Belk Pavilion

The Center for Engaged Learning at Elon University continues to contribute actively to research and resources on high-impact educational practices and other forms of engaged learning. Nearly 200 teacher-scholars have participated in the Center’s signature multi-institutional research initiatives, including over 2 dozen Elon faculty and staff.

Highlights of the Center’s 2017 work include:

We invite you to explore the Center’s website to learn more about our initiatives and resources.

Jessie L. Moore, Director, and Peter Felten, Executive Director

Center for Engaged Learning Research Seminars

The Center’s research seminars provide foundational research to enrich Elon University’s status as a global leader in engaged learning. Each research seminar brings together scholars from multiple countries and institution types to pursue multi-institutional research on specific engaged learning topics; to date, these collaborative research efforts have resulted in multiple books and over 60 articles and book chapters along with significant changes to programs and practices that support student learning.

Learn more about previous research seminars on the Center’s website.

Capstone Experiences as High-Impact Practices (2018-2020)

capstone cornerstone keystone illustration
Image by Caroline Ketcham

In August 2017, the Center hosted a planning forum on capstone experiences, facilitated by Caroline Ketcham, Tony Weaver, and Jessie L. Moore (Elon). Participants included Phillip Gardner (Director of the Collegiate Employment Research Institute at Michigan State University), Seanna Kerrigan (Director of Capstone Experiences at Portland State University), Jillian Kinzie (Indiana University), Liz Van Acker (Griffith University, Australia) and Dallin George Young (PI for the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition National Survey of Senior Capstone Experiences). Participants identified guiding research questions to frame the Center’s 2018-2020 research seminar on capstone experiences.

The Center received applications from over 40 scholars in 5 countries for the 2018-2020 research seminar. Accepted participants will meet for the first time in June 2018 to plan their multi-institutional research projects.

Residential Learning Communities as a High-Impact Practice (2017-2019)

Working with seminar leaders Shannon Lundeen and Cara McFadden (Elon), Mimi Benjamin (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) and Jody Jessup-Anger (Marquette University), 24 U.S. and Canadian scholars met at Elon in June 2017 to identify shared research questions and to develop multi-institutional research plans. Participants will return to campus in June 2018 to share year 1 results and to adjust their year 2 research plans.

Faculty Change Towards High-Impact Pedagogies (2016-2018)

The 2016-2018 Center for Engaged Learning research seminar examines faculty change towards high-impact pedagogies. Scholars from the U.S., Canada, Sweden, and New Zealand met before the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) 2017 conference in Calgary in October 2017 to share updates on their research projects and to refine the group’s theoretical model of faculty change towards high-impact pedagogies.

Integrating Global Learning with the University Experience: Higher-Impact Study Abroad and Off-Campus Domestic Study (2015-2017)

Research from the 2015-2017 research seminar, led by Amanda Sturgill and Nina Namaste (Elon), with Neal Sobania (Pacific Lutheran University) and Mick Vande Berg (MVB Associates), was showcased at the June 2017 Symposium on Integrating Global Learning with the University Experience: Higher-Impact Study Abroad and Off-Campus Domestic Study. The June 11-12 Symposium featured keynotes by Dawn Whitehead (AAC&U), and Amanda Sturgill and Neal Sobania. Participants also have presented their work at the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) annual meeting, at the AAC&U Global Engagement and Social Responsibility conference, and at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (ISSOTL) conference.

Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research (2014-2016)

Participants from the 2014-2016 Research Seminar on Mentoring Undergraduate Research continue to present and publish on their multi-institutional research. Seminar projects will be featured in a January 2018 special issue of the International Journal for Academic Development, edited by Jessie L. Moore and Peter Felten, and in a Council on Undergraduate Research collection, Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research, edited by Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Paul Miller, and Jessie L. Moore (expected July 2018).

Center Resources

CEL youtube channel screenshot

In addition to regular blog posts and an array of videos (with over 60,000 total views) on the scholarship of teaching and learningThe Undergraduate Experienceundergraduate researchglobal learningtransfer of writing knowledge and practices, and other engaged learning topics, the Center hosts resource pages on:

During 2017, the Center also hosted reading groups for Elon faculty and staff on capstone experiences, intercultural humility, and internships.

We invite engaged learning scholars and practitioners to contribute to the Center’s blog. Posts might include syntheses of research on engaged learning or high-impact educational practices, reflections on recent engaged learning publications, previews of in-process research on high-impact educational practices, strategies for conducting research on student learning, or other examinations of how to do high-impact practices well, how to scale them to many students, and how students integrate their learning across multiple high-impact experiences. Please contact Jessie L. Moore to propose blog posts.

Center Publications

To date, participants in the Center’s research seminars have published several books and over 60 articles and book chapters stemming from their work in the seminars. New publications include:

  • Understanding Writing Transfer: Implications for Transformative Student Learning in Higher Education, edited by Jessie L. Moore and Randy Bass (Stylus Publishing, January 2017). The collection includes chapters by Brooke Barnett, Peter Felten, Francois Masuka, and Woody Pelton, as well as 2011-2013 research seminar participants.
  • A forthcoming special issue of the International Journal for Academic Development. The issue on academic development in support of mentored undergraduate research and inquiry features work from the 2014-2016 research seminar on Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research and includes articles by Meredith Allison, Peter Felten, Eric Hall, Paul Miller, and Jessie L. Moore – along with articles written by scholars from 5 other countries. The issue will be released in January 2018.
  • A forthcoming collection, Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research, edited by Maureen Vandermaas-Peeler, Paul Miller, and Jessie L. Moore (Council on Undergraduate Research, July 2018). The collection also features work from the 2014-2016 research seminar and includes chapters by Eric Hall and Caroline Ketcham.

The Center’s director, Jessie L. Moore, and executive director, Peter Felten, continue to present internationally and nationally, as do the Center’s research seminar leaders and participants.

Center for Engaged Learning Scholars and Senior Scholar

Ketevan Kupatadze

In spring 2017, the Center named its inaugural Center for Engaged Learning Scholar. Ketevan Kupatadze, the 2017-2019 CEL Scholar, is focusing on faculty-student partnerships. Her frequent blog posts explore small- and large-scale students-as-partners projects and recent scholarship on the topic. Dr. Kupatadze, senior lecturer in Spanish, will deliver a keynote on student-faculty partnerships at a conference at Tarleton State University in March 2018.

Buffie Longmire-Avital

In November, the Center named its 2018-2020 CEL Scholar – Buffie Longmire-Avital, associate professor of psychology and coordinator of African and African-American studies. Dr. Longmire-Avital will focus on diversity and inclusion in mentored undergraduate research and other high-impact practices.

During a two-year appointment, CEL Scholars develop expertise in a specific aspect of engaged learning and create resources on that topic to be shared through CEL’s web site and in other scholarly venues. The CEL Scholar position is an opportunity for an Elon faculty member to develop and deepen a professional development trajectory that includes scholarly activity on a high-impact practice or other engaged learning topic.

Eric Hall

In 2018-2019, the Center also will pilot a CEL Senior Scholar position. Eric Hall, professor of exercise science, will extend his research from the 2014-2016 research seminar on Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research. The CEL Senior Scholar position supports a CEL research seminar leader’s or participant’s continued research on the seminar topic to complete publishing projects and to extend research related to the seminar, with the goal of the scholar actively assuming leadership in national and international conversations about the engaged learning topic.

Learn More

The Center for Engaged Learning was launched in 2012 as part of the Elon Commitment in order to position Elon as the leader of the national conversation on engaged, experiential education. The Center brings together international leaders in higher education to develop and to synthesize rigorous research on central questions about student learning.

To learn more about the Center’s work, contact Director Jessie L. Moore or Executive Director Peter Felten.