ISU's Involvement in the CASTL Campus Program
CASTL PROGRAM in SoTL at ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY:
HISTORY and UPDATES
Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Our involvement in the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL) campus program began
in early 1998. Over the course of our first 1-2 years in CASTL, we have been involved in the following: a discussion
group created a definition of SoTL (“systematic reflection on teaching and learning made public”),
discussed barriers and supports for SoTL on campus, and selected a campus research project topic-student engagement
at ISU. In the next 1-2 years, supported by the Illinois State University Foundation and the Center for the Advancement
of Teaching, we have/are conducting four research projects related to the topic of student engagement:
- Jack Chizmar (Economics) and Doug Turco (Health, Physical Education and Recreation) are analyzing their data
in a quasi-experiment looking at the impact of graded vs. ungraded homework on participation (one measure
of engagement), course grade, and other measures. Dr. Chizmar is in the process of submitting an article for
- Val Farmer-Dougan (Psychology) and psychology student David James conducted a Web questionnaire study of
Illinois State University students’ engagement and the correlates of engagement. A brief article on
the results of this study appeared in the October 2000 issue of the CAT newsletter, the CATalyst.
- Sociology professor Tom Gershick and Sociology graduate student Lana Berardi are in the process of conducting
qualitative interviews with about 20 Illinois State University instructors and faculty members investigating
their perceptions of student engagement and how engagement can be enhanced to improve teaching and learning.
Ms. Berardi will be using the data for her Masters Thesis. The will also be presenting their research in April
2001 at the Midwest Sociological Society annual meetings.
- Finally, Wendy Troxel and Jamie Young (UAO) are looking at data (secondary analysis) from our students who
participated in the National Survey on Student Engagement. They have made local presentations thus far.
In 2001, the Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching, with the assistance of two faculty members,
received a $5,000 “Going Public” small grant from the American Association of Higher Education. This
grant helped us to disseminate knowledge obtained from our research on student engagement for the CASTL Campus
Program. The October 2000 and October
2001 issues of the CATalyst focused on student engagement and CASTL work. This was distributed on-campus
to over 2,000 people and to teaching centers around the nation via a newsletter exchange, and posted on our Web
- We our held a full-day conference on the topic open to faculty and staff from ISU and other institutions.
This occurred on July 18, 2001. Registration was limited to 60 people; 24 of these were from other Illinois
institutions of higher education.
- We created a poster about our CASTL and Going Public work. Dr. Turco presented this at AAHE in March 2000
and Kathleen McKinney presented this at a Sociology conference in April 2000. Dr. McKinney has also submitted
a proposal to the AAHE 2002 meetings (March) to present our student engagement research.
- We held (for about a year) a Web Board discussion on student engagement research open to anyone on- and off-campus.
- We have also posted updates on our campus program as well as our detailed response to the self-assessment “mapping
exercise” to the AAHE CASTL Web Center.
- The CAT director was asked to write an update on our CASTL etc. work to appear in the November or December
2001 issue of the AAHE Bulletin.
- We routinely conduct internal presentations or workshops on our CASTL work, student engagement, classroom
assessment, and SoTL more broadly as part of regular programming, university teaching workshops, and our annual
In 2002, the Cross Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning was established.
In 2002, we attended the AAHE Summer Academy. Our institutional change project
was “Enhancing Student Learning and Intellectual Community by Promoting the Scholarship of Teaching and
In 2003, we applied and were selected, along with 11 other institutions to serve as a SoTL
Cluster Leader, the latest phase of a joint AAHE-Carnegie Foundation effort to advance SoTL around the