Celebrating our Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Homegrown Scholars!

Goal Setting: Impact on students’ self-confidence and self-motivation
Jen Bird, Tammy Fanning, Allison Garver, and Nate Field, Student Affairs
During the fall of 2017, the instructors of IDS 130 sought to determine if students would report higher self-confidence and self-motivation after they learned and applied goal setting strategies. The students were taught strategies that focused on goal setting, activities included: DAPPS Rule (Dated, Achievable, Personal, Positive, Specific), 32 Day Commitment, Formula for Motivation (VxE=M), and the Four Quadrants (Acting on Purpose/Prioritizing). Students also completed a pre and post self-assessment survey from the textbook On Course (2017) which measured “self-motivation” and “believing in myself” as well as other components.

The methods used to collect data included the self-assessment surveys as well as qualitative data collected through self-reflective writing assignments. Preliminary findings of the aggregate data from four of the five courses (n =27) show a mean increase of 1.26 points in relation to “self-motivation” and a mean increase of 2.56 points in relation to “believing in self.” Preliminary results of the qualitative data show that the activities positively impacted the “self-motivation” and “belief in self” of nearly all students who participated in the study. The team will continue to evaluate the data and determine potential areas for future research.

What motivates our campus language learners? An exploration of directed motivational currents (DMC’s) in university students studying content in a second language
Kate Nolin-Smith, Writing and Library Science and English as a Second Language
My research question is “How does visualizing the end goals of speaking English impact motivation to learn and use it?” The course involved in this study was ESL 131 Reading, sec. L11 and L12, Fall 2017.

To get a holistic view, this research project used a mixed methods approach. Data collection included self-report Motivation Charts in which students indicated the level of motivation to use the additional language (English) each day. In addition to the charts, there were corresponding open-responses to elaborate on the reasons influencing the level of motivation for those days.

Based on the Motivation Chart responses and written explanations for motivation levels, the preliminary results indicate that very few students reported extended periods (more than 5 days in a row) of high or intense motivation to use the additional language. Furthermore, students reported to be more motivated by daily circumstances rather than an end goal for language usage.

Moving forward, I will survey my future students at the beginning of each semester to not only understand what is motivating them to improve their language skills but also to identify their specific end goals for using the additional language. I will also continue to use motivation charts each semester as a reflective tool for the students. However, instead of reflecting on the charts at the end of the semester, I plan to review them weekly to see “where my students are at” academically, socially, emotionally, and physically in order to better support their language acquisition as they work towards meeting their language end goals.

Cultivating a Growth Mindset in Visual Arts Students
Susan Maguire, Visual Arts
My SOTL project explores the question: What percentage of our students hold a fixed mindset when it comes to visual arts? While researching my topic, discussing it with SOTL colleagues, and designing a survey tool, I determined to concentrate on whether or not I could reveal information about students’ mindsets related to intelligence in general, artistic ability specifically, and work habits. Sixty students taking Visual Arts courses completed the survey. I am still analyzing the results but one preliminary conclusion is that most students generally hold a growth mindset. Indications for a growth mindset drops, however, on questions about art ability (talent) and work habits compared to questions about intelligence.

Do video lectures improve student assessment scores for distance learning students?
Nathan Anderson, Natural Sciences Department
Physical Science at UW-Superior (PHYS160) is a course with a wide range of topics that make it difficult for students, especially distance learning students, and difficult to find a text that addresses each area of content to the desired depth. Over 60 lecture videos (about 10 and a half hours of content) were created as the primary learning source, replacing the previous text. The students went through the same weekly agenda as previous semesters watching three to six videos instead of reading a chapter from the text and took the same four online exams. Student assessment scores did not show significant change. A knowledge pre-test/post-test did show an increase in performance, and perhaps more important, student qualitative responses were mostly positive supporting the watching and learning from videos over reading from a science textbook.

Examining a Cohort Model of Student Organization Training
Allison Garver, Student Involvement
Does participation in a cohort group enhance the experience of students in a training program? This year Student Involvement is piloting an optional leadership certificate program for student organization leaders/officers and student supervisors employed within Student Affairs. Twelve (12) students initially signed up for the training program, but only three (3) students have completed multiple workshops towards earning the leadership certificate.

The three active participants in the program completed a six-question survey to share the benefits, drawbacks, and perceptions of the cohort experience.
Overall the students preferred being part of a cohort training group (vs attending a one-time workshop). They found the environment to be welcoming and respectful with open communication. Participants gained new perspectives and strategies from each other by sharing leadership experiences. One downfall to this model, which was experienced at times by this group, is not having enough participants show up. With few group members, discussion and sharing ideas becomes difficult.
Through the information gained from the pilot program, Student Involvement will be looking to expand the leadership certificate program next year using cohort groups.

Teachers are: Metaphorical representations of effective teaching
Matt Ridenour, Teacher Education
What are the dominant teaching metaphors of pre-service educators? What do these metaphors reveal about pre-service educator perceptions, identity and approach to the classroom?

This research study utilized the Conceptual Metaphor Theory of Lakoff & Johnson (1980) within the conceptual analysis framework of Long & Richards (1999). Data was gathered from students in TED 339, all of whom were pre-service K-12 educators at the time. As a course assignment, students were prompted to complete the sentence “Effective teachers are” and elaborate on their metaphor in written form. Data was then synthesized using the aforementioned theoretical and analytical framework. The study was approved by the UW-Superior IRB under protocol #1400. The initial findings indicate that these particular pre-service educators see effective teaching as an intentional act and a teacher-driven struggle. These gestalt characteristics are pervasive across metaphors and may well be predictive of future teaching-style and classroom approach.

People have the right to make bad decisions
Mandy Lilly, Human Behavior, Justice and Diversity (Social Work)
This study examines how social work students apply and interpret the concept of client self-determination. Conducted through an assignment within Social Work 341: Individual Casework, students were asked to review four case studies and decide upon a course of action. They were then asked to reflect on the influences of their decisions. Preliminary results show the influence of family, life experiences, and strong values of independence, duty, and safety as impacting their decision-making. Though students understand the practical definition of self-determination, they are ultimately influenced by the filter of their life experiences and values.

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