Scholarly Rigor: Focusing Reflection Through Engaging in an Academic Dialogue

Scholarly Rigor: Focusing Reflection Through Engaging in an Academic Dialogue

Robert Hallis (University of Central Missouri, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2212-7.ch014

Abstract

The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning nurtures an academic discussion of best instructional practices. This case study examines the role domain knowledge plays in determining extent to which students can effectively analyze an opinion piece from a major news organization, locate a relevant source to support their view of the issue, and reflect on the quality of their work. The goal of analyzing an opinion piece is twofold: it fosters critical thinking in analyzing the strength of an argument and it promotes information management skills in locating and incorporating relevant sources in a real-world scenario. Students, however, exhibited difficulties in accurately completing the assignment and usually overestimated their expertise. This chapter traces how each step in the process of making this study public clarifies the issues encountered. The focus here, however, centers on the context within which the study was formulated, those issues that contributed to framing the research question, and how the context of inquiry served to deepen insights in interpreting the results.
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Literature Review

For nearly 30 years, the SoTL provided a source for research-based investigations into a wide range of issues educators encounter in the classroom. Schulman (1988) categorized these inquiries into five dimensions: problems, investigations, methods, settings, and purposes. He predicted a fundamental shift in the importance of evidence based inquiry into classroom effectiveness:

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