The IISSAM workshops cover a range of topics of interest to SoTL newcomers and seasoned scholars.

Step-by-Step Survey Design: A Practical Guide to Designing Your Survey

Christine Chavez, Manager of Surveys and Evaluation, Loyola Marymount University

With careful planning and well-crafted design, a survey can provide considerable insight into student experiences, attitudes, behaviors, and can be used as an indirect measure of student learning. But how do you get started? Step-by-Step Survey Design will present the basic steps and best practices of designing a survey. The workshop will also cover the pros and cons of conducting surveys, survey ethics and Institutional Review Boards, resources for conducting online surveys, and the use of surveys for SoTL projects.

Using Qualitative Data to Capture the Unquantifiable

Patricia Coward, Director of Faculty Development, Center for Teaching Excellence, Canisius College

For many of us in the humanities, the notion of collecting data is a foreign concept. Scholars in the Humanities make meaning from texts, works of art, and musical scores or performances. Yet, when we wish to engage in SoTL, it is data that frequently seems to be required to demonstrate that our students have learned and to measure that learning. This workshop is designed for those who are not experts in qualitative research methodology. As a group, we will discuss the use of methods common to the humanities and examine and explore reliable qualitative methodology for capturing the values, dispositions, and attitudes exhibited in students' written and/or verbal work. Participants will be given practice in qualitative methodology in an activity that gathers, analyzes, and summarizes some qualitative data.

Advancing the Plot in Your SoTL Story: Where's the Evidence?

Jacqueline Dewar, Department of Mathematics, Loyola Marymount University

After framing a researchable question, a SoTL investigator has to gather and analyze evidence to answer the question. This session begins with basic considerations of research design such as whether (and how) to gather quantitative or qualitative data or both. It provides information on running focus groups, conducting think-alouds, and using knowledge surveys. It suggests resources for analyzing the data and addresses practical and ethical issues that arise in research studies, including human subjects considerations. Participants will practice applying this information to design a study.

Student and Teacher Storytelling: Digital Technologies to Enhance Reflective Learning

Kathleen Flecky, Department of Occupational Therapy, Creighton University

Digital technologies provide a meaningful teaching tool that invite students to reflect on complex course concepts and social problems through story telling. In turn, teachers can use digital storytelling to self-assess their teaching and student learning with students as formative and summative assessment. This workshop session will illustrate examples of digital technologies uses to enhance student reflective learning and teaching reflective assessment as part of the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Quantitative Analysis: Basic Concepts and Tools of Data Analysis

Dorothea Herreiner, Center for Teaching Excellence, Department of Economics, Loyola Marymount University

SoTL projects often benefit from or require data analysis which can be daunting for those not (too) familiar with statistical methods and available software. In this workshop for non-experts, we will introduce the basic notions of the most common tests that can be used with small (and larger) data sets in a non-technical way and discuss different implementation strategies (beyond asking your social scientist or mathematician colleague for help - although that may also be a good idea). We will use completed SoTL and related projects to illustrate how the methods discussed can further the understanding of the questions we ask in our SoTL project.

Step-by-Step Rubric Design: A Systematic Approach to Understanding Student Learning

Laura J. Massa, Director of Assessment, Loyola Marymount University

Systematic investigation of questions related to student learning requires a systematic approach to evaluating student learning. Rubrics are powerful tools that define the qualities of student learning we expect to see demonstrated in student work, like reflection papers, portfolios or performances, and can be used to help us to refine and improve our teaching and scholarship. Step-by-step Rubric Design will present an easy to follow five-step process for creating rubrics to assess student learning. Best practices for developing rubrics will also be shared, and participants will be given time to practice the five-step process in order to create a simple rubric. Additional topics to be presented include an example of employing a rubric as part of a SoTL project, tips for consistently and efficiently applying rubrics to student work, and examples of how to present rubric data in a clear and meaningful way.

Web 2.0 Gems: Resources for doing SoTL

Nick Mattos, Instructional Technology Analyst, Information Technology Services, Loyola Marymount University

Conducting and presenting SoTL is facilitated by a familiarity with a variety of research tools. The web is rife with resources for data collection, data mining, as well as for dissemination. This workshop will introduce and illustrate some of these web 2.0 tools, and will focus on ways to implement them in answering SoTL questions.

The Ethics of SoTL Inquiry

Lillian McEnery, Department of Literacy, Language and Library Studies, University of Houston - Clear Lake

Kim Case, Beth Hentges, Department of Psychology and Women's Studies, University of Houston - Clear Lake

In this workshop, we will address ethical issues that may arise when instructors teach and simultaneously investigate student learning and pedagogical effectiveness, such as balancing the possibly conflicting roles of teachers and researchers, the use of student work, the role of informed consent, etc. Based on their experience with SoTL projects, previous CASTL Institute Scholars will share their experiences with internal review boards and various avenues for protecting student confidentiality, avoiding coercion, etc. The workshop will introduce participants to best practices and provide an opportunity to discuss ethical concerns unique to SoTL projects and share ideas for navigating the SoTL landscape. [Detailed Description]

Framing Questions: From Teaching Questions to Avenues of Research

Kathleen Perkins, Theatre Department, Columbia College Chicago

In this workshop, we will look at the process for turning teaching questions into framed questions that can be investigated using a variety of tools. Through the discussion of examples, learning techniques for narrowing questions, and working with others, participants will have the opportunity to discover how to narrow their questions into problems that can be researched. The goals for participants are that they will (1) learn the different types of SoTL questions; (2) learn how to narrow questions without sacrificing the fundamental attributes that make them interesting; and (3) have the experience of participating in such activity with a small group. Participants should come equipped with one question/problem that they would like to refine.

Developing a Strong "Backstory" for Your SoTL Project

Lauren Scharff, Director for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Program, US Air Force Academy

Sometimes, when instructors face a challenge in the classroom or with respect to student learning, they implement an intervention strategy based on a recommendation from a colleague, based on an article they read or a conference presentation they heard, or they try something new that is of their own creation. If they are interested in assessing how well it works, they might obtain IRB approval and conduct a study. Then, depending on the results, they may submit the work for presentation and publication. Fantastic! However, a crucial step in this scholarship process should be the thoughtful review of relevant literature, much of which might reside outside of SoTL or teaching journals. This workshop will focus on a discussion of some common behavioral sciences literature topics that cross disciplines and that might be worthy of consideration in the literature review (e.g. motivation, learning, memory, metacognition, group interactions). We will share some resources that could provide a starting point for developing the "backstory" of the project and some general SoTL research literature resources.


 Workshop Session 1Workshop Session 2Workshop Session 3
  Friday, 5/31
11:15am - 12:30pm
Saturday, 6/1
9:00am - 10:15am
Sunday, 6/2
9:15 - 10:30am
SoTL Workshop 1 Framing Questions
SoTL Workshop 2 Surveys
Student Storytelling
SoTL Workshop 3 Web 2.0
Qualitative Methods
Quantitative Analysis
SoTL Workshop 4 Ethics
(McEnery et al)