Centre for Teaching and Learning

Centre for Teaching and Learning
Centre for Teaching and Learning

Afternoon Session Descriptions | 1:00 - 4:15pm

Morning Session Descriptions

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On-Line Tutorials - Getting to Know your Distance Students | Mary Jo Maur, Faculty of Law

Connecting with students in large distance courses is always a challenge. But it's worth the effort to find ways to personalize the experience for them! Online tutorials, with directed learning goals, using Zoom, can help you check in with them, and cover material in a more detailed way than you can using other online methods. Besides, online tutorials are so much fun for you as a teacher!


A Pedagogy for the Vanquished of History | Asha Varadharajan, Department of English

I outline a pedagogical experiment—a seminar in literary interpretation focused on Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye. Morrison challenges solidarity exercised at a distance, as well as "safe harbors" by plunging the reader into the shock of intimacy without safety instead. She also subverts the rhetoric of survival and testimony common to "minority" discourse by writing a novel that gives shape and texture to silence and nonentity rather than expresses voice or self-consciousness. I had two primary objectives: (i) to demonstrate not only that words matter but that (de)colonization is a matter of words. I wanted to make Morrison's novel exemplary of how to write both race-specific and race-free prose. (ii) to communicate not only cliches about racial difference but also cliches about empowerment, affirmation, and solidarity. My presentation will elaborate on how and whether I achieved these goals, the writing I assigned and the materials I used to supplement our interpretation of the novel, the methods unique to literary studies that served "political" ends, and the moments when students infused drab classroom interaction with surprise and wonder rather than only discomfiture. I think we have become accustomed to thinking of pedagogy as a form of witnessing; I'd like to ponder the implications of Morrison's hope that her novel will make her readers "free." What might a pedagogy that frees rather than simply explains, observes, declaims or denounces look like?


Incorporating Special Topics Using an Active Learning Approach | Sandy Youmans, Faculty of Education

How do you incorporate Special Topics in a course in a meaningful way? Given the limited amount of time available and the vast number of topics that can be covered in one course, this is an issue educators struggle with. However, as educators we know it is important to include students’ interests and engage them in their own learning. Incorporating Special Topics using an active learning approach provides students with a unique opportunity to learn about what they are interested in and share their learning with peers. This presentation describes how I took an active learning approach to Special Topics in I course I teach. Specifically, I discuss the use of student-generated topics, student-developed inquiry questions in the context of small groups, providing resources for students to explore, and the demonstration and sharing of learning through poster presentations.


Lessons Learned About Developing Online Learning Modules | Barb Vanderbeld, Department of Biology

With funds received from a CTL Teaching and Learning Enhancement Grant, we developed a series of online learning modules for students in Biology lab courses. These modules include custom-made videos, various supporting materials, and short quizzes on key biology laboratory concepts and techniques. Instructors can assign relevant modules in advance of a lab in order to ensure all their students have the same background information on the topic, while freeing up valuable lab time for other learning opportunities. Students can work through the modules at their own pace, and revisit a module anytime they want a refresher on the topic. Although we stumbled a bit along the way, preliminary feedback suggests our students are benefiting from this resource.


 Interactive Course Notes (RISE) and OnQ Awards/Intro Videos Gamification Strategy | Philippe Gauthier, Department of Film and Media; and Anna Sabramowicz, Arts and Science Online

How do you truly engage students? How do you compete for their attention with FB, Twitter and YouTube? These are the questions that drove us to use the strategies and tools that enhance students’ involvement in our online course. We will share an example of interactive courses notes used in our course during the Winter semester of 2018 (FILM240 – Media and Popular Culture) along with testimonials from students about their experiences with this new type of educational material. We will also detail a gamification strategy implemented to create synergy between OnQ awards and weekly intro videos (including short shout-out videos). As we will show, this new strategy enabled us to at least double our students' involvement with our weekly intro videos.


Tell Me About Yourself: Using ePortfolios as a Tool to Integrate Learning and Position Students for Life after University | Bren Melles, Public Health Sciences

Queen’s students learn in plenty of places—academic courses, programs, classrooms, libraries, labs and internships— and also in clubs, teams, residences, volunteer opportunities and more. But where do they get the opportunity to pull it all together and figure out, this is how all my learning is connected, this is what I’ve accomplished, and this is what that means for my next steps. Over the past two cohorts, the Master of Public Health program has used ePortfolio as a tool to help students gather, integrate, reflect on, and express the full breath of their learning, accomplishments and future goals. In the process, students clarify their professional identity, articulate their skills and competencies, and position themselves more confidently for employment. This practical presentation will highlight the lessons learned along the way.



Language Sounds | Greg Lessard, School of Computing; and Nathan Brinklow, Languages, Literatures and Cultures

One of the challenges in learning a new language is to decipher and produce its sounds. Languages differ significantly in this respect. A classroom environment provides only a limited opportunity for practicing these skills and access to language laboratories is also limited. Web-based materials provide an alternative unconstrained by time and place. In the presentation, we describe tools developed to support the learning of Mohawk in the context of courses developed by Nathan Brinklow. Specifically, we have extended the VinciLingua web platform, developed here at Queen's by Michael Levison and Greg Lessard, to allow learners to a) listen to and identify sounds of Mohawk; b) distinguish related but distinct sounds; c) identify sounds corresponding to orthographic sequences; d) imitate sounds and get feedback on intonation and closeness to the model. This generative model provides for an open-ended and open-access set of learning materials. It is also applicable to other languages, and since it records success rates, provides as well a means of intake testing for language courses.


Inclusive Pedagogy: The Syllabus, Assessment and Student Feedback | Erin Clow, Gender Studies/School of Rehabilitation/Human Rights Office

What is inclusive pedagogy? Why is it important for our classrooms? And, how can we incorporate techniques, strategies and tools of inclusive pedagogy in the classroom? As instructors we bear a tremendous responsibility to address and respond to the diversity of identities, ideas and interests of our students in a respectful and meaningful way. This presentation will explore practical tools and strategies that can be utilized in an effort to create inclusive and accountable classroom spaces. Strategies will include inclusive syllabi statements, attendance mechanisms, alternative assessments and student feedback outlets.


International Fieldwork Courses: Lessons from the Field | Ajay Agarwal, Department of Geography and Planning

In this presentation, I draw lessons from my experience of teaching SURP 827 International Project course in India for five times. While some of the things may be specific to Indian context, overall lessons are applicable to teaching a fieldwork based course in any international urban setting. The lessons include both do’s and don’ts.


The Use of Imbedded Novel Studies to Engage Students in Equity, Justice, Racism and Colonialism Issues in Health and Science Classrooms | Colleen Davison, Public Health Sciences; and Elaine Power, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies

We will describe our use of novels (i.e., Indian Horse, Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Break, Ragged Company) to engage health, science and global development students in social justice and Indigenous issues. We will describe the processes and benefits we have noticed at the undergraduate and graduate levels. We will also offer tips for selecting appropriate novels to complement other course materials.


Indigenocracy | Thohahoken Michael Doxtater, Queen's National Scholar, Languages, Literatures and Cultures; and Global and Development Studies

Historically, Indigenous leadership convenes, facilitates, and mediates human interactions to find solutions to locally identified problems. As exemplars of democratic process, leaders become democracies' best teachers. Situating this model for Indigenous teaching and learning in the classroom has foundations in critical pedagogy. Creating a learning community includes practicing consensus-building, team-learning, and critical reflection by individuals. Scaffolded course designers create opportunities for perspective transformations through experiential learning (Mezirow). The course reminds the Learning Community to value personal needs (Glasser). Respecting human diversity begins with deliberative and critically reflective community members (hooks; Shor). These processes create a platform for student success through individual products and outputs, but also for collaborative inquiry and cogenerated knowledge in teams. Why can’t everyone get an A?


When the instructor comes from abroad: some thoughts on changing perspectives | Elena Cecchetto, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Teaching a language is challenging, but teaching it in a country which is not the instructor’s homeland creates more difficulties. In this presentation I will share my experience as  Italian language instructor who came originally from Italy. My goal is that of creating a moment to reflect on mistakes, and learning opportunities when working in a different country.

Morning Session Descriptions