Facilitated Poster Session/Chocolate Festival
Wednesday June 18, 2014, 4:00 - 5:30pm (90 minutes)
McArthur Hall, Queen's University
William Albabish (University of Guelph)
The objective of this poster presentation is to demonstrate the importance of adapting and incorporating technology in education. Additionally, detailed examples of methods and techniques will be discussed, allowing the audience to apply these very simple methods with gadgets that almost every Canadian owns – to produce these effective learning tools.
Human anatomy education (HAE) is the cornerstone of medical professions. One hundred years ago, HAE used to account for over a 1000 hours of preclinical education. However, due to the lack of resources (space, time money), increased importance of basic sciences, and lack of body donations, HAE has faced a significant reduction in preclinical hours. Today, our future health providers undergo a mere 150 hours of anatomical education, which is shown to negatively affect health care. To combat such reduction, institutes have to do more with less. What used to be a subject taught solely with didactic lectures and dissection based laboratories faces a new era, where new teaching modalities are used to supplement this important subject.
At the University of Guelph, cadaveric based HAE is provided to undergraduate students as early as first year, all the way to fourth year research students. The biggest class consist of third year students (n = 360), which undergo two semesters of this detailed education. To provide the highest level of HAE to these students with the current limited resources, dissection-based video guides were created and utilized.
These dissection-based video guides parallel the student’s course curricula, providing the students with knowledge that will prepare them for the laboratories. Additionally, these guides are learner-centered, built on precise and measurable learning outcomes, and utilize interactive active learning techniques. These guides promote self-directed learning and problem solving, therefore allowing the students to rely more on themselves, and less on the instructor/teaching assistants. Peer teaching and team-based learning is also promoted, where students bring the information they have gained to their dissection groups. Ultimately, these guides enable students to take ownership of their learning and lead to a deep learning experience, where students will strive to learn the material for the sake of learning, as opposed to surface learning in which students just learn what they need to just to get by.
A total of seven modules (guides) were created to compliment a full back dissection. Positive informal student feedback was received – with a high agreement that these modules were very effective, allowing the students to understand the material, feel comfortable in the laboratory, and achieve the learning outcomes of the class. In conclusion, these videos were viewed in high regards by the students, and were shown to be an effective, easily employed tool to promote a deep learning experience for the students.
Erin Aspenlieder, Natasha Kenny and M.J. D'Elia (University of Guelph)
In September, 2013 the Learner-Centredness Project (LCP) began as collaboration between the University of Guelph Library and Open Learning and Educational Support in order to explore the community’s understanding of ‘learner-centredness.’ Since then the goal of the project has been to investigate learner-centredness with the University of Guelph community, to raise awareness about learner-centredness and to engage in conversations about learning and learner-centredness. With low-tech methods – chalk, markers, collage and conversation – the LCP asked the community questions like: “what does learning look like?” “what does learner-centred mean to you?” “what is your vision of the ideal university” and “what is learning”?
This poster will share with the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education community the philosophy and outcomes behind the LCP, the strategies for engagement and community building we employed, and the opportunities for collaboration, fun, delight, interactivity and heart that the project inspired.
Participants at the poster presentation will be invited to take part in some of the same LCP initatives we shared at the University of Guelph. In taking part in these interactive, low-tech, creative and positive activities, participants will not only gain awareness of the principles of the LCP, but will also begin to explore individually and as a collective conference community what learner-centred means.
Max Boreux and Andy Leger (Queen’s University)
All individuals take in information and make decisions differently according to their own “preferences” and, those two processes are crucial in education because they influence how instructors teach (Kise, 2007). Those “preferences” can be categorized and inventoried by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) tool. Indeed, this indicator identifies and describes 16 distinctive personality types based on the interactions among our preferences for each of the four dichotomies specified in Carl Jung’s theory “Introversion” or “Extroversion” according to where we get our energy to learn;“ Sensing” or “Intuition” according to how we gather information, “Thinking” or “Feeling” according to how we make decisions; and “Judging” or “Perceiving” according to how we approach life (Briggs Myers et al., 1998). As a consequence, the MTBI of course instructors will significantly contribute in shaping their teaching persona as teachers are most comfortable when they can use their own teaching preferences in the classroom and they unconsciously naturally tend to do so (Kise, 2007).
For example, it is acknowledged that “extroverts” get energized by group discussion while “introverts” do so by working alone; “sensing” persons prefer to focus on particular details whereas “intuitive” persons value the big picture; “thinking” individuals value a more analytic approach in class where “feeling” individuals value a more compassionate one; and “judging” people work better in an organized environment while “perceiving” people work better in a more spontaneous setting (Kise, 2007). Research has shown that students whose learning preferences are compatible with the teaching preferences of the instructor are more likely to (1) assimilate the course, (2) to retain and (3) to implement the knowledge and the skills longer and (4) to have a positive approach toward the course and education in general (WNC, 2013).
Although instructors cannot change their preferred style of teaching to match their students’ learning styles and vice versa, teachers can adjust the structure and the flow of their classroom to increase their ability to teach more inclusively (Kise, 2007) and to transform their students’ learning experience.
Liane Chen, Megan Barker and Laura Weir (University of British Columbia)
Current teaching literature identifies the need for teaching assistant (TA) training programs. While a number of studies describe training in issues such as lesson planning, assessment, and grading, improving TA confidence and student satisfaction, few studies have assessed the degree of grading consistency across TAs following such training. Additionally, in classes with large numbers of lab/tutorial sections and TAs, it can be prohibitively time-consuming for instructors to meaningfully assess and address inter-TA grading consistency. In light of these issues, we have developed an Excel-based graphing tool that allows for visualization and analysis of grade distributions within individual lab/tutorial sections, and present examples of how these graphs may be used to highlight inconsistent graders. We suggest possible interpretations for grade discrepancies, distinguishing between graders who may have difficulty in assessing student performance from the graders who may have a reasonable assessment of student ability that nonetheless needs to be calibrated against the rest of the TAs, and suggest case-specific follow-up strategies for the TAs. Comparison of TA grades with student performance on common tests may help to establish whether higher or lower averages can be explained by having a group of high or low achievers within the lab/tutorial section. Statistical tests support the utility of this graphing tool in identifying inconsistent graders, and identify the minimum class sizes that would provide useful data. While this approach does not replace proper TA training and guidance, it may be used to identify the TAs that would benefit from additional conversations about teaching practice, and suggests possible intervention strategies based on best practices that allow the instructor to supervise TAs more efficiently and effectively. This tool also has the potential to provide feedback on the influence of TA training on grading practices, and could be used to determine the appropriate level of guidance to provide to TAs. This tool and user guide will be available to conference attendees at the poster. We will also demonstrate its use on a laptop during the poster session.
Victoria Chen (Queen’s University)
The active learning literature has long established that active learning practices are better than the passive learning practices done in traditional lecture formats (Dochy, Segers, Van den Bossche, & Gijbels, D., 2003; Springer, Stanne, & Donovan, S., 1999), and as a result, active learning classrooms have become the latest solution in assisting the transition from traditional teaching styles towards active learning techniques in university classrooms (University of Minnesota ALC Pilot Evaluation Team, 2008; University of Tennessee Teaching and Learning Center, 2012). Although on a group level, students perform better in active learning classrooms compared to students in traditional classrooms, the individual cognitive processes that occur in these classrooms have yet to be the focus in this line of research. Are all students improving? Or are students with certain cognitive tendencies benefiting more than others? Similarly, studies on individual cognitive disposition (e.g. actively open-minded thinking, Stanovich & West, 2007) have yet to explore the implications of their research in the classrooms. Typically these studies provide students with scripted arguments and perspectives on a topic rather than an actual interaction among students in the classroom (e.g., Toplak, West, & Stanovich, 2013).
The aim of the current study is to investigate whether the active learning activity of group discussions affects individual cognitive dispositions (e.g. actively open-minded thinking) and whether changes in cognitive dispositions occur after several classroom discussions during the course. Sixty students in a 3rd year psychology class will take part in this study. Students will be given the Actively Open-minded Thinking (AOT) scale (Stanovich and West, 1997) which measures the disposition of actively open-mindedness at the start and end of the course. The questionnaire contains 41 items where students rate on a scale of 1- disagree strongly to 5- agree strongly. The activity of group discussion takes place 5 times throughout the course. It requires students to research on a given controversial topic in modern psychology to form a position, and come to the discussion with convincing arguments to support their position. Discussions take place in groups of six for 30-40 minutes during class. Following the discussion, students write a 3-4 page critical response about the topic, their discussion, and whether they changed their position following the discussion.
It is expected that students scoring high on AOT will be more willing to accept other positions during the discussion than students who score low on AOT, and possibly change their mind following the discussion. This will lead to higher quality critical responses as students would be predicted to consider both sides of the argument. However, students who scored low on AOT are expected to move towards high AOT by the end of the course as a result of the discussion activities. The results from this study will provide further understanding of the positive effects active learning classrooms and practices have on students.
Tracey Clancy, Rita Lisella, and Pat Rosenau (University of Calgary)
Nursing demographic trends have reinforced the urgency to cultivate future nursing leaders, educators, preceptors and mentors. These trends prompted the development of a senior level undergraduate nursing course called ‘The Principles of Teaching and Learning: Nurse as Educator’. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory was utilized as the foundational pedagogical approach enabling the creation of an engaging teaching and learning environment. Students had the opportunity to step out of the classroom and into a simulated teaching context where they were encouraged to integrate and apply a theoretical understanding of their teaching practice focusing on health education. Students also had the opportunity to engage in a co-teaching session with their junior peers. To further challenge students’ understanding of teaching and learning they were asked to reflect upon and write their teaching philosophy. Through active participation in these experiential learning environments, a community of engagement and inquiry was fostered through the sharing of experiences by both students and educators, thereby exploring meaning and transforming their own and others’ understanding and knowledge of teaching practice.
Warren Code (University of British Columbia)
Since 2007, the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative (CWSEI) at the University of British Columbia (UBC) has influenced the teaching of dozens of faculty and the learning of tens of thousands of students by promoting the "expertise-based classroom", where the goal is to guide students on the path from novice thinking toward expertise in the discipline. Departments were identified as the unit of change and the key factor in this change has been the addition of Science Teaching and Learning Fellows (STLFs) to each department (Wieman, Perkins & Gilbert, 2010). An STLF has deep disciplinary expertise (often a PhD) and is trained in current learning science in order to partner with faculty members as a course consultant in creating or adapting evidence-based methods and measuring effectiveness toward learning. The approach targets all four of the basic change models described by Henderson, Beach, and Finkelstein (2011), with elements focusing on both individuals and institutional structures, each having both prescribed (e.g., adoption of specific teaching practices) and emergent (e.g., building some form of community) outcomes.
The CWSEI has led to extensive success in transforming undergraduate science education at UBC, with a particular specialty in high-engagement methods in large classrooms where traditional lecture had long dominated. Most of the course transformations have employed online elements in helping to maximize the value of face-to-face time in class, while personal response systems ("clickers") have become a common method to support small group discussion in large classes. Classrooms with active participation, even at the early undergraduate level, are now perceived as relatively normal by students (Welsh 2012), and feedback has been positive overall from students and faculty involved in these course projects.
Much faculty development occurs; several faculty so far have continued to implement their new strategies on their own in subsequent courses (Wieman, Deslauriers & Gilley, 2013). Within departments and across the Faculty of Science, STLFs and their partner faculty have created communities around teaching innovation -- a culture change essential to any lasting effect. Owing to this inclusion of scholarship as an essential aspect of the CWSEI, a significant knowledge base of practical resources and published evidence of effectiveness has accrued (see cwsei.ubc.ca, particularly the Resources section), and the STLF model is being adopted elsewhere.
This poster will outline the Initiative and present some of the lessons learned around the novel role of the STLF, along with key indicators of success including department activity, quantified changes in teaching practice, and research output which includes recommended teaching practices.
Rosarie Coughlan (Concordia University)
This poster will explore the essential qualities and features of an effective classroom supporting teaching and learning in the 21st century. Concordia University Libraries is currently embarking on a large-scale renovation and expansion project spanning the next three years. This renovated library will include three new classrooms. As a visual representation of the University’s vision and strategy for student learning, to promote student success and research capacity that addresses the changing characteristics of the entering student [and faculty] population (Concordia University Academic Plan, 2012 – 2016), the new classrooms must accommodate a range of current and evolving learning pedagogies appropriate to all University programs and types of learners.
In envisioning these new classrooms, a number of focus group consultations were held with faculty and librarians engaged in teaching, early in the winter semester of 2014. The following themes were addressed in the consultations:
- Current teaching pedagogies employed by faculty
- Visualising and defining an optimal teaching space to enhance student learning and engagement
- Technology and media use in teaching
- The significance of these teaching spaces in the University Library
To encourage focus group participants to think in a creative and unfettered way, they were asked to draw visual representations of their teaching approaches as well as their ‘ideal’ classroom. Observation of teacher and students activities in the existing classrooms in the Library was also conducted during this period.
The audience will journey with the presenter through this visual landscape towards a fresh awareness of the many inter-connected relationships in the learning experience between the student, teacher, technologies and the wider environment.
Joan Craig (University of Windsor)
This presentation will theorize the application of social psychological theory to a specific case of change practice in a post-secondary educational context. Online administration of student ratings of instruction (SRIs) can reduce costs, environmental impact, and the time it takes to produce results and reports (Bothell & Henderson, 2003; Sorenson & Reiner, 2003). However, institutions have experienced mixed success in implementing these systems (e.g., Dommeyer, Baum & Hanna, 2002; Layne, DeCristoforo, & McGinty, 1999). Online SRI is not “one-size-fits-all”: factors like specific procedures, the nature of the student body, organizational structures, and the culture of the institution must be taken into account. Theoretical frameworks from the field of Social Psychology can be used to inform planning and guide the application of change practices.
The components of an online SRI pilot will be described through the lens of the reasoned action approach (Fishbein & Ajzen, 2010), which offers a well-established framework for the prediction and change of human social behaviour. It begins by looking at background factors, believed to determine behavioural beliefs, normative beliefs, and control beliefs. In turn, these beliefs determine the attitude toward the behaviour of interest, the perceived norm, and perceived behavioural control, respectively. Attitudes and perceptions all contribute to the person’s intention to perform a given behaviour, and this intention predicts the person’s actual behaviour, with the person’s actual control (skills/ abilities/ environment) mediating the relationship between intentions and actual behaviour. Although this model was originally designed with individual behaviour change as the level of interest, it can be applied to change practices by treating the institutional level, including the organizational culture, as the level of interest. The poster session will apply this framework to online SRIs, creating a theoretical model that views individuals’ engagement and participation as elements of as an interacting system of elements and identifying key aspects of that system. The poster presentation will also reflect on the implications of this approach for other transformative educational initiatives in post-secondary institutions.
Wendy Crocker (Western University)
A general use, traditional “flat” layout classroom at the Western University has been transformed into a space to support learner-centred teaching. Drawing on the plethora of literature that describes the benefits to students and teachers (e.g., Barr & Tang, 1995; Astin, 1999; Graetz, 2006), the design created by the steering committee made-over the existing classroom into an interactive classroom that inspires learner-centred teaching.
This poster describes the parallel tracks of envisioning and building the physical space, and mapping the underlying considerations for the layering of pedagogy that occurred during planning for the WALS construction. A rationale for the furniture and technology selection is underpinned by the creation of five modules that illustrate the pedagogical thinking that must accompany any transformation of teaching areas into learning spaces.
Danielle Gabay, Abeer Siddiqui, Rebecca Lee, Melec Zeadin, Naseem Sherwani, and Lori Goff (McMaster University)
Recently, the perspective of institutional culture (Hénard & Roseveare, 2012; Transatlantic Dialogue, 2014) for quality teaching has emerged as an important topic among policy makers, practitioners, and academics. But what is quality when we use it to refer to university education? Governments, students and their families, employers, and funding agencies increasingly demand value for their money and desire more efficiency through teaching (Hénard & Leprince-Ringuet, 2008), but others may hold differing conceptions of quality. Lee Harvey and Bjorn Stensaker (2008) have cited five ways that quality is typically defined in the literature: exceptional, perfection or consistency, fitness for purpose, value for money, and transformation. Applying a cultural theory framework to the notion of a quality culture, Harvey and Stensaker (2008) further described four types of quality cultures: responsive, reactive, regenerative, and reproductive.
This poster applies these notions of quality definitions and quality cultures (Harvey & Stensaker, 2008) to a recently developed Teaching Culture Perceptions Inventory (Wolf, Goff, Dawson, Legwegoh, Joe, Kustra, and Hughes, 2013) that is currently being pilot-tested at three Ontario universities. In addition, we present an initial review of promising practices that could provide future guidelines to support institutions in transforming their institutional culture into one that more deeply values quality teaching and promotes an innovative learning culture (Cox et al, 2011).
Sarah Johnston and Maureen A. Barry (University of Toronto)
This poster presentation will share research findings from a pilot study with a group of undergraduate nursing students that involved a partnership with a liaison librarian and three partner hospitals. The purpose of this study was to describe how senior baccalaureate nursing students interacted with smart devices (e.g. smart phones or an iPod touch) across the curriculum and how nursing students and clinical faculty interacted with them in clinical practice. The study also examined user satisfaction with the smart device, self-efficacy, and comfort with technology before and after the use of a smart device. The goal of this project was to actively engage nursing students in their learning and ultimately in their clinical practice by enabling them to use smart devices to gather multiple sources of evidence/information in the classroom, clinical and simulation laboratory setting. It was anticipated that smart device technology and training sessions related to use of this technology and evidence-informed resources could enrich student and clinical faculty learning. Student participants used their own devices (or the device provided by the study) in a variety of learning environments. Clinical faculty used an iPad mini supplied by the study.
The Faculty research team worked with the liaison librarian and three clinical partner institutions to develop information literacy skills among the students and clinical faculty involved in the project. Nursing students need to make informed clinical decisions on the basis of evidence and smart technology can allow them to access such evidence anywhere. Nursing students and practicing nurses frequently lack the requisite skills to locate and evaluate information on which to base clinical decisions. It is important to ensure the development of strong information literacy skills which involve the ability to know when information is needed and to find, retrieve, analyse and use the needed information effectively. Study participants had training sessions and access to high-quality online library resources, current nursing software resources to support evidence-based learning and practice, and some funding to purchase additional healthcare resources or applications (apps) for their devices.
Study data was collected using several pre and/or post measurement tools, online logs to record the type and frequency of smart device resources used in the clinical area, and focus groups (student participants) and semi-structured interviews (clinical faculty). There were 24 student participants (from five clinical groups across three clinical sites) and three clinical faculty participants. The study concluded in December, 2013 and findings are in the process of being analysed. Preliminary results suggest increased engagement in seeking information and collaborative learning as well as increased use of evidence-based resources on the part of participants. This presentation will focus primarily on the data related to device use in clinical placements.
Pamela Khan and Donna Romano (University of Toronto)
Health professionals provide care to individuals from many various backgrounds who have wide ranges of conditions and needs. Because it is so important to understand, even in small ways, the diversity of their clients’ worlds, one course in particular provides such an experience.
A majority of students in the second entry Baccalaureate Nursing Program at the University of Toronto have first degrees in the Sciences and many have not been exposed to ideas from feminism, critical theory, equity studies, phenomenology and social constuctionism. These theoretical approaches are briefly introduced to students in a course, Introduction to Mental Health Nursing, in the second term of their two year program that provides a pedagogical perspective through which students are helped to understand more fully the world of those with mental illness. During the course they are asked to see situations differently and to open themselves to other ways of knowing and seeing things through the experiences of their clients.
In this poster presentation, a particular pedagogical lens will be described along with a variety of classroom strategies to help students see those experiences through lenses of various social determinants of health. A theme of intersectionality which is interspersed through focused discussions throughout the course will also be discussed in relation to an assignment that students prepare to demonstrate their understanding of their client’s experience through this concept. Various ways in which students are asked to consider their own positionality and worldview as they encounter the illness experience of individuals through lenses of ethno-racial identity, sexual orientation, gender, poverty and homelessness will also be presented. Some of these include participation in clinical group conferences, viewing and working though content of videos and YouTube clips, and encountering voices of participants in research studies described in the literature. During these activities, students have the opportunity to reflect on, and in many cases, adjust their responses to these experiences. After some initial self-confessed struggles, students often comment that they found the course opened their minds and expanded their understanding of the experience of a wider range of individuals than that with which they had begun the course; if this is indeed the case, the course has met, in part, the expectations of those who teach it.
Chi Yan Lam, Laura Kinderman, Rylan Egan, and Denise Stockley (Queen’s University)
In 2011, the Secretariat on Responsible Conduct of Research (a Tri-Council Agency funded by CIHR, SSHRC, & NSERC) launched an educational program to facilitate and enhance the dissemination of TCPS 2, the 2nd edition of the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans (2010), which sets the standard for research ethics involving human research in Canada. Three educational modalities were implemented to aid participants in developing or refining their ethical understanding and practice: Regional Workshops, which brought together diverse disciplinary perspectives; the Course on Research Ethics (CORE); an online tutorial which enabled individuals to discover the various aspects and applications of the Policy; and Webinars, which provided participants with the opportunity to explore deeper dimensions of research ethics.
This poster reports on the processes and findings of a program evaluation conducted of the TCPS 2 educational program. A formative, mixed-method program evaluation employing surveys following a pre-post design, interviews, and focus groups was conducted with a national sample of research ethics stakeholders across Canada. Specifically, novice users (primarily graduate students and early-career researchers) benefitted most from CORE, through which they increased their familiarity with fundamental research ethics principles and applications, such as ethics review. Intermediate-level users (such as practicing researchers and faculty members) benefitted greatly from the Regional Workshops, in which they worked collaboratively through difficult or complex research ethics cases and further increased their familiarity by referring to the Policy. Advanced users benefitted most from the Regional Workshops, where they engaged in deep explorations of a case, and the Webinar, which provided a focused exploration of a specific research ethics subject-area. Implications arising from this study will be discussed.
Marian Luctkar-Flude; Diana Hopkins-Rosseel; Cherie Jones-Hiscock; Cheryl Pulling; Jim Gauthier Amanda Knap and Sheila Pinchin (Queen’s University)
Both interprofessional collaboration and adherence to evidence-based infection control practices contribute to patient safety, improved patient outcomes and decreased healthcare costs. Simulation is an educational strategy that encourages active learning, teamwork and communication. Hence an interprofessional education (IPE) simulation module on infection control skills for intermediate-level health professions students using standardized patients (SPs) was developed and trialed in 2012. Feedback was incorporated in 2013 and re-evaluated.
An innovative approach to interprofessional infection control education using SPs aimed to prepare prelicensure physiotherapy, nursing and medical students for collaborative, patient-centred practice to enhance patient safety. Students completed three online modules on chain of transmission, hand hygiene, and routine practices prior to the two-hour IPE session which included an interactive plenary session with an infection control practitioner (ICP) and four brief simulated clinical scenarios using SPs. Interprofessional teams of students interacted with SPs and were expected to select and utilize supplies and protective equipment appropriate to the level of infection control practices dictated by each unique clinical scenario. Debriefing focused on both infection control skills and interprofessional collaboration.
Major changes implemented in 2013 to improve the module were:
- Session offered earlier in term to avoid conflicts with midterms, assignments and other IPE initiatives;
- Majority of facilitators were Infection Control Practitioners (ICPs);
- Formal orientation session was provided to facilitators over lunch and included orientation to specific scenarios, facilitation and debriefing guides;
- Individual scenarios tweaked based on feedback; and
- More extensive instructions provided to students prior to sessions, including expectations for dressing professionally.
Perceived learning, interprofessional collaboration and the organization and content of the new learning module were evaluated by feedback from learners through a satisfaction survey and focus groups. Learning outcomes were assessed through an online survey administered before and after the sessions. Informal feedback was also provided by faculty observers and ICP facilitators.
Learners reported high satisfaction with the module and its components. Feedback supported the value of the clinical scenarios with SPs in contributing to learning of infection control skills and providing opportunities for learning from and about other health professionals. Learners also identified areas for improvement of the module including providing more practical information and demonstrations during the interactive lecture component. Learner knowledge of infection control practices increased significantly (p<0.03). Learner confidence performing all infection control skills except for hand hygiene increased significantly following participation in the sessions (p<0.05).
Despite having previous education related to infection control practices, intermediate level learners continue to have knowledge gaps and lack of confidence applying these skills. Evaluation results support the need for intermittent reinforcement of infection control knowledge and skills, with a particular emphasis on the clinical context. Identified knowledge gaps and suggestions for further improvement will be incorporated into future sessions as the IPE infection control module becomes fully integrated within the curricula of the three schools.
Suzanne Maranda, Sandra Halliday, Sheila Pinchin, Heather Murray, Meghan Brown, and Dan Mulder (Queen’s University)
Medical students at Queen’s University develop a research proposal as part of their 2nd year Critical Enquiry Course. As with any research project, a thorough literature search is part of the process. The students are expected to apply the skills taught by the librarians in their first year. In recent curriculum changes, librarians introduced peer-to-peer assessment of the searches and, at the students’ request, also peer-to-peer teaching to review the literature search process. This transformation of students into teachers prepares them well for future roles as medical professionals and life-long learners and leaders. The role of peer-tutor increased student engagement and facilitated active learning for all students in the class. Evaluation of this new methodology, including student feedback will be presented. The marking rubric will be shared with all poster-session attendees. The authors will be interested in hearing about similar experiences among participants.
Zopito Marini and Natalie Spadafora (Brock University)
This poster will report on a case study involving the use of a hybrid teaching model in a fourth-year transdisciplinary capstone course in Child and Youth Studies. The structure of the course follows a predictable lecture cycle that focuses on a pedagogical continuum, consisting of four distinct but related aspects of disciplinarity. For instance, there are four cycles of lectures, each cycle focusing on one of the four aspects of disciplinarity, namely, 1) Uni-, 2) Multi-, 3) Intra-, and 4) Trans-Disciplinarity (TD). The first lecture in each cycle is presented digitally through a web-based course delivery system (i.e., Sakai), where students engage with a number of components, including, a) a 50-minute video specifically developed for this course, b) targeted readings related to disciplinarity and capstone relevant course material, and c) posted responses to instructor prompted questions to the videos and the readings. The last lecture in the cycle is held in a traditional face-to-face (F2F) classroom environment, where students are engaged in a number of activities designed to expand and review the unit.
The concept of teamwork is central in this course. Students are asked to organize themselves into teams, consisting of four members. Each member has the opportunity to lead the team twice. Teams are required to have F2F and electronic meetings, record minutes and action plans. In other words, students become fully functioning teams.
Other requirements of the course emphasize the dovetailing of the F2F and digital components. For example, a major course component involves the completion of a TD focused team wiki, which also involves the preparation of a case study and the production of a short video (5 minutes max). As well, each team has to make a presentation of their wiki in front of the entire class.
The hybrid experience is evaluated twice, namely, a Fall term initial reflection on what works and what does not, followed by a Winter terms set of reflections. This poster will report on students’ experiences with the hybrid environment. In particular, we will attempt to capture how students lived their hybrid learning, what worked and what did not work, and what particular aspect of the hybrid environment was beneficial for their learning. Also important will be students’ reflections on ways to improve future offerings.
Jeanette McDonald, Sally Heath and Michael Daly (Wilfrid Laurier University)
Trends in learning space design increasingly emphasize human-centredness, a focus on active and engaged teaching and learning, and digital technologies that enhance students’ learning (Brown & Long, 2006). Active learning classrooms (ALCs) embody each of these design trends, and are increasingly being adopted in colleges and universities across North America. ALCs typically incorporate flexible seating and tables, a portable instructional console, multiple writing surfaces, select educational technologies (e.g., table designated laptops, monitors, and projection units; wireless capabilities) and interactive software (e.g., cloud applications, interactive whiteboards). The “tacit curricula” (Monahan, 2002) of ALCs foster and support a myriad of innovative pedagogies and collaborative learning experiences across disciplines (Van Horne, Murniati, Gaffney, & Jesse, 2012).
In fall 2012, Wilfrid Laurier University opened its first ALC as part of a Faculty of Arts initiative. This initiative brought together the expertise and backing of several constituent groups to design, construct, select technology, and provide training and support for the faculty and students engaged in teaching and learning in the space. Focused on the perspective of the teaching centre’s role in this project, this poster explores the professional development and support needs of faculty teaching in ALCs (e.g., administrative, pedagogical, technological, peer-to-peer), recognizing the shared role of these functions across the institution (Johnson, 2006; Sorcinelli, Austin, Eddy, & Beach, 2006). Lessons learned and best practices are reported, highlighting the need for timely, integrated training and support that is sensitive to the varied instructional experience, overall readiness, and level of commitment and risk faculty are willing to assume when teaching in an ALC.
Sandra Neill (George Brown College)
George Brown College is committed to ensuring its graduates understand how sustainability relates to their work and to society. In order to render visible all courses that deliver and measure student acquisition of sustainability skills and knowledge, the College undertook an audit to determine current levels of sustainability teaching and learning content within all active programs of instruction (cf. Rusinko, 2010; Bridges, 2008; Jahan & Mehta, 2007; Springett, 2005; Tesone, 2004; Bartlett & Chase, 2004).
The audit's scope included both program- and course-level learning outcomes. Program and course learning outcomes from all diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate and degree programs were individually assessed for sustainability content, based on the accepted tripartite definition of sustainability encompassing environmental, social and economic sustainability principles (United Nations General Assembly, n.d.). We now know which of our programs provide a framework for learning that emphasizes environmental, social and economic sustainability skills and knowledge, particularly as these relate to a student's own field of study. We also know precisely in which specific courses this learning takes place.
As a result of our sustainability curriculum audit we are better able to link our sustainable research mandate to broader industry productivity and graduate preparation (cf. United Nations Development Program, 2014; Sibbel, 2009; Tilbury, 2004). This is because our audit results have allowed us to identify which of our diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate and degree programs have integrated sustainability teaching and learning across the curriculum--and which are at very early stages or have not yet begun this work. Where integration of sustainability themes was found within program- or course-level learning outcomes, the results also indicate the extent of the integration: for example, whether sustainability themes appear just once within a single course in a program, or whether they appear and are reinforced multiple times across multiple locations (i.e. within both program- and course-level learning outcomes and/or within multiple courses across a program).
Using the results from this audit, we are now able to target specific programs and courses in which it makes sense to allocate effort toward the increase the integration of sustainability teaching and learning (cf. Jones et al, 2010; Desha & Hargroves, 2007; Sterling, 2004). Beginning with programs that were found by the audit to contain no or very few sustainability-related learning outcomes, we are now in a position to stage and coordinate the continued integration of sustainability themes across the curriculum in a way that is focused, logical and reflective of each program's audit results.
Leslie Reid, Heather Addy and Cindy Graham (University of Calgary)
The Teaching Skills Workshop program was developed and piloted within a Faculty of Science at a large research-intensive university to help faculty members build their teaching skills and knowledge with a community of learners. The program was initiated in January, 2013 in response to a teaching and learning needs assessment where the need for opportunities to learn about teaching and to interact with peers across the Faculty was identified. The goals for this workshop program were:
- To provide an opportunity for teaching knowledge and skills development
- To create opportunities to work in learning groups
- To give and receive peer feedback on teaching ideas and materials
- To promote and encourage reflective teaching
This program consisted of two- or three-hour workshops offered monthly from September through April and biweekly from June through August. Workshop topics included student motivation, assessment, conducting mid-course evaluation, and writing a teaching philosophy statement. Topics were selected based on common teaching situations faculty members faced during the semester, as well as topics suggested by workshop participants. Workshop activities were aligned with the program goals and provided participants with opportunities to reflect on their practices and beliefs about teaching, develop teaching and/or curriculum materials relevant to their own practice, and participate in learning groups where they would give and receive feedback and discuss their ideas about teaching. Workshops were developed and facilitated by teaching experts who are also faculty members in the host Faculty. The workshop goals follow recommendations for STEM educational development programs where activities focus on developing reflective teachers and changing faculty conceptions of teaching, take into account the teaching culture and do not assume a ‘one size fits all’ model (Henderson, Beach & Finkelstein, 2011).
Preliminary findings indicate that participants in these workshops were satisfied or very satisfied with the workshop format, information, activities and facilitators. To date, 1/3 of academic staff members from the Faculty have participated in at least one workshop and 15% of those participants have attended more than five workshops. Analysis of feedback found that the most valuable aspects of the workshops for participants were: activities, discussions/feedback from peers, support materials and knowledge gains. These findings were consistent with participants across disciplines, teaching experience and workshop topics. The most commonly reported suggestions for improvement by participants were: more time, more examples and more structure to the learning group activities.
Next steps are to determine the extent to which participants transfer knowledge and skills learned in the workshops to their teaching practices and whether participants are enhancing or practicing reflective teaching. We also want to explore ways to transform the learning groups formed in the workshops to learning communities outside of the workshops where participants can receive additional support and follow-up on ideas they developed within the workshops.
Vicki Remenda and Doug Archibald (Queen’s University)
A basic tenet of professional programmes is that experiential learning is critical to practice. Our hypothesis is that field learning, specifically, geological mapping, is both transformative, in that it helps students transition from learners to experts, and “future-proofing“ in that it develops the habits of mind of integrating sparse observations into meaningful models.
Queen’s students seeking degrees in Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering (GS&GE) begin with a fall term field (28 h/lab 40 h) course (GEOE/L 221), followed by a 12 day, 11 hour a day spring field course (GEOE/L 300). Fundamental to these courses is geological mapping, where the process is defined as making observations of earth materials and features in space, typically the 2D surface of the Earth, incorporating those observations and features into a 3D conceptualization (or model) of the earth system, and from that conceptualization, identifying spatial and temporal relationships among components. This type of mapping is accretive, that is, the process and product are intertwined. Students produce visual records (maps, cross-sections) and written reports to demonstrate learning. A summative oral exam is included at the end of both courses.
Biggs and Collis (1982) identified that “as learning progresses it becomes more complex”, and that students go through stages of meaning making, from the accumulation of seemingly random observations in the early stages, to the complex meaning making that results in a system or conceptualization. We contend that undergraduate students learning to map experience this progression. Furthermore, we observe that Queen’s GS&GE students appear to undergo a transformation in their learning in the latter half of each field course. We hypothesize that this transformation is when students begin to change from being novices to being experts, whereby they assemble their observations into a meaningful whole, and pass through a threshold of learning similar to that proposed by Meyer and Land (2003).
Despite financial pressures, Queen’s GS&GE has continued to offer rich field experiences for undergraduates. While our belief is that field learning is transformative and crucial, there is only anecdotal evidence of its importance to students. This prompts us to ask, “Is field learning essential to learning and practicing in the geosciences?” In order to examine this contention, we have initiated a longitudinal survey of current students and alumni about the nature of their field experiences. Initial data will form part of our poster, in addition to information about faculty attitudes towards field learning. Additional data include the nearly 20 years of success in raising funds for field learning from alumni. We take as evidence of their belief in and commitment to field learning, the numerous donations from both alumni and industry.
We contend that geological mapping stimulates and enhances theoretical learning, and that once students become adept at making and incorporating field observations into their personal conceptualization of an earth system, they pass through a threshold from novice to expert mapper. The observational, meaning-making, and synthesis skills of the adept mapper are hallmarks of the successful professional geoscientist and geoengineer. The accretive process of mapping, and all it entails, may be extended to other fields, such as nursing, medicine, and biology, to name a few, where close observation and disparate data sets are incorporated into conceptualizations.
Heather Ross (University of Saskatchewan); Jaymie Koroluk (University of Ontario Institute of Technology); and Nancy Turner (University of Saskatchewan)
In January of 2014, the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness (GMCTE) at the University of Saskatchewan launched the open course, Introduction to Learning Technologies. The course is being offered simultaneously to both a small blended cohort (mostly online, with five face-to-face sessions) and a much larger open group of participants. This course is designed for faculty, instructors or teachers who wish to learn more about effective uses of learning technologies. Participants explore pedagogically-informed use of blogs, podcasts, social bookmarking and a host of other tools, in addition to considering the implications of copyright and Creative Commons, digital citizenship and digital literacy for their teaching practice.
The prevailing model for most MOOCs these days involves the course being housed in a closed platform such as that used by Coursera. Participants must register to view the course content and materials cannot be used outside of that course. Participants usually only communicate with others in the course and sometimes not even then, and yet the first “O” in MOOC stands for “open”.
The open course from the GMCTE is what we consider to be a truly open online course or TOOC. The course is built on the open source blogging platform, Wordpress and all materials developed by GMCTE carry Creative Commons licenses, allowing anyone to use, remix and share them. While participants are encouraged to register to make it easier to reach those interested in completing the course as a cohort and to get an idea of who is going through the course, it is not required to access the course materials.
The open nature of the TOOC not only benefits participants directly, but also the course designer and facilitator due to the feedback that is provided by those who are not registered, but have browsed the course materials. This poster session will explore the concept of the TOOC and the benefits and drawbacks realized by the participants and facilitator.
Patricia Samson (University of Windsor)
Creative Problem Solving (CPS) as a teaching method is outside of the norm of what is generally expected in the classroom setting, hence students may be resistant to participating in something not fully understood. Incorporating active learning strategies in a way that transcends the classroom and sparks interest and passion for students is a key pedagogical ingredient for educators. While students may find CPS a challenge due to the uncertainty and ambiguity of a different teaching method, its applicability to an MSW policy course couched in a series of two small group facilitation assignments can be useful in engaging students in the learning process. Providing an opportunity for students to work collaboratively to facilitate a small group with their peers provides a forum for them to engage in problem-solving, teaching and learning, and enable them to link theory to practice in real-world settings that are meaningful and relevant to them. CPS is a powerful teaching methodology, that when cultivated within a constructivist framework, supports the pedagogical shift in the classroom that can foster both student engagement and motivation to learn.
CPS can be a transformative learning tool that can support students becoming teachers and teachers becoming learners. It supports a dialogical learning atmosphere that can transcend the traditional classroom and inspire excellence in students by linking real life experiences into education, beyond the confines of the traditional classroom setting. It supports a sense of inquiry that incorporates both experiential learning and the development of critical thinking skills.
Ashley Welsh and Jackie Stewart (University of British Columbia)
In higher education across the country, many educators have been replacing some or all lecturing with in-class activities and formative assessments to enhance student learning and engagement. As such, it is not only important to theorize and assess the effectiveness of these movements, but also to gain an understanding of how students engage with and approach learning in these non-traditional settings. Students are key stakeholders in teaching and learning practices; therefore, their perceptions and feedback are significant to the curricular and pedagogical movements occurring in higher education within and outside of Canada (Author, 2012; Herreid & Schiller, 2013; Wieman, 2012).
In this poster presentation, we will examine undergraduate students’ perceptions of their learning strategies and experiences in an introductory organic chemistry course that encouraged active learning strategies. Organic chemistry is a challenging, cumulative course where students often struggle to develop meaningful learning strategies and easily fall behind (Grove & Bretz, 2012; Lynch & Trujillo, 2010). This particular course used a “flipped classroom” format and provided students with ample opportunity to practice/discuss their skills through in-class quizzes and worksheets, assignments, and an online discussion forum. Since this course offered a variety of interactive, formative feedback we were interested in understanding what moments, activities, or interactions students deemed as influencing (and changing) their learning strategies and experience in the course, and also why students’ held these views. Hour-long interviews were conducted with twenty-six students, which revealed a spectrum of raw and detailed feedback on their experiences in the course. While most of the students acknowledged that the course format/activities were designed to keep them engaged with the material and in contact with their peers/instructor, many of them expressed difficulty keeping up with the content and using the resources available to them. Almost every student mentioned that their lack of time management skills and reliance on “cramming” was disadvantageous to their learning. Students who were successful in the course attributed their success to their desire to take responsibility for their learning and to become more diligent in their pre-class preparation, to ask questions, and to focus on what they understood and did not understand. Students also offered advice on how the course structure could be improved and how incoming students could be successful in the course. The information presented in this poster will engage the STLHE community in discussions of how we may use students’ perceptions to inform our complex decisions about curriculum and pedagogy.
Vicki Woodside-Duggins (Queen’s University)
This poster presentation will share the results of a study that examined the effects of physical space on the teaching and learning environment. The literature suggests that physical space affects student privacy, performance and participation. Research also suggests that the physical environment affects how teachers view the possibilities available to them for their teaching (Jamieson, Fisher, Gilding, Taylor & Trevitt, 2000; Higgins, Hall, Wall, Woolner & McCaughney, 2005). Literature shows that space can dictate how students will interact (Jamieson et all, 2000). Studies indicate that physical space that saves time, provides comfort, and facilitates communication supports successful learning (Higgins et al, 2005). Further research in physical space and its impact on teaching and learning is needed (Temple, 2008). This research can advise universities on how best to enable collaboration, communication and interactions between students, teachers and content (Jamieson, 2003).
In this study, the enactment of three tutorials conducted simultaneously was compared. Each tutorial followed the same format and plan, but was implemented in a different classroom. The format involved a case study analysis of human physiology and a planned sequence of events. Each classroom had a separate physical configuration and different degree of technology available. This study examined how students and faculty experienced the physical space in order to provide context to how physical space affects teaching and learning. Through observation, surveys and focus groups, data was compared using qualitative analysis to understand how physical space effected the formulation of the experiences of the students and faculty involved. The results of this study contribute to the overall discussion regarding physical learning space and how it shapes one’s experience in a learning environment. This poster presentation contributes to discussions of physical aspects of learning spaces in the integrated learning environment.
Charles Yin, James Han, Sarah Symons, and Andrew Colgoni (McMaster University)
A critical component of McMaster University’s educational mandate, and a focus of universities across the country, is to include undergraduate students in the research process. Student-run publications can be used as a means of actively engaging students in their education and fostering leadership skills. In the process of organizing, administering and disseminating a publication, students gain critical insight into the process through which information is collected, edited and finally distributed, as well as developing the skills to work and lead in a small-team setting. Student-run publications provide other students a means of submitting their work for publication, simultaneously allowing students to think and work beyond their curriculum.
In this session, we will share details on the inception, organization and operation of The iScientist, a student-run peer-reviewed scientific journal in the Integrated Science (iSci) program at McMaster University. The iScientist was conceived as a platform for which the scientific research being done by students could be shared more broadly, while also giving in-program students an opportunity to gain valuable editorial and reviewing experience. A key pedagogical goal of establishing The iScientist is to shift the structure of student learning away from traditional instructor-driven assignments and provide students the means to experience how the process of science is conducted outside the classroom. In the initial phase of organizing the journal, instructor input was valuable, but minimal. The student editorial board is encouraged to work independently but seek advice from instructors and faculty where necessary. By providing limited support, instructors ensure that the students involved in the journal, from editors to peer reviewers, are forced to develop academic independence. The real value of The iScientist as a means to evaluate student learning comes once a number of submissions have been published. The quality of these publications allows instructors to assess whether the curriculum has successfully prepared students for the process of academic scientific research and publication. This is especially important in a program like iSci, which has a mandate of training the scientific leaders of tomorrow. This approach has the added advantage of allows instructors to evaluate the combined outcome of the entire curriculum rather than evaluating each individual section of the curriculum piecewise. Thus, although no formal means of evaluation has been put into place for The iScientist, there is the potential for this journal to allow instructors to evaluate the learning of their students in a more holistic fashion. Complimentarily, student-run journals have the benefit of allowing students to integrate their previous learning to produce a publication-worthy piece of work. For students going forward into science and research, both serving as editors on The iScientist and submitting to the journal will serve as a valuable early experience in a process that will be central to their career.
Neil Haave (University of Alberta, Augustana Campus)
E-Portfolios have the potential to transform students’ learning experiences through reflection on the significance of what and how they have learned; this enhances their ability to articulate their knowledge and skills to their peers, teachers, and future employers. In addition, e-portfolios can enable the assessment of teachers' and institutions' ability to inculcate students with their core learning objectives and skills. The objective of the Augustana 2012/13 pilot study was to determine the feasibility of the institutional implementation of e-portfolios focused on enhancing student learning, rather than institutional assessment. This poster presents the outcomes from this pilot.
Volunteers for the pilot were recruited from a variety of disciplines: Biology, Development Studies, Drama, Music, and Psychology. The volunteers were aware at the outset of several criteria related to e-portfolio resources: i) the e-portfolio platform must be sufficiently user-friendly such that students are able to focus on the reflection, writing, and analysis of their learning without having to spend excess energy and time on familiarizing themselves with the technology, ii) students need to feel that the platform empowers them to express their unique experience to produce a student-centred e-portfolio, and iii) affordable price. As a result, all participating faculty, with one exception, used Google Sites and found that students were able to use the freely available Google App with little difficulty.
Lessons learned during the pilot include the following: i) don’t assume students are tech savvy, ii) collect websites that can assist students with technical aspects of the e-portfolio platform, iii) always keep a clean copy of your template that is not shared with students, iv) encourage instructors to avail themselves of the resources available through teaching & learning centres to provide technical and design assistance, v) be clear about the point of the assignment, vi) be clear about the criteria for the assignment, vii) provide students with leading questions to help guide them with their critical self-reflection. The poster will further elaborate these lessons.
The results of the pilot study suggested that Augustana faculty be encouraged to consider using e-portfolios in their courses and degree programs as a teaching strategy that enables students’ self-reflection on the skills and knowledge gained during their studies at Augustana. In addition, it was recommended that students be encouraged to use whatever platform best suits them. The reasons for these suggestions will be discussed during the poster session.
Maha Othman (St. Lawrence College)
Nursing students are taught the importance of research particularly with respect to the concept of evidence-based practice. They learn to critically evaluate research articles but may lack exposure to practical research that complement the theoretical learning. St Lawrence College (SLC) provides one of five Ontario collaborative college sites for delivering the Bachelor of Sciences in Nursing (BScN) degree in collaboration with Laurentian University. A number of research-based courses are offered throughout the program. Despite the value of these courses, a gap remains with respect to the practical research and laboratory exposure.
The objective of this course is to develop a model for integrating practical research in the undergraduate years that help student nurses appreciate the steps and efforts involved in generating and completing research studies that they are often required to analyze, and to expand on the laboratory exposure that may be required in their future professional practice.
This practical research/ education model (LUSL1001UN) was introduced as an elective course for the third year BScN students. The course provides an opportunity for students to explore various research initiatives. Each student completes a small research project starting with performing an extensive literature review followed by formulating a research question, writing a research proposal, conducting a well-controlled experiment, practicing data analysis using appropriate statistical methods and drawing a conclusion. Students present their data via two open mini-symposia (poster and oral presentations) and finally write manuscripts following journal specific author guidelines.
The course provided a unique experience for students to conduct their own research, raised their academic writing standards, improved their scientific communication, critical thinking and presentation skills and enhanced their motivation towards research. This course represents a new learning approach in the BScN program. A description of the course layout and delivery methods will be provided and synopsis of the students’ projects, outcomes and feedback will be presented. We recommend this course to be considered as a required rather than elective course to extend this learning opportunity to all students in the program.
** CANCELLED** BOOK LAUNCH: Learning and Teaching Community Based Research: Linking Pedagogy to Practice
June 18, 2014, 4:00 – 5:30 pm, McArthur Hall, Main Hallway (aka Student Street)
Edited by Catherine Etmanski, Budd L. Hall, and Teresa Dawson
Forthcoming with the University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2014
Community-Based Research, or CBR, is a mix of innovative, participatory approaches that put the community at the heart of the research process. Learning and Teaching Community-Based Research shows that CBR can also operate as an innovative pedagogical practice, engaging community members, research experts, and students.
This collection is an unmatched source of information on the theory and practice of using CBR in a variety of university- and community-based educational settings. Developed at and around the University of Victoria, and with numerous examples of Indigenous-led and Indigenous-focused approaches to CBR, Learning and Teaching Community Based-Research will be of interest to those involved in community outreach, experiential learning, and research in non-university settings, as well as all those interested in the study of teaching and learning.