Augustana Conference on Undergraduate Research and Innovative Teaching

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Thanks to all who attended ACURIT 2022 - please check back in Fall 2022 for updates on ACURIT 2023


Learning by Doing

Camrose, Alberta, Canada May 5 - 6, 2022


Learning by Doing May 5 - 6, 2022

How can we engage our students and get them invested in their learning? How can we ensure that the learning that occurs in and out of our classrooms achieves our learning objectives and is transferable to other classes and the workplace? How do students experience and understand our different pedagogical practices that aim to achieve learning through doing?

This year's conference will focus on strategies used to get students "doing learning" in undergraduate classrooms, as well as research and reflection on these practices and their impact on student learning. Topics may include, but are not limited to: classroom activities and assignments aimed at practical demonstrations of knowledge, reflective practices for students and teachers, the challenges of active learning in large classes, experiential learning, project-based learning, and community-based learning.




The conference will be held University of Alberta, Augustana Campus in Camrose Alberta (Map of location), 90km southeast of Edmonton. We will be meeting in various rooms in the Augustana Forum (Detailed campus map).

Getting to Camrose

The conference is being held at:

University of Alberta Augustana Campus 4901-46 Avenue Camrose, Alberta, Canada; T4V 2R3. (Map of location)

If you require a ride from the Edmonton International Airport (YEG map), please contact Mélanie Methot. There are 6 car rental options from the airport.

Staying in Camrose

There are several options for staying in Camrose. Some of the most popular hotels are: Norseman Inn (From $99 CAD/night) Ramada Inn (From $129 CAD/night) Complete list and location of all accommodations in Camrose.



Learning by Doing May 5 - 6, 2022




Registration Information

Thanks to all who attended ACURIT 2022 - please check back in Fall 2022 for updates on ACURIT 2023



Questions can be directed to




Steve Lillebuen, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Macewan University, Edmonton, AB and recipient of the Arthur Ellis Award for his first non-fiction book.

Fostering Collaborative Learning During 'Tainted Water,' a National Student Journalism Project


"Journalism is undergoing a profound transformation. Media scholar Mark Deuze argues that large newsrooms are being replaced with a fragmented workforce of entrepreneurial journalists-a tech-savvy, globally-minded group who work together on projects from locations around the world. Therefore, a challenge for journalism educators is teaching students how to succeed in an increasingly collaborative, horizontally networked, and fragmented industry. Last year, a group of journalism professors came together with the aim of solving this problem. How can we teach collaborative skills in the classroom when collaboration in journalism is occurring between cities and countries? The result was "Tainted Water," a major investigative series led by student journalists from nine universities with key findings published in The Toronto Star and broadcast on Global News. In this talk, I will outline how undergraduate students at MacEwan University learned by doing-in this case, investigative journalism through the creation of a national reporting network to examine lead in drinking water. The network was facilitated by the Institute for Investigative Journalism at Concordia University to simulate the real-world trend of collaborative journalism. It was also an experiential learning strategy focused on completing a team-based assignment. The 15 students in my class knocked on hundreds of doors across Edmonton and Alberta, and conducted dozens of interviews, before collecting water samples from residents, which were then sent to accredited labs for analysis. They weren't alone. Pooling skills and resources, my students used online tools and forums to share their research and problem-solve with students from Vancouver to Halifax. During this talk, I will discuss strategies for managing a collaborative project and how to partner with another department, university, or with industry. I will also share reflections from students involved in the project, the impact it had on their learning, and comment on the links to employability."


Steve Lillebuen has a PhD in journalism and is an instructor for the Department of Communication at MacEwan University. He teaches courses in communication, investigative journalism, interviewing, and online news reporting. As a journalist, he has worked in newsrooms in Canada and Australia, and he brings that experience into the classroom to explore how journalism could be practiced in the future. A recipient of the Arthur Ellis Award for his first non-fiction book, he is completing his second book while continuing with his research into journalism ethics and crime reporting practices in the digital age.


ACURIT is a small, collegial international conference in Camrose, AB (one hour southeast of Edmonton). The conference provides a place for people engaged in undergraduate education to meet, learn, and discuss ways to improve teaching and the student experience. There are no concurrent sessions and registrations are limited in order to preserve the quality of the experience. This year we have added poster, cracker barrel, and teaching tricks in 300 seconds sessions to allow presenters to demonstrate and attendees to experience first-hand our conference theme of "Learning by Doing".