IDEA Research Digest

The IDEA Research Digest summarizes current research in the areas of teaching and learning, faculty evaluation and development, student ratings of instruction, and leadership development in higher education. 

Each precis reflects key points in a recently published article. The intent is to summarize, not to critically analyze or offer an opinion.


December 2019

Leadership Illusions

Warrick describes three levels of leadership illusion and their consequences, why leaders develop illusions, and ways to minimize them.

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Debunking A Few Myths About Course Evaluations

Have you ever wondered whether students who complete course evaluations outside of class time are more likely to be critical in their comments and ratings? Or, do you believe that student written comments only reflect the extremes and consequently are not constructive?

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Is Student Course Satisfaction Related to Instructor Passion about Teaching?

Spoiler alert: "...findings indicate that student overall course satisfaction is related to whether instructors perceive support for improving teaching and their level of passion about teaching."

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Using IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction to Evaluate Faculty Development

IDEA SRI is thus considered an “essential piece of found data” which, when combined with local measures, permits triangulation of evidence regarding the effectiveness of various programs and initiatives.

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November 2019

Fundamentals of Hybrid Teaching and Learning

...traditional and hybrid pedagogy share some common elements, but technology changes the way students learn and interact with the material. A key benefit of the hybrid course is that it accommodates multiple learning preferences.

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Universal Principles of Excellence in College and University Teaching

...just because a teacher behavior was not emphasized does not mean it is not important for effective teaching.

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October 2019

Using Student Evaluations to Improve Teaching

...SETs are a key component of the scientist-educator model of teaching, which consists of setting goals, utilizing evidenced-based methods of instruction, collecting data on instructional effectiveness, and using it to make pedagogical adjustments."

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Promoting Engaged Scholarship

The goal of engaged scholarship is to ensure that teaching, research, and service contribute to the greater good.

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What Makes for a Model College Teacher?

In spite of the controversy surrounding summative student evaluations of teaching, the authors found in their research that 'model teachers tend to use this feedback to make concrete changes in lessons, course structure, assessments, and assignments'

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Responses to Student Plagiarism are Inconsistent

Research shows that faculty and staff either tend to ignore issues of cheating and academic dishonesty or respond in an informal way, inconsistent with policy.

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How Can Academic Chairs Remain Scholars?

How can you manage your schedule so that you have time to prepare for class, keep up on your discipline's literature, and conduct research?

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How to Become a Better College Teacher

Brighouse argues that instructional quality is "the most neglected--and perhaps the most serious--equity issue in higher education...

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Improving College Teaching

...the value of a degree to both the individual and society remains high. Besides an earnings advantage, those with college degrees tend to work better together and communicate more effectively.

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September 2019

University Administrators Find Student Ratings of Instruction Useful

The authors developed and administered a survey to specifically ask department heads and deans how student ratings are used, what information is most useful, what additional information beyond the ratings is needed, and their views about SRI.

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We Need Good (Virtuous) Leaders

...what is good leadership? More specifically, how do we advance both leadership effectiveness and leadership ethics?

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August 2019

Offering Time During Class for Students to Complete Web-based Student Ratings of Instruction Improves Response Rate

...the combination of reminding students about SRI on multiple occasions and offering time in class to complete the ratings is a relatively simple and effective way to significantly and meaningfully increase response rates.

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A Multi-dimensional Teaching Evaluation of Teachers in Colleges and Universities

Students have the right to evaluate teachers' teaching...

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Using Qualitative Feedback to Make the Student Voice Count

...analysis and interpretation of qualitative data empowers students because it increases the likelihood that their voices will be heard.

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Preparing to Teach the First Day of Class

...Lang offers several good ideas built around four key principles: build curiosity, build community, get students learning the first day, and deal with expectations.

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Advice for Creating a Syllabus

Whether you are revising a course or preparing to teach a new one, care should be given to creating a syllabus that casts a good first impression of you and the course and that sets a tone for the rest of the semester.

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What Do Faculty and Students Think of Videos in the Online Classroom?

...almost all students who watch instructor-generated videos report that they feel like they know their instructor better.

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Emoticons in Feedback

The study indicates that use of paralinguistic cues can influence student perceptions of the marker even when written comments include both positive and negative comments."

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