Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences
Department of Human Ecology
Kathryn Chandler, Deanna Williamson
Needs assessment for enhanced field supervisor engagement within the Human Ecology Practicum Program
This study aims to address a gap identified through a previous study of the human ecology practicum program (HEPP). The previous findings indicated that program stakeholders perceived a lack of engagement by field supervisors in the practicum process but the exact nature of the lack of engagement was not well articulated. In the proposed study, the perspectives and engagement needs of HEPP field supervisors will be explored using focus group interviews and a survey. In addition to fostering enhanced collaboration between program partners, the study should provide guidance on ways to develop mechanisms and tools that increase supervisor engagement, enrich the overall supervisory experience, and improve the learning experience for students. The findings should be relevant to other post-secondary programs seeking ways to improve experiential learning programs.
Department of Renewable Resources
Guillermo Hernandez Ramirez, Sylvie Quideau, Derek MacKenzie, Miles Dyck
On&Off DigiMapping: A mobile learning tool for teaching the geospatial context of soils, vegetation and hydrology in the landscapes from fields
Understanding geospatial concepts and using mapping tools are essential abilities for professionals working on natural resources management. Universities are expected to build these mapping foundations. Our students need to learn to associate where and how resources such as soils, water and vegetation fit in the landscape. However, existing approaches to landscape interpretation using paper maps can be considered pedagogically inflexible and disengaging for contemporary students. Therefore, we propose to develop a mobile learning tool to address this need. Our DigiMapping pilot project will compile and integrate relevant digital maps, and use an existing application (App) software to deliver contents and exercises. Students will use portable devices to enable educational activities conducted in small groups in field locations. This project will impact several University courses attended by an average of 344 students per year, and it has the potential to be extended to many audiences across and beyond campus.
Related Story: Novel app offers layers of maps (ALES News [May 23, 2017])
Faculty of Arts
Department of Art and Design
Arts 100: Gamifying Student Engagement in the Faculty of Arts
This project will evaluate various options for the design and delivery of Arts 100, a fully online, gamified courselet to be required of all future Faculty of Arts undergraduate students. Arts 100 will encourage students to be proactive with respect to their own academic, career and personal development. Research has linked student engagement to academic achievement. Arts 100 will promote student engagement in a number of ways: students will explore program options, majors, program enhancements (e.g. Study Abroad and Community Service Learning), academic expectations, and available academic and personal supports.
Department of Modern Languages and Cultural Studies
Taking language teaching to task: Implementing a Task-based language teaching approach in Spanish classes
This project examines the implementation of task-based instruction in beginner and intermediate level Spanish language courses. This type of instruction focuses on language use as the driving force for learning a language, and integrates the development of knowledge and skills within meaningful communicative practice in situations that students would encounter in the real world. This approach emphasizes learning by doing and collaboration among students as essential elements in language development. Despite its widespread acceptance among Second Language Acquisition scholars, task-based instruction is still not commonly used in language programs at universities. With the implementation of this approach, we intend to provide instruction that is tailored to the needs of students at the University of Alberta and that, at the same time, results in students achieving proficiency levels that match international standards.
Related story: Novel app offers layers of maps (ALES News [May 23, 2017])
Department of Science
Using Learning Philosophies to Develop Self-Regulated Learners
Metacognition has been shown to improve general student learning outcomes, but little evidence is available for its impact on learning specific course material. Learning philosophies are a possible approach to developing student metacognition. This TLEF project builds on McCalla research in following the Fall 2015 cohort of biology majors through to their biology capstone course, and additionally gathering data from other student cohorts. This project will determine whether students’ intellectual development, measured by the Learning Environment Preferences survey, and learning outcomes, as indicated by exam scores, changes with the development of their learning philosophy. This study addresses the question of whether the maturation of students as learners can be affected by their development of a learning philosophy.
Faculty of Education
Department of Educational Psychology
Lia Daniels, Virginia Tze
Is boredom contagious? Examining transmission from instructor to student
It is not uncommon to hear university students complain about boring classes. The negative effects of boredom, which are at times larger than that of anxiety, have resulted in a concerted effort from researchers to identify causes of learners’ boredom and recommend strategies to mitigate this emotion. However, the research has overlooked the possibility that emotions may be transmitted from instructors to their students. In other words, students may “catch” boredom if their instructors are themselves bored. For instructors boredom may be present in the planning, delivery, or even grading of a course. The purposes of our study are (1) to measure instructors’ causes of boredom, (2) to examine the extent boredom is transmitted from instructors to students, and (3) to develop a pamphlet offering strategies to instructors to mitigate their own boredom in hopes of reducing student boredom.
Department of Secondary Education
Dwayne Donald, Christine Stewart, Bob Cardinal (Elder)
Holistic Approaches to Life and Living: A Curricular and Pedagogical Inquiry
This graduate course will conduct a respectful and creative inquiry into the significance of the holistic Cree concepts of wicihitowin (good relations) and wahkohtowin (extended kinship relations) in guiding us to imagine more ethically relational ways of living and thinking. Through participation in collaborative practices, we will work together, on and off campus, inside and outside, engaging in seasonal and land-based learning to deepen our understandings of the pedagogical possibilities that these holistic approaches provide. How can these commitments to ethical relationality guide us to shift our understandings of life, living, and the responsibilities of scholarship today? Working closely with an Elder, students will combine creative and conventional scholarly research practices with experiential learning and with opportunities to engage in holism as a sacred ecology wisdom teaching as they are led in ceremonial and spiritual practices which provide connections to these insights.
Faculty of Engineering
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Ahmed Qureshi, Suzanne Kresta, Jason Carey, Loren Wyard-Scott
Transdisciplinary Design Education for Engineering Undergraduates
Today’s engineers work in a complex design space and are called upon to work in transdisciplinary teams in order to develop efficient solutions to interdisciplinary problems. Despite this new reality, engineering design curriculum remains focused on teaching subject specific problem resolution approach of various engineering disciplines. As a result, engineers graduating from different disciplines have no common basis from which to think about engineering design processes. We propose developing curriculum using educational tools such as Bloom’s taxonomy to ensure that fundamental aspects of design processes are addressed in engineering design curriculum. This will be done by benchmarking current practices with contemporary design methodologies while considering Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board standards and regulations to develop a design curriculum to be taught across the Faculty of Engineering, which will provide students with a common set of fundamental cognitive and creative skills to rely upon as they create our world anew.
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry
Department of Family Medicine
Shelley Ross, Oksana Babenko, Michelle Morros, Mike Donoff, Paul Humphries, Constance Lebrun, Darren Nichols, Shirley Schipper, Mercedes Chan, Jennifer Walton, Vijay Daniels, Anna Oswald
Perceptions of feedback in workplace based training: Developing teaching materials based on evidence from an observational study
Learners who excel at self-regulated learning show adaptive behaviours, learn more deeply, and retain information longer. Given the advantages to being a proficient self-regulated learner, it is imperative that teachers create environments that enable and foster self-regulated learning. A key to doing this is through delivery of effective formative feedback. However, giving effective formative feedback is a complex process with many challenges. Given the vital importance of feedback in professional training, it is essential that we understand how feedback is given and perceived in the workplace in professional training. We wish to examine how much feedback occurs in workplace-based teaching from three perspectives: the teacher’s, the learner(s)’, and that of an objective external observer. With this evidence, we can develop teaching materials that train teachers to give effective formative feedback, and help learners to recognize when formative feedback is happening so that they can get the full benefit for self-regulated learning.
School of Dentistry
Steven Patterson, Tyler Verhaeghe, Aidan Rowe
21st Century Cognitive Apprenticeship: An Interactive Digital Textbook to Teach Dentistry Students from Classroom to Clinic
Dental education closely emulates that of an apprentice’s interactions with a skilled master. Collins, Brown and Newman’s (1989) cognitive apprenticeship educational theory provides a framework for understanding this unique interaction, which includes modeling, coaching, scaffolding, articulation, reflection and exploration. However, what happens when the skilled master is unavailable the night before the final examination, busy helping another student in clinic or, even worse, retiring? The iBook, an interactive digital textbook, combines text, photos, videos, 3-D models and interactive animations, and may offer the potential to not only capture but also replicate some of the roles of the skilled master. We will demonstrate how the development and implementation of a complete denture prosthodontics iBook offers a 21st century approach to cognitive apprenticeship. The journey from classroom to clinic can encourage student articulation, reflection and exploration when courses are designed to integrate a tool that provides continuous access to modeling, coaching and scaffolding.
Department of Surgery
Bin Zheng, Barbara Wilson-Keates, Pierre Boulanger, How Lee
Learning in Augmented Reality: Providing Immediate Feedback to Interprofessional Healthcare Students in Performing Healthcare Procedures
In learning healthcare procedures with multiple steps, trainees often need to split their attention between performing the task and following instructions. We propose to develop an innovative teaching platform to facilitate student learning with minimal distractions. The platform incorporates the augmented reality (AR) to display instructions to students’ peripheral vision while practicing healthcare procedures. A new computing algorithm will be developed to augment instructional messaging in an optimal format and timeframe without interrupting the trainee. We will compare learning outcomes between direct vision and AR guiding conditions, and use evidence extracted from eye-tracking to reveal trainees’ learning behaviors. Scientists and educators from Medicine, Nursing and Engineering at the University of Alberta are collaborating to teach skills with innovative approaches. We anticipate that the proposed AR training platform will improve quality of education for healthcare professional students.
Faculty of Nursing
Pauline Paul, Joanne Olson, Jude Spiers
We are in this together: Learning in an online cohort PhD program
In Canada, there is a shortage of nursing scholars to fill academic positions. Many nurses have difficulty accessing quality doctoral education as they often cannot easily relocate. Online learning is one way to overcome this challenge. To date research has focused on understanding learning in online courses as opposed to online programs. The Faculty of Nursing initiated an online cohort of its PhD program in 2015. This offers a unique opportunity to study the experience of learning in an online cohort program. Using focused-ethnographic methods, the goal of this project is to understand how students learn to become scholars in the context of an online cohort approach. Increased understanding and knowledge will lead to the development of guidelines and best practices for others looking to provide alternative approaches to doctoral education.
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine
Martin Ferguson-Pell, Janet Welch, Neil Gibson, Jana Rieger, Pierre Boulanger, Sukhvinder Dhillon, Iain Muir
Immersive Learning Objects in Four Dimensions (ILO-4D): Applications in biomedical and health professional training
Healthcare training requires learning in multiple dimensions. Arthroscopic surgery or heart catheterization for example, involve a sense of force (resistance to insertion) and navigation in 3D space, disconnected from natural frames of reference. Animal models and cadavers have limitations due to differences in anatomy and the absence of pathology. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and Haptics (VR-AR-HA) offer multi- dimensional visualization and simulation to enhance learning experiences. These affordable technologies do not require special facilities and can enable students to practice at home or in conventional classrooms before accessing scarce anatomy and advanced simulation facilities. Using VR-AR-HA simulations students experience pathologies and anatomical abnormalities that may otherwise take a whole career to encounter. This TLEF will build capacity to develop VR-AR-HA learning objects for healthcare professional training, introduced in a controlled way to learning sessions with students and evaluated using a mixed methods strategy in at least 3 courses.
Teresa Paslawski, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Co-PI, Geoff Bostick, Department of Physical Therapy
Mark Hall, Mary Roduta Roberts, Lu-Anne McFarlane, Jill Hall, Chris Zarski, Mark Gierl
Building Capacity for Best-Practices in Assessment
Purpose: We propose a novel grassroots project that involves collaboration between health sciences faculty and experts in assessment to efficiently generate test items. We will use a collaborative approach that creates an item building framework linked to course and curriculum objectives and a shared assessment resource.
Innovation: The item bank we will produce provides exciting opportunities to facilitate assessment of inter-disciplinary competencies. It also facilitates an efficient process for ensuring alignment between assessment, content delivery and curricular objectives. This will set up a structure to explore other methods of assessment in a collaborative, cross- faculty framework.
Impact on teaching and learning: The proposed approach guiding item generation also guides test interpretation. Test scores derived from this process should be more interpretable, allowing faculty to make better judgements about student performance and therefore providing clearer and more directed feedback.
Faculty of Science
Department of Biological Sciences
Randal Arsenault, Carla Peck, Kari Rasmussen, Zhi Jones, Colleen Kawalilak
Assessing the effectiveness of community service learning and discovery learning to promote intercultural competencies in students who study abroad and students who do not study abroad
Scholars realize that immersion in different cultures while studying abroad does not necessarily lead to intercultural learning and competencies. This may also imply that study abroad in itself, is not necessary for intercultural learning. If, as hypothesized, intercultural learning in study abroad programs is facilitated by practice and reflection, and being put outside of one’s comfort zone to interact and engage with other cultures, can the same methods be used at home campus to promote intercultural learning? The purpose of this study is to assess how well University of Alberta study abroad programs are promoting intercultural learning, using quantitative and qualitative mixed methods. The findings will further be used to incorporate community service learning and discovery learning into home campus courses, as an educational intervention, to promote intercultural learning.
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Murray Gingras, Lindsey Leighton, Mary-Jane Turnell, Lisa Budney
Trilobite Learning Centre
Proposed herein is a learning center based on the extensive University of Alberta trilobite collection, which was collected by Emeritus Professor Brian Chatterton and his students. The collection narrates more than 290 million years of evolutionary history and provides a long-term teaching asset to be used in the education in evolution, ancient ecosystems, animal classification and advanced paleontological studies. The facility is aimed to support course-work in existing classes, undergraduate research, and blended learning initiatives. The facility is proposed to adjoin the existing Paleontology Museum housed in the Earth Science Building. Threedimensional up-scaled models of trilobites will permit handling and comparison of high-quality replicas of key specimens selected for their scientific importance. Cabinets and interactive displays would be used to link the collection to exceptional examples of evolutionary theory, the history of life and the concepts central to a number of courses in science.