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Illinois State University
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2007 CTLT Annual University-Wide Symposium on Teaching and Learning

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
DoubleTree Conference Center
Bloomington, IL

Civic Engagement in Classrooms and Communities

All members of the Illinois State University teaching community are invited to begin the spring semester with a day of rewarding, re-energizing, and thought-provoking conversations at the Seventh Annual Symposium on Teaching & Learning.

This year’s theme is “Civic Engagement in Classrooms and Communities,” and our keynote speaker is Dr. George Mehaffy, Vice President of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and founder of the American Democracy Project.

In keeping with this theme, we encourage faculty, teaching assistants, and professional staff to share the results of and insights gained from recent projects, research, and teaching experiences. Especially welcome are presentations addressing theme-related issues such as: What responsibilities do we have as educators in and for a democracy, and how do we meet them? What do we mean by ‘civic’ engagement? What do we mean by ‘communities’? How is civic engagement similar to or different from other kinds of engagement? How do our notions of ‘classroom’ and ‘community’ intersect—and diverge? How can we model civic engagement for our students—and why should we?

Last year’s Teaching & Learning Symposium was the largest yet, and we hope to see even more members of our community at this year’s event. Please mark your calendars now and plan to join us for this exciting day of intellectual and social interchange.

Co-Sponsored by:

Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology
Classroom Technology Support Services
College of Applied Science & Technology
College of Arts & Sciences
Cross Chair for the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning
Division of Academic Affairs
Extended University
Fell Trust
Graduate School
Honors Program
Mennonite College of Nursing
University Assessment Office
University College

Keynote Speaker


Debra Rowe

George Mehaffy,
Keynote Speaker

George Mehaffy serves as the Vice President for Academic Leadership and Change at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). His division is responsible for a number of special programs and projects for AASCU presidents and chief academic officers in the areas of leadership and organizational change in higher education, focusing on issues such as technology, teacher education, international education, and civic engagement. He organizes and directs two national conferences annually for AASCU chief academic officers and manages a variety of leadership programs and special projects. Some of his recent projects have included a comprehensive partnership program that paired AASCU institutions with Chinese universities; an articulation and transfer initiative with the American Association of Community Colleges, a multi-state project on evidence in teacher education, a collaborative effort with two other national organizations on graduation rates, and a series of technology conferences involving university teams at the University of Central Florida.

Much of his current work focuses on civic engagement in higher education. In 2003 he launched a civic engagement initiative, the American Democracy Project (ADP), in partnership with The New York Times, involving 214 AASCU institutions representing 1.8 million students. That project has generated a broad range of national and campus-based activities, including 10 regional and 4 national meetings, a Wingspread Conference that created a monograph for senior university leaders, a partnership with the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) to develop an instrument to assess civic engagement, and a trip to eastern Europe to develop university partnerships to promote civic engagement. Recently the project created a series of new initiatives, entitled Civic Engagement in Action. Three current initiatives in that series include the Political Engagement Initiative, an effort to create opportunities for political engagement throughout the curriculum, a partnership with Tom Ehrlich and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching; the 7 Revolutions initiative, a global studies project, a partnership with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS); and Politics and the Yellowstone Ecosystem, a study of political management of scarce resources, a partnership with the Yellowstone Association.

Additional Materials

Developing Informed and Engaged Citizens: The Imperative for Higher Education

  • Session 1, 9:00–9:50
  • Session 2, 10:00–10:50
  • Session 3, 11:00–11:50
  • Session 4, 2:00–2:50
  • Session 5, 3:00–3:50
  • Session 6, 4:00–4:50

Civic Literacy in the Writing Classroom: Limits and Expectations

David Hammontree, English

An ongoing debate in writing pedagogy involves the role of critical analysis and civic literacy in the writing classroom. One view sees that since most political arguments are targeted at the mainstream, these issues should be analyzed at a rhetorical level in a writing classroom. Another view posits that too much emphasis on politics detracts from actually teaching writing. My discussion will focus on how we can best balance our good intentions, exposing students to political and civic issues without going beyond the scope of our courses or engaging in ideological battles. I will share some of the promising practices, effective strategies, and resources I use to address moral and ethical issues in specific classroom contexts. The presentation will also address the role of persuasion and influence in terms of civic engagement and touch on student awareness of political and social issues.

Clickers I: Enhancing Learning through the Use of Classroom Response Systems

Doug Smith, Classroom Technology Support; David Marx, Physics; Craig McLauchlan, Chemistry; Rosie Hauck, Accounting; Tak Cheung, Biological Sciences; Anne Bettendorf, Biological Sciences

Studies indicate that the use of Classroom Response Systems (“clickers”) can increase active learning in the classroom by gauging student comprehension and providing immediate student feedback. In this session a panel of faculty members will discuss the implementation of clickers into their classrooms in the fall of 2006. Class sizes ranged from 20-1200. The panel will provide preliminary research data, talk about their success with the system, provide troubleshooting tips, and discuss how you can incorporate clickers into your teaching and improve student learning. Panel continues next session.

Engaging Teaching Assistants: Everybody Learns More

Thomas Lamonica & Brian Pohlman, Communication; Tracy Widergren, Business Builders

In this session we will discuss how to create effective teaching teams comprised of an instructor and one or more graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants. From planning to teaching to evaluating student work, sharing the load and making the most of each team member’s strengths ensures that everyone on the team and in the class learns more. In addition, helping teaching assistants to become fully invested in the team and the teaching of the course helps develop professional expertise and can lead to lasting professional relationships.

Requiring Civic Engagement of Graduate Students: An Example from ISU

Frank D. Beck, Beverly A. Beyer, Nicole Kurtain, Ken Springer, Pat Turner, Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development

Additional Materials
Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development

This session will introduce the Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development, which oversees an interdisciplinary graduate sequence in community and economic development. First-year students working toward degrees in Applied Economics, Politics & Government, or Sociology take courses required by the sequence, as well as those required for the degree in their home department. In their second-year, they work full-time for 11 months in the Peace Corps, with domestic government agencies, not-for-profit community-based organizations, or businesses to complete Professional Practice credits. Students report on their experiences and make connections to their course work. They also complete capstone projects or theses that may relate to their internships.

Organizations with which students are currently working include:

  • Economic Development Council of the Bloomington-Normal Area
  • McLean County Community Compact
  • Student Volunteer Center, ISU
  • Town of Normal Downtown Redevelopment Office
  • Peace Corps
  • Center of Hope Outreach Programs (Normal)
  • Central Illinois Organizing Project (Champaign)
  • Community Development Commission of Mendocino County, California
  • Family Shelter Service (Chicago)
  • Kankakee Community College
  • Southeast Chicago Development Commission
  • The Housing Partnership (Charlotte, NC)
  • Wright College (Chicago)

Several students at different stages in the program will be present to describe their work and provide their views regarding the program.

Top 10 Things We’ve Learned as First-Time Instructors of Internet-Based Classrooms

Jennifer C. Friberg and Jean Sawyer, Speech Pathology and Audiology

In this session we will discuss the experience of transforming formerly “in-person” courses within the department of Speech Pathology and Audiology into Internet-based courses in the last academic school year. Specifically, we will identify the ten most important things that we have learned through from teaching an internet-based course for the first time, in a department that has never before offered online learning opportunities for students. Subjective student feedback from our online courses will be shared as well. Discussion and active participation on the part of attendees will be welcome.

Wow! What an Experience! Engaging Pre-Service Professionals in Course-Related Research

Maureen E. Angell & Julia B. Stoner, Special Education

Additional Materials
Wow! What an Experience! Engaging Pre-Service Professionals in Course-Related Research

During this session, we will discuss the process of involving students in course-related research projects. We will discuss recruitment of student researchers and their roles in designing studies, gathering data, and presenting the findings. We will highlight some research projects in which our students have been involved, explaining the collaborative investigative model we have used. We will also discuss the relevance of our research topics to students’ coursework and how we have successfully addressed course content knowledge and research skills by actively engaging students in translating research to practice. Additionally, we will share some personal reflections of our student researchers. We will discuss an overview of these perspectives in the form of a concept map that clearly illustrates our students’ perceptions of the benefits (and frustrations) of collaborative investigation with faculty and fellow students. Once we have shared our experience in engaging pre-service professionals in course-related research, we intend to engage session participants in discussion about how they might invite students to join them in collaborative research.

Clickers II: Enhancing Learning through the Use of Classroom Response Systems

Doug Smith, Classroom Technology Support; David Marx, Physics; Craig McLauchlan, Chemistry; Rosie Hauck, Accounting; Tak Cheung, Biological Sciences; Anne Bettendorf, Biological Sciences

(Continuation of previous session.) Studies indicate that the use of Classroom Response Systems (“clickers”) can increase active learning in the classroom by gauging student comprehension an providing immediate student feedback. In this session several more faculty members will discuss the implementation of clickers into their classrooms in the fall of 2006. Class sizes ranged from 20-1200. The panel will provide preliminary research data, talk about their success with the system, provide troubleshooting tips, and discuss how you can incorporate clickers into your teaching and improve student learning.

Do You Lead a Rich Fantasy Life? Implement it in the Classroom!

Susan Burt, English; Joe Pacha, Educational Administration and Foundations; Jodi Hallsten, Communication

How can we move students from theory to practice, and lead them to doing real work in their field while also benefiting from collaboration with others? In this presentation we discuss a technique for engaging students with civic and professional problem-solving on issues that are new to them, participation in the instructor-created polity. In one assignment in her Sociolinguistics course (English 342), Susan assigns students to imaginary ethnic groups in an imaginary country, and asks them to tackle the language-planning issues facing multilingual polities, and to construct a solution that is linguistically sophisticated, practical and humane. In EAF 465 (Managing Human and Fiscal Resources in Education), Joe assigns students to the principalship of elementary schools in an imaginary school district, and in a semester-long project, confronts them with the budgetary and personnel challenges that school leaders can expect to face from year to year. Both assignments give students the opportunity to experience engagement with real-world problem types, in the rhetorical position of highly interested participant, while still affording them the safety and analytical detachment of the university classroom. In small group work, Jodi moves students to real-world engagement with an assignment that pairs student groups with non-profit organizations, so that students can do fund-raising or public information for the non-profit.

Establishing Teacher Credibility in Intercultural Classrooms

Weirong Wang, Curriculum and Instruction; John Baldwin, Communication

Additional Materials
Establishing Teacher Credibility in Intercultural Classrooms

Teacher credibility is a prerequisite for effective instruction. However, establishing credibility with undergraduate students seems to be a constant challenge for international instructors, particularly for international teaching assistants working with a predominantly Caucasian American student population (McCroskey, 2003). Distrust and dissatisfaction often result from the communication gap between undergraduates and ITAs. In this session, we will discuss a study designed to explore the possibilities of improving student perceptions of teacher credibility by integrating some promising communication techniques in the intercultural classroom. Mixed methods were be employed in this study. We began by identifying factors that affect perceived teacher credibility in cross-cultural classrooms. Then variables were intentionally built into the teaching of an undergraduate course by one of the researchers, an international teaching assistant. Finally, we measured perceived teacher credibility by using an established instrument at the end of the fall semester. While teacher credibility is a universal concern for the teaching profession, this study will be particularly helpful for international faculty and teaching assistants who seek to improve their credibility and teaching effectiveness on U.S. campuses.

Exploring the Effect of Team Leaders who are Autonomous Learners on Enhancing Team Learning in Construction Management Classes

Mohamed El-Gafy and Keith Rahn, Technology

Additional Materials
Exploring the Effect of Team Leaders who are Autonomous Learners on Enhancing Team Learning in Construction Management Classes

In this session we will report on a study designed to explore the impact of team leaders who are autonomous learners on team learning processes in construction management classes. Research has demonstrated that shared knowledge and beliefs influence team behavior and reduce performance errors (Stout et al., 1999). This study explores how team leaders with the characteristics of autonomous learners (desire to learn, personal initiative, resourcefulness, and persistence) affect the overall team learning process. The investigators employed a qualitative research design to gain a comprehensive understanding of the autonomous learner and other team members within the context of team learning. They expected improvement in the team performance when an autonomous learner is assigned as a team leader. The study also yielded insight into individual learning as it relates to team learning. This can help instructors assign better teams, which fosters student creativity and growth.

The American Democracy Project at ISU: An Open Conversation with George Mehaffy

Join members of ISU’s American Democracy Project Task Force as they engage in conversation with keynote speaker George Mehaffy about the ADP.

Transferring Face-to-Face Teaching & Learning Principles to the Online Environment

Cheri Toledo, Curriculum and Instruction; Paulette Miller, Health Information Management

Additional Materials
Transferring F2F Teaching & Learning Principles to the Online Environment

This interactive discussion, led by faculty experienced in online instruction, will focus on how to apply the 7 Principles of Effective Teaching (Chickering et al.) to the online environment. We will break down the 7 Principles and show how they can be applied in an online or blended course. If you are thinking about the effectiveness of online teaching and learning, you will enjoy this discussion as we approach some of the issues involved. The discussion is aimed at instructors with all levels of experience in the online environment. Faculty experienced in online instruction are encouraged to attend and share in the discussion.

Civic Engagement: Forging an Electronic Link Between ISU and Community Service Opportunities

Dale Fitzgibbons, Management and Quantitative Methods; Mary Campbell, Social Work; Laura Myren, Josh Gillespie & Brent Kane, College of Business

Additional Materials
The American Democracy Project/The Redbird Outreach Program

Students in Dr. Dale Fitzgibbons’ Teams and Team-Building course (MQM 380) have collaborated with Professor Mary Campbell’s graduate class in Social Work (SWK 410) to build a web-based database of critical projects that social service agencies and non-profit organizations in McLean County need accomplished. Once complete, the database will be available to ISU faculty who are interested in using community service projects in their courses, allowing them to identify organizations with discipline-specific projects that need assistance. This is a multi-semester effort that we expect to be fully operational by Fall, 2007. The tool should prove invaluable in promoting and facilitating the American Democracy Project at Illinois State University and assisting with the university’s commitment to community outreach.

Growing Town & Gown Networks: ISU Physics Educational Outreach Projects in Central Illinois

Grace Foote Johns, Daniel L. Holland, Jay Ansher & Tom Willmitch, Physics

Additional Materials
Growing Town & Gown Networks: ISU Physics Educational Outreach Projects in Central Illinois

The ISU Physics Department has long realized the importance of creating educational outreach opportunities in the wider community. Creating and maintaining these community networks with engaging outreach projects both helps us to broaden the appreciation of science and encourage young students to consider careers in the sciences. A key aspect of these and other ISU Physics community outreach projects is that we also involve our undergraduates, thereby fostering civic engagement in the next generation of scientists. This panel will talk about several different existing ISU Physics outreach projects and their implementation–Planetarium, AWIS-HOI Career Pen Pals Project, Solar Car Team, Physics on the Road, and others. We will then break into groups to facilitate participants’ discussions about how they might initiate community outreach efforts in their own disciplines.

Infusing Political Engagement into the First-Year Curriculum

Mardell Wilson, University Assessment Office; Jan M. Shane, Office of the Provost; Amy Roser, Enrollment Management & Academic Services; Dustin Day, Sarah Kaisner, Communication; Dawn Beichner, Criminal Justice Sciences

The Political Engagement Project (PEP) is an initiative of the American Democracy Project directed by Tom Ehrlich of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The primary mission of ISU’s Political Engagement Project, which began Fall 2006, is to enhance Illinois State University students’ awareness and understanding of political engagement and impact their level of political involvement and leadership. The focus of PEP at Illinois State is curricular; it includes courses from Communication and Critical Inquiry, Middle Core – Individuals and Civic Life, and First Year LinC. Faculty and staff work together to provide opportunities for students in the classroom, on campus, and in the community to develop skills related to political processes and leadership. This panel presentation will provide an overview of the project, including the assessment plan, and feature faculty from each of the aforementioned course categories who will share how they incorporated a variety of political engagement activities and assignments into their courses.

Smoothing the Launch: Mentoring Program for New Faculty

Timothy Fredstrom, Music and CTLT Faculty-in-Residence, 2006-07; Patrick O’Sullivan, CTLT Director

Recruiting and hiring new faculty is one of the most important responsibilities of institutions of higher education, including ISU. As important, however, is helping new faculty succeed once they are hired. A strong beginning to their career can enhance their morale and improve their research and teaching productivity as well as enhance ISU’s status as a desirable place for an academic career. This could also encourage faculty retention, which can reduce the financial and social costs of employee churn. This session introduces a new program for mentoring new faculty through the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology. It was piloted in Fall 2006 with the goal of smoothing new faculty members’ transition to academia and accelerating their productivity. The program diverges from the traditional one-on-one mentoring models that usually match a senior faculty member with a new faculty hire. Instead, we borrow from the learning community model by arranging new faculty into Professional Development Circles of 5-7 faculty each. These provide informed and motivated mentors as well as opportunities for social and professional peer support. Insights from Fall 2006 and plans for Spring 2007 will be shared. Participants will be invited to share reflections on their first-year experiences and provide suggestions for addressing new faculty’s most pressing needs.

Student Perceptions of Online Teaching in Speech-Language Pathology

Jean Sawyer & Rita L. Bailey, Speech Pathology and Audiology

On-line courses offer students the flexibility of being able to work through the course at their own pace and give them opportunities for individual and group participation. This presentation will describe the development of a hybrid on-line version of a graduate-level course in Speech Pathology and Audiology (PAS 444: Neuropathologies of Speech). This course was taught in Spring and Fall 2006 semesters, once by each of the presenters. At the beginning and end of each semester, students completed surveys regarding their perceptions of the course and suggestions for improvement. The feedback from the students from the Spring semester was used to implement changes in the course for the Fall semester. In this session we will present the results of the surveys, along with recommendations for enhancing the instruction and technological components of the course that were implemented in the subsequent offering of the course. This project was supported by a CTLT Teaching and Learning Development Grant.

Evaluating Online Courses: Looking Beyond “As Good As Face-to-Face”

Susan Kossman, Mennonite College of Nursing

Online courses can enhance learning beyond what students achieve in traditional classrooms, yet are often viewed from a deficit perspective. This presentation challenges the belief that online courses are not “as good as” traditional ones and the assumption that they should be evaluated in the same way. It points out limitations in accreditation standards’ guidance on online course evaluation and suggests that effective evaluation should go beyond assessing comparability with traditional courses to focus on how technology improves teaching and learning outcomes. It should raise the bar beyond meeting baseline quality measures to capture value-added outcomes of technology-enhanced education. The presentation summarizes best practice guidelines for online teaching, highlights value-added aspects of online courses and provides suggestions for effective evaluation criteria and assessment strategies for online courses.

Get FOCUSed on Civic Engagement

Mardell Wilson, University Assessment Office; Patrick O’Sullivan, CTLT; Danielle Lindsey, Office of the Provost; Jodi Hallsten, Communication; Gary Bachman, Agriculture; Phyllis McCluskey-Titus, Educational Administration & Foundations

Additional Materials
FOCUS: Faculty Opportunities for Creating Civic & Community Understanding Among Students

The FOCUS Initiative is a faculty development program designed to enhance faculty responsiveness to the value of civic and community engagement at Illinois State University. FOCUS is complementary to other specific efforts on campus such as the First Year Initiative, the Political Engagement Project, the American Democracy Project, General Education, and Partnership for Student Learning. During Summer 2006, three ISU faculty (Bachman, Hallsten, and McClusky-Titus) were selected as FOCUS fellows and developed three online instructional-based modules which address the following areas of civic and community engagement:

  1. What are Civic and Community Engagement?
  2. Why Incorporate Civic and Community Engagement?
  3. Innovative Pedagogy for Incorporating Civic and Community Engagement

The modules were designed as a way to encourage and support the incorporation of civic and community engagement opportunities for students into classes and curricula. Participants in this session will learn more about the FOCUS Initiative, interact with the Summer 2006 FOCUS Fellows to learn more about their experiences, and explore the content of the FOCUS Modules.

Grading: Resistance as Resolution

Kirstin Zona, English

Having spent my primary school years in a public school that relied on written evaluations instead of grades, I began my teaching career wary of – and determined to avoid – the homogenizing, numbing effect that grades can have on a student who has learned to settle for As instead of plumbing his potential, or the withering effect of grades on the C student whose idiosyncratic style of learning cannot be measured by grades alone. In my presentation I will discuss how, over the course of my nine years at ISU, I have harnessed my resistance to conventional grades into a successful individualized system of evaluation. My presentation will include an overview of my concern with grades, my initial approaches to grading, challenges I encountered in my first few years at ISU with regard to evaluation, and a description of the various strategies I have developed in response to these challenges.

“Hoy, Cambio o Continuidad”/“Today, Continuity or Change”: Observing the 2006 Mexican Elections

Patrice E. Olsen & Ronald Gifford, History

This presentation focuses on the Mexico Civic Engagement Internship program conducted by faculty in the Department of History in June-July 2006. Graduate students and faculty were accredited as International Election Monitors by the Instituto Federal Electoral (Federal Electoral Institute), and observed diverse phases of the presidential campaigns in Mexico City and Oaxaca, the election on July 2, and subsequent allegations of electoral fraud. This session speaks to the value of experiential learning, as well as the challenges of bridging language and cultural gaps.

Rewarding Accountability and Professionalism in the Classroom

Jeri Mullins Beggs, Accounting

Additional Materials
Rewarding Accountability and Professionalism in the Classroom

It is important for students to learn the importance of professionalism and accountability before they enter the workforce. Unprofessional behavior will hurt them on the job, and it is better to learn to act professionally, or be punished for not acting professionally, in the classroom than on the job. However, few instructors have formal methods for rewarding professional behavior and accountability in the classroom, nor do they talk about these issues with their students. This session will describe several methods for rewarding accountability and professionalism. In particular, the problems associated with group projects will be discussed along with the benefits of creating group contracts and improving the process for collecting group evaluations. For classes that use client projects, managing client and student expectations for client projects will be used as an example of creating accountability and professionalism. Finally, the benefits of including an individual professionalism score as part of the grading system will be reviewed.

Teaching Beyond the Walls of Institutionalized Learning

Charity Moos & Ashley Venneman, Leadership & Service

The Leadership and Service Unit within the Dean of Students Office offers experiential trips targeted at students and faculty. Each of these programs is educationally based and guided by the Social Change Model, a theory based on seven principle Cs: Consciousness of Self, Commitment, Congruency, Common Purpose, Collaboration, Controversy with Civility, and Citizenship. While much of a student’s learning takes place inside the classroom, we offer alternatives that faculty can utilize to teach beyond the traditional walls of institutional learning. Our unit does not claim to be experts in the academic arena, but we can enhance your curriculum by our programs. Through this collaboration between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs, students can reach their maximum learning potential by combining co-curricular activities with academic curricula. This session will provide opportunities to learn about all the experiential programs the Leadership and Service Unit offers. It will specifically address how faculty members can get involved with the programs. Because faculty members play a crucial role within our programs, potential faculty participants will learn how they can serve as resources, mentors, and active participants. Attendees will also hear about past faculty members’ involvement and how each has been impacted by the experience.

U.S. Studies and the Laptop Initiative at University High School

Robert Fitzgerald, University High School and Curriculum and Instruction; Jim Kelly, Jim Kurz, and Jim Kinsella; University High School

During the 2006-2007 school year, University High School began a Laptop Initiative, outfitting four classrooms with wireless laptop connections and 27 laptop machines. One of these classrooms was in Social Science where six sections of mandatory sophomore U.S. Studies is taught by three different teachers. Because of the access to rich materials via the Internet, the Social Science Department dropped the textbook in the class, focusing primarily on the use of primary source documents, scholarly articles, and web pages. These, coupled with our use of Blackboard Academic Suite, have created an interactive, engaging environment where the acquisition of historical knowledge has became highly student driven. In these classes, students are learning to do research, gather relevant information, and think critically about historical concepts and events, while simultaneously gaining the technology skills they will need to be successful in our ever-growing world of technological reliance. While some may assume that without a textbook our students are not reading, nothing can be further from the truth. Instead of reading secondary textbook sources, our students are “doing history” by accessing and analyzing primary sources documents, images, articles, etc. We have found that the laptop classrooms foster a greater degree of student participation, interest, and engagement in our U.S. Studies courses.

Using Writing to Help Students Learn: Strategies for Your Classroom

Janice Neuleib, Carey Applegate, Genevieve Baumann, Eileen Bularzik, Hilary Justice, & Linda Lienhart, English

The meta-analysis results of the Carnegie Corporation report, “Writing Next: Effective Strategies to Improve Writing of Adolescents in Middle and High Schools,” provides rich insights for all college faculty. The results show that writers work best when they have specific writing strategies, when they can summarize effectively, when they write collaboratively, when they have specific product goals, when they use word-processing, when they edit at the sentence level rather than the word level, when they pre-write, when they use inquiry activities, when they use a variety of processes, when they study models, and when they write to learn. This session will provide participants with an opportunity to reflect on the uses of writing to learn in their classes and on how the successful techniques noted in this meta-analysis can be implemented in those classes. The session will address questions such as how group work can be used in class; what examples of writing to learn can be noted, whether instructors discuss and/or demonstrate their writing/research for the students, and how technology is used in class writing.

A City is Like a Poem? Creative Engagement in the Post-City Democracy

Elizabeth Hatmaker, English

Euphemism, ISU’s undergraduate creative writing magazine, is currently developing a series of youth writing workshops to be implemented beginning in the spring. As faculty advisor, I am cognizant of the fact that these workshops present not only a wonderful opportunity for outreach, but also an opportunity to explore how community arts programs are linked to the project of democracy. Are the narrative and lyric sensibilities we use to construct what good democracy might look like the same as those used in contemporary writing practices and/or by diverse community members? What happens if workshop members write poems or stories that don’t reflect what we might see as democratic values? Given censorship concerns raised by the Columbine High School shootings and other terror scares, I am curious about what a democratic creative practice might look like. In my presentation, I will suggest various expressivist, constructivist, therapeutic and experimental modes of creative writing pedagogy and question how each might reflect the civic needs and challenges of city-spaces that are increasingly privatized, security-conscious, and consumer-driven.

Advisory Councils: Engage Your Students In and Out of the Classroom

Cyndy Ruszkowski, CTLT; Lauren Lang, BUA; Dave Mordis, Business Teacher Education; Alicia Hayworth, ESB, Cyndy Myers, Allstate Insurance; Shari Buckellew, Children’s Discovery Museum; Dale Strassheim, Baby Fold; Charline Watts, Cross Roads Global Handcrafts

Have you ever wondered if there were more you could do to help students transition successfully into the “real world”? One way is to get them talking to professionals in their field while they’re still in school. It is relatively easy to develop your own personal “Advisory Council” of professionals to help you achieve your teaching-learning goals. A panel of local community leaders and ISU students will discuss the benefits of using professionals in your field to assist in planning, teaching, and communicating with your classes. This is the ultimate win-win in civic engagement: students participating in the community, and the community participating in the classroom. Discover how creating these opportunities for connections influences student engagement and active learning and make your course content come alive.

Instructional Podcasting Development Initiative I: Updates From Early Adopters

Patrick O’Sullivan, CTLT; James Thompson, Special Education; Brent Simonds, Communication; Peter Juvinall, College of Business; Tony Lorsbach, Curriculum and Instruction; Julie Schumacher, Family & Consumer Science; Kathy Clesson, Suzie Thetard, University High School; Tak Cheung, Biological Sciences

Podcasting – distributing digital files to computers or portable music players – is attracting attention among educators for its potential as a teaching and learning tool. It is a way of distributing audio files text files, video files, or combinations of these file types to specific subscribers (e.g., students in your class). Instructors who explored the benefits and drawbacks of podcasting for instruction in Fall 2006 with the support of the Instructional Podcasting Development Initiative and the Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology. This session is for anyone curious about podcasting use in education or interested in how it could be applied in his or her own courses. In Part 1, the instructors will describe their projects and share their insights and recommendations from their experiences in Fall 2006. (Panel continues next session.)

Measuring the Gap Between Faculty and Student Perceptions of Engagement: Results from the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement

Mardell Wilson, University Assessment Office

Additional Materials
Measuring the Gap Between Faculty and Student Perceptions of Engagement: Results from the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement

For several years now the University Assessment Office has led ISU’s administration of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). This survey asks students to respond to various questions related to their experiences and perceived abilities as a result of their ISU experience. However, the UAO has recently gathered survey data from the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), a survey derived from the NSSE, which asks faculty to respond to who they feel ISU provides for student engagement inside and outside the classroom and how well they think students are doing at this engagement. Find out what students are saying about many issues on campus and whether faculty agree or disagree with that thought. Additionally, you will learn more about future programming and initiatives being offered by the UAO and the CTLT in response to this interesting data.

The Cutting Edge of Classroom Engagement: Implementing Clickers in Your Class

John Hooker, Communication; Curtis Radford, Biology; Anji Phillips, Communication

In this panel, three instructors who have had experience implementing classroom interactive devices (clickers) in both large lecture and small classroom settings over the past two years discuss the pros and cons of adopting this technology. One presenter received a grant to pilot-test the clickers, another was designated as the implementation administrator for all COM 110 sections in Fall ’06, and the third integrated clickers for use in a large lecture section, so a variety of experiences will be shared. All incoming students at ISU will be required to purchase a clicker, so this panel will give insights on best practices for using the clickers to engage students and for teacher benefits such as taking attendance and evaluation of student performance. The session will consist of presentations, an actual demonstration of clickers in use by those in attendance, and a discussion/ brainstorming session where questions will be answered and creative ideas for clicker use discussed.

The Hurricane Poster Project

Jude Landry, Art

Additional Materials
The Hurricane Poster Project

The Hurricane Poster Project in my class, Topics in Graphic Design, originated from The Hurricane Poster Project website ( (site now defunct)), which collects and sells Hurricane Katrina-related posters to raise money for the Red Cross. This assignment is different from other class projects in that it connects my students to an event outside of our university and local community. In addition to designing a poster, each student was asked to submit a proposal describing how our designs could raise money for hurricane relief. My desire was to educate students about a designer’s responsibility to society and to use design as a vehicle for change. I hoped to motivate my students to get involved and to generate their own content for such socially responsible projects in the future. We began the process by reading articles on design responsibility and social activism. Then the designers were required to independently research facts on Hurricane Katrina. Once the research was completed, the issues were discussed in class. The traditional design process followed, with sketching, individual and group critiquing, and editing. This project showed my students that every designer has a responsibility to the community and society.

The Postal Crisis Reenactment: Using Critical Reading and Writing Skills to Understand Disaster Documents

Katherine Ellison, English

Additional Materials
The Postal Crisis Reenactment

During the fall and spring of 2006 I taught a course unit based on documents written and circulated during and after the anthrax cases of October and November 2001. Through an examination of these documents, which include news reports issued by the US Postal Service, a federal protocol for the handling of suspicious packages, and USPS Wanted posters, students in ENG 286: Prose Gone Postal considered the civic responsibilities of readers and writers during times of national crisis. Using these rarely studied official documents, students conducted analyses of the rhetorical decisions made in the writing of disaster, questioning audience, class, the uses of vague wording, and inconsistent typography to better understand patterns in disaster prose. At the culmination of this unit, student teams created their own postal crisis reenactments, imagining and writing about a fictional disaster using the techniques we studied in order to answer these questions: What is the textual progression of a disaster in the media? And how might students use what they learn about critical reading and writing to help create more effective communication during times of crisis?

Exposure to Spanish via WebCT

Montserrat Mir, Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Due to increased demand for basic Spanish language courses, we decided to incorporate a technology-based component to our two basic Spanish languages courses at ISU. Under this new program students spend three contact hours in the classroom doing oral practice and a fourth hour working with WebCT materials. Our current textbook already comes with WebCT materials but in a very limited fashion. Thanks to a CTLT Teaching and Learning Development Grant, we have been able to add more content to our WebCT materials. In this presentation we will see how WebCT allows learners to work with audio, video and written Spanish language at their own pace. WebCT has allowed us greater individualization of students’ learning experience. Furthermore, the incorporation of WebCT in our Spanish programs opens a future with unlimited possibilities. The flexibility of WebCT allows us to create learning opportunities whenever we think necessary and bring current language materials to our students.

Facilitating Students’ Preparation and Participation

John Bantham, Management and Quantitative Methods

Trying to facilitate students’ class participation can quite often feel like herding cats. More than once, I have anticipated a lively class discussion with engaged students, eager to share their ideas and listen attentively to the ideas of their peers, only to be utterly disappointed with the way the class actually went. My students had come to class unprepared to engage in any type of discussion. Often, they had not even read the material that had been assigned, and the few that were prepared were unwilling to engage in much of a discussion. I would imagine that many of you have experienced such a class. I now employ a more fail-safe method of facilitating students’ preparation for class and their participation in class discussion. In this session, I will share my approach of using reading logs and what I call guided discussion to help ensure that students are prepared to and do engage in classroom discussion.

Getting to Good Digital Citizenship: A National Best Practices Model

Cheryl Elzy, Milner Library; Mark Walbert, VP & Office of the Provost; David Greenfield, Student Technology Support Services; Warren Arbogast, Boulder Management Group

Researchers and technologists at Illinois State University are embarking on a multi-faceted, multi-year comparative study of what works and what doesn’t work to control peer-to-peer copyright infringement on campus while preserving the rights and responsibilities of educational fair use for faculty and students. Working with the national recording industry and motion picture associations, as well as executives at the leading network monitoring and content services over the past 18 months, ISU project investigators are developing components of education, monitoring and enforcement, a menu of legal service options, discussions to clarify definitions and applications of fair use in the classroom, and development of a K-12 curriculum coupled with thorough data collection on network activity. The campus-wide program will publicly begin in January 2007. Hear the early results of the work to date and plans for the future.

“I’ll See You on Facebook”: The Effects of Teacher Self-Disclosure on Anticipated Student Motivation, Affective Learning, Classroom Climate, and Perceptions of Teacher Credibility via a Computer-Mediated Social Network

Cheri Simonds, Communication

In this session I will discuss an experimental study that examined the effects of teacher self-disclosure via Facebook on anticipated student motivation, affective learning, classroom climate, and perceptions of teacher credibility. Participants who accessed the Facebook website of a teacher high in self-disclosure anticipated higher levels of motivation and affective learning and a more positive classroom climate. In their responses to open-ended items, participants emphasized possible negative associations between teacher use of Facebook and teacher credibility. Participants offered recommendations for teachers regarding the use of Facebook and other weblog services. Pedagogical implications and areas for future research will be discussed.

Instructional Podcasting Development Initiative II: Up Close And Personal With Early Adopters

Patrick O’Sullivan, CTLT; James Thompson, Special Education; Brent Simonds, Communication; Peter Juvinall, College of Business; Tony Lorsbach, Curriulum & Instruction; Julie Schumacher, Family & Consumer Science; Kathy Clesson, Suzie Thetard, University High School; Tak Cheung, Biological Sciences

This second podcasting session will provide an opportunity for attendees to talk with individual instructors who participated in the Instructional Podcasting Development Initiative during Fall 2006. In addition, participants can see demonstrations of a variety of instructional podcasting and have an opportunity to create a podcast of your own – it’s easier than you might think!

Meet the KeyPURS

Beverly Barham, Health Sciences

Additional Materials
Meet the KeyPURS

The KeyPURs (Key Points and Useful Repetition) consisted of 10 key points used as foundational information in a clinical microbiology course for Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) majors. Each week for 10 weeks, students were introduced to a new key point and also asked to recall the information from the previous week(s) as part of an in-class challenge. Points were awarded for accurate information, whether it was the newest information or recall of previous key points. This repetition reinforced the key foundational material throughout the semester. Assessment was completed by examining student responses to specific multiple choice questions dispersed randomly on the last exam. Each of these questions had a direct correlation with one of the KeyPURs. These same questions had been given to the cohort from the year before but the questions had never been handed out for review. Data indicated that the cohort (n=24) which used the KeyPURS increased the number of correct responses for the specific questions when compared to the cohort (n=19) who did not have the KeyPURs as a resource. Useful repetition of discipline specific key concepts can help students build a solid foundation and result in positive outcomes in meeting the challenges of the course.

Preparing Future Teachers: Assessing the Impact of Curricular & Instructional Approaches to Secondary Literacy and Methods Courses

W.R. Ducett, Thomas Haynes, & Gary O’Malley, Curriculum and Instruction

Faced with the dilemma of providing appropriate clinical settings for pre-service teachers, the secondary education faculty brainstormed ideas for solutions. What resulted was a curricular innovation that combined two courses that share the same instructor and clinical site. In an integrated curricular approach two courses, C&I 214 Content Literacy and C&I 216 Secondary Teaching Methods, were taught in a block that met four periods per week. The courses had similar and connected objectives and assignments that required student lesson design and implementation in a high school classroom. The presenters will discuss the modifications needed to blend two courses sharing a clinical requirement, explain the advantages of blocking two courses with relevant and high stakes clinical components, and summarize the positive student and faculty responses to the initial pilot in the spring semester of 2006. The rationale for the integrated class, the ways in which the course content and activities were reconfigured, and the research data compiled from course evaluations and satisfaction surveys from spring and fall 2006 will be shared with the program participants.

Reciprocal Learning Between ISU Pre-Service Elementary Educators and Local Middle School Art Students

Judith Briggs & Cheryl Prairie-Steber, Art Education

Additional Materials
Art for Elementary Educators

Artwork generated by ISU pre-service elementary education majors acts as exemplars for seventh- and eighth-grade students at El Paso-Gridley Middle School. Both groups of students complete the same visual art lessons with the same ISU Art Education professor. ISU students then view middle school responses to learn how younger students visually solve the same problems. Elementary pre-service educators can then visualize themselves as artists prior to incorporating art into their own middle-school aged classrooms. This project is made possible with the cooperation of an ISU Art Education graduate and an El-Paso-Gridley art teacher.

Student Research Leads to Teacher Research in K-12 Schools

Jim Meyer, English

One of the graduate courses offered in ISU’s English department focuses on research in Language Arts. Yet talking about research is never as interesting or as useful as doing research and working with real schools, teachers, and students. In a pilot project, students worked with several K-8 schools in the area as teachers experimented with new lessons in reading and writing informational text. At the end of the pilot program, teachers continued meeting to support each other in ongoing research projects. This project has led to grant-funded writing retreats, to projects on family literacy in other schools, and to a renewed sense of energy on the part of the teachers. Participants will have a chance to write and to share ideas for involving K-12 students and teachers in ISU courses, as well as learning about the kinds of research currently going on through these programs in schools in Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, and several rural districts.

Teaching Design of Building Structures Using Visualization and Animation Techniques

Mohamed El-Gafy, Technology

Additional Materials
Teaching Design of Building Structures Using Visualization and Animation Techniques

Understanding structures design lies at the core of the construction management education. The engineering-based approaches, which are the dominant models for teaching structures design to construction management students, are highly quantitative. Faculty and students historically struggle with the traditional engineering-based approach to structures design instruction, which is increasingly proving to be ineffective in the classroom. Building upon previous pedagogical research and the recent advancements in digital technology, a CTLT Teaching and Learning Development Grant assisted me to develop digital animation short movies to use as an instructional tool in TEC 327 (Design of Building Structure) classroom. Recognizing that students learn in a variety of ways, the animations I developed, accompanied by symbolic teaching and oral explanation, will help to increase student interest, thereby generating greater attentiveness during lecture, improving attendance, and enhancing motivation. These tools will also help students overcome difficulties in working with forces, moments, displacements, and stresses. Finally, developing hands-on visualization tools will aid students in problem formulation and enhance learning opportunities by improving their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Teamwork: Instructor Techniques for Facilitating Student Success and Enhanced Team Productivity

Jodi Hallsten, Communication

While students receive training in Com 110 on group communication, they do not always choose to consistently apply their knowledge in courses outside of Com 110. Thus, if instructors expect students to be successful, they need to help students along. This presentation introduces techniques that will help instructors facilitate superior team projects in their classes. Specifically, these techniques: help facilitate productive team meetings; help facilitate team members’ personal responsibility; help the instructor assist students and guide them toward successful decisions and quality end products; help students budget and use both their project and meeting time wisely; and provide proactive peer feedback which gives students the opportunity to recognize and change poor teamwork behaviors during the course of the project.

The Relationship of Ethnicity and Gender to Professional Credibility

John Glascock, Communication

In this session, I will share the results of a study that examined the extent to which sex and ethnicity affect students’ perceptions of teacher credibility. While we did find that Caucasian instructors were rated higher than Hispanic instructors on student perceptions of teacher competence and caring, the effect sizes were relatively minimal. On the other hand, we found nonverbal immediacy (gesturing, smiling, moving around) accounted for much more of the variance in student perceptions and was strongly correlated with all three dimensions of teacher credibility (competence, trustworthiness, caring). In terms of perceived student learning, the two most important predictors were teacher expertise and nonverbal immediacy, both of which are acquired skills that can be demonstrated comparably by faculty regardless of sex or ethnicity. While increasing diversity may have many positive outcomes, if the desired outcome is increased learning, the results of this study suggest increasing diversity is unlikely to lead to that outcome. However, taking steps toward increasing teacher credibility and immediacy may be expected to lead to that outcome.

2018-11-14T15:23:38.825-06:00 2018