Funded Projects

The following projects have been funded by PSEER:


  • School of Computer Science (Gillis), Lang School of Business (Doherty) "Feedback Tools to Support Student Learning"
    As software design class sizes have grown, the ability for instructors to provide timely quality feedback to students has been hindered. As a result, students are unable to use feedback formatively, which affects their learning, engagement, and satisfaction. There is a need to develop automated and semi-automated feedback tools to help students identify their errors and misconceptions without waiting for feedback from the instructional team. This project will evaluate automated and semi-automated feedback tools for software design activities with the goal of fostering engagement and reflection in students. Findings of this research will be applicable more broadly to other software design courses in the School of Computer Science, or any other course in CEPS that involves design thinking. 


  • School of Computer Science (McCuaig) "The Immediate Feedback System"
    Formative assessment is known to be valuable for educators and students, however, instructors of large classes cannot easily assess the areas of difficulty for their students because it is impossible to quickly review the work of hundreds of students. This capacity-building project is focused on the research question “Can automated feedback for instructors serve as a type of formative evaluation?” This project will extend the Immediate Feedback System with capability of providing on-demand formative assessment information to instructors. For example, instructors could get reports about common errors students are making, about the frequency of use of specific help modules or queries, or about the time students report spending on specific aspects of the course. 
  • School of Engineering (Gordon, Vale, Clemmer) "Memorization vs. Problem Solving"
    Over the past several years, faculty in the School of Engineering have been noting an apparent increase in student reliance on memorization rather than deeper learning.  While memorization is a critical component to education, it is seemingly being emphasized in students at the expense of problem analysis skill development.  This research project surveys undergraduate students in engineering, to determine their perspectives on the importance of memorization in their undergraduate education.  The survey also provides a summary of the learning style of each student (ie., deep or surface approach to learning) which may be linked to student perspectives of the role of memorization and student performance.  
  • Department of Physics (Massa) "Evaluating Computational Tasks in Physics"
    The use of computation permeates all areas of physics research – it seems that nothing gets done without the aid of a computer: running instrumentation, modeling systems and analysing data. The intent of this study is to determine the benefits of integrating computational tasks into our existing physics courses.  Rather than compartmentalizing the development of computing skills in a stand-alone course, this project will create “computational tasks” that integrate into five core physics courses at the second-year level. The project will evaluate the role that these tasks play to support learning of the physics content in these courses. The study will also explore long-term effects by following student performance in key third-year physics courses, by comparing the learning gains in content that was reinforced by the second-year computational tasks vs. topics which are not specifically supported. Student receptiveness will also be gauged using pre- and post-activity surveys and results will be disseminated in Spring 2019.
  • School of Computer Science (Scott, Hamilton-Wright, Chaturvedi) "Investigating inclusive curriculum and student support services in computer science"
    This research project aims to investigate inclusion barriers for female and other underrepresented populations in the computing degree programs offered by the School of Computer Science (SoCS) at the University of Guelph. It also aims to investigate existing best practices that have been used to successfully increase the participation of female and visible minority students in programs, and create a set of recommendations for SoCS tailored to our local context and student population to increase the inclusiveness of our programs. 


  • School of Engineering (Bradford, Vale) "Peer Assessment in Senior Engineering Courses"
    Peer assessment has been implemented in a senior, design-intensive engineering course. The intent of the study is to: determine which of the potential benefits are realized, gauge student receptiveness to the approach; identify barriers to more widespread use of the approach in senior engineering courses, and identify best practices for the implementation of peer assessment in these courses. 


  • Math & Stats/Engineering (Herder and Demers) “Investigating Warm-Up Testing in Entry-Level Calculus”
  • Engineering (Donald and Lachapelle) “Finding Value in Engineering Complementary Studies and Non-Technical Electives” 


  • Engineering (Donald et al.)  “Leveraging the Humanities to Enhance Engineering Curriculum in the Context of Graduate Attributes” 
  • Engineering (Taylor) Project Title: “A Cross-domain Review of Teaching and Learning in Humans and Machines” 


  • Computer Science (McCuaig & Wirth) “Ethnographic Research Techniques in Analyzing Student Engagement in CIS*1500” 
  • Computer Science (Gillis) “Community Engaged Scholarship” 


  • Physics (O’Meara & Williams) “Guided Inquiry Labs in Physics” 
  • Physics/Math & Stats (Ashlock, Williams & O’Meara) “Analysis of Learning Outcomes in Integrated vs Differentiated Intro physics and math courses”