Integrating Low Stake Formative and Summative Assessments into Teaching of Introduction to Computer Science for Continuous Improvement and Effectiveness Measurement
Abstract: High failure rate in the introductory programming courses of computer science (CS1) is a wellknown problem which is also believed to be the major reason in declining retention rates [15, 14]. On the other hand, it is reported that some students change their major from computer science in spite of good grades they earn in the first two programming courses . As a result, the Computer Science Education (CSE) community has identified the need to include various instructional teaching strategies and tools as part of course design to address students’ high failure rates in programming courses. In this paper, we propose a new model for teaching introductory programming course for large lecture and closed labs configuration using active learning techniques. Our primary studies confirm that a coherent lecture-lab model is very effective in first programming course in computer science (CS1). To achieve the desired coherency, we have developed our activities based on established theories such as Kolb’s learning model and Bloom’s Taxonomy (BT). The presentation of this work starts from analyzing few essential problems in students' learning of first programming course. Furthermore, we review our developed interventions or methods addressing the aforementioned problems. And finally, we propose our method which combines planning, evaluation and action together using Logic Model .
What Teaching PreK-12 Classroom Teachers Can Do for Teaching College Students: An Ethnography of Professors Leading Seminars in the Charlotte Teachers Institute
Scott R. Gartlan & Adriana L. Medina
Abstract: Recent program evaluation data on PreK-12 classroom teachers who completed the Charlotte Teachers Institute seminars indicates that program usefulness and empowerment levels for teachers is statistically significantly related to developing higher expectations for their students, increasing subject mastery, and creating materials to motivate their students. Little research has been done to understand the impact of CTI on those leading the professional development seminars: the college professors. This study proposes an ethnographic approach to evaluate the impact of CTI on professors over the course of 12 months. Furthermore, the question of how leading a CTI seminar is related to teaching an undergraduate course will be addressed. Given the inherent complexity of supporting curriculum development in the CTI program the theoretical foundation will draw upon work from Problem-Based Learning in an attempt to illustrate similarities and differences between teaching classroom teachers and college students. Through a series of direct observations and ethnographic interviews, three professors from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will be at the center of this 12-month project. Additionally, their students and teachers will take part in focus group interviews. This project intends (a) to illuminate a holistic picture of the processes and roles of professors in their effort to support the curriculum development writing process, (b) to determine how facilitating learning among teachers is related to teaching undergraduates, and (c) to document the evolution of professors in CTI over the course of 12 months.
Addressing Quality of Feedback and Fidelity of Scoring Within edTPA Formative Practice Tasks for COED Candidates
Laura Hart & Shawnee Wakeman
Abstract: UNC Charlotte is one of several institutions of higher education (IHEs) participating in edTPA, a pre-service teacher performance assessment developed by Stanford University. While North Carolina does not yet dictate the use of scores like those derived from edTPA in licensure decisions, recent legislative efforts are moving in that direction (it is anticipated this will occur in the 2019-2020 academic year). The College of Education has been proactive in how it addresses both formative and summative supports but formative feedback provided to students and scoring of formative products vary by program and instructor. The current project is designed to ensure that students receive both high quality specific feedback as well as accurate representative scoring on formative edTPA practice tasks within coursework. The goals of this project address increasing 1) the quality of feedback provided to candidates (including feedback regarding candidate use of written communication and critical thinking skills) and 2) the fidelity of scoring of formative products during coursework across instructors and programs.
Data analysis in spring 2017 on the current state of predictive validity of edTPA practice tasks to edTPA final scores will inform the development of training (implemented summer 2017) and a quality of feedback measure. Analysis of data collected from candidate formative and summative data in 2017-18 will be compared to data collected in 2016-17 to ascertain the impact of the training. Multiple measures will be considered, including the impact of the training on the quality of feedback candidates receive from faculty who participate.
Full Proposal: Addressing Quality of Feedback and Fidelity of Scoring Within edTPA Formative Practice Tasks for COED Candidates [PDF, 328 KB]
A Comparison of Student Learning and Engagement in Quality Matters Redesigned Versus Traditionally Designed Courses in an Online Nursing Program
Susan Lynch & Teresa Gaston
Abstract: The purpose of this one-year project is to evaluate the impact Quality Matters (QM) redesigned courses had on student learning and engagement in the RN-to-BSN program within the School of Nursing at UNC Charlotte. The QM program is a leader in quality, online education and has earned national recognition for such. It is widely used in higher education; however, nursing education research is lacking. This pilot study is a comparison of two Quality Matters redesigned courses versus two traditionally designed courses delivered 100% online. Student centered outcomes including student learning outcomes, student engagement, and quality of student online discussion forums will be measured. The data analysis will include descriptive statistics and parametric group comparisons. The results of this project will provide essential information to important stakeholders and nursing faculty regarding whether the QM program improves student centered outcomes, thus guiding next steps in online nursing education programs within UNC Charlotte and beyond. As online nursing education programs continue to explode in numbers, quality is becoming a significant key factor in online education.
Preservice Teachers as Writers: Examining the Self-Efficacy, Writing Processes, and Pedagogical Transference of Preservice Teachers
Brian Kissel & Erin Miller
Abstract: The central objective of this research project is to study how a specific classroom assignment that is focused on teaching undergraduates about the writing process can influence a) student self-efficacy related to writing, b) the transference of written communication knowledge to other courses, and c) student intentions to carry learning forward into future K-6 classrooms. The
assignment is called The Multigenre Project and this study will explore three key questions within the assignment:
- What effects does The Multigenre Project have on students’ self-efficacy related to writing? Specifically, how do students’ views of themselves as writers change from the beginning of the semester to the end of the semester as influenced by this project?
- What do students learn about writing process by completing The Multigenre Project?
- In what ways do students intend to carry their knowledge about writing gained from The Multigenre Project forward into their other courses at UNCC and into their future classrooms with K-6 students?
The questions will be addressed by collecting data that include: pre- and post-surveys, written reflections, and focus group interviews. Using a mixed methods approach (Creswell, 2007), we aim to quantitatively analyze surveys (Pinsonneault & Kraemer, 1993; Norland-Tilburg, 1990) and qualitatively code the written reflections and interviews using a grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss and Corbin, 1988).
This research will contribute to a knowledge base about curriculum innovation that influences students’ writing self-efficacy, increases knowledge about writing process, and students’ abilities to integrate writing skills and strategies into other UNCC courses and future K-6 classrooms.
Student and Faculty Perception of “Quality Matters” Certified Online Courses
Florence Martin, Ayesha Sadaf, Patti Wilkins, & Lynn Ahlgrim-Delzell
Abstract: Quality Matters (QM) is a nationally recognized, faculty-centered peer review process designed to certify the quality of blended/ online course design. Quality Matters has been adopted as the quality framework for online and hybrid courses at UNC Charlotte and faculty are being encouraged to work towards applying the 43 QM standards into their courses and receive QM certification to enhance quality in online learning. Twelve courses have been QM certified in 2015 and 2016 at UNC Charlotte and eight of those courses are from the instructional systems
As part of this SOTL project, a team of faculty from the Instructional Systems Technology and Educational Research programs would like to work on the following three goals 1) examine student perception on the QM certified courses in the IST program by conducting a survey based research study using Dillman tailored-design survey method 2) showcase QM certified courses and present the student perception data in workshops for other faculty on campus and 3) create a video repository including faculty and student benefits of engaging in a QM certified online. The results from this project will benefit the larger UNC Charlotte community of faculty who are interested in earning QM certification for their courses. The results will also benefit other universities who are interested in adopting QM as their quality matters framework.
Full Proposal: Student and Faculty Perception of “Quality Matters” Certified Online Courses [PDF, 1.3 MB]
Better Groups: Combining a Web-Based Tool with Teamwork Strategies to Foster Active Learning in Group Work
Abstract: While instructors turn to extended group work assignments to promote active learning in their courses, it can be difficult for instructors to manage this group work effectively. Instructors
often encounter challenges when organizing and scaffolding group work activities, promoting the social and emotional skills required for effective group work, and including student voices and
opinions on logistical matters such as choosing a topic or finding a mutually available meeting time. The purpose of this project is to evaluate the use of this tool used in conjunction with
intentional and focused group-work teaching strategies in the context of project-based assignments in social work education settings. To date, the primary investigator has developed a working prototype of a tool (see bettergroups.org for a description), which uses student’s voice, availability, and skills to assign students to optimal groups. The current SOTL project would combine the use of this group-assignment prototype tool with other non-web based strategies for enhancing group work, including 1) structured group teambuilding activities (teambuilding), 2) structuring both individual and group assignments within the overall project group (accountability), and 3) formative and summative assessment (evaluation). It is hypothesized that students who participate in courses that use this pedagogical approach will report increased skills for group work as compared to other classes in which they have participated in group work activities. The research generated from this project - as well as the web application itself - will be made available to UNCC and the broader public.
Full Proposal: Better Groups: Combining a Web-Based Tool with Teamwork Strategies to Foster Active Learning in Group Work [PDF, 946 KB]
Empowering the Future of Making to Catalyze STEM Learning Integrations and Innovations Across the Curriculum
Abstract: Growing numbers of learners are engaging in STEM practices and learning through various forms of “Making.” The Maker approach is fundamentally self-driven informal learning that
centers on personally meaningful projects using physical and digital fabrication tools, such as 3D printers, to design, prototype, and make creative physical products. Making often takes place in social contexts and places – Makerspaces – where learners can find shared tools, collaborators, and mentors. This project will study learning impacts of the recently established CCI Makerspace and related emerging Makerspaces on campus. The research is a re-orientation of perspective in STEM education to focus on student and faculty learning as enabled through the informal learning environment of our on-campus Makerspace. Our vision is to create a sustainable living laboratory for self-guided innovation that transforms students and faculty across disciplines from persons with an interest in individual creative STEM-related projects to persons with a STEM-based affinity identity  as Makers. This focus on design thinking will support learning benefits from cross-disciplinary interaction, particularly in interdisciplinary peer learning of STEM concepts, exposing non-STEM learners to STEM concepts, and disrupting traditional teacher-student roles. The project will study the interactions and impacts of an informal learning environment embedded in the campus context of formal learning programs. Results will help catalyze and sustain Maker transitions by identifying design patterns for learning  that emerge within the Makerspace, which can be applied more generally to foster synergetic interactions between formal and informal learning on campus.
Full Proposal: Empowering the Future of Making to Catalyze STEM Learning Integrations and Innovations Across the Curriculum [PDF, 1 MB]