DCUTL 2019 Program

All sessions will take place in the Kenneth C. Rowe Management Building, at Dalhousie University, unless stated otherwise.

May 1, 2019

8:30 to 9:00 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

Rowe Atrium

9:00 to 9:15 am

Welcome

Potter Auditorium

9:15 to 10:30 am - Keynote Speaker

Finding Our Ways to Active Learning


Dr. Sara Harris
Professor of Teaching, Dept. of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences,
Associate Dean Academic, Faculty of Science
University of British Columbia (UBC)

Wednesday, May 1, 2019
9:15 to 10:30 am
Rowe Management Building, Potter Auditorium

Finding Our Ways to Active Learning

We now have strong evidence that post-secondary students excel more (and fail less) with active learning opportunities. Experts become experts by deliberately practicing expert-like thinking in a discipline. Students similarly move toward expertise by engaging with a discipline in ways that challenge, extend, rearrange, and strengthen the connections in their thinking. Active pedagogies put students in situations that encourage development, coherence, and increasing complexity of their ideas.  Courses large and small, introductory to capstone, all have the potential to be student-focused and aligned with research on how people learn. 

As faculty members, how do we shift our teaching practices, habits, and cultural norms toward active learning for students?  How do we create situations in which our motivations to change outweigh barriers? How do we begin, and how do we continue? One good predictor for whether faculty choose to change teaching practices is how frequently we talk about teaching with others, including with fellow faculty, students, TAs, administrators, and/or educational specialists.  A conversation might be the catalyst for us to take one new step incorporating active learning in our classes. It might inspire us to design and try one new activity or teaching technique, to change one exam into a 2-stage learning experience, or to better align our goals, assessments, and learning opportunities for students. It might help a brand-new colleague start off their teaching career with an active-learning mindset. Depending on our settings, we can tap into, or build and strengthen, existing networks and formal structures supporting evidence-based, student-focused teaching. Over time, we can move toward active learning as standard practice in post-secondary education, for everyone’s benefit.

Biography

Sara Harris is a Professor of Teaching in the department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, the Associate Dean Academic for the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC), and a 3M National Teaching Fellow. From 2007-2017, she was a Departmental Director for the Carl Wieman Science Education Initiative at UBC, a major effort to improve undergraduate learning in science by implementing evidence-based, student-focused pedagogy. Sara's current research explores how people learn climate science.  She teaches a free course on edx.org called “Climate Change: The Science” and she is co-author of “Understanding Climate Change: Science, Policy, and Practice”.

 

10:30 to 10:50 am

Networking and Nutrition Break

Rowe Atrium

10:50 to 11:40 am - Concurrent Session 1

Infographics: Where Creativity and Academics Collide in an Active Learning Space

Room 1007

Session Time

10:50 am 11:40 am

Session Type

50-minute Interactive workshop

Abstract

Rather than assign the typical research paper for an upper level courses, an infographic project provided an opportunity for students to convey in-depth knowledge on a chosen topic in a concise, visual representation that was pleasing to look at and easy to grasp. This highly engaging project was very popular with students who provided ample positive feedback on this unique learning experience. Students were introduced to a user-friendly graphic design software, provided on-going technical support and a grading rubric to guide them through this creative process of consolidating academic content into an attractive, information-rich product. The completed infographics were displayed on departmental bulletin boards as an educational outreach initiative as well as a showcase of students' work. Come experience the software, see the finished products, listen to what students had to say about this active learning experience and capitalize on the lessons learned.

Presenting Author

Moira Law, University of New Brunswick

"Are there any questions?" Silence Does Not Mean Understanding

Room 1009

Session Time

11:15 to 11:40 am

Session Type

50-minutes

Abstract

Research indicates that a large portion of what is considered “active learning” in our classrooms is limited to questioning. This is positive and a foundation that we can build on. If students are speaking in class in response to the professor’s questions, or asking questions, then they are active and engaged. However, we need to take a closer look.  The presenter will facilitate discussion and the sharing of tips and techniques for dealing with the challenges of engaging large, diverse classes through questioning. How do we create a climate that supports risk-taking and speaking up?  How do we design questions that are more effective? Part of the workshop will focus on the mechanics of developing better questions, using Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle and Bloom’s Taxonomy as resources.

Example questions will be provided as well as an opportunity to practice developing better questions in response to a common learning situation. 

Presenting Author

Susan Holmes, Dalhousie University

The 8-Pointed Star of Mi'kmaw Pedagogy

Room 1011

Session Time

10:50 to 11:40 am

Session Type

50-minutes

Abstract

The 8-pointed Star of Mi’kmaw Pedagogy was developed through inductive and informal strategies by Irene Endicott who has worked in the Pictou Landing First Nation School as a teacher (14 years) and subsequently as the school principal for (12 years). This conceptual model supports the premise that “the Curriculum is WHAT we teach.  The Mi’kmaw way is HOW we teach.  The 8-pointed star of Mi’kmaw pedagogy incorporates 8 learning processes that support HOW teachers can approach teaching that supports the Mi’kmaw way.  While this model was developed in the context of a Mi’kmaw elementary school, much of the conceptual framework has legitimacy within the context of post secondary institutions seeking to indigenize their contexts and curricula.

In this presentation Irene Endicott, the principal of Pictou Landing First Nation School, will provide a narrative on the emergence of the 8 facets of the Star of Mi’kmaw Pedagogy, and her motivations for developing a framework for teaching that demonstrates HOW teaching occurs as essential to addressing  a Mi’kmaw ontological and epistemological perspective.  Further to this, Shane Theunissen, professor in Child and Youth Study at Mount Saint Vincent University will discuss the application of The 8-Pointed Star of Mi’kmaw Pedagogy in a recent boat building program at Pictou Landing First Nation School, and as the leitmotif of his course Education for Youth in Alternative Contexts.

This presentation is relevant to the DCUTL 2019 theme of “ Diving Deep: Engaging Students Through Active Learning” because The 8 Pointed Star of Mi’kmaw Pedagogy encourages educators to actively engage in teaching principles including, but not limited to: promoting experiential education, fostering Land Links, and Visual-Artistic Representation.  These principles not only engage educators in actively designing ontologically just teaching processes, but also, facilitates the active engagement of students in educational processes that promote a Mi’kmaw way of being.   

Each participant in this session will receive an 8-pointed star of Mi’kmaw pedagogy template, and guidance on how this curricular template may be used within a diversity of contexts.  There will be time set aside for questions and discussions to address any queries or concerns session participants will have.

Presenting Authors

Dr. Shane Theunissen, Mount Saint Vincent University

Irene Endicott, Pictou Landing First Nation School

Using learning focused course design to make small changes in the classroom

Room 1014 

Session Time

10:50 to 11:40 am

Session Type

50-minutes

Abstract

We five instructors from the Faculty of Agriculture spent the fall semester 2018 working as a community of practice to create and/or re-design some of our courses and programs. As a group, we started with the principle of backwards design (Wiggins and McTighe, 2005), and we purposefully distributed our efforts over time to support the incubation of ideas. This allowed us to problem-solve more effectively and find innovative solutions for course design challenges (Carpenter, Cepeda, Rohrer, Kang, & Pashler, 2012; Sio, Kotovsky & Cagan, 2017). By working against the typical isolation we faculty members usually experience with the solo process of designing a course, we found that ideas and feedback from our peers enriched each of our courses and programs. Our new designs all incorporate learning-focused teaching strategies and active learning.    

In this presentation, we will each spend a few minutes sharing the highlights of what we learned and created. We‚Äôll also report on how some of the work we put into creating change played out in the winter 2019 semester.  

Presenting Authors

Dr. Mason MacDonald, Dalhousie University

Gillian Fraser, Dalhousie University 

Dr. Miriam Gordon, Dalhousie University

Dara Pelkey-Field, Dalhousie University

Joye Sears, Dalhousie University

From Passive to Active Learning: Tips & Tech for Asynchronous Online Classes

Room 1016

Session Time

10:50 to 11:40

Session Type

50-minutes

Abstract

This workshop is geared toward course developers and instructors who are concerned about engagement and interactivity in their asynchronous classrooms. There is a common perception that self-paced courses are primarily passive. Reading and watching videos are common instructional techniques, but they don't have to be passive experiences. Chunked lessons with knowledge checks, interactive videos, and regular opportunities for reflection and feedback can transform the student experience.      

In this workshop, we will work through a number of common passive teaching strategies and practice the steps necessary to convert them into opportunities for active student engagement. Using case studies, our participants will apply their knowledge as we go, ensuring that they are immediately able to put into practice the techniques we suggest.      

With insight from our unit's instructional designers, we will also provide suggestions for technology that will support each of the principles of the workshop. Though some of these tools may be proprietary, wherever possible we will point out comparable technologies that are freely available.        

This workshop will be organized into the following sections:    

Intro/Topic: Curate your content. Usually, the first step toward active learning is making time for it. This means being more selective with the content you present so that students have time to apply it, critique it, and respond to it accordingly. We will apply this principle to both readings and video lecturing.    

Activities: React to readings. In this activity, participants will brainstorm different feedback strategies that will encourage a richer engagement with readings. We will start by discussing strategies for during reading (e.g. notetaking) and then talk about application strategies for after readings (e.g. quizzes, reading responses, discussion forums, position papers).    

Pop up video. In this activity, participants will discuss how to create interactive video content. We will talk and about the benefits and best practices for incorporating activities into video before, during, and after the presentation. We will use a short video as a model.     Debrief/Q &A

Presenting Authors

Emily Ballantyne, MSVU

Elias Tsirigotis, MSVU

Cara O'Leary, MSVU

11:50 am to 1:00 pm

Formal Lunch

Formal lunch

Great Hall, University Club

1:10 to 2:00 pm - Concurrent Session 2

Use Your Time(table) Wisely: Finding a Suitable Home for the “Organic Synthesis Workshop”, an Interactive Approach to Teaching Problem-Solving Skills.

Room 1007

Session Time

1:10 to 2:00 pm

Session Type

Change One Thing Challenge Winner 2019

Description

Organic chemistry is a challenging subject for students. To teach this subject, interactive learning seems imperative to developing problem-solving skills, which are required for success. The requisite problem-solving relies on an interconnected understanding of many aspects of chemistry. With the usual time constraints in the week before any final exam, it is challenging to deliver tutorial sessions for ~350 students that encompass this level of problem-solving. Finding unused time allotted to the course in the academic timetable was instrumental to meeting this challenge.

I now offer each student a three-hour workshop, when they are available. Happily, the workshop has a student to teacher ratio of 12:1 and uses a unique strategic worksheet, employing proven teaching and learning pedagogy. To meet this ratio, student teachers are employed and supported with detailed guides explaining the chemistry and teaching strategy. The positive impact on student teacher experience, and student learning, was confirmed by survey feedback. 

Presenting Authors

Gaia Ashlee Aish, Dalhousie University

Stimulating Engagement and Understanding Using Small Whiteboards

Room 1009

Session Time

2:10 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Interactive Workshop

Abstract

There are many tools and techniques to promote minds-on, active learning. Whiteboarding is a pedagogical method wherein students, in groups, use small whiteboards to work out their ideas collaboratively and share them. Whiteboarding is an integral component of teaching approaches such as Modelling Instruction (developed by Hestenes & Wells) and SCALE-UP (developed by Beichner).    

A whiteboard provides a shared space on which all team members can write and thus requires that the content be negotiated. Because of the ease with which the boards can be erased, students are less hesitant to write, which means that the boards are used for sense making, for building up ideas and models, rather than simply for writing down the final answer. They promote focus on the process. In addition, the large, unlined space more readily allows for multiple representations of ideas: figures, graphs, diagrams, equations, words. Whiteboards also have the non-negligible benefit of making students‚Äô ideas visible to the instructor as she/he/they wander around the room while students work.    

Outcomes:  At the end of the session, participants will be able to describe benefits of using small whiteboards in class to promote active learning; participants will be able to describe the benefits of using small whiteboards rather than worksheets or flipcharts for small group work; participants will have a plan for how they could use small whiteboards in their classes.    

Session plan:  

1. Experience: Small-group work using whiteboards (2-3 activities of different styles)  

2. Debriefing: what did you see as benefits?  

3. Presentation: information about whiteboard use and expert recommendations.  

4. Reflection: Closing activity focussed on how small whiteboards could be used in the participants' contexts. They will be encouraged to think of one specific example rather than consider only generalities. Small group discussions (using whiteboards!) then full group sharing.  

The opening activities will allow participants to experience the use of whiteboards as students do, and they will allow participants to see for themselves the benefits of whiteboarding. As a result, the information that presented in part #3 will be more meaningful. Concluding with an activity focussed on connecting the session with participants' practice is important to ensure that the session is more than an entertaining time at a conference, that it inspires participants to consider changes that they could make to increase active learning in their classes.   

Presenting Authors

Magdalen Normandeau, University of New Brunswick

Creating space for autonomy and risk-taking in learning: stories from a science classroom

Room 1011

Session Time

1:10 to 2:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Interactive Workshop

Abstract

Increasingly, we are adding disciplinary activities within the context of our teaching. The question arises as to whether we have given much thought to  similar active learning opportunities for students to engage in becoming more autonomous learners. For example, as students demonstrate their content knowledge and skills, can we also engage them in self- and peer- assessment? Or can we provide for them to select from different possible grading schemes? And can we encourage them to write reflections on their learning, incorporating how they might improve?This workshop explores reasons for including such activities, offers a number of approaches to encourage student autonomy within the context of our courses, and examines the benefits for the students’ learning as motivation is increased. Through shared practices, in small groups and individually, we will explore avenues for engaging students in assessing their own learning and how we might offer choice while maintaining an overall structure and accountability for “content”. Of course, there are also potential pitfalls and obstacles involved, and we will also explore these as we move through the workshop.

Presenting Author

Anne-Marie Ryan, Dalhousie University

Testing to Learn: A Glimpse Into the Group Test Experience

Room 1014

Session Time

1:10 to 2:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Interactive Workshop

Abstract

For many students, taking a midterm is a significant point of anxiety as often emphasis is placed on grades rather than learning. So, we posed the questions - why can‚Äôt students have a learning experience during a test? How can we modify our testing structure to lower anxiety for students? Is there an opportunity for students to connect during a test to form lasting professional relationships that continue beyond the assessment?  

As a result, we decided to turn a routine testing situation into an opportunity for active learning by introducing group testing. Throughout the group test, students can discuss the test questions, network with their peers, and (potentially) receive a small grade incentive for participating. In this presentation, expect to play the role of a student in a group test to learn first-hand the advantages of adopting this active testing model in your class, regardless of size or curriculum.    

Presenting Author

Angela Crane, Dalhousie University

From the tea café to the haiku: Using compassion to transform digital learning spaces to include active learning pedagogies.

Room 1016

Session Time

1:10 to 2:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

For many students, taking a midterm is a significant point of anxiety as often emphasis is placed on grades rather than learning. So, we posed the questions - why can't students have a learning experience during a test? How can we modify our testing structure to lower anxiety for students? Is there an opportunity for students to connect during a test to form lasting professional relationships that continue beyond the assessment?  

As a result, we decided to turn a routine testing situation into an opportunity for active learning by introducing group testing. Throughout the group test, students can discuss the test questions, network with their peers, and (potentially) receive a small grade incentive for participating. In this presentation, expect to play the role of a student in a group test to learn first-hand the advantages of adopting this active testing model in your class, regardless of size or curriculum.    

Presenting Authors

Lisa Goldberg, Dalhousie University

Sandra Murphy, Dalhousie University

Les T. Johnson, Dalhousie University

Land-based learning for exploring Indigenous perspectives on resources and the environment

Room 1020

Session Time

1:10 to 2:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

In developing an understanding of Indigenous peoples’ perspectives on resource and environmental management, direct engagement must be central to the process. This paper explores the potential for the collaborative development of land-based university curriculum with Indigenous partners in northewestern Ontario and Nova Scotia. Through excursions engaging traditional land-based livelihoods practices (net fishing, eel spearing and trapping) and Anishinaabe and Mi’kmaw epistemologies students at various levels (undergraduate and graduate) and from diverse degree programs were able to learn experientially and authentically from people and the land. The collaborative development of land-based curriculum was guided by two main objectives: (1) The delivery of educational programming that would activate multiple centres of learning (cognitive, tacit) and enhance student knowledge of Indigenous perspectives and land-based practices; and (2) The production of insights aimed towards decolonizing university curriculum through the co-production of curriculum. Relationship building, the setting of joint and individual objectives, managing logistical requirements (including funding) and co-designing student preparatory materials (readings) were integral components to producing land-based learning curriculum in a fashion that would be beneficial to all parties involved (Indigenous and academic partners, students). Insights about collaboration are shared and will be reflected upon towards the development of future programming for university students. Such insights will also be related to the benefits, risks, challenges and opportunities for universities and Indigenous partners who continue to seek decolonization of the academy through land-based and other forms of community-engaged education.    

Presenting Authors

Melanie Zurba, Dalhousie University

2:10 to 3:00 pm - Concurrent Session 3

A Mindfulness Approach to Active Learning: Students' perspectives on Deep Learning of Research Skills

Room 1007

Session Time

2:10 to 2:35 pm

Session Type

25-minute Presentation

Abstract

This presentation is part of an ongoing research project on University Teaching and Learning, specifically regarding the impact of Experiential Learning in developing qualitative research skills.  The author will focus on data originating from a selection of ethically gathered students‚Äô research journals and exit learning evaluation questionnaires covering three different course tracks from 2010 to 2018.  Using an inductive grounded theory analysis, it will then address the phenomenon of the educational experience underlying the students‚Äô reflective comments.  It will compare the particulars of this type of educational experience with the known effects of mindfulness meditation approach on insight, equanimity and compassion.  It will finally describe the teaching method used to bring about these mindfulness-like learning conditions within the experiential learning umbrella.

Presenting Author

Pierre-Yves Barbier, Ph.D., Université de Moncton, NB

Plunge, flounder, reflect: Graduate students' professional development in 30 minutes

Room 1007

Session Time

2:35 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

25-minute Presentation

Abstract

This session will describe a successful active learning technique used with graduate students in a professional program. The activity in question is 30 minutes, occurs multiple times throughout the semester, and is cited by many students in this course as key to their learning. Because this is a professional program, the activity is tied specifically to one aspect of professional life in their field, but is also transferable to other contexts. Many students find this ungraded activity both stressful and rewarding because of what they think their performance might suggest about their own professional identity. This context is a fortuitous one for written reflection, which the students have to submit within a few days of the activity.    

Attendees will hear about the activity, its theoretical grounding, and its success. They also reflect on how an activity like this could work in their own contexts.  

Presenting Author

Lindsay McNiff, Dalhousie University

Learning Spaces: Reviewing the Landscape of Active Learning Classrooms at Queen's University

Room 1009

Session Time

2:10 to 2:35 pm

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

The student experience in the classroom is evolving; now, more than ever, students are engaged as active participants in their own learning rather than being passive recipients of knowledge. This shift has driven research on active learning, as well as the design of active learning classrooms (ALCs). Since 2014, Queen's University has built eleven ALCs for active and collaborative learning (Chen, Leger, & Riel, 2016; Phillipson, Riel, & Leger, 2018). Using a mixed-methods survey, this study is an inquiry into the student, teaching assistant, and instructors’ perceptions of the ALC, and how features of the physical space may impact elements of student engagement and interaction in class. This session will present and compare the perception of ALC features in flexible learning spaces, low-tech and high-tech team-based classrooms, and engage in discussion about how the design of ALCs at Queen’s may inform their development at other institutions.

Presenting Authors

Karalyn McRae, Queen's University

Andrea Phillipson, Mount Royal University

Andrew Leger, Queen's University

 

Web-Based Peer Review of Scientific Communication using Aropä

Room 1009

Session Time

2:10 to 2:35 pm

Session Type

25-minute

Abstract

In this presentation, we will discuss the design and implementation of web-based peer review in the Capstone course of the Medical Sciences BSc Program at Dalhousie University. The course is delivered around the analysis of five medical cases through expert lectures and peer instruction. Students deliver presentations in teams of two and are peer-evaluated in real-time using the software package Aropä: a web-based system developed at the University of Auckland. Scaffolded throughout the course is a term paper project where students participate in a blinded peer-review process, also via Aropa. Here, students provide feedback to two peers, and feedback is evaluated. We will share our experience with the Aropa software, including feedback from students. Audience members will be given the opportunity to register for a peer review activity of our presentation via Aropa. We hope to engage discussion on our approach and receive feedback and suggestions for improvement. 

Presenting Authors

Sarah Wells, Dalhousie University

Julia Guk, Dalhousie University

Creating LGBTQ+ Inclusive Spaces for Equitable Active Learning

Room 1011

Session Time

2:10 to 2:35 pm

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

The historically heterosexual, cis-gendered, and male environment of academia can be stifling and unwelcoming for many students that belong to the LGBTQ+ community. Indeed, in the undergraduate context, a study published in 2018 found that LGBTQ+ undergraduates were 8% less likely to be retained in STEM fields. However, ensuring that LGBTQ+ students feel safe is essential to ensuring a successful active learning environment in the classroom. This is largely because, as some research has shown, learning is an “affective” process, through which emotions and cognition are intimately linked.

This session will explore my lived experiences as a queer man and my experiences with the LGBTSTEMinar, an annual LGBTQ+ Science Conference held in the UK. It will also explore what I believe educators can do to push back against these exclusionary environments, including taking actions like normalized use of pronouns, enhancing LGBTQ+ visibility, and explicit classroom codes of conduct.

Presenting Author

Landon Getz, Dalhousie University

Reflection on Learning actively through Experiential Learning: Summer School Experience.

Room 1011

Session Time

2:35 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

"Tell me, I'll forget. Show me, I may remember. But involve me, and I'll understand" goes a Chinese proverb. This paper is a reflection on experiential and active learning activities from my participation in a summer school. It engaged fellows through use of role plays, theatrics, group work and deconstruction exercises to practice, learn and understand content. This presentation highlights the importance of using different dynamic learning activities to enhance student’s active participation in learning about a topic of interest, appreciating and understanding its uniqueness as well as challenges. It reflects on bridging the gap between theory and practice using theoretical assumptions of Augusto Boal’s Theater of the Oppressed that underlines use of theatrical workshop and activism practice and; Kolb and Fry's Experiential Learning that conceives learning to take place in four actively engaging steps. It aims to encourage peer sharing among students to foster group work and interpersonal skills.

Presenting Author

Caroline Paparu, Saint Mary's University

The Interaction for Learning Framework: A tool for learning in diverse classrooms

Room 1014

Session Time

2:10 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

Birds of a feather often flock together, even in our classrooms. Despite the increasing diversity of the student body at many institutions, students often gravitate toward others of similar linguistic or cultural backgrounds, and the benefits of learning in a diverse setting may remain unrealized.  Many educators experience frustration when faced with this tendency. This presentation is an introduction to the ‘Interaction for Learning Framework’ (ILF), which was developed at the University of Melbourne to help faculty and instructors structure the learning environment to increase interaction between domestic and international students. Participants will learn about the ILF, and how to apply it in the context of their curriculum and classroom pedagogies to facilitate interaction between students and the synthesis of course material. The ILF can help improve the achievement of learning outcomes and move us one step closer to truly inclusive campuses and classrooms. 

Presenting Author

Jennifer MacDonald, Dalhousie University

Learning by Simulation of Trauma Nursing Care

Room 1014

Session Time

2:10 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

25-minute presentation

Abstract

Background: Simulation is an effective active learning strategy to introduce undergraduate nursing students to trauma care in a safe learning environment. Trauma care simulations were developed, implemented and evaluated using the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation (INACLS) guidelines.   Methods: As part of an overall in depth course evaluation, student feedback regarding their trauma simulation experiences were collected by an online survey.  

Results: Students were satisfied with the simulation experience and its influence on their confidence levels. Facilitator guidance and knowledge was valued same as the quality of the learning environment. Open ended questions helped student express positive aspects of the simulation experience and formulate recommendations.  Conclusions: Nursing and medical students developed technical as well as non-technical skills during trauma care simulation. Interprofessional simulation facilitated team members to better understand their role and increase their confidence levels when intervening as a team. 

Presenting Authors

J. Boudreau, Université de Moncton

S. Harrison, Université de Moncton

Transmedia & Active Learning

Room 1016

Session Time

2:10 to 2:35 pm

Session Type

25-minute research paper

Abstract

Transmedia storytellingis the technique of telling a single story across multiple platforms and formats using current digital technologies, for example, utilizing Facebook, YouTube, text messages, email, blogs, websites, print, graphics and so on.  The story emerges through a reader’s engagement with the characters, events, and places in both the storyworld and the real world.  As such, the narrative is highly interactive: this effect is achieved by ‘transportation’ into the storyworld through the creation of content that permeates the daily life of the reader, with multiple forms of media delivering unique pieces of content, linked together and synchronized into a persuasive narrative.

Transmedia storytelling is a relatively new phenomenon, and as such it is little known.  While there are a number of ‘early adopters’ who are exploring its potential, among prospective educational users the process is largely unknown.  We outline ways that transmedia storytelling can immerse an audience in a story and a place; extend and enhance the scope and depth of the story being told; share limited content and resources among many platforms; and increase reach and content delivery diversity.

We also highlight how transmedia storytelling can be used to generate interest, awareness, and engagement among students through interaction with on-line, and real-world characters, images, places, and events.  Through orchestrating a reader’s engagement with multiple media, transmedia storytelling has the potential to be utilized in education, knowledge mobilization, and the raising of social and political awareness.  It can bridge the divide between the classroom and modern technologies and bring a creative component to active learning.

Transmedia storytelling is in its infancy, but we argue that it offers numerous benefits for active learning: it can engage even ‘reluctant’ learners, enhance motivation, leverage the power of collective intelligence, and encourage students to drive their own learning.  Its parameters can also be adjusted according to time and expense constraints. In exploring these possibilities for transmedia, we draw on examples from our own Transmedia Education project with mental health professionals and social workers at St. Thomas University.

Presenting Authors

Brandi Estey-Burtt, St. Thomas University

Dr. Clive Baldwin, St. Thomas University

Engaging students in active learning in a fully online animal welfare course

Room 1016

Session Time

2:35 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

25-minute Presentation

Abstract

One of the challenges in the online delivery of a course is to keep students actively engaged in their learning. Online delivery may also restrict the development of presentation skills by students, for example. One method of active learning and assessment to help with this in a 3rd year level online Animal Welfare class was with the use of Panopto for class presentations and discussions. Students are asked to record themselves presenting to the class on a current event news item regarding animal welfare. We will discuss the advantages and logistics to this type of assignment and discover new ways to use Panopto in an online delivered course.  

Presenting Authors

Miriam Gordon, Dalhousie University

Simulation Reflections of First and Upper Year Business Students

Room 1020

Session Time

2:10 to 2:35 pm

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

Experiential Learning Theory (ELT) defines learning as "the process whereby knowledge results from the combination of grasping and transforming experience," (Kolb, 1984:194). Simulating the real experience engages at one of the deepest levels of learning (Dale, 1969). Students immersed in a simulation game are highly engaged applying knowledge and experiencing results in competition with other teams. Results are unpredictable and may cause students anxiety.    

I have used three different simulations in business courses - introduction to business, strategic issues, strategic business development, and human resource management. The Conscious Capitalism simulation engendered the greatest engagement and challenge for students. This session will compare first year students' reflections on this active learning approach with those of upper year students. The audience will be provided with opportunity for input into the new pay equity and diversity modules in the Conscious Capitalism simulation.

Presenting Author

Martha Cheney, Dalhousie University

Experiential Education in a Foreign Language and Literature Program: Enhancing Students' Linguistic Skills and Empathic Relationships

Room 1020

Session Time

2:35 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

In this presentation, we draw on the teaching and learning of Portuguese language and Portuguese-speaking cultures to address the purpose and value of experiential education within the curriculum of a foreign language university program. We rely on a social-interactionist and constructivist approach to language teaching to examine the re-construction of students' personal relationships with the language. We explore the cultural and linguistic benefits of immersion in the language in the classroom as well as in community and professional environments by focusing on a pioneering fourth-level Portuguese undergraduate course. Subsequently, in light of current sociolinguistic and literary empathy research, we discuss how curricular activities lead students to experientially access matters of ethnicity, (im)migration, and cultural identity that characterize the diverse Portuguese-speaking communities of the Greater Toronto Area. We argue that, through this pedagogically innovative curriculum that provides real-life and personalized learning experiences and continuous opportunities for reflection in class and through blended learning, students not only test and develop their linguistic skills, but also challenge pre-existing cultural and linguistic assumptions. We highlight key pedagogical devices that have fostered student engagement and the understanding of the ethnic other.

Presenting Authors

Vander Tavares, York University

Maria Joao Dodman, York University

Ines Cardoso, York University

 

3:10 to 4:00 pm - Concurrent Session 4

TV show-based simulations: benefits, challenges, and lessons

Room 1007

Session Time

3:10 to 4:00 pm

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

Does a new generation of learners come to university with higher expectations? Has engaging them in course work become more challenging? How to make students interested in course content in the information age? How to motivate them to learn outside of class? How to help them see value in everything they learn? 

In my presentation, I will share my experience teaching sales pitches in a format of the Dragon’s Den TV show to first-year Commerce students. This activity aims to make the process of learning a new presentation skill more engaging, which would result in increased student motivation and positive attitudes towards academic goals. The attendees will view a video example of this simulation (with the students’ permission), and will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the simulation in small groups.  The participants will also be encouraged to ask questions, express their concerns, and share their experience during the presentation.

Presenting Author

Oksana Shkurska, Dalhousie University

The Skeleton Map Project: Learning Through and About Active Learning

Room 1009

Session Time

3:10 to 4:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Interactive Workshop

Abstract

In 2014, we started an innovative approach to a first year Anatomy and Physiology course for nursing students whereby the instructor created skeleton concept maps that students engage with throughout the course, in combination with other flipped classroom strategies. This approach has since been extended into path-physiology and pharmacology courses in the second year. Our research team, which includes two instructors, a SoTL researcher, and an undergraduate student RA, have collected concept maps from participants across several years. We will share our process in working with these learning artifacts, and the student RA will share her own learning in the project and how it connects to her future practice as a classroom teacher. Workshop participants will have opportunity to assess and analyze maps for evidence of learning using exemplars from our data, and consider how they may apply this kind of approach to their own teaching practice and/or SoTL studies.     

Presenting Authors

Dr. Michelle Yeo, Mount Royal University

Sarah Webb, Mount Royal University

Dr. Sarah Hewitt, Mount Royal University

Joanne Bouma, Mount Royal University

 

 

Experiencing Reconciliation: Decolonizing your classroom

Room 1011

Session Time

3:10 to 4:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute interactive workshop

Abstract

Indigenous ways of teaching have long been rooted in a 'learn by doing' approach. This workshop will connect principles of experiential learning with efforts to redress the damage done by the residential school system to Indigenous ways of knowing, and of sharing this knowledge with others.     Participants will engage in three group activities that model Mi'kmaw values of teaching and learning. These activities will help develop an understanding of how the values underlying Mi'kmaw teaching practices are similar to, and distinct from, experiential learning principles.    

Learning outcomes include:

1) Understand some key principles of experiential learning;

2) understand how these principles relate to, and can support, Indigenous ways of knowing and of learning; and

3) an experiential knowledge of activities to decolonize classroom practices.

Presenting Author

Margaret Robinson, Dalhousie University

Mentoring with Intent: A Program to Enhance Teaching Assistants' Learning Experience

Room 1014

Session Time

3:35 to 4:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

The supervision of Teaching Assistants (TAs) naturally results in mentorship, although this may not be explicit or obvious to the TAs. We have developed a formalized mentoring program to tailor the teaching experience to TA’s individual goals. In this session we will present the rationale behind our ‘intentionalized’ mentoring, our approach to mentoring and feedback, how we evaluated our program, and early results on the effectiveness of the program. We will encourage workshop attendees to consider and discuss what type of mentoring they already do, and how that mentoring could become more formalized, or if there is an even an need for it to become more formalized.Participants will discuss alternative mentoring strategies, specifically for undergraduate teaching assistants, and consider various ways the effectiveness of mentoring could be assessed. 

Presenting Authors

Lara Gibson, Dalhousie University 

Mindy McCarville, Dalhousie University

Robin Curtis, Dalhousie University

Talk less. Design more: Creating active learning opportunities in online science courses

Room 1016

Session Time

3:10 to 4:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

Active learning is something we struggle to make a reality both in online courses and in lower level science classes. So, what happens when we put our first-year science courses online? How do we overcome the challenges of a virtual classroom and the disciplinary focus on content delivery?  In our session, we will discuss how we use technology in an online learning environment and resist the content-first approach to design first-year online science courses that use content to develop skills and acquire content simultaneously. We will detail how our team-based backward design process for selecting and implementing  active learning pedagogies guides our daily teaching practices and ensures students have regular opportunities to develop skills while acquiring knowledge. We will present examples of how we use different technologies to bring active learning pedagogies such as problem-based learning, case-based learning and project-based learning into a preparatory chemistry and introductory biology course. 

Presenting Authors

Leigh-Ann MacFarlane, Mount St. Vincent University

Katherine Darvesh, Mount St. Vincent University

Emily Ballantyne, Mount St. Vincent University

 

Thursday, May 2, 2019

8:30 to 9:15 am

Registration and Continental Breakfast

Rowe Atrium

9:15 to 10:30 am - Keynote Speaker

Active learning takes active teaching – reducing resistance by managing risk?

Keynote Speaker, May 2, 2019

Dr. Teri Balser
Provost and Vice President Academic
Dalhousie University

Active learning takes active teaching – reducing resistance by managing risk?

We hear a lot – everywhere – about the importance of active learning. We know that its use is the very best thing for helping students learn. We are exhorted to do new things with our teaching, and to eliminate lecturing. We are told we should flip our classrooms, design brilliant and engaging activities, and become fully learner-centered. But what does it actually take to make that happen? How many of us have tried something new, only to find it resisted mightily by those who are supposed to love it – the students? Or, how many of us have tried to share something exciting with our colleagues and invite them to try it as well, only to have them declare that those things never work and, thank you very much, they will stick to lecturing?

In this session we will explore an aspect of active learning that we may not think about as often: the sense of risk and feelings of vulnerability that come with trying something new – for ourselves as well as our students. Active learning activities can be placed along a Spectrum of Perceived Risk, which likely influences adoption, acceptance, and efficacy. Further, ideas about risk and vulnerability can be extended to ourselves as “active learner-teachers.”When we try new things as teachers, we are also actively learning.

Here we will consider the proposed “risk spectrum” as a framework for reducing the sense of risk associated with trying new things, and explore ideas about how to develop an active learning portfolio that works in almost any setting.

Biography

Professor Teri Balser is Provost and Vice President Academic at Dalhousie University, and a Principal Fellow of the U.K. based Higher Education Academy. In addition to recognition as an accomplished international research scholar, Dr. Balser has received numerous accolades for her teaching accomplishments including a USDA National Excellence in College and University Teaching Award in 2009, and recognition as the 2010 U.S. Professor of the Year for Doctoral and Research Universities (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching).

She is widely known in higher education as a change agent and leader in STEM. She co-founded the Society for Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER), was a National Vision and Change Leadership Fellow with the Partnership for Undergraduate Life Sciences Education (PULSE), and has been a Fulbright-Nehru Distinguished Chair to India to help build capacity at the national level for pedagogically advanced and responsive STEM education. She has long been an active advocate, speaker, and workshop facilitator in research, leadership and teaching. She is cross-appointed as a faculty member at Dalhousie in Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences in the Faculty of Agriculture, and the College of Sustainability.

 

10:30 to 10:50 am

Networking and Nutrition Break

Rowe Atrium

10:50 to 11:40 am - Concurrent Session 5

Exploring active learning: Supporting student teachers as they implement an interactive pedagogical approach in their practicum experiences

Room 1007

Session Time

10:50 to 11:15 am

Session Type

25-minute Presentation

Abstract

The goal of this interactive session is to promote and to model interactive pedagogical approaches that integrate Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and experiential learning experiences. Two undergraduate pre-service teachers applied the essential elements of UDL, namely multiple means of representation, action, expression and engagement in their classrooms and implemented UDL strategies in their practicum settings.  Together, we explored a range of strategies and educational apps that involved secondary students in interactive learning activities using a social constructivist approach. As we reflected on their teaching experiences, we discussed Universal Design for Learning (UDL) theory and the implications of its implementation and highlighted the benefits and challenges of UDL in action. This study adds to the body of research that explores the interconnections of interactive pedagogical approaches and experiential learning. 

Presenting Authors

Ann Dean, State University of New York at New Paltz

Mary Jane Harkins, Mount St. Vincent University

Zhanna Barchuk, Mount St. Vincent University

Laura Knapton, Mount St. Vincent University

Exploring Learning through Doing: A Qualitative Case Study of a Graduate-Level Systematic Review Course

Room 1007

Session Time

11:15 to 11:40 am

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

This presentation will share emerging findings from a phenomenological case study of a graduate-level course on systematic reviews in health care. The course makes extensive and explicit use of active learning with statements about "learning by doing" throughout the syllabus and in-person classes. Students in this course engage with relevant, applied exercises and ongoing feedback, both in-class and online, and deliverables tie directly to the course learning objectives of understanding and applying the research methods needed to plan and conduct a systematic review. This case study explores how students experience the learning process when immersed in an active and interactive learning environment modelling a community of practice. I will report the ongoing phenomenologic analysis of qualitative data collected by interviews, in-class observations, and textual analysis of online discussion forums. This session will further the conversation about student perspectives regarding active learning in the context of a research methods course.   

Presenting Author

Robin Parker, Dalhousie University

Exploring the effects of a program-specific camp on sense of community in undergraduate students

Room 1009

Session Time

10:50 to 11:15 am

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

Camps have commonly been used to achieve educational, therapeutic, and   leisure-related goals. At one Canadian University, first-year Recreation students are required to participate in a one-night orientation camp known as the Recreation Orientation, where they can get to know their peers, faculty, and professionals in the field. The purpose of this program evaluation is to explore the effects of this program-specific, one-night orientation camp on sense of community for first-year Recreation students.  This mixed-methods study used pre- and post-camp survey and interview data from 47 camp participants. Overall, participants‚Äô sense of community increased from pre- to post-camp. As well, key themes were identified such as connection with peers, professors, and professionals, and learning about the program. This presentation will discuss the potential of camp-style orientations as a form of active learning that builds sense of community and social support, serving as a protective factor for student mental health and well-being.    

Presenting Authors

Marisa Buchanan, Dalhousie University

Dr. Barbara Hamilton-Hinch, Dalhousie University

Dr. Karen Gallant, Dalhousie University

 

Everyone is in! Chronicles of a Student-Instructor-Researcher Collaboration to bring Active Research into the Undergraduate Laboratory.

Room 1009

Session Time

11:15 to 11:40 am

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

Sparking students' interest, creating opportunities for growth, and instilling a sense of belonging, are all fundamental ways of engaging students in the undergraduate laboratory and enhancing student learning. To this end, providing students with meaningful research experiences, early on in their programs, is highly desirable. However, traditional approaches that require one-on-one faculty supervision of students, can significantly restrict the number of students involved in research. To overcome this, we developed and implemented an authentic research experience based on a fully integrated design approach involving an undergraduate student, an instructor and a researcher, to ensure that all important components of the undergraduate learning experience and research would be the focus throughout the whole design process. This session describes the work of a truly collaborative team to bring active, real-world research into the undergraduate laboratory, with emphasis on the additive effects of semi-structured laboratory instruction and active-learning practices on student learning. 

Presenting Authors

Dr. Gianna Aleman, Dalhousie University

Dr. Heather Andreas, Dalhousie University

Felicia Licht, Dalhousie University

Building first-year science writing skills with an embedded writing instruction program

Room 1011

Session Time

10:50 - to 11:15 am

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

A foundational skill developed in an undergraduate science program is the ability to find, critically evaluate, and communicate scientific information. Recognizing the importance of writing in the discipline, we leveraged student support services to help meet science writing outcomes in the Biology program. We will present and evaluate a writing instruction model that uses resources from the Writing Center to integrate writing instruction and tutoring into first-year biology labs. The program featured writing-instruction workshops, instructor feedback on drafts and resubmissions, and mandatory consultations with discipline-specific writing tutors during the revision phase. We used surveys, attendance records, and grades to evaluate the program’s success. Writing tutoring was incentivized and well-attended, and we measured a significant improvement on final lab reports grades for students who made use of the program. Over 80% of participants, both science majors and non-majors, reported that the program had prepared them for future courses.

Presenting Authors

David Dansereau, St. Mary's University

L.E. Carmichael, St. Mary's University

Brian Hotson, St. Mary's University

Active Learning Approaches in The Writing Centre: An Example

Room 1011

Session Time

11:15 to 11:40 am

Session Type

25-minute Presentation

Abstract

Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the work done in writing centres, specifically as places of active learning. Often thought of as remedial sites or a fix-it-shops, the teaching offered by writing centres engages students and tutors. It uses approaches that prioritize individual understanding, development, and writerly self-efficacy (confidence to engage and perform academic work).

The four main approaches used by the Dalhousie Writing Centre – tutor training, peer instruction, supplemental instruction, and structured peer review – will form the basis of the presentation. Discussion of how these approaches might be used in classrooms – large and small – or to support the work done in classrooms and suggestions for continued work with these approaches will be offered.

Presenting Authors

Dr. Margie Clow-Bohan, Dalhousie University

Dr. Adam Auch, Dalhousie University

Janice MacDonald-Eddington, Dalhousie University

Question of the Week: Exercise in Futility or Creativity

Room 1014

Session Time

10:50 to 11:15 am

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

The process of science is about discovery, about expanding our knowledge of the natural world. Yet in a typical science classroom students are taught Content (the answers to thousands of science questions asked in the past) leading students to assume that science is learning about what we already know. In this session, I will argue that in addition to Content, it's important for students to have the opportunity to practice asking their own questions so that they do not forget what science actually is. I will also argue, based on years of experience with students and this activity, that students need practice doing this because some students really struggle with it.  

Presenting Author

Todd Bishop, Dalhousie University

Less is More: Business Student Feedback From Unstructured Simulations

Room 1014

Session Time

11:15 to 11:40 am

Session Type

25-minute Research Paper

Abstract

In this research we present the development and student feedback of a new kind of "unstructured" simulation that has minimalist structure which is specifically designed to produce complexity and the emergent properties of complex adaptive behavior to become part of the learning experience.    

Our experience has demonstrated that the student engagement in the "unstructured simulation" is exceptionally high as it provides them the opportunity to more fully utilize their own personalities and interpersonal skills in a more complete and realistic fashion. This provides for much more ownership of the simulation and the associated learning. When students are forced by lack of structure to develop their own set of rules for learning, different patterns of engagement with the material and with the learning environment emerge than is experienced by participating in more traditional structured simulations or case study discussions.  

Presenting Author

Dr. Rick Nason, Dalhousie University

Dr. Scott Comber, Dalhousie University

Perfectly-Imperfect: Low-Budget, High Impact Active Learning Experiences to Explore Challenging Course Theories.

Room 1016

Session Time

10:50 to 11:15 am

Session Type

25-minute Presentation

Abstract

In Summer 2017, our teaching team set out on a quest to improve alignment between the lecture and laboratory components of our course. The laboratory, a naturally active learning environment, gave the perfect venue for potential small group exercises; trouble was, how do we find the time to develop these new activities, do resources or materials already exist to achieve the goals we had in mind, where would they fit into the existing laboratory program, how would these new developments be funded, and most importantly, how would they be received by the students?  This session chronicles a journey in which the author (and teaching team) have implemented several new active learning opportunities in their course by accessing current resources, finding low-budget solutions, and perhaps the most challenging…learning to be satisfied with releasing activities even if they are not “perfect”.

Presenting Author

Dr. Jennifer MacDonald, Dalhousie University

 

11:50 am to 1:00 pm

Lunch

Rowe Managment Building Atrium

1:10 to 2:00 pm - Concurrent Session 6

Active Learning in an Instructorless Environment

Room 1007

Session Time

1:10 to 2:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

Developed in response to the 2017 NSSE results and to concerns that students were increasingly underprepared for university, Mount 101 is a university-wide initiative that is designed for all new Mount students (approximately 800 students annually). It consists of a mandatory online program and a peer mentorship program, both of which are designed to help students transition successfully to university. One of its key goals is to engage students in an active learning environment. However, unlike traditional courses, Mount 101 does not have an instructor. This session explores the ways in which Mount 101 engages students in active learning utilizing components such as embedded feedback and interactive activities. This session will explore the development of the program and how it has engaged students in its pilot year.

Presenting Authors

Dr. Marisha Caswell, Mount St. Vincent University

Emily Ballantyne, Mount St. Vincent University

Elias Tsirigotis, Mount St. Vincent University

Enhancing Students' Motivation, Creativity, and Learning in Chemistry Courses using Case Study Extra Credit Projects

Room 1009

Session Time

1:10 to 2:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

The results of performed active learning method in chemistry courses not only show enhanced level of student engagement, increased interest in the subject matter, and in-depth learning but also demonstrate how crafting an extra credit project in the form of case studies has alleviated the fear of students approaching their professors. Survey data collected show that an overwhelming majority of students expressed extremely strong interest in this new pedagogical approach and stated that it enhanced their ability to be a critical thinker and creative chemistry student.  

One of the performed project styled as a card game by students in the General Chemistry course at StFX will be presented as an example. The basic game allows players to practice the fundamentals of chemistry and learn about higher level concepts.  

This team developed the project to enhance their own understanding of course material while creating a tool for other students to do the same.

Presenting Authors

Dr. Fari Fathi, St. Francis Xavier University

Dr. Shadi Dalili, University of Toronto Scarborough

Sarah Silver Slayter, St. Francis Xavier University

Graydon Staples, St. Francis Xavier University

Abigail Law, St. Francis Xavier University

Gary Jones, St. Francis Xavier University

Collaboratively creating successful courses: A learner-focused design

Room 1011

Session Time

1:10 to 2:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Interactive Workshop

Abstract

Course development process in higher education vary significantly because the needs surrounding a course, vary dramatically.  Also, the type of support and skills of those charged with the task of course creation vary as well.  This session will provide the context and process for such a course creation event shared between faculty and educational developer.  During a course creation event, everyone brings varying levels of experiences and expertise to the process.  The expertise in pedagogy, course content, and technology along with the experience in teaching and learning are some of the key elements in this dynamic process.

Though each approach to the process is informed by different levels of experience, both can easily align when it is consistently supported by a shared vision. This shared vision includes a learner-focused design approach in order to create an engaged and positive experience.

This workshop will include interactive breakouts, and lively discussion in hopes to inspire a new way of approaching learner-focused design.

Presenting Authors

Sarah Jane Dooley, Dalhousie University

Chad O'Brien, Dalhousie University

Nursing Student Engagement and Participatory Learning in Advanced Communication Labs

Room 1014

Session Time

1:10 to 2:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Interactive Workshop

Abstract

This session is designed to review a novel approach to active learning that engages undergraduate nursing students in learning communication strategies for clinical practice. These advanced communication simulation labs offer a unique opportunity for students to work in a group with an instructor and simulated patient, develop the necessary skills to helping patients work through problems, and create strategies that foster positive change. Co-presenters include nursing students at the doctoral, masters, and undergraduate levels who participated in the advanced communication simulation labs within the role of instructor, observer, and student learner respectively.

The session will include a description of the format of the lab, an overview of the three-stage model, the lessons learned from different perspectives of the co-authors (who are all members of equity seeking groups), and a simulated patient scenario that will be used with the permission of the School of Nursing.

Presenting Authors

Jennifer Searle, Dalhousie University

Leah Carrier, Dalhousie University

Jasmine Moreash, Dalhousie University

Using Open Educational Resources as a Catalyst for Active Learning

Room 1016

Session Time

1:10 to 2:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

Open educational resources (OER), "teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with intellectual property licenses that facilitate the free use, adaptation and distribution of resources", (UNESCO, n.d.), can make education more affordable and inclusive and offer greater customization and flexibility than traditional publisher-released materials, which brings tremendous potential to promote active learning.

This session will present how OER was incorporated in a face-to-face business graduate preparation course for international students and how these open resources served as a catalyst to promote active learning. Furthermore, we will discuss benefits and obstacles to using OER, learners' feedback on the use of open resources, and outcomes of the course redesign, including impact on student learning. Various examples of activities will be presented and participants will be challenged to think of ways to use OER to foster active learning in their own contexts and courses.

Presenting Author

Luiza Guimaraes-Santos, Brock University

2:10 to 3:00 pm - Concurrent Session 7

Chaos and Stories: Creating Deep Learning in a Theory Class

Room 1007

Session Time

2:10 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

In undergraduate programs, lecture format is a traditional approach for theory classes. Adkins (2018), however, notes a trend in higher education toward facilitation of an "engaging and meaningful classroom experience" (p. 34), where students are individually accountable for their own learning. Instructors at Red Deer College employed a combination of lecture and facilitation of small groups, creating engaging learning opportunities and connection to praxis. Interactive learning was used as a way to engage students in deeper learning of theory. "The power of collaborative learning is that students engage on a different level than they do when listening to a lecture" (Giddens, Caputi, & Rodgers, 2015, p. 115). Peer instruction, classroom technology, exemplars, and small group activities allowed students to understand and apply challenging concepts. Student feedback indicated application of concepts and increased confidence occurred as result of instructor teaching and learning approaches in theory classrooms. 

Presenting Authors

Gaylene Potter, Red Deer College

Elizabeth Farrell, Red Deer College

Inescapable Skills: Using Games to Improve Participation in Research Skills Retention Testing

Room 1009

Session Time

2:10 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Interactive Workshop

Abstract

Using the popular Escape Room format, we will demonstrate how games can be used to evaluate legal research skills retention over time. This interactive session will recreate many of the puzzles used in the Law Library Escape Room. Participants will have the opportunity to learn specific legal research skills we teach in our mandatory instruction program, and then test their new skill by collaboratively solving the puzzles in order to 'escape'. The session will also present how the Escape Room was constructed and used as a method of evaluation.

Through first-hand experience, participants will understand how collaborative games can be used to evaluate learning retention, and will have the opportunity to evaluate and apply gamification techniques to their teaching and evaluation.  

Presenting Authors

Dr. David Michels, Dalhousie University

Hannah Steeves, Dalhousie University

Journaling as a learning tool in the sciences

Room 1011

Session Time

2:10 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Interactive Workshop

Abstract

In jargon heavy sciences courses, where there is a lot of new vocabulary and complex principles to learn, it is sometime difficult for students to see the application of what we are teaching.  For the past three years I have used journaling in my first year Earth Science classes to help bridge that gap. In their journals, students are encouraged to connect what they are learning in the classroom with the world around them. Sometimes the entries are assigned, such as finding and reading news articles about current events and research; however, they are always encouraged to journal about how the course can be linked to their other classes, and to pose their own questions about the subject as it related to their communities. This presents students with opportunities to explore related subjects on their own and, I hope, promotes curiosity-driven inquiry while allowing students to use their creativity

Presenting Author

Dr. Alexandra Arnott, Dalhousie University

Active learning in History undergraduate classroom with the Historic Nova Scotia Project.

Room 1014

Session Time

2:10 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

This session will highlight a recent collaboration between three Atlantic Canadian Universities and the Historic Nova Scotia digital platform. The presenters will discuss the development and implementation of undergraduate student assignments focused on promoting active learning. Through this session, participants will learn more about innovative approaches to public history through online student collaborations like the Historic Nova Scotia project. Participants can expect to find out more about becoming contributors to Historic Nova Scotia, what is planned for the next phase of the project and potential projects or assignments that can be used in your undergraduate classroom. 

Presenting Authors

Jane Arnold, Cape Breton University

Lachlan MacKinnon, Cape Breton University

Corey Slumkoski, Mount St. Vincent University

Roger Gillis, Dalhousie University

Sharon Murray, Dalhousie University

Lessons Learned from Implementing a Multi-Year Peer-to-Peer Learning Leisure Education Initiative

Room 1016

Session Time

2:10 to 3:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Interactive Workshop

Abstract

Students in three different Leisure Studies courses at Dalhousie University have participated in an innovative initiative to link students as collaborative learners through a leisure education program named Steps to Connect. Although the program was originally designed for delivery in community recreation settings, it has provided a vehicle for supporting and implementing peer-to-peer learning in a university context. Examining students‚Äô perceptions of their involvement with and learning from peers is important for advancing knowledge about the role of peers in experiential learning. In the session we will facilitate participants' engagement in two of Steps to Connect program activities. This will be interwoven with information about the Steps to Connect program, and about what we‚Äôve learned from trying to implement experiential learning involving coordination of three different cohorts of students.  

The basis for this learning is thematic analysis of students' reflections papers (provided with informed consent by students) and focus groups.

Presenting Authors

Dr. Susan Hutchinson, Dalhousie University

Kim Woodford, Dalhousie University

Cassandra Manuel, Dalhousie University

Barbara Hamilton-Hinch, Dalhousie University

Christie Stilwell, Dalhousie University

3:10 to 4:00 pm - Concurrent Session 8

Experiential and Community-Based Learning in a Law School Environment: Prospects and Challenges

Room 1007

Session Time

3:10 - 4:00 p.m.

Session Type

50 minutes

Abstract

Prof. Michelle Williams

A Community-Based Model for Active Learning

This session will explore how a seminar course can be undertaken in partnership with community organizations in order to facilitate collaborative learning; immerse students in a culturally-specific (diverse) experience; promote knowledge exchange with people directly affected by the content matter; and enrich the quality of the research being undertaken. The African Nova Scotians and the Law seminar course at the Schulich School of Law involves:  (1) holding classes within significant community sites and organizations (e.g. Black Cultural Centre, Africville); (2) with African Nova Scotian community leaders and lawyers; and (3) addressing pressing legal issues identified by the African Nova Scotian community. Students produce a range of research-based products (e.g. op-eds, case studies, fact-sheets, papers) of benefit to the community. The course culminates with interactive research presentations in a workshop setting with individual and organizational community members who are able to use the research to further their respective goals. This community-based interactive model could be applied across disciplines and with a range of different communities.  The workshop will highlight the benefits and challenges of this approach.

Prof. Nayha Archaya

Focusing on the conference theme of ‘deep engagement,’ I will relate how I have adapted my approach to course design to decentralize my own notions of an ideal lawyer and to prioritize students developing their own deep and unique relationship to the subject matter being taught. I believe that doing so results in authentic student engagement, which fosters passion and creativity, which I view as essential to shaping a life of meaningful service and contribution. I will share three practical strategies that I have introduced in my Alternative Dispute Resolution course, which I teach at the Schulich School of Law, all of which can be easily adopted in most subject matters.

Prof. Olabisi D. Akinkugbe

"Experiential Approach to Teaching International Trade Law"

Professor Akinkugbe’s presentation will focus on a project that he is currently designing to supplement his upper year seminar in International Trade Law. The  aim is to gradually incorporate an experiential component that will morph into a Trade Law Clinic at the Schulich School of Law. The Clinic will focus on the province of Nova Scotia in particular, and Maritime region in general with a view to building a generating student interest in working with trade bureau, non-governmental trade-related organizations and institutions on projects that connect the region to other parts of Canada and the world. The talk will focus on the projects that students will be working on as well the evaluation component.

Presenting Authors

Michelle Williams, Dalhousie University

Nayha Archaya, Dalhousie University

Olabisi D. Akinkugbe, Dalhousie University

But What I Really Want to Do is Direct: Developing Transferable Skills Through Active Learning.

Room 1009

Session Time

3:10 to 4:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

This 50 minute presentation will introduce and describe the Directing Assignment from the Advance Theatre class. It will present the aspects of the assignment, describe how it works, and explore the skills developed. The presentation will also examine the transferability of the skills. As part of the presentation, attendees will be asked to develop a rubric to assess the assignment to mirror the students’ involvement in helping to develop their own assessments. While the presentation will explore this concept from the discipline of Theatre, it will explore how the same approach can be applied in other disciplines. Finally, there will be time at the end of the presentation for questions and a discussion around the ideas raised in the presentation.

Presenting Author

Greg Doran, University of Prince Edward Island

I Can Explain: Strategies for Helping Students Develop their Explanation-Building Skills

Room 1011

Session Time

3:10 to 4:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

Students often struggle to produce good verbal and written explanations in our classes, and no wonder: while they have many opportunities to practice consuming explanations provided in lectures or readings, their chances to practice building explanations themselves are often limited, lacking the support and feedback required in developing this challenging skill. In this workshop we will explore how to shift this balance. Participants will discuss the features of explanations in their own discipline and in others, and describe some aspects and areas of difficulty that are characteristic of novice explanations in their discipline. In exploring how students’ expertise might develop through regular practice and feedback, we will build concept maps using a flexible, low-tech approach and learn how students can build and use such maps as supports for constructing explanations, while considering how to motivate students to engage in explanation-building in an environment where explanations are so easily looked up.

Presenting Author

Gillian Gass, Dalhousie University

Lights, Camera, Action: Mental Illness, Video Production, and Active Learning Pedagogy

Room 1014

Session Time

3:10 to 4:00 pm

Session Type

50-minute Presentation

Abstract

A psychology faculty member and a Music faculty member joined forces in an effort to revitalize an upper level psychology course and engage students in a meaningful and lasting learning experience. Psychology students were supported in writing, filming, editing, and producing a series of short films focused on raising awareness about mental illness. Films were screened to a larger audience in a workshop style event at the end of the semester.  Conference participants will have an opportunity to observe the powerful outcome of the final screening workshop and the transformative impact of engaging students in creative, collaborative and active learning. It is our hope that conference participants will be inspired to step outside the box," to open themselves to more unusual interdisciplinary collaborations and to rethink course assignments and the ways in which we might facilitate students in applying knowledge to create social change.

Presenting Authors

Dr. Jocelyn Lymburner, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Dr. Gordon Cobb, Kwantlen Polytechnic University

 

Active Learning: Do we really know how to foster interest, passion and connect the learning that takes place to course outcomes?

Room 1016

Session Time

3:10 - 4:00 p.m.

Session Type

50-minute Research Paper

Abstract

Chi and Wylie (2014) stated that there are challenges in implementing active learning.  Burke and Fedorek (2017) found that participants in the flipped classroom reported lower rates of engagement than participants in online and more ‘traditional’ settings despite reports that flipped classrooms encouraged more engagement.  Addressing engagement challenges requires more than simply adding on a set of group activities. This session will be of interest to participants who want to critically examine current research on the nature and efficacy of ‘active learning’ and who want to discuss key principles that can help implement active learning in their classrooms.  While active learning has much to offer, it is necessary consider how and to what effect we can meaningfully engage students cognitively and emotionally.     

Presenting Author

Dr. Frederick French, Mount St. Vincent University