Scholarly Works @ SHSU

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Review of Two Teaching Strategies for the ATINER Conference
(2023) Julie Albert
In May 2023 I was able to attend the 25th Annual International Conference on Education at the Athens Institute for Education and Research in Athens, Greece. The conference had about 70 professionals in attendance including: professors, program directors, lecturers and research assistants and was focused on university level instruction. I truly enjoyed the city, peoples, food, and the conference itself. After listening to over 20 presentations from all over the United States and from over twenty other countries I have decided to focus on my two favorite topics. The first presentation was from Abigail Gonzales, Research Associate, University of the Philippines, College of Education, master’s candidate. Her presentation titled “Popularizing Math: Application of Mathematical Thinking Processes in Citizen Sciences” focused on the integration of the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) five processes within the Science curriculum. The five processes are Problem Solving, Communication, Reasoning and Proof, Connections and Representation and are primarily used within a mathematics curriculum. Ms. Gonzales’ focus was on the integration of these processes in the field of science and their important role in the learning process for science students as well. Given that at least two of the five processes show up in any unit of science, the retention rate among students was more significant. Connections was the most used process which quite literally means connecting the new science topic to ideas familiar to the student. The second most used was Problem Solving which takes students to the most depth of learning. The least popular process was Reasoning and Proof which guides the students into a variety of methods of checking for accuracy and making sure that the answer makes sense. Ironically, the idea of making sure that your scientific observations made sense was the lowest ranking of uses. Her data show both that these NCTM processes do integrate into the science curriculum and are proving to show successes throughout the science field. The second presentation I would like to highlight is “Training Preservice Mathematics Teachers to Pose Good Questions for an Online College Algebra Course” presented by Dr. Carol Bell, a Professor from Northern Michigan University. Dr. Bell recapped a project her education majors had been working on to improve the writing of good problem-solving questions. The students in the study were junior and senior level undergraduate education majors. They practiced posing good questions, studied why this would be important and practiced the questions on their own classmates. This is intriguing to me because I teach prospective elementary education majors and I see the significance in providing our students with opportunities to see actual problems from the STAAR tests and to develop questions that would provide experience for them to later use in their own classrooms. Dr. Bell’s presentation made me realize the necessity to engage our students with higher-level questioning. As future educators these students will have better success challenging their students. This is a practice that would be very meaningful for the students at SHSU. I am very appreciative to the Odyssey Program for providing me the opportunity to attend this conference. I found it both educational and engaging. Meeting with colleagues from around the world and listening to their interests in both research and projects was very enlightening. Hopefully this conference will be one of many in the future.
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Blended Learning & Unicorns: What's Choice Got to Do With it?
(2023) Ashley Crane
Blended Learning & Unicorns: What’s Choice Got to Do With it? Little did I know when I walked through the convention center doors at the 2023 Texas Computer Educators Association (TCEA) Convention & Exposition, one of my greatest take-aways would come from a simple poster session shared by a self-proclaimed “culture unicorn.” Prior to this convention, I had dabbled in the world of blended learning. A learner-centered methodology, blended learning leverages the purposeful alignment of traditional face-to-face teaching practices and technology-enabled learning opportunities to create a personalized learning experience. (Keynes, 2017) I read and watched videos, but struggled to understand how to strategically implement this powerful teaching method for the benefit of my students and myself. Then I met Candice Adcock, an Instructional Technology Coach from Mesquite ISD, who asked me to take a step back from the technology aspect of blended learning and focus on the kind of choice blended learning could offer my students. Providing students with choice empowers them to take ownership of their learning and positively impacts classroom culture as it builds community, creates a safe environment, empowers student voice, cultivates risk taking, and fosters collaboration. Blended learning emphasizes five elements of choice: • Place • Path • Time • Pace • Evidence of learning (Product) The key piece of information I was missing – the instructor doesn’t have to provide choice in all these areas. Rather, they should select one element of choice to focus on, especially when building up the practice of blended learning. Determining what choice to offer is complex and is dependent upon multiple factors. Some questions we should ask ourselves include: • Is there space for flexibility in choice within my course’s curriculum and/or timeline? • Do my students typically have electronic devices and internet available in class? At home? • How much control over the learning process am I willing to concede to students? • Do I have existing instructional material (recorded lectures, readings, videos, podcasts, etc.) that could be used to facilitate choice? • How much effort am I willing to put into preparing or restructuring lessons and/or assignments to provide choice? • Can I give myself permission to streamline my assessment and/or grading practices to keep students accountable while providing quick feedback? • Am I willing to fail forward with my students as we figure out the practice of blended learning together? With those questions in mind, the challenge now falls to me. What choice can I reasonably offer students in my courses? How can I use technology to support and/or leverage that choice? Can I, too, be a “unicorn teacher”? Many thanks for the Engaging Classrooms Team for awarding me the Odyssey Grant which enabled me to attend TCEA gaining this insight and more into the power and practice of blended learning. Keynes, J. M. (2017). Redesigning the Learning Experience. In E. C. Sheninger & T. C. Murray (Eds.), Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today (pp. 54–82). ASCD; Gale eBooks. https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/CX7330800011/GVRL?sid=bookmark-GVRL&xid=2bacd5d8
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Supplemental Files for: "Beyond the Library: The Role of Academic Libraries’ Chat Reference in Answering Campus Questions"
(The Reference Librarian (Taylor & Francis), 2024) Owens, Erin; Arce, Vanessa; Del Bosque, Darcy; Fowler, Robin; Sheffield, Silvia
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic drove most users online, chat was establishing itself as a core service for asking library-related questions of many types, from basic directional and reference to research queries of a more sophisticated nature. This investigation seeks to provide insight into how academic libraries are seen not only as a source of library assistance, but also as a means of filling an information gap on a wider subject: the university campus at large. The study’s methods involved analyzing chat transcripts from five large four-year public universities during a two-year period (2019-2021), noting the frequency of campus-related chat questions and coding the specific topics of those inquiries. The findings show that library reference services, particularly live virtual chat, are consistently valuable to the campus community and may be especially important to supporting less privileged student populations.
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Tips and Hints from a Teaching Professor Conference
(2022) Faruk Yildiz
I am new to The Teaching Professor Conference and took an opportunity to participate with the help of PACE Center Odyssey Grant. The conference traditionally offered in GA and LA every year, and I attended the one in Atlanta, GA June 3-5, 2022). I highly recommend this conference to my colleagues especially to junior faculty members. The next conference will take place in New Orleans, LA between June 9-11, 2023. All the presentations (workshops and sessions) are shared with the participants after the conference which is not typical for conferences I usually attend (I can share the presentations upon request). My participation in this conference equipped me with new skills and strategies that will augment my strengths as a teacher and mentor. Most of the conference content and/or sessions were the cutting-edge of the best pedagogical practices and supported with half-day workshops (fee required for the workshops). The conference featured plenary sessions, workshops, and non-stop networking through which I discovered researched-based techniques on how to connect with today’s students, use new technology, and apply active-learning strategies from nationally recognized experts. Some of the benefits - Learn theoretically sound ideas covering these topics: • Preparing Your Course • Assessing Learning • Student Engagement • Technology Tools for Teaching • Online Teaching and Learning • Teaching Specific Student Populations • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion • Teaching in the Health Services • Instructional Vitality: Ways to Keep Teaching Fresh and Invigorated • New Faculty • Faculty Support Workshop: I attended a half-day workshop about “Social and Emotional Connections in All Classes to Help Students Learn and Engage”. The workshop was a refresher where I had a chance to learn from other in the session and their experiences. The presenters discussed the literature relating to connectedness and academic success describing how attending to student’s sociality and harnessing the power of emotions can boost learning; identify a range of practical strategies to increase social and emotional connections to promote equitable student success for all class modes and subjects (Forms attached). A Session: Rubrics: A Win-Win I had an opportunity to practice preparing rubrics based on student learning outcomes (SLOs). The presenter discussed timesaving, assessment-improving strategies. This session is especially very good for the junior faculty members who are asked to prepare rubrics for their classes and program/degree, accreditation assessment plans. The details of benefits of a simple and powerful rubric, creation process, LMS and best practices were discussed during the session. The goals for the session was mainly a) gaining working vocabulary for SLO based rubric development, b) describe the basic components of SLO based rubrics. The Backward Design of rubric development was discussed which is helpful in rubric construction • Identify Desired Results • Determine Acceptable Evidence • Plan Learning Experiences Moreover, best practices for rubric developments were discussed • Start with your course SLOs • Components should be well defined • Specific rather than general • Use “student-friendly” language • Emphasize rubric before/during/after a task • Students should always have access prior to beginning a task • Return marked rubrics to students • Refine Notes from the Conference (Lessons Learned) • Reduced Civility and empathy due to Covid Pandemic – It is time to re-connect • Consider: How we can support our students and ourselves • Minding Bodies (2021) Students are not brains on sticks. Neither we are. • Belonginess, emotions, and positive relationships boosts learning or may shut-down learning • Better teaching leads to better learning • Book idea: Relationship Rich Education by Peter Felton and Leo M. Lambert • Book idea: Feeling a sense of belongings by Lisa Muns, PhD • Book idea: Belongings predicts success more than GPA by Bryan Dewsbury, PhD (Florida International University) • No need to ask students to turn on camera but highly recommend • Sometimes it helps to turn of the camera and watch others in the class. Do not look at yourself. • Socially anxiety is very important to research and understand. • Strategies for social connections – It is hard to manage in STEM fields due to content level • Help your students get to know you and get to know your students • Ask students about their strength and values – class survey • Share one or more phots with students • Design for emotions • Asynchronous online classes may not be a good way to deliver • The content I have/teach is not anxiety promoting. Instead, is FUN • Design for relevance • Tell Stories (Case study, related to topic, personal experience etc.) Outside the Classroom – Scholarship Advice for Teachers • Reading makes a full man; conference a ready man; writing makes a ready, full, and exact professor (Sir Francis Bacon). • Why research and write o Keeps you current in the field o Keeps you interested o Keeps you from getting o Keeps you curious • Read as much as you can (audible books) • Start small • Write about what you find interesting • Write small (a paragraph) every weekday 52 (weeks) X 5 days = 260 days • Collaborate with others (Facultyfocus.com) • https://www.Teaching professor.com • Be willing to try something new • Learn the power of the revisions (words have power) • Learn the power of the peer reviews • Keep a list of future research projects • Peer review the work of others • Editing is easier than initial draft • Write while you research • Get and stay organized • Schedule research and writing time • Know when to stop researching • Have several projects in the pipeline • Break projects into sub-tasks • Network with authors in your field • “Done” is better than perfect • Do thorough literature reviews • Learn from specialists (Librarians) • Make things easy for your publisher (Follow the guidelines) • Track your submission • Be daring when submitting • Be grateful for the opportunity to teach and write Online Teaching and Learning • Creating and Implementing Multimodal instructions • Synchronous and Asynchronous learning options • How to track if instructors spend 2.5 hours/weekly (Meeting Carnegie unit) • The virtual/video factor • The transition team (champions, mentors, training, student support services) • A checklist is a must for multimodal/hybrid classes
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Odyssey in Art and Science: Summer Teachers Institute in Technical Art History
(2022) Melissa Mednicov
During July 2022, I spent five days learning new skills and information about technical art history. I participated in the Summer Teachers Institute in Technical Art History (STITAH) at Yale University, a week-long intensive workshop on technical art history, co-organized by the Yale Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Yale Center for British Art, funded by the Kress Foundation. I am grateful for SHSU’s Odyssey Grant and the Department of Art which assisted in costs related to the workshop. This year’s theme was “Brush with an Artist” which focused on close looking and hands-on learning about paint, pigment, and different mediums. It is rare in art history undergraduate or graduate work to learn about technical art history (and art conservation which is closely tied to it) and I am grateful for the opportunity to learn. We learned about a range of processes, participated in workshops, and attended lectures, including but not limited to: infra-red imaging, ultraviolet light, x-radiography, materials and techniques of Bámgbóyè Equestrian Shrine Figure, project files with works in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art, Italian tempera painting, gilding, production and application of oil paint in the northern European tradition, Japanese scroll painting, workshop on scroll and sumi-e painting, workshop on techniques of photographing in a museum environment, technical aspects of modern painting, and a keynote lecture on Rembrandt’s Nightwatch. At SHSU, my students often have medium-specific questions that engage with the materials used by artists, and this was one of my primary impetuses for applying to participate. Through hands-on learning, I gained better skills to answer those questions and new ideas of classroom implementation. For classroom implementation, we do not have a conservation lab for art on campus. While formal or visual analysis papers have regularly been a part of my classes, during the early days of the pandemic, I had refocused assignments. For Fall 2022, I have returned to a formal analysis paper with a focus on artworks on campus to support prolonged close looking and analysis. I have also restructured a research paper assignment to integrate the importance of close looking and visual analysis skills from the close looking assignment in addition to scholarly sources and critical analysis. The STITAH organizers at Yale are planning to continue to work with 2022 participants and my hope is that they can further support access to learning about conservation and technical art history with artworks in the SHSU University Art Collection. I am hoping to build further class assignments to engage students in technical art history with STITAH support. An additional benefit to attending the workshop is that I can now share more information about these kinds of career paths with students. Furthermore, through workshops with various conservators, we learned about various painterly approaches, issues with paint and canvas, and impacts of techniques. These will inform all my art history classes and my research. I participated in two projects at STITAH that I hope to develop on campus into assignments. One project included STITAH participants being given the conservator’s report on an object in the Yale University Gallery or the Yale Center for British Art collection and then work as a group to extrapolate to all participants and our leaders what we believed happened to our artwork. This project is difficult to recreate on campus without the conservator’s report, but I hope to further investigate ways to apply this project. Another example, we were given about an hour’s knowledge from conservators working on African sculptures then worked in groups to look closely and present findings. I hope to find ways SHSU can gain conservation knowledge about works in the SHSU University Art Collection to create similar assignments. In my art history courses, I strive to engage close looking and visual analysis to build students’ visual acumen and critical analysis skills. The workshop prompted me to consider how to do this in ever more meaningful ways on campus. Another aspect of the workshop is partnerships across disciplines, particularly between the arts and sciences. My hope is that my PACE newsletter essay also serves as an invitation for partnership, to find new ways to encourage partnerships between art and science to further develop new modes of classroom engagement.