Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning <p>The Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL) is a forum for the dissemination of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in higher education for the community of teacher-scholars. ISSN&nbsp;1527-9316.</p> Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET) en-US Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 1527-9316 <ol><li><span style="font-size: 10px;">Authors retain copyright and grant the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (JoSoTL) right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License, (CC-BY) 4.0 International, allowing others to share the work with proper acknowledgement and citation of the work's authorship and initial publication in the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.<br /> </span></li><li><span style="font-size: 10px;">Authors are able to enter separate, additional contractual agreements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.<br /></span><span style="font-size: 10px;"><br /></span></li><li><span style="font-size: 10px;">In pursuit of manuscripts of the highest quality, multiple opportunities for mentoring, and greater reach and citation of JoSoTL publications, JoSoTL encourages authors to share their drafts to seek feedback from relevant communities unless the manuscript is already under review or in the publication queue after being accepted. In other words, to be eligible for publication in JoSoTL, manuscripts should not be shared publicly (e.g., online), while under review (after being initially submitted, or after being revised and resubmitted for reconsideration), or upon notice of acceptance and before publication. Once published, authors are strongly encouraged to share the published version widely, with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in the Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.</span></li></ol> Introduction <p>This edition of the <em>Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning</em> (JoSoTL) reports on experiences and insights into practice when the commitment is to change institutions, rather than students.</p> George Mehaffy Jo Arney ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26774 Foreword William J McKinney ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26776 Assessing Collaborative, Project-based Learning Models in Introductory Science Courses <p><em>Collaborative, project-based learning models have been shown to benefit student learning and engagement in the STEM disciplines. This case study evaluates the use of highly collaborative project- and problem-based learning models in introductory courses in the geosciences and biology. In the geosciences, we developed project-based modules with a strong local focus. Student teams worked on three project-based laboratories dealing with the local geology/geomorphology, water quality of a local stream, and local flooding issues. These replaced traditionally taught laboratories on topographic maps and rivers and streams. Student teams presented project results in lieu of taking a traditional laboratory practical. In biology, we designed a collaborative learning model that incorporated three problem-based learning modules into a first-semester introductory biology course. Students were assigned topics in evolution, cell biology and genetics to research independently during the course of the semester, with each module culminating in a brief presentation on the topic. Modules were designed to mirror concepts being covered in the lecture. Preliminary results suggest that student performance and attitudes towards course material benefitted from this learning model. The authors consider outcomes, benefits, and challenges to students and instructors.</em></p> Kristin Huysken Harold Olivey Kevin McElmurry Ming Gao Peter Avis ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26777 Maintaining High-Impact Bridge Programming at Scale <p>This paper uses Middle Tennessee State University’s MT Scholars Academy, an extended early arrival program targeting first-year students who are classified as at-risk by a variety of measures, as a case study for demonstrating the effectiveness of AASCU’s Re-Imagining the First-Year (RFY) initiative. In particular, this case study demonstrates the implications of RFY’s foundational assumption that successful practices are known well in student success literature and need to be enacted. The case study demonstrates the scholarship which undergirds the program and describes a series of decision points that have been encountered as these research proven strategies have been put into practice. The current iteration of the program is also described thoroughly, and its results for student success are articulated.</p> Vincent Windrow Ryan Korstange ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26783 Curricular Learning Communities and Retention <p><em>Learning communities have been a part of the higher educational landscape since the 1980s.&nbsp; Despite their widespread use, research regarding their effectiveness with enhancing retention is sparse.&nbsp; This study describes a freshmen curricular learning community linking courses required for all business majors.&nbsp; Retention for students taking courses in a curricular learning community is compared to retention for students taking the same courses independent from a learning community.&nbsp; Analysis of the data indicates that students who participated in the learning community were twice as likely to persist to the following semester than the students in the baseline comparison group.&nbsp; The results provide evidence that purposeful structuring of courses in a curricular learning community with support imbedded to help students succeed is associated with improved retention.</em></p> Beth Kern Tabitha Kingsbury ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26779 Re-Imagining the First Year as Catalyst for First-Year Writing Program Curricular Change <p><em>This article describes a revision of a first-year writing program curriculum using the pillars of the Reimagining the First-Year Program. The authors adapted principles related to mindset and habits of mind from both college retention scholarship and composition scholarship. After developing a research project in order to understand what elements of mindset correlate with readiness for credit-bearing writing courses, the authors created a multiple measures placement system for enrolling students in a credit-bearing first-year writing course with co-requisite support.</em></p> <p><em>&nbsp;</em></p> Virginia Crank Sara Heaser Darci L. Thoune ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26780 Designing for Students: Creating a Robust Interdisciplinary First Year Course <p><em>Building a general education program from scratch for a population of first generation and underserved students provided both a challenge and opportunity. Faculty who had limited previous experience teaching and assessing first year students engaged in study of the best practices and research. Faculty designed a four-year general education curriculum that began with a robust First Year Seminar (FYS) course, the focus of this study. This required three-credit hour interdisciplinary humanities course (FYS) was designed to embrace the understanding of what it means to be human, including understanding oneself in relation to the natural world and to others. Full time faculty from all disciplines were selected through a competitive process to teach the FYS course with embedded High Impact Practices (HIPs). Four years of teaching FYS has provided qualitative and quantitative data on the effectiveness of the design, the role of faculty, and application of HIPs. Through the course assessment process and data analysis, faculty have expanded their repertoire of pedagogical strategies to engage the first year student, and as a result, positively influenced teaching in their other courses. This report offers insights on strategies for course design, the role of faculty, and the power of selected HIPs that may be replicated at other institutions. </em></p> Deborah E. Bordelon Colleen M Sexton Ann M Vendrely ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26781 Developing Faculty Communities of Practice to Expand the Use of Effective Pedagogical Techniques <p><em>The scholarship of teaching and learning literature is replete with examples of pedagogical techniques that have been demonstrated to be effective in improving learning, motivation, and student success. The extension of these techniques beyond the original context has tended to be slow, difficult, and incomplete. The following paper examines an intervention designed to encourage the exploration and use of a variety of pedagogical techniques by faculty in a traditional, four-year college faculty within the context of the AASCU Re-imagining the First Year Initiative. Small groups of six to eight faculty, joined and created communities of practice. The groups were known as Pedagogical Interest Groups, or PIGs for short. The faculty read about and analyzed a series of pedagogical techniques and committed to introducing at least one technique into their courses to further explore the techniques. When the techniques were successful, the faculty members redesigned entire classes to expand the impact. The communities of practice were successful in encouraging faculty to explore a wide variety of techniques. The average faculty group explored eight different pedagogical techniques. Faculty were able to use the opportunity to experiment with techniques with the support from their colleagues in their PIG. A dozen techniques were explored across the PIGs and dozens of class sections have been completely redesigned. To date, over 2000 students have experienced redesigned courses. Measures of student success, satisfaction, and interest in those sections have increased. The effort has been accompanied by a robust increase in the campus-wide retention rates.&nbsp;</em><em>​</em></p> Mark Hoyert Cynthia O'Dell ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26775 A Case Study on Experiential Learning in a First-Year General Education Course <p><em>Experiential-learning provides opportunities for students that feature a variety of high-impact practices including first-year seminars, internships, community learning, collaborative projects, and capstone seminars. To offer these high-impact practices for students, faculty from across disciplines and majors must be willing to incorporate these opportunities within their courses and degrees. Indiana University Kokomo has offered two successful programs to support these high-impact practices. One program, the Kokomo Experience and You (KEY), supports faculty in the development and implementation of events and activities to support student learning. The other, the Student Success Academy Faculty Fellows Program, provided faculty members the opportunity to examine research and concepts so that they can better promote student success in their classrooms. Building on the success of these two programs, a third initiative, the Experiential Learning Academy (ELA), was launched in 2018, funded by a Reimagining the First Years mini-grant from AASCU. </em></p> Niki Weller Julie Saam ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26785 Empowering Faculty to Support Academic Persistence through a Blended, Scholarship-Based Faculty Professional Development Program: The Persistence Scholars Program <p><em>While it is well-known that faculty-student interaction is key to student success, few institutions have directly leveraged faculty in supporting academic persistence. Many myths about persistence proliferate, and faculty can unwittingly hinder persistence by implementing the wrong kinds of practices. Faculty are most empowered to support student persistence when they understand and care about this issue. They are also better equipped to help when they have a good, current command of the body of knowledge relating to persistence. To address this, we created a blended faculty development program to engage faculty in the scholarship of academic persistence, addressing myths and misconceptions about persistence, and expanding understanding of what it is like to be a first-year student at our university. The Persistence Scholars Program engaged a total of 32 faculty over two semesters, beginning with pre-readings and an in-person daylong workshop followed by an eight or ten-week course. The curriculum was built around a central text, Completing College by Vincent Tinto, and selected empirical and germane articles. Participants engaged in online discussions and two experiential projects, including one that asked them to complete an activity that would enhance their understanding of first-year students’ experiences. Assessments of this program focused on participant ratings of target competencies (e.g., the ability to identify and dispel myths about why students persist), perception of usefulness of different specific assignments and materials, and suggestions for how the program can be refined for future cohorts. </em></p> Michelle Miller K. Laurie Dickson Rachel L. Koch ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26786 Students’ Sense of Belonging: The Development of a Predictive Retention Model <p><em>Educational institutions increasingly recognize the role that student belonging plays in retention. Many studies in this area focus on helping students improve a sense of belonging before they matriculate or identifying belonging as a reason for their departure. This study measures students’ sense of belonging at key transition points during the first year and finds that social belonging and academic performance are both strong predictors of retention that are not necessarily correlated. These results suggest that a comprehensive, focused outreach protocol that encompasses both social and academic factors could have a positive impact on student persistence.</em></p> Glenn M. Davis Melissa B. Hanzsek-Brill Mark Carl Petzold David H. Robinson ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26787 Increasing Student Success through a Cocktail of Cognitive Interventions <p><em>We extended a series of interventions developed in modern cognitive psychology to a group of students who had been academically dismissed and were at high risk to not complete college. Students learned how to respond adaptively to academic failure, how to embrace challenge, how to set realistic goals, and how to persist until their goals are achieved. The interventions were delivered within a sophomore seminar course. Within the class, students learned about, considered and practiced aspects of growth mindset, goal orientation, grit, stereotype threat, and belongingness. Before beginning the class, the 68 students had a mean cumulative GPA of 1.45, a course completion rate of 60%, and it was expected that over half would drop out of college within the next year. Following the intervention, students earned a mean semester GPA of 2.39, a course completion rate of 73%, 72% were retained for the next semester, and 58% were still enrolled one year later. These findings provide support for the benefits of these techniques used together to afford student success in a population of students that have previously struggled academically. ​</em></p> Mark Hoyert Kevin Ballard Cynthia O'Dell ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2019-02-04 2019-02-04 19 1 10.14434/josotl.v19i1.26778