STUDENT SUCCESS & An annotated example of a correctly formatted APA paper #PurdueOWL

For students desiring a visual example of a correctly formatted APA paper, check out the Purdue (Go Boilers!) Online Writing Lab. There you will find a helpful example of a correctly formatted APA paper (with captions added to explain APA). You can download the APA example paper at this link:

https://docs.google.com/viewerng/viewer?url=https://owl.english.purdue.edu/media/pdf/20090212013008_560.pdf

STUDENT SUCCESS & How to create and receive approval for an independent study at Wesley Seminary

by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., 9/5/17.

Students often request the “independent study”  or IP option as a replacement for a course that isn’t offered within a reasonable timeframe.

However the title “independent study” can be misleading if it gives the impression that the student is going to just independently write up the assignments required in the course.

Rather the term “independent” connotes that a student will “independently” take an existing course syllabus and add to it learning activities that would equal and compensate for a 4-8 hours of classroom interaction each week.

Wesley Seminary provides students a form to fill out for an independent study that includes these stipulations. In the middle of the form are four boxes to be checked regarding additional material that must be attached to the application.

The four checked boxes and attachments indicate what additional learning activities the student has added to the syllabus to make this an “independent” study.

Remember, an independent study does not only mean that it’s done independently. But it also means that the student has “independently” created a course based on the provided syllabus which adds roughly 4-8 hours a week of student work that would have been part of the online or onsite discussion/interaction.

It isn’t hard to do, but an “independent study” does require the same amount of work as a course that has interaction with other students and with a professor. Thus, the student independently creates assignments and learning activities that compensate and equal the amount of time the student would have spent conversing with other students and faculty in a course that was taught live.

Here are ideas a student can use to create the 4-8 hours a week of work that would have been part of the online or onsite discussion/interaction in a live course.

First, remember that during a live course the interaction with students and professor would result in the following benefits:

  1. The student would be learning from other students about different contexts.
  2. From the professor they would be learning about the latest books and articles on the topic.
  3. This student would be operating in the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. These levels would include:

To compensate in an IP, a student might undertake the following ideas based upon the numbered bulleted points above:

  1. The student might interview people from various contexts (this is called primary research, where students go themselves to learn about something first-hand).
  2. The student would independently find and skim tools from the latest articles and books (that otherwise a professor might bring into class discussion).
  3. The student would demonstrate each week that they are evaluating, comparing creating and synthesizing ideas into a new, original plan that is indigenous to the student’s context. Be sure to read more about these higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

 

 

STUDENT SUCCESS & Outside sources: How to use them to show you have a holistic understanding of the weekly topic

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 10/25/17.

Watch this video for my short explanation of why and how you can use outside scholarship to foster a more holistic, creative and effective leadership plan. Plus, you will demonstrate to your professor that you have a working knowledge of what scholars have said about each week’s topic.

©️Bob Whitesel 2017, used by permission only.

STUDENT SUCCESS & Bloom’s Taxonomy Explained … What It Means for Student Learning

by Bob Whitesel Ph.D., 10/23/17.

Untitled copyWhen a student is in graduate school, they are expected to “think at a higher level” than they would while pursuing an undergraduate degree.

But how do you define this higher level of thinking?

Thankfully, an educator named Benjamin S. Bloom and his colleagues devised a hierarchal way of looking at learning. They gave the “higher levels of thinking, higher numbers” in a chart called “Bloom’s Taxonomy”  It can be found in the book: Taxonomy of Educational Objectives: The Classification of Educational Goals (1969).

Here is what I said in an article I wrote for adjunct instructors about this: “Graduate education differs to a degree with undergraduate education in that graduate education tries to foster thinking and application that is “higher” on Bloom’s taxonomy of learning domains.”

So, we as professors are trying to encourage students to think at higher levels as charted on Bloom’s chart of learning.

To see the difference, look at the words associated with the higher domains, such as “analyzing (level 4), evaluating (level 5) and creating (level 6).”  I think you can see that you can’t be analyzing without comparing 2+ views on the topic. And you certainly can’t be evaluating or creating without looking at 2+ views on each topic.

Therefore as a professor, I give my students a rule-of-thumb in my syllabi that “analyzing, evaluating and creating” in my courses requires a rule-of-thumb use of 1-2 textbooks and 2-3 outside sources for average, i.e. “B-level” work. Therefore a student who scores better than a B would be expected to use 3+ textbooks and 4+ outside sources. Students had told me this rule of thumb greatly helps.

So dig into other views on each topic you’re studying by skimming articles, books and videos on each topic.

To help you do this, I created ChurchHealth.wiki as a great place to find those articles. You can just “search” for a topic and you will find hand-picked articles I have curated for you because they are relevant to the topics I teach.

For a quick overview see this chart: http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/07/a-quick-guide-to-21st-century-critical.html

Also, skim over this comparative diagram developed by Andrew Churches (GlobalDigitalCitizen.org) which depicts and compares the varying levels of Bloom’s taxonomy: FIGURE Blooms Taxonomy poster GlobalDigitalCitizenFIGURE Blooms Taxonomy poster GlobalDigitalCitizen

And, here are more ideas that I have posted elsewhere (for students applying for “independent studies”) about how to create research at the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy:

(The following is by Bob Whitesel D.Min. Ph.D., 9/5/17 and is from STUDENT SUCCESS & How to create and receive approval for an independent study at Wesley Seminary. See #3 under the first set of bulleted points.)

Students often request the “independent study”  or IP option as a replacement for a course that isn’t offered within a reasonable timeframe.

However the title “independent study” can be misleading if it gives the impression that the student is going to just independently write up the assignments required in the course.

Rather the term “independent” connotes that a student will “independently” take an existing course syllabus and add to it learning activities that would equal and compensate for a 4-8 hours of classroom interaction each week.

Wesley Seminary provides students a form to fill out for an independent study that includes these stipulations. In the middle of the form are four boxes to be checked regarding additional material that must be attached to the application.

The four checked boxes and attachments indicate what additional learning activities the student has added to the syllabus to make this an “independent” study.

Remember, an independent study does not only mean that it’s done independently. But it also means that the student has “independently” created a course based on the provided syllabus which adds roughly 4-8 hours a week of student work that would have been part of the online or onsite discussion/interaction.

It isn’t hard to do, but an “independent study” does require the same amount of work as a course that has interaction with other students and with a professor. Thus, the student independently creates assignments and learning activities that compensate and equal the amount of time the student would have spent conversing with other students and faculty in a course that was taught live.

Here are ideas a student can use to create the 4-8 hours a week of work that would have been part of the online or onsite discussion/interaction in a live course.

First, remember that during a live course the interaction with students and professor would result in the following benefits:

  1. The student would be learning from other students about different contexts.
  2. From the professor they would be learning about the latest books and articles on the topic.
  3. This student would be operating in the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. These levels would include:

To compensate in an IP, a student might undertake the following ideas based upon the numbered bulleted points above:

  1. The student might interview people from various contexts (this is called primary research, where students go themselves to learn about something first-hand).
  2. The student would independently find and skim tools from the latest articles and books (that otherwise a professor might bring into class discussion).
  3. The student would demonstrate each week that they are evaluating, comparing creating and synthesizing ideas into a new, original plan that is indigenous to the student’s context. Be sure to read more about these higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

STUDENT SUCCESS & An Explanation of DMin Post-seminar Assignment Parameters for 2017

by Bob Whitesel D.Min., Ph.D., 7/24/17.

Post-seminar assignment

  1.         Personal Bible, History and Theology Paper.  (250 points)

Write a 14-22 page paper (covering insights from both courses) demonstrating that you are conversant in the key biblical/historical/theological source material regarding leadership and application.

  1.   Explain your developing understanding of:
  • A biblical, historical and theological understanding of one of more of the following leadership topics as relevant to your leadership:
  • Wesley’s leadership,
  • renewal leadership
  • and/or multiplication leadership.

PROF B > Basically pick one or more of the “leadership topics” (Wesley’s leadership, renewal leadership and/or multiplication leadership) and for each one have three sections.

EXAMPLE > Let’s use “renewal leadership” as an example (though you might choose a different one or two of the others). The first section will describe your developing biblical understanding of “renewal leadership.” The second section will describe your developing historical understanding of “renewal leadership.” And the third section will describe your developing theological understanding of “renewal leadership.”

  • Tell how this understanding will inform your plan for transformational leadership (i.e. in the following Student Analysis Paper).

PROF B > Explain in each section how that section will impact your plan (in the next paper).

  1.  Synthesize key biblical, historical and theological issues with organizational understandings into a practical, historically consistent and theologically valid process model for bringing about effective Wesleyan, renewal and/or multiplication leadership in your ministry.

PROF B > A process model (which I am sure all understand by now) is a “model” or “plan” that will take place over time (hence a “process model”). This plan here describes how your developing understanding of the bible, theology and history will impact your application plan. So this assignment basically describes how you will keep relevant aspects of bible, theology and history impacting your application paper (the next assignment). So, show me a plan that you will use throughout your ministry that will keep relevant bible, theology and history aspects impacting your application plan (which is the next paper).

EXAMPLE: Perhaps you will begin a monthly reading as some of Wesley’s journals, i.e. passages that relate to one of the three topics mentioned above. Or perhaps you will delve into what the Bible says about multiplication in a personal Bible study you have with friends. Or you may decide that every six weeks you will interview a pastor turnaround church church and glean ideas. Basically you need to show a plan to keep the bible, church history and theology central in your growth as a transformational leader and in your foundation for transforming an organization

  1.  Use a title page, abstract, appendixes and citation pages (which do not count toward page totals).
  2.  Student Analysis Paper (250 points)

Write a 22-36 page paper (covering insights from both courses) proposing a strategy for applying Wesley’s leadership methodologies, renewal leadership and/or multiplication leadership for a specific ministry challenge in your ministry. Utilize the following sections (which may each be of varying length):

PROF B > This is basically your organizational plan. You want to take the ideas from your first paper and now show the practical plans that grow out of them regarding either Wesley’s leadership methodologies, renewal leadership and/or multiplication leadership.

Section 1: Describe your level of skill as a transformational leader in the areas of Wesley’s methodologies, renewal and/or multiplication along with a personal plan for growth.  Though your level of skill as in these areas has been broached in your pre-seminar paper, do not cut-and-paste ideas from the pre-seminar work.  Instead reedit, improve and expand ideas from your pre-seminar work.  Also, section 1 in this post-seminar paper must add a robust and detailed personal plan for growth.

PROF B > Be very careful of plagiarism here. You don’t want to just cite what you did from your pre-seminar paper (or even what you did for one of the doctoral courses last year). In this section you should analyze your skill as a transformational leader and how it has changed since you’ve been in England and in these online discussions.

ASSESSMENT > This section will be in each of your papers and give you a chance to evaluate how you improved from before the live seminar (this year in England) and even allow comparison between years, i.e. how your skill has changed since last year.

Section 2:  Upon the biblical, historical and theological foundations from your previous paper build a detailed strategy selection, implementation and outcomes that cites the impact of bible, history and theology upon your plan.

PROF B > Don’t restate sections from your previous paper, but rather use short phrases and citations to describe how the Bible, church history and theology will impact each of your strategic plans in this paper. Thus, you don’t want to restate entire sections of the previous paper. That can be perceived as padding by professors, meaning that you are filling up the paper with previous work to reach your page total. I know you would not do that. But, I want to make you aware that that can be a perception and we don’t want that when you go before your projects committee.

Ensure that this process model synthesizes both key theological issues and important organizational concepts.

PROF B > Again site relevant theological issues and don’t overlook them. Sometimes theological issues get overlooked because it’s easier to talk about historical issues and biblical issues.

Also, demonstrate how this outcome has emerged from an understanding codified in your Personal Bible/history/theological Paper.

PROF B > Again, it should be clear how the Bible, history and theology have impacted your plan and made it better. Use short phrases and appropriate citations to show your plan is tied back to a solid biblical, historical and theological undersanding.

WIDE BREADTH OF SCHOLARSHIP > I think you all are aware by the time you get to a doctoral level that you are supposed to be siting dozens of relevant primary sources in your papers. Sometimes students will cite as source and use it only once in your paper. If the source is really that good and it should be reoccurring in your paper many times. Your paper should be a clear example that you have taken various series and the ologies and created from them a new and exciting way strategic plan for your ministry. That is why you’re required to read 4000 pages because it is assumed that most of those books will make their way into your paper. Remember, the paper is an example of you taking what great scholars have said about your topics and apply them to your local situation. So it’s important that you demonstrate that you have a broad knowledge of Scholarship buy respective academics regarding the plans you are proposing.

CHURCHHEALTH.WIKI & The DISCUSSION FORUM PURPOSE > As I know you all are aware, you can find on my wiki dozens and dozens of articles: not just on topics from our courses, but also on APA formatting, how many citations to use, etc. Go there for the answers and if you can’t find them there then crowd-source them in your discussion forum. Chances are a previous student has asked a similar question at one time and I’ve answered it there. In fact, I will put this entire elaborated description of your assignment on ChurchHealth.wiki so you are have access to it anytime you need it.

FORUMS > And so, the forums are a place to go deeper in your application more than asking questions about the assignments. You certainly can and should do the latter in the forums, but that’s not its primary purpose. Its primary purpose is to take everything that you’re putting into your paper and allow your cohort-mates to help you focus it, find more citations and make it more likely to succeed.

Use due dates, delegation responsibilities, timelines, PERT charts, etc.

PROF B > Finally, don’t forget to use appendices to include charts, timelines and plans such as PERT charts. You want to create a visual representation that you might use to show what you’re proposing to your leaders. This will also prepare you for your final DMIN project when a visual plan will be a an important part of your Dr. of Ministry project. See more about appendices in the finaly paragraph below.

Appendixes:  Include in this paper an 11 x 17 diagram mapping the student’s transformational leadership process with suggested due dates, delegation procedures, accountability networks, and triggers that will move the process forward toward an effective conclusion.  Footnote this process model with brief descriptions of relevant theological thought that have informed each stage of one’s process model.  Note:  Use a title page, abstract, appendixes and citation pages (which do not count toward page totals).

#DMin

 

STUDENT SUCCESS & Don’t Use the First Resource That Pops Up in a Google Search

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Sometimes several students will cite the same outside resource, because it appears near the top of a Google search.  Many times this can be a relevant article. But other times, it may not be.

Let me give an example with a hint for student success.

I ask students to find scholarly research that explains the “difference between primary and secondary research.”  Usually, a handful of students will cite https://www.thebalance.com (an advertising agency). The advertising agency is not juried (i.e. does not have an editorial board of scholars verifying their explanation is reliable and valid).  But, they do correctly identify the difference between primary and secondary research.

Therefore, should students use such a source?

YES:  If students are using this source to verify that practitioners agree with scholars on the differences between primary and secondary research. This would be acceptable.

NO: If students are using these practitioners as a source of reliable and valid information in an academic course, a scholarly source should probably be utilized instead.

If you are unsure about a source, find out about their background and if they have scholarly degrees (masters or doctoral) and/or have a scholarly editorial board, they would be considered scholars. (Though there are different levels of scholarship.)

In the example above, students could find out about the ad agency’s background by clicking on the “about us” link: https://www.thebalance.com/about-us. There students could find that while they are practitioners, they’re not scholars (and it’s not juried by an editorial board).

The problem arises because in a Google search for the “difference between primary and secondary research” this link often pops up near the top. However remember, in graduate school (a research-based school) you should not choose an outside source based upon popularity, but based upon scholarship.

While I always try to be gracious and give students some leeway early on in our course, I cannot do so later in the course. Student resources should increasingly be scholarly and therefore for fairness I will usually grade down a little bit more each week for non-scholarly sources.

My students understand that fairness and academic veracity require this. It makes their degree worth more and their learning more valuable.

STUDENT SUCCESS & My Grading Policies w/ More Examples of Outstanding Work

(from one of my recent syllabi)

Grading Policies

Your grading policy for your course is dependent on your school and program.  Your grading policies can be found in the IWU Catalog.

Discussions

In most workshops, there are discussion forums.  These discussions focus on either a special topic or general material from the workshop.  You will be given instructions on which discussion forums apply to the current workshop.  Complete discussions individually or in study groups as instructed. Well-thought-out postings that add something intellectually to the discussion are required for a good grade. Your initial postings should fully answer the questions posed in the course interface.  Additionally, you must reply to at least two of your classmate’s postings. Postings of the “I agree” or “Me too” variety will not suffice.

In these weekly discussions conduct some outside reading in a minimum of two to three books to support your observations. This might include a Bible commentary, other books on this topic, etc.  Customarily the graduate school student is expected to be skimming a minimum of several outside books each week and bring them into, when helpful, the online conversation.  Also bring into the conversation relevant ideas from your other course textbooks.  Thus, each week the student should be bringing into the online conversation one to two textbooks and two to three outside references as a minimum.

Also be sure to reply to any followup questions posted by your instructor. These are designed to help you dig deeper into application and theory.

End-of-week Papers

Most weeks an end-of-week paper will be due by Thursday 11:59pm. Like your discussions these end-of-week papers should cite relevant outside readings which support your observations. Similar to the discussion parameters, the graduate school student is expected at a minimum to be skimming several outside books each week and bringing them to bear upon their weekly papers (with citations).  Also, don’t forget to bring into your papers relevant ideas from other course textbooks.

And, unless specified differently by your professor, your end-of-week papers should comply with APA formatting rules and include an abstract.

An Expectation of Outside Scholarship

Therefore for B level work, the student should each week be utilizing and citing in their weekly papers and discussion forums, one to two textbooks and two to three outside references.  Remember however, this is for B level work.  A person seeking a higher grade would be expected to do better.

Letter Grade Equivalencies

Grade
Description of Work

A
Clearly stands out as excellent performance. Has unusually sharp insights into material and initiates thoughtful questions. Sees many sides of an issue. Articulates well and writes logically and clearly. Integrates ideas previously learned from this and other disciplines. Anticipates next steps in progression of ideas. Example “A” work should be of such nature that it could be put on reserve for all cohort members to review and emulate. The “A” cohort member is, in fact, an example for others to follow. Typical interaction will be 3+ times in each forum.

B
Demonstrates a solid comprehension of the subject matter and always accomplishes all course requirements. Serves as an active participant and listener. Communicates orally and in writing at an acceptable level for the degree program. Work shows intuition and creativity. Example “B” work indicates good quality of performance and is given in recognition for solid work; a “B” should be considered a good grade and awarded to those who submit assignments of quality less than the exemplary work described above. Typical interaction will be 3+ times in each forum.

C
Quality and quantity of work in and out of class is average. Has marginal comprehension, communication skills, or initiative. Requirements of the assignments are addressed at least minimally. Typical interaction will be 3 or fewer times in each forum.

D
Quality and quantity of work is below average. Has minimal comprehension, communication skills, or initiative. Requirements of the assignments are addressed at below acceptable levels. Typical interaction will be two or fewer times in each forum.

F
Quality and quantity of work is unacceptable and does not qualify the student to progress to a more advanced level of work.