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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C: Indigenization and Diversity in the Classroom


Crafting DEVS 220 - Introduction to Indigenous Studies online | Ian Fanning, Development Studies and Toni Thornton, Arts and Science Online

Is teaching and learning in the academy inherently colonial? What can be done to decolonize the university? This introductory online course in Indigenous Studies provided the opportunity for parallel investigations of these questions from different perspectives, to be shared at this presentation. First, the course development team struggled to disentangle itself from colonial academic structures and conventions to ask what knowledge gets prioritized and evaluated, how students are encouraged to explore and express their learning, and what resources are needed to support students intellectually, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Secondly, during course delivery, students participated in a guided inquiry activity, asking themselves, “How can we (as students) help to decolonize the university?” This “Essential Question” was scaffolded and explored over 8 weeks, using active learning strategies and engagement with the teaching team and peers, to deepen the inquiry over time and culminating in a narrated poster.


Approaching Theatre Histories: Towards Indigenizing and Decolonizing Through ‘Meta-Micro-History’? | Kelsey Jacobson, Dan School of Music

Like many teaching survey courses to undergraduate students, my colleague Julie Salverson and I endeavor to work towards indigenizing and decolonizing the primarily Western European curriculum. Our concern extends beyond content; we ask, what does it mean to indigenize and decolonize our pedagogical methods? This presentation outlines a pedagogical approach we call ‘meta-micro-history’ that asks students to consider their personal past and how it informs their learning of theatre history. We begin our classes with a consideration of ‘what ground we stand on’ (Robinson 2018) both literally in terms of the history of the land and its occupiers, and figuratively, tracing our educational lineages of who taught us, when, where, and with what materials. Under what circumstances is the invitation to bring one’s personal history to a class productive, appropriate, and ethical? How/does this actively move toward indigenizing and decolonizing the space, two terms at risk of becoming metaphoric only?


Etuaptmumk: From Framework to Praxis in Mining Education at Queen's | Anne Johnson, Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining

Mining engineers are trained to manage technical and finance risks, but as Indigenous communities demand recognition of their values and the restoration of rights ignored by colonization, management of social risk has become a significant challenge.  However, engineers have not been equipped to understand the drivers of social risk much less to address it.
     Engineering schools therefore, must prepare students for new constraints - where cultural values will affect design, construction and operation. This requires curriculum revision to ensure that non-Indigenous engineers learn to appreciate the values and perspectives of Indigenous peoples and that Indigenous students feel that they belong and that their cultural perspectives are valued and relevant in the discipline.
     The Mi’kmaq philosophy of Etuaptmumk has informed curriculum development in MINE 422, Mining and Sustainability, to support the development of dialogic skills that will enable students to conceptualize social risk in ways that promote intercultural competence and equity.


Incorporating Mindfulness into Pedagogy for the Benefit of Diverse Classrooms | Alyssa Foerstner, Student Academic Success Services; and Agnieszka Herra, Student Academic Success Services and Queen's University International Centre

University classrooms are changing due to an increasingly diverse student body that includes English as an Additional Language (EAL) students. It is imperative that we reflect on the ways these students experience the classroom and adapt our approaches to teaching, rather than expecting students to adapt to us.
Our aim is to create an awareness of the specific challenges EAL students face and how faculty can bolster their existing strategies to benefit diverse classrooms. Specifically, we will offer a framework for setting up interaction in the classroom and a model for providing feedback on written work.
     Coming from units where we both research best practices from the literature and hear from students directly, we offer a perspective that incorporates theory and practical experience. Our innovative strategy has, at its foundation, principles of mindfulness and seeks to help faculty address the academic uncertainty that we know students feel around classroom expectations.

D: Student Inquiry


Stimulating selflessness: Learning to Serve through Inquiry (LSI) in higher education | Suparna Roy, Faculty of Education

Selfless actions serve to enhance the well-being of others while going beyond one’s own self-interested desires and attachments to rewards (Kurth, 1995). However, progress towards becoming selfless requires intentional practice. LSI is a dynamic pedagogy that develops selfless attributes through cultivating a sense of curiosity and wonder in youth and extracting meaning from experience. LSI’s objectives are to; (1) engage youth in mindful activities that benefit others by meeting a real community need and thereby achieving a sense of connectedness with others and concurrently (2) advance curricular goals through structured time for questioning, research, reflection, discussion, and associating experiences to learning and one’s personal worldview. Using research findings from a study conducted in an elementary school, this presentation questions whether a service-oriented approach grounded in a philosophy of selflessness and realized through inquiry-based learning practices can nurture a “how can what we learn benefit others?” attitude and be operationalized in higher education.


Promoting Student Inquiry:  In defense of the good in stodgy traditional pedagogies | David Parker, Department of History

Presents my upper-level research seminar HIST 353, Revolutions in Latin America, but as I explain from the first class, the topic is just an excuse for what the class is really about:  original research in primary sources.  The syllabus looks very traditional, but each class works to help students develop a method to follow their own curiosity in a structured way.  After assignments about extracting meaning from period documents and using a single study to test general theories, students are set loose to find a single historical document, in the library or on the internet.  They play detective to understand all the document's mysteries: who created it and with what intention, and why and how it was preserved, organized in an archive, and made public.  In class presentations and then a paper students share what they discovered, and in the process think about why certain information gets included in the telling of "history," while other equally valid information may get lost forever.  Course received 2018 Principal's Promoting Student Inquiry Teaching Award.

E: Course Design


Encouraging Reflection and Revision in First-Year English: An Online Module | Katie Alyssa Hunt (CAR) and John Pierce, Department of English

A common problem that we've found in teaching students of ENGL100, Introduction to Literary Study, how to write an argument about literature is that they have trouble differentiating between impressionistic arguments that are based on a subjective experience of a text and analytical arguments based on concrete evidence from the text. In order to supplement the large lecture and tutorial sessions, we developed an online module that walks students through the process of thinking through an argument, taking it from impression to analysis. At the end of the module, students submit an argument that they develop through the module, and they are graded on their effort. We will explain our methodology and speak about the successes and limitations of this process. It was done in conjunction with the CAR project, so both qualitative and quantitative data will be presented.


The Upside of Teaching: Finding Success in Failure | Lisa F. Carver, Sociology; and Catherine Donnelly, School of Rehabilitation Therapy
Course development is iterative in nature with content and assessments designed to support student learning. Iterative design can be described as a kind of ‘practice makes perfect’ approach. An inevitable part of this process is failure. Talking about what doesn’t work can offer further insights.  The objective of the presentation is to consider failure in teaching and how this can facilitate a better conversation on what we are doing and why.  We feel that this is the essence of a reflective educator.  Research and experience will be used in this interactive presentation to build strategies to use failure successfully.  


Developing a Model for Academic Writing Support Considering the Perspectives of Doctoral Students and their Supervisors at Queen’s University | Shikha Gupta and Atul Jaiswal, School of Rehabilitation Therapy

Queen’s University identifies academic writing as one of the core learning outcomes for its graduate students. However, many graduate students, especially those having English as an additional language (EAL), face numerous challenges in scholarly writing. Similarly, academic mentors who supervise graduate students can spend an inordinate amount of time reviewing and editing multiple drafts. Therefore, the purpose of our project is to explore the multiple challenges in academic writing faced by graduate students and faculty supervisors at Queen’s University. The study is being conducted using a mixed-method approach, wherein quantitative data is collected from students and supervisors using online survey and qualitative data is collected using focus group discussions (FGDs). Understanding these challenges will inform the mechanisms adopted by Queen’s University to strengthen the existing services and the development of an academic writing support model to support graduate students and their supervisors towards successful academic writing.


Moving from Teacher-Centered to Student Centered Learning | Robert (Bob) Ross, School of Kinesiology and Health Studies

The move towards student-centered learning is inspired by the desire to encourage and reinforce to senior students (4th year) the importance of skill development that will lead to independence and confidence with respect to knowledge generation and translation.  While providing a rudder for this process, the students are required to work in teams to generate new knowledge on assigned topics, and to translate that knowledge in two forms.  The first step is to convey their findings/knowledge to their student colleagues.  The second step requires the teams to generate infographics on their assigned topics that are suitable for the general public. To accomplished these tasks I invited a research librarian to teach the students search skills and basic steps in performing systematic reviews.  We also invited an expert in infographic design to inform students regarding key steps in designing infographics for the public. Challenges included timely evaluation/feedback to students/groups and evaluation of individual contributions to group efforts.  Overall course evaluation was positive.     


Turning Stats Upside Down: Creating a Flipped Classroom for introductory statistics for multiple disciplines | Bill Nelson, Department of Biology

How do you teach a mandatory statistics course to students who do not have an inherent interest in the topic? The traditional approach has been for departments to create their own discipline-specific courses, which causes redundancy in course offerings and challenges for students trying to change disciplines. I will present a case-study of creating a flipped classroom for introductory statistics that is designed for mixed disciplines. Students in the course are a mix of science and arts students, come from seven different departments and can be at any stage from 1st to 4th year. I will highlight some of the design challenges encountered and some of the solutions.

Morning Session Descriptions