TLEF 2014-15 Adjudication Results

Faculty of Arts

Department of Philosophy
Kathrin Koslicki, Jana Grekul, Laura Servage ($13,835)

"The Trial and Execution of Socrates": An Interdisciplinary Course Incorporating Blended and Project-Based Learning

This project develops an undergraduate course in Philosophy which focuses on the trial and execution of Socrates in 399 B.C. The proposed course is innovative through its unique combination of interdisciplinary, blended and project-based approaches to teaching and learning: (i) it brings together an interdisciplinary group of experts who will contribute a series of pre-recorded guest-lectures; (ii) it utilizes a blended or "flipped" format in which recorded content is made available to students outside of the classroom, thereby freeing up classroom time for cognitively sophisticated non-lecture-based learning activities; (iii) it applies the insights of project-based learning by asking students to develop and present a comparative case-study in which they bring to bear the course's historical content on pressing challenges facing citizens of democratic societies today. Overall, this project aims to create an exceptional learning environment for University of Alberta students by yielding sustainable pedagogical innovation through increased collaboration among many sectors of the academy.

Keywords: Interdisciplinarity, Blended Learning, Project-Based Learning, Collaboration

Department of Sociology
Jana Grekul, Paul Joosse ($6,374)

Exploring the Impact of Graduate Student Teaching Assistantships on First-Time Teaching Experiences

Recent trends in higher education have seen an increased reliance on graduate students for teaching large introductory classes in the arts and social sciences. Previous research suggests that acclimatizing to the role of principal instructor can be an angst-ridden process for graduate students. This pilot study will explore the efficacy of prior training-graduate student teaching assistantships (TAs) in particular-on first-time teaching. How well do TAs prepare graduate students for their first teaching experience? How does this prior pedagogical training improve the experiences of undergraduates undergoing instruction? In addition to developing a framework for expanding research on graduate student vocational training, we will develop a set of recommendations that will be relevant to graduate offices that are tasked with preparing graduate students for the instructional aspects of their future careers.

Keywords: graduate student instructors, teaching assistants, pedagogical training, first-time instruction

Augustana Campus

Department of Social Sciences
Lars Hallstrom, Janet Wesselius, Anne-Marie Link, William Foster, Karsten Mundel, Ingrid Urberg, Ian Blokland, Srilata Ravi ($74,066)

Reforming and Evaluating the Augustana Instructional Environment: A Multi-faceted Learning Intervention

The Learning Experiences Research Committee (LERC) at the Augustana Faculty has identified two structural changes that are anticipated to yield significant pedagogical benefits to both students and faculty at the Campus: (1) the adoption of a compressed Fall (September) and Winter (January) term (with the possibility of a May term as well) in order to facilitate more specialized teaching venues, international and experiential learning opportunities and cohort-based learning structures; and (2) the establishment of a common first-year experience in order to further establish social, community and pedagogical linkages to the structures already in place at Augustana. These interventions are new to both Augustana and the University of Alberta, and are significant not only from an institutional standpoint, but perhaps more importantly have been demonstrated elsewhere to positively affect students' educational and social (ie, normative) outcomes. The Faculty must now determine and analyze best practices for implementation, a corresponding evaluation plan and linkages to other retention and recruitment initiatives, data and evaluation. By examining the nature and effects of these 2 interventions, this study will improve our knowledge of the liberal education experience at Augustana, refine our capacity to positively impact student engagement, learning and outcomes, and better situate program assessment within a Faculty-wide context (see for example Carr 2000).

Keywords: Structural reform, Retention, Engagement, Pedagogy, First-Year, Assessment

Campus Saint-Jean

Samira ElAtia, Heather Kanuka, Osmar Zaiane, Donald Ipperciel ($134,318)

Graduating Attributes Assessment Tool

In 2011, The University of Alberta's Sub-Committee on Graduate Attributes (GAs) identified and developed indicators for the following seven competencies as graduating attributes of its undergraduate students: ethical responsibility, scholarship, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, creativity and confidence. The GAs constitutes a culmination of a unique profile for the undergraduate students. We have developed a theoretical assessment model for GAs focusing on two primary stakeholders: students' and instructors' interaction with course content. In this project, we aim to implement an online assessment portal/profile where the overarching goal is to actively assess these GAs among students and instructors. Both students and instructors will have a longitudinal access to the assessment model and they will be able to monitor self- assessment and feedback in the form of online analytical processing (OLAP) reports for the duration of the course for the former and the 4 years program for the latter.

Keywords: Assessment of Competencies, Graduating Attributes, Online Formative Assessment Portal, Online Analytical Processing (OLAP)

Related Story: The evaluation of "graduating attributes" as seen by Samira El Atia (Ualberta News [February 26, 2016])

Faculty of Education

Department of Educational Psychology
Patricia Boechler, Mary Ingraham ($58,173)

Blended Delivery in PostSecondary Music Education: The Cognition of Listening

Close listening, perhaps the most important skill in music education, is seldom practiced in the 21st century. The ability to hear, understand, communicate, and critique or interpret what you hear is central to education in general, critical to specific disciplines such as Music, Speech Pathology, Audiology and Linguistics, and is transferable to many life situations. For this reason, listening is the primary focus of most first year postsecondary music history courses. It is also one of the most challenging skills to teach in large classroom formats. To address some of the challenges of offering guided listening experiences to large, introductory music classes, we are proposing a blended delivery approach. With a varied approach to technological enhancement, and in consideration of literature on the cognition of listening and of Karmiloff-Smith's (1992) Representational Redescription Model (RR Model) of knowledge acquisition, students will benefit from an enhanced listening model leading to a greater understanding of music's socio-historical context.

Keywords: listening skills; music; technology; virtual worlds

School of Library and Information Studies
Jennifer Branch-Mueller
, Martine Pellerin, Carol Tonhauser ($87,156)

ePortfolios: Making Teaching and Learning Visible

The research project will conduct a needs assessment of key stakeholders within the University of Alberta to better understand their unique program requirements and to build an ePortfolio that is customizable, personalizable, and easy to use. The project will also build a website and provide workshops for key stakeholders on using ePortfolios to make teaching and learning visible. This will include examples of integrating attributes into student learning outcomes and examining how ePortfolios can be created and used to gather evidence of learning. The completion of this ePortfolio project will help the University of Alberta become a leader in mapping graduate (and undergraduate) attributes, in authentic assessment, and will provide departments, faculties and the University of Alberta with student learning outcome data that can be used for program quality assessment and also for outreach to prospective students, employers, government agencies and the citizens of Alberta and Canada.

Watch the videos here.

  • What is an ePortfolio
  • What goes into an ePortfolio
  • Why is reflection important in an ePortfolio
  • How to create your ePortfolio in Mahara
  • Including ePortfolios in your program
  • Assessing an ePortfolio

Keywords: ePortfolio, authentic assessment, graduate attributes, student learning outcomes, programmatic learning outcomes, self-reflection

School of Library and Information Studies
Ali Shiri (

Development of a Learning Analytics Application to Support Online Teaching and Learning at the University of Alberta

The objective of this project is to investigate, develop, evaluate and implement a learning analytics software application for the eClass learning management system. This application will support instructors in monitoring their students' online learning activities, interaction and performance and will facilitate the provision of personalized and enhanced advice to students. It will also provide students with new visual and analytical tools and opportunities to regularly manage their learning activities and interactions in order to be able to compare their performance with their peers in an ongoing and real time manner. The project will have direct impact on and implications for all instructors and students on campus. This project will take an innovative approach by making effective use of learners' data and their context held in eClass to provide new insight into teaching and learning in online learning management systems.

Keywords: learning analytics, learning management systems, online teaching and learning, software development

Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Department of Pharmacology
Andrew Holt (

Development and implementation of a pharmacokinetics training apparatus

After swallowing or injecting a drug, the magnitude and duration of drug effects, therapeutic and unwanted, are determined by how rapidly the drug is absorbed, distributed to organs, and cleared from the body. The study of the mathematical principles underlying these processes is called pharmacokinetics. Safety and ethical concerns now preclude use of animals and human subjects in labs designed to teach pharmacokinetics, so students must rely on didactic lectures to convey the essentials - and they struggle badly. To address this, we have designed an unique apparatus which mimics handling of drugs by the human body, allowing students hands-on experience administering drugs and analysing pharmacokinetic behaviour in a risk-free setting. We propose to construct several apparatus and use these to model clinical scenarios in an undergraduate laboratory course. The effectiveness in enhancing comprehension in a student cohort previously taught and examined in a solely didactic setting will be assessed.

Keywords: Pharmacokinetics, modeler, hands-on, safety, practical class, clinical training

Related Story: Creating ADAM: a new beginning for the teaching of pharmacokinetics (Ualberta News [March 31, 2016])

Department of Surgery
Bin Zheng
, Barbara Wilson-Keates, Kate Doyle ($52,918)

Inter-professional Perioperative Training for Health Team using Simulation

Given that perioperative patient care is fundamental knowledge for medical and nursing students, an interprofessional education (IPE) perioperative care training course will be developed to allow surgical and anesthesiology residents and nursing students an opportunity to work together with multiple simulation modalities. Standardized patients, high fidelity mannequins, and task trainers will be employed to ensure trainees have an immersive experience. An integrated, patient- centered evaluation strategy will evaluate individual clinical performance and knowledge as well as team collaboration and communication. In addition, the team's awareness of patient safety and collective responses when unexpected events occur will also be appraised. The project is collaborated by educators and simulation experts from several healthcare science faculties at the University of Alberta. We anticipate the proposed IPE project will produce win-win opportunities to improve our quality of education using newly-emerged and rapidly growing education modalities.

Keywords: Interprofessional Education (IPE), Perioperative Training, Simulation-based learning, Team performance, Performance assessment, Patient safety

Division of Gastroenterology
Lana Bistritz, Leah Gramlich, Kathy Kovacs Burns, Karin Olson ($88,836)

Enhancement of Nutrition and Physical Activity Knowledge and Skills through MOOC Technology

WellnessRx is an online health education initiative designed to address gaps in nutrition and physical activity knowledge, skills and attitudes (KSAs). Five modules have been developed and piloted in health science faculties, with evaluation data demonstrating learner satisfaction with online modules, improvements in knowledge, and relevance for future health professionals and student self-health. The proposed project will develop the WellnessRx curriculum as a MOOC with three levels; the first level would be equivalent to a three credit course, and thus could be taken by any university student as an elective. The second level would provide a certificate of completion, and this may be of interest to health science students whose program cannot accommodate an elective. The third level would be available to health practitioners and could be used by anyone with an interest in improving their KSAs in the areas of nutrition and physical activity.

Keywords: Curriculum design, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), health promotion

School of Dentistry
Hollis Lai, Vijay Daniels, Amy Tan, Mark Gierl, Tracey Hillier ($62,166)

Developing an Electronic Clinical Skills Assessment System

Across health profession education, assessment of learners' clinical skills is needed in addition to traditional written examinations. Clinical assessment methods are currently based on a testing format called Objectively Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE); a checklist-based assessment administered in a simulated environment with standardized patients. This assessment approach is currently paper-based, rendering tremendous amounts of administrative burden which, in turn, causes delayed feedback for learners. The purpose of our study is to develop an electronic clinical skills assessment system (ECSAS) for administering clinical skills assessment, such that: 1) learners can receive timely feedback, 2) faculty have tools to administer clinical skills assessment, and 3) effort intensive assessments such as an OSCE can be administered in an efficient manner. Such a solution is not only needed for all levels of training in medicine and dentistry, but also can be broadly applied to capture assessment data in other learning environments.

Keywords: Clinical Assessment, OSCE, Formative Feedback

Faculty of Nursing

Sandra Davidson, Karin Olson ($23,165)

Integrating Game-based Learning into Undergraduate Nursing Education

The undergraduate nursing research course is intended to help students explore ways research can inform nursing practice. Unfortunately, nursing students often report that this course, in its traditional format is tedious and does not clearly connect research content and the reality of nursing practice. In response to this critique, the course was redesigned using a Game-based learning (GBL) platform. Game-based learning aligns with principles of effective adult education and leverages technology in a pedagogically sound manner. This study evaluates the level of engagement, achievement of course learning outcomes and satisfaction of undergraduate nursing students who are enrolled in the nursing research course. We will also compare the experiences of students between two redesigned sections of this course. One section will be delivered completely online over 13 weeks and the other section will use a blended approach (face to face and online) over six weeks.

Keywords: Nursing, Education, Game-Based Learning, Innovation, Evidence Based Education, Research, Undergraduate

Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Cheryl Sadowski, Ken Cor, Sharla King ($37,687)

A collaborative interprofessional curriculum mapping initiative

Professional programs in many disciplines require faculties and departments to engage in mapping for the purpose of managing curriculum change to meet accreditation standards. The purpose of this TLEF project is to develop an adaptable curriculum mapping system that can be tailored to professional faculties (e.g. pharmacy). The system will allow for characterization of programs based on content, outcomes, or delivery method frameworks. A pilot of mapping interprofessional education within the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences will serve as a basis for testing and refinement of the system for future use with other curriculum components and faculties. The project is innovative because it will improve each faculty's ability to map and monitor curriculum to improve overall education quality. In addition, this project will impact teaching in Pharmacy by informing about gaps in interprofessional education and will guide teaching and learning improvements for students.

Keywords: Interprofessional, curriculum, mapping, collaboration, curriculum evaluation, accreditation

Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine

Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders
Lu-Anne McFarlane
, Geoffrey Bostick, Mark Hall, Heather Kanuka, Teresa Paslawski, Christopher Zarski, Cori Schmitz, Shaniff Esmail, Bernadette Martin ($10,954)

Professional skills acquisition in health science programs: Development of curricula, learning resources and assessment methods

A wide range of professional competencies is required by health professionals to meet the demands of increasingly complex healthcare environments. Despite professional skills being recognized as critically important, educators and employers have noted a lack of specific knowledge of, and skill development in, professional behaviors in new graduates. Determining which professional skills are key for practice readiness will guide development of explicit curricular expectations and robust student assessment. This project will develop and pilot innovative, interdisciplinary teaching resources, including formative and summative assessment procedures, to enhance professional skill development and clinical practice readiness in rehabilitation medicine students. Key informants and stakeholders include students, faculty, employers and professional associations. The resulting evidence-based professional skills modules and curricular recommendations will support student preparation for clinical practica and transition to professional practice.

Keywords: health professions, professional skills, practice readiness, interprofessional, assessment, curriculum

Faculty of Science

Department of Physics
Mark Freeman
, Andrzej Czarnecki, John Davis, Darren Grant, Frank Hegmann, Lindsay LeBlanc, Al Meldrum, Greg Sivakoff, Michael Woodside, Isaac Isaac ($150,000)

The UAlberta geekStarter Science Hardware Hackerspace

The evolution of technology has entered an exciting phase where great opportunities for hands-on enrichment of undergraduate science education are exploding onto the scene. It has become feasible to provide undergraduate access to a much broader range of hands-on possibilities than ever before. This TLEF proposal requests funding for undergraduate research assistantships to accelerate the development of a new, experiential-learner-focused Science Hardware Hackerspace (also known as "the Shack"). The top priorities of the Shack are the promotion of hands-on hardware skills, experiential learning in interdisciplinary science, and the facilitation of creative activities and fostering of an entrepreneurial spirit. The undergraduate experience will be enriched through student exposure to real-world problem solving, construction and deployment of new instruments, and opportunities for students both to learn from and to mentor their peers. The Shack will lead directly to substantial curricular enhancement, particularly in years 2 - 4 of numerous Science programs.

Keywords: Experiential learning, hands-on skills, experimental science, interdisciplinary community, course enrichment, entrepreneurial culture