October 2 – 5, 2013
Raleigh Convention Center
North Carolina
Critical Transitions in Teaching and Learning

All-Day Workshops (9:00 AM – 4:30 PM)

Lost and Found in a Wonderland of Mobile Learning (Rochelle Rodrigo)

There are a number of statistics demonstrating the growing ownership patterns of web-enabled mobile devices:

  • as of September 2012, 45% of American adults own smartphones (Raine, 2012, p. 2) with more “average” college aged adult ownership in even higher: 18-29 years = 66%;
  • “[m]ost students come to campus with multiple technology devices – a majority of students own about a dozen” (Dahlstrom, et. al, 2011, p. 4): 87% arrive with laptops, 62% with iPods, 55% with smartphones, 11% with netbooks, 8% with an iPad or other tablet (p. 7); and
  • although “e-reader and iPad ownership is more prevalent among more affluent students” (p. 7), Pew reports both Black (49%), and Hispanic (49%) smartphone ownership is higher than White (45%) (Smith, 2012, p. 4).

Especially with the support of ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), there are many books and scholarly studies supporting the use of mobile devices in K-12 settings (for example: Kolb 2008 & Kolb 2011). Studies from settings in higher education are just starting to emerge in peer-reviewed journals.

However, the call for robust digital learning in high education is not new. Many educational organizations produce lists and policy statements that include things like:
  • using technology to gather, analyze, and synthesize information (ASCD, 2008; Association of Colleges and Research Libraries, 2000; Council of Writing Program Administrators [CWPA], 2008; National Council of Teachers of English [NCTE], 2008; & Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2011) as well as
  • describe, explain, and persuade with technology (Conference on College Composition and Communication, 2004; CWPA, 2008; Intel, n.d.; NCTE, 2005; NCTE 2008; & Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2011).

And although recent studies show students may be ready for mobile learning (Cheon, Lee, Crooks & Song 2012), students still say “they are not fully confident that they have the technology skills to meet their needs” (Dahlstrom, de Boor, Grunwald, & Vockley, 2011, p. 20).

As personal, high-powered computing devices, mobile devices have the ability to help instructors continue to design increasingly active learning lessons and projects into their curriculum. These devices not only allow students to record and produce multimodal products, but can also allow research minded teachers to collect multimodal evidence of their teaching, and student learning. To help faculty explore these possibilities, this 6 hour workshop focuses on

exploring how and why to use mobile devices in teaching and learning,
constructing mobile learning activities and assignments, and
designing SOTL projects to assess mobile teaching and learning.


After participating in this event participants will be able to:

  • experiment with different mobile devices to explore what types of activities the device might enable;
  • design methods for incorporating mobile devices into class assignments;
  • discuss ways to address issues of technological access and support;
  • discuss the philosophical shift of allowing students to construct their own learning experiences out in the "real" world; and
  • design methods for assessing mobile learning activities in teaching and learning.

A variety of information and interactive methods will be used:

  • Subscribing to and using various web and mobile applications.
  • Working through activities at different stations to explore different activities facilitated with mobile devices.
  • Discussing how and why mobile technologies might better facilitate learning.
  • Synthesizing mobile generated materials to help reflect upon the activities and learning.
  • Completing and workshopping/peer-reviewing graphic organizers to help design mobile learning lesson and assessment plans.


(Workshop participants should bring their own mobile devices.)

The workshop will be broken into two parts. During the first half of the day, this event will provide participants with a variety of activities for exploring how to use different mobile devices in different teaching and learning scenarios. Participants will be assigned various roles dependent on the functionality of their mobile devices and then broken up into groups accordingly. Participants will be given prompts to locate the four stations that will be set up around the conference site. While completing the activities at the stations, participants will discuss and reflect upon ways they might incorporate mobile technologies into their classes. Specifically participants will use mobile devices for content delivery, content learning, and learning assessment activities. Some specific technologies participants will engage with include GPS navigation, QR code reading, and collecting raw digital materials (text, sound, images & video) for future multimedia productions. The goals of the first half of the event are to make faculty comfortable with, and knowledgeable about using mobile devices in teaching and learning.

During the second half of the event participants will develop lesson plans for incorporating mobile learning into a current course. They will workshop their plans with one another. We will then discuss methods for assessing the new lesson plans, including using mobile devices themselves as a part of the assessment method. Specifically, participants will articulate learning objectives for their lesson plans and then discuss and use graphic organizers to help develop methods for assessing the objectives. We’ll use Glassick, Huber, and Maeroff’s criteria for designing SOTL projects: identifying clear goals, completing adequate preparation, designing and implementing appropriate methods, analyzing significant results, sharing effective presentations, and conducting reflective critique.

Investigating Student Learning in Service-Learning: Cognitive Development, Academic Learning, Civic Learning, and Intercultural Competence (Patti H. Clayton, Kathleen E. Edwards, Tara Hudson, and Jessica Katz Jameson)

The primary goal of this pre-conference workshop is to support participants in designing or refining approaches to investigating student learning in service-learning. Toward this end we will a) facilitate exchange of ideas, questions, and methods related to investigating student learning in service-learning among participants and b) share and invite application and critique of recent work that assembles theories, measurement approaches, and research questions related to a range of student learning outcomes and processes in service-learning. Although the context for the discussion will be service-learning, the workshop will be of value to practitioner-scholars of any pedagogy who wish to think systematically about and design theory-grounded SoTL.

Service-learning “involves the integration of academic material, relevant community-based service activities, and critical reflection in a reciprocal partnership that engages students, faculty/staff, and community members to achieve academic, civic, and personal [growth] learning objectives as well as to advance public purposes (Bringle & Clayton, 2012, p. 105). An international community of practitioner-scholars has, for over a decade, focused attention improving the quality of research on service-learning as a means to improve practice, enhance learning and service outcomes, and build a knowledge base related to innovative pedagogical and partnership processes and to the emerging engagement movement in education.

The recently released 2-volume set Research on Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Assessment (Clayton, Bringle, & Hatcher, Eds., 2013) gathers, critiques, and advances theory-grounded research on service-learning in higher education in the arenas of student outcomes, faculty, community, institutions, and partnerships. This workshop will be co-facilitated by NC-based authors who contributed chapters on research related to the student outcomes of cognitive development, academic learning, civic learning, and intercultural competence. The authors have facilitated multiple conference sessions related to investigating student learning in service-learning; three have been engaged in SL-SoTL projects for many years, and two of these are internationally known service-learning practitioner-scholars and consultants.

The workshop will engage participants in the development or refinement of a SL-SoTL project investigating student learning in one of four categories: cognitive development, academic learning, civic learning, and intercultural competence. Specifically, participants will:

  • identify questions related to student learning in the category of interest
  • discuss theoretical/conceptual frameworks that can inform a precise conceptualization of learning goals in that category (e.g., what do I mean by “civic learning” or “intercultural competence”?)
  • examine methods that have been and could be used in such inquiry, including critical reflection
  • design critical reflection to generate and assess student learning
  • explore approaches to collaborating with community members and students in SL-SoTL

To enhance and focus collaboration during the workshop, registered participants will receive in advance and be asked to review two readings:

  1. “Research on Service Learning: An Introduction”  (Chapter 1.1 of Research on Service Learning)
  2. Their choice among four chapters in Research on Service Learning, each of which is focused on research in one particular category of learning in service-learning (i.e., cognitive development, academic learning, civic learning, and intercultural competence).

Working agenda

Part I:
  • Orientation to the workshop
  • Review conceptual models for service-learning and for research
  • Apply rubrics to sample student reflection products to experience an approach to investigating learning in service-learning; discuss that approach as an example SL-SoTL project, including a model for integrated course design that can serves as a strong context for SoTL
  • Introduce questions to guide the design of a SoTL project (for use throughout the session)

Part 2: In category-based groups (i.e., cognitive development, academic learning, civic learning, and intercultural competence)

  • Introductions, including previous/current SL-SoTL projects and interests
  • Discuss theoretical/conceptual frameworks that can inform a precise conceptualization of learning goals in that category
  • Share, generate, and refine questions related to student learning in that category

Part 3: Discuss methods for investigating student learning outcomes and associated processes in service-learning

Part 4:

  • Examine use of critical reflection in SL-SoTL, focusing on the DEAL Model as an example
  • Within category-based groups, a) design critical reflection prompts that are aligned with learning goals and that generate assessable products and b) draft rubrics

Part 5:

  • Strategize approaches to collaborating with community members and students in SL-SoTL
  • Discuss connections between investigating student learning and other outcomes of service-learning

Part 6: Revisit questions to guide the design of a SoTL project

At the conclusion of the workshop participants will be able to:
  1. Identify colleagues in the session with whom they may wish to collaborate in a SoTL project investigating student learning in service-learning
  2. Explain one or more questions about student learning in service-learning that they could investigate through a SoTL project
  3. Provide examples of and explain one or more theoretical/conceptual frameworks that inform their understanding of their learning goals
  4. Express learning goals in assessable language
  5. Compare and contrast various methods for assessing student learning
  6. Design critical reflection activities to generate, deepen, and document learning
  7. Assess learning documented in reflection products using rubrics
  8. Provide examples of ways to involve multiple stakeholders in assessment
  9. Design SoTL projects to investigate student learning in service-learning (and/or other pedagogies)

Symposium on the Digital Humanities, SoTL, and Undergraduate Education (Phillip M. Motley and Amanda Sturgill)

Within the realm of scholarly communication and the digital humanities, there has been a strong emphasis on preserving historic and cultural artifacts and in making those artifacts easily accessible to those who might wish to use them. The online archive model can work well for scholars and, sometimes, for casual users seeking to answer specific questions or gain access to specific resources. What about, though, the value of the digital humanities in the classroom, especially at the undergraduate level?

There have been some interesting attempts at trying to integrate digital humanities into undergraduate learning, but these projects have tended to be single case study, single class or single campus initiatives, which limits their generalizability. Furthermore, many traditional humanities departments are struggling to understand how digital tools and technologies can be of real benefit to their curriculum (Kirschenbaum, 2010). In order for research in the digital humanities to reach a broad audience, we believe that we must find ways to extend the conversations (and their implications) beyond the confines of individual courses, programs and campuses. Collaboration of faculty, staff and students is a central goal of our approach and is the driving reason for our proposal of a pre-conference symposium focused on assessing the undergraduate educational value of the digital humanities.

We are proposing this symposium as a way to extend conversations about the digital humanities to the global SoTL community. The digital humanities, while not an entirely new area of research, is, an area that hasn’t been thoroughly explored by the SoTL community. The digital humanities is an important initiative as it brings relevant technology to bear on a field that is ripe for new modes of exploration, research and scholarship. A primary outcome of this symposium, then, will be a set of defined initiatives and projects that participants agree to collaborate on over the following year. Participants in each collaborative group will be encouraged to “report” back to the symposium participants and to the ISSOTL community by presenting at the following year’s conference in 2014.

The symposium itself will consist of an intense day of work supported by pre- and post-participation online. Attendees will have the ability to submit project proposals in advance of the symposium and to further develop them in a participatory wiki via input from others. During the first half of the symposium, a panel of keynote speakers will frame the discussion, followed by Ignite-style project pitches, in person; in the case of off-site participants, through pre-submitted video. After the pitches, participants will be able to talk with each project proposer. They will then have the opportunity to join a working group around a proposal of their choice for collaboration and further development of ideas.

After a break for lunch, during the second half of the symposium, each working group will meet to further discuss the proposed project’s initiatives and to develop models for how to collaborate and execute the project over the following year.  Finally, each group will present their ideas for discussion, review and critique to a panel of experts and the audience. The panel will provide ideas and motivation for carrying the projects forward.

A central aspect of our proposal is to involve students in this symposium. We will recruit graduate students interested in the convergence of the humanities and technology to participate by joining one of the working groups such that each group has at least one student member. The students will be able to act as representatives of the perspective of students in general and will be able to consult with their working group as to the value they see in the various approaches to classroom/curricular implementation of the digital humanities. After the session, the students will continue to be members of the working groups, and will seek out and bring in opinions from other students into the process.

As an assessment of the projects, each working group will be encouraged to submit either the finished results of their collaborative projects or a report of the group’s work in progress as a paper or poster presentation for the next year’s ISSOTL conference.

The session will meet immediately prior to the 2013 ISSOTL conference and will be hosted by ISSOTL and Elon University. A planning team including faculty from Elon University in the fields of communication technology and the digital humanities is collaborating with experts in the digital humanities from institutions including Vanderbilt University, Georgetown University, Gallaudet University and North Carolina State University to propose this pre-conference symposium.

In summary, this project would enable large-scale trial and assessment of projects related to using digital humanities archives in undergraduate education.

The keynote for the pre conference will be Bill Deal of Case Western University, who is the  Associate Director for Digital Humanities at the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences at Case Western.

The planning committee includes Chris Anson from NC State University, Bill Hart-Davidson from Michigan State University, Beth Marquis from McMaster University, and Phillip Motley, Amanda Sturgill, and Peter Felten from Elon University.


Kirschenbaum, M. (2010). What is digital humanities and what’s it doing in English departments? ADE Bulletin, 150, 55-61.

Peer-Review Assessment of teaching using Teaching Portfolios as the Central Document (Thomas Olsson, Torgny Roxa, Katarina Winka, Anders Ahlberg, Maria Larsson, and Katarina Martensson)

In this workshop we will explore the nature of teaching portfolios as important qualitative documents in peer-review assessment of teaching. Participants will actively work with and share ideas with each other and the workshop leaders in relation to the important questions of how to document and verify the quality of the teaching practice using teaching portfolios, and what procedures and methods could be used in a systematic and scholarly peer-review based assessment of teaching. The discussions will be contrasted against traditions from different countries and findings from the higher education research literature (Chalmers 2011; Trigwell 2001; Kreber 2002; Magin 1998; Olsson & Roxå 2008; Olsson & Roxå 2013).

During the workshop authentic teaching portfolios (mainly from Sweden) will be used as case studies and the participants will analyse and assess them. We will also give the participants an opportunity to share their own experiences of writing and assessing teaching portfolios and they will get feed-back from the workshop leaders as well as other participants. As workshop leaders we have extensive experiences of supporting teachers’ writing of teaching portfolios by leading courses and workshops, and through academic consulting. We have assessed a large amount of teaching portfolios in the process of appointment, promotion or awarding teaching excellence in different Swedish universities and in other European countries. Our experiences also include education of external experts capable of assessing teaching portfolios. This is highlighted in a national course that has been given on three occasions at Uppsala University and Gothenburg University, with Umeå University as the course manager (Winka et al. 2012). We build our experience on empirical data including more than 200 teaching portfolios written by teachers from different subjects, faculties and universities, mainly in Sweden, as part of applications for appointment, promotion or teaching awards.

We strongly support the view that a teaching portfolio should be a document where the reflected practice is in the foreground (Schön 1983; Olsson & Roxå 2013). Theoretical knowledge and reasoning is of course important but in this context it is only relevant to support and develop the teaching practice (Shulman 1986; Roxå et al. 2008). The complexity of teaching strongly influences how teaching portfolios should be written as well as the assessment process. Participants will be invited to use and discuss a model (Olsson & Roxå 2012; Olsson & Roxå 2013) that describes our view of teaching. The actual teaching practice, as it supports student learning, is of course fundamental. In addition to this we claim that the development of the teaching practice is dependent on the teacher’s ability to observe his or her teaching and the learning of the students, to understand the observations made using theoretical knowledge, and to make further plans for development of the teaching practice. We argue for teachers’ observations of teaching and student learning, together with reflected theoretical reasoning, to be especially important (Olsson & Roxå 2012). In the workshop we will emphasise the significance of how to evaluate the complexity of teachers’ scholarly reflections in relation to their teaching practice.

In the workshop we will discuss our experiences from a national Swedish perspective, and broaden the discussions, together with the participants, to an international level. Although local and national traditions can differ a great deal, a common perspective based in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning can be used as a starting point and a common ground for fruitful discussions. There is an emerging national Swedish consensus about the basis for assessment of teaching including: the teacher’s focus on student learning; the teacher’s clear development over time; and the teacher’s scholarly approach to teaching and student learning (Ryegård et al. 2010).

After the workshop the participants should have reached an improved understanding of how teaching portfolios can be used to document teachers’ reflective practice. They have also shared a practical assessment experience of how teaching portfolios can be used in a research-based peer-review assessment of teaching. Workshop participants will further be invited to continued discussions, exchange of ideas and benchmarking together with the workshop leaders, especially in relation to ongoing Swedish and European projects and initiatives (Larsson et al. 2013; Winka et al. 2012).


Chalmers, D. (2011). Progress and challenges to the recognition and reward of the Scholarship of Teaching in higher education, Higher Education Research & Development, 30(1): 25-38

Kreber, C. (2002). Teaching Excellence, Teaching Expertise, and the Scholarship of Teaching, Innovative Higher Education, 27(1): 5-23

Larsson, M., Anderberg, E. & Olsson, T. (2013). Researching the transformation in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning through teaching portfolios and conference papers, Manuscript ready for publication. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand

Magin, D.J. (1998). Rewarding good teaching: A matter of demonstrated proficiency or documented achievement? The International Journal for Academic Development, 3(2): 124-135

Olsson, T. & Roxå, T. (2008). Evaluating rewards for excellent teaching – a cultural approach, Engaging Communities, Proceedings of the 31st HERDSA Annual Conference, Rotorua, 1-4 July 2008: 261-272

Olsson, T. & Roxå, T. (2012). A model promoting conceptual change in higher education – an integrated approach. Research and Development in Higher Education: Connections in Higher Education, Volume 35, Refereed papers from the 35th HERDSA Annual International Conference, 2-5 July 2012: 213-223

Olsson, T. & Roxå, T. (2013). Assessing and Rewarding Excellent Academic Teachers for the Benefit of an Organisation, European Journal of Higher Education, In press

Roxå, T., Olsson, T. & Mårtensson K. (2008). Appropriate Use of Theory in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning as a Strategy for Institutional Development, Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 7( 3): 276-294
Ryegård, Å., Apelgren, K. & Olsson, T. (Eds). (2010). A Swedish Perspective on Pedagogical Competence, Uppsala University

Shulman, L. (1986). Those Who Understand: Knowledge Growth in Teaching, Educational Researcher, 15(2): 4-14

Schön, D. (1983). The Reflective Practitioner, New York: Basic Books

Trigwell, K. (2001). Judging university teaching, The International Journal for Academic Development, 6(1): 65-73

Winka, K., Olsson, T., Ryegård, Å., Oldsjö, F. & Apelgren, K. (2012). Assessment of teaching skills – experiences from a national course for prospective assessors of pedagogical qualifications, ISSoTL2012, Hamilton