The Journal on Excellence in College Teaching
The Journal on Excellence in College Teaching

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Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, Volume 16, Number 2 (2005)

Articles in this issue:

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PDF fileTeaching Students, Teaching Faculty: A Message from the Editors

Wentzell, G. W., Richlin, L., & Cox, M. D.

In this issue of the Journal we explore the interrelationship of the schol- arship of teaching and learning (SoTL) and the scholarship of faculty development (SoFD). We begin with the SoTL on engaging students in our classes, then turn to the SoFD--How might the work of developers be examined in terms of fostering the SoTL?--and conclude with an ap- proach to the evaluation of teaching from a sociocultural perspective.

PDF filePreparing College Students for Active Citizenship Through the Use of Action Projects

Fuentes, M. A., & Yedloutschnig, R.

Research indicates that young adults are politically disengaged. To help college students recognize that they do have influence as citizens and are capable of effecting change, 46 students in two sections of the course Children's Rights and Child Advocacy were asked to engage in an action that supported or challenged policies, practices, or messages directly involving the welfare of children. The students were then asked to reflect on their action projects and to complete the sentence "I learned that __________." Qualitative analyses of the students' responses yielded four themes: Taking action can be powerful; taking action can be easy; people can make a difference by taking action; and people can learn new information by taking action. These findings suggest that action projects are an effective teaching strategy that prepare college students for active citizenship.

PDF fileUsing Debates and Interviews to Promote Active Learning in an Adolescent Psychology Course: Lessons Learned

Rotzien, A. L.

Creating a course that includes active and cooperative learning and critical thinking is a desired goal for most educators. In this study, 175 undergraduate students responded to questions about their enjoyment and perceived educational gain of participating in a debate and completing an interview with an adolescent. Although students reportedly learned from both activities, the positive ratings of the activities increased when the debate teams were smaller and the demands of both activities were clearly outlined. The author provides instructions for conducting these activities and makes recommendations for improving student learning consistent with the experience.

PDF fileIntroducing Problem-Based Learning to Teacher Education: A Case Study

Murray-Harvey, R., & Slee, P. T.

Despite the efforts of teaching staff to help students make connections and apply their on-campus learning to their professional classroom experiences, there remains a separation of these two worlds. While the literature on problem-based learning (PBL) in teacher education is scarce, extensive research in other fields provides evidence that better connections between theory and practice can be forged using a PBL approach. The authors worked with classroom teachers to develop two case studies designed to challenge students to solve real-world teaching/learning problems that cross subject boundaries. They describe the process of developing the cases, implementing the PBL approach, and evaluating the outcomes.

PDF fileBravo! Do Acting Games Promote Learning in the College Classroom?

Diamond, M. R., & Christensen, M. H.

Classroom activities that engage multiple senses can help address students' diverse learning styles and increase subsequent recall of information. Through simple acting exercises, students can engage with and experience material in new ways. This technique may generate broader perspectives on the subject, resulting in deeper discussions and insights on complex issues. Several of these lessons were introduced in two different nursing courses. As a result, students demonstrated increased comprehension of complex subjects. They also reported enhanced creative thinking, greater appreciation of multiple viewpoints, and increased motivation in class. In addition, the professor found that this approach enhanced her own perception of the material and revitalized her experience of the course.

PDF filePreparing Faculty to Make Their Courses Accessible to All Students

Burgstahler, S.

Faculty members today find themselves in academic environments that are technologically rich and populated by students of diverse races, ethnicities, genders, ages, and abilities. There is a need for these professionals to learn strategies for teaching this diverse audience, both onsite and online. Legal developments, medical breakthroughs, and diversity efforts have resulted in increasing numbers of students with disabilities in postsecondary offerings. How can faculty members be prepared to work with these students? The author reviews the literature, introduces principles of universal design and instructional options that can result in more inclusive learning environments, and points to useful resources for further preparation.

PDF fileSearching for the Knowledge That Enables Culturally Responsive Academic Advising

Mitchell, R., & Rosiek, J.

The authors document and analyze the nature and content of the knowledge that enables academic advisors to provide culturally responsive service to African-American students. Their findings suggest that there is a complex grounding for this type of service, one that goes beyond simply sharing racial identity with students. Specifically, they suggest that knowledge of the discourses about education in students' communities of origin, discourses often based on collective experience, are a valuable resource to educators in their efforts to promote educational equity for African-American students. The resulting conception of student service has specific implications for educational practice and policy concerning targeted hiring practices, professional development for all educators, and higher education policy makers in general.

PDF fileToward Recognizing High-Quality Faculty Mentoring of Undergraduate Scholars

Shore, C.

The purpose of this article is, first, to show that mentored scholarship can be of vital importance in students' college experiences. Second, although the skills involved in mentoring student scholarship overlap to some extent with classroom teaching, there are unique aspects that are not well addressed in the literature on faculty preparation or evaluation. The third purpose is to review the basic issues in teaching evaluation as they apply to the mentoring of scholarship. Finally, the author provides recommendations for designing student surveys and teaching portfolios.

PDF fileStudent Evaluations of Teachers as Goal-Directed Behavior in a Sociocultural Context

Olivares, O. J.

Traditionally, the student evaluation of teachers (SETs) literature has been driven by psychometric and information-processing models. These models, although quite comprehensive, may exclude the examination of potentially important variables. The purpose of this article is to add new knowledge to the literature about SETs by introducing a value-based social-psychological model of performance evaluation. As part of this model, the author introduces working hypotheses as seeds for future research.

Editorial Staff, Editorial Board, and Reviewers for this issue:


Milton D. Cox, Miami University

Executive Editor:

Laurie Richlin, Claremont Graduate University

Managing Editor:

Gregg W. Wentzell, Miami University

Editorial Board:

Laura L. B. Border, University at Colorado at Boulder

Nancy Chism, Indiana University - Purdue University at Indianapolis

Peter Doolittle, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University

Terence Doyle, Ferris State University

Dee Fink, University of Oklahoma

Patrick Haney, Miami University

Brenda Smith, York Science Park

Lynn Sorenson, Brigham Young University

Maryellen Weime, Berks Lehigh Valley College of Pennsylvania State University

Laura Youn, California State University - San Bernardino

Todd Zakrajsek, Central Michigan University

John Zubizarreta, Columbia College

Reviewers for This Issue:

Elaine AbuSharbain, Southern Illinois University

Sharon Andersen, Kwantlen University College

Sara Butler, Miami University

Diane Gillespie, University of Washington - Bothell

Jonathan Grant, Florida State University

Peter Hurd, Saint Louis College of Pharmacy

Barbara Laster, Towson University

Claire Major, University of Alabama

Sharon McGee, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Joan McMahon, Towson University

Brenda Mitchell, Miami University

Robin Morgan, Indiana University Southeast

Carla Purdy, University of Cincinnati

Mark Stoner, California State University - Sacramento

Julian Tyson, University of Massachusetts

Theodore Wagenaar, Miami University