Office of the Provost and Vice-President Academic

2016-17 FIT Project Descriptions

2016-17 Fund for Innovative Teaching Proposals

Decolonizing Canada’s Sesquicentennial Through Embodied Pedagogy: Interdisciplinary Studies 400

Project leader: Heather Davis-Fisch

This  project uses embodied and performance pedagogy to explore issues of memorialization in settler-colony nation states, focusing on performances that celebrate or critique the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation as an extended case study. Our project is timed to promote reflection on the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, and the performances used to commemorate it. We will consider a broad range of memorialization and commemoration practices, including: official commissioned works, creations that celebrate settler perspectives, performances that explicitly emerge from decolonization initiatives, and projects that engage Indigenous perspectives. This exploration of embodied and performance pedagogy will challenge understandings of what constitutes knowing, research, inquiry, and response. We use embodied and performance pedagogy to explore settler responsibility and decolonizing methodologies as they emerge through commemoration projects. We will use embodied and performative pedagogy methodologies and active learning methods to inform critical analysis. The student-led colloquium project at the end of the course will allow students to synthesize theoretical analysis and creative practice and to develop transferable skills like interdisciplinary communication, collaborative leadership, adaptability, and problem-solving abilities.

Agriculture Case Studies for Business, Geography, and the UFV Agriculture Learning Commons

Project leaders: Garry Fehr and Frank Ulbrich

The purpose of this project is to increase UFV faculty capacity and educational resources for students to learn how to apply their classroom learning to current agriculture case studies. In Phase One of this project, funding is combined with faculty professional development funds to pay for Ivey Business School to provide a four-day workshop for Business faculty to learn how to design and construct their own case studies. Case studies are a highly valued classroom tool for students to apply their accounting concepts to complex business problems in the agriculture sector. Phase Two of the project will create two short teaching videos that will demonstrate the business principles that are the focus of two cases studies, and also work as teaching resources for classes in other disciplines that are addressing agricultural issues and concerns. The videos are a way of bringing agriculture to the students without having to be concerned about biosafety or interrupting farm operations. The videos will also be added to a publically accessible online agriculture resource that will become the UFV Agriculture Learning Commons.

Making Learning Evident with ePortfolios: Exploring a Faculty Development Opportunity through Participatory Action Research

Researchers: Claire Hay (project lead), Mary Gene Saudelli, and Michelle Johnson

Currently, the university is interested in High Impact Practices (HIP) such as ePortfolios as teaching, learning and assessment strategies. The Bachelor of Arts degree program at UFV has undertaken a significant curriculum renewal and has embedded an ePortfolio into the BA degree requirements beginning in Fall 2017.  The purpose of this project was to develop and evaluate faculty professional development opportunities that were initiated by the Teaching and Learning Centre to support the implementation of ePortfolio as a program requirement in the revised BA program.  The project explores best practices in relation the pedagogical use of ePortfolio as an HIP.  These best practices will develop into a UFV handbook entitled Best Practices of ePortfolio Pedagogy in Higher Education, which will form the basis of the faculty development program designed and implemented at the TLC at UFV.  This handbook will result in improved teaching and learning experiences for students at UFV as it will be made available to all faculty.  In addition, the project collaborators propose to explore the design and delivery of faculty development in relation to ePortfolios as a HIP and a graduation requirement for the BA degree.  This research will be an action research methodology to explore faculty development with ePortfolios, the nature and role of ePortfolios in relation to professional practice, faculty insights as to the their understanding of ePortfolio best practices and ePortfolio’s value to students’ learning.

Inter-professional Education within the School of Health Studies

Project leader: Lee-Anne Stephen

Interprofessional (IP) education is an essential component of health care professionals’ curriculum because research shows that patient outcomes are improved when health care teams work together.  It is challenging for nursing educators to provide students with focused IP experiences in the clinical setting; therefore, they have been searching for creative, innovative ways to support IP education.  Our project focuses on the development and analysis of three IP learning activities between BSN, PN, and HCA students.  We have developed a human patient simulation IP experience, a video recorded IP scenario, and are developing a virtual reality IP scenario.  We will be using a pre-test/post-test questionnaire to assess students’ learning and compare knowledge acquisition gained from the three different IP learning activities.  The knowledge gained from this project will enhance our current understanding of how best to support the IP education of health care professionals.

Integrating Mindfulness-Based Teaching & Learning (MBTL) as a High Impact Educational Practice to Enhance Student Success as Wellbeing

Project leader: Seonaigh MacPherson

This project proposes to introduce mindfulness-based learning opportunities to undergraduate students at UFV by developing a series of multi-disciplinary mindfulness courses and infusing mindfulness in existing courses. The inter-disciplinary project team are already collaborating to design a proposed graduate certificate in MBTL to be launched in September 2018. This proposed FIT-funded project would introduce mindfulness at the undergraduate level, thereby increasing UFV’s capacity to support student success and wellbeing using mindfulness.

Next-Generation, Knowledge Practice Learning Faculty Development (Pilot Project)

Project leader: Linda Pardy

The purpose of this project is to explore ways UFV faculty can be supported in redesigning their courses and developing the skills needed to embrace next-generation and knowledge practice learning. Both of these approaches are not about strategies specifically design for next generation students, but instead place next-generation learning as the catalysis for incorporating knowledge work and experiential learning for all students, regardless of discipline.

Technologically enhanced experiential learning in physics: an action research study using PhET computer simulations

Project leader: Mary Saudelli and Robin Kleiv

Dr. Mary Gene Saudelli (Teaching and Learning) and Dr. Robin Kleiv (Physics) are studying the use of web-based PhET computer simulations (freely available at phet.colorado.edu) in the course Physics 105: Heat, Waves and Optics, which was taught by Dr. Kleiv in the winter 2017 semester. The goals of this research are: to examine the application of the simulations to the design of physics instruction, to explore the integration of simulations before, during and after lectures, to illuminate the impact of simulations in creating an active and engaged learning experience for students, and to improve students’ understanding of physics concepts through experiential, inquiry-based and reflective learning via the use of simulations. An action research methodology is being used, including data gathered from student surveys and instructor reflections. Three senior undergraduate students are contributing to this research and preliminary results were presented at the STLHE17 conference in Halifax in June 2017. Data analysis is nearing completion and one or more scholarly articles will be published with the undergraduate student researchers as co-authors.

Smart phone teaching tools for Statistics and Mathematics

Project leader: Shaun Zheng Sun

This project is to develop smart phone and computer applets that can (1) perform simulations to demonstrate some basic concepts in Statistics and Mathematics; (2) collect real time data from students; (3) conduct simple statistical tests and analysis. 

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