Biennial International Seminar on the Teaching of Psychological Science Program

The formal part of each seminar day will take place in Maison Suger’s conference room from 09:30 to 13:30, with a coffee break at 11:00. Participants will be free for the rest of the day for lunch and dinner on their own or in groups and to pursue informal discussions and research planning sessions.

Four of the five days will include a speaker presentation followed by group discussion and brainstorming about the research that has been done—and that still needs to be done—on that day’s topic. Here is the schedule:

Monday, 9 July, 2018: What Evidence is Evidence? Evaluating and Generating Evidence for Teaching Practices that Apply in the Classroom

David Daniel, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA

Efforts to translate laboratory findings about teaching into recommendations for teaching strategies and learning aids may actually impair students’ learning if those findings are based on research designs that fail to take into account the complexities of teaching and learning environments in the real world of the educator. The applicability of laboratory evidence in that real world can depend on student demographics, teaching styles, educational settings, interactions among strategies, and other important variables, so the impact of these variables must be assessed before recommended procedures can be safely labeled and confidently recommended as pedagogy. Researchers should also recognize that (1) some of the pedagogical supports they recommend might have unintended effects, such as discouraging students from honing their ability to learn on their own from narrative material and (2) an overuse of learning aids may tax students’ ability to use them effectively. Discussion in this session will focus on ideas for developing approaches and designs for studying the teaching and learning process that will have demonstrably practical value for teachers and students in classroom settings.

Tuesday, 10 July, 2018: Technology in Education: Best Practices, Worst Practices, and Missing Data

Sue Frantz, Highline College, Des Moines, Washington, USA

Technology is not inherently useful. It is how you use it that matters. Apollo 8 went to the moon, orbited it, and came back using a computer with 38 kilobytes of storage. My phone has 32 gigabytes of storage; that’s 31,999,962 more kilobytes than the Apollo 8 computer – and I have yet to go to the moon. The educational landscape is littered with technology. Some of those tools can be used to help our students gain knowledge and skills. Others can help instructors learn where our students need more support or guidance. We will explore several of those tools – tools used for polling, back channel communication, project management, collaborative writing, and public writing to name a few, look at the research to date on how those tools have been used effectively – and not so effectively, and identify areas where more research is needed.

Wednesday, 11 July, 2018: Does Active Learning Work? Good Question, but Not the Right One

Douglas A. Bernstein, Ph.D., University of South Florida, USA

Some research on active learning methods suggests that they are effective teaching tools, while other studies have found them to be no better than traditional lecture methods. The situation is much like the one that began to play out in the 1950s with respect to the effects of psychotherapy. In that realm, it eventually became clear that the question "does therapy work?" was not the right one. It was more important to ask "which therapies result in clinically significant benefits when delivered by whom in what manner to which clients with what problems and how durable are the benefits"? This presentation suggests that it is time for researchers in the scholarship of teaching and learning to go beyond asking whether active learning "works" and address instead of a set of deeper questions about it. Doing so will require a more systematic and critical analysis of existing evidence as well as a new generation of research designed specifically to fill in the gaps in our understanding of what active learning methods can and cannot do.

Thursday, 12 July: Keys to (Study) Success? Research Findings from Three Studies among Dutch Higher Education Students and Alumni

Ingrid Snijders, Roosevelt Center for Excellence in Education, Middelburg, and HZ University of Applied Sciences, Vlissingen, The Netherlands

The importance of creating bonds between faculty/staff and their students seems obvious, because these relationships can contribute in a positive way to students’ success during and after their careers in higher education. These relationships can also be fruitful in terms of loyalty behaviors shown by students and alumni (e.g., positive recommendations and financial support) which can help to sustain a college or university’s continuity and/or growth. However, the question of how best to build and maintain such positive and long-lasting relationships remains largely unanswered. My research addresses this question by examining students’ perceptions of the quality of their relationships with faculty and staff, that is, I study relationship quality (RQ), and its influence on student and alumni involvement and academic success. My presentation at the seminar will include an overview of the theoretical foundations of RQ in education and management settings, a description of my research findings and the opportunity for group discussion about (1) what these and other results of RQ research mean for higher education, (2) what additional research is needed, and (3) how and where that research might best be conducted.

Friday, 13 July, 2018: Participants’ Posters and Invited Presentations

April McGrath, Mount Royal University, Canada. Sketching for Success: Investigating the Learning Outcomes of Sketching in Biological Psychology
Victoria Cross, University of California, Davis, USA. Teaching, Measuring and Tracking Critical Thinking and Scientific Reasoning Skills
Maya Khanna, Creighton University, USA. Should We Introduce Research-Based Learning Strategies to Freshmen?
Coffee Break
Poster Session (see poster abstracts page for details)