Handbook of College and University Teaching: A Global Perspective


Edited by: James E. Groccia, Mohammed A. T. Alsudairi & William Buskist

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  • Chapters
  • Front Matter
  • Back Matter
  • Subject Index
  • Part I: Introduction

    Part II: Outcomes of Teaching and Learning

    Part III: Understanding Students

    Part IV: Understanding Teachers

    Part V: Understanding Context

    Part VI: Understanding Content

    Part VII: Understanding Learning

    Part VIII: Understanding Teaching

  • Dedication

    The editors of this book join in respectfully thanking all of our colleagues and contributors, international and domestic, who care about the quality of teaching and learning worldwide. The global academic community is enriched by your efforts. Individually, we would like to share the following dedications:

    James E. Groccia: To Chris, whose support and sacrifice have made my work on this book and indeed, my entire career, possible. To my Biggio Center colleagues, thanks for your cooperation and patience.

    Mohammed A. T. Alsudairi: I dedicate this book to those who care about student learning all over the world.

    William Buskist: To Connie, love of my life. Salida awaits!


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    About the Editors

    James E. Groccia is the Director of the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and associate professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership, and Technology at Auburn University. He is a former president of the Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education (POD Network), and was a 2011 Fulbright scholar at the University of Tartu, Estonia. Groccia has presented at dozens of national and international conferences, has conducted hundreds of workshops worldwide, has served as an advisor and consultant to institutions nationally and abroad, and has authored numerous articles and book chapters on teaching and learning issues. He is the author of The College Success Book: A Whole-Student Approach to Academic Excellence and coauthor with M. S. Hunter of The First-Year Seminar: Designing, Implementing and Assessing Courses to Support Student Learning and Success: Vol. II. Instructor Training and Development. Groccia is coeditor with Bill Buskist of Evidence-Based Teaching; coeditor with J. E. Miller of Volumes 29 and 30 of To Improve the Academy, On Becoming a Productive University: Strategies for Reducing Costs and Increasing Quality in Higher Education; Enhancing Productivity: Administrative, Instructional, and Technological Strategies; and coeditor with J. E. Miller and M. S. Miller on Student-Assisted Teaching: A Guide to Faculty-Student Teamwork.

    Mohammed A. T. Alsudairi is assistant professor of management information systems (MIS) at King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is responsible for staff development and serves as Dean of Skills Development. He holds a PhD in business from Leicester University, United Kingdom, and received an MS in economics and an MBA in MIS from California State University, Pomona. His research interests are mainly in the areas of MIS, electronic business, electronic government, customer relations management, knowledge management, business process reengineering, and strategic uses of information systems. He has also founded the Saudi Teaching and Learning Society, authored the teaching manual of King Saud University, and presented various research papers in national and international conferences on teaching and learning, academic development, and knowledge acquisition and information technology.

    William Buskist is the Distinguished Professor in the Teaching of Psychology at Auburn University and a Faculty Fellow at Auburn's Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. He has published widely on issues related to teaching and learning, both within his own discipline of psychology and more generally in higher education. His most recent publications include edited works with James Groccia (Evidence-Based Teaching) and with Victor Benassi (Effective College and University Teaching: Strategies and Tactics for the New Professoriate). Buskist has served as president for the Society for the Teaching of Psychology and is currently the editor-in-chief for the society's e-book program). He has won numerous teaching awards at both the local and national levels, as have many of his graduate student protégés. He is a Fellow of both the American Psychological Association and the Association for Psychological Science.

    About the Contributors

    Shakeer Abdullah is the director of Auburn University's Multicultural Center in Auburn, Alabama. He is a doctoral student in higher education administration, and his research interest is in multicultural competency, diversity in study abroad programs, and Muslim student identity development.

    Solaiman M. AlHadlaq is associate professor of endodontics at King Saud University, College of Dentistry, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is interested in promoting excellence in teaching, learning, and assessment in health education.

    Saleh H. Alwasel is a physiologist in the College of Science at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is a fellow in the Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom, and holds a postgraduate certificate in academic practice from King's College London, United Kingdom. He is interested in teaching enhancement in general, especially improving teaching microenvironments.

    Virginia J. Anderson, a biologist and science educator at Towson University in Maryland, is a nationally known grading and assessment activist, author, workshop leader, and consultant. She chairs her department's assessment committee and the university's undergraduate assessment team, presents at Middle States Commission on Higher Education conferences frequently, and is currently serving as an evaluator on four National Science Foundation grants.

    Carol M. Archer is professor of cross-cultural communication and English as a second language at the Language and Culture Center of the University of Houston, Texas. Her research and writing interests concern interpersonal, intercultural communication and its impact on teaching, learning, and developing human relationships.

    Paul Blackmore is professor of higher education and director of the King's Learning Institute at King's College London. His research interests are in the conceptualization and exploration of professional expertise, particularly leadership roles in academic settings, and in strategic curriculum change.

    Jeremy L. Brunson is an assistant professor of sociology and interpretation at Gallaudet University. His research interests are sociology of disability and sociology of work and the professions.

    Andrew N. Christopher is professor of psychological science at Albion College in Albion, Michigan. He is editor of the Society for the Teaching of Psychology's journal, Teaching of Psychology, and has published numerous articles on topics in both economic and political psychology.

    Margaret W. Cohen is associate provost for professional development and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, where her faculty appointment is in the Division of Educational Psychology, Research, and Evaluation. Her commitment to mentoring and supporting the professional success of academic colleagues is reflected in her research and writing on faculty centers, collaborative learning, and the course syllabus.

    Jacquelyn Cranney is an Australian Learning and Teaching Council National Teaching Fellow who has a special interest is undergraduate psychology education. She has served on a number of national committees concerned with the quality of education and training, and has contributed to reviews of the aims of undergraduate psychology education in the United States and in Britain.

    Geoffrey Crisp is the dean of learning and teaching at RMIT University in Victoria, Australia. His research centers on faculty development, online assessment, and the use of the online environment for authentic learning and assessment.

    Helen Dalton is a researcher and educator with a background in science and an interest in leadership in academic and curriculum development. She has been recognized for her contributions to student learning and has collaboratively undertaken a number of national studies into academic beliefs, curriculum, and leadership.

    Shelda Debowski is Winthrop Professor for Higher Education Development and the director of Organisational and Staff Development Services at the University of Western Australia. Her research and professional interests relate to academic leadership, organizational and leadership development, and the provision of effective support to academics at all stages of their development.

    Kevin Downing is a distinguished psychologist and education researcher currently working at City University of Hong Kong. He is the recipient of national and international awards for teaching excellence and is an acknowledged expert on metacognition.

    Helen Fox heads the Social Theory and Practice Program at the University of Michigan. Her research and teaching interests include human rights, race and racism, international development, peace and justice education, and cultural issues in academic writing.

    Dennis B. Galvan is professor and director of the undergraduate program in psychology at Gallaudet University, a liberal arts college for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in Washington, D.C. His research interests include the acquisition of American Sign Language by children and adults and excellence in college and university teaching.

    Peter J. Giordano is professor and chair of the Psychological Science Department at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. He has served as national president of Psi Chi and as the methods and techniques editor for the journal Teaching of Psychology. Recent scholarly interests include the infusion of Asian culture into psychology courses and the relevance of Asian philosophical traditions to the craft of teaching.

    Regan A. R. Gurung is the Ben J. & Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Human Development & Psychology at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. His research interests include health across cultures, social objectification, and ways to improve teaching and student learning.

    Mohammad M. Hassan is an associate professor in agricultural sciences and head of the Planning Department at the Deanship of Skills Development at King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Besides his duties as an academic planner and developer in college teaching profession, he is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom, and a distinguished external reviewer in academic accreditation. He is also an Excellence in College Teaching award winner at Cairo University in 2004 and 2006.

    Angela Ho is the director of educational development at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research and professional interest include professional development of teachers in higher education; outcome-based approaches to teaching, learning, and assessment; and helping students learn to learn.

    Emad A. Ismail is associate professor in agricultural sciences at Cairo University, Egypt; graduate of Post Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) program at King's College London; a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, United Kingdom; and director of the research and publication unit at the Deanship of Skills Development, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. His activities focus on research, awareness publications, and training for improving teaching skills of faculty members.

    Kenneth Mølbjerg Jørgensen is associate professor in organizational learning at Aalborg University, Denmark. His research and teaching interests include organizational learning management education with a special focus on power, storytelling, ethics, and problem-based learning.

    Camille B. Kandiko is a research associate in the King's Learning Institute at King's College London, United Kingdom. Her research focuses on international and comparative higher education, with areas of interest in curriculum and the student experience, interdisciplinarity, and PhD supervision.

    Jared Keeley is assistant professor of psychology at Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi. He is interested in furthering the scholarship of teaching and learning, particularly regarding how teachers are evaluated.

    Kenneth D. Keith is professor of psychological sciences at the University of San Diego in San Diego, California. His writing and research encompass topics in cross-cultural psychology, the teaching of psychology, and education in the liberal arts.

    Ian Kinchin is assistant director of the King's Learning Institute at King's College London, United Kingdom. His research interests focus on the development of university pedagogy through the perspective of knowledge structures as revealed by concept mapping.

    Vesna Kovač is associate professor at the University of Rijeka in Croatia. Her research interests focus on higher education policy and management and on issues regarding academic staff development.

    R. Eric Landrum is professor in the Department of Psychology at Boise State University. His research interests include various aspects of student success, broadly defined, such as pedagogy and scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL), improving student writing, assessment of skills, and the multiple career paths for psychology baccalaureates.

    Laurie Lomas has recently retired from King's College London, United Kingdom, where he is now visiting senior lecturer at the King's Learning Institute. His research interests and publications have been principally in international higher education management.

    Stacey C. Nickson is the assistant director of the Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. Her research and writing interests include faculty development with an emphasis on intercultural communication and global initiatives to enhance access to the professoriate.

    Einike Pilli is working as a faculty consultant at Tartu University (Lifelong Learning Centre) and as a trainer of faculty. Her main research topics include curriculum development and assessment, university didactics, informal lifelong learning, and accreditation of prior experiential learning.

    Kristina Shin is a distinguished fashion design and education researcher currently working at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. She is founding editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, and the recipient of an international award for teaching excellence.

    Veena Singaram is a lecturer in the Department of Medical Education, at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. Her research and writing interests include problembased learning, collaborative learning, academic coaching, and anatomical science education.

    Ted Sommerville is associate professor in medical education at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa. His research interests include curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, classics, anesthesia, and pain management.

    Lorraine Stefani is professor and director of the Centre for Academic Development at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Her current research interests are focused on the role of academic development in effecting sustainable organizational change and the leadership attributes required to deliver on this agenda

    Anete M. Camille Strand is assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Aalborg University, Denmark. Her research and teaching interests include communication in organizations, material storytelling, and problem-based learning. She is particularly interested in experimenting with integrating new learning modalities such as body, space, and artifacts into the problem-based learning process.

    Qi Sun is associate professor of adult education in the Department of Professional Studies at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. Her research and teaching focus on adult learning and transformative learning, lifelong learning and learning society, Eastern philosophical perspectives on education, and international and comparative (adult) education.

    Po Li Tan is currently the visiting lecturer at the King's Learning Institute, King's College London, United Kingdom. Her interests include intercultural pedagogy in higher education, internationalization of global universities, intercultural sensitivity development, and coaching across cultures.

    Anja Overgaard Thomassen is an assistant professor in the Department of Learning and Philosophy at Aalborg University, Denmark. Her research interests lie within the area of continuing education with special focus on problem-based learning (PBL). She is especially interested in how PBL can be a way of integrating education and work, thereby overcoming the gap between theory and practice.

    Annie Trapp is director of the Higher Education Academy Psychology Network and a founding member of EUROPLAT, a European network to support psychology education. She has been involved in a wide range of teaching and learning initiatives relevant to psychology education and has special interests in bringing about organizational change within higher education and the use of technology to support teaching.

    Marko Turk is a junior researcher and teaching assistant at the University of Rijeka in Croatia, and since 2008, a PhD student at the University of Zagreb. He is engaged in higher education issues, especially in the field of higher education teaching, governance, and academic profession.

    Kätlin Vanari is head of the Department of Academic Affairs in the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences. Her research interests include learning to learn, learning and study skills, learning approaches, quality assurance in higher education institutions, and curriculum development, particularly outcome-based curricula.

    Richard S. Velayo is professor of psychology at Pace University in New York City. His scholarly interests include the internationalization of the psychology curriculum, and pedagogical applications of multimedia and Internet-based technologies.

    James E. Witte is associate professor at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, and teaches in the adult education program. His academic areas of interest include training program development and evaluation, individual learning styles, and how learning is assessed in both conventional and distance learning settings.

    Maria Martinez Witte is associate professor at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, and teaches in the adult education program. Her academic areas of interest include analyzing effective content, context, and processes that enhance the teaching-learning environment, learning styles, and the assessment of learning.


    When we think of college and university teaching, we generally think of it in terms of our own teaching—the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values we share with our students; the pedagogy we use to share these things; and the strategies we use to measure whether our students have learned them. If we are fortunate enough to teach in a department that genuinely values teaching, then we may think of teaching as more of a collective effort and conceptualize our teaching by how it contributes to the overall mission of the department or institution. To be sure, though, relatively few of us think about teaching beyond the borders of our home institutions.

    Nonetheless, the sphere that we call college and university teaching exists in myriad multidimensional forms throughout the world. Colleges and universities may be found in every nation, and they all have the same raisons d'être: to educate students with the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values necessary to be productive members of their society, to be competitive in today's global job market, and to assist students to become lifelong learners. These goals are not mutually exclusive, although the former tends to be emphasized more than the latter in many, if not most, of the world's institutions of higher learning, especially in those college and universities that have adopted the student-as-consumer perspective of education.

    Although most college and university teachers view teaching as a localized activity circumscribed by the needs of their institutions and communities, more and more students are traveling internationally to earn their college and university degrees. Having international students on campus— regardless of students' places of origin or the nation on whose campus they might now be studying—brings with it an infusion of multicultural perspectives, traditions, and values. Some teachers welcome the challenge of teaching these students, whereas other teachers are more reticent, unsure of how or what to teach or even how to interact with students who do not look like them or have the same native tongue.

    But learning how to teach international students in our classrooms and helping them feel welcomed and supported in their host countries is not the only reason why we should broaden our perspectives on teaching and learning. Indeed, we can learn about the craft of teaching by seeking and understanding how teachers outside our own culture approach the challenge of educating the next generation of their students, many of whom will shape, for better or for worse, both the global economy and global politics.

    As editors, we believe that, as the world “gets smaller,” there is a growing and important need to pay attention to higher education at the cross-cultural, cross-national level. The globalization of higher education is a reality that has far-reaching consequences that call for increased awareness and modification of teaching and learning practices. The globalization of higher education has created universities where national boundaries are irrelevant; where the movement of students, teachers, ideas, and instructional methods crosses physical, cultural, and pedagogical barriers. According to Ben Wildavsky (2010), the consequences of globalization include

    the ever-more-intense recruitment of students and faculty; the swift spread of branch campuses; the well-financed efforts to create world-class universities, whether by upgrading existing institutions or by building brand-new ones; the innovative efforts by online universities and other for-profit players to fill unmet needs in higher education markets around the globe; and the closely watched rankings by which everyone keeps score.

    (pp. 4–5)

    Beyond the economic and political impacts of this trend, why does globalization matter generally and to the individual university instructor? Nations around the globe have invested huge sums of financial and human capital to create higher education systems to capture their share of the educational market. As a result, competition for students and the faculty to teach them is increasing dramatically. The very notion of what it means to be an educated person is changing, in that such a product of our educational systems must be exposed to ideas, behaviors, cultures, and people that transcend physical space. Faculty members must also be exposed to the ideas and educational transformations occurring around the world so that they are better equipped to translate and transfer this knowledge to their students. Globalization of higher education represents a new kind of free trade, free trade in minds that should be embraced, not feared (Wildavsky, 2010). Globalization is not a zero-sum game where one country wins and another loses because the increase of knowledge benefits all.

    Thus, we asked teachers from around the world to share with us, and with you, their perspectives on college and university teaching. Our authors rose brilliantly to the challenge. Some crafted chapters that address classroom teaching per se. Others contributed descriptions and perspectives of how national and global factors influence classroom teaching, learning, or curriculum development in their country. Still others offered theoretical perspectives on teaching accented by their culture. Finally, others shared their empirical research on issues of critical importance to teaching and learning at their universities. Thus, this volume presents international perspectives on critical issues affecting teaching and learning in a diverse range of higher education environments in the attempt to understand teaching and learning from multiple, although admittedly not all cultural perspectives.

    Our volume is framed around James Groccia's seven-part model for understanding teaching and learning discussed in other publications (Groccia, 1997; Groccia, 2007; St. Clair & Groccia, 2009) and described in more detail in Chapter 1 in this volume. Using this model as the organizational structure of the book provides a guide for systemic thinking about what actions one should take, or suggest others take, when planning activities to improve teaching and learning, curriculum development, and assessment. The model indicates that college and university teaching consists of, and is influenced by, seven complex and interrelated variables: learning outcomes, teacher, learner, learning process, learning context, course content, and instructional processes. More specifically, these variables may be conceptualized as follows:

    • Learning outcomes: The desired results of teaching, in short- and long-term learning outcomes, should be identified during the course design process, before teaching, and assessed on a regular basis throughout the instructional process. One can also include classroom assessment techniques as formative measures of learning outcomes.
    • Teacher: Teachers differ, and their backgrounds, preparation, and individual characteristics influence why, when, and how they teach. Understanding who teachers are as individuals and professionals and what they bring to the learning situation can affect the quality of that experience.
    • Learner: Learners differ in the same ways that teachers differ and their backgrounds, preparation, and individual characteristics influence why, when, and how they learn.
    • Learning process: Knowledge of teaching and learning research and learning theory provides a foundation for good practice transfer of learning.
    • Learning context: Learning context includes the emphasis an educational institution places on instruction, its mission and purposes, and the process of resource and reward allocation, which can influence what faculty and students do in and out of the classroom. Local, state, provincial, national, and international priorities shape what is taught, what our students learn and know, and how we teach.
    • Course content: With the ever-increasing expansion of knowledge in many disciplines and the corresponding demands that it places on students, faculty need to ensure that what is taught in their courses is necessary, challenging, and well organized.
    • Instructional processes: The most obvious variable in this model describes what faculty as teachers and students as learners actually do in the instructional environment: teaching strategies, teacher behaviors, and student learning responses.

    We believe the contributors to this volume, many of whom are not native English speakers, did a marvelous job in so generously sharing their knowledge, experiences, and wisdom with us, and now you. We thank them for their willingness to contribute chapters to this volume, and doing so with good cheer. Indeed, as editors, we feel, on the one hand, that our world—our intellectual world—was enlarged substantially by our contributors' insights into college and university teaching. On the other hand, we feel our world—our social and cultural world—was shrunk substantially by the information shared as well as by the contributors' warm demeanor, graciousness, and goodwill.

    Without the tireless efforts of several outstanding people at SAGE, this volume would not have come to fruition. We especially thank Senior Acquisitions Editor Christine Cardone for her unwavering support for this book despite several setbacks along the way. She is a marvelous friend and a magnificent editor. Sarita Sarak, Chris's talented and trusty editorial assistant, was faithfully by our sides all along the way. We thank her for taking care of the hundreds of the details that must be skillfully handled to bring this book into the light of day. We also offer our heartfelt thanks to Marketing Manager Liz Thornton for her excellent work in making sure that this volume made it safely into the hands of our readers. Our incredibly skilled copy editor, Robin Gold, did a wonderful job ensuring that every word in this volume is clear and understandable—and that was no easy task given that so many of our authors write and speak in a native tongue other than English.

    Finally, our deepest appreciation is respectfully expressed to our wives and families for their patience and support through all phases of this project. The idea for this book is quite a simple one, but transforming that idea into words on a page, and hundreds of pages at that, meant that we spent many hours away from our families while we solicited and edited the draft manuscript and prepared the final manuscript. Special thanks to each of you.

    James E.GrocciaAuburn, Alabama
    Mohammed A. T.AlsudairiRiyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabiaz
    WilliamBuskistAuburn, Alabama
    Groccia, J. E. (1997). A model for understanding teaching and learning. Chalkboard (Program for Excellence in Teaching, University of Missouri), 15. 2–3.
    Groccia, J. E. (2007). President's message—Planning faculty development activities: Using a holistic teaching and learning model. POD Network News (Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education), 1. 3.
    St. Clair, K. L., & Groccia, J. E. (2009). Change to social justice education: Higher education strategy. In K.Skubikowski, C.Wright, & R.Graf (Eds.), Social justice education: Inviting faculty to transform their institutions (pp. 70–84). Sterling, VA: Stylus.
    Wildavsky, B. (2010). The great brain race: How global universities are reshaping the world. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
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