Current Issue

Volume 7: Issue 1, June 2024

Editorial: Bridging Boundaries: Advancing Learning Through Scholarship in An Evolving Academic Landscape

Thomas D. Dyer, PhD
Grand Canyon University, Editor-in-Chief JSE

Jenny Kuban, M.Psy
Grand Canyon University, Managing Editor JSE


The scholarship of teaching and learning focuses on improving student outcomes by lever- aging research on education, instructional design, and pedagogy (Boyer, 1990). Scholars use analytical frameworks to inform innovative classroom policies and practices that enhance the learning experience and promote student success. The Boyer Model of Scholarship not only pro- motes a student-centered learning approach but also inspires faculty members to engage in research activities that inform best practices in teaching and learning. This model recognizes teaching as a significant form of scholarship that influences student development. However, challenges arise when the scholarship of teaching and learning is not explicitly integrated into institutional research plans and frameworks (Simmons et al., 2021). Teaching- focused faculty often face barriers such as limited funding and a lack of collegial support for their scholarly endeavors, hindering the recognition of SoTL as legitimate research (Simmons et al., 2021).


Exploring the Spiritual Formation of Generation Z Students in Christian Schools: A Reflective Journey

Amy Yoder, EdD
Northwest Christian School


This reflective narrative chronicles a transformative journey of an educator’s experience teaching in a private Christian school and the subsequent pursuit of research on the spiritual formation of Generation Z students. Drawing upon Dewey’s notion of reflection and a comprehensive review of the literature and spiritual development theories, the author examines why students in Christian schools identify teachers as the primary influence in their spiritual formation. This reflection explores the complexity of spiritual development, the challenges posed by Generation Z students’ digital native characteristics, and the feelings of inadequacy among teachers in fostering spiritual formation. Guided by Greenberger’s reflective framework and Dewey’s principle of continuity, the author aims to deepen her understanding of students’ perceptions and cultivate confidence and aptitude in supporting students’ spiritual growth. The analysis highlights teachers’ multifaceted roles as trusted confidants, mentors, role models, and spiritual guides, transcending the boundaries of academic instruction. The reflective practice findings emphasize the authenticity and modeling of faith by teachers and relationship building, which creates a powerful environment where students observe and internalize the practical application of Christian principles. Additionally, the study considers the varying stages of faith among students and the need for teachers to adapt their roles and approaches accordingly.

Key Words: Reflective Practice, Christian Education, Spiritual Formation, Generation Z, Westerhoff

Abstract and Paper

Unexpected Silver Lining of A Worldwide Pandemic: Student Workers Working From Home

Marette Hahn, PhD
Grand Canyon University


In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our university leadership charged our department to shift academic and career support for our 20,000 ground students to a virtual modality. Through 100+ student workers, our department maintained similar service levels and outcomes to pre-pandemic times while working remotely during the pandemic. This reflective practice explores four working ideas for how and why our student worker team succeeded in remote work, including: organizational culture, departmental culture, adapting an existing technology model, and training. Ultimately, all four working ideas likely contributed to our team’s success. However, it is likely an incomplete picture of what truly influenced our team’s success working remotely for 18 months.

Keywords: virtual student support, academic support, career support, student workers, remote work

Abstract and Paper

Reflecting on The Impacts of Strengths-Based Teaching on Students' Self-Efficacy in Higher Education Classrooms

Amy M. Anderson, EdD
Spokane Community College

Kelly R. Maguire, EdD
Grand Canyon University


In this manuscript, two professors sought to reflect on personal discoveries from their recent research collaboration examining the relationship between strengths-based teaching and students’ self-efficacy. The findings of their study indicated that educators in higher education institutions who employ a strengths-based teaching approach that focuses on students’ capabilities, opportunities, and possibilities while creating a growth mindset, resiliency, and agency can improve students’ self-efficacy. As educators, we regularly engage in reflective practice to enhance and improve our teaching strategies. Through reflection, we were able to examine the revelations from our research and explore how we could effectively implement these practices in our teaching to highlight our students’ strengths and help them build a foundation for lifelong learning and improved self-efficacy.

Keywords: strengths-based teaching, self-efficacy, higher education, research collaboration, reflective practice

Abstract and Paper

Portfolios For Professional Writers: A Reflection on Preparing Capstone Students For Professional Writing

Kimbel Westerson, MFA
Grand Canyon University

Maria Zafonte, PhD
Grand Canyon University


In this reflective practice piece, two instructors grapple with the unexpectedly disappointing results of a culminating digital portfolio in a professional writing program. Instructors had hoped students would approach the digital portfolio as a tool in the job market to showcase their writing skills and interests. Instead, we found that despite the program-wide emphasis on crafting and selecting pieces for this final capstone project, students’ portfolios did not reflect the level of professionalism we anticipated regarding the selection of work and overall design. We were concerned that students viewed this as just another assignment instead of a tool that would support them in the job market. In reflecting on the disconnect between our expectations and the student’s approach to the project, and in conversation with the theory of self-focus in the life-stage of emerging adulthood (Arnett, 2016) and the need for additional guidance on large projects such as these (Lam, 2020; Ring et al., 2017), we instituted portfolio check-ins. These one-on-one meetings with the instructor augmented the peer reviews already in the course to provide the perspective of how a possible employer might evaluate their portfolio and other considerations for strengthening their work. Future research will look to survey program graduates to get a better sense of if and how the portfolios are used post-graduation.

Keywords: digital portfolios, ePortfolios, capstone, professional writing, writing, undergraduate, career readiness, emerging adulthood

Abstract and Paper

Impact of The COVID-19 Pandemic on Spiritual Grace

Erin Ervin, MPH
Baylor University; Faulkner University

Jason Paltzer, PhD, MPH
The Meros Center; Visiting Professor at Wisconsin Lutheran College

Keyanna Taylor, MPH, MS
University of California, Los Angeles

The guidelines to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic greatly impacted the economic and social well-being of United States adults, and it continues to this day. This study assessed if social isolation and unmet physical or financial needs resulting from the pandemic impacted spiritual grace among adults in the United States. Results from a survey conducted from June through August of 2020 (N = 94) concluded that COVID-19 did not significantly impact spiritual grace, but Christians have an increased likelihood of experiencing positive spiritual grace. Given spirituality’s salutary health effects, further research may include how to leverage the resiliency offered by spiritual coping strategies that Americans can use during difficult times.

Keywords: spiritual grace, social isolation, religion, spirituality, pandemic

Abstract and Paper

A Consistent Inconsistency: A Cultural Study of Attributions of Fans in The United States

John Park, PhD
California Baptist University

Literature explores cultural orientation in cross-cultural settings but fails to look at the diversity that exists in the U.S. population. I collected data from a liberal arts university in California. I examine the role cultural orientation plays in how sport fans may attribute the performance of their sport team. Correlations and hierarchical regression analyses were used to test the hypotheses of this study. Results revealed unique findings for the attribution process. The interaction of collectivism and fan identification was negatively associated with internal attributions across wins (p < .05). Asian Americans had lower levels of internal attributions across wins (p < .01). Recommendations for future research are provided.

Keywords: sport fan, culture, spectator, cultural orientation, fan identification, attribution, self-serving bias

Abstract and Paper

Online Publication Date: June 30, 2024

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