Volume 5, Issue 1, June 2022

Volume 5: Issue 1, June 2022



Kelly R. Maguire, EdD

Scott W. Greenberger, EdD


doi: 10.9743/JSE.2022.5.1.1

The Journal of Scholarly Engagement kicked off the 2022 year with a (virtual) annual meeting with the Editorial Board. Joining our board as new members this year include Drs. Laura Cruz, Kelvin Thompson, and Sandi van Lieu. We are grateful for the board’s continued support, expertise, and feedback on how to further enhance the awareness of the Journal of Scholarly Engagement for faculty researchers and general scholars within the field of Boyer studies. 


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The Plot Skeleton as a Teaching Tool for Introducing Plot in Fiction: A Reflective Inquiry


Ann Lee Miller

Grand Canyon University


doi: 10.9743/JSE.2022.5.1.2

Undergraduate creative writing courses are tasked with laying a foundation for students’ future writing. Plotting is a complex fiction-writing concept, complicated by writers’ and scholars’ conflicting views on the subject. For years, I have used author Angela Hunt’s (2013) Plot Skeleton to teach plotting. Though the activity is popular and enables students to implement plotting concepts in their stories, reflecting on the module revealed why the Plot Skeleton succeeds. It requires high expectations of students, addresses multiple ways of learning, gives ample opportunities for participation, is considered “fun” by students, facilitates group interaction, and employs a gradual release of responsibility teaching format.


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Reflecting on Refugee Simulations as Experiential Learning Opportunities to Improve Empathy and Cross-Cultural Communication


Amy M. Anderson, EdD

Spokane Community College


doi: 10.9743/JSE.2022.5.1.3

The purpose of this reflective practice was to explore an unexpected revelation that I did not feel qualified to teach about the lived experiences of refugees. As a communication studies instructor at the community college and university level, I feel confident when teaching about various elements of culture and skills related to cross-cultural communication. Nevertheless, I lacked knowledge about the struggles that refugees face as they escape persecution in their homelands in hopes of rehoming somewhere safe. Due to this lack of understanding of this unique people group, I also felt inadequately prepared to design and implement experiential lessons on this topic. After participating in an immersive refugee simulation, I had new insights into the lived experiences of refugees. Furthermore, I reflected on how this experience changed my pre-conceived notions and how I might implement experiential lessons, like the refugee simulations, in my classes to improve empathy and cross-cultural communication. 


Keywords: reflection, Dewey, experiential learning, refugee simulation


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Teaching Effective Summary-Writing: A Reflection on the Efficacy of Scaffolding


Brian Raftery

Grand Canyon University


Maria Zafonte, PhD

Grand Canyon University


doi: 10.9743/JSE.2022.5.1.4

First-year college students often struggle with summary writing, especially when summarizing a text that is lengthy or complex. Some students, for example, see summarizing as an activity where “excessive copying” is permitted, putting them at risk for plagiarism (Yoshimura, 2018, p. 2). Other students struggle with summaries because they are not effective at picking out the main ideas in a text (Spirgal & Delaney, 2016). As Frey et al. (2003) note, being able to accurately and efficiently restate another author’s thesis is a necessary skill for research papers and academic writing. Based on Kolb’s experiential learning theory, which posits a four-stage learning cycle consisting of concrete experience, reflective observation, abstract concepts, and active experimentation (Kolb et al., 1999), I incorporated scaffolding techniques into my pedagogical approach to summaries. To improve students’ comprehension of the document’s main points, I asked them to organize it into clusters of paragraphs that focused on the same topic for the same audience. When students finished “clustering” the 30 paragraphs in the court document that we were analyzing (Oregon v. Kinkel, 2002), the essential information came into sharp focus, which enabled them to create summaries that accurately reflected the main points and disregard non-essential information. 


Keywords: summarizing, scaffolding, reflective practitioner, pedagogy, rhetorical analysis, first-year composition, college writing


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Reflective Practice: Adult Student Engagement in Character Education


Samuel Beaumont

Hallmark University


doi: 10.9743/JSE.2022.5.1.5

This paper outlines how I assessed and revised a proprietary character education program of study administered to non-traditional students attending an accelerated academic program at a Hispanic-Serving Institution. John Dewey’s reflection practice doctrine provided the theoretical foundation and lens for conducting the analysis. Given the unique characteristics associated with non-traditional students, three main challenges are outlined: (1) students matriculate at varying levels of academic readiness and moral development, (2) there is low student engagement rate in character education, and (3) there is limited time for ethical instruction in a full academic curriculum and busy student lives. The reflection process included quantitative data from the Defining Issues Test-2 and qualitative data from observations, student and staff responses, and interviews. The presentation concludes with key takeaways and recommendations for future research. 


Keywords: Adult students, character education, ethics, moral reasoning development, non-traditional students, university.


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 Online Publication Date: June 30, 2022


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