Respond to the Seminar: Using Service-Learning (S-L) Pedagogy: A Workshop for Faculty and Administrators

Use this space to continue the dialogue about this workshop. Leave a reply below.

CELTUA/WebEx Seminar: Using Service-Learning (S-L) Pedagogy: A Workshop for Faculty and Administrators

Date: Friday, April 18, 2014
Time: 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
Place: 320 Laws Hall
RSVP to: CELTUA ( by Thursday, April 17, 2014
Presented by: Kathy McMahon-Klosterman, Educational Psychology (retired) and Disability Studies; Jessica Weasner, Community Engagement & Service.

Service-learning (S-L) is an experiential pedagogical practice that uses action and reflection to meet needs and enhance learning through mutually beneficial, reciprocal partnerships. This workshop will explain the history of Service-learning at Miami, support faculty in identifying S-L connections for a course, and explore the advantages to faculty, students, and community. Faculty are invited to bring a course syllabus they might consider for S-L inclusion. Participants will hear the experiences of faculty who have done service-learning and explore the “toolkit” available to assist faculty.

Kathy McMahon-Klosterman is retired from the Department of Educational Psychology and is teaching full-time this semester in the Office of Disability Studies. She has served as Associate Director of MU Affirmative Action and as Eminent Faculty Scholar for Service-Learning and Community Engagement. Kathy worked with Monica Ways (Community Engagement & Service) to have service-learning designations on student transcripts and service-learning recognized for promotion and tenure. Kathy believes that knowledge carries responsibility, so she has engaged students in service-learning since 1976.

Jessie Weasner is the assistant director in the Office of Community Engagement and Service at Miami University. Jessie coordinates service-learning courses, provides oversight to the America Reads and America Counts tutoring programs, and serves as the advisor to the Adopt A School program. She works with students, faculty/staff and community members to ensure that mutually beneficial partnerships are developed and maintained. Jessie previously directed the Winter Term in Service program at DePauw University, a global service immersion program that takes place during the university’s Winter Term. Jessie is currently pursuing her PhD in Student Affairs and Higher Education at Miami University, focusing on service-learning.


Six Graduate Programs Complete Full-Cycle Assessment—Lessons Learned

Compiled by Cecilia Shore, CELTUA Director, and Masela Obade, CELTUA Assessment Coordinator

Graduate programs at Miami have made notable gains in planning and implementing program-level assessment of their student learning outcomes (SLOs). To date, all graduate programs have designed an assessment plan, and several others have collected and analyzed their data and are well on their way to completion. But perhaps most impressive, by December 2013, six programs had completed a full-cycle assessment and submitted an assessment report. This is a commendable achievement considering that graduate programs have until May 2014 to complete a full-cycle assessment, which includes at least four steps: creating an assessment plan, collecting and analyzing data, discussing and reflecting on the findings as a faculty and recommending any necessary changes, and compiling and submitting a report of this activity. These programs are the Master’s in Kinesiology, Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Ph.D. in Student Affairs Higher Education, Master’s in Student Affairs Higher Education, Master’s in Philosophy, and Master’s in Political Science. This article highlights some of the lessons learned by the six graduate programs, including students’ achievement of program-level SLOs, students’ perceptions of their own learning within the context of their programs, and faculty recommendations for improving their programs and student learning therein.
Broadly speaking, the assessment reports submitted by these programs show that faculty members are engaging in reflective practice. Not only are they looking at patterns of strengths and weaknesses in their findings with regard to student learning, they are also rethinking their pedagogy and, subsequently, adjusting their programs. The Master’s in Kinesiology and Health (KNH) faculty serve as an example of examining the quality of their students’ learning. They observed that their students are making progress toward asking their own questions and pursuing answers, which is an element of inquiry based learning that is, in itself, a “best practice” in student learning. The faculty noted that students are “developing their inquiry-based skills in our research methods course, through publications and presentations, and through their exit projects.” Furthermore, in their report, KNH faculty reiterated that “through these experiences, most students are able to develop a satisfactory introduction, methods, and procedure.” It is also encouraging to hear what the students are saying about their courses. Faculty reported that students indicate on their course evaluations and through a focus group at the end of the year that their course experiences are helping them develop as professionals.
Master’s in Philosophy faculty members serve as an example of using assessment information to make specific recommendations aimed at improving student learning. They agree that it is good practice to share with students in their graduate classes the rubric on which they will be assessed, and that they should be more explicit in communicating the writing outcomes for the program to their students. Also, in their assessment report, the Master’s in Philosophy faculty argued that “students should know that there is a direct relation between the quality of their writing and their preparedness for further work in a Ph.D. program.” This example suggests that assessment is opening up opportunities for faculty to help students make more tangible connections between Master’s-level skills and their utility for future work.
Within the Student Affairs in Higher Education Master’s and Ph.D. programs, faculty have learned, as a result of their assessment, that their students “have a strong understanding of the theories that inform their work, as well as how those theories inform their respective practice.” Additionally, they also appreciate the fact that their students undergo much personal transformation as a result of these programs and develop toward “operating from an internal foundation that benefits their practice.” However, the faculty also noted some deficiencies, reporting that “students need the most work on understanding how to integrate inquiry into their practice, as well as how to communicate their ideas in the most effective way possible.” The faculty, in response, bolstered their commitment to rethink aspects of their inquiry curriculum, as well as to focus intentionally on providing more support for students to develop their writing skills.
Understandably, for some of these programs, the initial round of assessment was a preliminary exercise, which, as one program’s faculty noted, revealed useful but inconclusive results. The faculty for the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program observed that as their newly revised doctoral program finishes its first year, assessment data show that their students are meeting the learning objectives of the doctoral program. This, they said, was evidenced in the comprehensive exams process results. This is an encouraging piece of evidence when one considers that a comprehensive exam is one of the culminating experiences of graduate work and speaks to the students’ achievement and abilities at the point of degree attainment. From another perspective, to underscore the effectiveness of the program’s coursework, the faculty also noted that their “informal” assessment data of course evaluations show that students are finding the core doctoral courses to be valuable. According to the report, this was particularly the case in the areas of “increased understanding of material” and “analyzing problems and issues.” Moving forward, the Ph.D. in Educational Leadership program intends, as they enter the second year of their revised doctoral program, to initiate another part of their assessment process. This phase, they say, will be based on their doctoral preliminary examination, and the faculty are hopeful that it will present them with another insightful opportunity “to discern the quality of our program and students’ work within it.” Besides, in keeping with a culture of continuous improvement, the faculty also plan to revise their preliminary exam process to ensure that it is a high-quality assessment tool for students and faculty in the Ph.D. program.
Taken together, the assessment reports from the six programs were inspiring. They underscored the effort and thought that faculty members continue to put into assessing student achievement and the programs’ commitment to their students’ learning and professional progress. We look forward to reviewing additional assessment reports from other graduate programs and hope that assessment continues to be a useful endeavor, one that is informative in revealing successes as well as any deficiencies that call for improvement.


Respond to the Seminar: A Year of Free Tools: An FLC’s Exploration of Their Uses in Higher Education

Use this space to continue the dialogue about this workshop. Leave a reply below.

Date: Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Place: 320 Laws Hall
RSVP to: CELTUA ( by Monday, April 14, 2014

Presented by Members of the Faculty Learning Community on the Exploration of Free Tools in Higher Education

In this seminar, our Faculty Learning Community (FLC) will share several of the free technologies that we have explored this year. FLC members, who represent faculty and staff from across Miami University, will demonstrate a variety of technologies—all of which are free and easy-to-learn—that can enhance faculty and staff’s teaching, productivity, and efficacy. FLC members will share use cases for several free technologies, provide examples of how we have implemented some of the tools, and answer questions about the tools we examined. The FLC facilitators will also speak about the process our FLC used for determining and evaluating the technologies we covered.

The Faculty Learning Community on the Exploration of Free Tools in Higher Education is comprised of nine interdisciplinary faculty, staff, and graduate students who have spent the last eight months exploring a variety of free technologies. With a broad array of disciplines and various technical abilities, we have been meeting with a single goal in mind—how to leverage technology to advance learning and our work in higher education.


Support for International Students (and All Students) Available From MU Libraries and the Howe Writing Center

Resources for International Students are available from the Miami University libraries. These resources include research guides, video tutorials, and digital translators for checkout. For more information, contact Katie Gibson, MU libraries (

The Howe Writing Center ( offers a “Student Review of Assignments” service that allows instructors to get feedback on their assignments from trained undergraduate student consultants. To learn more, see


Respond to the Seminar: Teaching International Students—Library and Writing

Use this space to continue the dialogue about this workshop. Leave a reply below.

Date: Friday, April 11, 2014
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Place: 320 Laws Hall
RSVP to:CELTUA ( by Thursday, April 10, 2014
Presented by Katie Gibson, Miami University Libraries; and Lucy Manley, International Programs Specialist and ESL Instructor

The increasing number of international students on Miami’s campuses brings both opportunities and challenges. Faced with students whose first language is not English, and who are learning U.S. academic structures and expectations while simultaneously improving their linguistic abilities, faculty may question their established teaching practices, especially in the areas of research and writing assignments. In this discussion-based seminar, university librarian Katie Gibson and Lucy Manley, international programs specialist from the Howe Writing Center, share what they’ve learned from working with international students about their research and writing strategies, concerns, and frustrations, and then offer suggestions. The seminar will end with questions and discussions on how we might best support international student research and writing.

Katie Gibson is a Humanities Librarian who provides research instruction to courses for international students.

Lucy Manley, International Programs Specialist and ESL Instructor, joined Miami University in September 2010. At the Howe Writing Center, she is responsible for academic programming for international students and training Howe consultants to work with Miami’s international population. In the English Department, Lucy teaches first-year composition for international students.


Service-Learning Featured in the New Issue of the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching

Journal Cover shrunkThe new issue of the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching (, Volume 25, number 1 (2014), focuses on Teaching for Civic Engagement. As guest editor C. Lee Harrington, Miami University, describes it

“As old debates continue to rage and new ones emerge, it is heartening to remind ourselves of the breadth and depth of the conversation devoted to the role of education in civic engagement. For example, National Campus Compact, founded in 1985 and the largest national organization of college and university presidents and chancellors (1,100+) pledged to the public purpose(s) of higher education, announced in their recently issued 2014 Strategic Plan and Beyond that they are bringing added focus to several core priorities over the next five years (
“This special issue of the Journal on Excellence in College Teaching advances our knowledge of civic engagement and service-learning by addressing the debates summarized above and/or the strategic priorities of Campus Compact.”

The articles in this issue are:

Lessons in Citizenship: Using Collaboration in the Classroom to Build Community, Foster Academic Integrity, and Model Civic Responsibility
A. E. Biswas

Solving Real Community Problems to Improve the Teaching of Public Affairs
A. Yaghi & M. Alibeli

Teaching Evidence-Based Practice in Service-Learning: A Model for Education and Service
J. D. Terry et al.

The Impact of a Service-Learning Experience in Mentoring At-Risk Youth
L. Wasburn-Moses et al.

Service-Learning Through Partnership With a Community High School: Impact on Minority Health Science Students
S. M. Saleh & K. H. Hamed

Speak Out Loud: Deconstructing Shame and Fear Through Theater in a Community-Based Service-Learning Project
K. Vázquez

Teaching Diversity Through Service-Learning: An Integrative Praxis Pedagogical Approach
J. S. Rice & T. Horn

Service-Learning: A Tool to Develop Employment Competencies for College Students
A. J. Ramson

Access to the electronic Journal is free to all Miami faculty and staff from on campus, courtesy of CELTUA. Click “Issue Archive” to access all issues of the Journal published since its inception in 1990; to locate teaching and learning topics you wish to research, click on “Search Archive.”

For information about submitting manuscripts or other inquiries, click “Submitting Manuscripts” on the website ( or contact Gregg Wentzell, Managing Editor, at the Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching, and University Assessment, Miami University, Oxford, OH 45056 (telephone: 513-529-9265; e-mail:

Enjoy reading, and watch for the next issue of the Journal (volume 25, number 2), due out in late spring 2014.


Reminder: Don’t Forget to Register for and Attend the Alumni Teaching Scholars Symposium

Date: Monday, March 31, 2014
Time: 8:45am to 12:50pm
Place: Heritage, Benjamin Harrison, Anna Symmes, Caroline Scott, and Bystrom Reid Rooms, Shriver Center

CELTUA and the members of the Alumni Teaching Scholars invite you to a symposium showcasing the work of this faculty learning community for early-career faculty. Join your colleagues for interactive sessions about their innovative teaching projects. There will be three 40-minute concurrent session time blocks. The list of presenters and sessions is as follows:

9:05 – 9:45am concurrent sessions:

The Impact of Teaching Methods on Undergraduate Women in Philosophy
Kristina Gehrman, Philosophy

Addressing Anxiety and Learning Outcomes During the Transition of a Course to Online Delivery
Thomas Mays, Business Technology

10:05 – 10:45am concurrent sessions:

Effects of Elements of Course Organization on Student Learning
Heidi Ewen, Sociology and Anthropology

Improving Learning by Having Students Conduct Online Research to Prepare for Class
Jonathan Grenier, Accountancy

10:05 – 10:45am concurrent sessions:

Using Student Feedback to Evaluate the Effectiveness of “Place-Based” Learning Exercises in Urban Field Experience Classes
Damon Scott, Geography

Impact of a Creative and Collaborative Laboratory Activity on First-Year STEM Students
Yasmin Jessa, Chemistry

Mastering Philosophic Concepts through Use and Application
Keith Fennen, Philosophy

A complimentary luncheon (provided by CELTUA) will be served at 11:50am.

Additional information and the online registration form can be found at:

Please RSVP online by Thursday, March 27th.


Results of CELTUA’s Survey of Miami Faculty Members’ Professional Development Needs

In fall 2013, CELTUA requested Miami faculty members’ help to learn what pre-tenured/promoted faculty need for professional development. The survey asked what existing services faculty had made use of, what skills they believed were important for junior faculty, what were the most useful format(s) for programming, and what rewards they felt would be most meaningful.

To view the results of the survey, see the attached Final Faculty Orientation and Professional Development Survey Results Brief.

Among other useful ideas, this input has been helpful in planning a revised faculty orientation program for summer 2014.

CELTUA is grateful that Miami faculty were willing to share their experiences, concerns, and suggestions with us as a way to help serve them better.


CELTUA’s Website Recognized Nationally

The CELTUA website has been recognized as a “Featured Website” by the National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA). The “Featured Website” designation is “intended to point others to promising practices in innovative and transparent online communication of student learning outcomes assessment.” Criteria for selection include a website’s Communication, Creativity, and effectiveness as a Centralized Assessment Repository. The CELTUA site was chosen in the first and third categories.
A summary of what NILOA says about the website is as follows:
“Miami University’s Center for the Enhancement of Learning, Teaching, and University Assessment (CELTUA) website provides a wealth of information on assessment activities at Miami University. The site includes assessment success stories, in which Miami faculty briefly address their experiences developing and assessing student learning outcomes within their respective departments. The Student Success Plan page features links to Miami’s general education learning outcomes and descriptions of the projects intended to address these outcomes, as well as a list of learning outcomes within individual majors and information on Miami’s assessment of student engagement.”

To read the full article, please visit


Respond to the Seminar: Reflecting FLC: Lecturers and Clinical Professionally Licensed Faculty and the Engaged University

Use this space to continue the dialogue about this workshop. Leave a reply below.

CELTUA Seminar: Reflecting FLC: Lecturers and Clinical Professionally Licensed Faculty and the Engaged University

Date: Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Time: 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Place: 320 Laws Hall

Presented by: Jennifer Green, Psychology; Janelle Sikorski, Geology and Environmental Earth Science; Heeyoung Tai, Chemistry & Biochemistry; and Peter Wessels, Psychology.

Research on the experiences and effectiveness of faculty off the tenure track has traditionally lumped part-time faculty, full-time faculty with terminal contracts, and continuing full-time faculty together under the broad heading of non-tenure-track (NTT) faculty. As a result, a confusing and often unflattering view of NTT faculty has emerged, particularly with regard to the impact of these positions on Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs). In this seminar, we will highlight the role that Lecturers and Clinical/Professionally-Licensed (LCPL) faculty play in support of positive SLOs at Miami University. We will examine the specific conditions that make these continuing full-time positions different from other NTT positions, provide an overview of existing and comparative policies that govern LCPL faculty, report qualitative and quantitative data from two recent surveys of LCPL faculty, and facilitate a discussion of best practices for maximizing the potential of these positions.