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Scholarship of Teaching, Learning, and Assessment at Pacific

A notable feature of the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) is that faculty who pursue it often do so with a particular passion that is grounded by their teaching their discipline. The Faculty Handbook recognizes scholarship of teaching and learning as a form of scholarly achievement. In the broader literature, there are varying perspectives on the purposes and characteristics of the scholarship of teaching and learning.

For example, a faculty member may systematically inquire into his or her own teaching or courses out of a specific value and respect for the complex challenges of teaching and learning.

But, SOTL is not typically conceived of as a private matter. It requires educators to at some point share in a public way what they are learning from their inquiry with others who might benefit (see Mary Huber's blog). Still other practitioners put more emphasis on the potential for SOTL to take on characteristics associated with disciplinary or professional research, such as being carried out with methodological rigor and being subject to peer review. Because SOTL may include the study of student learning outcomes across a program or wider curricula with an intentional purpose of improving curriculum and pedagogy, there is also a potential overlap with a faculty's collective responsibility for program assessment.  A local Scholarship pf Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (SOTLA) is of particular interest to us in promoting curricular coherence.

  • "Eberhardt priority grants are awarded four times each academic year by the Committee for Academic Planning and Development. These grants are for any project that addresses the University Planning Priorities."
  • Pacific faculty may also apply for a Small Grant Project through CAPD SOTL is then a broad tent. In compiling this list of contributions to SOTL by members or the Pacific community, we must acknowledge that it is not at all comprehensive. You may submit additional examples to the Office of Educational Effectiveness.

Meixun Sinky Zheng, Assistant Professor of Diagnostic Sciences, and Daniel Bender, Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, published the article "Evaluating outcomes of computer-based classroom testing: Student acceptance and impact on learning and exam performance" in March 2018 Medical Teacher

Amy Scott, Eileen Kogl Camfield, Alex Miller, and Kirkwood Land collaborated on an article for The School Psychologist  "An Unconventional Collaboration at the Collee Level to Improve STEM Student Success".

Several faculty from the Dugoni School of Dentistry collaborated on an article for the August 2017 Journal of Dental Education.  Lucinda Lyon, Lisa Itaya, Terry Hoover, Mark Booth, and Nader Nadershahi wrote "Humanism in Dental Education: A Comparison of Theory, Intention, and Stakeholder Perceptions at a North American Dental School".

Pacific Ed.D. student Alexander Miller will be at the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AAC&U) Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) event on November 2, 2017 to present a poster "A Cross-Disciplinary Research Collaboration Identifies Critical Factors in STEM Student Success", authored by Kirkwood M. Land, Eileen Kogl Camfield, Alexander D. Miller, Amy N. Scott, and Gregg Jongeward.

The May 2017 issue of Bioscene has published a paper written by Eileen Kogl Camfield and Kirkwood M. Land "The Evolution of Student Engagement:Writing Improves Teaching in Introductory Biology Courses".

The Journal of College Science Teaching has chosen a paper authored by Amy N. Scott, Delores E. McNair, Jonathan C. Lucas, and Kirkwood M. Land "From Gatekeeper to Gateway: Improving Student Success in an Introductory Biology Course" for publication in the March/April 2017 issue. 

At Pacific's December 2016 First Annual Teaching Showcase, Bernadette Fa talked about assessment in her presentation "Canvas Video Assessment in RDS 137 Local Anesthesia". 

Professor Cathie McClellan's article "Teamwork, Collaboration, and Cooperation as a Student Learning Outcome for Undergraduates" was published in the January/February 2016 issue of Assessment Update. This article can be useful for programs and faculty seeking to define, teach, and assess this important category of learning outcome.

The Dugoni School of Dentistry has a long-standing practice of quality assessment.  Here is an article from the April 2016 Journal of Dental Education written by Ana Arias, Raymond Scott, Ove Peters, Elizabeth McClain, and Alan Gluskin titled "Educational Outcomes of Small-Group Discussion Versus Traditional Lecture Format in Dental Students' Learning and Skills Acquisition".    Here is an article co-authored by Terry Hoover, Jeffrey Kirk, and Richard Fredekind from the Journal of Dental Education describing "Clinical Quality Assurance Surveillance and Targeted Interventions: Managing Unfavorable Trends in a Dental School Clinic", and another article from the Journal of Dental Education, co-authored by A. Jeffrey Wood, Nader Nadershahi, and Richard Fredekind, "Evaluation of a Clinical Outcomes Assessment Tool in a U.S. Dental School".

Eileen Camfield, Director of University Writing Programs and member of the University Assessment Committee, had an article published in 2015 in Assessment Update, "Fast and fruitful: Effective writing assessment for determining the success of new initiatives" discusses the multiple assessment techniques (direct and indirect) used for the PACS 1 Plus pilot, showing that indirect evidence can be gathered in the short-term to indicate whether a program is "on track," even when long-term performance data are yet to be collected. Moreover, Eileen's research shows how multiple measures provide a much richer portrait of student experience than skill-focused performance metrics can elicit.  

Also, Eileen Kogl Camfield, Eileen McFall, and Associate Professor of Biology Kirkwood Land wrote an article published in the Fall/Winter 2016 volume of Liberal Education, AAC&U's journal: "Leveraging innovation in science education: Writing as an assessment strategy and a learning activity." The article takes up the call articulated by the 2012 Liberal Education piece "Facilitating Innovation in Science Education Through Assessment Reform" where the authors suggested not just the need for increased high-impact teaching practices in college science classes, but also the mechanism through which such practices might become more widely accepted. Our work in the Biology Department at University of the Pacific tested their theory that academic cultures might be more open to change if faculty use assessment data to ground the case for pedagogical reform. Not only did we find such a strategy effective, we refine Hanauer and Bauerle's recommendation by showing how assessment data can reveal the kind of changes most needed in a program and the sequence reform efforts must follow. Further, we discuss the way faculty development, in the form of support networks, can function not just as a venue for faculty education but also as a vehicle for political action.