This is another in a series of interviews with campus QEP leaders – those staff, faculty and administrators across campus promoting the goals of EKU’s Quality Enhancement Plan. The current QEP, Read with Purpose, calls for Eastern to develop critical readers through the use of metacognitive strategies. Building on the past QEP, which focused on developing critical and creative thinkers, this effort represents the University’s commitment to institutional improvement, and provides a long-term focus for faculty and staff professional development and student learning.
This installment in the series features Dr. Leslie Hardman, assistant professor of occupational therapy:
Q: In what ways have you been involved with the EKU QEP, Read with Purpose?
- Participated in QEP Kick-Off activities for students on campus
- Attended 2016 session about QEP by Dr. Lisa Bosley in Fall 2016
- Presented on Critical Reading with Drs. Deborah Hayden and Kristen Causey-Upton to OS and OT faculty
- Participated in planning OS and OT faculty pilot PLC with Drs. Hayden, Jill Parrott and Bosley
- Presented as part of QEP team to the SACSCOC on-site visit (February 2017) about the Occupational Sciences Professional Learning Community plan
- Participated with in the OS and OT six-week pilot PLC on Critical Reading. Presented with Dr. Parrott (Dr. Hayden also a co-author) at the Lilly conference (January 2018) about the PLC experience and specific classroom strategies for engaging students in critical reading
Q: In what ways is the QEP relevant to your discipline?
A: Critical reading is viewed as an essential skill for students in occupational sciences and occupational therapy. Analysis and synthesis of peer-reviewed literature is key to professional development and application of current research in undergraduate and graduate courses as well as in clinical practice.
Q: In what ways has QEP professional development impacted your teaching?
A: First, I have become a better critical reader as a result of the professional development and involvement in the PLC. I have applied strategies in my course development, including explicitly teaching critical reading skills in graduate courses. I have eliminated, changed and developed new assignments based on the goal to promote student critical reading skills, supported by the pedagogy and tools learned in the PLC.
Q: What impact will the QEP having on student learning in your discipline?
A: Based a SoTL project of student critical reading (Spring 2018) with Dr. MaryEllen Thompson, preliminary data shows improved student engagement with assigned reading and increased competency with analysis and synthesis of the reading content in course written and clinical lab work. We expect students who improve critical reading as a result of the QEP will experience higher confidence levels in the occupational science and occupational therapy course work. We also expect to measure student outcomes reflecting performance at the higher Bloom’s taxonomy levels of analysis and synthesis.
Q: How does the QEP benefit the campus community?
A: The tools and resources available to faculty/instructors can increase their critical reading skill levels. It also establishes campus-wide expectations for faculty and student critical reading. Based on the research behind this initiative, we should see improved grades related to critical reading and increased evidence of student application of metacognitive strategies in their course work.
Q: How will you continue to promote critical reading in your courses, discipline, or across the University?
A: I will promote the University QEP initiative in faculty and student interactions, continue to review and revise my course content to maximize integration of student critical reading skill development, model critical reading strategies for faculty peers and students, complete data analysis for the critical reading SoTL project followed by presentation at the 2018 EKU Pedagogicon, and continue research in student critical reading related to occupational therapy curriculum. I have submitted the SoTL project for presentation consideration at the Education Summit (a national occupational therapy conference) for Fall 2018. In collaboration with Drs. Hayden, Parrott and Bosley, we are developing a manuscript for submission to an educational journal, reporting outcomes from the pilot OS and OT Critical Reading PLC.
I am very interested personally and professionally in all aspects of literacy. Critical reading is an important academic and clinical literacy component which I am so pleased to promote in our department and across the University.