Star Teacher Award-winning professor Jennifer Friberg looks to the evidence to engage CSD students and fellow faculty. In the Limelight
Free
In the Limelight  |   January 01, 2017
Star Teacher
Author Notes
  • Shelley D. Hutchins is content producer/editor for The ASHA Leader. shutchins@asha.org
    Shelley D. Hutchins is content producer/editor for The ASHA Leader. shutchins@asha.org×
Article Information
School-Based Settings / Professional Issues & Training / In the Limelight
In the Limelight   |   January 01, 2017
Star Teacher
The ASHA Leader, January 2017, Vol. 22, 30-31. doi:10.1044/leader.LML.22012017.30
The ASHA Leader, January 2017, Vol. 22, 30-31. doi:10.1044/leader.LML.22012017.30
Name: Jennifer Campion Friberg
Title: Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning; associate professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Illinois State University
Hometown: Peoria, Illinois
Consider that 13 of the 18 awards Jennifer Friberg has received—so far—are for outstanding teaching. Seven of them were awarded by student groups, including her university’s National Student Speech Language Hearing Association chapter, while the remaining six were bestowed by her peers.
Next, consider Friberg’s tenure in teaching university students began only 12 years ago. Impressed yet?
In her previous life, Friberg was a school-based speech-language pathologist for nine years in Peoria, Illinois. She liked the work with her young charges but found that she particularly enjoyed mentoring communication sciences and disorders (CSD) graduate students. In fact, that’s what inspired Friberg to go back to school and earn her doctorate in curriculum and instruction at Illinois State University.
Immediately following graduation in 2006, her alma mater offered her a job in its CSD department. She accepted and began teaching undergraduate and graduate courses while supervising graduate-level independent studies. Friberg received her inaugural “outstanding professor” award—from the Red Tassel Mortarboard Society—after her first semester.
Just as being a mentor motivated her to pursue teaching, having a mentor as a new faculty member helped give Friberg the tools to become such an award-worthy professor. She credits her mentor’s influence as a “scholarly teacher” for much of her success in connecting with students.
“Kathleen McKinney—the first Cross Endowed Chair in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning—believes most teachers are good,” says Friberg, “but scholarly teachers go beyond good and look to the evidence to see what’s worked in the past and what might work best for your students.”

If clinicians base their work on evidence-based practice, shouldn’t teaching a CSD student involve the latest research on what works in the classroom?

Developing professionally
After Friberg was introduced to the concept of evidence-based teaching, she dove into learning how. She started by taking classes on successful teaching techniques. In addition, the young CSD professor affiliated with ASHA Special Interest Group 10, Issues in Higher Education.
“These were my people,” Friberg says of the other SIG 10 affiliates. Friberg and two like-minded colleagues—Sarah Ginsberg and Colleen Visconti—have served on the SIG 10 Coordinating Committee, and they maintain a strong relationship. They share an interest in evidence-based education and often co-author related publications.
If clinicians base their work on evidence-based practice, Friberg theorizes, shouldn’t teaching a CSD student involve the latest research on what works in the classroom? “Not a lot of evidence-based educational research in CSD exists, however,” she says. “I think [this is] because we’re a young profession and we’ve focused primarily on clinical research, but I do feel this is an emerging field.”
Other health care fields have published research-backed teaching methods, so Friberg started there. She studied—and now teaches other faculty—various evidence-based approaches to teaching, including active and problem-based learning, incorporating case studies, and experiential learning such as study abroad and civic engagement. She balances these real-world situations with traditional lectures, which studies say can be effective in combination with other approaches to teaching. Always trying promising new tactics, she’s started to use standardized patients—people trained to portray the symptoms of various communications disorders—based on recent evidence showing this method works especially well for CSD students.

“I try to let my students understand my perspective, and I try to understand theirs. If I can find what mechanisms engage them, then those techniques can be transformative.”

Engaging educationally
Scholarly research gives Friberg tools to teach, but she’s especially driven by her philosophy of treating students as partners. She maintains her status as the content expert while giving students choices about which learning tools might work best for them. Friberg goes into each class or advising relationship respecting her students and striving to earn their respect in return. And she feels it’s easy to do with CSD students, because most are already excited about the profession and motivated to learn.
“I try to let my students understand my perspective, and I try to understand theirs,” Friberg says. “If I can find what mechanisms engage them, then those techniques can be transformative.”
Last year, Friberg accepted the university’s Cross Endowed Chair position, which means she’s now primarily a professional developer. In this role, she conducts research and leads workshops for faculty—and some students—on the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL). Friberg admits the decision to no longer teach students full time was difficult, so she is thankful to teach at least one CSD course each year.
In addition to teaching, presenting SOTL workshops, attending conferences, and writing grants in her new role, Friberg also collaborated with several colleagues—including her two SIG 10 cohorts—to launch a journal on evidence-based teaching and learning. The debut issue arrives in early 2017 with plans for BePress to publish the open-access journal twice yearly. The group’s drive to create “Teaching and Learning in Communication Sciences and Disorders” comes from their passion for conducting and sharing research on best teaching practices.
“We want other academic faculty to read these articles and learn from these approaches,” Friberg says. “Our goals are to engage students in discussions about evidence-based teaching and learning and grow the number of professors in CSD who support high-quality, evidence-based approaches to education in our field.”
0 Comments
Submit a Comment
Submit A Comment
Name
Comment Title
Comment


This feature is available to Subscribers Only
Sign In or Create an Account ×
FROM THIS ISSUE
January 2017
Volume 22, Issue 1