The purpose of the Centred on Learning Innovation Fund is to stimulate the development, implementation, and assessment of innovative teaching and learning. Click on 'Abstract' to read more about this year’s proposals:
A Student-Centered Approach to Course Development
Dora Cavallo-Medved, Julie Smit, & Kirsten Poling, Department of Biological Sciences
The overwhelming positive response by first year undergraduate biology students to their involvement in the development of first year laboratory exercises during 2008-2009 indicates that students have a strong interest in how they learn, not just what they learn. To build on this research, our objective for this project is to focus on developing new labs using a process that uses the traditional ʻinstructor-centeredʼ method to one that is ʻstudent-centeredʼ. Undergraduate biology students will be heavily involved in the development of new first year Biological Diversity laboratory exercises, from the identification of relatively low-ranking laboratory exercises, through the creation and development of new and highly engaging labs, to the implementation of a trial lab for any new lab exercises developed. The ultimate goal is to provide first year biology laboratory exercises that engage and excite the undergraduate students; a result more likely if students are involved in the development process.
Enhancing Moral Literacy of First-Year Nursing Students Through Engagement in “Virtual” Ethical Grand Rounds
Sharon McMahon & Kathy Pfaff, Faculty of Nursing
The process of ethical decision-making in healthcare is becoming increasingly complex. A plethora of professional organizations assert that collaboration among health care professionals is essential to safe and ethical health care delivery. Nurses often lack preparedness to engage in ethical decision-making. This is especially true in the case of the novice nurse. The issue is compounded by lack of interprofessional collaborative experiences in nursing education programs.
This project will expand the singular professional focus for ethical decision-making by engaging students in a multidisciplinary approach to ʻEthical Grand Roundsʼ.
Using safe, open, semi-independent, small-group interactive virtual classrooms, first year nursing students will engage with students from other health care disciplines to apply critical thinking, ethical reasoning, decision-making and process writing to ethical case studies, which are derived from contemporary client-centred health care situations.
Enhancing Student Learning Experiences in Introductory Statistics Labs
Mohammed Baki, Odette School of Business & Fouzia Baki, Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering
It is very important that students learn statistics in an active learning environment (Johnson et al, 2008; Tanner, 1985). From discussion with students, we pinpoint a few inherent problems of Treatment of Experimental Data (an introductory statistics course for the second year engineering students) labs, including disconnectedness of given exercises from students' lives, absence of opportunities to share thoughts and ideas among students, and short fall of contribution of graduate assistants in student learning experience. In the proposed project, we are planning to find solutions to these problems. Students use data to implement statistical concepts. In some labs, we will involve students to generate data set by using CLEW site or by doing simple experiments. Alternately, in other labs, students will use data provided in the texts. We are planning to compare the impact of source of data on student's problem solving ability. We will also examine the impact of group and individual learning atmosphere on student learning experience by giving students both individual and group activities during labs. Graduate assistants (GAs) are responsible to run the labs. To ensure better interaction between GAs and students, we will prepare GAs through planned meetings and structured activities before and after labs. This part of the project will have long a lasting impact on professional development of the graduate assistants. Collection of lab exercises will be available for future use. The process of lab activity redesign, the results, and the lessons learned will be valuable to any other course.
Enhancing Nursing Education of Large Groups: Using Simulation on a Grander Scale
Deborah Dayus & Judy Bornais, Faculty of Nursing
In nursing, experiential learning is essential to a positive learning experience for students across our curriculum. Simulated experiential learning is an innovative teaching strategy and tool which draws prospective and present students to engage in an environment which enriches learning and success in practice. In building on existing research and practice, the use of simulation in teaching has been shown to foster the ability of students to apply their knowledge, gain and improve skills and formulate best practice clinical decisions in a controlled, safe, and realistic environment without risk to actual patients. While not a replacement for actual clinical experiences with real patients, simulation provides a meaningful bridge between theory and practice (Decker, Sportsman, Puetz & Billings, 2008; Rauen, 2001, 2004). Usually used with small groups, our proposal focuses on the development and enhancement of the simulation program in order to reach more students across the program and enhance the learning experience. Our goal is to produce two new DVD productions of simulated events in an effort to provide students with an opportunity to experience nursing via DVD. This would allow more students to experience these learning opportunities than have been afforded this experience to date. In doing so simulation will then be experienced throughout the four years of the nursing undergraduate program.
Experiential Learning Through a Mentor-Based Resiliency Intervention for “At-Risk” Youth in Urban Secondary Schools
Geri Salinitri, Faculty of Education & Victoria Paraschak, Department of Kinesiology
The researchers have been involved since 2005 in an extensive research program that focuses on mentor-based relationships and a resiliency intervention model using school, community, and outdoor settings. Participants include “at-risk” high school students, teacher candidates in the LEAD program, kinesiology volunteer interns and student success teachers in Windsor/Essex County. This project involves creating a videodocumentary of the Mentoring Program from the perspective of the mentors. The video will then be used to assess the mentor role and the program's learning outcomes.
Facilitating Student Engagement: Teaching Industrial Health and Safety (IH&S) With Cases
Fouzia Baki, Waguih ElMaraghy, & A. Ziout, Department of Industrial & Manufacturing Systems Engineering
The proposed project is to design and develop reusable worksheets containing cases, questionnaires, databases and problems that are in multi media format, including video for Industrial Health and Safety (IH&S) labs. From experience, we know that content of this course is easy to follow. Finding the right answers to given questions during labs does not require much effort, and consequently, students become disengaged. During Winter, 2010, we first took the challenge of revising the lab component of the course to encourage students to pursue deep learning during labs by using cases. We no longer ask students to answer direct questions from materials that have already been presented to them in previous lecture sessions. We now give students cases related to the content of that particular lab. From studentsʼ feedback, we learnt that students like this approach. There are evidences available in published literature that the case method is an effective way to enhance student learning (Kunselman and Johnson, 2004). All the evidences motivated us to develop an electronic workbook containing reusable cases to use in IH&S labs. Use of each case to fulfill all learning outcomes of the course will support incremental learning. The cases will be built-into CLEW site of this course. These cases are based on real situations, gathered by reviewing text books, accident reports, newspapers, periodicals, etc. The process of case design, the impact observed within a third year engineering course, and lessons learned will be valuable to any other course to implement case-based learning approach.
Techniques to Assess Professional Identity Learning in Interdisciplinary Programs
Gemma Smyth, Faculty of Law & Suzanne McMurphy, School of Social Work
Joint degree programs are gaining in popularity across Canada and the United States. At the University of Windsor, the Faculty of Law and School of Social Work are beginning a joint M.S.W./LL.B. degree program in September, 2010. This program is only the third of its kind in Canada, and promises to integrate the skills and values that many legal and social work scholars identify as crucial to effective practice in both disciplines. However, most joint degree programs are not integrated: that is, students must take one year of studies in one faculty, followed by a year in the other, perhaps with a joint course during the course of their degrees. This raises the significant danger that students develop confused professional identities, particularly when the professions contain inherently different ethical frameworks. In this paper, the authors argue that joint degree programs can overcome some of the potential conflict in professional identity through unique assessment models that lead students to ponder key ethical problems throughout the course of the programs. In doing so, the authors posit that students may graduate with heightened understanding of both professional identities and more effectively integrate them in practice.
Developing Effective Teaching Guidelines for Post-Secondary Course Websites Based on Universal Instructional Design
Irene Carter & Donald Leslie, School of Social Work
This project will develop a set of teaching strategies based on Universal Instructional Design (UID) for application to postsecondary websites. The authors will explore the Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Student Disability Services websites for information about the use of strategies in course websites that reflect Universal Instruction Design, extracting UID strategies that help instructors create an inclusive environment. Informed by a literature review, the authors will consider best practices associated with UID and course websites, the recommendations of the Learning Opportunities Task Force of the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, and consumer accessibility standards found in the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). The researchers will assess the accessibility of two course websites in their application of UID teaching strategies. Students in each class will contribute to the questions about the effectiveness of the course websites at designated times throughout the Fall 2010 semester. The outcomes of this assessment will result in a set of teaching guidelines for course websites that reflect the principles of Universal Instruction Design and comply with consumer accessibility standards. Dissemination of the results of this project will involve presentation to several University of Windsor departments in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, to local, national, and international conferences, and a manuscript submission to a teaching and learning journal, informing instructors about best practices to strengthen the accessibility of course websites with the goal of maximizing inclusion for all students.
City as Media: Connecting Theory and Practice Through Urban Media Studies
Michael Darroch, Department of Communication, Media & Film
Cara Fabre, Women’s and Gender Studies
This CLIF project will develop an innovative graduate seminar oriented to connecting urban cultural and media theory to the context of Windsor and Detroit. The City as Media seminar will explore theoretical approaches to the ways in which urban spaces, everyday life, and city stories are articulated and imagined through media, arts and technologies. Theory courses are all too often restricted in application outside of the classroom. Our starting point is the belief that in seeking to understand the relationship between media and cities, we must necessarily work to ground theoretical perspectives in action. Seminar participants will question the relationship between our experiences and definitions of the ʻcityʼ, urban life, and media. Cities are neither simply infrastructures nor images, but rather living entities deeply connected to and fabricated through collective memories, social relations and structures expressed through media. “Media,” in this context, are understood broadly to include not only technologies of communication, but also artistic means of expression and the various “materialities” or material supports involved in the production of culture and discourse. This project will provide creative strategies for applying theory to the practical situations and circumstances of the Windsor/Detroit border culture, in order to develop a corpus of graduate research on which local decision-makers, stakeholders and community leaders can draw.
University Civic Engagement: The Critical Role of Student Internships in Community Revitalization
Mary Medcalf & Cheryl Taggart, School of Social Work
This project will explore the critical role of the University of Windsor in building community resilience and supporting urban renewal in the city of Windsor. Building upon the success of the Community-University Partnership for Community Development, Research and Training (the Partnership), an initiative which is lead by the Field Education Program in the School of Social Work, the goals of this project include: articulating best practices in University civic engagement; developing a communityuniversity model which can be replicated in other communities; ongoing curriculum development; providing a framework for an evaluation of the Partnership with emphasis on student experience and learning; and, showcasing the work of the Partnership. The goals will be accomplished through an extensive review of the literature in four areas (pillars) which we currently recognize as critical to the success of the Partnership: 1) university civic engagement; 2) field education; 3) community engagement; and, 4) student and resident leadership development. In the 2004/2005 academic year the Partnership provided internships to three undergraduate social work students. This year, we are providing internships for thirty-eight undergraduate and graduate students from social work, nursing and music therapy as well as law students. These students are required to complete field practice hours over the course of their programs of study. They are on-site in five low-income communities, working with residents and involved in various aspects of planning and implementing programs, providing services, assisting with community mobilizations. Students follow a specified curriculum, leading to the required development of values, knowledge and practice competencies.
Improving Scaffolding for Problem-Solving in Junior Level Electromagentic Waves
Chitra Rangan, Department of Physics
This application requests support towards improving problem-solving abilities in upper year Physics classes. The problem is that guided problem-solving is insufficient for developing problem solving abilities when mastery of both concepts and mathematical techniques are simultaneously required. My approach is to augment this scaffolding process by deconstructing the solution in terms of concepts, problem set-up and selection of mathematical technique. The deconstructed samples will then be tested by students in the third-year electrodynamics class and improved by feedback provided via interviews. A normative feedback along with empirical data will assess the efficacy of this approach.