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2017 University-Wide Teaching & Learning Symposium

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Many thanks to all those who made the 2017 Teaching-Learning Symposium a success! CTLT would especially like to thank all those who took the time to prepare posters and presentations, all those who provided financial support for the event, all those who served as speakers and/or session chairs, and—of course—all those who took time from their busy schedules to attend this event.

Keynote Speaker

Ernest Morrell

Ernest Morrell, PhD.
Keynote Speaker

Keynote Presentation Slideshow
Special Session Presentation slideshow


An award-winning author, teacher, and researcher, Ernest Morrell is the Macy Professor of English Education and Director of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Morrell is also past-president of the National Council of Teachers of English, a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and an appointed member of International Literacy Association’s Literacy Research Panel. In 2016, he was ranked among the top 100 university-based education scholars in the RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. Morrell was an award winning English teacher and coach in Northern California and he now works with schools and after school programs across the country to infuse social and emotional learning, digital technologies, project based learning, and multicultural literature into culturally and socially empowering literacy practices in K-12 classrooms.

Morrell is the author of more than 75 articles and book chapters, and eight books including Every Child a Super Reader, New Directions in Teaching English, Linking Literacy and Popular Culture, and Critical Media Pedagogy: Teaching for Achievement in City Schools, which was awarded Outstanding Academic Title for 2014 by Choice Magazine of the American Library Association. He has earned numerous commendations for his secondary and university teaching including being nominated five times for Who’s Who Among America’s High School teachers and receiving UCLA’s Department of Education’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

Morrell earned his Ph.D. in Language, Literacy and Culture from the University of California at Berkeley, where he received the Outstanding Dissertation Award. He also sits on the Executive Boards of LitWorld and the Education for Democracy Institute.

  • Special Session: 9:00–9:50
  • Session 1: 10:00–10:50
  • Session 2: 11:00–11:50
  • Session 3: 2:00–2:50
  • Session 4: 3:00–3:50
  • Poster Session: 4:00–5:30

New Directions in College Teaching: Community and Civic Engagement in Diverse 21st Century Classrooms

Ernest Morrell, Columbia University

Additional Materials
PowerPoint slideshow

Join our 2017 keynote speaker, Dr. Ernest Morrell, for this special early morning session. This interactive workshop will explore new ways to empower our diverse community of learners. It is open to all Symposium attendees.

Culturally Response Teaching-Creating Harmony Among Learners as Individuals and as a Group

Arundhati Bhattacharya, Department of Educational Administration and Foundations

Additional Materials
PowerPoint slideshow

Two mantras drive my class and lesson plan. The first is education is learner-centered and the other is a belief that education is more than a cognitive process. Emotional and social aspects play vital roles. My primary concern is to bridge the gap between teacher and learner and to make my students comfortable. To achieve this, I endeavor to ascertain the learning styles of my students. For me, building relations with my students is vital. As a Teaching Assistant in a non-native country, making connections with students is even more crucial. Foremost, the students need to feel that their teacher understands them. Next, I try to create a conducive classroom environment that enables them to express their thoughts, and makes them want to engage in the course. In my presentation, I will share the different ideas and facilitation styles I deploy to make my classroom truly responsive to students. I typically use dialogue and personal stories to help students celebrate their diversity. They also learn to identify similarities between themselves and others, which creates a bond. This way, the students are not given the culturally obtuse “banking system of education ” model, but are endorsed to engage in dialogue, and create new knowledge.


Maura Toro-Morn, Department of Sociology and Anthropology; Beth Hatt, Department of Educational Administration and Foundations; Nancy Vasquez, Office of Admissions

This session is for faculty and staff who are interested in learning more about laws, policies, and educational practices necessary to support undocumented students who are attending ISU. A panel from a new group on campus known as CAUSA (Committee Assisting Undocumented Student Achievement) will share testimonios of undocumented students, give an overview of the challenges they face, and then share resources and classroom practices that help students be successful at ISU. They will also explain programs such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americas (DAPA).

Let’s Talk About Character

Kerri Calvert, Health Promotion and Wellness; Phyllis McCluskey-Titus, Department of Educational Administration and Foundations; Nikki Brauer, Health Promotion and Wellness; Jim Almeda, Health Promotion and Wellness

Additional Materials
PowerPoint slideshow

Why character? Character is vital to personal and societal success. When someone can identify and use their character traits as strengths, it has a significant positive impact on their life. These strengths are the positive parts of your personality that impact how you think, feel, and behave and are the keys to you being your best self. Character strengths can serve as a buffer to manage and overcome problems, improve relationships, improve understanding of others, and enhance overall health and well-being. Talking about character is important for all of us, but particularly for our students, in order to start their journeys toward acceptance of others and other worldviews.

Ready, AIM, Teach-Quality Matters in Online Courses!

Michaelene Cox, Department of Politics and Government; Heather Mautino, Department of Health Sciences; Allison Alcorn, School of Music; Sandra Osorio, School of Teaching and Learning

A successful teaching and learning experience can seem like a moving target for both experienced and novice instructors who are creating or adapting courses for online presentation. Good design is about process, and strategic planning goes a long way in helping us meet challenges along the way. If following best practices, where can that planning begin? We can start by noting how quality online courses can address multiple goals and strategies of Educating Illinois, and how the format itself can foster an inclusive learning environment. Toward this end, panelists from different disciplines share lessons they learned while participating in a workshop series offered by CTLT last summer called AIM Online (Apply, Improve and Meet Expectations for a High Quality Course). Workshop topics included how to apply and improve general standards in learning objectives, assessment and measurement, instructional materials and technology, and learner support in terms of accessibility and usability. We will discuss the degree to which the goals, tools and processes covered in the AIM workshop shape perspectives and approaches to our online teaching, and how they may also serve to encourage self-reflection among attendees who teach and learn.

Sharing “Where I’m coming from on this…” Stories

John MacLean, Department of English

Our students “journey to cultural responsiveness ” starts with an understanding that they are enculturated, situated people whose ideas, beliefs, values, and practices have been shaped by their communities, decisions, experiences, education, etc. After students have chosen a topic or issue for their semester project, I ask them to think through all the ways that these “life aspects ” have contributed to why they care about this topic and how they view this topic. Based on this reflection they then choose and write an autobiographical story that (in part) explains “where they are coming from on this ”. The next step in the journey involves reading their classmates’ stories. Reading the stories of those they disagree with on an issue promotes an understanding of their classmates that facilitates better engagement across difference.

Using Interrupted Video Case Studies to Address Case-Study Limitations

Bill Anderson, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences; Gabrielle Jorns, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences; Laura Bivens, Department of Family and Consumer Sciences

Additional Materials
PowerPoint slideshow

Case studies can serve as a context for meaning-making during instruction. However, case-based instruction (CBI) also has recognized limitations. For instance, many case studies are limited in length, may address only a few course concepts, sometimes have student write-ups readily available online, and can potentially be a largely passive activity. Furthermore, if a case study is simply presented to students with a set of questions, what is likely being assessed is the student’s ability to locate predetermined answers. However, it appears that all limitations can be addressed by using a progressive disclosure of information as a continual discovery, viewed as problem-based learning over time. This study utilized an interrupted case-studies (ICS) format to specifically provide vicarious but meaningful opportunities to relate course material to case-study events and individuals. ICS was successfully applied and refined over the past three years in a required graduate course in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences department and results confirmed the idea that a progressive ICS, in this case an interrupted video case-study, can address limitations typically associated with CBI, as well as raise critical thinking levels. This session will offer participants the professor’s (teaching) and students’ (learning) perspectives of this experience.

2015-2016 Assessment Initiative Awards: Improving the Student Experience at the Program Level

Derek J.H. Meyers, University Assessment Services; Pete Smudde, School of Communication; Dakesa Piña, Student Counseling Services

Last year, two faculty and staff teams reflected on student learning, growth, and development within their programs and implemented projects beyond typical assessment activities. While completing program accreditation work, faculty members in the undergraduate Public Relations program determined that their student learning outcomes assessment plan should better reflect industry demands and both internal and external standards. These faculty members developed rubrics to measure their program standards and solicited feedback from several stakeholders (students, alumni, internship supervisors, and employers) through questionnaires, interviews, and focus groups. Knowing that university outreach and prevention programming promotes academic performance and school retention, staff members in Student Counseling Services considered ISU international students’ needs and awareness of campus resources and how their programming could be improved to better meet students’ needs. These staff members administered a questionnaire to a sample of international students and then invited any interested respondents to participate in a focus group to discuss ISU’s strengths, their own experiences, and suggestions to improve outreach programming. Members of both teams will share what led them to develop these projects, the methods used to collect and analyze data, and the lessons they have learned while completing these assessment projects.

Enhancing Student Learning in Quantitative Reasoning Course Through Data Visualization

Nathan Hartman, Department of Management and Quantitative Methods; Ted Coussens, Learning Spaces and AV Technologies

As data analytics evolve rapidly in the Big Data environment, quantitative content that was once highly challenging is now more comprehensible through data visualization techniques. This session will highlight the Tableau platform, a groundbreaking data visualization technology, that can be employed in the quantitative reasoning courses to enhance the students learning experiences and also a useful tool in collaborative research. We will demonstrate how data visualization can be dynamic, instantaneous, and appealing to engage students and raise their interests to understand the deeper meaning of quantitative reasoning. The paradoxical nature of claims suggesting big data brings revolutionary changes to the classroom will be discussed. Askar Choudhury will not be presenting, but he is a member of the research team.

Findings from a Grant Program for Internationalization Efforts at ISU

Erin Mikulec, School of Teaching and Learning; Richard Hughes, Department of History; Judith Briggs, School of Art; Miranda Lin, School of Teaching and Learning; Do-Yong Park, School of Teaching and Learning

This session will present the findings of research projects carried out by recipients of the Go Global with SoTL mini-grant program. The first presenter will discuss Teaching Department of History in a Place with a Different Department of History, a study which examined how varied clinical experiences in Illinois and England shape the evolving professional goals and performances of developing teacher candidates in Department of History. The second speaker will discuss her study, Preparing Future Early Childhood Teachers: Furthering Intercultural Dialogues among Early Childhood Pre-service Teachers across the Globe, which details how a pen pal project not only helped students understand different educational systems, but also to develop empathy through learning about their pen pals’ lived experiences. The third project, Interpreting the Frames: A Study of Six Art Education Students’ Integration of Their Study Abroad in Australia Experience Into Their Classroom Teaching Practices, describes how participants in New South Wales Australia Art Education study abroad courses integrated the NSW syllabi constructs into their own U.S. teaching experiences. The final presentation, Preservice Teachers’ Understanding about Global Diets from a Sociocultural Perspective, will discuss preservice elementary teachers’ understanding of global diets through analysis of the nutritional habits college of students across Thailand and the U.S.

Instructors & Teaching Assistants: Classroom Collaboration

Thomas Lamonica, School of Communication; Kathryn C. Green, School of Communication

The journey toward cultural responsiveness is unique to each individual instructor. Some have been traveling the road for many years, while others are just now realizing there is a road to travel. Some are experts at assuring that their classrooms offer ‘windows,’ ‘mirrors,’ and ‘sliding glass doors’ (Bishop, 1990), allowing students to see themselves and their experiences reflected in the material ... Others are novices when it comes to creating learning spaces and experiences that draw on multiple perspectives which speak to the lived experiences of all students,” so reads an excerpt from the 2017 CTLT Symposium Request for Proposals/Educating Illinois. Before we get into the classroom, the merging of cultures, as described above in “Educating Illinois,” can be reflected in the collaboration between and among instructors and teaching assistants (either undergraduate or graduate students). Starting from the perspectives of how a veteran instructor and a first-year graduate student learn from each other, we hope to initiate a discussion among colleagues of how instructors can open doors to new ideas and valued practices in teaching by creating a “teaching staff culture,” promoting and valuing teaching assistant input and ownership in both the preparation and execution of curriculum plans.

Integrating Civic Engagement in Course Design

Megan Koch, School of Communication; Shelly Clevenger, Department of Criminal Justice Sciences

Additional Materials
Civic Engagement project

In this special invited session, members of the CTLT’s Summer Institute “(Re)Design Your Course Civic Engagement” cohort reflect on their experiences incorporating civic engagement knowledge, values, skills, and attitudes into their course designs. Panelists will discuss their efforts to create courses that challenge students to gain a sense of self-awareness as citizens, develop their appreciation for diversity, actively participate in community service, grow their understanding of the democratic process, engage in critical thinking within the arena of social issues, act as problem-solvers and agents of change, and comprehend the interdependences within communities, societies and the world. The role of their redesign efforts in the context of Illinois State’s commitment to the values of citizenship and institutionalization of civic engagement across the curriculum will also be touched upon, particularly in terms of (re)designing a course that qualifies as an elective for the Civic Engagement Minor.

Stand-Up Comedy as an Interdisciplinary Teaching Tool

Olga Cochran, Department of English

Looking for a great way to win over your students so they attend all of your class sessions, even on a Friday before Thanksgiving break? Or looking for a fun way to present some really dry or difficult material? Then don’t miss this edutaining session on the use of stand-up comedy and other types of humor in teaching First Year Writing and Introduction to Linguistics. I will discuss how spontaneous and prepared humor can be used as a teaching tool. Humor in the classroom is an interest-in-course-material booster, a retention-of-information helper, and a student-teacher rapport establisher. The talk will also present humor as a way to promote cultural awareness and sensitivity among students. So come laugh with me and at me, while learning how to productively laugh with your students. It’s good for you health!

Why Won’t They Read?! Encouraging Students to Engage in Reading

Pennie Gray, Illinois Wesleyan University

Additional Materials
PowerPoint slideshow

Most teachers rely heavily on course reading assignments to convey much of the content students will need to know to be successful in the course. Yet, few teachers feel entirely confident that students complete the assigned readings, at least not to the extent required. Furthermore, there may be a significant mismatch between the amount of reading teachers believe students complete and what the students actually read. Teacher skepticism about student completion of course readings often leads to accountability tactics intended to ensure students complete the course readings, tactics that, while perhaps somewhat successful, do not instill in students long-term skills for reading disciplinary material. This session, then, will explore strategies for encouraging students to read while giving them disciplinary reading skills that they can apply to present and future classes. This session will examine ways of positioning students to engage more deeply in their course readings. By unveiling the complexities of disciplinary reading for students, teachers can equip students with lifelong skills that transfer to a host of other contexts. Ideally, teachers can then stop asking, “Why won’t they read?”

Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Restorative Justice as an Academic Course

Justin Stern, School of Social Work

If School of Communication is what holds communities together, then conflict resolution is surely the glue that that comes to the rescue when that community begins to break apart. By teaching students not only how to resolve conflict informally, but also through formal models like mediation and restorative justice, we are ensuring that our students will be not just leaders, but community builders. This session will delve in to how conflict resolution, mediation, and restorative justice are being taught at ISU in an academic setting; providing students from a multitude of majors with the skills they need to better themselves personally and professionally, while instilling a strong sense of social justice. Many professional fields are beginning to emphasize the importance and strength of conflict resolution as a formal method of dealing with societal issues; including the school to prison pipeline, repairing the harm of long standing political conflicts, and even increasing student success within the P20 systems. Students enrolled in the course learn both theoretical and practical approaches to resolving conflict in a range of situations that span from the courtroom to the classroom.

How Trigger Warnings Can Enhance the Academic Environment

Ashley Fritz, Student Affairs; Gail Trimpe-Morrow, Student Counseling Services; Lori Henehan, Student Access and Accommodation Services

Additional Materials
PowerPoint slideshow

Trigger warnings are a contested topic on college campuses and open the debate between academic freedom and the well-being of students in the classroom. Trigger warnings can be seen as a limitation to a rigorous academic environment, or as a pedagogical tool used to engage students who may otherwise disconnect from material. The approach of this session and these presenters is that trigger warnings and academic freedom are not mutually exclusive. Presenters will discuss trigger warnings from multiple lenses: support and protection for traumatized students, increasing access and engagement for all students, improvement in overall campus climate as it relates to issues of sex, gender, ethnicity, disability, and other experiences and identities, federal compliance for the institution as a whole, and how to craft a trigger warning that is both appropriate to the subject matter of a course and provides a student with the opportunity to mentally prepare themselves to engage with difficult content.

Microaggressions in the Classroom

Jason Vasquez, Student Counseling Services; Mayuko Nakamura, Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology

In this special invited session, panelists will explore the impact of microaggression in classroom. Microaggressions are small acts with potentially big effects—little behaviors that communicate hostile or derogatory slights towards a person or a group of people. These acts may be intentional or unintentional. In this session, you’ll learn how to identify microaggressions and explore the role they play on our campus. You’ll leave this session with a better understanding of the psychological impact these types of School of Communications can have on others and how best to respond when a microaggression occurs.

Personal and Professional Outcomes of Student Teaching in Eastbourne, England

Jill Donnel, School of Teaching and Learning; Erin Mikulec, School of Teaching and Learning

As the world becomes more connected through globalization, and university campuses look to internationalize the curriculum, teacher education must respond in a way that prepares teachers to meet these goals. There is considerable research that emphasizes the benefits of undergraduate students participating in study abroad programs. Research also indicates that spending time overseas impacts pre-service teachers in terms of developing intercultural School of Communication, sensitivity, and a sense of global-mindedness, as participants compare education, teaching, and learning across cultural contexts. Pre-service teachers must not only be globally-minded themselves, but prepare their students to function in an increasingly global environment. This session will present the findings of a study which examined student learning outcomes of 17 education majors participating in an 8-week student teaching experience in Eastbourne, England. Results and findings will be presented in terms of personal and professional learning outcomes of the experience. The presenters will discuss how the findings from this study will be used to inform practices in future iterations of the program.

Re-Framing Career Development at Illinois State

Amelia Noël-Elkins, University College; Pam Cooper, Career Center

Additional Materials
PowerPoint slideshow

When students arrive on our campus, many of them believe they are starting their journeys toward their careers. Many also believe that major equals career, but are we really preparing students for the work world beyond college, including the possibility of several career changes throughout their lifetimes? Through the work of a year-long Career Task Force and the resulting formation of the University Academics and Careers Council, Illinois State University is seeking to reframe, redefine, and redevelop career preparation for Illinois State University students starting at the moment they start exploring attending Illinois State. Come to this session to learn about Illinois State University’s efforts to develop an industry-cluster approach to career development and placement and how it could be incorporated in the classroom.

The Visor Center: Responding to Student Needs

Pamm Ambrose, University College

Today’s college students come with a variety of lived experiences and levels of preparation for college. Many new students underestimate the rigors of postsecondary education and may approach their college studies in the same way they did their high school courses. The University College Julia N. Visor Academic Center recognizes that to be successful students need to learn to employ effective learning habits and techniques. It is our mission to guide students as they develop strategies that suit their individual learning strengths and challenges. Through weekly study sessions, academic coaching, study skills workshops, individual writing assistance, and developmental and transitional courses, the Visor Center supports students’ academic endeavors. Learn the specifics of the various types of support we offer for all students and how we can collaborate with you.

Ambiguity in Evaluation Criteria, to Improve Overall Performance, and Encourage Deep Learning

Amir Marmarchi, Department of Management and Quantitative Methods

Ambiguity is often described as a bad that needs to be removed, in different contexts like design of evaluation criteria for organizational and classroom settings. I, however, hypothesized that some ambiguity in evaluation criteria may be beneficial. Therefore, in an organization or classroom setting, the optimal level of transparency is not necessarily the maximum transparency, as absolute transparency may make people focus on playing by the rules of the game instead of trying to be overall good performers. Absolute transparency in grading criteria encourages students to solely focus on being strategic learners, and discourages deep learning. This leads to students who are capable of getting an A, but incapable of transferring and applying their knowledge to subsequent learning experiences or future careers. I provided students with the opportunity to earn six distinct badges, translating to 6% extra credit to both sections of my Eco138. To one section, I disclosed the criteria for all six badges in advance, while to the other section I provided partial transparency and disclosed criteria for three badges in advance, and kept the criteria for the remaining three badges ambiguous. This example verified the hypothesis that the section with some ambiguity had a better performance.

Past, Present, and Future: Supporting Students with Disabilities in Higher Education

Tammie Keney, Student Access and Accommodation Services; Lori Henehan, Student Access and Accommodation Services; Sarah Metivier, Student Access and Accommodation Services; Maggie Snell, Student Access and Accommodation Services; Zach McDowell, Student Access and Accommodation Services

Let’s collaborate to make a difference! This session will provide participants with vital institutional knowledge related to supporting students with disabilities in higher education. Increases in self-declaration of disability and medical/mental health conditions, continued work towards destigmatization of disability, and changing educational environments all influence the ways in which students with disabilities navigate the university setting. Past, present, and future practices and policies will be discussed, as well the changing demographic of students with disabilities on campus. Moreover, a practical approach will be taken to leave the participants of this session with useful knowledge to help support students in their own contexts.

Reflections on Going Global in the Classroom

Mary Jeanette Moran, Department of English; Jim Pancrazio, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

In this special session, participants in the CTLT’s Summer Institute “Going Global with Your Course” program will share their experiences redesigning their courses to make them more globally engaged and in alignment with Educating Illinois and the University’s International Strategic Plan. Panelists will describe their learning objectives, activities, and assessments, all designed to help students become thriving global citizens. Learn about active steps you can take to develop a more global perspective in your own classroom.

Teaching Writing to Enable Transfer: Utilizing Writing Program Outcomes Across Campus

David Giovagnoli, Department of English; Deb Riggert-Kieffer, Department of English; Sarah Warren-Riley, Department of English

Though all undergraduates at Illinois State must complete ENG 101 either on our campus or transfer that credit in, writing instruction does not stop at the end of this one semester. By thinking about writing in terms of transfer-i.e. enabling students to find the gaps between their prior knowledge and the necessary knowledge to complete a specific writing task-you can reconceptualize writing in your course to help students move between writing in different disciplines. This presentation will give strategies for using the University Writing Program’s learning outcomes to design assignments that both engage students in the writing tasks necessary for your discipline and also take into account the competencies that students are bringing with them from ENG 101 or ENG 145.

The Use of Student Surveys in Curriculum Development

Jennifer Peterson, Department of Health Sciences

When students have a variety of course options for a prerequisite for a course you teach it can be difficult to determine what knowledge they will have entering your class. Through formally surveying students on their level of knowledge of expected competencies, faculty can tailor their course to the students’ backgrounds and build on their existing knowledge. Such surveys can also be used to evaluate whether all available prerequisite course options are meeting the students’ needs in preparation for the course in question. This case study reviews the use of a student survey in an early cohort course that was used to influence curriculum development in a later course. The survey enabled the faculty to determine areas that were appropriate for a quick review as well as areas that needed additional focus. Also, since the survey showed some areas previously taught in the course could be minimized, more complex topics were able to be added to the course. While this particular case study was completed due to required curricular changes, this concept can easily be applied to ongoing course improvement efforts.

Triggers and Safe Zones: Creating Constructive Class Discussion on Sensitive Issues

John Baldwin, School of Communication; Megan Hopper, School of Communication; Lauren Bratslavsky, School of Communication; Phil Chidester, School of Communication; Joseph Zompetti, School of Communication; Stephen Hunt, School of Communication

Additional Materials
PowerPoint slideshow

We live in a polarized political world during one of the most factious presidential elections in recent Department of History. Students often exist in social “echo chambers,” exposing themselves to sources that repeat opinions they already hold. And yet, the classroom is the arena where we should discuss issues and solutions to global warming, Black Lives Matter, the challenge of structural sexism and the rape myth, and islamophobia.

One university response has been to establish “safe spaces”; but these become places where no challenging issues are discussed to avoid triggering traumatic re-experiencing of intolerance. Other universities ban such zones, suggesting that academia should be a space where open discussion is allowed. In this panel, we present research on the usefulness and danger of safe zones, establishing the need for open, respectful discussion on sensitive topics. We will dialogue with the audience to develop strategies to work through the “spirals of silence,” where students won’t speak for fear of recrimination from other students; to break through the “echo chambers,” of students limiting their source info to preferred sources; and, finally, to engage in healthy, even if difficult, discussions that can mutually build culturally responsive solutions for today’s world.

A Culture of Oral Proficiency in Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Susan Hildebrandt, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; Laura Edwards, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

This project’s goal was to improve students second language speaking abilities and to spread a “culture of proficiency” in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures. It both provided professional development to language instructors, faculty, and graduate students and language learning strategies for students in the department. One CTLT grant award was used to invite an outside presenter to give a two day-long workshop at the end of fall 2015. The workshop encouraged language instructors at all levels to develop a greater understanding of language proficiency levels and to create prompts for in- and out-of-class activities, increasing students’ understanding of how to develop and evaluate their own language skills. A second grant provided hardware to create videos with the objective of developing students’ metacognitive abilities related to developing their language speaking skills. As a result of these grants, instructors have incorporated the proficiency levels and guidelines into their course plans, and students have increased their awareness of proficiency levels. Students have also come to understand the importance of self-evaluation and meaningful practice to support their own language acquisition.

Challenging Pre-Service Teachers’ Evolutionary Acceptance in Introductory Biology

Rachel Sparks, School of Biological Sciences; Rebekka Darner Gougis, School of Biological Sciences

In this study, we examine the efficacy of an instructional intervention on pre-service teachers’ trajectories in acceptance of evolutionary theory. This instructional intervention involves diagnostic question clusters (DQCs) being used in conjunction with ORCAS discourse in a whole-class lecture setting. ORCAS consists of Open-ended questioning by the instructor, student Responses, highlighting Contradictory claims, student Assessment of contradictions, and a Summary of the content. The use of this discourse pattern elicits initial responses from students, which demonstrate their prior knowledge and misconceptions, as well as compelling students to evaluate claims with supporting evidence. Following the instructional intervention, students were prompted to revisit and comment on their earlier statements about their acceptance of evolutionary theory, discussing any ways in which their views changed and the reasoning behind those changes. Student scores on pre- instruction assessments regarding evolutionary acceptance were divided into quartiles and analyzed in conjunction with post-instruction assessment scores and qualitative pre- and post- responses to identify trends in acceptance of evolution and how it related to changes in understanding of evolutionary mechanisms and the nature of science. We discuss implications for educating pre-service teachers who do and do not initially accept evolution.

Changes in Student Attitudes in a Pediatric Dysphagia Course

Jamie Smith, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Healthcare provider attitudes about parents’ feeding-related decisions are influenced by their own family and cultural backgrounds. Speech-language pathologists work with families who are making decisions for infants and toddlers with feeding and swallowing disorders, and their perceptions of “normal” or “optimal” behavior by parents and caregivers can be shaped by their own preconceptions. Graduate students in a pediatric dysphagia course shared their reactions to parents’ feeding-related decisions in assignments completed after the first class meeting. At the conclusion of the course, they revisited those same questions, reflecting on the factors that contributed to any changes in their perspectives. Results from two cohorts of pediatric dysphagia students demonstrate significant changes in students’ outlooks across the semester, characterized by increased acceptance of previously unfamiliar points of view.

Dear Students: Help Us Make this Course Better!

Elizabeth White, School of Teaching and Learning; Kyle Miller, School of Teaching and Learning

The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to examine student learning and outcomes associated with a Child Development in Education course required for all education majors. Participants (N = 143) completed pre- and post-tests assessing course content knowledge as well as a course satisfaction survey at the end of the semester. Five of these students also participated in semi-structured interviews. Quantitative analyses showed that students’ course satisfaction differed by student major, with music education majors reporting lower satisfaction with course assignments and course relevance than elementary and special education majors. Further, while students believed they were more familiar with almost all course topics from the pre- to post-test, their responses to course content questions did not show learning gains. The qualitative analysis identified student perceptions of assignments, and which aspects of the course could be improved. Students also reported that specific teaching strategies made a large impact on their learning and satisfaction with the course. In this session, we will discuss both study results and how we are using these findings to improve our course to better support all students through cross-disciplinary teaching collaborations and course modifications to increase learning gains that are necessary for success in future courses and teacher licensure.

Diversity, What Does it Mean to Nursing Students’?

Blanca Miller, Mennonite College of Nursing; Elaine Hardy, Mennonite College of Nursing

The word diversity has different meanings to people. Nursing students at Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) participated in focus groups that explored their perceptions of diversity, their exposure to diversity at Illinois State University (ISU) and MCN, and whether they felt prepared to take care of a diverse patient population. When asked, “What is your idea of diversity?,” students felt it was more than race or ethnicity. Students identified gender, age, sexual orientation, geographical origins, regional affiliations, and being from urban or rural areas as sources of diversity. Students identified many other factors assources of diversity. Students felt that ISU and MCN welcome students from diverse backgrounds; however, a diverse student body was lacking. As the U.S. population continues to become more diverse, it is necessary to prepare MCN students to care for this diverse population, with a broader definition of diversity.

Evaluation of a Two-Week STEM Camp Effects on Middle School Science Attitudes

Kara Baldwin, School of Biological Sciences

Discovery Academy (DA) is a two-week science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) camp for middle school students taught by Illinois State University pre-service science and math teachers. This camp has two main goals: 1) providing freshmen, sophomore, and junior college STEM majors with teaching experiences and interactions with middle school students and 2) fostering STEM interest in middle school participants. This poster will focus on middle school participants changes in their science attitudes before and after DA. Using a modified version of Test of Science-Related Attitudes (TOSRA) developed by Frasier (1981), pre- and post-survey information was compared for overall changes in attitudes as well as subcategory changes including social implications of science, normality of scientists, attitude to scientific inquiry, adoption of scientific attitudes, enjoyment of science lessons, leisure interest in science, and career interest in science.

Factors Associated with Students’ Course Content Integration in Online Discussions

Nancy Novotny, Mennonite College of Nursing; Elahe Javadi, School of Information Technology

Online course discussions are used to share ideas, explore course content, and establish communities of learning. Exposure to diverse perspectives enables making associations among different dimensions of the content. Making associations between dimensions of a topic, known as information integration, enables creation of well-reasoned conclusions. Information integration is an essential skill for students in professional programs of study to make decisions based on multi-dimensional information. Despite availability of and easy access to diverse information, an individual’s tendency to attend to and process only confirmatory information, known as selective exposure, is a persistent obstacle to information integration and effective decisions. Reading peer posts in online discussions helps predict student learning in general. However, factors influencing student choices about which posts to read and how these factors influence information integration remains largely unknown. We examined the role of source familiarity, perceived information usefulness, and selective exposure on information integration with students enrolled in a blended final semester nursing course. We analyzed data from two sources: de-identified discussion posts and a questionnaire to capture students’ familiarity with their peers and perceived utility of information from peers. The results of this study and implications for additional exploration of online instructional approaches will be discussed.

Improving ISU Students’ Reasoning with Multiple-Variable Information

Rebecca Rosenblatt, Department of Physics

For the last three years, we have been studying our algebra-based mechanics course students’ skills in control of variables reasoning with experimental and graphical data. These students are biology and life science students. We have been studying students’ ability to use and reason with certain graphed data and certain control of variables experiments. We have found that many students incorrectly assume there must be dependence between the axes of any graph whether-or-not the data suggests a relation and whether-or-not it was a controlled experiment, and students have issues using a graph’s legend to infer information about a third variable. However, more importantly, we have also found that these students have deep logical reasoning issues with variables such as, “if x doesn’t change and y does, then x doesn’t affect y.” (Not correct reasoning if y can have multiple things that affect it.) Rather than having difficulty with the graphs themselves, this research suggests that logical reasoning is the leading difficulty that students have with graphed data. We will discuss the implications this has for all areas of science teaching. In addition, we will present positive learning results from two different one-hour, group-work, hands-on tutorials to improve student understanding.

Improving the Graduate Student Experience through Out-of-Class Experiences

Rebecca Achen, School of Kinesiology and Recreation; Clint Warren, School of Kinesiology and Recreation

Sport management graduate students are given the opportunity to attend the fall industry field trip, which is designed to encourage students to learn professionally, utilize networking skills, and gain insight into working in sport management. This research project evaluates student experiences and learning outcomes related to the trip. This study applied the theory of student involvement (Astin, 1984) to examine student engagement outside of the classroom. Astin proposes the extent to which students achieve learning outcomes depends on the time and effort they devote. This theory suggests graduate students who devote extra time and effort into their educational experience would make gains in learning and personal development. Twenty-two graduate students attended the trip to Milwaukee, WI. Data collected included pre- and post-trip surveys, a post-trip focus group, and interviews with professionals who interacted with students during the trip. It will be completed by mid-October and will be analyzed using SPSS and thematic analysis. Potential results will provide evidence of the trip meeting defined learning objectives and suggestions for improving the trip in the future. The discussion on these results will include recommendations for other faculty who want to organize a similar trip.

Informative Evaluation & Social Comparison: Rivals or Allies?

Elahe Javadi, School of Information Technology; Nancy Novotny, Mennonite College of Nursing

Research has shown that goal-specific informative evaluation (i.e., providing feedback on specific areas of performance) will enable better performance. Informative evaluation (as opposed to controlling evaluation) alleviates evaluation apprehension which is a barrier to exploration and learning. It is also believed that social comparison (upward or downward) influences many individuals’ performances. Upward social comparison has been observed to boost performance in experimental and organizational contexts. Combining informative evaluation and social comparison, however, is intriguing because social comparison has hidden in it elements of controlling evaluation mechanisms. This study aims to fill the gap in literature by unravelling possible interaction between social comparison and evaluation mode in the context of a course’s online discussions. Student performances in online discussions are measured by the extent to which they synthesize ideas and create coherent multi-dimensional arguments on a topic. The results of in-class field experimentations did not corroborate the benefits of informative evaluation but were consistent with the findings of the literature on positive impacts of social influence. The direction of social comparison (upward or downward), however, was not examined because students were exposed to both better and worse performers than themselves. The interaction effect was not observed to be significant.

Learning Beyond the Classroom Walls: What College Students Learned From Their International Penpals

Miranda Lin, School of Teaching and Learning

Current events are a rich source of material for educating and preparing future teachers. Educators are called on to expand American students’ understandings of the world through approaches such as current events, international pen pals, and global studies to broaden students’ interest in and knowledge of other cultures and world affairs (Hoeflinger, 2012). Increasingly, diverse classrooms require teachers to examine the appropriateness of teaching practices for varying student populations. This study will present findings of a group of early childhood education (ECE) pre-service teachers, who learn to develop empathy and sympathy through their penpals. Twenty-six pre-service teachers participated in this study during the spring semester of 2016. Data sources for this study included surveys, individual reflections, and penpal notes. The findings of the study indicate that 1) ECE pre-service teachers’ perceptions of diverse populations altered, 2) the project helped them better understand the impact of global issues on their daily lives, and 3) pre-service teachers came to understand that teaching and learning is greatly affected by the interplay of politics, societal norms, and cultural values in a specific historical time. The hiccups and triumphs of using current events as a teaching strategy will be discussed.

Making a Positive Social Impact Through Design Research and Information Design

Alice Lee, School of Art

As visual communicators, graphic designers have the potential to educate, engage, and motivate communities by bringing together research and ideas in accessible, visual, and experiential ways. For my Graphic Design III course this semester, the students are using their information design skills to Get Out the Vote for the upcoming elections. The objective is to discover an area of misunderstanding or lack of knowledge through research, and then to educate and motivate the target audience by clarifying complex information visually. They will do this through a multi-layered process that starts with primary and secondary research, experimentation with formats, formal and conceptual iterations, and prototyping. This occurs in a studio class setting, where the students provide constructive feedback for one another. As we practice creating a respectful, positive, and productive classroom community, we practice civic engagement using our design skills. This poster will describe the process and the outcomes, not only of the projects, but hopefully of the students as well as the communities they engaged through this project.

Medical Educators’ Views on Evolutionary Medicine and Implications for Undergraduate Curricula

Rebekka Darner Gougis, School of Biological Sciences; William Davis, School of Biological Sciences

The purpose of this study was to conduct a preliminary exploration of medical educators’ views on the inclusion of evolutionary biology in medical school curricula, their views on evolutionary biology’s relevance to medicine, and their understanding of evolutionary principles as they apply to medicine. A three-part questionnaire asked medical educators about their beliefs regarding the inclusion of evolutionary principles in medical school curricula, their views on the relevance of evolutionary principles to medical research and practice, and their understanding of evolutionary principles in medical contexts. Nearly eighty percent responded that evolutionary understanding should be a core competency in medical school, and 74% responded that such understanding is necessary to conduct medical research. However, the most common reason for not including it in the medical school curriculum is lack of time/space in the already overly full curriculum. Thus, this presentation will focus on how Darwinian medicine can be integrated into the undergraduate biology majors curriculum, since most biology majors at ISU have the goal of attending medical school to become physicians.

Pedagogical Practices in Designing and Supporting Collaborative Projects in Online Courses

Lydia Kyei-Blankson, Department of Educational Administration and Foundations; Ayshah Alahmari, School of Teaching and Learning

This study explored faculty pedagogical practices in designing, facilitating, and supporting student collaborative projects in online courses at Illinois State University. Data for this study were gathered and analyzed using an online survey. The results from this study illuminate how faculty teach and incorporate collaborative projects in their online courses. Findings offer insights into the techniques and mechanisms faculty use to effectively design, form, facilitate and support student collaborative work online. Outcomes from this study have significant implications for incorporating collaborative projects as a pedagogical practice in online learning environments in general.

Sharing Teaching Assessment Reports in Simulation

Carla Pohl, Mennonite College of Nursing; Olcay Akman, Department of Mathematics; Melissa Jarvill, Mennonite College of Nursing

Simulation is an integral component of the curriculum in nursing education. In the simulation laboratory, real life situations are recreated so students may practice, make mistakes, and learn in a safe environment. Currently, faculty evaluate nursing student performance using a paper version of the Creighton Competency Evaluation Instrument®. There is no inter-faculty School of Communication when students move between scenarios and faculty have no access to earlier performance evaluations. Development of a digital tool will allow faculty to not only evaluate specific scenario performance, but also view previous performance and assess overall performance. As a result of this project, key behaviors for all thirty-three scenarios were refined to provide faculty with clearer guidelines by which to evaluate student performance. Examination of data collected by use of the digital tool may reveal deficiencies in the curriculum and provide opportunities for improvement of classroom instruction, clinical instruction, individual simulation scenarios, and the simulation program as a whole. Finally, because of the impact on evaluation and feedback, we believe this will ultimately lead to improved student competency and patient care. This session addresses an ongoing collaborative project between math and nursing to develop an innovative digital tool to assess and share nursing student simulation evaluations in real-time.

Sustainability Concepts Learning in Materials Technology Course Through Hands-On Activity

Pranshoo Solanki, Department of Technology

Construction management programs have an important role in sustainability education, as students in these programs are the future workforce for the construction industry, which influences our economy and the natural environment. Due to limited natural resources and increased environmental awareness, construction professionals are increasingly expected to develop sustainable solutions to infrastructure and technology problems. However, they may find themselves inadequately prepared to provide sustainable solutions. One of the major topics of sustainable construction is building infrastructure using materials that will reduce the impact on the environment; however, incorporating knowledge of sustainable materials into an already content-rich construction management program is difficult. One solution is to introduce sustainable material concepts into an existing core course while maintaining the original course objectives. Therefore, the aim of this ongoing study is to integrate sustainability concepts in the Construction Materials Technology course through an innovative term project called Green Concrete, which deals with the creative use of recycled materials in concrete.

The Importance of Developing Nursing Students’ into Leaders

Blanca Miller, Mennonite College of Nursing; Elaine Hardy, Mennonite College of Nursing

This session will discuss how the Kouzes & Posner five practices of exemplary leadership was used in a leadership project with nursing students in the Pre-entry and Retention Opportunities for Undergraduate Diversity program.

The use of Computer-Based Standardized Patient Cases for Doctoral Students in Audiology

Hua Ou, Communication Sciences and Disorders; Scott Seeman, Communication Sciences and Disorders

It has been a challenge in ISU’s audiology clinic to provide a variety of clinical experiences for doctoral audiology (AuD) students. Moreover, there are currently no effective formative and summative assessments available to measure students’ clinical skills. Therefore, the standardized patient (SP) model is proposed to be a potential solution. SP is possible in a variety of situations (e.g., in person or computer-based). The most common format involves individuals who have been trained to act as real patients with a set of symptoms. SP is common in medical education, and its use can provide evidence that students have achieved effective School of Communication skills, and can make correct diagnoses in a controlled, realistic environment. However, SP has rarely been used in the sudiology field. In this project, computer-based SP cases are developed to increase the quality of clinical training and serve as assessment tools for AuD students at ISU. It is expected that computer-based SP cases will create learning spaces and experiences where AuD students can have repetitive practice for routine activities and observe rare conditions. We will discuss the impact of the project on developing confidence and solid clinical skills applicable to students’ development as independent and qualified clinicians.

Using Simulation to Enhance Cultural Competency in Nursing Students

Seon-Yoon Chung, Mennonite College of Nursing; Lynn Canal Kennell, Mennonite College of Nursing

Cultural competency encompasses knowledge, skills, awareness, and comfort within diverse cultures in order to work effectively in transcultural situations. Nurses and nursing students encounter patients and families from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. To be advocates and educators on a personal level, they must play a key role in resolving disparities in healthcare quality to improve health outcomes. Not surprisingly, cultural competency is specified as core competency by national organizations including the National League of Nursing (National League for Nursing, 2016) and the American Association of College of Nursing (American Association of Colleges of Nursing, 2016). Simulation is suggested as an innovative strategy to enhance cultural competency because it amplifies experiential learning by replicating substantial aspects of the real world in a safe and immersive environment. This allows the students to be actively engaged and be fully interactive (NLN Board of Governors, 2015; Roberts, Warda, Garbutt, & Curry, 2014). This poster addresses different teaching methodology used to enhance cultural competency, focusing on the use of simulation, that can be a cross campus endeavor across disciplines.

Using Simulation to Improve Interprofessional School of Communication and Role Identification

Peggy Jacobs, Mennonite College of Nursing; Keri Edwards, Sheri; Kelly Mennonite College of Nursing, Lynn; Canal Kennell Mennonite College of Nursing, Cindy; Malinowski Mennonite College of Nursing,

Enthusiasm for interprofessional education is increasing as health care professionals are often unfamiliar with one another’s roles prior to practicing in the real world. Nursing education has adopted the use of human patient simulation as an acceptable method of educating and preparing students for professional practice. A recent large scale study found that up to 50% of clinical experience may be simulated however. Less is known about nursing student gains in simulations focused on interprofessional School of Communication. No research was found on child life specialist student participation in simulations. The purposes of this research were to discover how undergraduate nursing students and child life specialist graduate students communicate between each other and provide patient/family education during four simulations portraying care of the hospitalized child and to determine whether participation in simulation in addition to coursework leads to gains in their knowledge of one another’s roles. Simulations were recorded and evaluated using the Interprofessional Collaborator Assessment Rubric, ICAR. Child life specialist graduate students consistently scored higher on School of Communication dimensions, while the nursing students showed improvement in role identification in the pre and post test evaluation. Differences noted were not all statistically significant; however, researchers noted several aspects of the study that were educationally significant.


Contact Dr. Julie-Ann McFann at or (309) 438-5848.

If you need a special accommodation to fully participate in this event, please contact the CTLT main desk at (309) 438-2542.

2018-11-14T15:23:53.778-06:00 2018