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Featured Presentations

  1. The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning:  Harnessing the Power of Systematic Inquiry to Advance the Practice of Teaching in Higher Education
    Jennifer Marcinkiewicz, Ph.D., Center for Teaching and Learning, Kent State University

    In this session, I will provide an overview of SoTL scholarship and how this field of inquiry has the capacity to explore innovative teaching practices, inspire effective teaching and impact student learning.
  2. Why SoTL, Why Now?
    Karen Mascolo, DNP, RN, Nursing, Kent State University

    I will share my personal experiences as a nurse, the global issues of "nurses eating their young," and development and research of new teaching strategies to address and mitigate incivility and bullying.
  3. Confessions of a SoTL Researcher
    Eric Taylor, Ph.D., Geology, Kent State University at Stark

    I share my successes and failures of SoTL research and how it has helped me to seek innovation, find inspiration in simple things, and plan for impact in my students’ learning.
  4. Choices, Choices: How SoTL Gives Us Options to Improve Teaching and Learning
    Rachael Blasiman, Ph.D., Psychological Studies, Kent State University at Salem

    When we want to experiment with our teaching, there are many options to choose from.  It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer number of possibilities, but engaging in SoTL is worth it when your teaching innovation results in student success!

Breakout Presentations

  1. Predicting Students’ Interest in Aging-Related Careers: Suggestions for Pedagogical Intervention
    Julie K. Cremeans-Smith, Ph.D., Psychological Sciences, Kent State University at Stark
    Chih-ling Liou, Ph.D., Human Development & Family Studies, Kent State University at Stark

    The population is rapidly aging in many countries including the United States. Although working with elders is consistently ranked as one of the top 20 growth careers (Cummings & Galambos, 2002), students often hold negative attitudes toward elders and rank this area of practice at the bottom of their future professional life (Chi et al., 2016; Goncalves et al., 2011). Therefore, colleges and universities have an important role to play in guiding students’ interests and changing attitudes to attract more professionals who are interested in, and excited about, working with older adults. This study examined factors contributing to students’ positive or negative attitudes to provide suggestions for pedagogical intervention. One hundred and eighty-two undergraduate students participated in an online survey, hosted by Qualtrics. The Fabroni Scale of Ageism (Fabroni et al., 2010) was used to assess attitudes and behaviors in relating to older adults. We developed four items to assess the quality of relationships with a grandparent and other nonfamilial older adults. In addition, participants indicated their previous experience as well as their future interest in pursuing a career in an aging-related field. Path analyses using hierarchical multiple regression revealed that high quality relationships with older adults (i.e., both grandparents and nonfamilial elders) was associated with less negative attitudes. Although both types of relationship quality were significant in the model (p<.05), path coefficients demonstrated that relationships with nonfamilial elders have a greater impact on participants’ attitudes (β= -.250, p=.001 versus β= -.146, p=.045). In turn, positive views of older adults predicted a greater willingness to pursue a future career in an aging-related field. Findings suggest that colleges could increase students’ interest in pursuing aging-related careers by developing opportunities to interact and build relationships with older adults in the community. Successful examples of such opportunities and best practices will be discussed.
  2. Exploring Students’ Experiences with a Mobile Language Learning Application
    Daniel Castañeda, Ph.D.,
    Modern & Classical Language Studies, Kent State University at Stark
    Moon-Heum Cho, Ph.D., Instructional Design, Development and Evaluation, Syracuse University

    In this pilot study, the investigators explored the students' experiences using Duolingo, a mobile language learning application.  The questions that guided the study were: 1. What are the participants’ experiences using Duolingo when learning a second language? 2. How do participants evaluate game-like activities with Duolingo? The mobile application activities were implemented for 6 out of 15 weeks outside the classroom. Seventeen English speakers learning Spanish participated in this study during the spring 2019 semester. They were undergraduate students enrolled in Elementary I and Elementary II Spanish courses at Kent State University, Stark.  Participants’ experience with the app was ascertained in a seven=part survey including language and skills improvement. Participants’ evaluation of the game-like activities was ascertained with written essay questions  as well as oral interview questions. Preliminary descriptive and qualitative results indicate that participants enjoyed the gaming features of the application and group competition outside the classroom. In this session, the presenters will also share with the audience the future implementation of this study (e.g., participants’ longer exposure to the app).
  3. The Fear-Avoidance Model: How Chronic Pain can Help us Better Understand Test Anxiety, Fear of Failure, and Problematic Behaviors Among College Students
    Julie K. Cremeans-Smith, Ph.D.,
    Psychological Sciences, Kent State University at Stark

    The Fear-Avoidance Model suggests two possible outcomes following a painful experience: confrontation or avoidance. Individuals characterized by catastrophic thinking and anxiety sensitivity are likely to fear the future occurrence of painful sensations, avoid activities they anticipate will result in pain, and enter a downward spiral of disuse, depression, and disability (Vlaeyen & Linton, 2000). In contrast, patients who do not fear pain are likely to confront such sensations and eventually recover (Vlaeyen & Linton, 2000). While this theory was proposed to explain behavioral patterns and emotional experiences in the context of pain, previous research suggests that college students experience many of these same phenomena: anxiety, catastrophizing thoughts (e.g., fear of failure), and avoidance (e.g., skipping classes, procrastination). Therefore, the current study sought to examine whether the experiences of college students parallel the Fear-Avoidance Model in effort to suggest novel interventions. Ninety-eight undergraduate students enrolled in General Psychology at Kent State Stark completed a survey. The questionnaire included reliable and valid measures of test anxiety, anxiety sensitivity, academic motivation (fear of failure vs hope for success), coping strategies (avoidance vs approach), depressive symptoms, and perceived stress. Path analysis was conducted using hierarchical multiple regression to examine relationships between study variables. Analyses support the existence of a fear-avoidance pathway initiated by test anxiety, paralleling the downward spiral of chronic pain (R=.776,p<.001). Students with high levels of test anxiety report more anxiety sensitivity, increased fear of failure, more avoidance coping, greater levels of depressive symptoms, and heightened daily stress (all steps p<.05). In contrast, test anxiety was not related to positive experiences (e.g., hope for success β=.144,p=.284; approach coping β=..02,p=.986). Results suggest that interventions used to reduce fear-avoidance among pain patients may offer new avenues for addressing test anxiety and problematic behaviors among college students. Conference theme: Innovation.
  4. Active Empathic Listening in the Third Grade Classroom: Using Listening Skills to Connect with Students
    Matthew S. Hollstein, Ph.D.,
    Teaching, Learning, and Curricular Studies, Kent State University at Stark
    Paul S. Sommer, Ph.D., Communication Studies, Kent State University at Stark

    The purpose of this research project is to assess the ability level and effectiveness of participants’ active empathic listening (AEL) skills across time in classroom instructional and non-instructional settings. Additionally, the project provided professional development specifically designed to address gaps in ability levels. It is the goal of the research to improve the ability and effectiveness of participants’ AEL skills in order to support overall instruction quality and effectiveness. Data were collected through pre and post assessment questionnaires, interviews, and several classroom observations with each of the six third grade instructor participants. A professional development intervention was conducted midway through the data collection phase in an attempt to improve AEL skill sets among the instructors. Analysis of the data is still underway, but several themes have emerged during post-observation review of the data and initial analysis. First, the data have uncovered several communication techniques that participants use to simultaneously engage in active listening while maintaining control of the entire classroom setting. This was also one of the biggest tensions experienced by participants, i.e. how to focus one’s full attention in a genuine empathetic listening moment while ensuring that the rest of the students in the classroom setting are engaged. Secondly, participants recognized the power of active empathic listening during the professional development intervention as they reviewed moments of their own pedagogy during both instruction and non-instruction related interactions with students. Reviewing one’s own teaching became a significant tool for participants to recognize what worked and what needed improvement regarding their ability to provide their full attention to students while suspending their own judgments as AEL suggests. Adapting AEL literatures and engaging in assessment/professional development studies like this one have provided an innovative avenue to connect the communication and pedagogy scholarship. This research project has piloted a systematic approach to improving AEL in classrooms in hopes that it can be shared among those engaged the scholarship of teaching and learning.
  5. Effects of a Poverty Simulation on Preservice Teacher Attributions and Beliefs
    Joanne Caniglia, Ph.D.,
    Teaching, Learning, and Curricular Studies, Kent State University

    The purpose of this round table discussion is to report on a study to determine a poverty simulation’s influence on future teachers’ attitudes toward poverty. Five cohorts of student teachers participated in the Missouri Community Action Poverty Simulation (n=110). The simulation involves participants take on the roles of members of up to 26 families, all facing a variety of challenging, but typical, circumstances. What were the experiences of preservice teachers while participating in the poverty simulation? How did their perspectives, behaviors, and actions due to participation in the Poverty Simulation change in the short and long term? Throughout the simulation, each family is given a card explaining its unique circumstances. It is then that the families’ task is to provide food, shelter, and other basic necessities by accessing various community resources during the course of four 15-minute “weeks.” Data consisted of demographic information including a measure assessing a student’s past exposure to poverty. In addition, two measurement scales, the attitudes held toward individuals living in poverty were measured using the Attitudes Toward Poverty Short Form (ATP). In order to measure the attributions of poverty, participants in the current study were asked to rate the importance of 36 items as causes of poverty on a 5-point Likert-type. The poverty simulation exercise positively altered preservice student attitudes toward poverty. When combined with didactic and experiential curriculum, this simulation may enhance student achievement of the Ohio Department of Education Standards of Professional Development and the priority of Adult and Young Adolescents (Social Justice Emphasis).
  6. Exploring SoTL in the Online Classroom
    Bethany Simunich, Ph.D.,
    Office of Continuing & Disance Education, Kent State University

    The purpose of this presentation is to explore ways that SoTL research has and can be extended to the online classroom. Although online learning at most institutions has increased in terms of course and program offerings, the majority of SoTL research is still focused on classroom-based teaching and learning. In this presentation, I will explore how SoTL research can improve online teaching and learning, and also how online learning research can help refine and improve SoTL research questions applied to the online classroom. When viewed as a reciprocal and reinforcing relationship, these two fields can help faculty attend to the unique considerations of online learning research while simultaneously addressing their SoTL research questions. This presentation will not be focused on a specific research project but, rather, will help faculty attendees to envision how their SoTL research interests might be extended to the online classroom, with specific consideration given to the constraints and considerations unique to an online learning environment. Connecting with the conference themes, this presentation aims to inspire online teaching faculty to innovate ways to investigate SoTL questions in the online classroom, thereby making an impact both for students and the SoTL field. As an underexplored avenue of SoTL research, the Scholarship of (Online) Teaching and Learning is a newer avenue to explore, and one that is in need of faculty researchers with a good foundation in online teaching and learning.
  7. Fostering Students' Metacognition and Improving Pedagogy through Blackboard Surveys
    Amy Damrow, Ph.D.,
    Foundations, Leadership, and Administration, Kent State University at Stark

    In his classic “Talks to Teachers on Psychology,” William James (1899), one of the founding fathers of psychology, identifies the role of habits in either enslaving or freeing individuals and the responsibility of educators to help students develop reliable habits in order to “make our nervous system our ally instead of our enemy” (p. 66). More recently, biologist Robert Leamnson (1999) has echoed and expanded these sentiments particularly as it relates to helping first-year college students learn. He writes: “Learning is defined as stabilizing, through repeated use, certain appropriate and desirable synapses in the brain” (p. 5). In the courses I teach for early preservice teachers, I see opportunities to help my students develop habits grounded in the principles of educational psychology that will be useful in their personal and professional lives in college and beyond. For seven semesters I have used Blackboard surveys in the education courses I regularly teach. These surveys are the data for this paper (IRB #19-300). In addition to encouraging students to set goals, self-assess, and reflect, student responses help me improve my teaching and respond to students’ concerns and confusions. In this paper, I address these research questions: 1. How can educators foster metacognition through course surveys? 2. How can educators use course surveys to inform teaching practice and address problems of practice? Analysis is ongoing. Tentative findings suggest that the use of these surveys provides a valuable opportunity for some students to reflect on learning and their role in the process. As a teacher educator, I have a keen interest in helping my students become better learners, an aim that is at the heart of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Student responses to these surveys often inspires me and always provides ideas for fostering greater impact.
  8. Learning in Hybrid and Online First-Year Composition Courses: A Multi-Institutional Survey of Student Perceptions
    Jennifer M. Cunningham, Ph. D.,
    English, Kent State University

    This presentation discusses findings from a multi-institutional survey of undergraduate students at four universities in the United States (n=669) who answered how and what they learned in hybrid and online first-year composition (FYC) classes. Responses were analyzed in light of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) Framework, and students named specific instructor actions that supported their learning (e.g., feedback, course design, instructor attributes), particular course elements that made them feel like more than a number (e.g., feedback, discussion, instructor characteristics), and desirable learning outcomes (e.g., writing process, research, rhetorical concepts). One key finding of this study is that hybrid and online courses are creating positive experiences, both in terms of how and what students learn. A second key finding is that the students surveyed were far more focused on the student-instructor relationship than on peer interaction, exposing an opportunity for instructors to prioritize discourse facilitation in their hybrid and online courses. The data also illustrated a significant difference in hybrid versus online students’ perceptions of the student-teacher relationship: hybrid students described the instructor’s personality, while online students described specific actions like timely feedback. Ultimately, this research serves as a call for additional discussion about the role of collaboration (as a pedagogy and a learning outcome) in hybrid and online writing instruction and for future research on how hybrid versus online instructors design and facilitate interactive writing courses.


  1. Augmented Reality (AR): An Innovative Tool for Students and Educators
    Haithem Zourrig, Ph.D.,
    Marketing, Kent State University at Stark
    Younghun Chae, Ph.D., Computer Science, Kent State University at Stark

    This session will highlight countless opportunities that Augmented Reality (AR) would afford to students and educators to create interactive posters, present Art projects, document Art museum projects and Science lab projects to nominate few. With the advent of Augmented Reality technology, the ubiquity of mobile devices and free apps available for both Android and iOS (apple) operating system, educators and students could embrace innovation, show the value of their work while being cost-effective.
  2. Getting Started with SoTL Central
    Rachael Blasiman, Ph.D., Psychological Studies, Kent State University at Salem

    SoTL Central is an online resource and networking tool to provide guidance and support for the entire Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) process. It is designed for any level of expertise and all academic disciplines. SoTL Central includes many resources for faculty who have never designed a classroom-based experiment before. At this practical "how to" roundtable, I will present tips on getting started with a SoTL study, from initial research requirements and approval, to overviews of several basic designs, to options for measuring student outcomes. We will discuss both qualitative and quantitative design methodologies and how they can be modified to examine the effect of an individual assignment, a large project, or an entire course redesign on student outcomes, including performance on learning assessments, engagement, and overall course retention.

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  3. Nontraditional Grading Schemes
    Lucas Engelhardt, Ph.D., Economics, Kent State University at Stark

    Is there a better way to grade? This roundtable will discuss the possible impacts of nontraditional grading schemes on various outcomes: student satisfaction, motivation and learning, and professor satisfaction with teaching. Research that draws attention to the weaknesses of traditional grading (for example, Kitchen et al 2006, Schinske and Tanner 2014, Swinton 2010) suggests that many aspects of the grading approaches are demotivating to students, hurt their learning, and distract professors with unproductive decisions about grades. Come to discuss innovative approaches – among them effort grading, specifications grading, and ungrading - and how they can impact student’s motivation, learning, and perceived fairness, as well as professors’ ability to concentrate their efforts on creating valuable learning experiences.
  4. Taking Your Scholarly Teaching Inquiries to the Next Level - SoTL
    LeighAnn Tomaswick, M.S.,
    Center for Teaching & Learning, Kent State University

    Faculty regularly have questions about student learning or effectiveness of their teaching, but there is a distinct difference between scholarly teaching and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). This roundtable will discuss the distinction of SoTL and how to take questions about your class and turn them into scholarly studies. In order to determine effectiveness of a teaching technique, faculty regularly reflect on how things went using verbal and non-verbal cues from students, grades, and comments from student surveys of instruction (SSIs) among others. Some faculty consult the literature for ideas or evidence to support why a certain technique might improve student learning. A systematically designed study, using the literature, can provide a deeper understanding of the effectiveness of a teaching technique. The key elements of a systematically designed study, a SoTL study, will be discussed. It will highlight the alignment between research questions and methodologies and common pitfalls of the SoTL process. Participants will come away with a literature-based framework for turning their questions and pilot studies into SoTL studies.

Inspiration Lane: Poster Presentations

  1. Simulation Anxiety in Nursing Students
    Janet Reed, R.N., M.S.N., Nursing, Kent State University at Stark

    The academic literature demonstrates that nursing students experience a high degree of anxiety before and during a simulation. The negative effects of this anxiety can impede the learning process, interfere with their critical thinking processes, and serve as a barrier to their future success in nursing. If a student’s performance is negatively impacted by high anxiety, this can reduce their self-efficacy overall. Unfamiliarity with the simulator and fear of the unknown may evoke anxiety. Students may worry about their ability to manage a critical care situation. They may experience some discomfort about working under the direct supervision of faculty facilitators. If students are being evaluated and assigned grades for their participation in scenarios, anxiety may be elevated. A literature search was conducted using Medline and CINAHL for 2014-2019. Multiple search combinations of the key words simulation anxiety, nursing students’ anxiety, and nursing education were used in the search. Sources were limited to peer reviewed journals in English. This poster presentation will highlight evidence-based interventions for reducing nursing student anxiety during simulation.
  2. Do Social Media Help in the Sustainability of Small Businesses? A Pedagogical Case Study
    Deepraj Mukherjee, Ph.D., Economics, Kent State University at Stark
    Erin E. Hollenbaugh, Ph.D., Communication Studies, Kent State University at Stark

    The sustainability of small businesses is an important criterion as they act as the drivers of local economies. The success of small businesses will not only help in job creation but will also help to arrest the internal rural-urban migration that is a phenomenon very true for suburban communities all over the United States of America. Digital inequality between urban and rural America is further a well-established concept in the related fields. A large portion of college graduates will find themselves working for area businesses. Yet, the college curriculum often does not adequately address social media considerations for small businesses. Due to the disconnect between the modern business environment and the college curriculum, there is a need to unpack the complex issues relevant to small businesses and social media. However, there is not currently a case identical to this that addresses the modern climate of social media use within small businesses and their potential effects. This pedagogical tool will help fill that gap, providing cases that instructors both in the disciplines of the business and communication studies can employ in the classrooms to better prepare future graduates to enter the socially connected workforce. Keywords: Case Studies, Digital Inequality, Internal Migration, Pedagogy, Small Businesses, Social Media SoTL Symposium: Impact – Bringing in real-world examples in the classroom pedagogy.
  3. An Informed Guess: Using Prediction-Oriented Teaching Strategies to Inspire Creative Knowledge Application
    Rekha Sharma, Ph.D.,
    Communication Studies, Kent State University

    Research has shown that being asked to engage in prediction helps students to acquire knowledge, improves their retention of that knowledge, and deepens their comprehension of the relationships among concepts. Asking students to anticipate outcomes requires them to engage with material in novel ways as they assess the sufficiency of the information they possess and generate questions to gain information they need to make plausible determinations. This roundtable discussion will begin with a brief overview of the pedagogical scholarship of prediction-oriented teaching strategies. Next, the presenter will provide examples of discussion prompts and activities that may be used in various educational settings. Three concrete examples will be used to illustrate the larger principles instructors may adapt to the learning needs of their students, the structure of their courses, and the content of their own disciplines. First, I will explain the use of discussion prompts regarding how students in the Freedom of Speech class may apply historically notable Supreme Court rulings to current controversies and future disputes of First Amendment issues in a global communication environment. Second, I will describe the use of reflection papers to encourage students to engage in multifaceted deliberation of ethical, legal, and practical issues regarding ever-changing public communication systems. Third, I will showcase the use of film and creative writing to motivate students to confront complex topics (e.g., race, gender, class, colonialism, identity) in developing their intercultural communication competence. Participants will be invited to discuss these teaching strategies and share their own experiences with employing similar techniques to inspire their students to make creative intellectual connections that may help them to generate innovative perspectives and impactful solutions regarding real-world issues.
  4. The Emporium Model: A Serve Yourself Buffet or a Firehose of Information Overload?
    Victor Berardi, Ph.D.,
    Management & Information Systems, Kent State University at Stark
    Greg Blundell, Ph.D., Management & Information Systems, Kent State University at Stark
    Vaneet Kaur, Ph.D., Management & Information Systems, Kent State University at Stark

    The emporium schedule type has been used to deliver math instruction via ALEKS ™ for several years at Kent State University. This roundtable seeks to discuss the pros, cons, and pain points of the emporium model and to explore other innovative uses and possible courses beyond math and ALEKS™ that could leverage this structure. Emporium delivery is defined in Kent State University Curriculum Guidelines (January, 2019 revision, pg. 40) as a course “offered in a computer-learning center utilizing software to provide an essential resource for students working collaboratively in a problem-based instructional setting or to provide individualized pathways that allow students to progress through the curriculum, based on assessment results of their mastery of the material. An instructional team provides student assistance.” Roundtable participants experienced in working with the emporium model are encouraged to share their experiences, ideas for improvements and how to prevent problems, so emporium course offerings function as a serve yourself buffet rather than a firehose of information overload. In addition, other courses with potential for using the emporium schedule type will be identified and discussed.
  5. Molding Work-Ready Graduates by Incorporating Career Preparation into the Translation Classroom
    Loubna Bilali, Ph.D.,
    Modern and Classical Language Studies, Kent State University

    Kent State has the most comprehensive translation studies program nationally. The program includes a BS, an MA, and a PhD. The MA in Translation is a professional degree that prepares students for different career paths in the language industry (project management, translation, terminology management, quality assurance work, etc.). Students in both the BS and MA lack formal and specialized career guidance. Due to a rapidly changing, knowledge-intensive economy and a growing language service market, our undergraduate and graduate students need one-on-one professional development when transitioning from college to their careers. This presentation introduces ways to incorporate professional preparation into graduate degree programs in translation. The proposed module addresses career paths, translation market requirements and expectations, and the tools needed to access the language industry. The module comprises three primary elements: career management and career-building skills, a repository of internship venues, and a guided internship matching program. Career management for the language industry helps students identify or determine realistic and personally meaningful goals and situate themselves within the industry. Career-building skills focus on honing research skills so that students can gather relevant information about careers, the job market, market verticals, industry structure and norms, factors influencing given industries, and exploring career opportunities and advancement. The internship resources repository of local and nationwide internship venues reflects one of the learning outcomes from the career management and skill-building part of the module. Internship packets provide the program professional partners with a description of course outcomes and guidelines of what instructors expect their students to gain from their internships. This innovative market-oriented and awareness-raising approach will help current students to become industry-ready, proactively navigate the labor market and self-manage the career-building process. This module could also be customized to meet the needs of foreign language programs or majors/minors in language for special purposes.
  6. A Brain is a Brain is a Brain
    Phillip Adamek, Ph.D.,
    Kent State University

    I raise the question of how to cultivate a relation between research and in-class teaching. Drawing upon my twelve-year experience of teaching French and English at two universities in Japan, I discuss the circumstances in which I overcame culturally shaped expectations of teacher-centered authoritarianism to lead Japanese college students to study languages and literature with a purpose, using targeted languages not only as an object of study but as a tool of self-regulated learning. I describe the role of innovation in leading students to engage thoughtfully with English-language texts and in my bringing seminars of 5-10 students to writing 2,000-word research essays in English over a period of 18 months. In this way, I ask participants to reflect on the cultural assumptions that inform teaching and research goals.
  7. “More Like a Real Human Being”: Humanizing Historical Artists Through Remote Service-Learning
    Marie Gasper-Hulvat, Ph.D., Art History, Kent State University at Stark

    In a digital age, service-learning partner organizations can expand beyond geographical locations accessible to the students. Particularly within fields digitizing archival sources, including art history, many learning outcomes achieved in traditional on-site service-learning programs can also result from remote access to staff and materials at non-local partner organizations. Purpose: This study analyzed the impact of a remote service-learning project between an upper division contemporary art history course at a regional university in Ohio and the Archives of American Art in Washington, D.C. Methodology/Approach: Over 3 consecutive years, the students used digitized visual and audio archival materials to edit transcripts of oral histories for web publication. At the conclusion of the project, the students conducted focus group interviews to analyze their perceptions of learning outcomes. Findings/Conclusions: Qualitative analysis of the interview transcripts yielded four primary themes in the data: disciplinary understanding, transferrable skill development, critical decision making, and emotional knowledge. Implications: Remote service-learning can facilitate many of the same learning outcomes as on-site experiences.