went well and what could use more work for improvement” were provided.  This typical response shows a focus on individual performance with no collaboration and/or scientific inquiry.

This presentation will discuss the differences between Rodgers’ definition and the qualitative results of a recent study concerning teacher reflection.  The presentation will discuss the benefits of true reflection.  In addition, the presentation will discuss methods in which institutions and teachers can create opportunities for reflection to take place among colleagues.  

Panel 12

Nicole V. Williams and John C. Gillham

Williams, The University of Findlay; Gillham, Ohio Northern University

Evolving Spaces: The Use of Technology in the Supervision of Clinical Field Experiences
According to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL), approximately 1.8 million students in the United States participated in one or more online courses provided by K-12 school districts in 2010.  This number does not include the more than 200,000 students enrolled in full-time online schools, which has grown to 310,000 students in 2013 (iNACOL, 2013).  However, despite the immense expansion in online learning opportunities for K-12 students, teacher education programs in higher education have been slow in their expansion in online learning opportunities for teacher candidates.  
The purpose of this presentation is to disseminate the scholarship of teaching and learning specific to the use of technology in the supervision of clinical field experiences in teacher education programs.  More specifically, two universities will share their unique approaches to the use of technology in the supervision of clinical field experiences.  The first university will share how it utilizes Blackboard Collaborate in the supervision of teacher candidates in a K-12 virtual school field experience.  The second university will explain how it employs the Polycom system to supervise teacher candidates in remote field experiences such as Spain and Estonia.  Participants will leave with specific examples of how the presenters’ teacher education programs continue to make program enhancements to align with the evolving spaces of clinical field experiences through their use of online learning technologies in the supervision of teacher candidates as well as specific best practices.

Ron Tulley, Heather Riffle, and Tony Goedde

The University of Findlay

“Where’s the Teacher in This Class?” Our Experiences Navigating the Pedagogical and Administrative Transitions to Online Asynchronous Course Delivery
In this session, the presenters will bring their experiences with transitioning existing online courses from synchronous delivery to an asynchronous course format. As experienced online instructors in all modalities (synchronous, hybrid and asynchronous), we had preconceived notions about quality, student-teacher contact, and design. Many of our existing synchronous courses depended heavily upon the live chat classroom that was sometimes augmented with audio and video. This dependence, while familiar and comforting to both student and teacher in many ways, was constrictive and often times distracting us from improving the overall course structure and individual module content. When redesigning our courses for asynchronous delivery, we followed the Quality Matters (QM) model and QM course rubric. The general consensus is that the quality of our courses have improved dramatically in part due to the enormous amount of pedagogical design that must take place prior to the launch of the course—a switch in thinking from the “sage on the stage” to the “guide on the side.” During our presentation, we will discuss our results of this transition relying upon data including but not limited to student evaluation, QM Rubrics scores, and instructor and student program feedback.