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Optimizing Teaching and Learning: Practicing Pedagogical Research

ISBN: 978-1-4051-6179-4
256 pages
December 2008, Wiley-Blackwell
Optimizing Teaching and Learning: Practicing Pedagogical Research (1405161795) cover image
Optimizing Teaching and Learning will serve as a practical guide for anyone, anywhere, who is interested in improving their teaching, the learning of their students, and correspondingly, contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning.
  • Bridges the gap between the research and practice of SoTL
  • Provides explicit instructions on how to design, conduct, analyze, and write-up SoTL work
  • Includes samples of actual questionnaires and other materials (e.g., focus group questions) that will jumpstart investigations into teaching and learning
  • Explores the advantages and disadvantages of various pedagogical practices and present applications of SoTL using case studies from a variety of disciplines
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Preface.

Acknowledgments.

1. What Is Pedagogical Research?.

Multidisciplinary Roots of Pedagogical Research.

Examining Definitions of Scholarship.

The Other SoTL: Action Research and Teacher Research.

Beginnings.

Why Is Pedagogical Research Important?.

A Teaching Hierarchy.

A Caveat.

How Can Pedagogical Research Be Useful to You?.

2. Pedagogical Research: Focussing on the Teaching.

Assessing Our Teaching Effectiveness.

What Can We Learn from the “Best” College Teachers?.

Creating your Teaching Philosophy Statement.

How Do I teach?.

Using Teaching Inventories.

Determining Your Teaching Goals.

Assessment Tools.

Alternative Classroom Assessment Techniques.

Teaching Portfolios.

Learning to Conduct Pedagogical Research: How to Get Started: Designing Your Pedagogical Research Program.

Developing Your Research Ideas and Questions.

Focus on Student Learning: Connecting Your Learning Goals, Assessment Choice, and Teaching Technique.

Applying the Findings of Your Pedagogical Research: Using General Principles of Learning to Making Changes to Your Teaching Strategies.

Sharing Your Findings and Connecting with Others in the Field.

Conclusion.

Appendix: Examples of Discipline-Specific SoTL Journals.

3. Pedagogical Research: Focussing on Learning.

What Do You Want to Find Out?.

What Do We Know about How Students Learn?.

Student Engagement: If You Engage Them, They Will Learn.

How Can You Investigate Your Students’ Learning?.

How Do Students Study?.

Metacognition.

Measuring Study Behaviors.

Can You Improve Study Skills?.

Key Psychological Factors Influencing Learning.

Designing Your Research: How Do You Study Your Students’ Learning?.

Measuring How Performance on Your Assessments Vary.

Guidelines for Human Research Participants in SoTL.

A Further Note on Ethics.

Conclusions.

Appendix: Questions on How to Make Cognitive Research Available to Educators.

4. Is It Significant? Basic Statistics.

Why Do We Need to Analyze Our Classroom Data?.

Qualitative or Quantitative? That Is the Question.

Setting the Stage: Important Background for Measurement and Analyses.

Two Main Forms of Statistical Analyses: Descriptive Analyses.

Watching Your Curves.

Inferential Statistics.

Software Options.

Calculating Descriptive Statistics.

Calculating Inferential Statistics.

Kicking It Up a Notch: Testing Multiple Factors.

Conclusions.

5. Pedagogical Research as Scholarship: Resources for Success.

Developing a Center with a Focus on SoTL.

Determining Needs on Your Campus.

Determining Your Goals: What Is the Purpose of the Center?.

Guiding Principles when Creating a New Center.

Creating Programming Initiatives to Achieve Your Goals.

Mentoring Programs.

SoTL and Tenure and Promotion.

The Role of Assessment.

Sources for SoTL Support or Funding.

What Else Is Available through Faculty Development Centers?.

Potential Challenges Identified by Those Who Have Come Before You.

Appendix: Useful References.

References.

Index

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Regan A. R. Gurung is Chair of Human Development at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. He has served for many years on the campus Faculty Development Committee and has also been Chair of the same. He is currently campus representative for a CASTL Leadership Site, and is a member of a national taskforce for the scholarship of teaching and learning. He is author of Health Psychology: A Cultural Approach (2006).

Beth M. Schwartz is Professor of Psychology at Randolph College. She is founding director of the Faculty Development Center on her campus. In February 2006, she received the APLS (American Psychology and Law Society) Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award.

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  • Bridges the gap between the research and practice of SoTL
  • Provides explicit instructions on how to design, conduct, analyze, and write-up SoTL work
  • Includes samples of actual questionnaires and other materials (e.g., focus group questions) that will jumpstart investigations into teaching and learning
  • Explores the advantages and disadvantages of various pedagogical practices and present applications of SoTL using case studies from a variety of disciplines
See More
"There were several pieces of information that were valuable, even to someone with a different education background. No doubt there is even more valuable information for readers who are not in such a specific specialty as nursing, but instead are education generalists." (Metapsychology, March 2010)

"Gurung and Schwartz have written a book for all teacher/researchers who would like to get involved (or more involved) in the scholarship of teaching and learning. This book will be an invaluable resource for those faculty who do not know how to get started in SOTL or those who want to move from being “sincere teachers” or “scholarly teachers” and become involved in SOTL research. For faculty who are already involved in SOTL research, the book provides a wealth of research strategies that can provide new research avenues. I can’t wait to have this book on my shelf!" Randolph A. Smith, Lamar University

“This is a hugely engaging volume which deals with both pedagogical research and findings from the pedagogical research literature. It is highly accessible and the commitment of the authors, expressed in their dedication, to those who ‘care about teaching and student learning’ shines through. The authors present the positive case for university teachers becoming active researchers of their own practice, and they provide a starter kit for getting going. The best tribute to such a volume is that it will be used and that teacher-researchers will in turn develop their own more nuanced and critical instruments and research questions.” Sue Clegg, Leeds Metropolitan University

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