Full Agenda 2019

University of Toronto’s Teaching and Learning Symposium


alt= a graphic artists depictions of Adam Finkelstein's morning plenary topic

Thank you to everyone who attended, shared your experiences, research and enthusiasm at this year’s Teaching and Learning Symposium. It was an inspiring day and we look forward to continuing the conversation around Learning Spaces + Places.

May 28, 2019
Desautels Hall, Rotman School of Management

Co-hosted by the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation and the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking



8am-2pm – Registration

2nd Floor, Outside Desautels Hall
Rotman School of Management, 95 St. George Street

8:45am-10:30am – Plenary Session

Welcome and Land Acknowledgement
Susan McCahan
, Vice-Provost, Innovations in Undergraduate Education

Opening Remarks
Carol Rolheiser, Director, Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation

Moderator: Mihnea Moldoveanu, Vice Dean, Learning and Innovation, and Director, Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking, Rotman School of Management

Choice Architecture for Active Learning: Physical and Digital Learning Environments
Adam Finkelstein, Associate Director, Learning Environments (Physical and Digital), Teaching and Learning Services, McGill University (see bio)

Students that engage in deep learning show greater educational gains and success at university. In order to create these opportunities for meaningful, deep learning students need to be actively engaged. Where we learn has a significant impact on how we learn. Learning spaces are designed with choice architecture; they “nudge” instructors and students towards certain types of teaching and learning. As educators, we need to be aware of the impact that learning spaces, both physical and digital, can have on learning and how we can best take advantage of them. We will examine evidence of how students learn, the impact that “spaces” can have on learning, and why space matters for not only active learning, but for all learning.

Student Perspectives
Chika Stacy Oriuwa, Faculty of Medicine (see bio)
Aditya Rau, Trinity ’16 (see bio)

10:30am-10:45am – Break

10:45am-12pm – Concurrent Sessions I

1.1 Symposium-You: Making Space for Varied Voices

Podcast Pedagogy: The Power of Stories to Create Learning Connections
Carly Stasko, Coordinator, Integrated Learning & Community Engagement, Hart House, Jenifer Newcombe, Director, ILCE, Hart House, Day Milman, Coordinator, ILCE, Hart House, Sabrina Brathwaite, Student Podcast Producer, Hart House, Micaela Kong Gonzalez, Tony Luong, and Ruvimbo Mutangadura, Student Podcast Producers, Hart House

Podcasting takes listeners to a virtual ‘third place’, a shared imaginative listening space of narrative connection, allowing for meaningful self-reflection and engagement. The popularity, variety and quality of podcasts has been increasing at an unprecedented rate. The Hart House Stories podcast team is a diverse group of students and staff that will explore how educators can use the storytelling medium of podcasts to foster holistic learning connections. We will discuss what skills and competencies students, educators and audiences can develop through digital storytelling, and how might instructors consider podcasting as a method for learning. Examples include as means of reflection, assessment, engaging with under-represented narratives, democratizing research, building a deeper understanding of student experiences, as a resource to spark conversations or as a new means of capturing lecture content. This discussion will also explore how creating/listening to podcasts fits into undergraduate learning experiences. We consider how podcasting connects with community engagement priorities, work integrated learning, work-study, and the reimagined undergraduate experience. This discussion will explore topics such as the intimacy of hearing human voices in an age dominated by screens and isolation, and research findings from “The Cultural Orientation Research Center” that shows how retention rates from auditory learning are two times higher than reading and four times higher than attending a lecture. Finally, this will be an opportunity for educators interested in using podcasting as a pedagogy to consider “What innovative applications are still unexplored?”

Atkinson, R. (1995). The Gift of Stories: Practical and Spiritual Applications of Autobiography, Life Stories, and Personal Mythmaking. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.

Beattie, M. (1995). The making of a music: The construction and reconstruction of a teacher’s personal practical knowledge during inquiry. Curriculum Inquiry, 25(2), 133-150.

Carter, K., & Doyle, W. . (1996). Personal narrative and life history in learning to teach. In B. Sikula, and Guyton In a. G. B. Sikula (Ed.), Handbook of research on teacher education. New York: Simon &Schuster MacMillan.

Egan, K. (1986). Teaching as story-telling. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Holstein, J. G., Jaber. (2000). The self we live by: Narrative identity in a postmodern world. New York: Oxford Books.

Miller, J. P. (2006). Educating for Wisdom and Compassion: Creating Conditions For Timeless Learning. Thousand Oakes, California: Corwin Press.

Rogers, L. (1998). Wish I Were: Felt Pathways of the Self. Madison: Atwood Publishing

Stasko,C. (2009). A Pedagogy of Holistic Media Literacy: Reflections on Culture Jamming as Transformative Learning and Healing. Toronto:TSpace


Critical Pedagogies for Inclusive Spaces
Bettina von Lieres, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Centre for Critical Development Studies, UTSC, Suzanne Sicchia, Assistant Professor Teaching Stream, Interdisciplinary Centre for Health & Society, UTSC and Leslie Chan, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Centre for Critical Development Studies, UTSC

Building inclusive learning spaces is not easy. Participatory teaching methods do not always produce inclusion. Historical experiences of gender, sexuality, race, class and oppression structure students’ willingness and confidence to participate. Making the rhetoric of inclusion real in the classroom is subtle and often difficult. In this session we reflect on the dynamics and politics of inclusion in the classroom itself as a means to explore the wider complexities of critical inclusionary pedagogical practices. We provide examples from three fourth-year, seminar undergraduate classes from the Centre for Critical Development Studies, and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Health and Society, at the University of Toronto Scarborough.

We explore critical pedagogical practices related to three learning outcomes: empowered citizenship, critical hope and active learning through social technology. Bettina von Lieres will discuss how experiential exercises on everyday experiences of citizenship and power can foster a deeper level of participation and inclusion in the classroom. Suzanne Sicchia will share insights from the scholarship and her teaching practice about the importance of authentic caring and critical hope in our classrooms. Leslie Chan will highlight the intersection between critical pedagogy and open educational practices, showing examples of how students make use of social technology to take part in active learning and share their lived experience.

Guiding Questions:

  1. How do power relations manifest themselves in the classroom? (from syllabus construction and assigned readings to participation practices and evaluation methods and assigned readings)
  2. How do silences in the classroom speak to empowerment/disempowerment in the classroom?
  3. How can experiential exercises foster deeper forms of inclusion in the classroom?
  4. What is authentic caring and how can students and educators be empowered to develop critical hope in the classroom and beyond?


Duncan-Andrade, J. (2009). Note to educators: Hope required when growing roses in concrete. Harvard Educational Review, 79(2):181-194.

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Freire, P. (1992). Pedagogy of Hope: Reliving Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Continuum, New York.

Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of freedom ethics democracy and civic courage. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Lanham.

hooks, b. Teaching to transgress: Education as the practice of freedom. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York.

Maher, F and Tretreault, M. (2001). The Feminist Classroom, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, US.

Shaffer, T. Longo, N. V. Manosevitch, I. Thomas, M. S. (2017). Deliberative Pedagogy: Teaching and Learning for Democratic Engagement. Michigan State University Press, East Lansing.


1.2 Interactive Workshop: Learning in Libraries – Students and their Use of Learning Spaces
Navroop Gill, Teaching & Learning Project Lead, Robarts Library, Angela Henshilwood, Engineering Librarian, Engineering & Computer Science Library and Sarah Fedko, Liaison Librarian, UTSC Library

When you think of academic libraries, what do you imagine? Austere institutions that house knowledge? Interactive hubs of activity? Libraries have been mythologized in a variety of ways from intimidating, a “third space”, a “home away from home”, and ideally an inclusive environment. How an individual sees the library can be revealed through how they engage with the space.

We often imagine students engaged in solitary practices in the library and while quiet space is still crucial, increasingly we witness students engaged in collaborative information creation and sharing. In this workshop, librarians from three different libraries at U of T will explore the question, how do students use the library? We will discuss the ways in which students are engaging with library learning spaces and how recent library updates have impacted student use. Participants will be invited to engage in a creative design activity to consider features of their ideal learning space.

Outcomes – By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Recognize how different disciplinary studies influence how students use the library
  • Consider the study habits of undergraduates versus graduate students
  • Design an ideal learning space and analyze how that might influence the learning of their students

Choy, F. C., & Su, N. G. (2016). A framework for planning academic library spaces. Library Management, 37(1), 13-28. doi:http://dx.doi.org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/10.1108/LM-01-2016-0001

Gotsch. J. & Holliday, D. 2007. Designing a library space that promotes learning. Baltimore, Maryland: ACRL Thirteenth National Conference Papers. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/sites/ala.org.acrl/files/content/conferences/confsandpreconfs/national/baltimore/papers/174.pdf

Ojennus, P., & Watts, K. A. (2017). User preferences and library space at Whitworth University library. Journal of Librarianship and Information Science, 49(3), 320-334.

Spencer, M. E., & Watstein, S. B. (2017). Academic library spaces: Advancing student success and helping students thrive. Portal : Libraries and the Academy, 17(2), 389-402. doi:http://dx.doi.org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/10.1353/pla.2017.0024


1.3 Interactive Workshop: When the City is a Classroom: Collaborative Learning with Community-Based Organizations
Aditi Mehta, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Urban Studies Program and David Roberts, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Urban Studies Program

When students of urban studies collaborate with on the ground community‐based organizations around real‐world projects, theories about city‐building and inequality come alive. Abstract knowledge and concepts become tangible for students. In this session, we will present two models for this type of university‐community collaboration and discuss how to design such courses.

The first course model draws inspiration from Michelle Fine and Maria Torre’s (2004) concept of “contact zones”, which is a social space where multiple experiences and cultures clash and blend, and in which individuals learn from one another’s situated knowledge. This model takes the classroom outside of the university into a community‐based organization space, in which both University of Toronto students and members of the organization learn from one another and produce new knowledge together (Steil and Mehta, 201 7). The course, INI 430: Youth, Arts, Engagement, and the City did this by holding class at Regent Park Focus, a not‐for‐profit organization that media literacy and production programming for youth living in the area.

The second course model draws from Shauna Brail’s (2013) research, which found that students who volunteer with community‐based organizations “gained perspective on stereotyping and tolerance” (p. 14) and thus developed their critical thinking skills. The course, INI 236: Introduction to Urban Studies, provided 40 out of 80 students short‐term volunteer opportunities with various community‐based organizations throughout the city.

Outline of the Session:
I. Case study presentations of Model 1 and Model 2 course collaborations
II. Building relationships with community‐based organizations for classroom collaborations
III. Designing effective assignments to enhance learning in collaborative environments
IV. Workshop activity: addressing ethical dilemmas and challenges in implementation through small group simulations

By the end of this session, participants will be able to envision future community-university classroom experiences for their own fields and have the analytical tools to reflect on and troubleshoot the ethical dilemmas that inevitably arise in such collaborations.

Brail, S. (2013). Experiencing the city: Urban Studies students and service learning. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 37(2), 241-256.

Fine, M., & Torre, M. E. (2004). Re-membering exclusions: Participatory action research in public institutions. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1(1), 15-37.

Steil, J., & Mehta, A. (2017). When Prison Is the Classroom: Collaborative Learning about Urban Inequality. Journal of Planning Education and Research, 0739456X17734048.


1.4 Lightning Talks: Enabling Connections

Utilizing Best Practices in Online Learning for Healthcare Professionals on Patient/Medication Safety
Certina Ho, Lecturer, Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy and Sonya Dhanjal, Medical Information Resident, Astellas Pharma Canada

Purpose: Evidence has shown that utilizing best practices in online learning will enhance learner engagement, satisfaction, and knowledge acquisition. The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate the best practices in online learning, and how we applied these practices in the storyboarding of patient/medication safety online modules for healthcare professionals and students.

Outcomes: We will share themes identified from literature and through access to instructional design specialists and subject matter experts in online learning development as a result of the 2017 Support Stream of the Instructional Technology Innovation Fund. We will discuss the overarching best practices in online training module development: (1) Make it Easy to Learn; (2) Engagement is Key; (3) Equal Learning Opportunity for Everyone; and (4) Content Matters. Within each best practice, actions that complement online learning theory, like avoiding learner overload, will be highlighted. These best practices are vital in ensuring the learner optimizes the learning potential and generates a positive attitude towards the learning experience. We will explain how to utilize and adopt them in the storyboarding of the various patient/medication safety online modules.

Facilitation: We hope our insights and illustrations of how patient/medication education can be delivered utilizing best practices in online learning may encourage others to consider applying these strategies in their curriculum delivery. With the increased uptake of e-learning platforms, this presentation will explain how to optimize learning with technological shifts in teaching.

Examples: An illustration of our work is available at https://www.ismp-canada.org/download/posters/BestPractices-OnlineLearning-Fall2017.pdf


Sequential Writing Assignments to Critically Evaluate Primary Literature
Suzanne Wood, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Psychology

In the later years of undergraduate study, we ask our students to read and evaluate primary literature within our fields. Shifting from textbooks – sources of packaged, contextualized knowledge – to vast amounts of peer-reviewed, yet otherwise unfiltered literature can be a tough transition for our students. Can they be taught to thoughtfully identify what findings are important and what will rarely be discussed again? How can we enhance our learners’ critical thinking skills that, while practiced in the classroom, will translate to critical evaluation of ideas outside of the classroom? The assignments detailed in this presentation will help support instructors in creating and implementing assessments of learning that tap into a range of student abilities, from describing ideas to critically evaluating them.

Several useful methods have been developed to guide students through reading scientific journal articles (e.g., Bodnar et al., 2016; Brownell, Price, & Steinman, 2013; Round & Campbell, 2013). This presentation will detail an innovative approach to helping students achieve a deeper understanding of primary literature, involving a series of sequential assignments based upon the levels of increasing cognitive complexity in Bloom’s taxonomy (e.g., summary, application, comparison, critique; Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001). These assignments are designed to scaffold individual work outside of the classroom that will facilitate interactive engagement inside the classroom.

While this session will use scientific literature as a model, the framework discussed will translate into any field in which students struggle with interpreting and critiquing primary literature.

Anderson, L. W., & Krathwohl, D. R. (2001). A Taxonomy for Learning , Teaching , and Assessing : A Revision of Bloom ’ s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives. New York: Longman.

Bodnar, R. J., Rotella, F. M., Loiacono, I., Coke, T., Olsson, K., Barrientos, A., … Stellar, J. R. (2016). “C.R.E.A.T.E.” Unique Primary-Source Research Paper Assignments for a Pleasure and Pain Course Teaching Neuroscientific Principles in a Large General Education Undergraduate Course. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education : JUNE : A Publication of FUN, Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience, 14(2), A104-10. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27385918%0Ahttp://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=PMC4917340

Brownell, S. E., Price, J. V., & Steinman, L. (2013). A writing-intensive course improves biology undergraduates’ perception and confidence of their abilities to read scientific literature and communicate science. AJP: Advances in Physiology Education, 37(1), 70–79. https://doi.org/10.1152/advan.00138.2012

Round, J. E., & Campbell, A. M. (2013). Figure facts: Encouraging undergraduates to take a data-centered approach to reading primary literature. CBE Life Sciences Education, 12(1), 39–46. https://doi.org/10.1187/cbe.11-07-0057


Expanding the relational spaces: A learning community approach
James Slotta, Professor, Curriculum, Teaching & Learning, OISE

Educational Researchers at the University of Toronto have been working to advance a pedagogy of learning communities. In this approach, students within a class cohort work together, collectively advancing ideas, distributing expertise, and sharing responsibility for their own learning (Slotta & Najafi, 2012). Scardamalia and Bereiter (1996, 2006) have developed a model of knowledge building, in which students focus on idea improvement. Slotta and his colleagues (Slotta, Quintana & Moher, 2016) have developed a formal model called Knowledge Community and inquiry (KCI) to support the design of collective inquiry curriculum.

For the past decade, Slotta has also been implementing the learning community approach within his own teaching of undergraduate and graduate courses. Students in his courses take help design their own learning activities, share leadership, build a community knowledge base, and apply their ideas in inquiry projects. This lightning talk will present his designs, focusing on the evolving design of a doctoral seminar entitled “Knowledge Media and Learning” where each years cohort “passes forward” a knowledge base that is taken up and improved by the ensuing cohort. The talk will review the theoretical inspiration, then present the two cases, including syllabus, assessment model, inquiry project designs, strategies for guiding students, and examples of student products. It will describe the shifting relational spaces among students and peers, as well as the shifting role of the instructor within those spaces. It will also address the important dimensions of physical and digital spaces within the learning community model.

Slotta, J.D. & Najafi, H. (2012). Technology-Enhanced Learning Environments for Science Inquiry. In Norbert H. Seel (Ed.) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. pp.3287-3295. Springer.

Slotta, J., Quintana, R., & Moher, T. (2018). Collective Inquiry in Communities of Learners. In the International Handbook of the Learning Sciences. (F. Fischer, C. Hmelo-Silver, P. Reimann, & S. Goldman, Eds.). Routledge.

Scardamalia, Marlene, & Bereiter, C. (1996). Student communities for the advancement of knowledge. Communications of the ACM, 39(4), 36–37.

Scardamalia, M., & Bereiter, C. (2006). Knowledge building: Theory, pedagogy, and technology. In K. Sawyer (Ed.), The Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 97–118). New York: Cambridge University Press.


1.5 Lightning Talks: Dimensions of Diversity

Inclusive Spaces to Actualize Equity, Diversity and Social Justice in Kinesiology and Physical Education
Caroline Fusco, Associate Professor, Kinesiology & Physical Education and Cathy Amara, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Kinesiology & Physical Education

In a growing era where “the spirit of oligarchy that seeks to silence diverse voices, prohibit free speech, and deny citizens access to education” (hooks, 2020, p. 17) prevails, we have identified equity, diversity and social justice as a key competency for the Bachelor of Kinesiology. KPE, a multidisciplinary Faculty, has the potential to actualize this competency in a multitude of ways. We undertook a curriculum mapping exercise to determine where practices of equity, diversity and social justice are embedded and to what extent it is being taught and/or assessed.

A fourth-year weather station course, “Ethics and Power in Kinesiology and Physical Education”, further served as a basis for investigating instructor practices and the ways in which they are taken up by students. In order to materialize this competency in space, progressive learning spaces that value democratic education were created.

Constant consideration of how classroom space is deployed, and with what effects, facilitates a focus on use of space as a place to enhance students’ critical thinking about equity, diversity and social justice in ways that will guide them towards responsible citizenship, while developing a consciousness about power in kinesiology ‘where it is most invisible and insidious’ (Foucault in Markula & Pringle, 2006, p. 178). Classroom space is used to trace the troubled spaces that constitute relations between structures and people in physical culture. Teaching strategies that produce a place where opportunities are created for students to intervene in the social world to make a difference will be shared. Participants in the session will also be asked how they actualize/teach/embed, and assess the learning of equity and social justice content within classroom spaces and their course(s).

Douglas, D., & Halas, J. (2013). The wages of whiteness: Confronting the nature of ivory tower racism and the implications for physical education. Sport, Education and Society 18(4), 453-474.

hooks, b. (2010). Teaching critical thinking: Practical wisdom. Routledge: New York.

Markula, P., & Pringle, R. (2006). Foucault, sport and exercise: Power knowledge and transforming the self. Routledge: London.


Anti-Oppression Training for Public Health Students
Ananya Banerjee, Assistant Professor, Dalla Lana School of Public Health

Students bring a diversification of ideas and perspectives to the university classroom based on their own historical and cultural experiences. Inclusive teaching embeds these perspectives traditionally absent from an academic field to provide a fuller and more accurate portrayal of an issue. It also communicates to students that multiple views are valued and engaged. Strategies to include and engage all students are often successful to the degree that students are willing to examine and reflect on how their own identities shape their learning values, biases and relationships with their peers. Anti‐Oppression (AOP) training for students is an effective strategy to understand different forms of lived experiences as they apply to human dimensions of ‐ race, sexual orientation, gender, socioeconomic status, age, ability, and religion. It provides a framework for understanding the world and a students’ own place in it, questioning and challenging their learning, and creating approaches that lead toward inclusive classrooms. This presentation analyzes the evaluation of a pilot AOP training workshop for public health students at the University of Toronto during Fall 2018. This workshop was designed to help students to understand various forms of oppression and promote inclusion in the classroom. We review the AOP training first, through a descriptive analysis of our implementation, and second, through an on‐line survey with 50 students who attended the training. Overall, the training was well received as 88% of students stated the workshop was valuable to them. We conclude by providing key recommendations and reflecting on the implications for future instructor and program implementation.


Making Spaces for Indigenous Perspectives and Teaching Practice
Carolan Wood, Sessional Instructor, Anthropology, UTM and Jubal Jamieson (Cayuga, Wolf clan, Haudenosaunee of the Grand River)

The authenticity of integrating Indigenous perspectives and pedagogical practice is ensured by the participation of Indigenous educators, and in our experience, provides the most stimulating and critical approach to decolonizing the curriculum. We offer an example of the implementation of Indigenous pedagogical practice (holism, social learning, and narrative) 1, 2, 3 to explicitly connect Indigenous perspectives and knowledge to bioanthropological theory and practice. The success of the implementation of Indigenous social and narrative‐based learning is evident in the high level of engagement (the degree of attention, interest, and curiosity)4 students show during and after the experience, and that they express in their reflective papers.

Castellano MB. 2000. Updating Aboriginal traditions of knowledge. In GJS Dei, BL Hall & DG Rosenburg (Eds.), Indigenous knowledges in global contexts. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: University of Toronto Press.

Chrona JL. 2016. First People Principles of Learning. Retrieved Oct 4, 2018. https://firstpeoplesprinciplesoflearning.wordpress.com/first-peoples-principles-of-learning/

Merculieff I & L Roderick. 2013. Stop talking: Indigenous Ways of Teaching and Learning and Difficult Dialogues in Higher Education. University of Alaska Anchorage: Anchorage, Alaska.

Barkley EF. 2010. Student Engagement Techniques: A Handbook for College Faculty. A San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.


1.6 Research on Teaching & Learning: Overcoming Communication Challenges

Supporting international students: A course bridging program content and academic English skills
Lisa Dack, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Applied Psychology and Human Development, OISE and Eleonora Maldina, Language & Academic Support Coordinator Applied Psychology and Human Development

The number of international students at the University of Toronto has been growing exponentially in recent years. Supporting international students has become a priority throughout the University, and was explicitly stated as such in the 2017 Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) academic plan. These students often begin their programs of study lacking some language and academic skills that are required to be successful. In Fall 2018, 33 international students began the MEd program in Developmental Psychology and Education (DPE) in the Department of Applied Psychology and Human Development (APHD) at OISE. In an attempt to address the language and academic needs of international students, a new credit course was developed to take in the first semester of their program. The intention was to teach students the academic English skills required to be successful in the program in the context of, rather than in isolation from, program content. The course curriculum focused on the learning process, which is a core component of the DPE program and a good fit with the language and academic skills being developed. As such, the course aimed to help students 1) develop an understanding of the learning process; 2) reflect on their own learning experiences and connect them to the course content; and 3) learn academic English skills and apply them into their current academic practice as graduate students to maximize their learning experience in the program. This presentation will describe the course that was developed and delivered, outline the findings from data collected to explore students’ perceptions of the effectiveness of the course, and share lessons learned that can be applied elsewhere.

Melles, G., Millar, G., Morton, J., & Fegan, S. (2005). Credit-based discipline specific English for academic purposes programmes in higher education. Arts & Humanities in Higher Education, 4, 283-303.

Swales, J. M., Barks, D., Ostermann, A. C., & Simpson, R. C. (2001). Between critique and accommodation: reflections on an EAP course for Masters of Architecture students. English for Specific Purposes, 20, 439-458.

Ontario Institute of Studies in Education (2017). Learning and Leading from Within – OISE Academic Plan 2017-2022. Retrieved from https://www.oise.utoronto.ca/oise/UserFiles/File/2017-Academic-Plan.pdf.


An Investigation into the Impact of the Graded-Response Method on First Year English-Language Learner Students
Laura Taylor, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM, Michael deBraga, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM and Sara Halili, Undergraduate Student, UTM

In a first-year seminar, where the learning objective is to enhance academic skill development, implementation of tasks that intentionally focus on the development of critical thinking (CT) are beneficial. The Graded Response Method (GRM) (deBraga et al., 2015; Fukuzawa & deBraga, 2019) represents a new form of multiple choice test where all answers have some element of correctness, and students must rank their responses from ‘most correct’ to ‘least correct’. In the first-year class where the GRM was implemented, there was a large cohort of English Language Learners (ELLs), and concerns were raised that the language variations between answers would put ELLs at a disadvantage, making the GRM an inequitable form of assessment that did not consider the transcultural perspective. Two tests were given to students in weeks 4 and 8 of the Fall Term in 2018. In one analysis, all native English speakers were separated from non-native speakers, regardless of tenure in Canada. While overall test averages were higher for Native English Speakers, the difference was not statistically significant (0.95% confidence interval using the Wilcoxon summed rank test). However, pooling students into categories, where native English speakers were grouped with non-native speakers with at least 5 years of experience in English against those with 4 years or less yielded a statistically significant difference in test scores (0.95% confidence interval using the Wilcoxon summed rank test – p-value = 0.018). This suggests that while many ELL students are not affected by the language variations, those with lower language proficiency could be adversely affected.

deBraga, M., Boyd, C., & Abdulnour, S. (2015). Using the principles of SoTL to redesign an advanced evolutionary biology course. Teaching and Learning Inquiry, 3(1), 15-29.

Fukuzawa, S. & deBraga, M. (2019). Graded Response Method: Does Question Type Influence the Assessment of Critical Thinking? Journal of Curriculum and Teaching. 8(1), pp.1-10.


Opportunities to Learn in Small‐Group Discussions: Analysing Student Participation, Positioning, and Power
Allison Ritchie, Lecturer, Curriculum, Teaching & Learning, OISE

Many science classrooms use small group learning to support equitable learning opportunities for students. Past research in the field tends to focus on outcomes of increasing achievement rather than on contexts that support equitable interactions. This study examined how university students negotiated understandings of curricular tasks based on topics of ethics and power in scientific communities during a 6‐week Kinesiology course. Drawing from micro-ethnographic methods, each case included vignettes of two focal students participating in group work that differed in terms of the scientific activity, task requirements, and intergroup relationships. The analysis examined how students participated and took up positions across different groups, and how this shaped their access to particular opportunities to learn (OTL). Participating in scientific tasks involved more than talking science. Emergent tensions between students, multiple demands of the task, and their understandings of each other as knowers and doers of science were all important factors for how students solved problems. By viewing learning as mediated by factors not solely beholden to practices of the scientific community (e.g., friendships, concerns for grades), this observation raised questions about conflating doing school with doing science well. This study broadens traditional views about learning, equity, and science by considering how university students draw upon different resources to support their own science learning, and how these different contexts created differential OTL for themselves and other students.

Davies, B., & Harré, R. (1990). Positioning: The discursive production of selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour, 20(1), 43-63.

Engeström, Y., & Sannino, A. (2011). Discursive manifestations of contradictions in organizational change efforts: A methodological framework. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 24(3), 368-387.

Esmonde, I. (2009b). Mathematics learning in groups: Analyzing equity in two cooperative activity structures. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18(2), 247-284.

Gresalfi, M., Martin, T., Hand, V., & Greeno, J. (2009). Constructing competence: An analysis of student participation in the activity systems of mathematics classrooms. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 70(1), 49-70.


1.7 Special Session: Myhal 150

Welcome to My Classroom: Myhal 150
Sarah Mayes-Tang, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Mathematics

In this session, you will experience what it is like to be a student in U of T’s new state-of-the-art active learning auditorium, Myhal 150. Some brief context will be provided by Vice-Provost Susan McCahan regarding the rationale for the design of new classroom spaces at U of T to support active learning. You will then engage in some demonstration active learning approaches related to teaching and learning in active learning classrooms. Finally, you will hear about how one faculty member worked through the opportunities and issues that came with teaching a first-year course in the space. Time for Q&A will be provided.

alt= Sarah Mayes-Tang and Susan McCahan hold graphic image of their Myhal 150 talk

12pm-1pm – Lunch


1pm-2pm – Concurrent Session II

2.1 Symposium-You: The Place of Pedagogy in Large Classrooms

Active Learning in a Very Large Classroom: Experiences in Myhal 150 and Beyond
Jennifer Campbell, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Computer Science, Diane Horton, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Computer Science, David Liu, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Computer Science, and Jacqueline Smith, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Computer Science

There is strong evidence in literature that active learning improves outcomes. For example, in a meta-analysis of 225 studies across all STEM disciplines, Freeman et al. (2014) found that in active learning courses, final exam scores were on average 6% higher, and student failure rates were lower. This is consistent with our own research on our first introductory computer science course (Horton et al., 2014), which we have taught using a flipped classroom format since 2013.

This year we taught the course in the new Myhal 150, an active learning classroom that seats 468 students. We also revised our second introductory course to a semi-flipped format in order to take advantage of this innovative space for active learning.

What are the benefits and challenges for facilitating active learning in a very large classroom? Discussion points will be framed around the following questions:

  • How does teaching in a very large room change the instructor’s experience and feeling of connection to their students?
  • What strategies can instructors use to manage student attention and distractedness, and to facilitate transition from instructor-led teaching to small-group activities?
  • What do students think about courses in large active learning rooms, compared to their experiences in other classrooms at UofT?
  • How can instructors make good use of TAs and other teaching staff to help support active learning in a very large room?

Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(23), 8410-8415.

Horton, D., Craig, M., Campbell, J., Gries, P., and Zingaro, D. (2014). Comparing outcomes in inverted and traditional CS1. Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Innovation & technology in computer science education, 261-266.


The Challenges of Large Enrolment Courses
Kathy Liddle, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Sociology, UTSC

The large enrolment course, whether serving 200 or 2,000 students, presents particular pedagogical and logistical
challenges. In this discussion and brainstorming session, we will consider the following:

  • What assistance and resources would be useful to you as a large enrolment course instructor?
  • What particular pedagogical or logistical challenges have you faced as a large enrolment course instructor?
  • Which of these challenges are specific to the University of Toronto context?
  • What resources do you wish you had available to you?
  • What existing resources have you used (if any)? How helpful were these?
  • Would it be helpful to have a network of large course instructors at the University of Toronto to facilitate sharing resources and expertise? What could this network look like?

Suggestions that arise during this session will be collated for consideration.


2.2 Symposium-You: Ensuring Meaningful Student Experiences

Ensuring Experiential Learning Opportunities for All: Thinking Through the Details
Katie Boomgaardt, Lead Coordinator, Academic Initiatives, Centre for Community Partnerships, Julie Kang, Coordinator, Community Development, CCP, Linzi Manicom, Community Engaged Learning Coordinator, New College, Gabriele Simmons, Student Placement Officer, CCP and Catie Thompson, Academic Initiatives Assistant, CCP

The expansion of experiential learning opportunities (e.g. curricular and co-curricular community engaged learning, internships and fieldwork) across Ontario universities offers enriching off-campus learning spaces for students. Such experiences have been shown to foster personal and professional development and post-graduate success. However, not all students may have equal access to such opportunities due to such reasons as financial strain, inadequate transit, and other social disadvantages.

As a group of professionals responsible for the logistics of curricular and co-curricular experiential learning opportunities, we are keen to explore what we – and the university – might do to address the effects of persistent inequities on students’ participation in experiential learning.

  • How can we avoid reproducing and exacerbating the lack of access, particularly amongst students from marginalized communities?
  • What might we do to ensure that all students are able – and encouraged – to avail themselves of these valuable educational opportunities?

In this Symposium-You session, presenters and participants will together consider the responsibility of instructors and university staff to help make off-campus experiential courses accessible, equitable, and safe for all students.

In a participatory activity, we will:

  1. Identify potential barriers to students’ participation in off-campus projects and/or placements; and
  2. Consider current measures and potential solutions that aim to make experiential and community engaged learning accessible to all students.

The ideas generated in this session will be compiled and written up as a draft document on accessible experiential learning opportunities to inform the programming and practice of instructors, staff and students.


Believing is Seeing: Bringing to life a new vision for undergraduate student educational experience
Greg Evans, Professor, ISTEP and Susan McCahan, Vice-Provost Innovations in Undergraduate Education

As a world-leading research university, the University of Toronto’s mission is to prepare students for a lifetime of success and fulfillment. Over the last year, a panel has consulted widely to create an integrated vision for undergraduate curricular and co-curricular experiences at our university. This vision strives to articulates characteristics that we aspire to develop in our students, and the experiences that could enable this. In this session the facilitators will introduce and highlight elements of this vision and guide a discussion on how it can be brought to life. Discussion will focus on the overarching question: How can and should this vision leverage distinctive elements of our university?

Specific discussion points will include beliefs around our university’s:

  1. long and proud history
  2. research focus
  3. cultural diversity
  4. intellectual richness

Participants will exchange ideas on how these distinctive elements are, or could, influence the growth and development of students in their classrooms, programs or colleges. Participants will takeaway a thought process to connect instructional interventions or curricular, co-curricular or experiential initiatives or they may undertake to resulting distinctive characteristics we should aspire to see in our graduates.


2.3 Interactive Workshop: Developing Collaborative Teaching Spaces
Andrew Dicks, Professor, Teaching Stream, Chemistry and Anne Simmonds, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Nursing

Faculty mentoring at universities has been associated with several behavioural, attitudinal and career benefits, and is increasingly being seen as a critical collaborative professional development strategy fostering dialogue, collegial relationships, and vibrant communities of practice. Mentorship can also influence the formation of positive professional identity through the creation of supportive and affirming spaces, which act as an identity “anchor” for professional practice.

While the advantages of mentoring are well established, there is a notable absence of space for the development of faculty mentoring models specifically connected to teaching and pedagogical innovation. In this interactive workshop, we will begin by briefly describing the structure of the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) mentoring for teaching program at the University of Toronto. We will share our experiences and reflections on this initiative, particularly in the realm of fostering learning, connection, and growth through a collaborative relationship. As identities are formed and transformed individually and collectively, we will then use an appreciative inquiry approach to engage participants in discussion and debate on creating space for mentoring. Through this approach we will consider what is currently in place, envision what might be possible, and dialogue about what should be implemented. This critical exchange of perspectives will be used as a foundation for action, including the development of strategies to build capacity for mentoring in teaching at the University of Toronto. Learning outcomes for participants will be: (i) specific knowledge gain about the organization and strengths of the P2P program; (ii) education regarding alternative university mentorship strategies; and (iii) development of ideas and potential new initiatives with respect to faculty mentoring for teaching.

Simmonds, A. H. & Dicks, A. P. (2018) Mentoring and professional identity formation for teaching stream faculty: A case study of a university Peer-to-Peer mentorship program. International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education Vol. 7(4), pp 282-295.

Scandura, T. (2017) Appreciative inquiry: An experiential exercise and course feedback tool. Management Teaching Review Vol. 2(2), pp 141-150.

The Centre of Teaching Support and Innovation (2017) Peer-to-peer mentoring for teaching pilot report. Available at: http://teaching.utoronto.ca/teaching-support/fmt/p2p/p2p-pilot-report/(accessed February 24, 2019).

Van Lankveld, T., Schoonenboom, J., Volman, M., Croiset, G. and Beishuizen, J. (2017) Developing a teacher identity in the university context: A systematic review of the literature. Higher Education Research & Development Vol. 36(2), pp. 325-342.


2.4 Lightning Talks – Expanding Learning Spaces

Experiential Learning in the “halls” of the Ivory Tower: A nifty assignment that turns students into agents of change
Tyler Evans-Tokaryk, Associate Professor and Director, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM

Experiential learning often takes students to spaces beyond the classroom where they can learn by doing. This presentation showcases a “nifty assignment” with a unique Experiential Learning (EL) component that extends a first‐year classroom to hallways and other public areas on campus, generating new physical, relational, and dialogical spaces for students to engage with and process information. In this assignment, students work in groups throughout the term to a) conduct research on an academic skill; b) write a Policy Brief to the Dean recommending that the university adopt specific strategies to help students develop this skill; and c) share their findings with the university community by conducting three hours of “tabling” on campus. The “tabling” exercise requires students to prepare handouts targeting different populations (students and instructors / administrators) and engage in multiple one‐on‐one conversations explaining their research and recommendations.

After briefly describing the different components of the assignment, I outline the logistics and pedagogical rationale for the “tabling” component in more detail. I then share data and personal observations suggesting that significant learning gains were associated with the “tabling” exercise and conclude by providing explanations for the apparent success of this pedagogical innovation.

Participants in this session will:

  • Be introduced to an innovative strategy for integrating an EL component to a course
  • Engage in a discussion of the pedagogical rationale for a unique approach to EL
  • Consider evidence suggesting the EL assignment generated learning gains
  • Discuss strategies for transferring this “nifty assignment” to different disciplinary contexts


Learning from the City: Collaborative Urban Landscape Research
Erica Allen-Kim, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Daniels Faculty of Architecture

Toronto’s neighbourhoods are shaped by diverse modes of urbanism, in particular the activities of newcomers. The 300-level course “History of Urbanism” engages in high‐impact educational practices (HEPs) including undergraduate research, diversity/global learning, and collaborative assignments and projects in order to create knowledge about the history and future transformation of cities. This course seeks to foster awareness of different cultures and place-making practices through team-based research and writing assignments. The course assignments are scaffolded to encourage students to connect their personal knowledge of cities and neighbourhoods to urban research methods such as GIS, archival research, creative writing, and documentary photography.

The instructor will present an overview of course objectives and learning outcomes along with summaries of each assignment objective, rubric, and supplementary workshops and site-visits. Students engage in creative, multidisciplinary HEPs that requires them to take on the dual role of investigator and storyteller. Through this synthesis of archival and field-based research within a collaborative setting, students challenge dominant narratives and theories of urbanism by producing Story Maps and other forms of writing and communication.

Hayden, D. (1995). The Power of Place: Urban Landscapes as Public History. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Kuh, G. (1995). The other curriculum: Out-of-class experiences associated with student learning and personal development. The Journal of Higher Education, 66, 123-155.

O’Looney, J. (1998). Mapping communities: Place-based stories and participatory planning. Community Development, 23(2), 201-236.

Skop, E. (2009). Creating Field Trip-Based Learning Communities. Journal of Geography, 107 (6), 230-235.

Talen, E. (2000). Bottom-up GIS: A new tool for individual and group expression in participatory planning. Journal of the American Planning Association, 66(3), 279-294.


Learning in Dialogue with Life: Engaging Student Learning Beyond the Class & Classroom
Willie Costello, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Philosophy

How can we expand the dialogical space of a class beyond the boundaries of the class itself? How can we bring students’ learning into dialogue with the other aspects of their lives? In this presentation, I share two teaching strategies that I recently employed (in a third‐year philosophy course on Ancient Greek Philosophies of Life) to achieve these ends: the use of “Engagement Self‐Reflection” and “Philosophical Journal” assignments. The primary intended learning outcomes of these assignments was to enable students to apply the ancient philosophies of life they were learning about in class to everyday ethical situations and personally appreciate what it means to adopt philosophy as a way of life. After presenting an overview of these assignments and some examples, I identify the following factors as key contributors to these strategies’ success: (1) Open‐endedness: there was no one way to complete either assignment, leaving students free to pursue different approaches; (2) Iteration: students completed these assignments multiple times throughout the term; (3) Latitude: students were, within limits, free to complete the assignments when they wanted and how they wanted; (4) Low stakes: credit for these assignments was awarded on the basis of completion; (5) Self‐consciousness: fundamentally, each assignment asked students to consciously reflect on how their learning can be put into dialogue with the rest of their lives. I close with some reflections on how, by keeping these five factors in mind, these strategies can be employed in courses outside of philosophy and beyond this particular subject matter.


2.5 Lightning Talks – Connecting Spaces and Experiences

Connecting Physical Spaces of Learning Through Digital Mapping for Teaching Human Geography
Glenn Brauen, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Geography, UTSC

Research and teaching in Human Geography often rely on data to model socio‐cultural, economic or environmental circumstances in a region. For undergraduate students, learning to interpret geographic information requires the acquisition of conceptual models that explain and structure observations recorded in data. Adopting an experiential lens (Kolb, 2015), learning is enhanced when students are encouraged to shift their focus between models and their experiences of places represented, critically assessing compatibilities and differences between the two. The abstraction‐experience dialectic of Kolb’s learning cycle (p. 51) can be mapped onto physical spaces of learning environments as part of assignment design. Students can work with abstract models in any of our learning environments (lecture, lab, online, hybrid) after which they can reinforce and
challenge those concepts while experiencing external places. Follow‐up reflections on each student’s experience in the field and the results obtained can be built in to assignments to encourage them to revisit concepts. This talk presents a teaching strategy that informs several assignment designs used by the author in undergraduate courses (1st through 3rd year). These engage students in the use and creation of digital geographic information using common technologies (e.g., mobile phones) and a selection of field locations that are easily accessible for students (the campus, nearby neighbourhoods, or any location of their choosing in the city). Strengths and weaknesses of this strategy will be discussed.

Kolb, D. A. (2015) Experiential Learning: Experience as the Source of Learning and Development, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson FT Press.


Promoting course, curricular, and day‐to‐day life integrative teaching and learning in Biology
Jade Atallah, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Biology, UTM

One indicator of advanced intellectual development is the ability to integrate new information in the context of prior knowledge (Felder and Brent, 2004). Such integrative learning promotes the establishment of relationships between concepts, priming the mind for innovation when the opportunity arises (Deller et al., 2015). Current research highlights case studies and problem‐based learning as key activities that promote integrative thinking and hence innovation (Felder and Brent, 2004). This is especially the case when these experiences are designed to be knowledge‐centered, and student‐centered (Freeman et al., 2014; Martin et al., 2007; Prince and Felder, 2006). Although case studies and problem‐based learning are frequently employed in genetics and molecular biology education, students continue to fall short in their initiative and ability to integrate knowledge. These learning experiences, however, are usually discontinuous in nature and integrate information from proximally related material. Our work has focused on creating a knowledge‐ and student‐centered learning experience that spans a full semester, in order to attain the following features: 1) increased student engagement through semester‐long story characters that form the basis of various case studies and 2) semester‐long extensive integration of concepts within the course and curriculum. During this event, we aim to share our progress in modeling and synthesizing this learning experience as well as share student feedback in an effort to promote the development of course and curricular integrative teaching and learning.

Deller, F., Brumwell , S., & MacFarlane, A. (2015). The Language of Learning Outcomes: Definitions and Assessments. Retrieved from http://www.heqco.ca/SiteCollectionDocuments/The%20Language%20of%20Learning%20Outcomes-Definitions%20and%20Assessments.pdf

Felder, R. M., & Brent, R. (2004). The intellectual development of science and engineering students. Part 1: Models and challenges. Journal of Engineering Education, 93(4), 269-277. doi:10.1002/j.2168-9830.2004.tb00816.x

Freeman, S., Eddy, S. L., McDonough, M., Smith, M. K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M. P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(23), 8410-8415. doi:10.1073/pnas.1319030111

Martin, T., Rivale, S. D., & Diller, K. R. (2007). Comparison of student learning in challenge-based and traditional instruction in biomedical engineering. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 35(8), 1312-1323. doi:10.1007/s10439-007-9297-7

Prince, M. J., & Felder, R. M. (2006). Inductive teaching and learning methods: Definitions, comparisons, and research bases. Journal of Engineering Education, 95(2), 123-138. doi:10.1002/j.2168-9830.2006.tb00884.x


Community Outreach as Novel Learning and Teaching Spaces for Students
William Ju, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology, Olga Sirbu, Undergraduate student, Human Biology Program, Anna Iankovitch, Undergraduate Student, Human Biology Program and Luke Bannon, Undergraduate student, Human Biology Program

4th year undergraduate students in my life science course were asked to work in teams to complete a capstone project to build communication pieces that would translate basic science for the local community. Students were provided time in class to collaborate on presentations, videos, podcasts or other media to communicate key research findings with the communities that students identified would benefit most from the basic science results and accompanying conclusions. These community outreach projects directly allowed students to expand their learning spaces to various communities such as local youth organizations, hospice care, learning centres or the Canadian Armed Forces. Taking traditional classroom assignments, allowing student‐centred projects and then allowing teams to engage in spaces outside the University setting whether digitally or in‐person, to communicate their expertise greatly enhanced their personal learning experiences, allowed students the opportunity to teach and learn directly within community spaces in some instances and helped them to develop core competencies such as design thinking, team communication, community engagement and advocacy skills from this translational communication project. In this session, the assignment, examples of student projects and then first‐hand presentations from students who engaged in learning outside the classroom and their reflections will be shared. Additionally, the presenters will make suggestions on how this approach might be more broadly applied to other disciplines.


2.6 Research on Teaching & Learning: Inquiry Into Reflection

Formative Evaluation of Online Learning in MEd Cohorts in Educational Leadership and Policy
Joseph Flessa, Associate Professor, Leadership & Higher Education, OISE and Karen Acton, PhD Candidate, Educational Leadership and Policy program, Leadership, Higher, and Adult Education, OISE

Institutions of higher education have embraced online learning to stay relevant in this competitive digital age. Researchers such as Groff (2013) believe delivering content online has definite advantages for learners such as: “powerful new ways for learners to engage… in their own self-direct learning experiences” (p. 1). Despite growing enthusiasm, the literature on the effectiveness of online courses is still emerging. Tallent-Runnels et al. (2016) found “most of the studies reviewed were descriptive and exploratory” (p. 1). Jaggers and Bailey (2010) were surprised at the “small number of reasonably rigorous studies in this area despite the rapid growth of online education” (p. 9). This project aims to address the gap in empirical studies by conducting a mixed methods study of the online M.Ed. cohorts in the Educational Leadership and Policy program at OISE. These cohorts are among the first graduate degrees at U of T to utilize online modalities for the majority of the core curriculum. Bangert’s (2006) questionnaire “Student Evaluation of Online Teaching Effectiveness,” (SEOTE) grounded our formative evaluation. In addition, focus groups were convened to determine the perspectives of three stakeholder groups (students, administrative staff and faculty).

Results from the first phase of the study showed that almost all students elected to take the M.Ed. as an online program to overcome scheduling or distance barriers. Almost all worked full-time as educators and most lived outside of Toronto; some as far as Africa, Asia or the Middle East. Most respondents (63%) were very or highly satisfied with the program, and many cited the flexibility of online learning as a major advantage. However, survey results indicated that participants had some concerns in three areas: course content/assignment gaps and redundancies; course instructors’ preferred teaching modalities; and approaches to providing feedback. In our presentation we will share respondents’ suggestions for improvement, including ways to create community not only among students but also among the core faculty teaching in the program.

Overall, respondents were motivated to take the M.Ed. program for career advancement as well as for personal growth. Most (70%) would make the same decision to take the program again. This study contributes to a growing body of research on online graduate education and highlights the importance of offering graduate degrees online, as almost all participants indicated that the online modality was their only option for earning this degree.

Bangert, A. W. (2006). The development of an instrument for assessing online teaching effectiveness. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 35(3), 227-244.

Groff, J. (2013). Technology-rich innovative learning environments. OCED CERI Innovative Learning Environment project, 1-30.

Jaggars, S. S., & Bailey, T. (2010). Effectiveness of Fully Online Courses for College Students: Response to a Department of Education Meta-Analysis. Community College Research Center, Columbia University.

Tallent-Runnels, M. K., Thomas, J. A., Lan, W. Y., Cooper, S., Ahern, T. C., Shaw, S. M., & Liu, X. (2006). Teaching courses online: A review of the research. Review of educational research, 76(1), 93-135.


The status of scholarship of teaching and learning in the disciplines: An Accounting case‐study of academics’ perspective
Sanobar Anjum, Sessional Instructor, Department of Management, UTM

The purpose of this qualitative case study explored the perceptions of accounting academics engagement in scholarship of teaching and learning activities. Scholarship of teaching and learning is the systematic dissemination of education related research pertaining to scholarly teaching in a particular discipline to enhance student learning in one’s own classroom. Education related research in the accounting discipline can also be referred to as Accounting Education Research (AER). Furthermore, this qualitative case study also examined if there are any changes in instructional strategies used, motivation to attend professional development programs and linking teaching awards, promotion, and tenure to scholarship of teaching and learning. Although scholarship of teaching and learning has a significant presence in the post‐secondary sector (Fanghanel, 2013), it has limited impact in the accounting discipline. This study was situated to fill this prominent gap in the literature.

The findings revealed that accounting education suffers due to an underdeveloped definition of high‐quality teaching. Moreover, scholarly teaching (where instructional strategies are research‐informed through literature review, including peer collaboration and review), as well as scholarship of teaching and learning (where systematic investigation to create deep learning in one’s own classroom), are completely absent.

To note, higher order paradigms such as the Pathway Commission Report (2012) and AACSB accounting accreditation standards, do place special emphasis on creating pedagogical experts in the accounting domain, in addition to accounting doctoral degree holders furthering traditional disciplinary research and professional practitioners. Consequently, this calls for further research to investigate threshold concepts (Meyer & Land, 2003, 2006) to revamp accounting curriculum and formulate evidence‐based pedagogy. Finally, formal teacher training programs should be organized to advance the growth and introduction of scholarship of teaching and learning in accounting education on university campuses.

AACSB. (2018). 2018 Eligibility Procedures and Accreditation Standards for Business Accreditation. The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. doi:10.1007/s00296-010-1511-5

Fanghanel, J. (2013). Going public with pedagogical inquiries: SoTL as a methodology for faculty professional development. Teaching & Learning Inquiry, 1(1), 59–70. doi:10.2979/teachlearninqu.1.1.59

Meyer, J., & Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: Linkages to ways of thinking and practising within the disciplines. In C. Rust (Ed.), Improving student learning: Improving student learning theory and practice–Ten years on (pp. 1–14). Oxford, U.K. doi:10.1007/978-3-8348-9837-1

Meyer, J., & Land, R. (2006). Overcoming barriers to student understanding : Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge (1st ed.). Routledge.

Pathway Commission. (2012). Charting a national strategy for the next generation of accountants. Issues in Accounting Education (Vol. 27). doi:10.2308/iace-10300


The Campus as the Classroom: Coordinating Assessment Across Curriculum
Rosa Junghwa Hong, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Language Studies, UTM, Liz Coulson, Sessional Instructor, and Coordinator of Education Studies program, Department of Language Studies, UTM, Ilan Danjoux, Sessional Instructor, Department of Language Studies, UTM

There is an enduring tension between the natural fluidity of learning and the structured nature of teaching. Students attend class at specific times in particular locations. Their courses deliver established curriculum with prescribed readings. Collaborations rarely include peers from different courses or programs. It is not merely the logistics of coordinating timetables and managing room allocation that impede interdisciplinary instruction. Variations in course expectations, assessment requirements, and pedagogical practice also need to be reconciled.

This presentation discusses the potential of alternative assessment practices and invites a conversation about how common spaces of the campus can be used for interdisciplinary teaching and learning. It discusses how a conversation on assessment between three seemingly unrelated courses at the University of Toronto Mississauga in the Department of Language Studies (Equity and Diversity in Education (EDS 220); French in Business Communication (FSL466) and the Design Thinking Incubator (EDS 345)); eventually evolved into the cross-curricular case competition called Innovat-ED. It outlines how the use of complementary assessment, rather than common evaluation, was able to promote collaboration while preserving the distinct focus of each curriculum.

This presentation uses ethnographic research to discuss the benefits and challenges of integrative and cross-disciplinary teaching and assessment practices at the post-secondary level. It demonstrates that meaningful and authentic cross-curricular collaboration does not require timetable or curriculum change, but only a willingness to (re)imagine the boundaries of the classroom. The positive impact of this initiative on both instructional practice and student learning shows that complementary assessment is not simply a feasible means of promoting cross-curricular learning, but is also highly desirable initiative.

Biggs, J. (1999). Teaching for Quality Learning at University: What the Student Does. New York: Open University Press.

Svinicki, M. D. (2004). Learning and motivation in the postsecondary classroom. Bolton, Mass: Anker Pub. Co.

Georgetown University, The Teaching Commons, Retrieved March 6, 2019, https://commons.georgetown.edu/teaching/design/inclusive-pedagogy/

Trigwell, K. Teaching–research relations, cross-disciplinary collegiality and student learning, Higher Education (April 2005) 49: 235, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-004-6665-1


2.7 Special Session: The iSchool User Experience Design Studio
Olivier St-Cyr, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Faculty of Information

In the Fall‐2018 semester, the Faculty of Information opened a brand‐new User Experience Design (UXD) studio. The space is primarily utilized to teach the User Experience (UX) courses in the Master of Information degree, although it has also been used by instructors from the Master of Museum Studies, Rotman MBA, and the Faculty of Law. The launch of a studio changed the pedagogy for the delivery of some courses at the iSchool. This visit will provide an overview of the studio space, its design, and examples of pedagogical activities carried out in the space.

Shaffer (2007) depicts a studio as a “coherent system” where surface structures, pedagogical activities, and epistemology work together to give raise to unique learning environments. Using Shaffer’s framework, the visit will highlight how the UXD studio in the Faculty of Information informs the pedagogy of studio‐based courses. More specifically, the visit will show how the studio is designed to ensure the appropriate physical and logistical components support our courses. Then, specific pedagogical activities that are included in the design of our studio courses will be discussed. The relationships between the surface structures and the choice of pedagogical activities will be illustrated through some examples and a mini-activity where participants will get to experience our studio. To conclude, the talk will outline epistemological constructs that support the knowledge constructed in the studio learning environment. The visit will aim to demonstrate that thoughtful considerations must be given to the UX attributes of space design, to ensure coherence between the architecture of the physical space, the methods of teaching deployed in the space, and the knowledge acquired by students.

Shaffer, D. W. (2007). ‘Learning in design’ in R. A. Lesh, E. Hamilton and J. J. Kaput (Eds). Foundations for the Future in Mathematics Education (pp. 99–125). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.


2.8 Special Session: Roundtable for Educational Developers and Educational Technology Professionals: Leading Change with Learning Spaces
Adam Finkelstein, Associate Director, Learning Environments (Physical and Digital), Teaching and Learning Services, McGill University

Many institutions have come to recognize the importance of designing learning spaces based on what we know about how students learn. Some have also recognized that learning spaces are the physical representations of their institution’s values and vision for learning. This Symposium-You session will begin with a change framework used to analyze a ten-year process of how a large research-intensive university has evolved to make learning spaces a strategic priority. Discussion will follow, focused on the following key questions: What changes have you experienced re learning spaces at U of T that have led to new approaches to student learning? What are the mechanisms by which instructors, leaders and students can contribute to continued changes in our teaching and learning environments?

2pm-2:15pm – Break

2:15pm-3:15pm – Concurrent Session III

3.1 Interactive Workshop: The Classroom as a Relational Space – The Role of Emotions and Discomfort When Teaching About Equity Through Experiential Learning
Kosha Bramesfeld, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Psychology, UTSC and Jasjit Sangha, Learning Strategist, Academic Success

Teaching about social justice can be an emotional process that pushes both instructor and student out of their comfort zone and into their “learning edge” as worldviews and taken for granted assumptions are challenged (Ozlem, 2017). If the instructor is not aware of how to deal with this discomfort it can lead to student resistance against the course material, which will have a negative impact on intended learning outcomes.

In this interactive workshop, the facilitators will draw from critical theory, adult learning, and community‐engaged learning principles to help participants consider: (a) the personal and interpersonal challenges that arise when engaging students in experiential learning activities; (b) how to develop an inclusive classroom space that allows for deep learning; and (c) how to build community in the classroom so students support each other’s learning process.

We will explore how instructor presence, modelling, and self‐awareness are key to designing experiential learning opportunities that teach students how to learn from discomfort and engage in relational learning with their peers (Choudhury, 2015; Ash & Clayton, 2009).

The two facilitators of this workshop have over 10 years of experience as educators using these tools in their classrooms and will share concrete examples of how they have used online games and community‐engaged learning to engage students in experiential learning activities. We will share a framework we are developing on the relationship between discomfort and learning that can inform pedagogical decision making for educators who use experiential learning activities when teaching social justice.


  • Reflect on how learning is an emotional process and discuss strategies for building classroom spaces that contribute to deep learning.
  • Reflect on the role of discomfort in classroom learning and re‐imagine discomfort as a tool for engaging students in the learning process, rather than as a barrier to learning. Discuss the relationship building process involved in creating learning experiences that are embodied and experiential and that contribute to a shift in perspective or worldview.
  • Discuss the many forms that experiential learning opportunities can take and reflect on how these opportunities can be used to align the intention of bringing an equity lens into teaching with the actual impact on learners.

Ash, S. & Clayton, P. (2009). Learning Through Critical Reflection: A Tutorial For Service Learning. Raleigh, NC

Choudhury, S. (2015). Deep Diversity: Overcoming Us vs. Them. Toronto: Between The Lines Press

Ozlem, S. & DiAngelo, R. (2017). Is Everyone Really Equal: An Introduction to Key Concepts in Social Justice Education. New York: Teachers College Press.


3.2 Interactive Workshop: Active Learning Strategies for Active Learning Spaces
Adam Finkelstein, Associate Director, Learning Environments (Physical and Digital), Teaching and Learning Services, McGill University

In this workshop we will explore strategies to enhance student engagement, promote dialogue, and encourage deep learning. We will discuss the rationale for active and collaborative learning and examine methods for design and implementation in different types of courses. We will focus on how to take advantage of features that active learning spaces often provide (round tables, writable walls, screen sharing, etc..) and how to use them to support different instructional strategies. During the workshop, you will experience a range of interactive strategies through demonstrations and peer sharing and develop a plan to incorporate selected strategies into your courses.


3.3 Interactive Workshop: Designing Effective Learning Experiences for Active Learning Classrooms
Dianne Ashbourne, Educational Developer, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM, Tyler Evans-Tokaryk, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream & Director, Robert Gillespie Academic Skills Centre, UTM, Sanja Hinic-Frlog, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Biology, UTM, Simone Laughton, Head, Library & Instructional Technologies, UTM, Christoph Richter, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Biology, UTM and Chester Scoville, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of English & Drama, UTM

“Spaces are themselves agents for change. Changed spaces will change practice.” (JISC cited in Oblinger, 2006, 1.1).

Both the physical space and the technology available in a classroom setting can place restrictions on an instructor’s ability to facilitate students’ interactions with each other and with course content. The active learning classrooms (ALCs) at the University of Toronto Mississauga, which feature shared, round tables for students, moveable chairs, and interactive whiteboards, afford new opportunities to facilitate active learning activities and encourage the search for answers to challenging questions (Miller, 2014, 330). In this session, we will share insights we have gained through our experience teaching and supporting teaching in UTM’s technology‐enhanced ALCs, and will reflect on how the opportunities provided by the physical space have affected both teaching and learning.

The goal of this workshop is to offer instructors considering teaching in an ALC or those who support others teaching in ALCs a place to start as they begin designing learning experiences for these spaces.

In this session, participants will:

  • be introduced to key features of effective ALC activities
  • participate in demonstrations of learning activities that have been effective in ALCs
  • examine the integration of content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, and technological knowledge in effective learning activities
  • consider how learning activities they currently use in their courses might be modified for an ALC

Baepler, P., Walker, J. D., Brooks, D. C., Saichaie, K., & Petersen, C. (2016). A guide to teaching in the active learning classroom: History, research, and practice. Sterling, VA: Stylus.

Brooks, D. C. and Solheim, C. A. (2014). Pedagogy matters, too: the impact of adapting teaching approaches to formal learning environments on student learning. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 137: 53-61.

McArthur, J. A. (2015). Matching Instructors and Spaces of Learning: The impact of space on behavioral, affective, and cognitive learning. Journal of Learning Spaces 4(1): 1-16.

Miller, K.E. (2014). Imagine! On the future of teaching and learning and the academic research library. Portal: Libraries and the Academy 14(3): 329 – 351.

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: a framework for integrating technology in teacher knowledge. Teachers College Record 108(6): 1017-1054.

Oblinger, D.G. (2006). Space as a change agent. In D.G. Oblinger & J.K. Lippincott (Eds.) Learning Spaces. (1.1 – 1.4). Brockport Bookshelf. 78. Retrieved 2019 March 7 from https://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/bookshelf/78.

Ramsay, C. M., Guo, X., & Pursel, B. K. (2017). Leveraging Faculty Reflective Practice to Understand Active Learning Spaces: Flashbacks and Re-Captures. Journal of Learning Spaces 6(3): 42-53.

Stoltzfus, J.R., & Libarkin, J. (2016). Does the room matter? Active learning in traditional and enhanced lecture spaces. CBE Life Sciences Education 15(4): 1-10.


3.4 Lightning Talks: Finding Our Space

Nifty Assignment: “I usually hate group work…”: Learning differently through reflexive, collaborative knowledge production
Linzi Manicom, Community Engaged Learning Coordinator and Lecturer, New College

NEW495Y is an undergraduate, multi-disciplinary, placement-based course where students’ learning is assessed via a range of reflective assignments, including reflexive writing in which students critically consider assumptions and dilemmas experienced in their placements and classroom dialogue on issues relevant to social purpose work.

The “nifty assignment”: students constitute themselves into groups of 4 or 5 around a collectively-identified topic that relates to their placement and are tasked with developing and delivering a workshop for their peers. Beyond elaborating issues and key concepts, the group orchestrates a participatory activity that encourages other class members to make connections with their own experiential learning. Peers’ anonymous evaluations of the workshop are taken into account by the presenters when they individually write up a 1000 word paper that highlights their key learning about the topic and, importantly, articulates what they learned from the process of the collaborative work and the workshop experience.

In addition to realising course learning objectives – namely, the development of capacity for critical reflection and dialogue, social awareness, and competency in collaborative work – the assignment also allows for creativity and originality, integration of different disciplinary perspectives, and insights into their own and others’ roles and ways of working. Students appreciate the individual grade which is based on the thoughtfulness, insight and analytical rigour of the reflection on the collaborative work.

Session participants will be given the opportunity to explore how some or all elements of this reflective assignment might be adapted for “group work” in their own courses and disciplines.


A Quiet Place: The Benefits of Solitary Learning
Ashley Waggoner-Denton, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Psychology

Notions of deep work (Newport, 2016) and deliberate practice (Ericsson et al., 1993) emphasize the benefits of uninterrupted, solitary focus on an activity (e.g., writing). But when are our students ever alone? Research has found that college students spend an average of 8-10 hours a day on their phones, with texting making up the largest share of that time (Roberts, Yaya, & Manolis, 2014). And to potentially make matters even worse, this increase in digital connection has been accompanied by a push in higher education for the use of increasingly collaborative and interactive learning strategies. Rather than providing a quiet space for students to be alone with their thoughts or to engage in focused, solitary work, we often expect (even force) students in our classes to participate, collaborate, or engage in other active learning strategies. For example, Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric states on their website that “students must overcome isolation in order to learn to write”. Drawing on evidence from psychology, education, and other fields, I will present an opposing viewpoint, one that emphasizes the benefits of solitary learning and the potential downfalls of collaboration and interactivity, particularly for introverted students. The ability to remain singularly focused on a task for a significant period of time is a skill that requires practice (and possibly a WiFi dead zone!), and I hope to spark a discussion about ways in which we might help our students engage in uninterrupted, focused learning.

Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The role of deliberate practice in the acquisition of expert performance. Psychological Review, 100, 363–406. doi:10.1037/0033-295X.100.3.363

Newport, C. (2016). Deep work: Rules for focused success in a distracted world. Grand Central Publishing: New York, NY.

Roberts, J. A., YaYa, L. H. P., & Manolis, C. (2014). The invisible addiction: Cell-phone activities and addiction among male and female college students. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 3(4), 254–265. doi: 10.1556/JBA.3.2014.015


Online Spaces for Collaborative Active Learning in Large Classes: The Virtual Mystery Custom Web‐tool
Sherry Fukuzawa, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Anthropology, UTM, Emma Yasui, PhD Candidate, Anthropology, UTM, Parth Champaneri, Undergraduate Student, Mathematics and Computational Sciences, UTM, Sarah Ranlett, PhD Candidate, Anthropology, UTM, Ibrahim Mahjoub, Undergraduate Student, Mathematics and Computational Sciences, UTM, Sohail Hameed, Undergraduate Student, Mathematics and Computational Sciences, UTM and Andrew Petersen, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Department of Mathematics and Computational Sciences, UTM

The Virtual Mystery Project is a scalable, online hybridized problem‐based learning (PBL) project to engage small groups of students in practical applications of course material. The virtual mystery was successful in delivering cost‐effective active‐learning exercises through the learning management engine (LME) in Introduction to Biological Anthropology and Archaeology (N=800 students) at UTM (Fukuzawa & Boyd, 2016, Fukuzawa,in press).. A LEAF grant in 2017 created 400 unique mysteries with weekly clues and accompanying images. Each mystery presents practical case scenarios to encourage student centered, self‐directed learning, and problem‐solving skills (Fukuzawa et al., 2017; Fukuzawa & Cahn, 2019). The clues lead to practical applications in a collaborative PBL report (Klegeris & Hurren, 2011; Loyen, Jones, Mikkers, & van Gog, 2015; Murray & Summerlee, 2007). In 2018, undergraduate students under the supervision of Andrew Petersen in Mathematics and Computational Sciences created the virtual mystery custom web‐tool. Course instructors populate clues and images into the webtool to engage students in the course material. The user‐friendly interface and self-release capabilities allow students to comment on each weekly clue, then see comments of other group members. Teaching assistants grade comments, and post feedback, all within the web‐tool. The virtual mystery web‐tool was recently piloted in a third‐year archaeology course, and received high student evaluations and completion rates. A demonstration of the web‐tool in this presentation will allow participants to see its pedagogical potential to collaboratively engage students in problem‐based learning scenarios and encourage students in course material. The next step is to facilitate a wider adoption of this unique teaching web‐tool across different disciplines.

Fukuzawa, S. (in press). A “Techno-phobe’s” journey to creating a hybridized problem-based learning web-tool. Journal of Research & Practice in College Teaching, Special issue on Sustaining Innovation in College Teaching.

Fukuzawa, S., & Boyd, C. (2016). Student engagement in a large classroom: Using technology to generate a hybridized problem-based learning experience in a large first year undergraduate class. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 7, 1, 1-11. Http://dx/doi.org/10.5206/cjsotl-rcacea.2016.1.7.

Fukuzawa, S., Boyd, C., & Cahn, J. (2017). Student motivation in response to problem-based learning. Collected Essays on Learning and Teaching, X, 89-101. http://dx.doi.org.10.22329/celt.v10i10.4748

Fukuzawa, S., & Cahn, J. (2019). Technology in problem-based learning: Helpful or hindrance? International Journal of Information and Learning Technology, 36, 1, 66-76. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJILT-12-2017-0123

Klegeris, A., & Hurren, H. (2011). Impact of problem-based learning in a large classroom setting: Student perception and problem-solving skills. Advances in Physiological Education, 35, 408-415.

Loyens, S., Jones, S., Mikkers, J., & van Gog, T. (2015). Problem-based learning as a facilitator of conceptual change. Learning and instructions, 38, 34-42.

Murray, J., & Summerlee, A. (2007). The impact of problem-based learning in an interdisciplinary first-year program on student learning behavior. Canadian Journal of Higher Education, 37, 3, 87-107.


3.5 Lightning Talks: Playing With Pedagogy

Acting Out in Large Lecture Halls
Carolyn Sealfon, Sessional Instructor, Physics

Join us for a brief exploration of the challenges and opportunities to engage hundreds of students in a space like Con Hall. Following a suggestion from Eugenia Etkina, this past semester I used the venue’s stage to co‐create three‐dimensional physical representations of abstract concepts with my students. Significant research has demonstrated the value of multiple representations to learning. Physically acting out representations offered new insights into introductory physics concepts and how to help students visualize and connect them. Due to the challenge of recruiting volunteers in class, many students perceived the activities as an inefficient use of time and preferred other engagements such as using the student response system with peer instruction. In this session, participants will enact a physics representation from my class and consider how we may better engage students to co-create multiple representations in our teaching and learning spaces. For more integrations of theatre in STEM education, see the upcoming conference CESTEMER.org.

Etkina, E., & Van Heuvelen, A. (2007). Investigative science learning environment–A science process approach to learning physics. Research-based reform of university physics, 1(1), 1-48.

Daane, A. R., Wells, L., & Scherr, R. E. (2014). Energy theater. The Physics Teacher, 52(5), 291-294.


The Large Lecture Course: Public Workshop for Private Reflection
James John, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Philosophy & Cognitive Science

Liberal arts and science educators work hard to ensure that their students gain factual knowledge, writing skills, and critical thinking abilities. But most of us also hope that our teaching will change our students’ characters. We want them to become reflective people, people who read, think, and write and who do so for the sheer joy of it. This is what we mean when we speak of wishing to induct our students into “the life of the mind.” Are seminars and independent studies the only venues in which we can influence our students in this direction? This Lightning Talk demonstrates two activities that can be used in large lecture courses to train students for the reflective life. In the read‐aloud activity, the instructor selects a brief prose passage, reads it to the class, then develops a plausible interpretation “out loud,” as if talking to herself. In the modified guided notetaking activity, the instructor plays a brief audio of someone discussing a complex subject as she simultaneously takes notes, with her note‐taking being projected in real time for the class to see. These activities involve enacting for the class the process of reflective thinking and writing. (George Steiner: an intellectual is “quite simply, a human being who has a pencil in his or her hand when reading a book.”) The talk explores how such enactments, if done well, can turn the public, sometimes forbidding, space of the large lecture course into a more intimate workshop in the private virtue of reflection.

Barkley, E.F., and Major, C.H. (2018). Interactive Lecturing: A Handbook for College Faculty. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Gonzalez, Jennifer. (2018, September 9). Note-taking: a research roundup. Retrieved from https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/note-taking/

Reynolds, S.M., & Tackie, R.N. (2016). A novel approach to skeleton-note instruction in large engineering courses: unified and concise handouts that are fun and colorful. American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, LA, June 26-29, 2016. Retrieved from https://www.asee.org/public/conferences/64/papers/15115/view

Robin, A., Foxx, R. M., Martello, J., & Archable, C. (1977). Teaching note-taking skills to underachieving college students. The Journal of Educational Research, 71(2), 81-85.


Teaching Research Skills Through Gamification: A Collaborative Project between Robarts Library and Woodsworth One
Benjamin Walsh, Librarian, Robarts Library and Beth Fischer, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream & Woodsworth One Coordinator, Woodsworth College

Faculty teaching first-year courses must not only teach students about subject matter, they must also help students understand how to locate, evaluate, and use scholarly information. And this can be a challenging task. First-year students often have difficulty navigating both digital and physical library spaces (Salisbury & Karasmanis, 2011). This can be especially true at the University of Toronto, where a complex network of libraries encompassing print and digital collections can compound anxiety around the navigation of the scholarly information environment (University of Toronto Libraries, 2018).

This talk will discuss a new educational partnership between Robarts, the University’s Humanities and Social Sciences library, and Woodsworth One (WDW One), a program for first‐year students in the Social Sciences and Humanities. As we describe Woodsworth One’s interest in problem-based learning (Walker et al., 2015), we will explain how a new relationship was built with Robarts Library, and ways in which a Robarts “escape game” was used to help ensure WDW One students would develop fundamental research skills as they explored scholarly information space (Walsh, 2014) and built “cognitive maps” (Afrooz et al., 2018) that will help them navigate these spaces in the future.

Afrooz, A., White, D., & Parolin, B. (2018). Effects of active and passive exploration of the built environment on memory during wayfinding. Applied Geography, 101, 68-74.

Salisbury, F. & Karasmanis, S. (2011). Are they ready? Exploring student information literacy skills in the transition from secondary to tertiary education. Australian Academic & Research Libraries, 42(1), 43-58.

University of Toronto Libraries (2018). Robarts space audit 2018 – Online user survey results. Toronto, ON: T. L. Spurrier.

Walker, A., Leary, H., Hmelo-Silver, C.E., & Ertmer, P.A. (Eds.). (2015). Essential Readings in Problem-Based Learning. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.

Walsh, A. (2014). The potential for using gamification in academic libraries in order to increase student engagement and achievement. Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education, 6(1), 39-51.


3.6 Research on Teaching & Learning: Reconceiving Student Space

Pilot Study of the New Sid Smith Student Commons: Evaluating a Place for Working, a Space for Well-being
Sylvia Coleman, Postdoctoral Researcher, U of T Sustainable Built Environment Performance Assessment Research Network, Harpreet Chohan and Lauren Tom, pilot study U of T student group members, Mavish Siddiqui and Heeho Ryu, U of T Sid Smith Learning Commons Student Assistants

The Sidney Smith Student Commons was retrofitted in 2018 to be the first intentionally designed informal learning space in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences to offer student learning support programs and services. These services include academic support and information technology, and incorporate student-driven programming. The aim of the redesign was to encourage learning, and to enhance student wellbeing through the physical space itself and assisted programming.

Dr. John Robinson’s “U of T Campus as a Living Lab of Sustainability” course ENV461 provided students with the opportunity to engage with a real-world sustainability project on campus, in coordination with U of T non-academic (operations) staff as “clients”. For this course in Fall 2017, students examined how occupants used the Sidney Smith Commons. A more comprehensive post-occupancy evaluation (POE) was conducted by a second student group in Fall 2018 after the retrofit. This POE project relied on surveys and observations to investigate how occupants were using the space, their satisfaction with indoor conditions, and whether the use of the Commons space might be connected to their self-assessed well-being and productivity.

In this presentation, researcher and students explore further quantitative and qualitative analyses of the POE. Results indicate that the Sidney Smith Commons retrofit – through both functional and spatial arrangements – successfully engages student occupants as a place to work, with some impacts on their self-reported well-being and productivity. Lessons learned and recommendations for experimentally-refined future post-occupancy evaluations are discussed.

Relevant Literature:
Perkins Eastman. (2017). Measuring up: Using pre- and post-occupancy evaluation to assess high-performance school design. Boston, MA: Herber.

Preiser, W., White, E., & Rabinowitz, H. (2015). Post-Occupancy Evaluation (Routledge Revivals). Florence: Taylor and Francis.

Schreuder, E., van Heel, L., Goedhart, R., Dusseldorp, E., Schraagen, J. M., & Burdorf, A. (2015). Effects of newly designed hospital buildings on staff perceptions: a pre-post study to validate design decisions. HERD: Health Environments Research & Design Journal, 8(4), 77-97.

Topp, C. W., Østergaard, S. D., Søndergaard, S. A., & Bech, P. A. (2015). The WHO-5 Well-Being Index: A systematic review of the literature. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 84, 167-176. https://doi-org.myaccess.library.utoronto.ca/10.1159/000376585


Investigating the Explicit and Implicit Learning that can take place in a No‐Risk Relational Space
Elaine Khoo, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Centre for Teaching and Learning, UTSC and Sanjana Negi, Research Assistant, English Language Development Centre, CTL, UTSC

Much discourse about English Language Learners has tended to be about a perception of deficit, with English Language Learners (ELL)’s lack of facility with English conflated with inferior cognitive ability (Heng, 2018)). However, there is increasing recognition of the limitations of this view as it precludes the rich spectrum of lived experiences and perspectives that could contribute to learning for all (Evans, Anderson, & Eggington, 2015). In attempting to develop a no‐risk relational space for learning course materials, giving learners the agency to sit in the “driver’s seat”, this session will briefly outline the voluntary participation system offered to students in various courses, to gain familiarity with their course content through low‐risk daily or almost daily participation.

The study applies the usage‐based approach (Ellis, 2005) Evers-Vermeu & Tribushinina, 2017) in interpreting the qualitative and quantitative data of student engagement. According to usage-based theories, each episode of language processing engages the learner with the constructions that constitute the language and thus “languaging” (Swain, 2006) practice helps the learners communicate in writing with greater efficacy. Qualitative data from learner surveys, along with instructor reflections point to the importance of establishing a no-risk relational space to encourage better explicit and implicit learning. Quantitative data of learner engagement provide evidence of how much effort students are willing to engage in when the relational space is conductive for learning and Academic language development. Implications will be drawn for the application of usage-based approaches to enhance learning in courses as well as other contexts.

Ellis, N. C. (2005). At the interface: Dynamic Interactions of Explicit and Implicit Language Knowledge. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 27(02). https://doi.org/10.1017/S027226310505014X

Ellis, N., Romer, & O’Donnell. (2016). Constructions and Usage-based Approaches to Language Acquisition: Usage-based Approaches to Language Acquisition Chp 1. Language Learning, 66(S1), 23–44. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.1_12177

Evans, N. W., Anderson, N. J., & Eggington, W. (Eds.). (2015). ESL readers and writers in higher education: understanding challenges, providing support. New York: Routledge.

Evers-Vermeu, J., & Tribushinina, E. (Eds.). (2017). Usage-based approaches to language acquisition and language teaching. Boston: Walter de Gruyter Inc.

Heng, T. T. (2018). Different is not deficient: contradicting stereotypes of Chinese international students in US higher education. Studies in Higher Education, 43(1), 22–36. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2016.1152466

Swain, M. (2006). Languaging, agency and collaboration in advanced second language proficiency. In H. Byrnes (Ed.), Advanced language learning: the contribution of Halliday and Vygotsky (pp. 95–108). London; New York: Continuum.



Virtual Labs to Augment Students’ Learning in Class and in Onsite Labs
Maria Papaconstantinou, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Human Biology, Dawn M. Kilkenny, IBBME, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Christopher Garside, Cell & Systems Biology, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, William Ju, Human Biology, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream

The instructors of four Biology-related courses at St. George campus integrated Labster virtual labs in their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year courses to: serve as pre-lab activity, substitute lectures, extend current teaching, or provide lab experience in courses with no on-site labs. The instructors used a backward design approach to align the labs with the learning objectives of the courses and to connect the labs with course assessments. Course redesign for lab integration started in the summer of 2017. The instructors met periodically in the fall of 2017 until after the end of the courses to share their experiences and to reflect on the implications of the virtual lab integration for future instructors with similar interests. Completing a virtual lab counted towards course participation and midterm and final exams included questions related to the content of the labs. Informed by existing research (Goulding et al., 2016; Makransky et al., 2016), the instructors investigated students’ perceptions of the usefulness of the virtual labs in terms of content knowledge and lab skills. At the end of each course, the instructors administered an anonymous online or paper-based survey in their classes, 370 students in total. The survey included 11 multiple-choice and one open-response questions. Results of the study showed that 80% of the students found the virtual lab simulations useful and 58% of the students thought the quality of virtual lab content was high. 70% of the students navigated the virtual labs with no problem. However, some students reported technical issues. In this presentation, we explain the course design process in detail and share a complete account of the findings of the study.

Bonwell, C. C., & Eison, J. A. (1991). Active learning: creating excitement in the classroom. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report No. I. Washington, DC.

Bortnik, B., Stozhko, N., Pervukhina, I., Tchernysheva, A., & Belysheva, G. (2017). Effect of virtual analytical chemistry laboratory on enhancing student research skills and practices. Research in Learning Technology, 25.

Dyrberg, N. R., Treusch, A. H., & Wiegand, C. (2017). Virtual laboratories in science education: students’ motivation and experiences in two tertiary biology courses. Journal of Biological Education, 51(4), 358-374.

Goulding, H. M., Kay, R., & Li, J. (2016, November). Assessing the Impact of a Virtual Lab In Health Care Education. In E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 923-928). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).

Makransky, G., Thisgaard, M. W., & Gadegaard, H. (2016). Virtual simulations as preparation for lab exercises: assessing learning of key laboratory skills in microbiology and improvement of essential non-cognitive skills. PloS one, 11(6), e0155895.

Ramos, S., Pimentel, E. P., Maria das Graças, B. M., & Botelho, W. T. (2016, October). Hands-on and virtual laboratories to undergraduate Chemistry education: Toward a pedagogical integration. In 2016 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE) (pp. 1-8). IEEE.

Wiggins, G. P., & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.


3.7 Special Session: President’s Teaching Academy

The President’s Teaching Academy: Pedagogical Help 5c, The Doctor is In
Members of the President’s Teaching Academy

Have a burning question about a teaching issue you are experiencing? Members of the President’s Teaching Academy will be available for small‐group brainstorming. We’ll work with you to explore possible new approaches and help you find resources. Bring your biggest challenge!

The session will start with a presentation of a teaching roadblock that a member of the President’s Teaching Academy recently encountered, and we’ll all work together to figure out potential avenues for improvement. Come and help find a solution to this situation and the others that you and fellow participants will bring to the session!


3:15pm-3:30 – Break

3:30pm-4:30pm – Poster Session & Reception 



This tri-campus event, hosted by the Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation and the Desautels Centre for Integrative Thinking, Rotman School of Management, is intended to stimulate discussion and the sharing of research, practices and experiences around teaching and learning. It is a cross-divisional forum that allows faculty, librarians and staff to celebrate their commitment to teaching and learning.

If you have any questions about the Teaching and Learning Symposium, please contact Erin Macnab, Coordinator, Programs & Strategic Initiatives, CTSI, at erin.macnab@utoronto.ca.