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:
Longitudinal Assessment of Student Learning Tools: Enhanced Higher Learning by Online Modules
Ken Cramer, Department of Psychology
Students who undertake university studies come from numerous backgrounds and bring with them a variety of skills and abilities refined at several different levels. The current project aims to develop a program that will offer the necessary learning skills (e.g., time management, reading and note-taking skills, test-taking skills, and study skills) to first year undergraduate students campus wide at the University of Windsor. These skills create a framework from which students can learn effectively. Thus far, preliminary research has been conducted by the author to determine the usefulness of teaching such skills through learning modules given in a lab setting for introductory psychology students. The students who participated in these learning modules were found to have a better performance on their final exams than those who did not. From this evidence, this project seeks to develop the learning modules into an online format and offer it (fall, 2014) to a first sample of students throughout campus. This project will be undertaken by Dr. Ken Cramer, with an established research protocol toward the ongoing study of teaching and learning best-practices. The academic performance of these students will be monitored longitudinally and ongoing analyses will be conducted to determine whether the students could benefit from continuous opportunities to complete the learning modules as refresher sessions. This program (once demonstrably successful) will offer many future opportunities to educational institutions across the country by transforming the learning experiences of all students embarking on post-secondary studies for the first time.
Empowering First Responders through an Educational Workshop on Human Anatomy
Anna Farias, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry - Windsor Program & Sara Mcnorton, Biological Sciences Department
First responders attend to health related issues in the community with minimal anatomical training. In times of emergency, it is the first responders (paramedics/ firefighters/police) who are on sight to administer first aid. At the University of Windsor, UWERT (University of Windsor Emergency Response Team) is a volunteer group of first responders that are responsible for this task. The anatomical training the first responders are given is very basic and hence, they feel a need to deepen their understanding of the human body and feel they could better their first aid skills by attending an anatomy workshop and learning more about the human body as a whole. Since we have access to human cadavers through the Schulich School of Medicine at the University of Windsor, the purpose of this grant will be to fund the development of such workshop. If successful, the future direction of this pilot project would be to host similar workshops for first responders in the community, as an outreach program.
Preparing Delivery of the New Criminology Professional Development Practicum Course
Amy Fitzgerald, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology
For years the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology has fielded inquiries from prospective students about experiential learning opportunities in our undergraduate Criminology Program. Until recently, we did not have any such opportunities available, which no doubt caused at least some students to enrol in Criminology programs elsewhere. I therefore developed, in consultation with my colleagues, a Professional Development Practicum course. This course will be offered for the first time next year and I will be teaching it. Although I conducted research on the structure of Practicum courses while developing this new course, time constraints prohibited delving into the best practices for delivering such courses. A CLIF grant would provide me with the resources to hire a graduate student to review the literature on the delivery of experiential learning courses and identify the best practices, conduct a survey of the students completing the course and their placement locations to assess their experiences, and design metrics to evaluate success in the course and how it fits with the future employment of student participants. My goal is to create a top-notch Practicum course that: (1) provides students in our program with the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have accrued in our courses to the work they will do in their placements, (2) provides students with an opportunity to network and gain experience in a working environment related to their criminological interests, and (3) serves as an additional tool for recruiting students into our program.
Developing an Ethic of Care through Sexual Assault Prevention Education
Anne Forrest, Dusty Johnstone, Women's Studies
This research examines whether the University of Windsor’s Bystander Initiative model of sexual assault prevention education can be used to teach a more generalized ethic of care. Specifically, we seek to evaluate the impact that two courses associated with the Bystander Initiative to Mitigate Sexual Assault (BI) have upon students who participate in them. An ethic of care is an essential quality for living together in a democratic, pluralistic society, and further, aligns with the strategic priorities of the University of Windsor. However, the extent to which it is actively practiced and taught is unclear. We propose that the BI courses provide students with a paradigm for adopting and practicing an ethic of care in their own lives, and are hopeful that we will also find an increased in generalized empathy for others and a shift towards an ethic of care and responsibility when students reason through moral dilemmas. To evaluate this we are conducting a longitudinal study that measures changes in students’ care-based moral reasoning, as well as their empathy for others, their pro-social tendencies and helping behaviours at 4 points over a 12-month period. We are following a cohort of BI students, along with a comparison group of second and third year students recruited from the Psychology Department Participant Pool, from January 2014 to January 2015.
Community-Based Externship Evaluation Project
Gemma Smyth, Claire Mumme, Anneke Smit, Myra Tawfik & Adam Vasey, Faculty of Law
Funding will be used to evaluate an Externship program at the Faculty of Law. The applicants have applied for funding through the Strategic Priority Fund (SPF) at the University of Windsor. The SPF will fund student placements at Pathway to Potential, a community collaborative focused on policy advocacy on behalf of and with people living in poverty in Windsor-Essex. These placements are considered pilots, which will be used to inform the Faculty’s ongoing curriculum reform project. The Curriculum Reform Committee is considering launching a formal Externship program. While some of these placements will be in more traditional locations (law firms , clerkships, and so on), student interest and placements available require nontraditional placements as well, including policy advocacy and community-based, grassroots organizing. CLIF funding will support an evidence-based approach to curriculum design for Externships. The project also meets the practical interests of the placement site, the academic supervisors, and the placement supervisors. Lastly, the report from this project will inform curriculum reform for similar types of placements in law.
Online transactional simulations for legal experiential and clinical education
Myra Tawfik & Wissam Aoun, Faculty of Law
This project is intended to support the development of the clinical and experiential learning program focused on commercial transactions at the Faculty of Law, University of Windsor. Development of innovative clinical and experiential learning programs that integrate theory and practice is a strategic priority for the Faculty of Law. This project proposes the creation of an entirely on-line simulation of the negotiation and completion of a commercial transaction, in which law students will negotiate, conduct due diligence and circulate/prepare draft agreements in a hypothetical, experiential learning competition with teams from other law schools across Canada/US. Student engagement in the on-line simulation and interaction with teams from other schools creates an exceptional experiential learning experience that will enhance their understanding and willingness to engage in practical lawyering post-graduation. It is anticipated that the simulation, which in many respects resembles actual negotiation of commercial agreements that largely take place in online forums, will help students make connections between legal theory and practice. From a more general perspective, it is expected that program will have application in other legal clinical and experiential learning programs. This program will supplement existing experiential and clinical learning programs. The training provided will provide important skills for students in the LTEC clinic. It also explores an area of law outside the current poverty law focus in the Legal Aid Ontario-funded clinics.
“You’re Hired!”, “Managing Organizational Change” and other teaching simulations: Developing Organizational Behaviour Kinesiology-specific teaching resources.
Jess Dixon, Department of Kinesiology
There are few teaching cases and simulations specifically designed for Sport Management and Movement Science students who study Organizational Behaviour. I will use the CLIF grant to rectify this situation. In collaboration with a colleague from the University of Illinois (an Organizational Behaviour specialist), I will create a kinesiology-specific Organizational Behaviour teaching case. We will submit this teaching case for journal publication. Furthermore, I will update one teaching activity and adapt another teaching simulation that I currently use into a kinesiology context. The outcome of this grant will produce contemporary teaching resources that are relevant to students’ interests. Moreover, these resources involve active learning, are situated in authentic learning environments and are relevant to performance environments, which fosters student engagement and deeper learning. The creation of these resources, along with the publication goal is beyond normally expected course preparation. To achieve these outcomes I will supervise a research assistant who will collect appropriate material for these resources. The assistant will also transcribe interviews that were collected for the teaching case. The interviews were collected as reference to make the case realistic, although the final case will be fictional. These tasks will be completed over the summer. The teaching resources will be piloted tested with a group of students and focus groups used to determine if adaptations need to be made. The teaching case will also have a ‘practice run’ in an Organizational Behaviour class (Fall or Winter semester dependent upon course schedule) before final edits are made for publication.
Redesign of Engineering Software Fundamental Course to Facilitate Student Centered Learning
Xiaohong Xu & Vesselina Roussinova, Civil and Environmental Engineering
This proposal identifies deficiencies in the current delivery mode of an engineering course and proposes innovative solutions. The course titled “Engineering Software Fundamental” has been delivered in classrooms which is not as effective due to the practical nature of the subject (computer programing, Matlab). We plan to substitute one of the two lecture hours with student-centered learning in a computer lab. Our approaches include practice-based learning and self-assessment, peer-evaluation, collaborative learning with the aid of on-line tools including CLEW. With CFL support, the course redesign will complete in summer 2014 in Windsor. The applicants are co-instructors of this course for many years, well qualified to undertake the proposed project. The potential impact of the proposed course redesign includes improving teaching and learning in this course, stimulating development of integrated skills including problem solving, team work, communication and professionalism. To evaluate the effectiveness of the innovative teaching method, one of the matrixes is comparison of students’ performance, in terms of assignment and exam grades, with the averages of the past 3 years when lecture was the only delivery mode. The second is student feedback on the learning environment and mode of delivery. The third one is feedback from instructors of 06-85-220, where students will use Matlab to solve complex engineering problems, on whether the novel teaching method enhances students’ skills.