Thursday, January 21, 2016

Innovative Approaches to Faculty Development for Technology Integration: Evaluation of a Three-Tiered Model

Margaret Hunter, School of Educational Leadership for Change

College students expect technology to be a part of their learning environment, regardless of delivery format. Employers expect college graduates to be digitally fluent. However, colleges and universities have not prepared faculty to integrate technology into teaching practice, creating a gap between the faculty’s skill set and the demands of students and employers. Even though integration of technology and pedagogy is critical to faculty developing digital fluency, colleges have isolated technology from pedagogy. While learner-centered, interactive teaching methods are the most effective way to reach students, most faculty still use the lecture as their primary teaching mode.

Colleges must examine new ways to train faculty to use technology in tandem with pedagogy. This study examined the use of a three-tiered model to train faculty to create an engaging, interactive learning environment. The study was conducted at Gateway Technical College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Training offered to full- and part-time faculty members included a 5-day boot camp, an online course, and personal coaching during their first delivery of the alternative format. The training was developed as a result of a college-wide initiative to train all faculty to teach in alternative delivery formats. The focus of the training was blended delivery. The study looked at how the model affected instructors’ integration of technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge, as well as how the model affected faculty confidence and student learning. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected via surveys, faculty participant blog entries, and instructor observations.

The implications of the study are that the model helped faculty to develop confidence, create engaging course content, and form a teaching and learning community. Participants experienced increased confidence levels as they used technology in three contexts: during the boot camp, in the online portion of the course, and in their classrooms. As faculty confidence increased, course content became more engaging for students. During each tier of the model, faculty became more fluent in integration of technology, pedagogy, and course content. The study also revealed the importance of a teaching community for faculty. Faculty formed relationships during the boot camp that created a community that will outlast the course.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Blank Screen Meets the Internet: How Psychoanalysts Conceptualize the Use of Internet Searches in Professional Practice

Chaya Rubin, School of Psychology

Psychoanalytic psychologists recognize various elements involving both the stance of the analyst in practice and the maintenance of specific boundaries in the treatment as critical to psychoanalytic technique. However, as a result of the widespread engagement with the Internet over the past decade, new means of obtaining information about a patient (as well as a psychoanalyst) are now available that challenge the traditional psychoanalytic conceptualization of boundaries and of the therapeutic frame. The purpose of this study was to explore how psychoanalysts conceptualize the influence of the Internet in clinical practice and to consider whether psychoanalysts recognize Internet use as an intrusion into the psychoanalytic situation when it is employed by either patient or psychoanalyst, or if they indeed create space for this medium in their work. Using an interpretive phenomenological approach, the views of 13 participant psychoanalysts in practice are presented. Results reveal significant variability and diversity in the way the challenges are viewed and managed, indicating the importance of opening a field-wide dialogue on the subject. This study further argues for a psychoanalytic approach toward such discussion that will encourage and accept the presentation of multiple perspectives.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Effective Professional: The Adoption and Use of a Feedback System in Psychotherapy

Clifton Wood Chamberlain, School of Psychology

Using a “local therapist” sample, a feedback system, the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS), was added to psychotherapy sessions. Unique client-therapist pairs made use of the feedback system and results are compared to a control group where only outcomes were tracked. Therapist attitudes toward evidence-based practices and their decision to adopt the feedback system were also measured. The design was intended to be naturalistic and practice-friendly. The methods used here were chosen, in part, to facilitate the joining of science and practice and to promote effective psychotherapeutic methods. Efforts to close the research-practice gap must include data for the treatment or method as well as dissemination and adoption in an integrated and feasible package. The present study blends empiricism and real-world practice to promote the spread of an empirically supported technique for improving outcomes. Research to date has focused mainly on empiricism with less attention paid to subsequent spread of research findings. This study used a field design for exploring the intention to adopt a specific evidence-based practice, an alliance and outcomes feedback system (PCOMS). The dissemination phase involved recruiting volunteer therapists and providing training materials on the use of the feedback measures. The implementation phase involved an alliance/outcome feedback group versus a treatment as usual group. The adoption phase measured therapists’ likelihood of adoption of these methods into their future practice. The sample of therapists and clients was drawn from the local community to include a variety of the typical providers of psychotherapy (i.e., counselors, psychologists, social workers, and trainees) in a variety of settings. Results showed improved outcomes for the feedback group compared to the control group. The overall feasibility of the measures and the implications of the positive findings are discussed along with study limitations and needs for future research.

International adjustment in a dual cultural context: Voices of Western executive expatriates in Shanghai

Jane Feng, School of Human and Organizational Development

Expatriate study has been an area of scholarship and practitioner interest for four decades. Globalization promotes a growing number of multinational corporations (MNCs) to set up their subsidiaries in China. Expatriate adjustment is clearly important but is conceptually overdescribed and empirically underexamined.
This exploratory research study examined the international adjustment of Western executive expatriates in China. It focused on their adjustment in a dual cultural context of the MNC environment that requires expatriates to deal with both headquarters in the West and locals in the East. The research generated new understandings of dual cultural adjustment for senior executive expatriates in China.
The literature review included sensemaking, cross-cultural adaptation, culture shock, expatriate adjustment, and global leadership. Yet, there is insufficient research in these literatures of how expatriates adjust in this dual cultural context. Therefore I designed the research with an explorative approach and interviewed 12 Western senior executive expatriates. I referred to the concepts and models from the literature in the coding of my data analysis.
Central to my findings, and the primary contribution of this research, is the proposal of a dual cultural adjustment framework. It suggests that this adjustment can be explained with three components: background factors, dual cultural sensemaking, and managing in a dual cultural context. The background factors are in place before the expatriation and they influence how the expatriates perceive the dual cultural encounters that, in turn, affect how they act in a dual cultural setting.
As a researcher who is native Chinese and has worked with Western executives for several major MNCs, my contribution to the field is the development of a new, research-based framework that offers a new approach to expatriate study, adding functional knowledge and value to MNCs, scholars, and practitioners.

Key words: expatriate adjustment, dual cultural context, cross-cultural adaptation, explorative approach, coding, dual cultural sensemaking

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Interoceptive Awareness is Positively Related to Emotion Regulation

Jennifer R. Abbott, School of Psychology

Difficulties in emotion regulation underlie the sequelae of many painful mental disorders, and can lead to self-injurious behavior, substance abuse, and relationship problems. Awareness of interoceptive stimuli has been implicated in contributing to difficulties in emotion regulation by increasing emotional sensitivity and by enhancing the intensity of emotion. Clinicians have described the utility of interoceptive awareness in the treatment of emotion dysregulation. Little is known about interoceptive awareness and how it functions to have such a bidirectional effect on emotion regulation. Using a non-clinical population of university students (N=167), this study examined the relationship between interoceptive awareness in emotion regulation and whether mindfulness functioned to moderate the direction of this relationship. Pearson product-moment correlation analyses and hierarchical multiple regression were conducted to examine the relationships among variables, as measured by scores on the Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale, the Five Facet Mindfulness Questionnaire, and the Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness. A significant positive relationship was found between interoceptive awareness and emotion regulation, substantiating claims that interoceptive awareness can aid in emotion regulation. Mindfulness was not found to have a moderating effect, but was significantly related to increases in emotion regulation difficulty. However, a post hoc exploratory analysis did reveal a moderation effect. A better understanding of these relationships will equip clinicians to treat individuals with emotion regulation deficits more effectively.


Drew R. Suss, School of Human and Organizational Development

Effective leadership is essential for life sciences (LS) organizations developing successful treatments for diseases and reliable sources of food. As the world population grows and ages, the importance of their success increases. Sustainability demands that complex organizations be populated with effective decision makers, but data shows organizational life spans are relatively brief (Agarwal & Gort, 2002). This suggests effective decision making is uncommon.
The literature review explored the concept of leadership effectiveness, analyzed the complex systems framework of the adaptive-learning management system (ALMS) (Ackoff, 1999a) and the servant leadership (SL) model (Greenleaf, 1977). The analysis found ALMS, and SL theoretically aligned. This suggests SL may encourage effective workplace decisions (EWD) and may therefore be the preferred model for complex organizations as Bass (2000) suggested. The hypothesis tested was: In LS organizations there is a statistically significant correlation between the workers’ perceptions of servant leadership enacted by LS leaders, and followers’ perceptions that they are empowered to make effective workplace decisions.
A mixed-method approach measured SL and EWD behaviors quantitatively. Two instruments were used: The 30-item SLS survey, developed and validated by van Dierendonck and Nuitjen (2011), and the 8-item EWD instrument validated in a pilot study. The SLS has 8 subscales which enabled multiple factor analyses. Qualitative data were gathered to enable triangulation. The total sample (n= 77) produced a positive correlation: r =.48, r2 = .22 (p<.0001). Sample participants focused on commercialization (n=43) had a positive correlation: r = 0.37, (p 0.0313). Science-focused participants (n=34) generated a stronger positive correlation: r = 0.59, r2 =.35 (p<.001) with two SLS factors demonstrating significant variance values: Courage and empowerment measured r2 =.33 and r2 =.39 respectively (p <.0001). Qualitative data supported H1.
This empirical study produced significant empirical support for H1. It is the first to show the correlation of servant leadership (Greenleaf, 1970 ) and Ackoff’s (1999a) systems-focused management theory. This lends credence to suggestion that SL is beneficial to organizational sustainability (Bass, 2000; Greenleaf, 1970; Senge, 1990). It provides evidence that leaders who practice SL enable people to grow in their capacity to be effective (Ackoff, 1999a, 1999b).