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:
Impact of the STEPS program on Environmental Studies students
Phil Graniero, Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Learning and study strategies programs coordinated by student affairs are widely offered across North American post-secondary institutions. However, little is known about their impact on students’ academic performance and their use of learning strategies. At the University of Windsor, the STEPS program (Skills to Enhance Personal Success) offers twelve different sessions throughout the academic year to help students improve their general academic skills across disciplines. This collaborative project between the Environmental Studies program and Student Affairs explores the impact of the STEPS program on 1) students who are struggling with their academic performance, and 2) as a method of developing general academic skills.
Exploring the Meaning and Consequences of Learning Orientation and Grade Orientation
Kathryn Lafreniere, Rosanne Menna & Ken Cramer, Department of Psychology
Learning orientation (LO) and grade orientation (GO) (Eison, Pollio, & Milton, 1986) represent two contrasting approaches that students may adopt toward their university education. Eison et al. proposed a typology of learning approaches, based on combinations of these dimensions. Previous findings by our team (Lafreniere et al., 2012) provided broad support for the LO/GO typology proposed by Eison et al., and extended previous research to show additional personality and behavioural correlates of each of the combinations of LO and GO. Specifically, we found that high GO was associated with a number of poor student outcomes, including greater rebelliousness, procrastination, and poorer conscientiousness and effortful control. We wish to further explore the meaning and consequences of each of the combinations of LO and GO in a mixed-methods study of undergraduate students. We will administer an online survey that will assess participants’ LO/GO, their motivational orientations and learning strategies, and their tendencies toward procrastination and academic risk-taking. In addition to the quantitative findings, we plan to interview a sub-sample of students who represent each of the four possible combinations of LO and GO. The proposed study will provide rich information about the learning strategies and beliefs adopted by students characterized by high or low levels of LO, GO, or both. Of particular interest are the learning approaches and study strategies adopted by students high in grade orientation, since this orientation has been shown to be maladaptive in previous research.
Building creative communities through co-creating new music
Terry Sefton & Jonathan Bayley, Faculty of Education
Terry Sefton and Jonathan Bayley, Faculty of Education, University of Windsor have commissioned a new work of music by Martin Kutnowski, St Thomas University, Fredericton, New Brunswick. They will co-create the composition as a modular piece that will allow for different combinations of performers and movements. This process will emphasize the non-linear and fluid nature of creative practice. By structuring the new work for different combinations of performers and instrumentation, and for shorter or longer iterations, the team will be able to involve graduate students and other community musicians in workshops and performances. Graduate and undergraduate students will be engaged in each university site to work with the researchers in developing workshop modules, documenting student learning and public interaction, and providing organizational support for public performances. The goals of this collaborative project are to: - Commission a new composition and to document the creative process from commissioning, to composing, to performance - Open up conversations between educators, musicians, students, and the general public about fostering creative communities and about the place of the creative arts in different educational contexts and levels - Bring the work of university in closer contact with the community where it is situated and to engage the community in the creative process and in knowledge production - Develop pedagogies of practice that transfer between music performance, music education, education, and community outreach applications - Provide a metacognitive analysis of this process and its impact on members of the university and surrounding community.
Collaborative and comparative instruction in the Canadian-American Dual-JD programme
Anneke Smit, Faculty of Law
This application is made to support a pilot project in collaborative in-classroom teaching in the context of the Canadian-American dual-JD Programme run jointly by the Faculties of Law, University of Windsor and the University of Detroit Mercy. The unique dual-JD programme, which accepts approximately 60 students per year, has been in existence for more than a decade; however throughout most of that time students, in their core foundational courses including Property, Contracts and Criminal Law, have simply taken the usual 6 credit hours instruction in one of th two legal systems and then an extra credit to cover (quickly) that subject in the other legal system. In most cases there has been relatively interconnection of the two parts, normally taught by two different professors. While the two legal systems are very similar - both derive from the English legal tradition and are common law systems - there are also significant differences both in substance and in what might be termed "legal culture". To date, while gaining significant exposure to, and facility in, both legal systems, students have largely been left to "figure out the differences for themselves". Building on experience over the past four years of engagement with this course, we aim to create a more truly collaborative and comparative approach to course delivery in the dual-JD programme, one which will be a model for the other courses offered in this programme as well.