Research and Papers

POD-IDEA Center Notes on Learning

These succinct papers were written in collaboration with the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD). As a resource to support improved student learning , each is useful to anyone wanting to address specific ways to facilitate learning on the following twelve objectives -- which are central to the IDEA Student Ratings of Instruction System.

Introduction

IDEA Objective #1: Gaining factual knowledge (terminology, classifications, methods, trends)

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Author: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University

Background The foundations of any discipline are its definition, knowledge base, terminology, structure, methodology, and epistemology. As we move from basic knowledge to the complex organization...

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IDEA Objective #2: Learning fundamental principles, generalizations, or theories

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Authors: Walt Wager, Florida State University; Marilla Svinicki, University of Texas at Austin

Background Ms. Jones enters the classroom and gets the student’s attention by pushing a chair across the front of the room. She asks the class how pushing this chair demonstrates Newton...

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IDEA Objective #3: Learning to Apply Course Material (to improve thinking, problem solving, and decisions)

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Authors: Todd Zakrajsek, Central Michigan University; Tamara Rosier, Cornerstone University

Background Instruction in the absence of application is incomplete because it occurs in a kind of artificial learning environment. Often, there is no direct connection between the material and the...

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IDEA Objective #4: Developing specific skills, competencies, and points of view needed by professionals in the field most closely related to this course

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Author: Nancy McClure, Fairmont State University

Background A professional's skill, competence, and point of view all affect his or her performance in the workplace. When you choose professional service you realize that you want a professional...

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IDEA Objective #5: Acquiring skills in working with others as a member of a team

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Author: Donna M. Qualters, Northeastern University

Background Research on active learning demonstrates the efficacy of having students engaged in the process (1). Chickering & Gamson’s “7 Principles” (2) extend this notion to...

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IDEA Objective #6: Developing creative capacities (writing, inventing, designing, performing in art, music, drama, etc.)

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Authors: Jennifer Franklin, University of Arizona; Michael Theall, Youngstown State University

Background In education, “creativity” is a term we all understand in ordinary parlance, though we may have little knowledge of the scientific research associated with it. Craft’s...

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IDEA Objective #7: Gaining a broader understanding and appreciation of intellectual/cultural activity

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Authors: Pamela E. Barnett, Princeton University; Jodi Cressman, DePaul University

Background From cave painting to Rafael; from the cell to the neurosystem. Whatever our discipline, there is a familiar introductory or survey course that intends to give students a broader...

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IDEA Objective #8: Developing skill in expressing myself orally or in writing

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Author: Frances Johnson, Rowan University

Background Writing is part of every job. Surveys by the Associated Press claim that most American businesses need to improve the writing and communication skills of their workers.  Employers, in...

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IDEA Objective #9: Learning how to find and use resources for answering questions or solving problems

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Authors: Gail MacKay, Indiana University Kokomo; Barbara Millis, University of Nevada-Reno; Rebecca Brent, Education Designs, Inc.

Background At institutions of higher education across the U.S., information literacy (IL) is being integrated into general education curricula as a specific learning objective. The Association of...

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IDEA Objective #10: Developing a clearer understanding of, and commitment to, personal values

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Authors: Victoria Bhavsar, University of Kentucky; Jeff King, Kaplan University; Karen Becker, Youngstown State University

Background “Value theory” in philosophy and psychology literature explores the development, articulation, and manifestation of values at the individual and social level. This IDEA Note...

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IDEA Objective #11: Learning to analyze and critically evaluate ideas, arguments, and points of view

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Authors: Patricia Armstrong, Vanderbilt University; Sonja Moyer, US Army Command and General Staff College; Katherine Stanton, Princeton University

Background The critical evaluation of ideas, arguments, and points of view is important for the development of students as autonomous thinkers (1, 2). It is only through this critical evaluation...

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IDEA Objective #12: Acquiring an interest in learning more by asking questions and seeking answers

Series Editor: Michael Theall, Youngstown State University | Authors: Virginia S. Lee, Virginia S. Lee & Associates, LLC; Patricia Shaw, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Leone Snyder, Capella University

Background The ability to ask good questions and both find and develop well-supported answers is a hallmark of intellectual growth and development and a sophisticated learner (1). Stages of...

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