G1. Paper Session - Klokkeklang Level 0
Justin Walls, Andrea Carr, Jo-Anne Kelder
Higher education institutions (HEIs) face complex challenges in discharging their responsibility to assure that external standards for student learning experiences and outcomes are met. An essentially straightforward routine of ‘monitor and report’ activities is rendered complex because curriculum is developed and taught by academics (who have variable capability and motivation and who work in the context of relationships and practices that do not always foster a culture of scholarship). The importance and value of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is well-established in the literature; however, SoTL practice tends to be limited to individuals or small teams of academics; institutional encouragement or support to engage in planned, coordinated and collegial scholarly practice applied to a substantive body of curriculum is lacking.
We present a conceptual model for a whole-of-institution approach to building an eco-system for SoTL capability and practice that integrates with institutional data collection and reporting for quality assurance (QA) purposes. The model is explicitly collegial and aligned with institutional QA responsibilities to monitor and report against standards for curriculum and teaching. The intended outcome is ‘a culture that learns’ in the context of institutional support, and recognition and reward for academic practices that are grounded in scholarship.
We have identified key areas of activity that comprise such an eco-system that include: an institutional mandate with key experts leading SoTL; a Curriculum Evaluation and Research (CER) framework that enables and socialises SoTL into curriculum and teaching practice (Kelder, Carr, & Walls, 2017); SoTL communities of practice that develop and share expertise; professional development for SoTL capacity building; peer review/support and facilitate opportunities for dissemination of SoTL practices and outcomes.
To stimulate a critical mass of academic engagement, the framework includes institutional levers, signalling through policy and performance review instruments that SoTL research is valued alongside disciplinary research. A key feature of the conceptual framework is high level leadership that is responsible to build SoTL capability in our institution. The CER framework is used by teaching teams to plan routine data collection and analysis for both quality assurance and research. A focus on teaching teams is the mechanism to leverage existing areas of individual, siloed activity and broaden SoTL practice to everyone who contributes to curriculum design and delivery.
The vision is a SoTL eco-system: strategic, coordinated and integrated programs of activities that support, recognise and reward a culture of scholarship and is aligned to institutional quality assurance systems.
Josephine Csete, Carmel McNaught, David Chin, Kimberly A Sheen
Identifying SoTL activity and the people involved within an institution is complex as such activity is dispersed across departments and discipline areas and dissemination may be widely scattered among venues. This paper reports a study of SoTL activity across a seven-year period (2011–2017) conducted within an institution in Asia of over 1200 academics. The methods used, rationale for methodological decisions as well as types of results obtained and intended uses of the results will be shared in detail so that other institutions can adopt or adapt the study to their own contexts.
The study purpose is to identify teachers who are conducting and disseminating SoTL and, by collating this information across multiple years, to build a picture of the trends over time as well as “pockets” and nature of SoTL activity within the institution. This profile provides important information for benchmarking past and current performance and identifying potential people and research areas for supporting the advancement of SoTL within the institution.
This paper will present the following information in detail so that other institutions can adopt or adapt the study to their own contexts:
- challenges in identifying SoTL activity;
- a rigorous reproducible process for identifying SoTL “outputs”;
- types of results obtained (including analysis by document type, departments and schools, and individuals involved in SoTL dissemination);
- the intended uses of the results.
Conducting the ratings is useful for developing an understanding of the possible range of what constitutes educational research (ER) as well as SoTL. One important result of the study is an increased awareness of the impact SoTL criteria and definition may have on encouraging the direction SoTL takes within the institution.
Learning Goals and Outcomes
As suggested by the session title participants will have the opportunity to:
* consider the benefits of understanding current patterns of SoTL activity within their organization (“why”);
* review a specific methodology for identifying SoTL activity within an institution and consider whether it is adoptable or adaptable to their own context (“how”);
* view the study results for a specific institution (to see the kinds of outcomes of the study methodology);
* discuss the potential uses of such study information in their own contexts (“for what purpose”).
Huang Hoon Chng, Johan Geertsema
Leaders of teaching and learning face increasingly complicated challenges and opportunities. The complex character of these strategic positions is widely recognized (McDonald et al., 2016), as is the conceptual confusion about what leadership in higher education entails (Marshall et al., 2011). We investigate educational leadership from the vantage point of two levels: institutional leadership and practice, and the arguably more liminal space of strategic support, by linking the scholarship of teaching and learning with the ideas around organisational leadership and fostering a learning culture.
An organisation that continuously creates conditions for its members to learn is likely one that emphasises growth (Senge, 1990). Given the speed and complexity of change, there is even more reason now to cultivate a mindset based on an attitude towards continuous learning – a growth mindset (Dweck 2006) – that underpins the organisational culture. If a key characteristic of SoTL is an evidence-informed and iterative spirit of inquiry into teaching and learning, then adopting a SoTL frame means that as part of our everyday practice we start with a problem, determine a means to investigate the issues, gather the data to inform the problem-solving process, and iterate this learning process to arrive at a solution. Such a frame of inquiry demands that we take institutional leadership as itself an object of serious intellectual work. It also requires us to keep on learning – from grasping the current situation, problematizing it and reflecting on possible, better futures. This, to us, is one link between a SoTL mode of inquiry and the starting point of a learning mindset and culture.
“How can SoTL practice change the way we lead in higher education”? We explore the above links: the connection between a SoTL frame, a distributed, collaborative approach to institutional leadership and strategic support of it, and the implications of these links for organisational learning and leadership. We argue that embedding SoTL in institutions provides a frame for an institution to rethink its own approach to leadership in creating a learning culture. We illustrate this argument by reflecting on our diverse but complementary efforts in providing leadership for fostering a SoTL/learning culture at our institution.
G2. Paper Session - Gjendine Level 0
Lorelli Nowell, Nancy Chick, Bartlomiej Lenart
SoTL is a young and dynamic field that invites diverse disciplines to foster development and growth in higher education (Poole, 2013). The diversity of its practitioners makes SoTL a complex field to understand and navigate. As SoTL continues to grow, the meta work of synthesizing SoTL literature can help us map the state of the field. We took a deep dive into the practices and products of SoTL through a rigorous, systematic, and thorough scoping review of SoTL studies to more fully and accurately represent how SoTL is practiced. We used a comprehensive strategy to search relevant databases, journals, grey literature sources, and key conference proceedings to identify SoTL literature reporting on SoTL studies. Teams of two reviewers independently screened all identified titles and abstracts for inclusion, followed by screening of full texts of potential literature to determine final inclusion in our review. We developed a data collection tool to examine, record, and catalog the literature according to key findings and themes, which provide clear evidence about what the work of SoTL looks like, who its practitioners are, what kinds of questions they ask and about what, how they go about answering them and with what evidence, and what the published products of SoTL projects look like. The patterns documented in our scoping review will help early practitioners and those advising them to more easily identify existing projects that address similar topics. It will also help identify gaps and make visible underexplored areas, inviting new voices to the field and aligning SoTL with the broader goals of higher education. It is our hope that our scoping review will help ground future work in the scholarly context of existing SoTL literature (Felten, 2013), strengthen literature reviews (MacMillan, 2018) and prevent some of what critics have called “wheel reinvention” (Tight, 2017). In this presentation we aim to share the knowledge generated through our review and encourage critical dialogue among conference participants to identify how it can be used to lay the groundwork for future SoTL studies.
Duncan Cross, Earle Abrahamson
Gary Poole in his 2017 ISSOTL Keynote discussed the concept of ‘Constructive Inclusionism’ (CI) as a key element of SOTL Ideology which can be defined as ’the effective engagement of all colleagues in the participation of SOTL’. Poole identified CI through the facilitation of participation and rigour which in essence questions ‘Who gets to reach’ and ‘how effectively we reach’ them. This lead to a discussion on how effectively we are reaching our colleagues within our institutions and disciplinary communities. SOTLVision was established at ISSOTL 2017, following the Multi-National Teaching Fellow group, through a desire to include and reach colleagues who may not be engaging in SOTL due to institutional research or funding priorities, or perceived costs (Maloney et al., 2017). SOTLVision is a multi-site workshop that considers the same thematic concepts in real-time and connected through video/teleconferencing. The concept is based on the Eurovision song contest with institutions or local events ‘calling in’ to share their thoughts and feedback, which facilitates both physical and virtual networking opportunities.
This session will discuss the qualitative evaluation of a pilot event undertaken in January 2018 hosted by 2 UK institutions. Attendees from 6 institutions provided feedback on the event/concept and the workshop exploration of Felten’s (2013) 5 principles of SOTL. The potential for further UK and international hubs will be discussed and participants will engage in a 10 minute discussion with the presenters on how this could be potentially used to increase engagement with inclusive learning cultures in continuing professional development, virtual conference attendance, membership of ISSOTL, and innovations in conference delivery to celebrate and promote a wider culture of SOTL.
Brian Smentkowski, Mary Huber, Pat Hutchings, Teresa Johnson, Balbir Gurm, Laura Cruz
Consistent with the theme of this year’s conference, we present the results of a pilot study of SoTL Communities in the context of learning cultures twenty years after CASTL was formed and ten years after its formal conclusion. Our analysis incorporates survey results from CASTL members in an effort to better understand and inform the transition from building SoTL communities to maintaining, sustaining, and growing them. Our research is guided by social network analysis and systems thinking, which enables us to visualize and represent the complex networks built from the CASTL foundation, and improvement science, which permits us to identify and share the process tools necessary to build generative learning cultures within SoTL communities. Through this process we assess the impact of SoTL programs – first, in Building SoTL Communities, then among all CASTL clusters – in the 20 years since CASTL’s inception and the 10 years since its conclusion. We further provide a framework for scholars to analyze the cultures of learning and learners that have evolved within SoTL and the capacity for an inclusive culture that learns.
G3. Paper Session - Småtroll Level 0
Ayesha Khan, Janet Pritchard, Sumeet Farwaha
Post-secondary institutions are increasingly being called upon to update and broaden their pedagogical approaches to keep pace with a rapidly evolving workforce. Specifically, the private sector has emphasized a need for educators to provide students with learning experiences that enhance "human skills" such as active listening, critical thinking, and social perceptiveness. For willing instructors, this means that we must extend our pedagogical practices beyond the focus on content-based knowledge and increase experiential learning opportunities that encompass not only intellectual growth, but also the development of social responsibility. Community-engaged education (CEE) is a type of experiential pedagogy that uses student participation in a specific community to allow them to apply the content taught in the classroom in a real-world setting. CEE has been linked to a number of positive outcomes in academic development, including deeper understanding of course content (Markus, 1993), increased ability to apply course concepts (Eyler, 2002), and sharper problem-solving skills (Batchelder & Root, 1994). While CEE projects have shown immense promise in terms of enhancing the learning experience of students, they can also present unique challenges that require instructors to find equally unique solutions. In connection with the conference theme of "An inclusive learning culture: What happens when we connect student learning to life and work experiences beyond the (physical or virtual) classroom?" we will share specific examples from the literature that demonstrate how CEE positively affects student success. Through our presentation, we aim to provide participants with a comprehensive 6-step approach to implementing CEE at the classroom level. After attending this session, participants will be able to: (1) explain the rationale for integrating CEE in course curricula, and (2) use our 6-step method to integrate CEE into their courses.
Cara Meixner, Becca Berkey, Patrick Green
A distinctive, inclusive pedagogy with roots in the SoTL and Scholarship of Engagement (SOE) literatures, service-learning and community engagement (S-LCE) has been seminally described by Bringle and Hatcher (1995) as “a course-based, credit bearing educational experience in which students (1) participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs, and (b) reflect…to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility” (p. 112). Numerous studies document student gains, with research focusing on why service-learning works (e.g., Ehrlich, 1995; Giles & Eyler, 1994; Harkavy, 1992; Morse, 1989), how S-LCE can be implemented (e.g., Bringle & Hatcher, 1996), and what students gain (e.g., Astin & Sax, 1998; Astin, Sax, & Avalos, 1999; Markus, Howard, & King, 1993; Myers-Lipton, 1998).
For both faculty and students, Meixner (2013) observed S-LCE as “the confluence zone between engagement and teaching” (p. 320); Howard (1998) famously contended that S-LCE “clearly ‘raises the pedagogical bar’” (p. 23) for all learners, faculty included. Indeed, S-LCE enriches, enlivens, and invigorates both the culture of learning and the learning culture. Despite recent contributions to the literature (e.g., Darby & Knight-McKenna, 2016; Harrison, Clayton, & Tilley-Lubbs, 2014; Meixner, 2013; O’Meara & Niehaus, 2009), comparatively little has been known about the faculty experience of S-LCE and, critically, how the field of educational development can foster and advance research-informed practices that serve broader social justice aims.
The authors’ newly released volume (Stylus, 2018) seizes this gap, drawing from a diverse pool of authors to (1) situate educational development in S-LCE within both higher education and community-based contexts, and (2) provide readers with an array of SoTL-rich examples and models, as well as realistic strategies, to evolve their own educational development efforts, foster further scholarship on teaching and learning, and champion inclusive cultures of learning across academe.
The overarching goal of this paper session is for participants to consider their own work in the context of best practices, emerging with ideas, resources, and support structures that advance research-informed S-LCE and faculty development on their campuses. Specifically, the authors will discuss genres, models, and case studies, all drawn from various chapters in the edited volume. Participants will also be invited to consider methods of advancing SoTL inquiries into S-LCE and more broadly, the field of educational development.
Edward Brantmeier, Destin Webb
This study examined a course that aimed to create an inclusive learning culture where co-learners participated in the following: self examination of leadership values and approaches; the study of non-Western global peace leaders; and local community engagement. The research presentation will explore foundational course questions (Bain, 2004), learning goals, learning activities, key assessments, and learning impact of this course. Johansson and Felten (2014) maintain that transformative learning involves engaging students in semi-structured, often messy learning processes that promote reflection and action in iterative cycles. Focusing on “glocal” (global + local) community engagement through a “critical pedagogy of place,” students were asked to “re-inhabit” their communities and “decolonize” their minds and relationships (Gruenewald, 2006). Co-learners partnered on a community gardening project with a local refugee organization to attempt to create healthy ecosystems, social equity, and viable economies (Nolet & Wheeler, 2010).
The primary research question of this study is “what do students learn about themselves, others, and their ability to change the world from engaging in this course?” Participants included ten (N=10) undergraduate students from a predominately white, large masters-comprehensive university in the United States. The instructor of the course and an undergraduate teaching/research co-inquirer conducted this qualitative study using a priori coding methods (Saldaña, 2015) to examine the primary data: an inquiry project paper; threaded online discussions; a letter to the seventh generation; and the final exam. In pre and post assessments, students answered the following foundational course questions that served as the first assignment and final exam for the course:
Foundational Course Questions:
- What are your core values, philosophy, and approach to leadership?
- How do impactful peace leaders navigate opportunities and barriers to sustainable peace?
- Where is your power to make changes to alleviate violence and suffering in a world in need — to build sustainable peace, community, and happiness
Preliminary findings indicate that research participants gained personal value and career clarification, deeper understanding of how to navigate opportunities and barriers to achieve sustainable peace, and commitment to education as a means of planetary change. The problematics of a self-study of one’s dream course will be explored to advance rigorous and self-reflexive qualitative SoTL methods (McKinney, 2007). This research presentation itself will utilize contemplative pedagogical practices used in the course: a brief experiential activity; mindfulness; and reflective dialogue.
G4. Paper Session - Bekkelokken Level 0
Rie Troelsen, Nørgård, O'Neill
Teaching evaluations play a vital part in sustaining and developing a culture of learning. In many cases, however, the use of data from evaluations is not relevant in a development perspective. Learners might not have a full overview of what they have learned neither half-way through nor at the very end of a course (and just before exam as is typical for many course evaluations) (Kember, Leung & Kwan, 2002). This study describes a multiple evaluation approach with the aim of further development of a teacher training programme by nuancing the perceived learning outcome. We have planned and conducted evaluations from participants finishing their programme 1-2 years ago and compared them with evaluations from current participants.
A range of evaluations are conducted as an intrinsic part of the teacher training programme; questionnaires on the outcomes of an initial seminar and a mid-way evaluation of the programme in the form of an open mail question.
To supplement, a semi-structured interview study with 12 participants from former years' programmes was conducted. The informants were randomly selected and interviewed by phone for app. ½ hour.
Data from current participants show that a certain part of the programme (where participants are supervised on their teaching) is evaluated as being most efficient and valuable. Results from the interview study show that participants still evaluate supervision as the most valuable part but also that other parts of the programme (hands-on workshops and a SOTL-project) are recognised as valuable.
At first glance, the evaluations from two different points in time seem alike. However, the variation in evaluation format and informants is wide and so it is not the aim of this study to test whether participants' assessment changes over time. Rather, the multiple evaluation approach can be used in a further investigation of possible ways to measure the effectiveness of professional development activities (Chalmers & Gardiner, 2015).
Audience are asked to engage with the topic in discussing pros and cons of expanding the timeframe for evaluating learning and development activities.
Matt O'Leary, Vanessa Cui
The quality of teaching in higher education (HE) has attracted a lot of attention from governments worldwide in recent years. In the UK, for example, the introduction of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) (BIS, 2016) was a watershed moment for HE, with the quality of teaching finding itself thrust into the political spotlight. Yet, as we argue in this paper, the TEF promotes an instrumentalist model of teaching and learning. It continues the focus on monitoring and measuring the quality of teaching as a product rather than seeking to gather data that captures situated examples of authentic practice, ultimately failing to move forward our understanding of what excellent teaching might be and how best we might achieve it.
As a counter-narrative, we reconceptualise the relationship between students and teachers as collaborators in making sense of authentic teaching and learning. We argue that improvement of learning and teaching builds on meaningful understandings which requires students and teachers to develop situated knowledge of their own and each other’s views, values and practices. In a recent 2-year project funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, we developed a cycle of collaborative observation (CoCO) that repositions observation from its traditional application as an assessment tool to a collaborative method of inquiry between students and staff. Building on Brookfield’s work on critically reflective practice (1995), in our model, students and staff all take an active role in reflecting on their practices through the lens of observing the ‘same’ classroom experience from their individual perspectives while also exchanging their observations and reflections with each other.
The paper explores the conceptual and theoretical framework of CoCO, explaining its rationale, how it differs from conventional approaches to observation, along with the methodology devised to prepare the academic staff and students for working with this approach to observation. Drawing on data from five case studies across different undergraduate programmes in a modern English university, this paper shares some of the project's key findings. Evidence from each of the case studies reinforces the work of Bowden and Marton (2004) who argued that an understanding between students and staff based on a common frame of reference of teaching and learning is fundamental to building a collective consciousness of learning in the context of their programme. Here we seek to further develop Bowden and Marton’s work and explore how collective consciousness is created and developed during the CoCO.
Ashley Welsh, Eric Jandciu
- address key priorities within our Faculty and institution;
- consult with faculty, students, and staff;
- support individual departments and programs;
- acknowledge the holistic student experience; and
- exist as a living, ongoing framework that is used, adapted, and assessed over time.
G5. Panel Session - Peer Gynt Level 2
Jessie Moore, Katarina Mårtensson, Torgny Roxå, Deandra Little, Peter Felten, Kathryn Sutherland, David Green, Elizabeth Marquis
- Building from this extant literature, the research team developed a preliminary theory to address the following questions:
- What causes academic staff to adopt systematic and sustained use of high-impact pedagogies (e.g., evidence-based practices designed intentionally for student learning, with transparent learning goals, meaningful faculty-student interaction, and structured reflection)?
- How can universities foster faculty change towards systematically using pedagogies that make a meaningful difference in student learning? What is the role of academic developers in this work?
- For faculty, what are the implications of adopting high-impact pedagogies?
- The Swedish project charts the intricately woven fabric of change and stability in academic microcultures. Through ethnographically inspired methods, groups of academic teachers are observed as they deal with educational issues in their everyday life-worlds;
- A US-based project examines the factors that enabled or discouraged changes in conceptions of teaching or learning for humanities faculty in a three-year, multi-institutional course redesign program;
- A project being conducted at two sites (one in New Zealand and one in the U.S.) that looks at the barriers to and enablers for encouraging more civic engagement initiatives to be embedded within curricula, with one of these taking a students as partners approach to the data collection process;
- A US project investigates whether academics in a mission-driven university are more likely to change their teaching practices when educational development programming explicitly aligns with the mission, even if their departments are unsupportive or uninterested;
- A Canadian project explores the extent to which participating in a student-faculty partnership program supported by a central teaching and learning unit encourages change in faculty teaching practices and conceptions of students.
G6. Paper Session - Bøygen Level 2
Nancy Krusen, Debra Rollins
The presentation reports development of objective structured clinical examinations (OSCEs) as a strategy to assess clinical competence, supporting a culture of learning within a health science program. OSCEs are brief, multiple stations assessing a variety of essential clinical practice skills. The presentation illuminates assessment of learner competencies through creation of a performance-based tool. We will describe scenario development, areas assessed, rating development, and the messy, iterative process of OSCE creation. Through formal presentation, small group discussion, and large group sharing, learners will differentiate formative and summative use of OSCEs in OT education, create a preliminary OSCE blueprint, and seek additional resources for OSCE implementation.
Harden and Gleeson (1975) first described OSCEs in medical practice as an alternative to traditional multiple-choice didactic tests or conventional clinical examination. OSCEs are now commonly used within schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, physical education, speech-language pathology, physical therapy (PT), and social work. Miller (1990) described a model of performance assessment recognizing sequential acquisition of clinical competence – knows, knows how, shows how, does. Performance assessment is used across health professions to demonstrate competence, conduct program evaluation, and indicate compliance with educational Standards. OSCEs support a culture of learning across a curriculum with long-term impact assuring quality for the public.
Faculty from a School of Occupational Therapy unanimously identified the need for a performance-based measure of clinical competence (other than traditional didactic or clinical examination) prior to clinical placement. We founded the OSCE in transformative learning (Mezirow, 1981), through which students transform old knowledge by reflecting on new experiences, and in situated learning (Lave & Wenger, 1991), through which faculty design the just-right challenge at the just-right time. Faculty members identified a preference for the measure to be formative for student learning and summative for program evaluation. Twelve OT practitioners participated in a modified-Delphi method to identify possible OSCE scenarios. Practitioner consensus recommended competence areas match those of the national Fieldwork Performance Evaluation. The authors developed a blueprint of seventeen OSCE stations inclusive of practice setting, client age, focus of OT intervention, competence area, and materials needed. Authors solicited and refined scenarios from the practitioners, designing specific checklists to rate each. Finally, authors created data collection methods for assessment of the OSCE, student performance, and student perception. The data are analyzed and reported in a separate work.
Karen Theobald, Theresa Harvey, Alan Barnard
Background and literature
A supportive and authentic clinical environment is fundamental to enhance undergraduate students’education. Health facility staff are significant contributors to student nurses’ work integrated learning, taking on the role of clinical facilitator (CF), teacher or mentor (Doyle et al, 2017). The role of the CF is autonomous and they often work in isolation, dealing with competing demands, such as a dynamic clinical environment and complex patient care requirements while simultaneously supporting student learning. This can hinder student clinical support (Lambert & Glacken, 2005) and can add a degree of stress to the CF role. Further, challenges can be attributed to the time and effort involved in dealing with “challenging students” and the assessment and timely decision making about students’ competency (Ford et al., 2016).
Peer Review of teaching is one option that may assist CFs to develop and grow in establishing excellence in teaching and learning in the clinical environment. This presentation reports on cross sectional pilot research that examined the impact of Peer Review of Clinical Teaching (PRoCT) and the impact on teaching efficacy. Methods Teacher efficacy was measured pre and post using a reliable and valid instrument, Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (Tschannen-Moran & Hoy, 2001). CFs were allocated to an intervention (30 participants) or non-intervention group (25 participants). A combination of descriptive and inferential data analyses were used to compare the significant differences between the two groups.
In comparing total and subscale scores between groups, while no significant differences were identified using ANOVAs, all scores showed higher means (greater sense of efficacy) in the trained CFs versus those not experiencing the peer review intervention. As a pilot the outcomes suggest that participating in PRoCT has the potential to enhance a CFs’ sense of efficacy, especially in relation to their interest and motivation and sense of enhancement and knowledge about learning strategies.
Planning support for CFs should incorporate peer review of teaching as part of an overall approach to enhance the quality and culture of SOTL in clinical education.
The aspiration of this presentation is to share our experiences of PRoCT, to open up discussion around this strategy, recognising our shared responsibilities to enhance the quality of teaching and learning. We hope to gain further insight and feedback from our ISSoTL colleagues to openly affirm this important teaching practice. Throughout the presentation, we will encourage questions and collegial input.
Kirsten Jack, Claire Hamshire
The aim of this presentation is to explore the ways in which a positive learning culture can be promoted within a health care practice setting. Drawing on selective findings from a completed SoTL study across 9 institutions in the North West of England, UK, we will discuss the ways in which practice educators can sustain meaningful and inclusive relationships with nursing students in the clinical setting. In the past it has been suggested that nurse educators are focused on judging, rather than supporting learners and bullying in the clinical area is not uncommon.
A survey was undertaken with 1425 nursing students from adult and mental health degree nursing programmes, from 9 institutions in the North West of England, UK. Unstructured interviews were undertaken with 22 nursing students from the same organisations. The data generated from both methods were thematically analysed and selected data will be presented using a process similar to framework analysis (Ritchie et al., 2013).
The results from this study concur with previous research which suggests that clinical placement experiences are a complex aspect of nurse education and the quality of the educator/student relationship is essential for success (Carr, 2008). Nursing students like to feel valued and included in the practice team, however the priority for many clinical staff in this study was to complete the given tasks for the day, which left little time for student support. The data revealed many factors which could have a positive impact on the learning culture. Indeed the effectiveness of the educator was perceived as central to learning relationships and the data revealed four essential educator roles. These were: ‘role model’, ‘legitimizer’, ‘advocate’ and ‘respecter’, and these qualities will be explored using a model, which takes into account both the immediate environment and the wider influences on practice.
The importance of the relationship between clinical educators and nursing students has been highlighted in this work. If meaningful learning cultures are to be sustained in clinical practice, educators are required to engage with students in an effective way so that they feel included and respected as part of the health-care team. Ways in which the proposed model can be used to facilitate both student and educator engagement will be discussed in this presentation.
G7. Workshop Session - Troldtog Level 3
Changing the culture of post-secondary education requires strategic reform of departmental programs. More specifically, changing the culture encompasses courses and experiences encapsulating a student's learning within a discipline to ensure programmatic efforts are cohesive, purposeful, and aligned to developing competitive and critically reflective students. In response to the need for a replicable process to support programmatic reform, Texas A&M University engaged in reviewing current and relevant curricular literature and conducting research on programs of study. This effort led to developing an efficient process influencing the culture of learning across the university. The steps for this process include: a) form and orient a team; b) gather data and define the current state of the discipline; c) create program learning outcomes; d) create competency rubrics based on the learning outcomes; e) create a curriculum map; f) create course curriculum materials; g) implement and assess; and h) reflect and refine. Critical to ensuring the effectiveness of curricular changes are the steps aforementioned (a-h) and assembling your team. Key members of this team should include the pedagogical consultant or educational developer and administrative support for the team. The educational consultant provides the pedagogical reasoning behind suggested changes as well as directs the process according to the steps outlined in the curriculum change model. Administrative support at this research one university involves a graduate student dedicated to the process as a goal of their assistantship. Components of the graduate student's role on the project includes expectations to submit an application to the institutional review board for human subject research, conduct research on the process as it applies to the discipline under review, collaborate with the committee and pedagogical consultant, and publish results. After considering the steps involved in the process and the necessary human capital, universities can adeptly participate in changing the culture of their departmental programs for the holistic benefit of their university. This session will highlight steps in a process to update curriculum at the programmatic level, involving participants in activities to better recognize the approach applicable to their campus context and the holistic education of students currently within their program. Additionally, and more salient to the focus of this conference, this session will incorporate the expectation of SoTL in the initial step of the process.
G8. Workshop Session - Bekken Level 3
Jannika Andersson Chronholm
Gamification is defined as “the use of game design elements in non-game contexts” (Deterding et. al., 2011). This definition means that gamification is not a game in itself; it draws on certain elements from games in order to make a task or learning context more entertaining. This is also the difference between gamification and serious games which is a whole game with a serious purpose (Landers, 2015). There are several different attributes of a game that can be used for gamification purposes as defined by the Bedwell taxonomy (Bedwell et al., 2012). Karl Kapp (2012) points out that although the most common attribute used is assessment (points, badges and levels), gamification is not just attaching points or badges to your course but a careful use of different attributes.
One reason for using gamification in education is that it should contribute to motivating students. There are many models to describe and discuss motivation that usually distinguishes between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Gamification of a learning setting is used to promote both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the student.
This workshop will lead the participants through a gamified biology lab where we will discuss the different game attributes chosen and how they influence the student’s learning of key concepts. The lab itself is on the basic use of a microscope and no prior knowledge of biology is necessary. Participants will try out some parts of the lab for themselves as this will also provide a practical demonstration of how gamification influences the students motivation for learning. We will also hear the student’s voice in the form of interview excerpts. The workshop will conclude with a discussion on how participants can work with gamification in their own practice.
G9. Panel Session - Nina Level 3
Carol Miles, Abigail Snook, Keith Foggett, Asta B. Schram
This panel discussion considers a maturity model for professional development for university teachers around the world. Panel members from Europe, North America, and Australia will address the varying levels of professional development currently being provided for university teachers in developed and developing parts of the world.
Over the past 20-30 years, universities have established units responsible for the provision of professional development for their teaching staff. These units have been tasked with ensuring that the staff employed have sufficient teaching skills to support students in their learning. The methods employed by these units have been through a number of phases, as the best methods to enhance teaching quality have been proposed and implemented. Over time, the staff employed in these centres have seen the work of their units move from an initial structured academic approach to a more practical focus on the art of teaching and the integration of teaching methods that have research supported effectiveness. Globally, most teaching development initiatives could now be described as proactively providing development opportunities for university teachers and course improvement, as compared to the initial reactive nature of the pursuit.
The evolving focus of these units and the increasing focus on teaching has led to a greater emphasis on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL), a field of study that reflects the maturity of this area of endeavour. It is useful to reflect on how this SOTL focus has grown, and the steps that have led to this point, as a response to the need to ensure that good teaching is a focus of university teaching and learning centres.
The focus on good teaching and student success continues to be an important element of professional development for teaching staff, and there has been increasing interest in supporting those teachers who work with our students in capacities other than full time academic staff. In recent times, universities have begun to acknowledge the pivotal role that non-tenure-track teaching staff have in the assurance of student success, and have begun to deliver programming targeted at their specific needs. As the pursuit of teaching development matures, along with full-time university teachers, conjoint instructors, casuals, adjunct instructors, sessional staff and clinical supervisors are increasingly being provided with opportunities for growth of their teaching and student supervision skill sets.
This panel will consider three dimensions of faculty development: maturity of the provision of development activities through formalised teaching and learning centres, the increasing focus on the importance of providing these services to sessional and part-time university teachers (and their appetite for such development), and the emerging requirement for formal development programs for teachers and supervisors responsible for students in clinical settings (to date, a cohort that has not been broadly addressed).
The panel will provide a global perspective on the maturity of this pursuit at universities, in Australia, Iceland and Canada, with a particular focus on the broadening of the offer to include all of those who have an impact on university student success – beyond full time university teachers. The panel will focus on the differing needs of university teachers holding varying employment contracts and roles in supervising and training university students.
The Panel will also address initiatives intended to provide initial programs of academic development in developing countries which are at the very early stages of the maturity model, and where there has been little if any professional development for university teachers to date. Two of the panellists have experience in providing this initial teacher training in a number of countries across Asia and Africa.
Individual Panellist Brief Presentations
Professional Development for non-tenure track teaching staff: Addressing a growing need.
A senior administrator of a teaching and learning centre in Australia will address the effectiveness of formal professional certificate programs for full-time and sessional academics and new programming that has been launched for clinical supervisors in the field. He will also discuss the success of two “academies” established at this university to provide a sense of place and support for sessional academics and clinical staff who are from geographically diverse locations with little previous contact with the university despite their pivotal role in student success.
Attitudes and needs of sessional teachers: Are they really that different from tenured faculty?
An Assistant Professor and an advisor for the Development of Teaching and Learning will discuss the maturity and goals of current professional development at the University of Iceland, with a closer look at one of the older schools. She will discuss student evaluation outcomes that have challenged faculty teaching methods, especially in departments with large numbers of sessional teachers. Combining student and teacher outcomes, she will discuss some current initiatives and possible applications for future faculty development.
A former assistant professor and current sessional teacher and doctoral candidate in Iceland (as well as continuing as an online adjunct instructor for an American university) will report on a study conducted to determine sessional instructors’ identification with and motivations to teach as well as their interest and motivations to seek professional teaching development compared to those of tenured faculty at a health sciences school. She will also discuss further considerations and applications of the results for future faculty development for sessional teachers.
Taking good teaching practices to the global stage – International Teaching Certificate Programs in Africa and Asia
A Professor and senior administrator of a teaching and learning centre in Australia and previously an Associate Vice-President of Teaching and Learning from a Canadian University will discuss the evolution of professional development for academic staff at all ranks, as well as describe a number of fundamental university teaching programs that have been offered to teaching staff from Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda, India and China.
G10. Paper Session - Bukken Level 3
Sally Crighton, Andrew Potter
This work, motivated by our institution’s strategic priority of “community building” for Associate Lecturers (ALs) in a distance learning context, explores how staff development initiatives for a subject-specific group of teaching practitioners contributes to enrichment of teaching practice.
One of the themes emerging from evaluation of annual face-to-face development events was that ALs were surprisingly lacking in confidence in the presence of their peers. This caused us to reflect that our strong community of practice (Wenger-Trayner, E. and B., 2015) could be better harnessed to boost AL confidence and morale in changing times, and reinforce the value of their work. Following Dweck’s (2012) work on developing a “growth mindset”, the idea of a “peer-observation scheme” was introduced. The second-round of observations is currently underway. The fundamental tenet of the scheme is that observations should focus on being easily achievable in an AL’s busy schedule, with the essential ingredients of humour and humility (Schein, 2013).
Another emerging theme was that ALs, teaching mathematics modules, felt less comfortable with reflective writing than colleagues in other disciplines. The peer-observation scheme supports ALs to prepare for professional recognition of their teaching enabling them to form a new academic identity as educational researchers, similar to ideas of Gardner, A. & Willey, K. (2016).
We have seen already that peer observation, focusing on giving positive feedback, fosters a dynamic, mutually supportive community as a means of improving AL confidence and producing practical examples of good practice. We consider how best to initiate and sustain peer observation and evaluation projects and share feedback demonstrating the impact of this focussed peer-support on teaching practice.
Central to this work is the belief that enhancing quality measures in line management of academic staff is essential for the fostering of such scholarly, engaged, inclusive and collegial academic communities. Projects such as the peer-observation scheme allow ALs to develop their teaching skills drawing strongly on the skills within the community. This resonates with the notion of “using employees talents to a greater degree and giving them more responsibility”, from Hertzberg (1968-2003), to increase well-being and motivation of employees. Work in progress is to identify a measure of how this observed enhancement of practice can lead to “happiness” within the AL role.
More broadly, this work contributes to development of models for building sustainable academic communities in in our institution.
Audience participation is included – do please come along and join in!
Adrian Lee, Jeanette Choy
In re-evaluating professional development for early-career academics (ECAs) at the National University of Singapore (NUS), we noted three major concerns with its then current status. First, a lack of evaluation in terms of its effectiveness and its impact on student learning. Second, that it did not capitalise on the collegiality established within the cohort and that the elective workshops did not necessarily meet the strategic needs of the participants. Third, the programme in recognising the many priorities that compete for time and attention (Rust, 2000) avoided assignments that would require participants to reflect on their teaching.
With these concerns in mind, we developed a new programme based on mentoring within a Community of Practice model (Smith et al., 2013). This new programme embraces collaborative effort and encourages dialogue within local contexts to develop teaching practice (Knight and Cornett, 2009; Hobson et al., 2009). The new programme recognises that “teachers need opportunities to practice … in the classroom, to observe student outcomes and to discuss changes and make adjustments with the help of their peers” (Sturko and Holyoke, 2009). This new programme runs concurrently alongside the existing programme and thus evaluation allows for inter-comparison.
In this presentation, we will discuss how we implemented mentoring based on shared engagement on practice. We will show how we support a collegial climate to generate and sustain “inquiry, collaboration, reflection and action in the service of ongoing improvement” (Hutchings et al., 2011). Using both quantitative and qualitative data obtained from participants in the pilot implementation (including reflective artefacts, survey data, and perspectives gathered from focus group interviews), we will report on the integration of concepts and ideas into teaching practice, and changes in attitudes and beliefs about teaching (Guskey, 2002). In addition, we will compare the perceptions of ECAs with those who did not participate in the new programme to identify similarities or differences in their teaching perspectives and practices. Among the significant results gathered so far, we have noted the inappropriateness of the original teaching practicum component, that the requirement to maintain a blog makes participants’ reflections visible, and how the peer classroom observation makes teaching public and elevates the conversation about teaching practice.
Marie Vander Kloet
Each year, returning staff in a graduate student, peer-led teaching training program emphasize that they came to work in the program expecting to share what they know about teaching and are surprised by how much they learn. Working in the program is consistently described as one of the most rewarding and significant teaching experiences they have had as graduate students. In this paper, I explore what makes this program, based in a Canadian research intensive university, a good place to work and learn through a consideration of aspects of the program’s design and operation in relation to three intersecting threads with SoTL focused on academic development: teaching microcultures, graduate teaching development and interdisciplinarity. To examine this program is to consider the players (permanent and parttime staff, participants) and the relationships between and amongst them.
First, I position this program within Roxa and Martensson’s (2015) types of microcultures. Through an examination of what trust and responsibility look like in the program, I illustrate why this program appears to be an exemplar of Roxa and Martensson’s “the commons”. Moreover, I highlight the unique qualities of the program that allow for a commons to be sustained despite regular changeover in staff and participants and query how intermittent fractures in trust and responsibility can occur without the collapse of this learning environment. Second, I consider this program as a learning environment and learning microculture but also as a place of work. Graduate student teaching development programs exist amongst considerable national discourse about doctoral education and employment outcomes (Aspenlieder & Vander Kloet, 2014; Desjardins, 2012; Rolheiser et al, 2013). I posit that, although the program appears to be an exemplary “commons” what perhaps makes it a good place to learn is what makes it a good place to work: that is that people are compensated well for their work, engage in meaningful and often self directed work, and experience a connection between their work and identity as teachers in higher education. This reflexive and theoretically focused examination of the program as a learning environment is perhaps most concerned with understanding how it is collectively sustained through periods of change as graduate teaching development programs in Canada have only more change ahead.
G11. Paper Session - Room 304 Level 3
Those who work as helpers may themselves become distressed from witnessing suffering. Literature related to Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS), Vicarious Trauma (VT) and Compassion Fatigue (CF; (Matthieu, 2012) is a growing topic. The notion of distress from having been a secondary witness to suffering is also moving from helper as witness to student as witness (Kostouros & Wenzel, 2016). There are constructs that exist related to STS and VT that speak to the notion of secondary witness effect of the student population in particular (Carello & Butler, 2014; Graziano, 2001; Shannon, Simmelink-McCleary, Becher, & Crook-Lyon, 2014; Spear, 2014).
Several authors (Lowe, 2015; Shannon, Simmelink-McClear, Becher & Crook-Lyon, 2014) recognized the aporetic nature of this topic noting that while it is important to depict suffering and discuss difficult topics, there is also a responsibility in the way this is done. Carello and Butler (2014) acknowledged that students may be overwhelmed by the nature of the subject. Teachers have a responsibility to understand that there is limited choice in the position of witness when there are assignments or grades attached.
In two separate studies, one with students and one with teachers, information was gathered about teacher use and student experience. Since this inquiry was in relation to a particular phenomenon, a qualitative study that is interpretative was conducted. The questions posed in the teacher research was: What makes depictions of suffering necessary and how can this be done well? For the students the question was: What can students’ experiences of encountering the suffering of others, in their course curriculum, tell us about learning and inform teaching practice in relation to using materials that depict suffering? According to Merriam (2002), asking about perspectives and collecting this data via interviews matches an interpretive-phenomenological methodology. In addition, since data was collected from both students and teachers and included inquiry into the teaching-learning dynamic the territory of the scholarship of teaching and learning was apparent. This research was indeed supported by the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Institute in this researcher’s University.
“Reacting to the Past” (RTTP) pedagogy utilizes critical thinking games that immerse students in ideas and characters from the historical past. Students become historical characters from a particular historical episode through reading and analyzing texts from the time period. Afterwards based upon their work, students decide their own character’s words and actions within the historical context and problems of the game. What makes these games different from traditional role-play pedagogy is students’ immersion in character roles through texts from the period. This type of deep immersion has the potential to create a classroom culture where students may experience the past, not just hear about it. The question is whether this experience results in measurable gains in history learning and historical thinking. Pre and post-game interviews are a useful tool to study RTTP pedagogy because the interviews provide insight into not only what students know about an episode in history, but also whether what they know changes after RTTP. Using RTTP games as the learning culture, this investigation seeks to understand whether history content learning and historical thinking are part of the experience of students who engage in “Reacting to the Past.” The two RTTP games that students played are “New York City in the American Revolution, 1775-1776” and “America’s Founding: The Constitutional Convention.” The Instructor conducted pre and post structured interviews with ten students to elicit responses to three broad questions probing their general knowledge and understanding of the complexity of significant events in the games. The interviews were analyzed for students’ use of common themes or words, and changes in those words or themes between the pre-game interview and post-game interview. The results of the study indicate minimal difference in history content learning and historical thinking with RTTP, even though students evaluated their engagement with the games positively. Most SoTL studies about RTTP pedagogy address issues of student engagement and skills related to historical thinking, not history learning itself. This qualitative study addresses this gap in the research, focusing upon research about history content learning and historical thinking with RTTP pedagogy.
Ethics education is prioritised differently across health, medical and care-related curricula and between professions, specialisms and disciplines, with little agreement on pedagogy (Lawlor, 2007). Consistent over time and across contexts, and well reported in the literature, is the struggle students report in applying classroom-based learning to the situations they encounter in their practice (Beckett and Hager, 2002).
This paper describes a project that brought together people who use health and care services, with students, practitioners and academics from a range of disciplines. Its purpose, as it evolved, was to develop theoretical understanding and practical mechanisms to increase awareness of ethics as encountered in everyday caring practices. It focuses on problems often dismissed as intractable, or described as resource inadequacies or team problems, or the kind of routine dilemma that Lambek (2010:2) describes as ‘happening without calling undue attention to itself’.
Through two national conferences we became a diverse community of learners and we have been writing together for a forthcoming edited text (Wintrup et al, forthcoming). The project, in particular writing together, has challenged the many polarising dichotomies present in the literature, in particular notions of expertise, and the many dominant discourses foregrounding personal qualities such as compassion or developmental notions of resilience (Howe, Smajdor and Stockl, 2012).
I want to discuss in this paper a four-quadrant model that we might use to develop educational resources that are meaningful and accessible to non-ethicists (Pardales and Girod, 2006). It is my contention that, in general terms, ethicists research and publish the public, high stakes events, disproportionately influencing education. At the same time, only a small minority of practitioners will ever encounter such situations, working predominantly in the private/long term, wellbeing arenas with their patients. Yet their education, requiring a basis in research evidence, is likely to draw on the remarkable and unusual. For many non-medical students, such ideas will be covered only under the banner of ‘professionalism’ and hardly debated or scrutinised at all. Not only does this place undue value on the kinds of events they may not experience during brief undergraduate courses (or ever in their careers), it risks devaluing the kind of relationships and dilemmas of their work, and fails to flag such issues as ethically problematic.
I explore why certain situations engage the public imagination while others seem to pass unnoticed, and go on to suggest a re-appraisal of health and care ethics education is timely.
G12. Paper Session - Halling Level 3
Jennifer Scoles, Catherine Bovill
One of the most important, yet often fragile, relationship dynamics in a learning environment is that between students and staff. Research suggests that a strong positive relationship between students and staff, both inside and outside of formal teaching, enhances academic outcomes and increases student engagement (Lamport, 1993). Furthermore, many years ago, Rogers (1962) argued that the quality of the relationship between the teacher and students is the strongest predictor of teacher effectiveness. A key dimension to any relationship is genuine dialogue, which in turn, incites trust, respect, and an emotional capacity to connect. For example, Weder and Skogsberg (2013, p. 143), recommend that staff should ‘enter into dialogue with students as a relational dynamic, not simply as a way of talking and listening, but as a way of building human connections with each other and with knowledge itself’. This invites researchers to consider the emotional dimensions of students and staff relationships; a characteristic of student and staff partnership work that is often marginalised in scholarship (e.g., Felten, 2017).
This paper explores how a culture of learners can be fostered through promoting and supporting genuine dialogue, particularly in relationships that have a strong asymmetrical power dynamic, such as that between students and staff. Two innovative initiatives are presented. Firstly, ‘Coffee and Cake Conversations’ at the University of Edinburgh, which aims to promote the benefits of informal dialogue about learning and teaching between students and staff (Woolmer, Marquis and Bovill, 2017). Paired students and staff from the same School/Subject discuss learning and teaching in an informal capacity over coffee and cake, paid for with vouchers provided through an internal University Action Fund. The second project, ‘Students as Colleagues in the Review of Teaching Practices’, at Edinburgh Napier University, considers a more formal dialogic initiative. Students were invited to develop collegial relationships with a member of staff out with their School/Subject in order to act as constructive evaluators in a peer review process (see Huxham et al, 2017). These initiatives not only have the potential to contribute towards a more humanised view of the ‘other’, but they also invite discussion of teaching and learning issues between students and staff in more collegial environments.
Learning is simultaneously particular and transcendent. We decode the disciplines (Middendorf & Pace, 2004), engage in signature pedagogies (Gurung, Chick, and Haynie 2009), and take disciplinary approaches to SoTL (Healey 2000) because we recognize that learning needs to be grounded in particular disciplinary frames of reference. At the same time, however, we seek to transcend the particular to promote lifelong learning across learning contexts (Huber & Hutchings, 2004). Because SoTL is dedicated to learning about all aspects of student learning, SoTL can change institutions (Mårtensson, Roxå, & Olsson, 2011) and transform cultures (Roxå & Mårtensson, 2015). This paper argues that such change requires simultaneously embracing the particular and transcendent nature of learning.
In building my argument, I appeal to a theoretical model of culture change found in the law. Legal cases, for example, are rooted in particular contexts involving particular players in complex relationships, but the legitimacy of any legal decision depends on legal concepts that transcend the particular case at hand. Waldron (1994) argues that the vagueness of important legal concepts (e.g., liberty, fairness) allows them to be adapted to particular legal questions (e.g., university speech codes, intellectual property). Moreover, vagueness can transform legal culture because it necessitates dialogue over how the concepts are understood across the community and how they are used to justify particular decisions. Likewise, important learning concepts (e.g., critical thinking, integrative learning) are developed both within a particular context (e.g., classroom, lab, co-curricular experience) and across courses and programs. Like important legal concepts, important learning concepts have both shape (e.g., not everything counts as critical thinking) and flexibility (e.g., critical thinking can differ in the arts, business, chemistry, and so forth). As in the law, the vague nature of these important learning concepts necessitates dialogue over how the many players in complex relationships understand the particular and transcendent qualities of learning across those communities. In much the same way that dialogue about important legal concepts can transform legal culture, I argue that embracing the particular and transcendent character of learning can transform a culture of learners across programs, institutions, and beyond.
Marshall Sundberg, Catrina Adams, Joseph Taylor
PlantingScience is a mentoring program where small teams of secondary school or college students conduct investigations on a variety of plant biology themes while collaborating online with scientist mentors. Established in 2005, PlantingScience was developed by the Botanical Society of America and is supported by partnership with 18 other plant science organizations to form an inclusive culture of learning where scientists can share with students their passion for plants and science, model the way scientists think and solve problems, and break down negative stereotypes about who scientists are and how science is done. Digging Deeper is an extension of PlantingScience that provides collaborative professional development for secondary school teachers and early-career scientist mentor liaisons participating in the “Power of Sunlight” photosynthesis and respiration PlantingScience investigation theme. Digging Deeper is also a research study to determine the efficacy of the Digging Deeper professional development with subsequent participation in PlantingScience.org for improving students’ understanding of photosynthesis and respiration and students’ attitudes about scientists. Digging Deeper employs a cluster randomized trial design with biology teachers randomly assigned to treatment (Digging Deeper plus PlantingScience) and comparison conditions (Business as Usual). A pre-piloted 26-item multiple choice achievement test was administered to students pre- and post-intervention, along with an attitude scale with 10 Likert scale items covering students’ attitudes toward scientists. The analytic sample included 64 teachers (27 treatment; 37 comparison) and 1535 students (514 treatment; 1021 comparison). Demographic and developmental indicators used in analyses were self-reported. Controlling for the effects of student and teacher-level covariates, the Digging Deeper program demonstrates a statistically significant positive impact on both student achievement and attitudes about science and scientists. Qualitative assessments of Digging Deeper include: workshop observations, post-workshop surveys and interviews, online discussion analyses, post-module implementation interviews, and mentor and liaison surveys. Both teachers and liaisons had positive perceptions of the workshops in encouraging discussion and interactions to form collaborative teams which help clarify not only how to teach the concepts, but also overcoming alternative conceptions relating to photosynthesis and respiration, recognized as highly resistant to change. Results suggest that inclusive learning communities connecting teachers, students, and scientists may be effective ways improve student outcomes in content knowledge and attitudes toward scientists. The model of asynchronous online mentoring and collaborative teacher/scientist professional development provided by PlantingScience could be used in other disciplines as a way to create bridges between existing learning communities.