• Competing for Students' Attention in the Age of Distraction: A Discussion

      Fertig, Jason
      Topic/Problem Statement: As educators, we want our students to learn complex formulas, read challenging pieces of literature, and perhaps perform some academic research (Rousseau, 2006). Yet, can students who are quite addicted to smartphones perform deep work or are they stuck in a life of shallowness (Newport, 2016)? Evidence suggests that prolonged smartphone use robs students of the willpower necessary to perform the cognitively demanding tasks we ask of them (Baumeister and Tierney, 2012). Hence, in this session I aim (1) to present data on internet addiction, (2) to have the audience share their feelings on whether smartphones have changed students, and (3) stimulate interest in a work group dedicated to researching internet addiction and disseminating strategies for combating it. Context: I assume that there is a chance that while you are reviewing this submission, you have looked at your phone at least once and have multiple browser windows open. That is also how our students operate in class – and we cannot solve it by just telling students to put their phones away. Such short-term solutions do not produce long-term results. Students need to become aware of how their attention is diverted and their willpower is depleted. Approach: Given only 20 minutes, I aim to build an awareness of this issue through presenting some selected research on what smartphone use is doing to students. I also aim to report results of an internet fast assignment that my students performed. Ideally, I would also like to recruit a group of colleagues interested in working on this issue with me. Discussion: I use 2012 as a proxy for “when things changed in the classroom.†The iPhone was released in 2007, but around 2012, every student came to class with a device more powerful than the spaceship that went to the moon. Before 2012, when I entered the classroom, students were talking to each other. After 2012, most of them were face down in a screen until class started. Before 2012, I could engage a classroom in a period-long discussion. After 2012, they stopped responding and I had to alter my pedagogy to get them to respond (I posed a question, had them write “minute papers,†then asked what they wrote). I assume that I am not the only person seeing this phenomenon. Thanks for your time. References: Baumeister, R. F., & Tierney, J. (2012). Willpower: Rediscovering the greatest human strength. Penguin. Newport, C. (2016). Deep Work: Rules for Focus Success in a Distracted World. Grand Central Publishing. Rousseau, D. M. (2006). Is there such a thing as evidence-based management?. Academy of management review, 31(2), 256-269.
    • Don't Just Sit There: Student Engagement and Undergraduate Research

      Blair, Greg
      This presentation will focus on two interrelated questions encountered while teaching university art lecture and art studio courses. The first of these is how to increase the engagement of students with course content. The second is how to encourage undergraduate students to start developing their own research. This discussion will review how engagement and research can be inspired, in both art lecture and art studio style courses, as well as for introductory or advanced art students. The strategies presented in this discussion have mainly been developed from self-reflection, self-assessment, and student feedback but also draw upon some of the literature on student engagement and active learning. These strategies can be described as participatory, experiential, and student-centered because they shift the student experience into a more responsive and responsible role. This shift is similar to what David Lapotto has described as gains in individual development, including the growth of self-confidence, independence of work and thought, and a sense of accomplishment. Within the context of the education of an artist this effect can lead to the further development of their individual voice, vision, and artistic practice. One of the main strategies that I have employed to increase student engagement in art lectures courses is experiential learning or situated cognition. Some examples include getting students outside of the classroom so that they can physically perform for themselves some of the difference artworks and theories that we have studied. Another example includes field trips, maybe right on campus, in which students experience firsthand some of the concepts and artistic principles that we have recently discussed in class. In terms of promoting undergraduate research in art studio courses, for introductory courses, I introduce students to different methods of doing artistic research such as data mining. This serves to expand their understanding of the possibilities for developing their own artistic practice. For more advanced students, I encourage doing research by asking the students to develop self-directed projects with a focus on certain methodologies. As the students shift toward solely working on their own research interests, they begin to feel more ownership for what they are doing. Through this sense of ownership, their engagement begins to increase. These implemented strategies have impacted student experience and success through both anecdotal evidence and demonstrable outcomes. These include less absenteeism, better test scores, better conceptual development, and higher levels of retention. Passion and enthusiasm are certainly helpful in increasing engagement but by experimenting with some of the strategies that I have used in my own courses such as the flipped classroom, art making as a social activity, situated cognition, and educational constructivism, perhaps other faculty will also experience a positive impact on their pedagogical development and the success of their students. References Bonwell,, Charles C. and James A. Eison, Active Learning: Creating Excitement in the Classroom. 1991 ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Reports, ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education, The George Washington University, 1991, https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED336049.pdf Hall, Joshua, 3 Ways to Encourage Independent Undergraduate Research, Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, September 19, 2016, https://theihs.org/blog/3-waysencourage-independent-undergraduate-research/ Himmelsbach, Vawn, 19 Student Engagement Strategies to Start with in Your Course, Top Hat, May 17, 2019 Khoo, Shaun, How to make undergraduate research worthwhile, Nature, Career Column 14, November 2018, https://www.nature.com/nature/articles?type=career-column Lopatto, David, Undergraduate Research as a High-Impact Student Experience, Association of American Colleges & Universities, peerReview, Spring 2010, Vol. 12, No. 2, https://www.aacu.org/publications-research/periodicals/undergraduate-research-high-impactstudent-experience
    • Using Clickers in the Classroom

      Eyink, Julie
      Instructors often search for ways to increase student engagement and participation during class. Learning Response Systems, known colloquially as clickers, are one potential solution. Research shows students perceive clickers positively (Han & Finklestein, 2013) and that clickers facilitate learning and engagement (Morling et al., 2008; Hake, 1998). To see if clickers had similar positive effects in my classroom, I solicited feedback from the 108 students in my Introduction to Psychology course. During the Fall 2020 semester, I used the Acadly clicker app to take attendance, ask multiple choice poll questions to gain insight into which topics students understood, and conducted discussions via the app to help ensure social distancing. 55 of those students provided feedback. Overall, students agreed Acadly facilitated learning (M = 6.15 on a 7-point scale) and engagement (M = 6.24), and that it helped them to participate in the large lecture class in a less stressful/anxiety-producing manner (M = 6.37). Resources/References For more information on Acadly, see: https://www.acadly.com/ or their help page: https://help.acadly.com/en/ Hake, R. R. (1998). Interactive-engagement vs. traditional methods: A six-thousand-student survey of mechanics test data for introductory physics courses. American Journal of Physics, 66, 64–74. Han, J. H., & Finkelstein, A. (2013). Understanding the effects of professors' pedagogical development with Clicker Assessment and Feedback technologies and the impact on students' engagement and learning in higher education. Computers & Education, 65, 64-76. Morling, B., McAuliffe, M., Cohen, L., & DiLorenzo, T. M. (2008). Efficacy of personal response systems (“clickers”) in large, introductory psychology classes. Teaching of Psychology, 35(1), 45-50.