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Leveraging faculty and peer leaders to promote commuter student co-curricular engagement: a collegiate retention intervention study

Description

It is commonly accepted that undergraduate degree attainment rates must improve if postsecondary educational institutions are to meet macroeconomic demands. Involvement in co-curricular activities, such as student clubs and organizations,

It is commonly accepted that undergraduate degree attainment rates must improve if postsecondary educational institutions are to meet macroeconomic demands. Involvement in co-curricular activities, such as student clubs and organizations, has been shown to increase students' satisfaction with their college experience and the rates by which they might persist. Yet, strategies that college administrators, faculties, and peer leaders may employ to effectively promote co-curricular engagement opportunities to students are not well developed. In turn, I created the Sky Leaders program, a retention-focused intervention designed to promote commuter student involvement in academically-purposeful activities via faculty- and peer-lead mentoring experiences. Working from an interpretivist research paradigm, this quasi-experimental mixed methods action research study was intended to measure the intervention's impact on participants' re-enrollment and reported engagement rates, as well as the effectiveness of its conceptual and logistical aspects. I used enrollment, survey, interview, observation, and focus group data collection instruments to accommodate an integrated data procurement process, which allowed for the consideration of several perspectives related to the same research questions. I analyzed all of the quantitative data captured from the enrollment and survey instruments using descriptive and inferential statistics to explore statistically and practically significant differences between participant groups. As a result, I identified one significant finding that had a perceived positive effect. Expressly, I found the difference between treatment and control participants' reported levels of engagement within co-curricular activities to be statistically and practically significant. Additionally, consistent with Glaser and Strauss' grounded theory approach, I employed open, axial, and selective coding procedures to analyze all of the qualitative data obtained via open-ended survey items, as well as interview, observation, and focus group instruments. After I reviewed and examined the qualitative data corpus, I constructed six themes reflective of the participants' programmatic experiences as well as conceptual and logistical features of the intervention. In doing so, I found that faculty, staff, and peer leaders may efficaciously serve in specific mentoring roles to promote co-curricular engagement opportunities and advance students' institutional academic and social integration, thereby effectively curbing their potential college departure decisions, which often arise out of mal-integrative experiences.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Learning teaching: reciprocal learning

Description

This research is a reversal of the traditional concept of the student-teaching research experiment. Instead of studying the clear and stated goal of an apprenticeship, that of a pupil learning

This research is a reversal of the traditional concept of the student-teaching research experiment. Instead of studying the clear and stated goal of an apprenticeship, that of a pupil learning from the tutelage of a master, the focus here is on what a mentor-teacher learns from a student-teacher. During the act of teaching a novice, what can a mentor-teacher learn about her own practice, while demonstrating it to a pre-service teacher? Using the conceptual framework of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' Architecture of Accomplished Teaching, and using it within a framework centered around cognitive coaching and reciprocal mentoring, this action research study implemented an intervention that called for series of five cognitive coaching cycles between a mentor- and student-teacher designed to foster dialogue and reflection between them. The ultimate aim of this case study was to help determine what a mentor-teacher learned about her own practice as a result of mentoring a student-teacher. Qualitative data were collected over sixteen weeks in a charter high school. Five findings were identified created after the data were analyzed using a grounded theory approach, and four conclusions were drawn about the intervention's role in the mentor-teacher's reciprocal learning.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Current Practices and Perceptions of Physical Education Teacher Evaluation Systems

Description

Given the current focus on high-stakes accountability in America's public schools, this study examined teacher evaluation specific to physical education. This study revealed current teacher evaluation practices used in physical

Given the current focus on high-stakes accountability in America's public schools, this study examined teacher evaluation specific to physical education. This study revealed current teacher evaluation practices used in physical education, perceptions of school administrators related to the value of the physical education evaluation process, and the perceptions of the physical education teachers related to the value of the evaluation process. The first phase of this study was an interpretive document analysis study conducted on four separate teacher evaluation systems commonly used within the public school system to evaluate physical education teachers. Those four systems were: Marzanos teacher evaluation model, Danielson framework for teaching (FFT), Rewarding Excellence in Instruction and Leadership (REIL), and Teacher Advancement Program (TAP). A separate evaluation instrument specific to physical education created by the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) was used as a comparative evaluation tool. Evidence suggests that two of the four teacher evaluation systems had a high percentage of alignment with the NASPE instrument (TAP 87.5%, FFT 82.5%). The Marzano teacher evaluation model had the least amount of alignment with the NASPE instrument (62.5%). The second phase of this study was a phenomenological approach to understanding administrators' and physical education teachers' perceptions to teacher evaluation specific to physical education. The participants in this study were administrators and physical education teachers from an urban school district. An informal survey and formal semi-structured interviews were used to reveal perceptions of teacher evaluation specific to physical education. Evidence from the administrator's informal survey and formal semi-structured interviews revealed four common themes: (1) "I value PE, but I live in reality" (administrators value physical education, but practice in reality); (2) "good teaching is good teaching"; (3) "I know my limitations, and I want
eed help" (relative to teacher evaluation in PE); and (4) where's the training beef? Evidence from the physical education teacher's informal survey and formal semi-structured interviews revealed three common themes: (a) physical education is valued, but not prioritized; (b) teacher evaluation in physical education is "greatly needed, yet not transparent; (c) physical educators are not confident in their evaluator.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Supporting National Board Candidates via cognitive coaching conversations and communities of practice

Description

ABSTRACT There are currently 82,369 teachers nationwide who are National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). In Arizona the number of NBCTs is 678. The purpose of this study was to investigate

ABSTRACT There are currently 82,369 teachers nationwide who are National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs). In Arizona the number of NBCTs is 678. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect cognitive coaching conversations and participation in a community of practice had on National Board candidates' self-efficacy and their understanding of the National Board Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). A mixed methods research approach was used to collect data including: surveys, interviews, researcher observations, and cognitive coaching transcripts. I conducted a case study of five National Board candidates at my school. Drawing on the social cognitive theory, this study was framed by the construct of self-efficacy. Through the use of open-ended questions, cognitive coaching conversations pushed candidates' thinking to a deeper level of understanding. The teachers involved in the National Board certification process represented a community of practice as the expectations and language of the NBPTS standards and portfolio directions also provided a common connection. Findings in this study reveal that cognitive coaching conversations and membership in a community of practice have a positive impact on teachers' self-efficacy during the National Board certification process. In addition, on-going cognitive coaching conversations and participation in a community of practice positively impact National Board candidates' understanding and articulation of the NBPTS standards.

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Date Created
  • 2011

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Developing Social Presence as an Academic Advisor for Online Graduate Business Students

Description

For more than 30 years, social science researchers have studied how students in online learning environments interact with each other. This has led to the development of a construct called

For more than 30 years, social science researchers have studied how students in online learning environments interact with each other. This has led to the development of a construct called social presence. Studies have shown that high social presence can lead to improved student retention, engagement, and satisfaction. The literature explores how social presence has been measured by faculty or researchers, but lacks insight on how other university staff can affect social presence in online graduate students. This is an action research mixed-methods study conducted by an academic advisor and attempts to measure social presence through a webpage intervention for an online graduate business program. A pre-and-posttest were conducted in a five month span, as well as semi-structured interviews with students of the program. Results suggest that overall, the intervention did not increase social presence in the program. It also suggests that social presence is developed between students in a variety of ways, and can even be developed between their academic advisor and themselves. Overall, this study acknowledges how academic advisors can explore social presence to improve academic advising techniques and interventions for their programs, while also adding to the literature a different perspective through the eyes of a university staff member.

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Date Created
  • 2020