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Researchers seeking participants for study into effective teaching

Creating course curricula and teaching methods that effectively promote student learning can be a challenging task for higher education instructors.

A research study funded by the University of Windsor Centred on Learning Innovation Fund is developing a Checklist for Evaluating Course Curriculum and Teaching. This checklist will describe aspects of course curricula associated with effective learning in higher education courses. It will also provide a self-evaluation tool for new and experienced instructors who are reviewing current courses or planning new courses.

Social work professors Jim Coyle and Irene Carter, the principal investigators, are seeking participants for focus groups that will brainstorm answers to the question, “In addition to an instructor’s personal characteristics, what elements of a course are associated with successful learning?”

Participants will be asked to generate ideas about course elements such as course goals, learning outcomes, content, teaching methods, assignments and other items suggested by teaching and learning literature.

In order to develop a checklist that is widely useful, the focus groups will include faculty, instructors, teaching and learning staff, undergraduate and graduate students from a range of disciplines. Each focus group will last 60 to 90 minutes and dietary-sensitive snacks and beverages will be served.

The sessions are scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 28; 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 3; and 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 4.

Interested participants should contact Dr. Coyle at jcoyle@uwindsor.ca, ext. 3077, or Dr. Carter at icarter@uwindsor.ca, ext. 3079, for information about the study and consent to participate in research. This study has received clearance from the University of Windsor Research Ethics Board.

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