Funded Projects

In support of Strategic Priorities 1.3 and 1.5, the Office of the Associate Vice-President launched the Active Learning funding initiative in Winter 2019.  We would like to thank all of the applicants for their participation in this new initiative.

For further information on successful proposals, please click on the following links:

Active Learning Funding Initiative’s Successful Applications

Sensitizing Undergraduate Nursing Students to Health Policy and Politics: A Pilot Project

Project Lead:  Damilola Iduye
Department/Faculty:  Nursing/Faculty of Health
Abstract:  Nurses interact closely with patients at various levels and are positioned to advocate for their patients to promote population health and equitable health care services. Incorporating political education content into the program curriculum can help prepare future nursing leaders in their roles as policy and political advocates. This proposal seeks to pilot the use of Top Hat software and various learning activities in NURS 4720(Professional Formation: Nursing and Social Responsibility) to promote classroom engagement and significant learning experience for the students in the winter term. The faculty anticipates that these strategies would improve undergraduate students’ knowledge about and comfortability with policy involvement and political advocacy in their future practice.


Adaption of Domestic Animal Behavior to Online

Project Lead:  Miriam Gordon
Department/Faculty:  Animal Science/Faculty of Agriculture
Abstract:  Domestic Animal Behaviour is currently being developed to online delivery. A large component of the domestic animal behaviour course is observing animals in managed systems and learning the techniques of recording observations. Students will need to be able to have stock videos of a variety of animals available to use for recording exercises and live observations for assignments. Also, to make online content more engaging, it will also be useful to be able to show specific behaviours of animals, which we would be able to get from stock video footage created. The primary modality of learners is through visual processing; providing high quality videos is key to the success of the delivery of this online course.


Pre Practicum Preparation through Simulation and Practice

Project Lead:  Cyndi Hall
Department/Faculty:  Social Work/Faculty of Health
Abstract:  It has been identified that students at the undergraduate level of Social Work Education would benefit from more preparation for practicum prior to being matched with an agency.  Students will have an opportunity to engage with each other through case simulations and demonstrations to identify appropriate interview skills, identifying their strengths and areas for improvement and practice receiving constructive feedback.  The outcomes for this initiative will include better interview results, lower pre-placement anxiety for students, stronger relationships with their Instructors/Preceptors and improved readiness to work on identified learning needs. Students will select 1) a place to serve and 2) a group project for which they will develop and assess impact of their Social Change Plan. Such discoveries can help us contribute to the great work of improving society, organizations, families, and ourselves.


"Foundations": A Primer in Social Sciences for the 21st Century

Project Lead:  Robert Huish
Department/Faculty:  International Development/Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Abstract:  The course is composed of three modules in addition to an introduction and summary.  The coordinator (Robert Huish) is responsible for introduction weeks and the summary, while three, 3-week modules are taught primarily by faculty members from: History, Sociology & Social Anthropology, and Political Science. Throughout the course, the coordinator will host a series of radio-interview style podcasts with members of FASS to highlight research and teaching in relation to big issues of the day.


Virtual Trace Paper: Enhancing the Design Process thru Contextual Feedback

Project Lead:  Richard leBrasseur
Department/Faculty:  Landscape Architecture/Faculty of Agriculture
Abstract:  The landscape architecture design process within the studio environment involves active learning and immediate feedback, which occurs between the professor and student/group organically.  It is an iterative process; layers of explorative solutions and differing ideas need to be revealed and “built-upon” quickly.  The objective of this initiative is to introduce and analyse the effectiveness of a digital-based methodology during critiques and feedback.  This process has traditionally been paper-based, where multiple sheets of trace paper are torn and placed aside, then looked at and reviewed later – often without context causing confusion due to lack of reference.


Reading Performance: in-class writing responses to Shakespearean scene

Project Lead:  Christina Luckyj
Department/Faculty:  English/Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Abstract:  Shakespeare’s plays were never designed to be read as books.  Students in my Shakespeare class always do “performance projects”, but they would benefit from wider exposure to performance as a form of interpretation.  Five times in the term, in the final fifteen minutes of class, students would view a brief clip from a contemporary production and discuss its strengths and weaknesses.  A teaching assistant, well versed in Shakespeare, would grade the resulting 200 short responses.  The students would benefit from regular in-class writing and from opportunities for increased engagement with Shakespeare in performance.


Engaging Students in Lectures with Digital Trainer Boards

Project Lead:  Yuan Ma
Department/ Faculty:  Electrical and Computer Engineering/Faculty of Engineering
Abstract:  Hands-on experience is critical in teaching electrical circuits. Each student in Digital Circuits course get a trainer board to use in their weekly labs. The objective of this project is to incorporate the boards in lectures without going through the laborious design and implementing steps. Toggling the input switches on the boards and observing the changes on the output LEDs will not only engage the students in lectures, but also help them understand complex design subjects. Evaluation of the learning outcomes will be used to justify the effectiveness of this initiative.


Online Module to Review Math Skills for Intro Statistics Classes

Project Lead:  Sean Mackinnon
Department/Faculty:  Science (Psychology & Neuroscience)/Faculty of Science
Abstract:  This Active Learning Project proposal involves developing an instructional tool that provides students with a refresher in remedial math skills, posted online through Brightspace.  This tool would quiz students on their remedial math skills and assess gaps in the students’ skills sets through the analysis of incorrect responses.  Then, the tool would provide semi-individualized learning paths to the students, depending on the deficits in math skills demonstrated by the quiz results.  Potentially, the tool could assist students in achieving better academic performance in statistics, improving their attitudes about quantitative methods, and reducing their anxiety levels around studying second-year psychology statistics. 


Mobilizing Inuit Ecological Knowledge through Art - Action-Learning Exercise

Project Lead:  Andrew Medeiros
Department/Faculty:  College of Sustainability
Abstract:  This action-learning exercise focuses on the contribution of Inuit ecological knowledge expressed through art. Bringing together Inuit and non-Inuit perspectives, students will undertake a communication exercise that incorporates storytelling, craftwork, prints, and knowledge preservation. This activity intends to advance knowledge access for: 1) expression of ecological knowledge that is practiced in northern communities, 2) connection of Inuit knowledge of the environment to objects of cultural heritage, and 3) acknowledgement of creation of Inuit cultural capacity.


Tiny Earth

Project Lead:  John Rohde
Department/Faculty:  Microbiology and Immunology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Chemistry/Faculty of Science
Abstract:  Tiny Earth is an innovative training program that provides hands-on experience for undergraduate researchers in the area of antibiotic discovery. One of the major health problems facing humans today is the emergence of microbes that are resistant to current antibiotics. To combat this threat, we need to discover new antibiotics. Tiny Earth is a community of undergraduate researchers across North America that carry out novel research in the areas of microbiology, biochemistry, and chemistry to discover and characterize new antibiotics. Students learn the basics of laboratory science while conducting original research and learning how to effectively communicate their science.


Introduction of Course-Based Authentic Undergraduate Research into 1st Year

Project Lead:  Anne Marie Ryan
Abstract:  The introduction of course-based, authentic undergraduate research opportunities within a first year earth sciences course for both majors and non-majors, is a novel approach to laboratory work in the first year earth sciences program. Through this experience, students have the opportunity to "do" real science in a supportive environment, with the goal of promoting curiosity and questioning. This experience further aims to increase scientific literacy and understanding of the nature of science.  Furthermore, as students progress through their research, it is anticipated they will develop their critical thinking, collaborative, and science communication skills.