Posters

Shyness, Avoidant, Shame, and Pedagogy: Does One Size Fit All?
Kim Lamana Finn, Ph.D, DeVry University

My research centers on the effects of shyness, attachment style, and shame on students’ persistence and achievement in college. A student’s personal characteristics and academic ability play a role in a student’s commitment to a university. The higher the level of engagement and commitment, the more likely the student will succeed. Therefore, focusing on psychological characteristics promotes student engagement and commitment (Braxton et al. 2014). In addition, student perceptions of their teacher as effective, knowledgeable, and caring reflect an emphasis on teacher development and student success. Effective teachers have a positive influence on students’ perceptions of their own ability to be academically successful. This poster will focus on the questions that arise when teaching shy, avoidant, and shame prone students. How can we approach a shy, avoidant, or shame-prone college student to develop a trusting relationship that is conducive to learning? How do we identify a student who suffers from shame or shyness leading to disengagement? What are the overt behaviors of these types of students? How can we tell the difference between someone who is shy versus introverted? How could we approach an avoidant or shy student when he or she does not want to join a group? What are some teaching techniques to promote participation from these types of students? What class activities appeal to these types of students? The more we understand and respond to the effects of psychological constructs on our students’ behavior, the more likely they will persist and succeed in our classroom.

Braxton, J.M., Doyle, W. R., Hartley, H.V., Herschy, A.S., Jones, W.A., & McLendon, M. K. (2014). Rethinking College Student Retention. San Francisco, CA: Wiley & Sons.

New Pedagogical Approaches to Connecting Understanding to Belief
Richard Miller, Texas A&M University, Kingsville

Educational theory has neglected the distinction between understanding an idea and believing that idea. Learning has been conceptualized both theoretically and practically as knowledge change. However, thinking about learning as only change in knowledge ignores the difference between changes in understanding and changes in belief. Ignoring this distinction can lead to errors in how to plan instruction. This is especially true of controversial issues. For example, psychology students may develop a clear understanding of Skinner’s principles of positive reinforcement and still cling to a belief that “to spare the rod is to spoil the child.” The research outlined in my poster first found 10 controversial issues in psychology where there is a disconnect between understanding and belief. After creating the list of ten such topics, the second part of this research project compared the effectiveness of several pedagogical techniques in connecting students’ understanding of controversial findings to acceptance of those findings and the behavioral intentions to act upon that acceptance. This has involved a multi-campus research project that tested the effectiveness of various pedagogical techniques including counter-attitudinal advocacy, hypocrisy induction, and “think-like-a-professor” in bridging the gap between understanding and belief. I hope to recruit additional faculty members to participate in a new round of data collection this coming Fall semester by implementing additional techniques that may close the gap between understanding and belief.

Classroom Observation Rubric for Novice Instructors
Jessica C. Hill1, Clarissa A. Thompson2, and Melissa J. Beers3
1Utah Valley University, 2Kent State University, and 3Ohio State University

Graduate students have historically supported themselves in their studies by assisting with teaching responsibilities (Buskist, 2013). Participating in undergraduate instruction yields benefits to graduate students such as improved research abilities (Feldon et al., 2011), increased likelihood of employment upon graduation (Bettinger, Long, & Taylor, 2016), and socialization into all roles within the profession (Vernon, 2004). Unfortunately, few institutions prepare graduate instructors for teaching responsibilities in a systematic way (for a list of those who do, see Beers, Hill, & Thompson, 2012). Our team’s recent investigations into effective training for novice instructors indicates that graduates and their mentors broadly agree on what skills they need prior to teaching independently and how they should be imparted (Beers, Hill, Thompson, & Tran, 2014). What we call “critical survival skills” are a subset of those demonstrated by master teachers (Hill, Thompson, & Beers, 2015) and have no overlap with instructor misbehaviors (Busler, Kirk, Keeley, & Buskist, 2017). Because critical survival skills are being developed by novice instructors, they are unable to be statistically modeled like those of master teachers (Hofer, Farnsworth, Hill, & Warne, 2013; Keeley, Smith, & Buskist, 2006). Thus, current classroom observation protocols designed around experienced instructors or master teachers are inadequate to capture the performance and development of novice instructors. In our poster, we propose a classroom observation protocol specifically designed for novice instructors.

Controversial Concepts in the Classroom: Factors Affecting Self-Censorship for both Students and Faculty
Danny Carragher, The Dwight Englewood School

Anecdotal evidence collected from teachers in an independent secondary school in the Metro New York City area led to questions about what specifically leads students to censor themselves during discussions of sensitive topics in the classroom. Likewise, we wondered what role the teacher plays in preventing or promoting student self-censorship, and if, indeed, the teachers also struggled with both self-censorship and the use of personal narrative when dealing with potentially controversial topics. A survey was distributed to 508 students in grades 9-12, and 431 were returned. Questions were asked about whether or not the students felt comfortable engaging in classroom conversations about race, gender, sexuality, and politics. Additional questions were asked of those students who indicated any level of discomfort as to the influence that their peers, social media, and their teachers had on their decision to self-censor during class. A follow-up survey was then sent to 71 Upper School faculty members (with 68 returned) asking questions about how they specifically discuss the topic of politics inside and outside of the classroom, why they self-censor (if they do), and the role their students, their peers, and the administration had on their decision to self-censor during lectures. The data were examined for the students by grade, race, and gender, and generally for the faculty, and resulted in significant differences between certain demographics for the students and the effect of the perceived consequences/power of the audience for both students and faculty.

University and Discipline Identification as Predictors of Learning Approaches and Psychological Outcomes
Kasia Banas, Ewan Bottomley, Sarah Bentley, Katharine Greenaway, The University of Edinburgh

Recent research has suggested that students’ social identification with their discipline is associated with the adoption of positive learning approaches (Smyth et al., 2015). Specifically, identification with one’s discipline is related to the adoption of a deeper learning approach, indicating a desire to immerse one’s self in learning (Biggs, 1999; Smyth et al., 2015). This study examines the ways in which student identification influences not only learning approaches, but also psychological outcomes within a university context. In a sample of Edinburgh University 1st year undergraduate Psychology students (n=185), we investigated whether identification with either Edinburgh University or Psychology was associated with the adoption of specific learning approaches and more positive psychological outcomes. Our results revealed that identification with the University was significantly associated with the adoption of a deep learning approach, lower levels of burn-out and less depression. On the other hand, identification with Psychology was negatively correlated with a surface learning approach (attempting to complete the workload with minimum effort). Therefore, the current study suggests that higher levels of university and departmental identification may be beneficial for the adoption of deep learning approaches and psychological well-being.

What should clinicians be teaching young therapists about the therapeutic alliance?
Anne Plantade, Ecole de Psychologues Praticiens

Since the 1990s, it is clear that the therapeutic relationship has an important role in the evolution of the patient. Today, the various factors of the therapeutic relationship, such as the alliance, are the subject of numerous researches. In the past fifteen years, these studies have focused on patient-therapist relationship adjustment during sessions, and more specifically on how they negotiate their respective needs and wishes. This poster presents the results of a doctoral study on the training of psychologists to the therapeutic alliance. The theoretical part of the thesis supports the construction of a model of supervision focused on the alliance. The study itself raises several questions around the possibility of training therapists to identify variations in the therapeutic alliance, to train them to regulate their emotional experience of the relationship as well as the relationship itself, in order to be able to adjust to the needs of the patient. Thirty therapists participated in this study, half in the experimental group, the other half in the control group. The study will come to an end in September 2018. This poster presents its first results.

Using sequential blogs to develop HE study skills
Valerie Todd1, David McIlroy2
1University Centre at Blackburn College, 2Liverpool John Moores University

Issues faced by non-traditional HE students are well-documented in the literature (Chen, 2017; Croziera & Reay, 2011; Wyness, 2017), but issues faced by more traditional students progressing from full-time compulsory education are less well understood. Students entering HE from traditional FE routes have usually developed the basic skills to be able to acquire and accurately demonstrate understanding of knowledge, but may struggle to navigate the more HE driven study skills of analysis, synthesis and application of knowledge, along with academic writing and referencing skills. If the development of HE study skills is not smooth, it can negatively impact on academic self-efficacy (Dorit, 2015) and lead to poor retention and attainment (Honicke & Broadbent, 2016).

To facilitate the development of these HE study skills, an entry level Social Psychology course was developed in which the academic content was front loaded with knowledge tested by Multiple Choice Test mid-semester, followed by sequential blog writing to apply the learning to real world issues and develop academic writing and referencing skills.

Students were paired-up and invited to create a blog on any subject, but it needed to incorporate academic content from Social Psychology, along with credible external sources and references. Blogs were posted live and students were required to engage in online discussion using relevant theory to support their statements. A second blog was created using developmental feedback and the process was repeated.

Pairing students increased the safety for nervous learners and the process of tutor and student feedback created a collaborative learning environment where the student voice was valued, and provided opportunities for immediate application of feedback and peer learning. The development of HE study skills became a natural part of the process, which was reflected in the improvements in grades as the semester progressed.

Chen, J. C. (2017). Nontraditional adult learners: The neglected diversity in postsecondary education. Special Issue, Student Diversity, Sage Open, 1-12, https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244017697161

Crozier, G., & Reay, D. (2011). Capital accumulation: working-class students learning how to learn in HE. Teaching in Higher Education, 16(2), 145-155.

Dorit, A. (2015). Assessing the contribution of a constructivist learning environment to academic self-efficacy in higher education. Learning Environments Research, 18(1), 47-67.

Honicke, T., & Broadbent, J. (2016). The relation of academic self-efficacy to university student academic performance: A systematic review. Educational Research Review, 17, 63-84.

Wyness, G. (2017, December). Rules of the game. Disadvantaged students and the university admissions process. The Sutton Trust. http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/30754/1/Rules%20of%20the%20Game.pdf

Factors Biasing Course Ratings: Shedding New Light on a Popular Notion
Caroline Stanley, Sarah Abney, Bridgewater State University

Can instructors boost their ratings by offering students chocolate before they complete course evaluations? A previous study suggests “yes.” In their examination of factors biasing course evaluations, Youmans & Jee (2007) concluded that distributing chocolate resulted in more positive evaluations for the instructor. Despite the popular implications of this research, the “chocolate study” has yet to be replicated. The latter is surprising given some considerable shortcomings in the original study and given the importance of replicating scientific studies. Accordingly, this poster addresses two questions. First, How has the “chocolate effect” impacted the literature? An extensive literature review is summarized, providing insight on how and why scholars have cited the original chocolate study during the 10 years since its publication. Second, this poster shares data on the first-known replication of the “chocolate study.” Drawing from a larger and more diverse sample than used in the original study, the current research suggests no evidence that chocolate distribution impacts course evaluations.

Identifying and Supporting Career Tracks in the Psychology Major
Sybil A. Streeter, Benjamin Rottman, Julie Fiez, University of Pittsburgh

We aim to obtain much-needed data on the curricular pathways our students take through the major, and implement solutions for them to use to support career aspirations. An overarching goal is to personalize curriculum, advising, and communication to best prepare students to achieve their career goals, and enhance the fit between the portfolio of courses we offer with the aspirations of majors. As a hub science at the intersection of social and natural sciences, Pitt Psychology graduates have the background needed to move into many different career directions, but are often unaware of the many options. Our goal is to better understand the career objectives of Psychology majors at various educational stages to provide the information needed to link student career interests with their curricular choices, including their pursuit of dual-credentials and assess the value of such credentialing on career outcomes.