Learning Enhancement Fund (LEF)

Funded Projects

2013/2014 Learning Enhancement Fund

Problem solving in English:  Logic in context
Don Dedrick
Award:  $12,900

The purpose of this project is to develop a program that will enhance analytic literary skills.  Specifically, by focusing on rules based in logic and critical thinking we hope to further develop and enhance problem solving skills for speakers of the English language.  Although widely used these skills are often underdeveloped – even in students at the university level.  In the summer of 2012 “version 1.0” of this program was created.  It is our goal to expand the material that this program covers as well as bundle it in the form of a more user-friendly interactive educational software project. 


Community-engaged scholarship in the classroom
Daniel Gillis
Award:  $30,000

This proposal will establish community-engaged scholarship within the School of Computer Science’s (SoCS) undergraduate courses CIS3750 and CIS4900.  Introduction of local community problems and the subsequent development of open-source software-based solutions will strengthen course learning objectives via the establishment of project-specific deliverables.  The proposal also creates a community-engaged scholarship database/website in collaboration with the Institute for Community-Engaged Scholarship (ICES), providing a resource for project selection specific to the SoCS, and other units on campus involved in community-engaged scholarship.  The proposal aligns with the Better Planet Project, the ICES and the College of Physical and Engineering Sciences integrated plans. 


Virtual veterinary neurology:  Web-based learning resource
Fiona James
Award:  $10,000

Virtual Veterinary Neurology is a proposal to update the learning experience for undergraduate and graduate DVM students of the Ontario Veterinary College.  Capitalizing on emerging technologies, the proposed web-based resource will offer a self-directed multimedia learning opportunity.  Virtual patient cases and supplementary resources will be developed to complement material taught in lectures, laboratories, and on the clinic floor.  Application of existing knowledge will be required to advance through the case-based clinical approach as taught in the veterinary curriculum, including various self-assessment exercises, thus cognitively engaging students.  Effectiveness will be evaluated through existing course evaluation channels as well as usage statistics. 


Engagement, self-regulation and experimentation in introductory computer programming
Judi McCuaig
Award:  $25,000

We propose to transform CIS*1500 through the use of the inexpensive Raspberry Pi single board computers an extensive set of self-paced tutoring materials.  The Raspberry Pi platform encourages exploration, curiosity, and experimentation, which will help students develop the problem solving skills needed to be successful computer scientists.  The tutoring materials will permit students to learn or review any topic on demand.  We believe that this new approach will foster self-regulated learning, and increase student engagement.  LEF funds will fund student research assistants who will develop materials, and will permit the purchase of set of Raspberry Pi computers and expansion boards for use by teaching assistants and instructors of CIS*1500. 


Creating a community of learning:  Harnessing robust conversation through accessible, real-time, low-cost, web-based technology
Ruth Neustifter
Award:  $20,055

Large lecture courses are challenging for instructors who strive for live engagement across learning styles and accessibility needs.  This proposal is for the development of technology to address this concern through:  1) non-anonymous, moderated online live discussion; 2) anonymous live polling of learning outcomes; 3) archivable content; 4) live file and image sharing; 5) live private messages to the instructor.  This set of tools will be web-based, accessible across devices, and available only to registered users.  Once created and piloted, this technology would be easily sustainable over different years and courses without removing traditional class discussion or adding costs to students.


University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1