Jennifer Friberg, associate professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, is the second recipient of the Dr. John Chizmar and Dr. Anthony Ostrosky Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) Award.

Jennifer Friberg

Jennifer Friberg

The award recognizes an individual who produces high quality scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) projects, representations, and service at Illinois State. The individual also contributes to the SoTL field by adding to the SoTL knowledge base, improving teaching, and enhancing student learning. The professors that the scholarship is named after are two emeriti professors who were passionate about SoTL during their careers.

So what is SoTL? The Office of the Cross Endowed Chair for SoTL at ISU is dedicated to research focused on how to best serve ISU students. Individuals involved with this office study the way students learn best with a focus on optimizing student learning. Friberg has been active in SoTL work within the discipline of communication sciences and disorders (CSD): She is a co-author of the first textbook focused on SoTL in CSD, has published eight SoTL-based journal articles, and has completed approximately 30 presentations on SoTL both nationally and internationally. She is also the editor of The SoTL Advocate blog at Illinois State.

When I interviewed her, Friberg explained how the research she has completed is advancing teaching right here in our own Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. For example, Friberg and Associate Professor Heidi Harbers conducted a study on the effects of integrating learning between students in two separate classes. Specifically, graduate students in the two classes did a project looking at co-occurrence of speech sound disorders and language disorders.

Two other CSD faculty members, Jennine Harvey and Lisa Vinney, did a similar study with students in medically-based classes as well. The results of these studies helped the department revise the graduate curriculum.

The message Friberg offered as a takeaway from this interview is that she appreciates how much the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders values SoTL research on teaching and student learning.