Fargo, N.D. — Amy Rupiper Taggart, NDSU associate professor of English and director of first-year writing, published an article in the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning titled "What's Stalling Learning? Using a Formative Assessment Tool to Address Critical Incidents in Class." She conducted the research and collaborated on the article with H. Brooke Hessler, professor of English at Oklahoma City University.
The article reports on the use of Stephen Brookfield's formative assessment tool, the "Critical Incident Questionnaire" (CIQ), to help students and teachers identify and discuss key factors affecting learning. Rupiper Taggart and Hessler offer insight into two major areas: testing and adapting the existing tool to improve teaching and learning and identifying moments of potentially productive tension between the learner and the learning process. Their research questions were "Based on insights emerging from regular use of the CIQ, how might the tool be better worded to encourage productive student reflection?" and "What common stasis points do students identify when they reflect on their learning in the weekly CIQ?"
The research was conducted within the context of a longitudinal, cross-institutional study of reflective practices in writing courses. Responses indicated a tendency to report challenges related to the pedagogical approaches of the class more than challenges concerning the understanding of course content. The study yields insights into the use of the CIQ itself and into the kinds of "critical incidents" students considered most noteworthy. The fifth anniversary issue of International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning is available online at academics.georgiasouthern.edu/ijsotl/v5n1.html.