Wednesday June 20, 2012 | 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Room: 4th floor foyer
PS.01 - The impact of an educational development program on Faculty members’ teaching assumptions, teaching philosophy and teaching practice
J. Brooke, J-A. Willment (University of Calgary) - Canada
A key scholar in the field of educational development states that "university teaching is one of the very few professions where practitioners receive almost no formal preparation for their work, where there is no process for the accreditation of minimum competence, and where involvement in continuing professional education is uncommon” (Knapper, as cited in Schmidt, 2005 p. n/a). Recently, a small number of certificate programs have begun to emerge; however, the impact of these programs is still unknown (Schmidt, 2005).
The purpose of this study was to explore the impact participation in an educational development program has upon teaching and learning. Specifically, faculty members who participated in a Faculty Teaching Certificate (FTC) program were examined. This project proposed that faculty members who participate in a structured development program engage in learning activities that help develop or enhance one’s teaching assumptions, teaching philosophy, and teaching practice that could then be directly implemented in a university classroom and positively impact student learning.
This research study followed a mixed method research design that included both quantitative and qualitative research methods. Data were collected using a variety of data collection strategies including 1) a survey, 2) in-depth interviews, and 3) an opportunity for faculty participants to reflect on their experience and confirm the research themes. Findings revealed that for these participants completing the FTC program provided them with time, strategies, and a community to examine their thoughts about teaching and the instructional strategies they used in their classroom practice.
These faculty members questioned their teaching assumptions, teaching philosophy, and teaching practice and changed the way they viewed their role in the classroom. The overall change was in course design and delivery, where prior to FTC, these faculty members primarily used instructor-focused teaching methods. However, through participating and completing the FTC program, these faculty members began to believe in a student-centered teaching design. Furthermore, participating in FTC provided the opportunity to question their role in the classroom and from this; these faculty members began to develop a faculty teaching identity.
PS.02 - Scientific review article as outcome of a graduate seminar
M. Hilke (McGill University) - Canada
We document the teaching technique of a graduate course, which involves redefining the boundary between research and teaching in a collaborative environment.
In a 2011 physics graduate course (Phys 634 at McGill) with an enrolment of 10 students, most of them first year Master's students, the learning and teaching outcome was defined as the writing of a publishable review article on an advanced materials science topic. Review articles in this field are usually written by senior researchers and aimed mainly at researchers and junior researchers interested in the topic. The initial weeks of the course were devoted to defining the scope of the review and the elaboration of the table of contents. The scope was defined as aimed towards junior researchers interested in the topic. This was followed by the division in sections, where each section was put under the authority of one of the enrolled students. The content of each section was elaborated and defended by the student in charge of the corresponding section and then peer-reviewed by at least two other students in class. Extensive use of web sharing software was used for the writing of all the documents. All documents were accessible at all times by all members of the class. Comments and changes were made directly on the shared document, where all changes can be traced by date and authorship.
The student evaluation was based on the quality of the first writing and its presentation, the diligence in the review process, and the overall participation. The final document was synthesized by combining all the sections, where different cohesive tasks were distributed among all students (references, figure and table formatting, links between sections, repetitions and overlaps, proofreading...). After the document was finalized, the students voted to submit the document for publication and agreed to participate in all the required steps, such as submission, copyright requests, journal specific formatting, and response to referees. The produced document was subsequently accepted for publication in a peer review open access scientific journal (http://www.isrn.com/journals/cmp/aip/501686/) and co-authored by all students.
The learning outcome of the students was spectacular in terms of their confidence on the topic. This is largely because of the large amount of discussions which occurred in class and online on various topics of the document. The students exhibited a high degree of expertise in the topic, which was illustrated by their self-confident attitude towards their instructor while discussing topics of the document, which got a further boost by the acceptance letter of the journal. The course evaluations by the students were excellent.
PS.03 - Visual literacy skills of students in college level biology: A quasi-experimental study comparing the effect on learning outcomes when learning using digital activities or traditional drawing activities
J. Bell (Champlain College - Saint Lambert) - Canada
Biology is the most visual of the sciences, and there are now many software imaging applications available for learning biological structures and concepts. It is assumed by many that these digital tools will enhance student engagement and improve comprehension. This study attempts to determine whether the use of a digital learning tool does in fact enhance learning outcomes. The study focuses on learning how to draw and interpret biological images. Drawing in biology establishes boundaries by selecting what information is relevant and what information can be ignored. It is a difficult skill to learn because biological drawings strike a balance between the realistic portrayal of the subject and particular stylistic conventions that must be adhered to in order to be able to communicate with other biologists.
The study was carried out in the Fall of 2011, and targeted college level students enrolled in a biology course in an English CEGEP in Quebec. It used a randomised, cross-over, comparative research design to determine if there are any significant differences in the visual literacy learning outcomes between students who used an interactive digital animation and students who used traditional drawing instruction to learn how to label and assign functions to biological structures. Two topics were chosen: The parts of the cell, and the stages of mitosis. For one topic, half of the students learned using the digital animation, and half of the students learned using traditional drawing instruction. For the second topic, the groups were inversed. To determine if students learned better through the digital medium, student comprehension of visual images for each topic was assessed by a quiz where the student had to draw and label the biological structure they had learned about.
Students were asked to perform a self-evaluation of their work in order to determine whether learning through the digital medium improved the accuracy of their self-evaluation. Finally, students were asked to fill out a questionnaire about which learning technique they preferred, in order to determine whether the use of the digital learning tool improved task engagement. A survey was given at the beginning of the course to quantify confounding variables such as learning style preferences and previous experience in drawing, biology and computing. To eliminate bias and to preserve student anonymity, the quizzes, survey and questionnaire were collected by an external party who replaced the names with codes. The data was preserved and only released for analysis after the students had received their final grades. An initial reading of the results indicates that students had better learning outcomes when learning to draw using the interactive digital animation tool. The data is currently being analysed for statistical significance.
PS.04 - Developing academic writers: Identifying, surmounting, and addressing boundaries
A. Smyth, G. Ryland (Mount Royal University) - Canada
This Poster Session presents the results of a study of first- and second-year students’ perceptions of themselves as academic writers: the boundaries they identified as hindering their development as academic writers and the resources and activities they found effective in their growth as writers over the course of a semester. In a unique research collaboration, a course instructor (Glen Ryland) and a Writing and Learning Strategist (Aileen Smyth) analyzed the 141 beginning-of-course and end-of-course guided reflections of students in four first-year General Education courses.
Glen and Aileen were working together to determine how best to help the students in his General Education course develop as academic writers. They realized what they saw (or did not see) in the students' writing did not match the students' casual comments about their skill as writers. Therefore, they set out to study Mount Royal University students' perceptions of themselves as developing academic writers. Based on the researchers’ understanding of self-regulation theory, students need to develop a metacognition around their strengths and progress as academic writers, and Glen and Aileen want to foster the students’ understanding of their growth as recognition of need is a beginning step to actualization. The knowledge they gained by analyzing the beginning-of-course and end-of-course guided reflections of the students can help faculty, learning support services staff, curriculum developers, teaching assistants come alongside the students in their journey as academic writers and assist them more effectively.
At the beginning of each course, the students wrote a reflection to the question: “What do I need to do to improve as an academic writer?” At the course’s end, the students wrote responses to two other questions: “Now what do I need to do to improve as an academic writer?” and “What things over the past semester shaped me as the writer I am today?”
The researchers identified seven main categories in the students’ reflections about boundaries to their development as academic writers: three early-stage categories and four later-stage categories in the writing of a paper / assignment. As well, the students independently identified seven resources / activities as helpful in overcoming their perceived boundaries to writing well academically.
Participant engagement in this poster presentation will include asking and responding orally to questions, ranking responses, and applying the findings to the experiences of first-and second-year academic writers at other post-secondary institutions. After viewing the sessions and speaking with the presenters, the participants will be able to list the boundaries Mount Royal University students identified as hindrances to their development as academic writers, to name the resources the students used to surmount these self-identified boundaries, and to consider how faculty and learning support services can further facilitate students’ overcoming of the boundaries to writing well academically.
PS.05 - Disciplinary boundaries and the development of student creativity
B. Marquis, S. Vajoczki (McMaster University) - Canada
In recent years, researchers and policymakers alike have suggested that educational institutions have an obligation to foster creativity in their students (EUA, 2007; McWilliam & Dawson, 2008). In light of such calls, the question of how institutions of higher education might encourage and enhance student innovation and originality becomes paramount. While the literature does describe a number of generic strategies for developing creativity (see, for example, Beghetto, 2010), much research suggests that creativity is nonetheless a variable concept that can mean different things in different fields and contexts (Kaufman & Baer, 2005, Jackson & Shaw, 2006). As a result, pedagogical techniques for developing student creativity may not be equally appropriate or productive across domains.
This poster will provide participants with an opportunity to consider the teaching of creativity within and beyond disciplinary boundaries by presenting the results of a pilot study that explored (via an electronic survey of instructors) the ways in which this phenomenon is defined and taught across McMaster University’s six faculties. Drawing from this data, we will present a range of strategies for fostering student creativity, and encourage participants to consider the ways in which disciplinary boundaries can be both restrictive and productive when attempting to develop students’ creative capacities. Ultimately, attendees will gain a richer understanding of how creativity is facilitated across academic fields, and take away a set of specific ideas for enhancing the teaching of creativity within their disciplines and courses.
Beghetto, R.A. (2010). Creativity in the classroom. In J.C. Kaufman & R.J. Sternberg (Eds), The Cambridge handbook of creativity (pp. 447-466). Cambridge, NY: Cambridge UP.
European University Association (EUA). 2007, Creativity in higher Education: Report on the EUA creativity project 2006-2007. Brussels: EUA.
Jackson, N. & Shaw, M. (2006). Subject perspectives on creativity. In N. Jackson, M. Oliver, M. Shaw, & J. Wisdom (Eds.), Developing creativity in higher education (pp. 89-108). London: Routledge.
Kaufman, J.C., & Baer, J. (Eds.). (2005). Creativity across domains: Faces of the muse. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
McWilliam, E., & Dawson, S. (2008). Teaching for creativity: Towards sustainable and replicable pedagogical practice. Higher Education, 56, 633-643.
PS.06 - Crossing the boundary between active learning and knowledge building: Using clickers in large classes
A. Liu, M. Jacobsen (University of Calgary) - Canada
Educational technology can play a vital role in efforts to improve learning and teaching in higher education. The unholy trinity of lecture, textbook and testing is a common design used for large undergraduate classes – even though we know this is not the most effective approach for active learning. Current research shows that audience response systems, like clickers, are an effective and successful technology for breaking design boundaries in large undergraduate classes, and for promoting more active learning and increasing participation. Students can be engaged in using a clicker, a small handheld remote, to send responses to an instructor’s questions and then the whole class gets immediate feedback on the results. Clicker technology is widely used in large classes in higher education and research is needed to determine its impacts beyond surface learning of content.
The present research evaluates the impact of clicker use on active learning and knowledge building by education undergraduate students in a large lecture on professional development and lifelong learning. Very few studies have investigated the use of clickers with pre-service teachers, a unique population of undergraduate learners who exist in the boundary between being a student in an undergraduate education program and thinking and serving as a teacher during intense practicums in schools. This study builds upon existing research on active learning, by studying participation, interaction, engagement, and motivation, and crosses a research boundary to explore the ways and extent to which the use of clickers can help to create higher-levels of active learning, such as knowledge building, which means that students collaboratively create and continually improve ideas and contribute to community knowledge. This study can address the knowledge gap of how the use of clickers facilitates deep learning in higher education.
Participants are 400+ pre-service teachers enrolled in a large lecture and seminar course in a Bachelor of Education program. Data collection includes classroom observations, student and teacher interviews, and a student survey. An expected outcome of this investigation is that the use of clickers fully engages undergraduates in quality learning in large classes, which we argue includes active learning and knowledge building. Pre-service teachers are a powerful and transformative force in the future of education. In order to design 21st century learning environments for their own students, beginning teachers need to experience this kind of innovative learning firsthand.
The researchers will present research findings and seek to engage the audience in a critical discussion about how the project was designed, how data was collected and analyzed, and whether the findings are significant for learning and teaching in higher education. The value of this presentation will be increased awareness about how clickers can be effectively and successfully used to promote active learning and cross the boundary between active learning and knowledge building by undergraduates in large classes, and on how the research might encourage higher education faculty to consider adopting this learning approach across disciplines for quality learning.
PS.07 - Effects of collaboration on intellectual risk taking
J. Choi (Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning), A. Chan, K. Mahadeo, S. Diaram, F. Blaga (University of Guelph-Humber) - Canada
Intellectual risk-taking (IRT) is considered a valuable characteristic for student learning within the classroom context. IRT behaviours such as sharing ideas or attempting more challenging problems have long-term advantages. IRT is associated with increased learning and development, as well as having cognitive and motivational benefits (Beghetto, 2009; Clifford, 1991). Villalobos (2009), for example, maintains that IRT is a necessary precondition to develop problem-solving abilities. IRT, such as attempting challenging questions, lead to greater depth of understanding as well as development of a broader range of problem-solving strategies. This allows for innovative strategies and skills required to solve novel problems. Given the potential benefits of IRT, learning would be enhanced if students are encouraged to take intellectual risks in class. But, what teaching practices in the classroom are conducive to IRT? We explored dispositional and situational variables have been associated with IRT, including self-efficacy, or beliefs in one’s competence (Clifford, 1991), and collaborative activities (Johnson et al., 2007; Waters et al., 1992).
The purpose of the proposed experiment is to examine the effects of collaborative group work on IRT in post-secondary students, and examine whether this relationship is direct or mediated by a dispositional variable, namely, self-efficacy. Understanding how dispositional and situational variables interact to increase IRT will inform instructors how to integrate effective teaching strategies to maximize student learning and motivation. The objectives of the proposed experiment are twofold. First, the effects of collaborative group work on IRT will be examined. Second, the inter-relationships among self-efficacy, IRT and collaborative group work will be investigated.
Participants were recruited in groups of 3 (N=102), and randomly assigned to the group-work condition or the independent-work condition. All participants completed a battery of tasks, including measures of self-efficacy, risk-taking and a problem-solving task. Implications for classroom practices, specifically, those related to the effects of class group work will be discussed. The practical importance of the experiment is its direct applicability to instructional practices in the classroom. Although in-class group work has been hailed to be beneficial to learning, there is little experimental evidence to support this presumption. The experiment directly tested the benefits of collaborative group work on intellectual risk-taking behaviour by manipulating the presence or absence of group work, and assessing how self-efficacy mediates the relationship. The results will inform instructors how collaborative group work and self-efficacy lead to increased IRT, allowing for greater integration of instructional practices with research support.
PS.08 - The intersection of language and mathematics in the post-secondary environment: Implications for educational practices in english language learners
R. Milburn, J. Choi, B. Reynolds, P. Marcoccia, P. J. Silverio, S. Panag (Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning) - Canada
The student population in all Canadian post-secondary environments is rapidly changing, including an increased number of English Language Learners (ELLs) (Canadian Bureau for International Education, 2009). It is expected that this growth in the relative and absolute number of ELLs will continue, particularly given the active recruitment of international students in Canadian post-secondary environments (Mueller, 2009) and that the majority of international students are ELLs (Canadian Bureau for International Education, 2009). Given this change in the composition of the student population, educational practices must be assessed to ensure that all students’ needs are met. One example of an educational practice is the use of language supports in mathematics. Although math tests ostensibly measure mathematical skills, one cannot disregard the fact that language may be confounding math knowledge and skills, leading to artificially depressed math scores of ELLs, even when they’ve met the English-language requirements. It is well documented in the research literature that there is a significant overlap between language competencies and math performances (e.g., Kiplinger, Haug & Abedi, 2000). The focus of the present study is to explore the overlap between language and mathematics and to ascertain if language in mathematical problems have disproportionally greater negative effects on ELLs’ math test performances, compared to those of their non-ELL peers.
Mathematical items were constructed within four language contexts, namely, vocabulary knowledge, negation, preposition use, and atypical sentence structure. Sixty students enrolled in mathematics courses at Humber ITAL volunteered to participate in the study, and completed the mathematical task. Results seemed to indicate that math items falling into each of the four language contexts selectively disadvantage post-secondary ELLs, even when those students have met the English language requirements for college. The results of the study highlight the importance of heightened awareness of the needs of ELLs that must be considered at all levels, from classroom practices to educational policy.
PS.09 - Clicking to extend boundaries on student participation and engagement in large education lectures
A. Rajasekaran, M. Jacobsen (University of Calgary) - Canada
Many undergraduate courses are offered as large lectures. Delivering quality instruction to large groups of students is a significant challenge for instructors. Engaging the digital learner can be difficult, in part because of the array of web-capable devices that can distract students from lecture, and in part because lectures are not always the best way to learn. To address these concerns, instructors can use Interactive classroom technology to engage learners and to expand teaching and learning boundaries in large classrooms.
Shy and reluctant learners may not raise their hand to answer questions or participate in a large discussion. There are a number of reasons why a learner may be reluctant to participate, from being a first year novice post-secondary student, to fears of losing face among peers, to possible links with gender, culture or some other factor. This study focuses on understanding characteristics of reluctant learners and how use of Audience Response Systems (ARS) might mitigate certain factors to increase participation and engagement in learning. SMART response is an interactive computer system that includes a wireless receiver and remote hand held clickers. Using the clicker, students submit information in response to instructor’s questions. Group results are analyzed instantly and displayed to the class.
Audience response systems have been used in a wide variety of educational settings. However, there is little research on the effects of clicker use on students in Faculties of Education. This investigation analyzed the relationship between clicker use and student teacher engagement in order to address this knowledge gap. Education students are a unique population to study because they exist in the boundary between student and teacher; as future teachers, education students offer intuitive insight on the effects of clickers on learning and on teaching. Exposure and hands on experience with effective technology use in the classroom provides student teachers with the know how to create innovative and interactive learning environments for their own students.
This mixed methods case study builds on existing research on student engagement in general, the impact on reluctant participants in particular, and the best pedagogical strategies for audience response systems, including the preparation and use of quality questions. Study participants were recruited from 160 undergraduate education students enrolled in an introductory educational studies course offered as a large lecture. Data was collected using focus groups with students and the instructor, classroom observations and a survey administered using the SMART clickers.
This presentation invites critical discussion of the research findings. Triangulation and analysis of data from multiple sources indicate that the clickers increase student engagement, provide reluctant participants a medium to communicate and participate in class, increase peer interaction and increase awareness of peer opinions within the learning community. The study contributes to the research on the use of clickers to create engaging and effective learner experiences in large lectures. The study also provides question exemplars and instructional strategies for clicker use that allow instructors to adapt their existing methods to use interactive response systems in large lectures.
PS.10 - Certificate in sustainability leadership - Combining multi-component learning for the 21st century
D. Kiceniuk, S. Tirone, S. Mannell, D. Ross (Dalhousie University) - Canada
The Certificate in Sustainability Leadership is a collaborative project between the College of Sustainability and the Centre for Learning and Teaching, Dalhousie University. It is the fourth project funded through the Student Engagement Initiatives since 2008. The goal of the program is to enhance student learning through providing opportunities for students to experience connectedness with their communities, and to develop agency and leadership skills for sustainability in complex environments. Multi-component learning experiences can allow students to connect classroom learning with their communities. Therefore, theses components focus on “experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development” (Jacoby, 1996: 5). This certificate program contains multi-components that include: foundation and elective courses; service learning; active participation in three leadership weekends; and, a leadership portfolio. These components are reflective of multi-method learning experiences both inside and outside the classroom that emphasize strong community connections. The development plan of the program, detailed components of the program, and the program and student evaluation methods will be highlighted in this poster.
PS.11 - Web-based motivational programs for high self-esteem university students: Minimizing iatrogenic effects
K. Hubbard, J. Ringo, L. Julio, N. Hall (McGill University) - Canada
Attributional retraining (AR) is a remedial intervention that targets students’ maladaptive causal attributions for poor performance by encouraging controllable attributions that has been shown to improve future academic success (Haynes et al., 2009). This study will investigate how AR impacts achievement in Canadian first-year university students as moderated by students’ self-esteem levels. This project is innovative in that AR is administered via the Internet, and that an unusual iatrogenic effect of in-person AR methods is explored in which high self-esteem students perform worse after receiving AR (Hall et al., 2011). The goal of the present study is therefore to determine if this effect occurs following the web-based AR format. The sample consists of data currently being compiled from 954 first-year students enrolled in a psychology course at a Canadian university who participated in a web-based version of AR in which attributional information was followed by a mock failure experience involving a difficult aptitude test. Analyses to be conducted will consist of 2 (low/high self-esteem) x 2 (AR, No AR) ANCOVA analyses (controlling for age, gender, course load, high school grades) on final course grades. It is anticipated that by evaluating if this iatrogenic effect is observed using Internet-based methods that we can develop future AR programs that prevent its occurrence.
PS.12 - Flexible learning: Extending the boundaries of learning after graduation
R. Horgan (Queen's University) - Canada
The purpose of this session is to present preliminary findings of a doctoral research study that explored the curriculum of a laptop-based teacher education program. This qualitative study interviewed preservice teachers, course instructors, and university administrators at a Faculty of Education at a Canadian university with a focus on integrating information and communication in teaching and learning. The findings highlight a flexible learning design that extends student learning beyond graduation. The study relied on the use of the TPACK framework (Mishra and Koehler, 2006) to suggest how flexible-learning environments can be created and supported by web-based learning systems, facilitative teaching strategies, and the promotion of a shared learning community. The results of this study suggests how a flexible learning design benefits students beyond their program and how instructors can create a scalable blended learning model for their course to provide a flexible learning environment.
PS.13 - Improving student writing abilities in geography through the application of criterion-based assessment and detailed feedback
J. Leydon, K. Wilson, C. Boyd (University of Toronto Mississauga) - Canada
In many first-year human geography courses students are required to annotate articles, write short paragraphs that describe and interpret data displayed in figures and tables and produce essays. However, the writing skills and abilities of university students are an ongoing cause of concern among professors in geography and other departments. A lack of skills in construction, organization and conceptualization are key problems and there is increasing evidence to suggest that first-year students are unprepared to meet writing expectations in their courses. This is of particular concern given that writing is directly linked with academic progress. It has been suggested that professors do not teach students how to write because they assume students enter university with the required writing skills or will acquire such skills over time with practice. In addition, large class sizes, limited time and resources can prevent professors from being able to explicitly teach writing to first-year students. That said, in recent years, a number of innovative approaches to improving student writing have been implemented in geography and other disciplines. Building upon this work, in this presentation we describe a multi-pronged strategy for improving the writing skills of undergraduates in a first-year human geography course.
The first goal of the strategy was to improve student writing on assignments through the provision of meaningful feedback. Drawing upon the literature, we adopted the use of criterion-based assessment, draft and final submissions and peer-review to facilitate the provision of effective feedback. A second goal of the strategy focused on student written responses on term tests and examinations. Many students have difficulty responding to questions asked with a coherent, well-organized answer incorporating the relevant information. Our evaluation strategy employed three criteria: quality of the response, quality of organization and quality of writing all measured on a scale of 0-4 points linked to John Biggs SOLO (structure of the observed learning outcome) taxonomy. Our process involved weekly meetings with teaching assistants to train them to deliver instruction in content and skills during tutorials and to provide effective individual feedback to students on their performance. Test questions and tutorials exercises required students to both identify and apply information and to engage in interpretation of data, illustrations and maps. In this presentation, we evaluate the success of these strategies by examining student grades and feedback.
PS.14 - Redrawing teaching boundaries - Meeting the challenge of incorporating fieldwork into a large first year undergraduate course
J. Leydon, S. Turner (University of Toronto Mississauga) - Canada
Fieldwork has long been considered an integral component of geographic education and epistemology, yet in recent years, it has become an endangered species within undergraduate geography curricula. Growing course enrolments have created unique challenges that have deterred instructional staff from providing fieldwork opportunities for undergraduate students, increasingly confining geographic education to the boundaries of the classroom. When field trips are provided, they generally tend to allow only for simple observation processes rather than active fieldwork. Existing literature on teaching and learning strategies indicate that fieldwork encourages active learning and student engagement though direct experience with course material but cautions that effective learning involves more than just taking students into the field. Field trip design must provide for student participation in site evaluation, data collection, analysis and reporting, all grounded in a defined methodology. Properly articulating the practical component of geographic studies is particularly important in entry-level undergraduate courses where students are still choosing their area of specialization. Furthermore, fieldwork fosters the development of skills transferable to all areas of student study promoting academic success.
This presentation reports on the challenges of incorporating fieldwork into a large first year geography course at the University of Toronto Mississauga, and the strategies adopted respond to these challenges. Building on the existing literature on fieldwork design, we created six different field trips, offering three per term. To create an active learning experience we emphasised site evaluation, data collection, analysis and methodology throughout the fieldtrip rather than observation and lectures in-situ. Appropriate site selection proved crucial to the operation of each field trip as sites had to accommodate up one hundred and twenty students involved in individual and small group activities. Each fieldtrip was preceded by two complimentary practical sessions on campus designed to introduce students to field procedures and a specified field activity. Detailed instructional guides were prepared for each practical session and field trip to prepare teaching assistants to supervise and assist student activities and to ensure efficient time management to cycle students through activities on a tight schedule. Each student submitted an individual written field report incorporating the data from their field activities and site observations, aligning both to the learning objectives of the field trip. Student response to the field trip was gauged through a voluntary on-line survey and teaching assistant perspectives were garnered through interview. We provide data from both in this presentation.
Educators should not be daunted by the challenges of incorporating fieldwork into their curricula. Our fieldtrips were met with an overwhelmingly positive student response. Students were left not only with a better understanding of what geography is, but also a stronger sense of community in a large class, and an opportunity to interact personally with instructional staff. The fieldtrips worked to break down boundaries between the classroom and the field, and between students and educators, improving the undergraduate learning experience.
PS.15 - Information Literacy: Essential Skills for 21st Century Learning
J. P. Foxe, D. Kinder, M. Schwartz, C. Lundrigan (Ryerson University) - Canada
The explosive growth of information sources and new technologies in recent years has had a significant impact on the ways in which our students learn and the methods they use to conduct research. While many students are comfortable using technology, oftentimes these new technologies represent a boundary to learning. Students often do not know how to make the best use of the information retrieved and may lack the critical thinking and information analysis skills required to succeed academically. The purpose of this poster is to provide instructors with an instructional toolkit to facilitate academic success in their courses by assisting students in developing the competencies needed to understand the nature of information, access it effectively, evaluate it critically, and incorporate it into their knowledge base – lifelong skills widely recognized as information literacy. The poster, a collaborative effort between Ryerson’s Learning & Teaching Office and the Ryerson Library, will be guided by the results obtained from a recent survey of Ryerson instructors conducted through the Senate Learning and Teaching Committee that identified a gap between information literacy theory and practical applications in the classroom. By describing facilitated discussion and active learning exercises designed specifically for use in the classroom, this poster will enable observers to develop their own strategies for integrating information literacy skills into any discipline. The internationally – recognized Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education will be highlighted.
PS.16 - The effect of teaching critical reading methods on reading comprehension and motivation of young learners
G. Ghaffarie (Khatam University) - Iran
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of teaching critical reading methods with regard to reading comprehension skills and motivation of young learners. The effect of these methods on the critical thinking ability of the participants was also investigated. Gender was taken into consideration as a possible variable. For the purpose of this study, four classes consisting of 30 students, 60 male and 60 female students, studying at Kish Language Institute in Tehran were chosen. Two classes of 30 students were assigned as control groups and two classes of 30 students were assigned as experimental groups. From the outset of the study, reading comprehension, motivation and critical thinking tests were assigned to both the experimental and control groups. Using critical reading methods, the experimental groups were taught 10 reading comprehension lessons, in a 20-session semester, whereas the control groups were taught the same reading comprehension lessons using conventional methods. At the end of the semester, the students were given the same reading comprehension test, together with a critical thinking and motivation questionnaire, which had been used as a pre-test, in order to ascertain what effect the method had on the experimental groups. The results indicated that the experimental groups performed better than the control groups with regard to reading comprehension and critical thinking skills tests. On the other hand, no significant difference was observed when comparing the results of the motivation test in experimental and control groups. Furthermore, the results of the reading comprehension test, motivation and critical thinking test did not differ in relation to gender.
PS.17 - Les défis pédagogiques liés à l'utilisation de blogues et de wikis dans un cours
P. Caignon (Université Concordia) - Canada
Depuis plusieurs années, les technologies de l’information et de la communication (TIC) offrent aux enseignants divers instruments tels que les sites wikis, les blogues et les plateformes de micro-blogues pour transmettre leurs connaissances et leur savoir-faire dans une forme électronique nouvelle. En outre, plusieurs outils informatiques comme les wikis et les blogues sont devenus avec le temps des atouts dans la recherche d’emploi, surtout s’ils ont une visée professionnelle. En effet, plusieurs sociétés ont développé des wikis internes et des blogues d’entreprise auxquels leurs employés sont invités à participer ou qu’ils sont appelés à gérer. Connaître ces « technologie » n’est donc plus un luxe et devient une nécessité qui oblige les enseignants à modifier leurs cours en conséquence.
Bien entendu, l’emploi d’outils électroniques dans l’enseignement nécessite d’adapter les méthodes pédagogiques traditionnelles. Puisque ces instruments sont nouveaux et évoluent rapidement, la pédagogie qui les soutient en est encore à ses débuts et essaie de s’adapter autant que possible aux changements technologiques incessants. L’utilisation de blogues et de wikis comme outils d’enseignement, par exemple, permet aux étudiants de publier leurs devoirs sur des pages web et non plus de les écrire sur du papier. Les objectifs pédagogiques, les modalités d’évaluation et la forme que prennent les échanges en classe doivent être également redéfinis en tenant compte des défis inhérents aux TIC. Cette redéfinition est l’occasion pour l’enseignant de sortir des sentiers battus et de laisser s’exprimer son imagination et sa créativité.
C’est dans ce contexte situationnel vingt-et-unièmiste que nous avons décidé d’utiliser des blogues et des wikis comme outils pédagogiques et constituants essentiels du nouveau cours Terminologie et mondialisation.
Dans le cadre de notre communication, nous présenterons les résultats de nos premières expériences. Pour ce faire, nous expliquerons la pensée qui soutenait l’adoption des blogues et des wikis comme outils pédagogiques et nous décrirons la manière dont le cours a été conçu afin de répondre aux objectifs fixés. À l’aide d’exemples, nous traiterons ensuite des travaux découlant des objectifs et examinerons en détail les nouvelles modalités d’évaluation. Enfin, nous verrons les avantages ainsi que les inconvénients prévus et imprévus émanant de la nature dynamique des blogues et des wikis, tant du point de vue de l’enseignant que de celui des étudiants.
PS.18 - Thinking outside the archival box – Information literacy to the rescue!
J. Dorey, I. Lamoureux (McGill University) - Canada
Information literacy is often defined as a process that enables a person to recognise when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information (ALA). The purpose of this interactive workshop is to generate a discussion around information literacy in the context of archival research. Students encounter a range of obstacles when researching archival databases since these do not follow the same descriptive patterns as library databases. Moreover, students often become confused and frustrated because they rely on a library-based search paradigm, which is not directly transferable to archival research (Yakel, 2002). To reflect this situation, a model, Archival Intelligence (Yakel & Torres, 2003), was proposed to explain the specific nature of archival research along three dimensions: existing knowledge (what users need to know), search skills (users’ ability to design search queries effectively) and intellective skills (understanding the relationship between the records themselves and the tools used to search and describe the records.)
When searching archival records, an additional set of barriers must be taken into account, namely physical access (geographic location, fragile condition, format difficult to use), intellectual access (due to privacy, copyright, or other restrictions), issues with the records (originals missing, inability to locate relevant sources), and issues with the information about the records (no description, outdated description, description too long or too short) (Duff, Craig & Cherry, 2004). Learning has boundaries but boundaries can be seen either as barriers or check-points. Although information literacy cannot alleviate all these barriers, it could provide educators and students with a check-point methodology to reduce the frustration of archival searching.
This poster will allow us to showcase literacy concepts as they apply to historical research conducted in a classroom or educational context and engage in an open discussion with educators, students, archivists and librarians. The concepts of information literacy, archival intelligence, and basic terminology will be presented. The goal is to translate theoretical concepts into practical applications by focusing on information literacy and inquiry-based learning. We hope to learn from the viewers by understanding what they specifically are looking for in students’ choice of references and bounce various viewpoints to come up with practical application for using archival information. Some possible points for discussion are the following. What are their expectations concerning information literacy, the use of archival records in the classroom, and the tools they need to “teach” critical thinking skills to students? Are digitized copies of archival records accessible online and readily usable by educators? Are we, students and educators, ready to move away from paper and embrace electronic files? Does the current generation have the same interaction with paper records as previous generations did?
PS.19 - Follow the (online) yellow brick road: Is it a journey, or a trap?
L. Stolarchuk, N. Baker, P. Boulos (University of Windsor) - Canada
Students in university online courses often face a daunting series of adventures they must navigate in order to reach the course objectives. Some will feel like they don’t have what it takes mentally to learn online, others don’t have the courage to try something new, while still others won’t have the heart to continue. What they need is a guide; someone to share the journey with, is able to ask the right questions, point out the tools to be successful and encourage the hard work needed to be successful. The facilitator in online courses must be somewhere between Dorothy (sharing the journey with a common goal) and the Wizard (providing clear learning outcomes, offering advice and suggesting ways to make it through the adventure and get home).
Along the way, and especially if the course design is not very careful, instructors and their students may face several perils that can get in the way causing unnecessary attrition and impose boundaries to eLearning. Fortunately, there is substantial literature available to help instructors make wise choices in course design and course facilitation, so they may help students to avoid tripping on a brick in the Yellow Brick Road to eLearning enlightenment.
We will share some of the techniques we’ve modeled in our own non-credit half-course, which is designed for instructors of online courses at the University of Windsor. For example, a pre-course “Scavenger Hunt” through the tools to be used in an online course can orient students to the course and also give an instructor an idea about the types of technical and social issues they may need to address in the early stages of a course.
With careful design, early interventions, effective facilitation and appropriate online culture development, online learning can become limitless.
Outcomes of the Session
During this poster session, participants will challenge themselves to reflect on their own and other’s experiences during in the early stages of an online course.
Specifically, participants will be able to:
- Identify possible reasons for students dropping out of online courses;
- Discuss potential early interventions that may improve retention rates;
- Offer constructive feedback on solutions that have been trialed by the authors and suggest other possible solutions; and
- Extrapolate from the author’s propositions to his or her own teaching context.
PS.20 - Becoming a university lecturer in the UK: Negotiating knowledge, experience and learning
R. Huang, R. Turner, O. Poverjuc (University of Plymouth) - United Kingdom
Today’s universities are international in their outlook, with staff and students drawn from a wide range of countries and professions. They bring with them professional and educational knowledge constructed under differing cultural contexts to those they are now operating in. Trigwell and Prosser (1996) argue that context plays a significant role in determining the approach academics take to teaching, yet this is rarely recognised explicitly in programmes for new academic staff. The aim of this research is to investigate the knowledge new academics draw upon in their first year of teaching in the UK, the influence of differing cultural backgrounds, and the contribution this makes to professional practice.
14 lecturers from different cultural, professional and subject areas are participating in this research. Stimulated recall method is used by initially observing a teaching session of their choice and then this observation was used as a basis for an interview to stimulate reflection on the actions taken. Such method is perceived as a systematic approach to the collection of data that useful in research on teaching (Calderhead, 1981). These interviews also explored their own educational and professional experiences and considered how they were developing their understanding of teaching in an English university. All the interviews will be recorded and transcribed verbatim. These initial data currently been analysed using the constant-comparative approach, to identify thematic codes that can contribute to the development of emergent theories about the process of knowledge generation (Glaser & Strauss, 1967).
Provisional findings suggest that a range of factors influence the teaching practice of the new lecturers. These factors might be summarised as external factors (class size, nature of subject areas, and stage of study), professional (working or research) factors, and personal factors (such as educational level and cultural background). Equally the notion of teaching as an “apprenticeship of observation,” (Lortie, 1975) is evident. They are basing their teaching on their own experiences as students; therefore their expectations of the level of knowledge and motivation students should demonstrate inform the actions they are taking. Even though they are participating in a period of training to induct them into the practices and processes of teaching in a UK university, informal support networks (e.g. observing the teaching of established colleagues) are seen as playing a significant role in shaping their emerging practice, . For many, particularly those with experience in universities outside the UK, becoming a lecturer is as challenging, as they attempt to reconcile their own experience with the expectation of their students and the practices of their colleagues. It is anticipated that in the later stages of this research we will gain an insight into how they have developed their practice over their first year of teaching, reconciling past experience with the institutional culture.
PS.21 - Grade prediction in freshman physics
C. Chivers, J. Guillemette, K. Ragan (McGill University) - Canada
The purpose of this presentation will be to quantitatively identify the factors that best predict final grade in a freshman physics class. Before we claim that students can learn without boundaries, we must identify the barriers that are currently blocking student learning. Data which can identify potential barriers to learning at the individual student level in a freshman physics course will be shown. A predictive model using ten covariates including class attendance, performance on the Force Concept Inventory test, mid-term results and the students’ self reported confidence level, was able to explain 67% of the variance in the final grade (r2=0.67) , with 55% of the students’ predicted accurately to the letter grade. Additionally, the 40 people who performed the worst on the initial Force Concept Inventory test had an average of 60% on the final exam in contrast to the best 40 who obtained an average of 83%. This demonstrates that early indication of misconceptions is a good indication that a low grade will be obtained in the class.
This work builds on research done by (1) and (2-3) that analyzes the impact of student attributes prior to admission. Our research focuses on data gathered once the students are enrolled in the class, with the goal of helping students learn without boundaries by identifying at risk students early and employing targeted interventions. The expected outcomes of our research paper presentation are threefold: 1) to demonstrate our diagnostic tool for assessing students in a low-stakes environment, 2) to demonstrate the accuracy with which we can predict student performance and 3) to engage in a discussion about the best way to obtain help for at risk students once they have been identified.
1: D. W. Irvine, The Journal of Experimental Education 35, 84 (1966).
2:C. L. Thomas, J. C. Stanley, Journal of Educational Measurement 6, 203 (1969).
3:P. A. Jensen, R. Moore, Journal of College Science Teaching 37, 62 (January/February, 2008).
PS.22 - What makes a good individual studies course? A comparison of student and professor perceptions of motivations, benefits and barriers associated with individual studies courses
S. Moore, G. Hvenegaard, A-M. Link, J. Wesselius, A. Hill (University of Alberta-Augustana Campus) - Canada
Universities are increasingly relying on individual studies (IS) courses (i.e., directed studies, directed readings, independent research/studies, etc.) to offer significant, impactful research experiences to their students. Despite their widespread use, little is known about the dynamics of these courses and what traits characterize a successful research experience in these courses. The purpose of the present study was to assess student and instructor perceptions of IS courses and address the gap in understanding about the dynamics of IS courses. To accomplish this goal, we surveyed 102 students who had completed IS courses and 43 instructors from all departments on a small, liberal arts university campus. Respondents completed surveys that assessed their perceived motivations, benefits and barriers associated with IS courses. Survey items were developed from prior focus group research conducted with students and instructor groups. In terms of outcomes, both groups reported high levels of enjoyment associated with IS courses and a perceived enhancement of research skills as a result of being involved in IS courses. The main motives reported by students included goals of working on a research project independently, exploring a topic of personal interest, gaining research experience, and having the ability to work with a specific professor. Common instructor motives included goals of preparing students for graduate school, providing students with research experience, exploring a topic of their interest in-depth, having the ability to work with a specific student and fulfilling program requirements. Common benefits of completing an IS course for students included development of research skills, more in-depth research experience, and development of a relationship with an instructor. Perceived benefits for instructors included student development of research skills, enhanced research experience, and development of one-on-one relationships with students. In terms of barriers, students reported difficulty in balancing their workload with other courses and some dissatisfaction with unclear coursework expectancies or deadlines. Instructors also mentioned that workload was a barrier in IS courses; in addition instructors reported that there were unclear administrative expectancies and guidelines about IS courses and a need for a formal system of compensation for supervising IS courses. Based on these findings, we will discuss ways in which universities can improve the delivery of IS courses. This discussion will focus on ways for instructors to better market, prepare, implement, and evaluate IS courses.
PS.23 - Clarity in the undergraduate classroom: Understanding faculty perceptions of teaching clarity behaviors
A. BrckaLorenz, E. Cole, T. Ribera (Indiana University) - United States
Drawing on data from institutions that participated in the 2011 Faculty Survey of Student Engagement (FSSE), this presentation explores instructors’ perceptions of the importance of teaching clarity and the relationship between teaching clarity behaviors and other effective educational practices (e.g., active and collaborative learning).
Studies have identified a relationship between teaching clarity and student comprehension of material (e.g., Chesebro & McCroskey, 2001; Myers & Knox, 2001), greater satisfaction and achievement (Hativa, 1998), and motivation (Ginsberg, 2007). Student perceptions of instructor behaviors, such as explanation of course goals and assignments, have been positively associated with general measures of cognitive growth in the first year of college (Pascarella, Edison, Nora, Hagedorn, & Braxton, 1996). Hativa (1998) found students struggled to comprehend material and expressed dissatisfaction with the course when the instructor lacked clarity. Although this research further positions teaching clarity as an effective educational practice in promoting student engagement and learning, little is known about the extent to which faculty across a range of institutions engage in these behaviors.
In this session, we examine teaching clarity behaviors, such as clearly explaining course goals and requirements, using a variety of teaching techniques to accommodate diversity in student learning styles, and teaching course sessions in an organized way, among others.
The following questions guide this research study:
1.What disciplines characterize faculty with moderate, high, and very high perceptions of importance of teaching clarity?
2.How does the perception of teaching clarity relate to other forms of effective educational practice in different disciplinary fields?
FSSE measures faculty perceptions and expectations of undergraduate student engagement in educationally purposeful activities as well as the extent to which faculty promote student learning and development in their courses and interactions with students (Kuh, Nelson Laird & Umbach, 2004). For this study, items on teaching clarity were asked at the end of the survey.
The sample for this study consisted of nearly 4,400 faculty members from 40 different colleges and universities. Focusing on disciplinary field, 26% of faculty identified in Arts and Humanities, 5% in Biological Sciences, 12% in Business, 7% in Education, 4% in Engineering, 11% in Professional fields, 12% in Social Sciences, and 12% in other fields. Results show that faculty in Education, Professional, and Business fields tend to place the most importance on clear teaching behaviors, and that faculty in Biological Sciences, Engineering, and Physical Science fields place less importance on these behaviors. Differences between these groups are statistically significant.
Through an interactive presentation, we will introduce participants to FSSE, describe our findings about faculty perceptions of teaching clarity behaviors, and explore the possible implications of the findings for instructors, professional development staff, and administrators seeking to improve instructional practice. By attending this session, participants will gain a better understanding of:
1. How faculty in different disciplines differ in their perceptions of importance of clear teaching behaviors
2. How clear teaching behaviors relate to other forms of educational practice in different disciplinary fields
3. Research on the use of clear teaching behaviors
PS.24 - Evidence for the differential impact of undergraduate research on students with different GPAs
N. Haave, D. Audet (University of Alberta) - Canada
Undergraduate research is one of several high impact educational practices used by educational institutions to increase student engagement and success (Kuh 2008). Many studies on the impact of undergraduate research have surveyed students or faculty on their personal experience and its influence on students’ subsequent degrees and employment (Brownell and Swaner 2010). These studies have documented the ability of high impact educational practices to have the greatest influence on those students who self-identify as belonging to a minority, or disadvantaged group. Few studies, however, have documented the impact on students with lower grades. One study of an undergraduate research opportunities program at the University of Michigan (Jonides 1995) found that GPA increased an average of 6% for under-represented students enrolled in the program relative to university-wide. The privilege of being admitted to an independent studies (undergraduate research) experience is typically reserved for those students who have academically proven themselves with outstanding course grades with the assumption that prior academic success is indicative of likely success in undergraduate research. This poster will review published studies on the impact of undergraduate research on student outcomes and present our data which show that academically weaker students have a greater increase between prior GPA and final grade in an independent studies course. Our poster considers the question that if independent studies courses have the greatest impact on academically weaker students, is limiting registration into these courses on the basis of superior GPA placing inappropriate boundaries on student learning?
Brownell JE, Swaner LE. 2010. Undergraduate research. In: Five High-Impact Practices: Research on Learning Outcomes, Completion, and Quality, pp 31-36. Washington (DC): Association of American Colleges and Universities.
Jonides J. 1995. Evaluation and dissemination of an undergraduate program to increase retention of at-risk students. Washington (DC): Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education.
Kuh, GD. 2008. High-Impact Educational Practices: What They Are, Who Has Access to Them, and Why They Matter. Washington (DC): Association of American Colleges and Universities.
PS.25 - Augmented reality in the Irving K Barber Learning Centre
B. Wilson, J. Rosado (University of British Columbia) - Canada
Mobile learning has been identified as a key growth area in education and augmented reality, according to the 2011 Horizon report, is considered a technology with a two to three year implementation time frame. This, in addition to the increasing availability of online and mobile resources, offers both constraints and challenges, but also opportunities for educators to re-examine their roles and how our learning spaces are used. While augmented reality is not in itself a new concept, the convergence of advances in hardware and software together with greater acceptance of mobile devices in Education has created an opportunity to rethink our educational boundaries.
This poster session will demonstrate a pilot collaboration between UBC’s Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology and The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (IKBLC), in which the use of Augmented Reality (AR) is being used to redefine the popular learning space. IKBLC has committed itself to being a “flexible and technologically advanced facility that keeps pace with the evolution in information resources and education in the 21st century and beyond (IKBLC Statement of Purpose)”. As such, technologies such as Augmented Reality can play a key role in helping to shape that future while celebrating a rich past.
Participants in this poster session will be given a demonstration of the technology used in the pilot to experience first hand how AR can be used to add a virtual layer to existing physical spaces. This will enable participants to experience all three elements of AR: combining virtual and physical spaces; interacting in real time; and the use of 3D objects.
The poster session will also invite participants to discuss what kind of information should be included in an augmented layer, whether it should be informational or interactive, and what level of support is required. In addition, this session will also encourage participants to consider what form an AR implementation in a university environment might take and how it can be used to enhance learning and digital literacy.
The pilot project uses readily available technology in an attempt to deploy AR resources without incurring significant development costs. In doing so, educators can maintain their ability to experiment with virtual, augmented spaces without locking themselves into time and resource intensive development projects at a time when digital technologies are evolving at a tremendous pace. Participants should bring their mobile phones and tablets (a list of compatible devices will be provided).
PS.26 - ‘Teaching experience preferred?’ Preparing graduate students for teaching opportunities beyond North America
S. Sheffield (Dalhousie University) - Canada
Over the last 15 years, graduate student applicants for academic positions in post-secondary education have increasingly been expected to include a statement of teaching interests, a teaching philosophy, or a teaching dossier with their applications. Even if a potential employer does not request any of these documents, many interviewees are expected to reflect and articulate intelligently about their teaching philosophy in a job interview. In Canada and the US research has shown that hiring committees are looking for candidates who not only have teaching experience but who can also talk about and demonstrate their teaching ability. (Schonwetter, Taylor and Ellis, 2006, Meizlish and Kaplan, 2008). However, what types of teaching documentation is required of applicants when they are applying for positions outside of North America? For example, increasingly developing countries are seeking Canadian faculty for their experience in student-centred pedagogical approaches (Tamburri, 2011). In addition, North American graduates are searching global markets for career opportunities. As a result, an investigation was launched to examine permanent, tenure-track academic positions on eight job sites on two different occasions within two months to compare requests for teaching-related materials and teaching experience in job ads beyond North America. The aim of this pilot study is to begin a discussion amongst educational developers about how we might best advise graduate students to prepare for job applications and interviews beyond our borders.
PS.27 - Translating teaching instruction into teaching practice: The impact of a semester-long graduate program in teaching
R. Egan, M. Greene, A. Todd, A. Hajek (Dalhousie University) - Canada
External validity is a boundary implicit to any teaching and learning initiative. However, literature addressing the external validity of graduate teaching programs is inconclusive (Goodlad, 1997; Young & Bippus, 2008). Previous studies report that formative methods of assessment combined with clear feedback can benefit graduate students knowledge of, and belief in principles of teaching and learning (Gaia, Corts, Tatum, & Allen, 2003; Rodriques & Bond-Robinson, 2006). However, graduate students’ perspectives of their own teaching, informed by student ratings, has not been a valid method of assessment (Goertzen, Scherr, & Elby, 2010). In this study we investigated changes in graduate students’ self-reported perspectives on teaching and learning in higher education, resulting from Memorial University of Newfoundland’s semester long Graduate Program in Teaching (GPT).
The GPT attracts students from a range of disciplines. Students participate in 12 topic-specific teaching and learning seminars co-facilitated by the Instructional Development Office and award-winning university instructors. Students also apprentice with a faculty member, and receive formative feedback on video-recorded in-class instruction. Participants’ informal feedback and written reflections have clearly illustrated the GPT’s perceived value and effectiveness. It was the purpose of our study to 1) empirically measure changes in graduate students’ perspectives on teaching and learning and 2) to evaluate the correspondence between participants’ perceptions, and teaching and learning behaviors.
1) Empirically measure changes in graduate students’ perspectives on teaching and learning: Students completed a questionnaire on their own perceived “best practices” in teaching methods, resources, and assessments. Further, students rated teaching and learning topics covered in the GPT based on a 5-point Likert scale regarding perceived value, confidence, and frequency of use. This survey was completed both at the beginning and end of the program, and changes were evaluated with both quantitative and qualitative methods. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the GPT and its unique faculty co-facilitation structure, we feel results provide session participants with Canadian findings outside of those available in the literature.
2) Evaluate the correspondence between participants’ perceptions, and teaching and learning behaviors: To this end participants’ teaching videos were coded (via a grading rubric) and compared to self-reports of teaching practice. This was completed to determine if self-reported perceptions coincide with actual teaching practice. From our review of the literature, this approach to evaluating graduate teaching programs is unique and will provide valuable findings to the session participants.
A complete analysis of our research findings is anticipated by May 2012. We feel that the results of this project will suggest a boundary that is essential as part of any teaching and learning initiative – that of measurement. Moreover, we hope to highlight the need to triangulate perceptions of teaching, authenticity of instruction, and teaching behavior to get a more comprehensive picture of the GPT as a teaching development initiative.
PS.28 - Impact of clicker use in a large content-dense undergraduate course
E. Partosoedarso, L. Robertson (University of Ontario Institute of Technology) - Canada
At least 70% of the classes that the average first year undergraduate student is enrolled in has over 100 students (http://www.utoronto.ca/__shared/assets/PI2009_ClassSize3797.pdf). While some students prefer the anonymity of the large class, other students do not like the impersonal nature and lack of accountability that often exists within the large classroom (Wulff, 1987, New Directions for Teach Learn 32:17). In an attempt to overcome this and other disadvantages of the undergraduate classroom as listed by Chickering and Gamson (1989), we studied students’ perception on the impact of using clickers in an undergraduate classroom. Clickers, also known as audience response systems or electronic response systems, are devices that allow students to provide simultaneous responses to a multiple choice question to a central console operated by the instructor. In this study, virtual clickers were used regularly for one term before a survey on students’ perception on their impact was conducted. Students were enrolled in Anatomy and Physiology, a course taken by all first year students in the Faculty of Health Sciences at UOIT. Findings: while the distribution of survey respondents was similar to the overall class demographics, there were more female and more nursing students responded to the survey. Students reported that they were comfortable with using clickers in class. Students were also more engaged and participated more in class when clickers were use. Students also liked getting feedback on their own, and the overall class, response to clicker questions, and view this feedback as important to their learning. In addition, students agreed that clickers were a good way for them to test their knowledge and used formative assessment as the clicker questions closely mirrored the questions asked on their summative assessments. Lastly, students perceived that the level of discussion (peer instruction) in the class increased as a result of using clickers, and that the discussion was pivotal in understanding concepts. The results from our study indicate that, following the TPaCK (Technology Pedagogy and Content Knowledge) model proposed by Mishra (2006. Teach College Record 108:1017), clickers can be used to sustain and enhance a constructivist and behaviourist model of teaching a large first year undergraduate science course.
PS.29 - The academic, social and migratory experiences of international PhD students enrolled at University of Montreal: a study of persistence
S. Mainich (Université de Montréal) - Canada
We are interested in the issue of the persistence among international PhD students. Since we have realized that the number of international students had increased in most of Canadian universities, we think that strategic, social and economic goals need to be discussed, in order to allow those students to be successful and the purpose of this research is to develop a strong understanding of their experiences. The aim of the research is to develop a strong understanding of their academic, social and migratory. The research also criticizes student success programs and policies promoting the international mobility.
According to Altbach and Teichler (2001), the global mobility of people and globalization contribute to the fact that students have more opportunities and possibilities to study abroad. The number of international students has significantly increased in most of universities. However, we do not know much about international students thought we think they play a key role on the economic performance of host countries. In parallel, we identified a large number of theories on attrition and retention in postsecondary education (Tinto, 1993), giving us factors that explain success, persistence and dropout. However, we noted that these models are not sufficient to understand persistence among international students. Thus, we wish to analyze, from the inside, the academic, social and migratory experiences of these students and the meaning they give to such experiences (Dubet, 1994, Rochex, 1995); the research questions are: What are the social, cultural, ethnic factors of persistence among international students? What is the relative importance of the different factors of persistence? How the academic, social and migratory experiences of international students affect their persistence and retention? Such a framework provides a methodology that will contribute greatly to help students to clarify their experiences. Regarding our methodology, this exploratory research uses a mixed method. The first part consists of a descriptive and co-relational data analysis, (international portrait and trends of persistence). Ethnographic interviews were also conducted; giving us a stronger analysis of their experiences and different understanding of persistence. As a migrant researcher it was easy to access international students. The results of the study highlight the influenced of economic and academic factors such as: scholarships, relevant work experience on the campus and interactions with their thesis supervisors.
PS.30 - Changing teaching beliefs and practices despite internal and external barriers
J. Sexton (University of Northern Colorado), L. Reid, S. Cannon (University of Calgary) - Canada
External and internal barriers may prevent professors from changing their teaching practices. External barriers include class size, lack of financial resources, and lack of time. Internal barriers include beliefs about students, teaching abilities, and personal teaching philosophy. We studied a 16-month professional development program designed to help participants work within the boundaries of their barriers to change their teaching practices and beliefs. We were interested in determining if and how professors changed their teaching and beliefs after participation in the program.
The program provided participants with a foundation in educational research on how students learn and on best practices for curriculum design. The program also provided support and a process for participants to reflect on, design, and implement changes to one of their courses based on what they had learned. Participants had the flexibility to make changes that they thought were valuable and appropriate within the context of their faculty, department, and class.
We conducted a mixed-methods research study to investigate the following questions: What are participants' beliefs about teaching and their barriers to changing their practices before and after participation in a 16-month professional development program? What is the effect of a 16-month professional development program on participants' classroom teaching practices?
To identify beliefs and barriers, we conducted semi-structured pre and post interviews with participants. A modified version of constant comparative analysis was used to analyze the interview data. To investigate participants' classroom teaching practices, we conducted classroom observations of participants before and after their participation in the program. We used the reformed teaching observation protocol (RTOP) to determine the extent to which each participant's classroom teaching was modified. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the observation data.
At the beginning of the program, participants described several internal and external barriers affecting their ability to change their teaching practices. Working within these barriers and to varying degrees, participants changed their beliefs and classroom teaching practices by the end of the program. Participants more frequently incorporated a student-centered focus into their beliefs after the program. Additionally, participants incorporated more reformed teaching strategies even though they described barriers that would prevent these changes. The characteristics of the professional development program may have contributed to these changes. For example, the program intentionally sought to help participants identify their barriers and investigate strategies to overcome or work within the boundaries of those barriers. Variations in the extent to which each participant's beliefs and teaching practices changed may be based on individual teaching philosophies.
In summary, professors often cite barriers that prevent them from changing their teaching. This study found that, despite the barriers, participants in a 16-month faculty development program changed their teaching practices and beliefs.
PS.31 - Exploring the experiences of faculty-led teams in conducting action research projects
Q. Zhang, C. Amundsen (Simon Fraser University) - Canada
Many universities have established initiatives for faculty to systematically explore questions about teaching and learning by engaging in action research or the scholarship of teaching and learning. Published reports of these initiatives fall broadly into two groups: 1) those that investigate initiatives at the program level to document uptake and activity across the institution (e.g., Kember, 2002), and 2) reports from individual faculty members about what they did and the results of student learning measures (e.g., Walser, 2009). What is missing is an in-depth examination of the experiences of the faculty members themselves (and other project team members) as they are in the process of doing action research. Our research is tracking, over time, the experiences of eight project teams at Simon Fraser University, following two of these teams intensively. Data collection includes interviews, team focus groups, and document analysis (project proposals and final reports). We want to understand what team members learned about the action research process, their reflections on teaching and learning as research, the challenges they faced and how they addressed them. What we are seeking, different from that in the current literature, is a more comprehensive understanding of faculty experience to inform those who want to take part in action research projects about the potential benefits and possible difficulties they might encounter during the research process. As well, we want to provide educational developers with information that can aid in planning ways to better facilitate faculty research processes and minimize the potential challenges.
This is research in progress. We will share our preliminary findings through our poster and in discussion with those who attend the poster session. We see already, through an analysis of the project proposals and final reports, that as expected, there are multiple perspectives on the action research process. Interestingly, we are beginning to get a clearer picture of the ways in which project teams interact and the positive experiences and challenges of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students working as a team. As expected, neither faculty nor students in our study had previously thought about approaching teaching and learning from a perspective of inquiry, systematically designing and evaluating the student learning experience. By the time of the STLHE conference, we will have more findings to report – especially based on the interview data.
Outcomes of poster session: In addition to sharing our research findings through our poster with conference participants, we also want to engage in conversations about action research/scholarship of teaching and learning initiatives at other universities and colleges. From this exchange, we hope to develop further insight into how to better design our program and the experience of faculty who conduct projects and to similarly stimulate the thinking of others.
Kember, D. (2002). Long-term outcomes of educational action research projects. Educational Action Research, 10(1), 83-104.
Walser, T. M. (2009). An action research study of student self-assessment in higher education. Innovative Higher Education, 34(5), 299-306.
PS.32 - Reflective Journal writing: Bridging professional theory and professional identity
C. Perlman (McGill University) - Canada
Purpose: Journal writing, in response to guided concepts in occupational therapy instruction, affords opportunities for students to relate personal experiences and stories to professional paradigms and theories, thereby building on a professional identity early on in the curriculum. Professional identity in occupational therapy needs to be promoted and supported early in the curriculum to enable the acquisition of professional competencies and advance awareness of the profession. Students are often challenged by the occupation-based concepts and terminology illustrated in the professional paradigm and theoretical frameworks because of their holistic and dynamic nature. Flexibility of the journal assignment affords students with rich opportunities for expression of personal experiences and inquiry about these occupation-based concepts that can lead to reflection on learning. Expression and inquiry occur within a guided framework of concept-driven questions followed by formative feedback from the instructor.
Methods: A thematic analysis of four years of student evaluations (n=243) from a questionnaire (comprising scaled responses and open-ended questions) was conducted to identify the perceived attributes of a journal assignment, to support student articulation on the cognitive and perceptual changes in their learning achieved through feedback and reflection.
Outcomes: The design features of the reflective journal assignment within a professional Master’s program in occupational therapy will be described. The journal fostered the application of new professional constructs, promoted reflection through integration of these concepts with prior knowledge, and captured change in students’ perceptions about their professional identity.
Conclusion: Design features of a flexible journal writing assignment supported the active self-directed process for reflective learning. Findings suggest that occupational therapy students can develop a stronger professional identity through reflection, and self-inquiry toward novel concepts of the professional paradigm. The reflective journal writing approach promotes a process that is expected to guide the novice professional toward reflective clinical practice.
PS.33 - To repeat or not to repeat a course– That is the question
M. Armstrong, E. Biktimirov (Brock University) - Canada
Transition from high school to university is not easy for students, and many of them struggle in their first year courses. The grade of 50 percent is routinely used as a boundary for distinguishing between students who have an adequate grasp of the course material and those who do not. Students who fall below this boundary face the dilemma of repeating the course or switching to another major. Moreover, students with passing but weak grades may also consider repeating the course to meet honours degree or major requirements. To help these students and their academic advisors make informed decisions about repeating a course, this study examines the factors that relate to student performance in repeated courses. The purpose of this poster presentation is to share the results of this study.
The study’s sample consists of students who entered an undergraduate business program at Brock University in 2005 and subsequently repeated a first year course. All the course marks and demographic data used in this study came from the university registration system, not from student surveys; this avoids the tendency of the latter to overstate actual performance.
This poster presentation will provide a brief review of the literature on student performance in first year university courses. It will also describe the data set used, including variable definitions, descriptive statistics, and correlation analysis results. The main part of this poster presentation will present regression analysis of the relationship between various explanatory factors and student performance in repeated courses.
For attendees of this poster presentation, the major outcome will be an understanding of the academic and demographic factors that can be used to predict student performance in repeated courses, and the relative importance of those factors. This knowledge will be of great help to university and college instructors, advisors, and teaching assistants who counsel students on whether to repeat a course or switch to another major. This poster presentation also will be of interest to course designers and curriculum developers who need to determine what milestones should be passed by a student to complete a course or stay in a program.
PS.34 - The impact of assigning peer mentors on student engagement in a first year peer mentoring program
T. Quinn-Martindale (University of Windsor) - Canada
There are many variables that that can influence attrition in the first year of university life, including social engagement and emotional adjustment. Peer mentoring programs assist in creating social engagement for students that are mentored, which has been effective in creating a positive learning environment. In many of the peer mentoring programs offered, the first year student must make the initial contact to enroll in the peer mentoring program and receive a peer mentor. The concern is that many first year students may be too intimated to make the initial contact with a peer mentor to voluntarily enroll in such a program. They also may not believe that they require a peer mentor at the commencement of their academic program, but rather later in the year. Assigning each first year student to a peer mentor at the commencement of classes may alleviate some of these concerns and perhaps increase the level of student engagement in the program. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of an assigned peer mentoring program on student engagement in first year students. In this study, “student engagement” will be defined as having initiated contact with a peer mentor. In 2010, the Kinesiology Department at the University of Windsor implemented a peer mentoring program aimed at supporting first year students. A total of 28 students, in third or fourth year of kinesiology, were recruited via email to volunteer as peer mentors for the program. The peer mentoring program was advertised to all first year students (n=200) throughout the first term via class announcements, email and the program website. Peer mentors received initial and on-going training and were to maintain communication with mentees on a weekly basis. First year students were responsible for initiating contact with the peer mentor to enroll in the program. After the first term, student engagement in the program was quite low, as only 15% (n=30) of first year students had initiated contact with a peer mentor to enroll in the peer mentoring program.
In 2011, the format of the offered peer mentoring program remained the same, but was modified to include assigned peer mentors (n=30) for first year students (n=190). Each peer mentor was randomly assigned a peer mentee group, ranging in number from five to seven incoming first year students. Peer mentors initiated first contact with their peer mentee groups and maintained and logged weekly communication with them throughout the first term. The data from the weekly logs indicated which students had become engaged in the peer mentoring program. After the first term, 51% (n=97) of first year students had initiated contact with their assigned peer mentor, compared to only 15% of students from the previous group with the non-assigned peer mentoring program. These results suggest that assigning a peer mentor to first year students may result in more student engagement in a peer mentoring program and perhaps lead to an enhanced first year experience.
PS.35 - Blurring boundaries between teacher and learner: The case for a constructivist approach to teaching with technology in post-secondary classrooms
T. Thomas, C. Sparkes, K. Alexander, R. Jackson, C. Silva, T. Walker, E. Mandel, P. Abrami, R. Bernard (Concordia University) - Canada
Within many 21st century classrooms teaching is no longer confined to lecturing from the front of the classroom. In constructivist learning environments boundaries are broken down between the teacher and the learner. The purpose of this poster is to present the results of a meta-analysis that we conducted to compare the effect of constructivist versus instructivist computer-assisted instruction (CAI) teaching methods on measures of academic achievement.
Our aim in conducting our meta-analysis was to explore the achievement effects of constructivist versus instructivist computer-assisted instruction. Fifty-five effect sizes were calculated from the 40 studies that met our inclusion criteria; all studies were published after 1990, they were either a true- or quasi-experimental design, they compared constructivist and instructivist learning conditions, they included an academic achievement outcome measure, and they contained enough statistical information from which to calculate an effect size. The constructivist approach, as we defined it for our study, enables students to have more choice about the content and the pace of instruction, and to work on ill-structured problems while receiving elaborate feedback, in an interactive environment. The instructivist approach, on the other hand, allows teachers to choose the content and the pace of instruction, and the students to work on well-structured problems with pre-defined answers, after receiving information transmitted from the instructor. We recognize these two definitions as being at two ends of a spectrum, with much pedagogical ground in between.
The first four authors worked together during all stages of the review process. Together, we identified and coded variables that might be considered important in explaining the variability of the results of the studies. Our inter-rater reliability was 86.33%, which indicates a high level of consistency in the coding process. Overall, our results revealed a positive mean effect size of 0.175 (p < .05); which indicates that on average, students receiving CAI within constructivist learning environments outperformed students receiving CAI within instructivist learning settings on measures of academic achievement. Further, analyses of moderator variables revealed an overall positive mean effect size of 0.297 (p < .05) for studies containing a population of post-secondary students; indicating that constructivist learning environments at the higher education level offer significant support for student learning and academic achievement.
PS.36 - Teaching abroad from home: eliminating physical and interdisciplinary boundaries using web conferencing
M. Gray-Mitsumune (Concordia University) H. Akizawa (Chuo University) - Canada/Japan
This poster session describes our experience delivering lectures from Montreal to university students in Tokyo using web conferencing.
Web conferencing is becoming the standard for distance learning in non-academic settings. Webinars are used routinely to train employees and customers spread across the country. Language learners can now find language exchange partners using Skype around the world. These technologies have eliminated the physical classroom boundary as well as the geophysical boundary in the learning environment. Despite the tremendous pedagogical potential, web conferencing has not been promoted actively in traditional classrooms in universities and colleges. Distance education relies mostly on specialized video conference systems with cameras and microphones. By describing our experience with international (Canada-Japan), interdisciplinary (Biology-Commerce) web teaching, we wish to open discussion on the potentials and limitations of adopting web conferencing tools in higher education.
Our web collaboration started in 2009. A lecture titled “Biotechnology: past, current and future” was given to commerce students at Chuo University. In the first year, we used a webinar system, Dimdim, which was the best free webinar software available at that time and was easy to use. User friendliness is a critical factor in our setting, because the technical support from Concordia University is not available in the hour the lecture is given. Unfortunately, the first lecture suffered technical glitches and was interrupted half way through. In addition, there was a delay in the web communication, which prevented live interactions with students. The communication delay is a common problem in most webinar systems. Realizing the limitation of the webinar system, we switched entirely to Skype in the following years. Skype requires minimum preparation time and no special set-up. Lectures are delivered seamlessly and can include a face-to-face question and answer session with students. In essence, Skype lectures are not much different from other lectures given in the regular classroom setting.
The obvious advantage for web conferencing is to be able to invite guest speakers from anywhere in the world. The purpose of this lecture is to give an introduction of biotechnology to the students who are taking an Information Management course on Knowledge Creation. Prior to the guest lecture, the students learn how scientific advancements influence society as a whole and that those who evaluate these advancements accurately will have an upper hand in the business world. The impact of this web lecture on the students is three fold: (1) Students can obtain a more accurate picture of biotechnology by listening to somebody in the field; (2) A web lecture is an excellent demonstration of how technology impacts our society; (3) By speaking to somebody on the other side of the world in real-time, students gain a strong sense of global citizenship and are able to to view the world in a larger perspective. The poster will provide details on our personal and pedagogical experiences. We hope our poster will also provide other teachers with the information and incentive to take the initiative and become involved in similar collaborations.
PS.37 - Stretching, crossing and breaking boundaries in the administration of an interdisciplinary science program
S. Robinson, S. Symons, C. Harvey, C. Eyles, R. Ellis (McMaster University) - Canada
All too often pedagogical innovation is suppressed by inflexible administrative systems with rigid boundaries. This session aims to outline some of the administrative boundaries that have been stretched, crossed and broken in the development of an administrative system designed to meet the pedagogical needs of a new, research-based, interdisciplinary science program (iSci) at McMaster University. The Honours Integrated Science (iSci) program is a four-year program in which students learn essential scientific concepts and skills relevant to a range of science disciplines (chemistry, physics, math, life sciences, Earth sciences, psychology) through project-based exploration of pertinent topics and themes. The program involves instructors from all departments in the Faculty of Science and many components of the program are team-taught by two or more instructors. Students take interdisciplinary courses specifically designed for iSci, but can also ‘concentrate’ their electives in a specific discipline area to gain entry to graduate and professional schools. As can be expected, the structure and scaffolding of instructional and administrative resourcing in such an interdisciplinary program stretches, crosses, and even breaks through many conventional curricular and administrative boundaries in a university system. The boundaries we have identified include those associated with instruction, student records, and long term planning.
Administration of an interdisciplinary program includes allocation and timetabling of staff and teaching assignments, class scheduling, allocation of laboratory and class resources, and room assignments. Some of the boundaries that have to be stretched and crossed in this area of administration include coordination of delivery of classes and labs with multiple instructors and departments, and creation of a system that allows accurate recognition and reporting of instructional roles, particularly for tenure and promotion purposes. Administration of student records in an interdisciplinary program is particularly challenging and requires clear communication of course equivalencies between disciplines and departments. This is essential for our students to track their own progress and to communicate this to other units within, and external to the university. Interdisciplinary programs also have unique long-term planning needs related to resource, space, and equipment allocation from contributing departments, multi-departmental curriculum changes, and on-going budget issues.
This session will be of interest to instructors, program designers, university administrators, and educational developers. The experiences and perspectives of the iSci program’s administrative and instructional teams will be shared as we discuss how to successfully stretch and sometimes break the boundaries of a traditional university administration system. We will identify administrative boundaries that can be adjusted to fit interdisciplinary programs and those boundaries that may need to be broken.
PS.38 - Music performance anxiety: A secret boundary to learning to perform music
A-K. Barbeau, I. Cossette (McGill University) - Canada
Music performance includes more than just learning a repertoire and performing it in front of an audience. In fact, musicians must learn to demonstrate not only musicality, expressivity, and technical proficiency, but also a capacity to withstand the psychological and physical demands of performing before an audience. Music Performance Anxiety (MPA) is a condition in which a musician's response to stress goes beyond a normal level, resulting in detrimental consequences. Memory lapses, fidgeting, perspiration, shaking, and panic are some examples of symptoms that musicians may experience before or during a given performance context. Because MPA is still taboo in music, performers tend to deny this phenomenon. Therefore, it can become a significant boundary, which affects self-esteem, perceptions of self-efficacy, motivation, and so forth. How can musicians better prepare themselves to overcome MPA while performing? What kind of strategies can be implemented? Finally, how can the answers to these two questions inform teaching and learning strategies in other disciplines?
The aim of the presentation is to explain how Performance Anxiety may be a boundary to learning, propose stress management techniques to alleviate anxiety symptoms related to performances, and share research findings about the development, validation and potential pedagogical use of the Performance Anxiety Inventory for Musicians (PerfAIM), an instrument designed to assess the extent to which stressful performance situations affect self-perceived levels of MPA in musicians. We established the internal consistency, the test-retest reliability, the concurrent criterion-related validity and the construct validity (convergent and divergent) of the inventory using a sample of 69 popular professional musicians and music students. The PerfAIM demonstrated an excellent internal consistency (Cronbach’s alpha=0.93), a very good reliability (ICC=0.89 with 95% CI), and a satisfactory concurrent criterion-related validity and convergent validity (Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient). These results show that the PerfAIM is a psychometrically sound questionnaire to use among popular musicians.
The presentation will allow generalization to other disciplines, and will offer strategies to teachers interested in ways to lessen students’ anxiety about performances and examinations (test anxiety) in their classrooms.
PS.39 - Lancement d’un outil interactif en ligne: apprentissage de chimie organique et applications réelles
M. Daviau-Duguay, A. Flynn (Université d'Ottawa) - Canada
La nomenclature en chimie organique, soit d’être capable de nommer et de dessiner des molécules, est une composante essentielle à la poursuite des études en chimie. Par contre, son apprentissage pose plusieurs obstacles. C’est une matière qui doit souvent être apprise de façon autonome chez les étudiants, ce qui en est le cas à l’Université d’Ottawa, malgré qu’il y ait un manque de ressources permettant de bien maîtriser et pratiquer la matière. Ce manque est encore plus présent auprès des études en français. De plus, la nomenclature est traditionnellement enseignée de façon à ce qu’il n’y a peu ou aucun lien vers l’application réelle des molécules.
Afin de pouvoir surmonter ces défis et améliorer l’apprentissage de la nomenclature, un outil interactif a été développé selon quatre objectifs principaux : pouvoir nommer une structure selon des règles de la nomenclature établie par un comité international (l’Union internationale de chimie pure et appliquée), pouvoir dessiner une structure selon son nom systématique suivant ces mêmes règles, pouvoir identifier les parties clés des composés, et mettre un accent sur le lien entre les molécules et leurs applications dans le monde de tous les jours. Une première version de l’outil a été lancée en automne 2011 et ce dernier suscite déjà beaucoup d’intérêt chez le personnel et les étudiants de l’université.
Cette présentation par affiche démontrera comment les quatre objectifs ont été déterminés, les méthodes utilisées pour le développement de l’outil ainsi que les prochaines étapes du projet. De plus, les participants auront accès à l’outil en ligne et pourront fournir des commentaires et suggestions pour le développement de la deuxième version de l’outil.
PS.40 - The curriculum assistant: Development of a web-based application to facilitate curriculum mapping
P. Borin, P. Harding (Ryerson University) - Canada
This poster describes the process of development of a web-based application called the Curriculum Assistant, designed to assist instructors in departments and schools in mapping their curriculum. Changes to the Periodic Program Review process in Ontario now require involvement of faculty instructors and analysis of curriculum structure and student learning outcomes to a greater degree than the past. This program was designed to minimize the bureaucratic aspects of curriculum analysis in program review. This will allow more time to focus on simple visualization of the final mappings to enable more substantive curricular discussions at the department or school level. This poster describes and will demonstrate this user-friendly software tool developed and currently in use at Ryerson University.
Methods: The Curriculum Consultant at Ryerson undertook a collaborative project with the Application Development department at Ryerson University. This consisted of a needs assessment, development of a plan, and subsequent design for a web-based application to enable curriculum mapping. The program was developed and piloted then additional refinements were made based on pilot testing.
Outcomes: Participants report the application is easy to learn and use. Faculty members took to the application more easily than expected. A formal pilot test of the software was abandoned when participants found they could start using the application with use of a single page instruction sheet provided by one of the participants. In addition, the curriculum mapping process required less time to complete than expected.
Conclusions and next steps: Feedback from pilot testing has been very positive. The tool meets the objectives of ease of use and simple straightforward mapping and export capabilities. Since initial training on use of the application was abandoned when pilot participants found the software did not require more than rudimentary instructions, roll out plans for the software will be amended to focus on providing simple instructions to get started. The tool meets the needs of groups of faculty members unable to find a common time and place to gather. Instructors whose schedules are more challenging such as those on sabbatical, contract instructors, or others unable to attend a joint meeting can still map their courses and contribute to overall program mapping.
PS.41 - Exploring beyond the core: Science literacy in an undergraduate integrated curriculum
S. Symons, A. Colgoni, C. Harvey, C. Eyles (McMaster University) - Canada
Science literacy is a central component of the Integrated Science Program (iSci) at McMaster University, providing a common thread through all four years of the undergraduate program. We define science literacy as the writing, reading, communication, and information skills required to practice science. The aim of the science literacy component is to prepare the next generation of professional scientists to communicate not only within academia, but also to the wider community.
We present preliminary results from the first three years of the program, investigating student attitudes to science literacy in terms of their own confidence and the value they place on skills and experience in the component. The study has been conducted both for program development purposes and to evaluate the outcomes of our teaching methods. The surveys were also designed to raise student awareness of their own science literacy skills as valuable outcomes of their university education. We will also demonstrate how science literacy fits within a larger program where students engage with research skills early in their degree program.
Our methods are relevant to any undergraduate science course with professional integrated skills components. We will share our teaching techniques and survey methods, and conclude with preliminary results from our study.
PS.42 - Breaking the cultural norm: A Quebec-India collaboration in student-centred learning
G. Mulcair (John Abbott College), R. Adams (Vanier College), B. Tracy, S. HughesK. Jaffer (John Abbott College) - Canada
11,000 km separates Canada and India, yet both countries share a common educational goal of empowering their students so they can compete in a global workforce. With the support of government and industry, polytechnic colleges in the state of Tamil Nadu (population 62 million) are moving towards a more student-centred approach to learning. In order to foster and facilitate the change, they have looked to Quebec’s colleges and its student-centred faculty.
The hands-on collaboration began in 2009 and culminated in January 2012 when four teachers from John Abbott and Vanier Colleges spent a week in Tamil Nadu to gauge progress of past participants and hold new workshops on student-centred learning for new participants. The workshops focused on two main facets of student-centred learning, Peer Instruction and Problem Based Learning, and illustrated these concepts through interactive presentations, group work and guided content creation.
Peer Instruction (PI), a method developed by Harvard Professor Eric Mazur, serves to transform the traditional classroom dynamic by encouraging students to discuss concepts together. This is often accomplished by providing conceptual questions focusing on student difficulties during the regular class time, and allowing time for students to self-instruct.
Problem Based Learning (PBL) encourages a higher-order of thinking by presenting students with problems that are ill structured by design (missing information, limited guidance) thus encouraging them to move beyond simple memorizations, and onto more creativity and a true understanding of a topic.
The outcome of this collaboration has seen these student-centred approaches be adopted enthusiastically by students, teachers, principals and Tamil Nadu’s Higher Education Department (as was made evident from our meeting with the Principal Secretary to Government). Furthermore, we developed a five-day student-centred workshop package, complete with schedule and associated files and presentations, which can be used to facilitate future workshops. Participants who had previously attended a workshop were, by the end of this final workshop, ready to use this workshop package we had generated and take on the role of facilitator at their respective polytechnics.
The conclusion of our collaboration saw us not only disseminate these valuable teaching tools to the teachers of Tamil Nadu, but also allowed us to see how the student-centred approach can be tailored to their context and can provide positive results in the short term. Indeed, participants who shared their experience since the previous collaboration indicated that their classrooms had become more dynamic and that their students had shown a greater depth of understanding.
Additionally, this international experience has further confirmed for us and our students the importance and significance of student-centred learning in our college classrooms and has provided us with new culturally rich examples for Peer Instruction and Problem Based Learning.
Our poster presentation will provide an overview of the collaboration’s history, a recap of this most recent workshop, and a discussion of the progress made since the project’s inception in 2009.
- CANCELLED! - PS.43 - ECEM: Enseignants compétents, étudiants motivés
S. Doré (École de technologie supérieure), J. Tardif (Université du Québec à Rimouski), H. Bilodeau (Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue), C. Galaise, R. Côté (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi), C. Boucher (Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue), D. Oliva (École de technologie supérieure), D. Hallegatte (Université du Québec à Chicoutimi) - Canada
Quelles sont les caractéristiques des étudiants qui limitent leur apprentissage? Que peut-on faire pour repousser ces limites ? Depuis 2005, un groupe de praticiens de quatre constituantes du Réseau de l’Université du Québec ont entrepris un projet de recherche-développement, nommé ECEM, dans le but :
• d’identifier les caractéristiques d’apprentissage des étudiants et les facteurs sur lesquels les enseignants ont une influence;
• de créer des ateliers de formation, destinés aux enseignants, sur les facteurs préalablement identifiés;
• de concevoir un modèle facilitant la pérennité des ateliers et de leur transfert d’une institution à l’autre.
Les caractéristiques d’apprentissage ont été identifiées grâce à une revue de la littérature (Viau, 2005). Une série de rencontres avec les enseignants a permis de valider les facteurs et d’identifier des besoins de formation. Cette démarche a été complétée, dans une des constituantes, par une enquête portant sur 33 caractéristiques réalisée auprès des étudiants de 1er cycle (Viau, 2006; Doré, Viau et al., 2007).
L’analyse des résultats de l’enquête et des rencontres ont conduit à la création de 6 ateliers de formation : le développement de l’identité professionnelle, la motivation, l’élaboration de grilles d’évaluation, les stratégies d’apprentissage, la gestion de classe et la gestion du travail d’équipe. La formation en pédagogie représente, aux yeux de l’équipe, un vecteur permettant aux enseignants de repousser les limites de l’apprentissage des étudiants. De plus, un des membres de l’équipe est actuellement à développer un outil d’autoformation sur la recherche-action en pédagogie universitaire. Ce mode d’érudition paraît porteur car il permet à un enseignant de poursuivre sa réflexion hors du cadre des ateliers de formation.
Soucieux d’assurer la pérennité de ces formations, les membres de l’équipe ont porté une attention particulière à la production du matériel de soutien. Celui-ci comporte, pour chaque formation, un cahier du participant, un guide d’animation à l’intention de la personne qui assure la formation et un document PowerPoint. Mentionnons également que le déroulement de chacune de ces activités a été élaboré dans un souci de cohérence avec le processus d’apprentissage cognitiviste (Gagné, 1976) et qu’il constitue par le fait même une modélisation pour les participants.
Un processus itératif est utilisé pour créer les ateliers. À chaque itération, un atelier est bonifié grâce aux évaluations des participants et aux observations de l’animateur et des membres de l’équipe ECEM qui agissent comme observateurs. Chaque itération a permis non seulement de peaufiner le matériel mais aussi de retenir des recommandations pour l’ensemble des ateliers du projet. Le processus de transférabilité entre établissements est assuré en jumelant un formateur d’expérience avec un nouveau formateur qui prendra éventuellement la relève dans son institution.
Le but de la conférence, délivrée sous forme magistrale avec période d’échanges, est d’informer les intervenants du déroulement du projet ECEM en faisant ressortir les retombées et les difficultés rencontrées. Les enseignants pourront prendre y conscience des facteurs liés aux caractéristiques d’apprentissage de leurs étudiants sur lesquels ils peuvent avoir une influence et les conseillers pédagogiques y trouveront un modèle de formation pérenne et transférable.
PS.44 - Critical incidents: for teaching assistant development
C. Korpan, A. Cirillo (University of Victoria) - Canada
The Learning and Teaching Centre (LTC) at the University of Victoria produced a series of video vignettes that campuses all of the world have found useful to promote discussion about critical incidents associated with teaching and learning in higher education. A critical incident may be thought of as a highly compressed case study that poses a problem but offers no preferred solution. Each scene lasts three to four minutes and discussion questions follow each episode.
In the past year, the LTC produced five more video vignettes to add to our Critical Incident Series. These five new videos are all focused on Teaching Assistant (TA) training, specifically for first time TAs.
This poster will introduce the five new video vignette titles, content, and how the videos can be successfully integrated into TA training days and/or TA orientations. Additionally, we will have a laptop so that visitors can view the video vignettes.
PS.45 - Cultivating deep learning strategies in a peer instruction engineering physics class
J. Miller-Young (Mount Royal University) - Canada
Peer Instruction (PI) is a widely used pedagogy in physics education where short, mini-lectures are interspersed with small-group discussion around conceptual questions. Several studies have quantitatively analyzed the effects of this pedagogy, showing an increase in student engagement and a substantial increase in learning, as measured by summative evaluations, compared to a traditional lecture approach. However, improved conceptual understanding and course performance are only one type of measure of student success. There has been little work done in studying the development of students’ metacognition and deep learning strategies over a period of time, as they are exposed to this style of instruction. Metacognition has been defined as awareness of one’s own level of understanding of a topic, while deep learning strategies include integration of theory with real life experience. This study was carried out in a first/second year engineering dynamics course at Mount Royal University. The course enrollment was 23 students, with 3 hours of “lecture” per week, 1.5 hours of tutorial, and 1 hour of lab time. Students were assessed using assignments, one midterm, and a final exam which included both conceptual and quantitative problems, and lab reports, but also had pre-class reading assignments and were required to complete an online quiz for each reading, prior to the subsequent lecture class. Evidence of self-awareness, intentionality, and knowledge integration appeared spontaneously for some, but not all students, in response to quiz questions such as “What part of the reading did you find most difficult or confusing and why? If you did not find anything difficult, what part was most surprising or interesting and why?” Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the relations between students’ course performance, and the unsolicited evidence of their self-awareness and learning strategies, as well as their own perceptions of how the course affected their learning and their attitudes towards learning. These results show that students can be very intentional and integrative in their learning, and will provide a baseline for future work examining whether more directly encouraging deep learning strategies will be effective for student learning both within the course and in their greater life.
PS.46 - Faculty attitudes towards active, student-centred, and evidence-informed teaching and learning: Understanding the impact of gender, discipline, academic rank, and teaching experience
B. Wuetherick, S. Yu, J. Greer (University of Saskatchewan) - Canada
In this research we are seeking answers to questions such as: Are female or male faculty members more likely to value active, student-centred, evidence-informed teaching and learning? Do assistant professors differ from associate or full professors in their likelihood of valuing active, student-centered, evidence-informed teaching and learning? Moreover, how do faculty members in the humanities or social sciences compare to those in the health sciences or natural sciences in how likely they are to place value on those aforementioned traits of teaching and learning?
Faculty members' attitudes towards teaching and learning can have a significant impact on the quality of the learning environment for students (Saroyan & Amundsen, 2004; Smart, 2010). The literature exploring faculty attitudes towards teaching and learning in higher education is extensive. For example, Trigwell and Prosser’s influential work (1999) explored the range in how faculty conceptualize teaching from a teacher-centred transmission-focused view through to a student-centered conceptual change view. Further research has demonstrated that faculty who emphasize active learning and higher-order cognitive activities have been found to be positively related to increased levels of student engagement, student perceptions of the environment and student self-reported gains (Umbach & Wawrzynski, 2005). How faculty conceptualize and perceive student engagement in the learning environment has also been a major focus of the Faculty Survey of Student Engagement, administered at a number of different institutions across North America (FSSE, 2010). There remains a gap, however, in terms of systematic studies exploring the factors that may contribute to shaping faculty attitudes and whether salient characteristics are shared amongst those that emphasize active, student-centred, and evidence-informed teaching and learning.
Our session will explore a university-wide survey undertaken at a western Canadian medical-doctoral research university examining the general attitudes and practices of faculty members on issues relating to undergraduate teaching and learning. This includes an exploration of faculty members' self-reported values, beliefs and attitudes about evidence-informed, student-centered, active learning as part of their pedagogical practice in relation to the faculty demographics, such as gender, academic rank, years of experience and discipline. Our findings suggest that distinct trends do emerge from the interaction between faculty demographics and the likelihood of adopting evidence-informed, student-centered and active learning values, beliefs and attitudes, as well as how this manifests into their preference of pedagogical approaches.
The session will begin with an exploration of the results of this study, followed by a discussion of the implications of these findings, how these results might compare to participants’ own institutional environments, and next steps for further research in this area. The primary outcome of this session will be a greater understanding of the demographic factors that influence faculty attitudes towards active, student-centred and evidence-informed teaching and learning.
PS.47 - Science 100: First year science without boundaries Part 1: Perceptions and attitudes toward science
D. Lawrie, C. Varnhagen, B. Leskiw (University of Alberta) - Canada
Science is changing: The solutions to most of the significant scientific challenges today and in the future will often lie beyond the scope of any single discipline. Science 100 started in the Fall of 2008 as a unique learning opportunity designed to help students think beyond disciplinary boundaries as they explore answers to complex problems. Science 100 is a full first year program that features a smaller class size than is typical in first-year classes, a curriculum that integrates aspects of the first year curricula in all the disciplines in the Faculty (biology, chemistry, computing science, earth and atmospheric sciences, mathematics, physics, and psychology), an approach that embraces inquiry-based learning and other alternative pedagogies, an environment that encourages interactions between students and teaching staff and among the students themselves, and a research experience as an integral part of the educational experience.
We will be completing our fourth year this year and therefore are beginning to analyze our evaluation measures. Our preliminary evaluation of Science 100 is considering student expectations, attitudes, and outcomes; student and faculty satisfaction with the program; learning outcomes; and influence of Science 100 on performance in higher-level courses. In this first proposed research session, we will report the preliminary attitudinal and perceptions about science measures. In a second proposed research session, we will report the achievement results.
We assessed students’ expectations and attitudes regarding their experiences and learning outcomes at the beginning and end of each term. These surveys considered students’ expectations for the curriculum and learning experiences, attitudes toward science (Denofrio, Russell, Lopatto, & Lu, 2007; Lopatto, 2008) , learning styles (Kolb, 1984), and ability to think critically and solve problems (Norris, 1985; Watson & Glaser, 1964) at the beginning of the year and the degree to which Science 100 met their expectations at the end of the year. We assessed student satisfaction through surveys administered at the end of each year. The surveys included closed- and open-ended questions regarding student satisfaction with the curriculum, their learning from the program, their learning and interaction experiences, and the faculty.
We currently have data only from the first three years but will have analyzed the full four years of data in preparation for STLHE. Our initial analyses indicate that students do change their attitudes toward science – and in some interesting and not always positive ways. Attitude is related to critical thinking and performance in the class. This indicates that we need to consider attitudes toward science, in addition to content, in our curriculum development.
Science 100 is a discovery learning opportunity without boundaries. Programs like Science 100 have outstanding potential for training future scientists who can think critically and work in interdisciplinary teams to address today’s significant problems. By better understanding how students are developing important science-related knowledge, attitudes, and skills, we can better design our learning environments. We hope to share and compare our findings with other programs as we all work together to develop science curricula that have no boundaries.
The session will begin with an exploration of the results of this study, followed by a discussion of the implications of these findings, how these results might compare to participants’ own institutional environments, and next steps for further research in this area. The primary outcome of this session will be a greater understanding of the demographic factors that influence faculty attitudes towards active, student-centred and evidence-informed teaching and learning.
PS.48 - Broadening student views through first year seminars: Do students need to redraw boundaries in their views towards science to learn effectively?
J. Fox, G. Birol, A. Han, A. Cassidy, L. Samuels (University of British Columbia) - Canada
We designed and piloted a First Year Seminar in Science (SCIE 113) course following best practices in course design to provide students with the opportunity to explore the nature of science and the role science plays in society. The First Year Seminar in Science is a small class environment (with 26 students per section and 8 sections running concurrently) where each section is taught by a science faculty member who brings his/her own interests into the classroom while following a fixed set of learning objectives and assessments. With writing being an integral component of the course, a key focus is for students to construct and articulate a coherent scientific argument. Students are given multiple opportunities through carefully designed in-class activities to achieve this learning goal throughout the term. We designed and implemented a comprehensive course evaluation plan to assess changes in student views towards science, transition to University, perceived and actual learning gains through the adaption of a validated student assessment of learning gains (SALG) survey1 and in writing samples. Results obtained from the past two years of the course repeatedly showed overwhelmingly positive student and faculty responses to the course. In a follow-up study, we have further explored shifts in students’ attitudes towards science using student understanding of science and scientific inquiry (SUSSI) survey2. Our results show positive gains and a maturation of students’ views towards science. By providing carefully designed activities aligned with the learning objectives and assessments and a small class environment for students to rethink their definitions of science, we are encouraging students to make connections across the boundaries imposed by discipline specific courses in a typical first-year science curriculum and helping them transition to University. We propose that identifying the boundaries that help students’ challenge and explore their views towards science is an ideal goal for a first year course.
2: Liang et al. (2008), Asia-Pacific Forum on Science Learning and Teaching 9 (1), Article 1, p1-19.
PS.49 - Learning science without boundaries: pedagogical innovations that shape the Integrated Science (iSci) program at McMaster
C. Eyles, S. Symons, C. Harvey, A. Colgoni (McMaster University) - Canada
The Honours Integrated Science (iSci) program is an interdisciplinary, research-based science program that focusses on the development of self-directed learning skills in a supportive and collaborative environment. The iSci program is designed to allow students to learn science without the constraints of traditional discipline boundaries, course structures, or teaching methodologies. This poster session will explore the innovative pedagogical approaches used in the iSci program to facilitate student learning of science, the creation of a broad curriculum, and the development of undergraduate research skills.
In their first year iSci students take a single course (ISCI 1A24) that integrates learning of the knowledge, concepts, and skills covered by traditional discipline courses in chemistry, physics, math, life sciences, earth science and psychology. Students learn in a variety of situations – from team-taught formal lectures and tutorials to inquiry-based team and individual research projects that involve hands-on laboratory and fieldwork. Interdisciplinary research projects are conducted as part of the structured iSci class time and allow students to develop their research and communication skills in an instructor- guided environment. The topics selected for research (e.g. Mission to Mars, Drugs Doses and Biodistribution, Sustainable Energy, Cancer) facilitate interdisciplinary learning and students gain first-hand appreciation of research methodologies and the linkages between different scientific disciplines.
In their second year of the iSci program students undertake 5 research projects, each focusing on a different topic considered to be essential learning for interdisciplinary science students. The research projects are scheduled in a modified ‘block plan’ format and run for periods of between 6 and 10 weeks. Topics include thermodynamics, ecology, biochemistry, neuroscience, and earth history. Second year students also select an ‘enrichment’ project based upon one of these five topics to further enhance their understanding of that topic, or a quantum mechanics project. In third year students complete three team research projects and an individual research project on a topic of their choice, and in fourth year they complete an honours thesis, working in conjunction with a faculty researcher.
Throughout the iSci program student learning occurs primarily through team and self-directed exploration within thematic research projects. These projects change in form and scope as students move through the 4 year program, and students progressively take on more responsibility for the design, analysis and communication of the research. Communication of science and the development of leadership skills are emphasized within the program and class time is dedicated to the development of these skills.
We will present examples of interdisciplinary research projects that form the foundation of the iSci program and will discuss instructor experiences and student responses to the innovative pedagogical approaches we use to practice undergraduate research-based education. These approaches have application to many different discipline areas and program types. This poster session will be of interest to instructors, program and curriculum designers, educational developers and university administrators.
PS.50 - Protecting ourselves at work: Using personal protective devices
K. Hungerford, M.J. Comiskey (Lambton College) - Canada
Purpose: Workers are at risk for acquiring workplace injuries. The consistent use of personal protective equipment (PPE) has demonstrated a reduction in these injuries. Anecdotal evidence and observation indicates nurses wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when they assess a high level of personal risk. Alternatively, city workers are observed to consistently wear PPE. The purpose of this project is to explore and validate assumed compliance with PPE utilization. The study was conducted within distinctly different work environments in a small urban municipality.
Method: A comprehensive literature review was conducted. A 24-item questionnaire survey tool was generated for use in this study. The instrument was used to explore compliance with PPE in the two selected work environments. The survey was distributed by researchers between September and November 2010 to three separate convenience groups that use PPE in their daily work environment. One study group consisted of community Registered Nurses and Registered Practical Nurses. City workers studied consisted of staff from a Parks and Recreation department and a Works Department. Prior to the study, participants received information about the research project and an invitation to anonymously, confidentially, and voluntarily take part. A hard copy of the survey was distributed to participants for completion
Findings: The data from this study demonstrates that city workers and community nurses are at high risk for exposure to work place hazards due to poor compliance with PPE. Data from 85 survey participants was analyzed and revealed that despite having prior knowledge of proper PPE use and knowledge of risks associated with improper use, non-compliance was evident. The main reasons for non-compliance included lack of availability of PPE among nurses and forgetfulness to wear PPE among city workers. Additionally, city workers reported fear of job loss as a motivator for compliance.
The findings of this study supported initial assumptions regarding the non-compliance of nurses using PPE but did not support the anecdotal evidence of city workers, assumed to always be compliant with PPE use. Results of this study revealed that both community nurses (56.3%) and city workers (69.9%) demonstrated non-compliant use of PPE for different reasons thus reinforcing the need for a multi-faceted, multi-theoretical approach to dealing with the issue. Findings suggest that training sessions based on knowledge alone are not effective in ensuring PPE compliance. Further research is needed to address the issue of PPE non-compliance and the role of the employee in adherence. Further research is also needed to explore the role of the employer in facilitating compliance to PPE practices.
PS.51 - Impact of a graduate teaching seminar on approaches to teaching in post-secondary education
R. Cassidy, A. Ahmad, M. Blom, H. Maleki (Concordia University) - Canada
The Graduate Seminar in University Teaching (GSUT) at Concordia University provides graduate students across disciplines with an opportunity to prepare for academic teaching careers. For the past 7 years it has been offered as either a 10-week or 5-day intensive seminar. The content for the majority of sections, except three (Fine Arts, Engineering, and Science specific), is generic (discipline-general). While we explore differences in format in terms of disciplinary influence, the focus of this session is on student’s approaches to teaching as measured by responses to the Approaches to Teaching Inventory-Revised (ATI-R) questionnaire (Trigwell & Prosser, 2004) and by qualitative analysis of students’ teaching philosophy statements (TPS). We examine whether a relatively short professional development program such as our GSUT promotes meaningful and enduring changes in approaches to teaching within higher education.
We frame the ATI-R and TPS within a larger SoTL initiative funded by an interdisciplinary SSHRC grant. The objective of this session is for presenters and participants alike to exchange knowledge regarding the impact of and best practices in professional development programs, specifically with an eye to issues of disciplinarity. Our method will be to briefly present our empirical findings and then invite an open discussion for participants to share their own experiences, interpretations and views on the intersection of our research findings with promoting good teaching practices in similar professional development programs. Our research methodology demonstrates how teachers and students from different disciplines can cross the boundaries of discovery within research and SoTL.
We included data from a total of 75 GSUT students who completed the ATI-R questionnaire on both the first and last day of the seminar. In addition, students submitted statements of teaching philosophy, which were coded for content indicative of the two major dimensions of the ATI-R [information transfer/teacher focus (ITTF) and a conceptual change/student focus (CCSF)].
Quantitative analysis was performed on the ATI-R scales including pre/post comparisons as well as group comparisons among 5 disciplines (Business, Science, Social Science, Humanities, Fine Arts). Confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses were conducted to examine and compare the internal structure of students’ responses. Qualitative analysis was performed on the statements of teaching philosophy to corroborate quantitative analyses.
Pre/post comparisons of ITTF and CCSF scores as well as of the internal structure of students’ responses revealed various patterns of change that are discussed in terms of the student reactions to and conceptual changes associated with participation in the seminar. Disciplinary group comparisons in ATI-R scores as well as factor structure of the questionnaire responses are similarly presented and discussed in terms of current theoretical debates regarding the disciplinary nature of teaching and learning. The factor structure of students’ responses is compared to that of the GSUT instructors, which revealed meaningful similarities as well as differences.
Results are placed in the context of previous findings, critically interpreted and discussed in terms of their implications on the design of professional development programs for those who aim to teach within post-secondary settings.
PS.52 - Innovative boundaries in conceptual design and development: Nurturing, documentation, and exploration in design journals
B. Murray (OISE/University of Toronto) - Canada
1. To explain conceptual design and development
2. To report how individuals were creative in a visual format
3. To report how success and failure in designs are learning opportunities
4. To discuss ways to nurture conceptual design and studio practice to improve students’ learning
The purpose of the paper is to inform and visually disseminate creative boundaries achieving innovative results and nurturing design development in a creative discipline. Methods used in developing concepts or research include the collection of visual examples to explain the concept of design exploration. Outcomes and conclusions will be drawn from discourse with faculty members, educational developers, or academic administrators and the sharing of knowledge about teaching arts-based courses in a studio format. This presentation will inform educators about documenting design process as a means to promote growth in students' work.
Students' documentation in the journal is presented through skills, creativity, presentation, and organization of the work. Arts-based programs encourage students to create design journals to document inspiration, color, fabrics, design process, and concepts. The journal includes images, illustrations, texture, fabric, and design ideas that inspire students. Ideas are documented so that students may use them now or in the future. The journal may document a product or design at any stage of development. Conceptual design is one of the first stages of the design process in an arts-based design program. Students document the creative process of concept development through to the final product. Design experimentation and exploration are encouraged so that students display creative aspects of design in the journals or portfolios.
Design ideas may be part of an idea or unfinished ideas that need further development. Students are encouraged to record all design whether they are successful or are a failure. The design journal is a visual tool that keeps students focused and initiates the design process. This journal shows how the designer is communicating thoughts and ideas about design. Ultimately, innovative boundaries of creative design serve as learning opportunities in design journals. The imagination of the creative individual is captured in print. Greene (1991) discusses the importance of imagination to promote meaningful learning experiences. She claims:
Imagination may be the primary means of forming an understanding of what goes on under the heading of “reality”; imagination may be responsible for the very texture of experience. Once we do away with habitual separations of the subjective from the objective, the inside from the outside, appearances from reality, we might be able to give imagination its proper importance and grasp what it means to play imagination at the core of understanding. (p.4)
Greene, M. (1991). Texts and margins. Harvard Educational Review, 61(1), 27-39
PS.53 - Using online self and peer assessment to enhance skill development
E. Cambly, S. Johnston, M. Barry (University of Toronto) - Canada
Integrating self and peer assessment into undergraduate nursing education may enhance students’ learning process. Self-assessment aims to promote autonomy and independence and allows the student to critically reflect on nursing practice. Observing another’s actions and providing feedback in a thoughtful, professional manner may encourage student engagement and further self-analysis. This presentation will reflect on the implementation of an innovative online process that integrated self and peer assessment of skills into a nursing foundations course. Students were filmed performing a sterile dry dressing change on a friend or classmate demonstrating the consolidation of assessment, psychomotor and relational skills in the interaction. The online environment provided students with the opportunity to upload, view and share the videos immediately after filming in the nursing lab or at home. After sharing the videos with a peer of their choice, students provided feedback to each other online under the video in a secure web site. Students were able to review their own videos with the peer feedback prior to writing and submitting a self-assessment in which they analyzed their ability to integrate the three components of the assignment. Benefits to students and teachers as well as challenges and future directions will be discussed.
PS.54 - Adult education in the information age: Computer technology as a learning tool
S. Corona, S. Kavousi (Concordia University) - Canada
Computer literacy, including the ability to use computers confidently, efficiently and effectively, is an important skill to have in this prevailing information age. The purpose of this study is to describe and understand adult learners' experiences using computer technology in language learning courses. Participants will consist of students enrolled in courses at language learning institutions.
Results from questionnaires will help inform how identified competency gaps might be remediated to improve learning. The researchers developed a questionnaire to describe adult learners' personal views on the use of computer technology in language learning courses. Systems theory suggests that a technology-enhanced environment is a system which emerges from the interactions of its components, including students. Each component of a system has unique needs and values which must be satisfied in order for it to function efficiently and effectively. A technology-rich learning environment is one in which students are engaged in meaningful interactions. This study intends to fill a gap in the existing literature.
A review of the literature indicates that few studies have explored the use of computer technology specifically within the adult learner context.
Many of the studies that examine the obstacles associated with the use of computer technology for learners focus on K-12 settings. The traditional pedagogical approach to educating child and adult learners has treated both groups of students with little differentiation. However, adult learners have a distinct and unique set of learning needs.Therefore, the theory of andragogy was further developed in the 1970s by Malcolm Knowles to address the specific learning needs of adult learners and is based upon key assumptions about the adult learner: self-concept, the role of experience, readiness to learn, orientation to learning, internal motivation and the need to know. To better understand the opportunities and challenges adult learners face vis-à-vis computer literacy, our study will address how adult learners use computer technology for language learning courses. This study aims to make reasoned inferences about the effectiveness of adult learners’ current computer technology use, identify common obstacles of using computer technology for language learning courses and make recommendations for more efficient uses of computer technology for language learning courses. Conference participants will develop a better understanding of the unique obstacles that adult learners experience in using computer technology for language learning courses and their attitudes towards using computer technology for language learning courses. An objective of this session is that conference participants will recognize the power of computer technology as a learning tool to disseminate information to adult learners specifically within a language learning context. This study addresses the following questions: What are the attitudes of adult learners towards using computer technology for language learning? What challenges do adult learners encounter in using computer technology for language learning?
PS.55 - Forming a learning community: Partnering with senior nursing students to teach entry-level students through simulation
M. Barry, G. Macdonald, J. McMurray, S. Johnston (University of Toronto) - Canada
Nursing students in our accelerated undergraduate program participate in structured simulations in their clinical courses throughout their two-year program of study. The purpose of the poster is to discuss the use of senior students as partners in the faculty team who implemented the community health nursing (CHN) simulations for the last two years.
Senior students who had completed the simulations the previous year and who were currently doing a community health placement were asked to volunteer to work with faculty for this project. Faculty and students involved were asked to complete a pre and post-survey to evaluate their experience.
Use of senior students was well received by students and faculty alike. Seniors felt the connection with the entry-level students and tried to help them in the simulations because they knew what they were feeling. Both seniors and faculty felt that seniors added consistency in the acting and provided valuable clues to the entry-level students enacting the nursing roles. What was surprising was how much the seniors said they had learned from the experience. Seniors mentioned that they liked getting to know faculty members better. The experience seemed to be an empowering one for them and they felt that they had a lot to offer in terms of current community experience and previous experience with the simulation. What is not so clear is how the entry-level students felt about the seniors as they were not asked to evaluate their involvement.
The use of senior students enhanced the learning of entry-level students, provided valuable learning and leadership experience for the senior students, build faculty-student collaboration and created sustainable human resources to support CHN simulations in the future. Many seniors also acted as the client in the scenario and gave valuable feedback from the perspective of the client.
PS.56 - Rethinking roles and organization: Negotiating appropriate boundaries for distributed support and administration of a LMS
C. Goetz, D. Laurie, A. Schwanke (University of Alberta) - Canada
At most large universities, there are many individuals and units who are involved with the design, delivery, and administration of a Learning Management System (LMS). Resources, roles, and expectations may vary widely at different levels within the institution, and these variations inevitably extend to roles and organization within the LMS. Determining the appropriate levels of access and power for the diverse users of a university are critical for the effective operation of the LMS. The configuration of the various roles available within the LMS is contingent on many factors, including: the features or limitations of the LMS being employed; the concerns for privacy, security, and system integrity; the expectations of the users; and the administrative structure of the campus. At the University of Alberta, we have had the chance to re-examine these role definitions through our transition from Blackboard Vista to Moodle. This poster will discuss the manner in which we organize courses in the LMS, the capabilities we are able to extend to the distributed administrative users, and some of our strategies for negotiating the competing concerns of system integrity with the expectations of users in an open-source LMS.
PS.57 - The gradual reveal: Get off your paradigm!
MJ. Barrett, S. Mills (University of Saskatchewan) - Canada