LEARNING ENHANCEMENT FUND

Award Summary for 2017-2018

Role playing for disciplinary literacy and recruitment

Daniel Ashlock - $16,000

The project will develop a role playing game and encounter modules that will introduce the vocabulary and practice of nanoscience to new and prospective students. This will serve as both a source of disciplinary literacy for incoming students and as a recruiting tool for the nanoscience program. While nanoscience is the initial focus the project will be extended to at least statistics and engineering. Gamification of the introduction to nanoscience is a rapid, memorable and effective method of introducing students to any complex discipline.

Video recording of surgical skills examinations as a teaching tool: an opportunity for reduced student stress, improved performance and self-reflection

Bridgitte Brisson - $24,950

Practical skills examinations have been shown to evoke marked nervousness and stress in the students being assessed, above that associated with a traditional written examination. This could have implications on student performance, and mental wellness. Hence, it is important to investigate alternative assessment methods that can overcome these challenges, whilst remaining effective. This study aims to: 1. Investigate the perceptions of stress amongst novice surgeon students during a simulated OSCE surgical skills examination; 2. Determine whether stress levels during a simulated OSCE examination correlate with novice surgeon student performance; 3. Determine if video recording of skills testing can reduce stress in novice veterinary students compared to traditional ‘in-person’ evaluator-assessed OSCE examination; and 4. To evaluate the agreement between traditional in-person and video-recording ratings. If successful, video testing could be offered to students across the DVM curriculum and could be applicable to other disciplines where skills-testing is used.

Creating engaging video content to support curriculum delivery in large design classes

John Donald - $30,000

To remove barriers and develop capacity for faculty and teaching assistants to create relevant video material to support active learning in large design classes, a Configurable Video Production Studio (CVPS) will be established. A variety of video content will be created and applied in four core design courses in the School of the Engineering with class sizes of 250 to 450 students. Workshops and video creation opportunities will also be offered to faculty teaching other courses. The effectiveness of the CVPS in supporting the creation of video based active learning opportunities in large classes will be assessed and reported.

An instructor’s guide to using student evaluations of teaching to improve teaching effectiveness in the College of Biological Sciences. Phase 1: How instructors use student evaluations of teaching

Genevieve Newton - $12,100

The BioEd Research Hub is a newly formed faculty group in the College of Biological Science (CBS) active in the scholarship of teaching and learning. We have a research program to study measures of teaching effectiveness as a means of improving student learning, which includes maximizing feedback from Student Evaluations of Teaching (SET). These evaluations are intended to provide meaningful and insightful feedback about teaching effectiveness to instructors, yet there is limited knowledge regarding how instructors use SET for formative development. In our current application, the BioEd Research Hub proposes the first phase of a longer-term project to develop a ‘Guide for instructors’ regarding the best use of SET to improve student learning. We propose to determine how SET feedback is perceived, utilized and how it informs teaching practice by instructors across all departments in CBS using a mixed methods approach including focus groups and surveys. The findings from this study will inform the next phase of our student involving student perceptions of SET questions and our plan to study the impact of our Guide on teaching improvement.

Proposal for Maple TA in second year economics statistics

Asha Sadanand – $24,000

The literature shows that large first and second year classes have the potential to: improve learning outcomes, generate cost savings, better access underserved students through active learning, allow for individual learning pace, provide immediate online assistance for individual questions and provide uniform delivery of the class material under various possible alternative staffing. We plan to utilize the Supplemental Model where we retain the traditional lecture for introducing and illustrating course material, but add a significant technology-based component, using Maple TA, that allows students to learn, practice and reinforce the concepts by working at their own pace through online exercises. The second year class concerned is ECON*2740 (Economic Statistics).

Increasing engagement and enthusiasm for the application of statistical methods in real-world settings using local Open Data

Andrew Skelton - $14,000

This project will develop a partnership with the City of Guelph and local school boards to use Open Data to create data analysis projects for high school and undergraduate courses. We aim to encourage the use of data to make informed decisions, to expose students to the challenges of independent, open-ended data analysis and to promote the development of a knowledge and data-driven society by increasing statistical literacy among the next generation of policy advisors and researchers. This project will also increase awareness of statistics as a discipline, a major and a profession, thus assisting with recruitment of statistics-focused majors.