Full Agenda 2016

Re:THINK – Navigation and Transformation in Today’s Learning Landscape
May 10, 2016

Desautels Hall, Rotman School of Management


If you have any questions, please contact erin.macnab@utoronto.ca.

8am – 4pm

8:00am – 8:45am

8:45am – 9:00am 
Carol Rolheiser, Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation

9am – 9:30am
Cheryl Regehr, Vice-President and Provost
Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
Mihnea Moldoveanu, Vice-Dean, Learning & Innovation,  Rotman School of Management

Skill Development and Transfer in Higher Education
9:30am – 10:30am
Through a facilitated design process focused on Skill Development and Transfer in Higher Education, participants will address the main theme of the Symposium: Navigation and Transformation in Today’s Learning Landscape. Participants are encouraged to attend in department/program/divisional teams (individuals are also welcome), and will have the opportunity to view videos and explore a range of ideas to influence their own teaching practice, their division and discipline at the University of Toronto.

Over the course of the morning, participants will be introduced to a number of provocations and protocols to generate ideas and recommendations for teaching and learning at the University of Toronto.

Carol Rolheiser, Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation
Megan Burnett, Associate Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation

10:30am – 10:50am

Skill Development and Transfer in Higher Education
10:50am – 12pm
Carol Rolheiser, Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation
Megan Burnett, Associate Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation

12pm – 12:45pm

12:50pm – 1:35pm

1.1 Demonstration: The Mind Brain Behaviour Hive – Harnessing Brain Science and Wearables for Better Learning
Mihnea Moldoveanu, Vice-Dean, Learning & Innovation, Rotman School of Management
We are on the cusp of a radical shift in our understanding of the mind-brain interface and the mind-brain-behavior nexus. Brain mapping, wearable sensing and remote integration of brain body states and bio-feedback-based enhancements in self-awareness and the causal understanding of one’s environment make possible a whole new set of approaches to the enhancement of learning.

This interactive demonstration introduces the Mind Brain Behavior Hive at the University of Toronto (MBBH))- a research and development lab for learning, powered by the latest in wearables technology and making use of the state of the art in brain science. Facilitators aim to both uncover basic mechanisms of learning and adaptive behavioral change and describe classroom applications – as well as the development of technologies, devices, and applications that will power Education 2.0.

In this session participants will:

  • Be introduced to the technology and the platform developed by the Mind Brain Behaviour Hive
  • Participate in a demonstration of the technology
  • Brainstorm ideas regarding how the technology could be used in their own program, division or discipline.

As funding for research and teaching projects is available through the Mind Brain Behaviour Hive, this session provides participants with an exciting entryway into exploring these innovative technologies and their teaching applications. The MBBH is a multi-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary enterprise. It draws on researchers from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the Faculty of Music and the Rotman School of Management to create a distributed problem solving environment that addresses head-on the challenge of accelerating and enhancing human learning and behavioral change.

1.2 Interactive Workshop: Curriculum Redesign and Program Improvement: Strategies and Structures to Involve Stakeholders and Leverage Partnerships
Rosemary Evans, Principal, University of Toronto Schools
David Montemurro, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, OISE University of Toronto, Master of Teaching (MT) Program Director
Philip Marsh, Vice Principal, University of Toronto Schools, School Based MT Coordinator
Ben Liu, Director, Internships and Career Development, Program Director, Global Ideas Institute, Munk School of Global Affairs
This interactive workshop will engage participants in reimagining the program redesign process. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on the involvement of instructors, students, staff, and community partners in the redesign process. The workshop will also address structures and processes for engaging in continuous program improvement, rather than focusing such efforts toward key accountability processes (e.g., accreditation).

The presenters have been involved in redesigning aspects of the Master of Teaching Program, OISE, a professional program. This redesign has involved partnering with the University of Toronto Schools, a model/ laboratory school affiliated with the University, as well as other University and community partners. We have embedded in our redesign approach a commitment to continual program improvement both for the MT program and for the school. Our work has lead us to investigate best practices in professional program development, program renewal and program improvement. A synopsis of this research and best practices will be available to participants.

Through the use of “think, pair, share” and a placemat activity, the session will actively engage participants in reflecting on their own program redesign/reform models and processes, as well as structures to support ongoing program enhancement. A collection of these ideas will be distributed to the participants after the session. As well, the strategies modeled in the workshop will be ones that participants can apply in their own contexts as part of a cycle of ongoing program renewal in working with their own constituents.

Participants will:

  1. Understand best practices in program redesign and continuous program improvement
  2. Gain knowledge of strategies for building into the redesign process the voices of instructors, students, staff and program partners
  3. Experience input and feedback mechanisms which can be utilized to guide the redesign process and encourage ongoing commitment and engagement by all stakeholders in continuous program improvement. These strategies will incorporate input, feedback, perspective sharing, discussion, and problem-solving.

1.3 Lightning Talks: Innovations in Technology Enhanced Learning       
Community-engaged learning: Going online for wider reach and for wider impact
Bill Ju, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology Program
While there have been both tremendous increases and interest in experiential learning – also referred to as community engaged learning and service learning, the majority of these learning opportunities require students to be available physically for interactions with partner community institutions. Additionally, the approach of student-centred learning and the constructivist approach to teaching and learning, has increasingly been the focus of the Human Biology Program’s curriculum re-design. As such, we have examined novel approaches for students to engage in experiential learning beyond the traditional biology classroom and also encouraging their communication and design skills. With this in mind, 4th year senior level students design and create online, interactive modules as part of a capstone project that informs the public about issues related to personalized medicine andeducates the Toronto area community. This format allows students to engage the community (both in Toronto as well as the potential global community) about advances in research as well as providing resources for further community engagement. This assignment allows for students to design, implement and engage the wider community in an online setting as a novel form of community-engaged learning. The tiered approach to online community engagement, examples of this project, specific outcomes and student feedback about this assignment will be presented in this talk.

Student2Scholar: Reimagining Online Tools to Develop Research and Library Skills
Monique Flaccavento, Acting Director, OISE Library, University of Toronto Libraries
Jenaya Webb, Public Services Librarian, OISE Library, University of Toronto Libraries
In December 2015, a team of  librarians, faculty members, instructional designers, graduate students, and support staff from Western University, the University of Toronto, and Queen’s University launched Student2Scholar (S2S) a series of ten online library / research skills modules for graduate students in the social sciences. Funded by the COU’s Shared Online Course Fund, modules are openly available through the eCampus Ontario portal.

Combining the COU’s Graduate Degree Level Expectations and the Association of College and Research Libraries’ (ACRL) recently released Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, the S2S team designed learning outcomes to help students develop their critical thinking, organization, research, and communication skills. The self-paced modules invite students to complete interactive tutorials, videos, readings, worksheets, and quizzes, as well as reflect on their learning and dispositions through self-assessments and self-reflections in a personalized online workbook.

This lightning talk will provide a brief overview of the modules and then discuss some of the ways students, instructors, and librarians at the University of Toronto are using the modules and activities to support their teaching and learning.

Association of College & Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Accessed at http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework

The Future of Teaching & Learning Environments
Avi Hyman, Director, Academic and Collaborative Technologies
Maureen Gottesman, Associate Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine, and Medical Director for the Physicians Assistants Program, Faculty of Medicine
Kimberley MacKinnon, Technology Course Lead and Lecturer, Master of Teaching Program, OISE
Paraphrasing from a 2014 Educause study, teaching and learning environments in universities are constrained today by systems that were not designed for broad integration, flexibility, or personalization. To enable learning environments of greater quality, scale, and power, with continuous and instantaneous digital connections to information, services, and communities, these environments must be reimagined. New systems are needed that capitalize on the transformative possibilities of technology to personalize instruction and integrate the diverse resources that support learners.

During our lighting talk, we will introduce participants to what a future teaching and learning environment might look like, using metaphors from Lego and the AppStore. Like Lego, we will talk about how future teaching and learning environments start with a common ‘base’ and the ability of teachers and learners to attach ‘pieces’ they want to use. Like the AppStore, we will talk about trying to create a common experience, while still allowing for some flexibility. With participants, we will discuss the challenges and opportunities for these kinds of future educational environments, and when we might see them actualized.

1.4 Research on Teaching & Learning: Inquiry into Novel Tools and Strategies   
Peer-assessment, Self-assessment, and Performance: An Examination of Social Learning in the Social Psychology Classroom
Ashley Waggoner Denton, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Psychology
During the Fall 2015 semester, students in a 200-level psychology course completed two unrelated assignments using the peerScholar instructional tool. For each assignment, students submitted an initial draft, received (and gave) anonymous feedback from three of their peers, and then submitted a final revised version of their assignment for marking by a TA. Students completed self-assessments after submitting their initial draft and then again after the peer assessment. They also provided ratings of how useful they found the peer feedback they received. In this talk, I will share my findings from the ongoing analysis of the data collected during this process, situating the results within the broader literature on self and peer-assessment. For both assignments, the results of a multiple regression analysis predicting final assignment marks from peer ratings, usefulness of the peer feedback, and self-assessment ratings have shown that peer ratings and usefulness ratings are each significant predictors of final marks, whereas self-assessment ratings (at either the draft or assessment stage) are not. Specifically, this indicates that peers’ assessments are valid, and that when students receive more useful feedback, marks are improved. Separate analyses have shown that students do incorporate peer ratings into their second self-assessments. The implications of these findings, and results from additional analyses, will be discussed. Participants will learn about peerScholar and the different ways it can be used. Based on the results shared, they will be able to make evidence-based decisions about how to best incorporate this instructional tool into their own courses.

Falchikov, N. (2005). Improving assessment through student involvement: Practical solutions for aiding learning in higher and further education. New York, NY: Routledge Falmer.
Pare, D. E., & Joordens, S. (2008, June). Self-efficacy in the context of peer assessment: An examination of cognitive interference, changes in peer grading, and changes in self-assessment scores. Presented at the Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science 18th Annual Meeting, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario.
Pare, D. E., & Joordens, S. (2008). Peering into large lectures: Examining peer and expert mark agreement using peerScholar, an online peer-assessment tool. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 24(6), 526–540.

Students’ Attitudes towards Statistics in Online Versus Flipped Classrooms
Nathan Taback, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Statistical Sciences
Alison Gibbs, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Statistical Sciences
Technology has allowed instructors to experiment with different course delivery methods including blended, flipped, and fully online courses. For introductory statistics courses, whether different delivery methods result in different learning outcomes (for example, Wilson, 2013; Gundlach et al, 2015) and if different methods have an affect on student attitudes towards statistics (for example, Gundlach et al, 2015). A number of authors (for example, Doehler et al, 2014; Meng, 2009) have suggested that students should ideally learn statistics in the context of their area of study. In the Fall of 2015, our large (over 1,400 students) introductory statistics course, STA220, was taught in both flipped and fully online formats.  In both formats some sections had a discipline-specific focus and other sections were general. All sections used the same online materials. Practice problems, discussions, and case studies discussed in class or online differed among sections depending on the discipline focus. To investigate the effect of delivery method and the discipline-specific sections on student attitudes towards statistics, students’ were asked to complete pre- and post-course surveys (SATS-36). Student performance was measured by results on assessments, including a common final exam. Additional student information collected included cGPA, program of study, and posting on the class discussion forum.  This presentation will focus on comparing students’ attitudes towards statistics by delivery method and discipline specific focus.  An FAS TSPG funded this project.

K. Doehler, L. Taylor, and J. Smith (2013).  A Study of Faculty Views of Statistics and Student Preparation Beyond an Introductory Class.  Journal of Statistics Education 21(1).
E. Gundlach, K.A.R. Richards, D. Nelson, and C. Levesque-Bristol (2015).  A Comparison of Student Attitudes, Statistical Reasoning, Performance, and Perceptions for Web-augmented Traditional, Fully Online, and Flipped Sections of a Statistical Literacy Class.  Journal of Statistics Education 23(1).
X.-L. Meng (2009).  Desired and Feared – What Do We Do Now and Over the Next 50 Years?  The American Statistician 63(3), 202-210.
S.G. Wilson (2013).  The Flipped Class: A Method to Address the Challenges of an Undergraduate Statistics Course.  Teaching of Psychology 40(3), 193-199.

Are Exam Wrappers Effective?
Michelle Craig, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Computer Science
Daniel Zingaro, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Mathematical and Computional Sciences, UTM
Diane Horton, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Computer Science
Danny Heap, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Computer Science
Ben Stephenson, Senior Instructor, Department of Computer Science, University of Calgary
Recent discussion in the scholarship of teaching and learning community has advocated using exam wrappers to improve students’ reflection on their learning[2]. An exam wrapper is a short handout that accompanies a marked test when the test is returned to the student. Students submit answers to wrapper questions about study skills, course concepts or test performance; such questions can even be customized to reflect an individual student’s test errors.

In this talk, I will discuss three research studies on the use of wrappers in first-year computer science courses. In a completed study at the University of Toronto [1], we compared three wrapper styles and did not find significant differential impact on exam scores. We did find improved test pickup rates, correlation between test pickup and exam performance, and qualitative evidence that students successfully reflect on past behaviour and recognize effective study strategies. In an ongoing Toronto study, all students will complete wrappers, and hence have an incentive to pick up their tests, but participants will be randomly assigned to receive legitimate or placebo questions. At the University of Calgary, we are comparing two similar cohorts for the same course, one which completed wrappers and one which did not.

[1] M. Craig, D. Horton, D. Zingaro and D. Heap., Introducing and Evaluating Exam Wrappers in CS2. In Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, March 2016.
[2] M. Lovett. Make exams worth more than the grade. In M. Kaplan, N. Silver, D. LaVague-Manty, and D. Meizlish, editors, Using reflection and metacognition to improve student learning: Across the disciplines, across the academy. 2013.

1.5 Symposium-You: Ambiguity in the Structured World of Engineering
Mike Klassen, Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead), Leadership Programming Consultant
Albert Huynh, Engineering Leadership Education Specialist, Institute for Leadership Education in Engineering (ILead)
Participants in this discussion will explore the challenges of training students to work with ambiguity in the context of critical thinking and complex problem solving, particularly in an educational program that focuses traditionally on well-defined outcomes (i.e. engineering). The setup to this session will be based out of the ongoing co-curricular ILead program “The Game” which asks engineering students to address complex societal problems over seven months while partnered with both university and external mentors. “The Game”, moving now into its third year, is an attempt at having students scope their own problems and to deal with issues that are not always discussed in a traditional positivist environment (i.e. conflicting perspectives and systems of potential root causes). Students have struggled with the level of ambiguity and iteration within the program and have avoided asking for assistance, even in the presence of structured mentorship. With the expectation that students attempt to propose and implement a solution to their selected problem, many feel unsure of what criteria and subject matter expertise to consider when moving forward. Using “The Game” as a case study, participants in this discussion are asked to share experiences and thoughts from their various disciplines on how students learn to work with ambiguity in complex problem solving.

1.6 Symposium-You: When the Experts Disagree: Teaching Controversial Topics Across the Liberal Arts and Sciences
James John, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Philosophy and Cognitive Science
As a philosopher, I’m well acquainted with expert disagreement: there are few if any philosophical topics on which there is a general consensus in the field. But philosophy isn’t the only liberal arts and science discipline marked by controversy: every field has its share of concepts, theories, or methodologies about which researchers disagree, sometimes vociferously.

This creates a dilemma for university instructors. We want our students to understand all sides of controversial issues. But when they realize that for every powerful argument offered for a position there is almost always another powerful argument against that position, students can become cynically complacent (“If the experts can’t agree, who cares?”) or rashly skeptical (“If the experts can’t agree, there’s no fact of the matter!”). How do we fulfill our obligation to inform our students without courting such attitudes?

In this session, we will try to answer this question. I will begin by briefly sharing the approach I take in my yearlong Introduction to Philosophy. (The approach involves making philosophical controversy—its causes and its consequences—one of the subjects of the course.) This will lead us into a wide-ranging discussion of the many issues involved in teaching controversial material. Discussion points will include the psychological and pedagogical literature on disagreement; instructor neutrality vs. instructor disclosure and whether we should inform our students of our own views; and the different ways in which expert disagreement might impact teaching practice in different disciplines. The goal of the session is to spark creative thinking about how to teach the controversies in your field in a way that will engage and inspire your students.

Bourget, David and David J. Chalmers. “What Do Philosophers Believe?” Philosophical Studies 170 (2014): 465-500.
Callcut, Daniel. “The Value of Teaching Moral Skepticism,” Teaching Philosophy 29(3) (2006): 223-235.
Cooper, Tom. “Learning from Ethicists: How Moral Philosophy is Taught at Leading English-Speaking Institutions,” Teaching Ethics 10(1) (2009): 11-38.
Jones, Cynthia. “Instructor Disclosure and Theory Diversity in Teaching Professional Ethics,” Teaching Ethics 13(1) (2012): 91-104.

1.7 Symposium-You: Rethinking Information Literacy: A New Framework for Student Success
Eveline Houtman,  Librarian, Robarts Library, University of Toronto Libraries
Angela Henshilwood, Librarian, Engineering & Computer Science Library, University of Toronto Libraries
Courtney Lundrigan, Librarian, Trinity College Library, University of Toronto Libraries
Research and anecdotal evidence both show that students struggle with research and writing assignments. How can faculty and librarians work together to better help students with the process? Findings from Project Information Literacy, a large-scale study in the United States, show that many students are overwhelmed in starting the course-related research process, evaluate information using limited criteria, and are unable to judge whether they have done a “good job” on the research process (Head & Eisenberg, 2010).

A recent paradigm shift in library instruction may provide ideas to deal with these larger challenges.  The Association of College and Research Libraries’ (2015) new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education goes beyond finding books and articles to engage with concepts such as joining the scholarly conversation and student conduct within academia. This session will provide examples of the Framework’s integration into information literacy instruction at the University of Toronto. There will be an open discussion of how librarians and instructors can collaboratively incorporate the Framework into course assignments to improve student critical thinking and research skills.

Participants are welcome to bring in an assignment as a way to contextualize the discussion and identify where the Framework might fit into their assignment design.

Discussion Questions:

  • In what ways do students in your classes struggle with research and writing assignments?
  • How can this new Framework help with students’ challenges?
  • Which of the frames do you think will be most useful for your own assignments?
  • How could you collaborate with a librarian to integrate the Framework into your assignment?

Association of College and Research Libraries. (2015). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from http://acrl.ala.org/ilstandards/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Framework-MW15-Board-Docs.pdf
Head, A. J., & Eisenberg, M. (2010). Truth be told: How college students evaluate and use information in the digital age. Project Information Literacy. Retrieved from http://projectinfolit.org/images/pdfs/pil_fall2010_survey_fullreport1.pdf

1.8 Symposium-You: Transforming the Classroom: Navigating Disciplinary Approaches to Active Learning
Simone Laughton, Librarian, UTM Library, University of Toronto Libraries
Chet Scoville, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, English, UTM Sanja Hinic-Frlog, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Biology, UTM
Christoph Richter, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Biology, UTM
Sherry Fukuzawa, Sessional Lecturer, Anthropology, UTM
Daniel Zingaro, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Mathematical & Computational Sciences, UTM
Cleo Boyd, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM
How can the disciplines effectively transform from lecture-based classes to technology-enhanced active learning classes? Active learning provides students with opportunities to engage with the instructor, course material and with each other in new and innovative ways. Several studies suggest that students in active learning environments tend to do better academically than those who learn in more traditional classrooms (Brooks, 2011; Walker, Brooks, & Baepler, 2011 both cited in Petersen & Gorman, 2014; Freeman et al., 2014; Weiman, 2014). At the University of Toronto Mississauga we have been experimenting with two pilot technology-enhanced Active Learning Classrooms. These new spaces support small group activities and allow students to share information in a variety of technology-enhanced ways. Our exploration has involved navigating from more traditional modes of teaching to investigating new (and in some cases unfamiliar) territory using a cross-team, multidisciplinary approach.

Some questions that we have as we explore these new spaces are:

  • Is active learning effective? Why?
  • How can learning (for students and for ourselves) be transformed when we try something new?
  • What is the impact of space on teaching and learning? Does where we teach matter?
  • What are some of the challenges encountered when experimenting with more active learning approaches and what do we need to be successful?
  • What technological and academic support programs do you need to help facilitate active learning in your classroom?
  • How do we begin conceptualizing the transformation to active learning from the perspective of different disciplines?

We wrestle with how technological affordances can sometimes help and sometimes hinder our pedagogical goals. During this session, we will provide an introduction to the pilot spaces at U. of T. Mississauga and explore the design and implementation of activities and assessments that are based on active learning pedagogies. We will take a closer look at the preparation and review processes to help align and adjust course learning outcomes. The discussion will begin with a focus on both practical and theoretical aspects of activity and assignment design, with instructors from Biology, Computer Science, English, and Anthropology sharing their experiences and insights.  Then we will open the discussion and welcome your experiences as we reflect on the interplay between space, discipline and active learning.

Freeman, S., Eddy, S.L., McDonough, M., Smith, M.K., Okorafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M.P., (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 111 (23), 8410-8415.
Petersen, C.I. & Gorman, K.S. (2014). Strategies to address common challenges when teaching in an active learning classroom. In P. Baepler, D.C. Brooks, & J. D. Walker (Eds.) Active Learning Spaces: New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 137, 63 – 70.
Weiman, C.E., (2014). Large-scale comparison of science teaching methods sends clear message. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 111 (23), 8319-8320.

1:40pm – 2:25pm

2.1 Interactive Workshop: Reading, Thinking and Writing in the Disciplines: Empowering Transformations
Elaine Khoo, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Centre for Teaching & Learning, UTSC
Lack of vocabulary compounds the problems English Language Learners (and other students) face in coping with the academic reading, writing and oral communication needs in their courses, in seeking job placements, and with other opportunities to contribute fully as members of the academic community. In order to develop better critical thinking skills needed for academic work, students need to engage deeply with texts in their disciplines, and be able to explore their thinking through writing. Given the large numbers of students who need to urgently improve their academic communication skills, and given missed opportunities to harness the benefits of diversity these students can bring, we need to re-think how students can be sustainably supported to expand their vocabulary and written language skills as quickly as possible. In this interactive session, participants have a short think-pair-share activity where they will identify the problem areas they have observed.  They will then be introduced to the Vocabulary Expansion Accelerator (VEA) webtool that will enable students across all disciplines, year of study (graduate and undergraduate) and level of proficiency to accelerate their academic vocabulary acquisition and language usage ability relative to the needs in their respective disciplines.  Participants will engage in a game that will enable them to gain insights into the mechanism of improvement and then explore how they could leverage the tri-campus availability of this tool (using UTORiD) for their teaching contexts.  Suggestions for further improvement in features to serve needs across three campuses will be welcome.


2.3 Lightning Talks: From Undergrad to the Future
Science Communication for First year Students: From the Research Lab to the Public
Emanuel Istrate, Coordinator & Instructor, Arthur Schawlow Stream, Victoria College
For science students, understanding the process through which science is advanced and disseminated is just as important as understanding the scientific principles themselves. Oral and written communications are essential in today’s science. This course looks at science and its interactions with society, considering the topics mentioned above among others. This course is part of the VicOne stream in the Physical Sciences, at Victoria College.

In a project of the course, students build visual demonstrations for recent science discoveries from the U of T research labs. They start from scientific journal articles, and develop intuitive methods to show and explain this science to the general public. Focusing on U of T discoveries, they often meet with the researchers involved, and experience directly the environment where the scientific work was done. The project deliverables are a live presentation of the demonstration along with a poster, as well as a pair of written submission.

Our university is very strong in both research and undergraduate education. However, undergraduate students rarely experience first-hand the research aspects of the university, especially in lower years. Through this project students bridge this gap, while at the same time developing their scientific communication skills and integrating the other learning goals of the course. The hands-on demonstration that they build engages them strongly with the project.

Session participants will understand the VicOne program goals and the context of first-year science programs.

Academic Reading Circles
Tyson Seburn, Lead Instructor, Critical Reading & Writing, International Foundation Program, New College
Academic Reading Circles is an individual and collaborative activity that can transform learner struggles with challenging texts into stronger engagement and comprehension. Through exemplars, five roles (Leader, Visualiser, Contextualiser, Connector, Highlighter) will be examined. While intended to help second-language students, participants will be able to adapt easily for seminar classes.

In this talk, I provide an overview of an intensive reading approach, which combines individual and collaborative reading to facilitate stronger ability to discuss course texts and apply understanding to written assignments. First, I will briefly situate ARC in IFP020Y1Y Critical Reading & Writing for first-year students in the International Foundation Program at New College, a program which works with English as a second or other language students. Then we will look at what ARC involves: students are given specific roles that focus on different aspects of a text when individually reading; later, they share discoveries based on these roles in a collaborative group discussion that promotes a collective understanding deeper than what is typically accomplished individually; this culminates in applying this co-constructed knowledge to concept discussion. Through exemplars, we will specifically explore the five roles involved (Leader, Visualiser, Contextualiser, Connector, Highlighter) with regard to how they address specific student issues with undergraduate reading: summarising main ideas and supporting points; exploring contextual references authors use to strength points; making connections between concepts in the text, prior knowledge, and outside readings; detecting bias and reliability; using visual data to interpret text concepts; and understanding lexical items in context. The information and exemplars used will be enough to enable participants to adapt ARC with their own groups.

Encouraging Students to Make Connections between Course Concepts and Real-World Applications
Barb Morra, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Chemistry
One of the most challenging objectives within large undergraduate science courses is highlighting the relevance of course content to real-world applications. However, when students recognize the role of course material in the world around them, it generates both interest and enthusiasm for the topic. This talk will focus on a new “Chemistry Connections Challenge” assignment that was recently introduced into a large second-year organic chemistry course (800+ students per year) at the University of Toronto. The optional assignment invited students to create a PowerPoint slide to share with the class that featured an interesting application of the lecture material. This versatile assignment can be easily implemented across all STEM disciplines since it encourages students to explore exciting applications of lecture material while sharing that knowledge with their peers. The process of developing this new assignment, select student examples, and the learning outcomes of this unique assignment towards student learning and engagement will be discussed by sharing the data collected from student evaluations.

2.4 Research on Teaching Learning: Identity, Place and Interpersonal Relationships In and Beyond the Classroom        
Becoming Professional: Examining How Internship Students Learn to Construct and Perform their Professional Identities
Tracey Bowen, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Institute of Communications, Culture, Information & Technology, UTM
Many University departments have developed Professional Development Skills (PDS) programs as co-curricular initiatives to help students learn the professional acumen they will need once they graduate and seek to become industry professionals. However, how do students define professionalism and where do they think they learn how to be a professional? Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) programs such as academic internships help students acquire professional acumen and provide opportunities for them to experiment with new aspects of self and identity (Trede 2012:160). Twelve internship students were interviewed regarding their perspectives on how they think they learn about professionalism and the information sources they use. They describe how they renegotiate their identities in an effort to develop a professional image, yet try not to completely compromise their sense of self, a process that often creates a “divided self.” Dervin’s (1999) theory of sense-making provides a framework for examining the students’ struggle with professional identity development as they employ self-management and self-regulation to create and perform the role of the professional for others to see. The study findings highlight the importance of reflection for students struggling with constructing a professional self, and the role of professors and academic staff in creating spaces for students to experiment and try-on professional identities before they graduate.

Bowen, T. (2011). Examining undergraduate student learning journals for indicators of developing autonomy and professional capacity in an internship course. Higher Education Research and Development, 30(4), 463–475.
Dervin, B. (1999a). Chaos, Order, and Sense-Making: A Proposed Theory for Information Design. In R. Jackson (Ed.), Information Design. Pp. 35-57. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
Teichler, U. (2009). Higher education and the world of work. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
Trede F. (2012). Role of Work-Integrated learning in developing professionalism and personal identity. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 13(3), 159-167.

Living at the Water’s Edge: Towards a De-Colonial Place-Based Pedagogy
Bonnie McElhinney, Associate Professor, Anthropology & Women and Gender Studies Institute

Teaching Ethics in an Introductory Geosciences Course
Charly Bank, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Earth Sciences
Geoethics is a new field within Earth science; prompted by increased scrutiny of scientists’ and companies’ actions that impact on society’s well-being as they relate to cities, groundwater, natural disasters, and climate change. The geoscience teaching community has developed teaching material (see, for example, Mogk, 2016); however, at this point there are no studies measuring the effectiveness of such material. Yacobucci (2013) presents a rationale as well as strategies to engage students in values-building activities suitable for an Earth science course with small (22 student) labs. My study tests an approach more suitable for a large r(n=300 students) lecture-based course aimed at non-science students.

My hypothesis is that although I am unable to assess my students’ morals I can assess their critical thinking around decision-making. Moreover, the process of ethical-decision making mirrors the research process, and from this I have developed questions that allow me to assess student learning about geoethics. My study frames instruction in a large distribution geoscience course currently taught by a senior graduate student in the UofT Department of Earth Sciences. The instruction includes one tutorial and one poster session  where students learn the science of common natural disasters (eg, flooding), discuss viewpoints of various stakeholder groups (eg, affected community, insurance companies, and politicians), and have to decide on an ethical issue that minimizes the overall harm (eg, do we allow homeowners to rebuild after a flood). The study consists of voluntary online pre- and post-instruction questionnaires that aim to measure student attitudes towards geoethics. Rubrics developed to grade a non-voluntary but anonymous exam question that will allow me to gauge if students have learned to apply the tools we introduced with the tutorial and poster.

Mogk, D., 2016: Teaching geoethics across the geoscience curriculum. accessed on 12 Jan 2016 at http://serc.carleton.edu/geoethics/index.html
Yacobucci, A., 2013. Integrating critical thinking about values into an introductory geoscience course. J. Geosci. Ed., vol 61, pg 351-363.

2.5 Symposium-You: Community Engaged Learning as a Pedagogical Disturbance: Teaching a Service Learning Course
Eloise Tan, Coordinator, Academic Initiatives, Centre for Community Partnerships
David Roberts, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Urban Studies Program, Innis College & Faculty Advisor, First in the FamilySheila Stewart, Acting Coordinator, Community Engaged Learning, New College
Transforming your pedagogical approach can be exciting and reinvigorating but it can also be fraught with uncertainty and doubt. This remains true whether you are trying out a new lecture format or adding a dimension of technology to your teaching. For those who learn to teach a service learning course, it is a complete pedagogical transformation. Much of the literature on first time service learning experiences focuses on the student learning experience (Baldwin, S., Buchanan, & Rudisill, M., 2007; Markus, G., Howard, J. & King, C., 1993). The first time one teaches a service learning course, a lot of learning occurs and not just for the students. For the lecturer it is a time of rethinking one’s role as an educator and as an evaluator of student learning.

Service learning invites us to redefine how we value knowledge, where learning can happen, and what our role is as university educators. In many ways service learning embodies what Barnett (2007) refers to as a “pedagogical disturbance” and where “a different language is required. A language for risk, uncertainty and transformation of human being itself [that] calls for imagination” (p.257). This roundtable is an invitation to share in the lessons learned from a faculty member who has completed teaching their first service learning course. It is an invitation to all who are interested in hearing from someone what it was actually like to teach with students learning from community placements.

Overarching discussion question
What pedagogical considerations can we learn from colleagues who have taught their first service learning course?

Guiding discussion points:

  • What are our motivations for designing a community engaged learning course? What drives us to explore this type of high-impact teaching practice?
  • What supports are available for faculty considering CEL?
  • What types of courses might work best with a CEL pedagogy?
  • What could teaching alongside a community partner bring to your teaching / students’ learning experiences?
  • What are some considerations faculty should be aware of before teaching a CEL course?

Barnett, R. (2004) Learning for an unknown future, Higher Education
Research & Development, 23:3, 247-260
Baldwin, S., Buchanan, & Rudisill, M. (2007). What teacher candidates learned about diversity, social justice, and themselves from service-learning experiences, Journal of Teacher Education, 58:4, 315-327
Markus, G., Howard, J. & King, C. (1993) Integrating community service and classroom instruction enhances learning: results from an experiment, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 15:4, 410-419.

2.6 Symposium-You: Transforming Large Class Teaching to Enhance Student Learning, Engagement and Success
Michelle French, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Physiology
Teaching a large class is arguably one of the toughest, but also most rewarding, teaching assignments at U of T.  On one hand the instructor must work to motivate students to learn the material, while on the other, there is the potential to inspire large numbers of students to continue in the discipline. The purpose of this workshop is to bring together instructors who share the common goal of identifying the best practices for large class teaching. Participants will work both individually and in groups to address questions including: What are the challenges that you face in teaching large classes? What successful active learning activities have you used to both enhance student learning and skill development? How do you prepare your students for class (e.g. readings, videos, quizzes)? How do you address questions from your students? What technologies have you used to foster student engagement? The symposium facilitator has taught large classes for over fifteen years and has recently travelled to the U.S., Australia and New Zealand investigating effective techniques for large class teaching. It is anticipated that participants will leave the session with a list of resources and new strategies to transform their large class teaching, along with a list of colleagues who have already successfully used the strategy in this challenging setting.

2.7 Symposium-You: Professionalism in eLearning
Maureen Gottesman, Associate Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine, and Medical Director for the Physicians Assistants Program, Faculty of Medicine
Sharona Kanofsky, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Family and Community Medicine
This symposium is intended for intermediate to advanced educators with an interest in and some experience with eLearning (interacting with students in the on-line environment). Commonly used tools and expectations when delivering a professional degree program in an on-line environment will be explored to ground case examples suitable for group discussions.

Discussion Question: How should faculty approach “unprofessional” students  in the eLearning environment?

Discussion Points:

  • When should we label unanticipated behaviours of students as unprofessional?
  • What are some professionalism considerations when adult learners in the eLearning environment are expected to actively participate and collaborate?
  • Should we modify our professionalism expectations when it comes to written vs oral communication in the eLearning environment?

2.8 Symposium-You: Graduate Professional Development Courses
Jonathan Turner, Career Educator, Career Centre
Nana Lee, Director and Lecturer of GPD, Biochemistry and Immunology
In this session we will explore different models for professional development courses for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows (credit-bearing, not-for-credit, full year, half year, within an academic unit, open to all students, for PhDs only, for Masters only, focused on particular skills, focused on academic work search, focused on more general skill development, and focused on transferable skills and transitioning to non-academic work). Participants will learn effective practices from their colleagues across the university that they may be able to incorporate in their own professional development courses. This session will be of value to anyone who is offering, or intends to offer, a professional development course for graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows in their department.

Overarching discussion question: what makes a professional development course for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows effective?

Discussion points (sub-questions):

  • what are the different structures, audiences, and themes?
  • How do we assess student learning?
  • How do we evaluate programs?

2:25pm – 2:40pm

2:40pm – 3:25pm

3.1 Interactive Workshop: High Impact Practices as a Pathway for Meaningful Experiences for All Students
David Newman, Senior Director, Student Experience
Adam Kuhn, Director, Student & Campus Community DevelopmentJeff Burrow, Manager, Assessment & Analysis, Student Life
The National Survey on Student Engagement (NSSE) tells the University of Toronto many things about the experiences of our undergraduate students, including the relationship between student engagement and their participation in High-Impact Practices (HIPs) in education. High-Impact practices include; learning community where groups of students take two or more classes together, courses that included a community-based project (service-learning), working with a faculty member on a research project, Internships (co-op, field experience, student teaching, or clinical placement), study abroad, and culminating senior experience (capstone course, senior project or thesis, comprehensive exam, or portfolio). Kuh (2008) highlights the impact and value that these HIPs have on all students; however traditionally underrepresented students often show lower participation rates in these experiential opportunities. NSSE recommends that all first year students participate in at least one HIP and by fourth year, they should have participated in at least 2: at U of T currently 25% of fourth year students participate in 1 HIP and an additional 50% do 2 or more. This interactive session will provide participants with new U of T data gleaned from the 2014 NSSE survey on the impact of HIPs on the undergraduate student experience, data on barriers and challenges that student experience, and engage participants in a discussion on possible practices and initiatives that would encourage and allow for even more students to engage in HIPs, highlighting university-wide and local initiatives that we can collectively leverage and begin to develop an inventory of promising practices.

3.2 Interactive Workshop: Digital Humanities in the Performing Arts
Antje Budde, Associate Professor, Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies
Monty Martin, PhD Candidate, Digital Dramaturgy Lab
Richard Windeyer, PhD Candidate, Digital Dramatury Lab
Digital Humanities (DH) in the most basic sense is understood as an integration of computing with (dominantly text-, speech- or object/artifact based) disciplines in the Humanities. One of the major functions is to make knowledge accessible in digital form (e-publications, archives) or to support and extend conventional forms of analysis (search functions, speech recognitions, data visualization etc.). These collaborations are often based on specific and gendered types of labor division. The importance of interacting bodies (human and non-human, material and digital) and embodiment – so crucial to human interaction in general and specifically in the performing arts (theatre, film, television, video games, politics and popular culture) – is often missing. Furthermore, computer specialists are hired to solve the digital/technical problems not actively involving humanities scholars that much. Our workshop addresses possibilities of digital literacy in our field as well as embodied and experiential learning.

Our interactive presentation will first introduce several courses (undergraduate and/or graduate) and related form(at)s of creative learning that were developed in affiliation with the Digital Dramaturgy Lab. (DDL) http://digitaldramaturgy.wix.com/main

We will then address matters of course design, collaborative/experiential modes of learning, time as a factor in process-based learning and the methodological approach that we call “critical making” as well as the spatial and technological environment in which we work in a networking fashion. We will also talk about project funding opportunities that we have used for such projects.

U of T News (Boisseau, March 22, 2016) recently ran a story about the benefits of Lab-based learning and the empowering effects this has for students (and scholars). Usually this model is situated in the context of the natural or social sciences and less in the humanities. Our Lab works at intersections of scientific, academic and artistic exploration/experimentation, which is further enriched and critically challenged by practice-as-research methods (Nelson) generated in our fields of study. There is beauty in the doing. The DDL Lab offers an inclusive praxis of intervention and interference that has the potential to inspire broader applications across disciplines. Lab work here is based on non-conventional/non-hierarchical labor division – a social practice that is both visionary (McLean, Bal, Halberstam) and pragmatic. Workshop participants will be introduced to such practices of togetherness and collaboration and hopefully encourages us to Re:THINK both the navigation and transformation of learning.

We adopted and extended the term of “Critical making” (defined by Matt Ratto, 2011) by employing an integrative and process-oriented strategy or operative and networking system of learning that “pragmatically connect(s) two modes of engagement with the world that are often held separate—critical thinking … and physical ‘making’”.  (Ratto)

In the second half of our workshop we will exemplify our working methods by taking the participants through an embodied exercise that explores and subverts the western concept of “global popular culture” by employing both the cultural performative concept and the technical setup of the Karaoke machine. We would like to engage with workshop participants actively and playfully by using two participatory interfaces that we developed for our lecture/performance “Jing@Ju Karaoke: Interactive Queering of Beijing Opera”. (2015)

Bal, Mieke (2002) Travelling concepts in the humanities: a rough guide. (Toronto, Buffalo, London:University
of Toronto Press)
Halberstam, Judith (2011) The Queer Art of Failure. (London:Duke University Press)
McLean, Stuart (2013) “What is the University for? A story from the dreamtime of a possible Future”
Manifesto Now! Instructions for Performance, Philosophy, Politics. Edited by Laura Cull and Will Daddario.
(Bristol and Chicago:Intellect.) 117-125.
Nelson, Robin (2013) Practice as Research in the Arts. (New York:Palgrave Macmillan)
Ratto, M. (2011) “Critical Making: conceptual and material studies in technology and social life”, The Information Society 27(4). Critical Making Lab, U of T. http://criticalmaking.com/about/
Peter Boisseau (2016)  “The best kind of teaching and the best kind of learning”: lab-based course empowers undergrads” March 22, 2016

3.3 Lightning Talks: Powerful Assessments I – Deep Reflection, Deep Connections     
Body Maps for Teaching Migration
Paloma Villegas, Sessional Lecturer, Sociology, UTSC
This presentation will discuss an assignment based on body map storytelling, a qualitative research methodology that asks participants to represent their embodied experiences on tracings of their bodies (Gastaldo et al., 2012). The assignment takes and modifies that idea and asks students to find first person migration narratives and depict them on body tracings. The final outcome includes 1) the body map 2) the migrants’ story and 3) a body map “key” and sociological analysis of the migrant’s experience.

Through the assignment, students reflect on context-specific understandings of embodiment, engage in the creative presentation of ideas, and elaborate a sociological analysis linking micro understandings of migration to macro-structural processes.  Also, because students work in small groups, it promotes collaboration.

This assignment can be modified for courses in both the social sciences and sciences, particularly those that focus on embodied experiences of pain, injury or disease, with the body map key focusing on discipline specific analysis.

Drawing Back the Curtain: When Students Design a Course
Ken Derry, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Historical Studies, UTM
Saadia Salamath, Former Undergraduate Student
In the 2015 winter term I taught a problem-based fourth year seminar course on Christianity and modern literature to 19 undergraduate students. I divided the class into four groups, and assigned each group a specific literary text. I then asked them to design an undergraduate course featuring the text they had been assigned.

The final project comprised two key pieces:

  1. An annotated syllabus that would be given to the instructor hired to teach the hypothetical course;
  2. A lecture on the assigned text that would be given as part of the hypothetical course.

To help students with the pedagogical portion of their group task I provided them with various teaching resources (on course design, methods of assessment, etc.). It was up to the students to locate suitable resources on Christianity and literature that would help them create the course content.

This assignment drew back the professor’s curtain, in a sense, revealing the levers and buttons that we use to make our own courses so that the students could try their own hand at the task. It also inevitably led them to reflect on the reasons why other courses they had taken might have been constructed as they were. Asking students to consider teaching and learning from the perspective of an instructor, in other words, pushed them in significant ways to re-think their entire academic experience at university.

This assignment was also a critical tool in achieving the learning outcomes for the course. These included helping students become able to:

  • Develop a critical response to complex, open-ended problems as an individual and with a group;
  • Identify and reflect upon their own assumptions and biases, particularly in relation to a specific problem;
  • Manage their own learning individually and in a group setting;
  • Critically reflect upon their own learning individually and in a group setting;
  • Identify reasons for uncertainty and limits to knowledge regarding the possible connections between Christianity and modern literature.

Empathy Exercise
Heather Kertland, Assistant Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
Natalie Crown, Clinician Educator and Assistant Professor, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy
There are many skills and attitudes future health professionals including pharmacy students require; empathy and self-reflection are among them. In a second year pharmacotherapy course students are asked to develop patient specific recommendations throughout the course on how to reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease. Student responses often include a lengthy list of health related activities involving significant lifestyle modifications without much attention paid to how one could incorporate the recommendations. To address the perceived need for students to reflect on the process involved in behaviour change, we developed an “empathy exercise.” This voluntary bonus assignment instructed students to adopt one of the common lifestyle patient recommendations they had made (e.g., track and follow a low sodium diet, incorporate 150 minutes of exercise/week) for a minimum of 1 week. Students were asked to submit a one page personal reflection describing their activity and the challenges incorporating it into their lifestyle. The exercise has been assigned for two years, with participation being almost 100% each year. The assignment has been evaluated based on content review of the reflections and feedback from the students. We have found the strength of the assignment was the opportunity for students to attempt to enact a lifestyle modification and “live” the challenges patients face when attempting to incorporate significant lifestyle changes. One challenge with the assignment included recognizing the need to provide students with guidance on how to prepare reflections. The second iteration of the assignment incorporated guiding questions to direct their statements.

3.4 Lightning Talks: Powerful Assessments II – Building Skills Through High Impact Practices        
Impact of Undergraduate Research Assignments on Significant Learning
Zohreh Shahbazi, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Computer & Mathematical Sciences, UTSC
In an upper level undergraduate mathematics course, students are required to explore a modern topic in geometry and write a report about it. The format of the report is similar to a typical mathematics journal paper. Students find this task challenging as they need to employ higher order thinking skills. In order to guide students better, the assignment was broken to smaller chunks including weekly mini presentations and discussion sessions with their peers. Students also attended an hour-long library session to develop research skills as well as receiving writing support from The Writing Centre. The scaffolded research assignment created an active learning environment in which students were able to discover their passions and broaden their academic communication skills within their chosen discipline.

Using Video, Self and Peer Assessment to Enhance Skill Development
Erica Cambly, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
Integrating appropriate self and peer assessment practices into undergraduate nursing education may enhance students’ learning as students receive timely, constructive feedback and have the opportunity to learn from watching another’s actions and providing feedback in a thoughtful, professional manner.  Self-assessment aims to promote autonomy and independence and allows the student to critically reflect on practice. When coupled with the use of video, powerful opportunities for learning are gained (Maloney, Storr, Morgan, & Ilic, 2013; Marsh & Mitchell, 2014). This lightning talk will reflect on an innovative online assignment that incorporated video, peer and self-assessment.  Students filmed their performance of a skill and uploaded the video to a secure server.  After uploading the videos, the students received and provided online peer feedback. They were able to review their own video with the peer feedback prior to submitting a self-evaluation in which they commented on their ability to integrate three distinct components of the course.  This project has received positive feedback. Students have suggested that the need to practice the skill multiple times during the filming process combined with the need to observe and assess another’s video helps to instill knowledge of the principles and competencies in a more meaningful way than through study of text or observations of experts. This talk will give a brief summary about benefits and challenges associated with implementing video, self and peer assessment to enhance skill development. The presenter hopes to engage in discussions with participants about how this type of assessment might be used in other courses.

Maloney, S., Storr, M., Morgan, P., & Ilic, D. (2013). The effect of student self-video of performance on clinical skill competency: a randomized controlled trial. Advances in Health Science Education, 18, 81-89. DOI 10.1007/s10459-012-9356-1
Marsh, B. & Mitchell, N. (2014). The role of video in teacher professional development. Teacher Development, 18(3), 403-417. DOI 10.1080/13664530.2014.938106

Using Problem Based Learning in First Year Courses
Beth Fischer, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, & Coordinator, WoodsworthONE, Woodsworth College
Transitioning to university life can be challenging for First-Year students. Not only must they master complex course material, they grapple with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Using problem based learning (PBL) can address these two challenges. PBL promotes deep learning and cultivates a sense of community.

PBL is a student-centred method of learning. An instructor provides an open-ended problem and students work in teams to address the dilemma. Students drive the learning process by reasoning through the problem and developing and evaluating potential solutions. Thus the process promotes intellectual exploration and deep learning as opposed to the memorization of facts. Students develop their problem-solving skills, build substantive knowledge, and hone their ability to work in teams.

I have used this technique in a First-Year course on global security with much success. I developed simulations that prompt students to reason through practical problems so as to better understand theoretical concepts. For example, in order teach students about nuclear security I designed an activity which simulates a nuclear crisis. Students are divided into two groups – Soviets and Americans – and are confronted with a series of intelligence reports suggesting the adversary has launched a nuclear attack. Each group must reason through its response as the clock ticks down the time until detonation.

Course evaluations indicate that students find this activity to be engaging, a valuable learning tool, and an effective method for building a community of learners.

3.5 Symposium-You: Developing Skills through Learning Content: Integrating Research and Writing Training Into An Introductory Biology Course
Christoph Richter, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Biology, UTM
Mindy Thuna, Research Enterprise Liaison Librarian, UTM Library, University of Toronto Libraries
Michael Kaler, Lecturer and Writing Specialist, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM
How can we deliver instruction in research and writing skills in large introductory science courses so as to make it productive and supporting course-specific learning objectives?

Talking Points:

  1. How can we best teach research and writing development as ongoing processes that students participate in throughout and across courses?
  2. How can we most effectively integrate Library and RGASC support into our course planning?
  3. Do classroom response systems add to the effectiveness of these interventions, or detract from it?”

3.6 Symposium-You: Using Check-In’s and Closings to Structure Seminars in Practicum-Based Courses
Amy Bender, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing
Mary Guyton, Clinical Instructor, Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing

Practicum-based courses are a cornerstone of undergraduate education in the helping professions. Thoughtful structuring of seminars and clinical discussions in these courses is vital for maximizing students’ opportunity for reflection about their evolving practice and themselves as practitioners. How we begin and end seminars is a seemingly small detail yet significant in setting the tone for reflection to take place. ‘Peace & Power’ (Wheeler & Chinn 1991), a model for group process, has been taken up across various contexts of group work, including classrooms. This session focuses on two of its six strategies: the Check In and the Closing.  We will present a brief overview of ‘Peace & Power’ and share some examples of adapting these two strategies in our community health nursing course. In our experience, the Check In and Closing contribute to building a supportive community of learning by calling students’ attention to the here-and-now of the classroom, the seminar content, and to each other. There are also challenges: 1) the Check In often loses focus and takes more time than planned; and 2) the Closing is often sacrificed altogether for time-demands. We aim to stimulate a conversation that will introduce new insights into what makes successful beginnings and endings of seminars, with overarching questions: why bother?; and if we bother, how do we get better at it? With these questions as our guide, specific discussion points include: 1) the how-to’s and challenges of Check In’s and Closings; 2) the merits of ‘Peace & Power’ as one framework; and 3) other experiences/ideas for attending to group process that sustains critical reflection about practice.

3.7 Symposium-You: Synchronous Online Group Testing: Strategies for Group Assessment Using TeamUp!
Melody Neumann, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Cell & Systems Biology
Franco Taverna, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology Program

The Team Up! group assessment software tool was initially developed in 2014 to improve synchronous (real-time) small group interactions and student learning in an online molecular biology course.  TeamUp!, contains many of the features known to provide an engaging way to enhance online group interaction and dynamics (Conrad and Donaldson 2011 and 2012; Michaelson, 2004) while students learn and apply course concepts.  Additional pedagogical and logistical goals related to the development of the tool included: 1) a means to provide social interaction (student-student) important to the success of online learners 2) a new method for active learning (importance in STEM disciplines described by Freeman et al., 2014) 3) a quick and easy method for frequent testing with immediate feedback (Matascusa et al., 2011)  4) a new way to facilitate peer teaching (Mazur, 1997) 5) an incentive to develop online social interaction skills increasingly important in the workplace, and 6) an easy grading mechanism that connects to the Bb Grade Centre. The tool was developed to be flexible for use in any discipline and to be easily incorporated into other assessment strategies.  As a result, in 2016, the Team Up! tool was adopted by an online neurobiology course that required instant feedback as part of its two-stage midterm testing strategy (Zipp, 2007).

The goals of this session are to introduce Team Up! and outline two strategies for its use in a university setting. We will provide data comparing student test scores with and without Team Up!, as well as student survey data related to their perceptions of its effectiveness for improving online course engagement, participation, and social interaction. We will then broaden the discussion to the use of Team Up! and other online assessments or tools to other teaching contexts, including face-to-face classes. We will use the following questions to help frame the discussion:

1) Team Up! was initially designed to be used in an online course, but could be used in a face-to-face class in any discipline. What sorts of teaching goals or situations would benefit from the use of Team Up!? Are there constraints on its use?

2) Are there other online assessments or tools that help increase learning, engagement, or interaction? Could these also be used in a face-to-face class? What are the benefits and limitations of such tools in the wide range of teaching contexts that exist across disciplines and divisions at the University of Toronto?

3) Team Up! has been designed to test major misconceptions and also permits scaffolding of course concepts. As a result, it could be a rich source of analytics that could help guide our teaching. What sorts of analytics would most people find useful?


Conrad RM and Donaldson JA. 2011. Engaging the Online Learner. Jossey Bass Wiley Imprint, San Francisco, CA. 139 pp.

Conrad RM and Donaldson JA. 2012. Continuing to Engage the Online Learner: More activities and resources for creative instruction. Jossey Bass Wiley Imprint, San Francisco, CA. 139 pp.

Freeman S, Eddy SL, McDonough M, Smith MK, Okoroafor N, Jordt H, and Wenderoth MP. 2014. Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. PNAS 111(23):8410-5

Mastascusa EJ, Snyder WJ, Hoyt BS, Editors. 2011. Effective Instruction for STEM Disciplines: From learning theory to college teaching. Jossey Bass Wiley Imprint, San Francisco, CA. 260 pp.

Mazur, E. 1997. Peer Instruction: A User’s Manual. Toronto: Prentice-Hall.

Michaelsen, L.K. 2004. “Appendix A–Frequently Asked Questions about Team-Based Learning” and “Appendix E—Speeding up Team Development with Immediate Feedback” in Team-Based Learning: A transformative use of small groups in college teaching. Edited by: Michaelsen L.K., Bauman Knight A., and Fink, L.D. Stylus Publishing, LLC, Sterling, VA. 286 pp.

Zipp, J. 2007.  Teaching Sociology Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 62-76

3.8 Symposium-You: Social Media – Re-assessing the Perceived Liabilities and Benefits for Student Engagement and Pedagogy
Bill Ju, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology Program
Tyson Seburn, Lead Instructor, Critical Reading & Writing, International Foundation Program, New College
Shanna Stanley-Hasnain, Teaching Assistant , Institute of Medical Sciences
Zainab Montala, Teaching Assistant, Institute of Medical Sciences,Mandy Yuen, Undergraduate Student, Human Biology Program
Justin Huang, Undergraduate Student, Physiology and Human Biology
Catherine Matolcsy, Undergraduate Student, Physiology and Human Biology
Students are increasingly encouraged to bring their own devices to the classroom to enhance their learning experiences. In addition, most students also identify as being active on social media during their undergraduate studies. As online social media environments such as Facebook are increasingly being used by students as ancillary learning spaces, the literature is divided on whether teaching faculty should use these platforms to foster better learning outcomes and student engagement.  In this the first part of this round-table discussion we will identify the perceived liabilities as well as potential benefits from engaging students in these social media forums and moderate discussion on how this might be addressed at a departmental, faculty-wide and institutional level. In keeping with the theme of identifying perceived liabilities versus benefits we will also discuss issues surrounding social media becoming an unregulated resource that could potentially foster academic misconduct versus being a useful pedagogical platform for student engagement.

3:45pm – 4:30pm

Scott Rutherford, Executive Director, Leadership Development Lab, Rotman School of Management

Meric Gertler, President
Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education
David Chan, PhD Candidate, Department of Psychology
Emma Smith, BA, University of Toronto, 2016

The panel will engage directly with the outcomes of the morning plenary session, broadly discussing the ways we can anticipate, leverage and even create transformative changes in higher education.

4:30pm – 6pm

Join us for the launch of the University of Toronto’s first institutional teaching publication, Re:THINK! To mark the 10th annual Symposium and to celebrate teaching at the University of Toronto, we are releasing this exciting publication to coincide with the Symposium. The publication profiles teaching innovations and initiatives from across all three campuses and many divisions. Come to the reception and pick up a copy for yourself!


If you have any questions, please contact erin.macnab@utoronto.ca.



If you have any questions about the questions about the Teaching & Learning Symposium agenda, please contact Erin Macnab, Programs Coordinator at erin.macnab@utoronto.ca or 416-946-0464.