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Dillon Hall in the Fall

Centred on Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) Abstracts 2007-2008

The Centre for Teaching and Learning has established the Centred on Learning Innovation Fund (CLIF) to facilitate projects that contribute to the development, implementation, assessment, and further exploration of learning outcomes and learning outcomes-based practice at the University of Windsor. The following projects foster inclusion and promote success for learners as well as innovate, build on existing research into practice, offer a clear rationale, demonstrate a clear plan, and focus explicitly on enriching the University’s learning-centred environment through an emphasis on learning outcomes. Click on abstract to read more about this year’s proposals:

Design and Implementation of a Learning Outcome-Driven MIS Curriculum
Diana Kao, Gokul Bhandari, & Bharat Maheshwari, Odette School of Business

The proposed project is to design an integrated Management Information Systems (MIS) curriculum consisting of five to six courses at the Odette School of Business. The new curriculum will be driven by learning outcomes of both the overall MIS curriculum and each course. The curriculum will give equal emphasis to knowledge discovery and experiential learning by using the same real-world case study. Computer-based exercises will be used to reinforce underlying concepts. The innovative approach of this project includes developing one comprehensive, regional case and associated resources (questionnaire, databases etc.) and using them in all MIS courses to support incremental learning and achieve a high level of curriculum integration. Odette has recently completed its first phase of curriculum redesign for the 1st and 2nd year courses using the learning-centred approach. The second phase of this redesign will require each discipline at Odette to define its objectives and learning outcomes. This proposed MIS curriculum will fit the overall goal of the business curriculum. It will also serve as a model to promote the learning-centred culture/practice for other disciplines at Odette.

Developing a Mentorship Role in Associate Teachers
Karen Roland, Geri Salinitri, Guoqiang Zhou, & Christopher Greig, Faculty of Education

Associate teachers play a significant role in the professional and social development of teacher candidates during the practicum – the practicum placement being a collaborative opportunity for teacher candidates to integrate the theory and pedagogical principles learned during faculty course work, with experiential learning during the teaching practice in the classroom. Of critical importance in defining and clarifying the role of the associate teacher is the nexus between associate teacher learning outcomes and those of our teacher candidates – there is a direct and indelible link between associate teacher efficacy as mentor and successful learning outcomes for teacher candidates. By combining face-to-face with virtual learning opportunities for the associate teachers and teacher candidates, we can monitor, assess, and evaluate strategies used in this project in terms of mutual learning, empowering the learner, and in providing a medium for accessible feedback.

Developing Assessment Methods for Co-operative Education Learning Outcomes
Jennifer Johrendt, Derek Northwood, Department of Mechanical, Automotive & Materials Engineering; Karen Benzinger, Centre for Career Education; Geri Salinitri, Faculty of Education; & Arunita Jaekel, School of Computer Science

Recently, the University of Windsor's Center for Teaching and Learning has offered support for the development of learning outcomes for all of the University of Windsor learning-centred programs. In an innovative and ground-breaking effort, the Centre for Career Education has been implementing learning outcomes methods for its cooperative education programs at the junior, intermediate, and senior levels. The current interdisciplinary research project focuses on the engineering and computer science cooperative education programs. Through reflective surveys of graduates of the cooperative education program combined with examination of the progress of current students, assessment methods will be developed to measure achievement of learning outcomes. These measures will also provide necessary feedback for revising currently implemented learning outcomes and for its continual development.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Using Standardized Patients in Health Assessment Labs for Nursing Students
Judy Bornais, Faculty of Nursing

The use of standardized patients is an established educational tool in medical education with a considerable amount of literature supporting its effectiveness as a learning and assessment tool (Barrow, 2000; De Champlain, Margolis, King, & Klass, 1997). This problem-based learning approach which is extensively used in medicine is relatively new in the field of nursing education and has been primarily limited to graduate nurse practitioner programs (Becker et al., 2006). This study will examine the effectiveness of using standardized patients in a first-year nursing health assessment class. A convenience sample of students registered in health assessment will have the opportunity to practice Objective Structured Clinical Exams (OSCEs) in their labs on standardized patients, while a control group will continue to practice OSCEs on their peers in labs. Pre- and post-OSCE evaluation and pre- and post-written examinations will determine the effectiveness of the use of standardized patients in nursing health assessment labs.

Formation of a Faculty Learning Community on the Topic of Interteaching and Graduate Student Education
Alan Scoboria, Fuschia Sirois, & Antonio Pascual-Leone, Department of Psychology

This initiative supports the development of a faculty learning community focused on a recently developed teaching method termed interteaching. Interteaching differs from traditional lecture-based instruction, which tends to promote student passivity, by shifting responsibility for learning onto students and placing student engagement with material (rather than instructor expertise) at the centre of the learning process. The instructor’s role is shifted to providing preparatory materials, supporting peer-to-peer dialogue about readings, and addressing questions/clarifying challenging material. In a typical interteaching session, students receive preparation guides and readings in advance of class sessions. Students prepare in advance, and in class, engage in discussion with a partner to answer the questions. The instructor circulates to answer questions and stimulate further discussion. After discussion, students complete an interteaching report, where they indicate areas of confusion or ask further questions. Based upon the reports, the instructor prepares a clarifying lecture for the start of the next class session. Research to date in undergraduate courses has shown improvements in outcomes, as well as enhanced student engagement. Under the current initiative, three faculty and two graduate students will meet on a regular basis to discuss the implementation of interteaching, with a specific focus upon applying the method to graduate instruction. Two faculty members will incorporate interteaching methods in graduate courses. We will document our discussions, as well as gather and report data on student performance and reactions to the use of interteaching in the graduate classroom.

Fugitive Pages: Recovering the Underground Railroad in Print
Suzanne Matheson, Department of English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing; & Heidi Jacobs, Leddy Library

Fugitive Pages: Recovering the Underground Railroad in Print will be an upper level interdisciplinary practicum course team-taught by Dr. Suzanne Matheson (Department of English) and Dr. Heidi LM Jacobs (Leddy Library). By conducting their own original primary research into African Canadian print culture of the 19th century, students will explore this region’s rich history and its connections with the Underground Railroad. Through the creation of a digital archive and/or physical exhibition, students will come to understand the social and political contexts of historical preservation in the past, present, and future, and consider how to disseminate their knowledge to their peers, the campus, the local community and, potentially, the world. Students will learn that a printed page is not a solitary, silent, or static record, but a living and collaborative production, the sum of many voices and narratives.

Listening to Visible Minority Students: Voices of Our Ethnically, Culturally, and Linguistically Diverse Learners on Learning-Centred Practice
Shijing Xu & Zuochen Zhang, Faculty of Education

Students can improve the qualities of their “acquisition, application and intergration of knowledge” (To Greater Heights, 2003, p.6) when their personal, cultural and professional knowledge is valued. This research project aims to develop and promote learning-centred approaches based on what is experienced and appreciated personally, culturally, and professionally by the learners themselves, especially those who are visible minorities and/or those who do not speak English as their first language, in our learner-centred practices. We invite 20 students to participate in our study, which is contextualized in Faculty of Education. From the videotaped focus group and/or individual interviews, we anticipate generating ideas and insights that are constructive to building a learning-centred community that enhance the learning of all the students.

Promoting Success for College Students Entering University Programs through Learning Outcomes and Collaboration
Irene Carter, James Coyle, & Donald Leslie, School of Social Work

Community college students often seek admission to university programs to continue their education. However, community colleges and universities sometimes have different perspectives about the value of experiential and academic learning, and about teaching styles employed by faculty to promote a learning-centred environment. The presenters discuss the use of learning outcomes as a means to respond to these differences. They consider the similarities and differences in teaching methods and learning outcomes between community college child and youth programs and university social work programs. They focus on existing research and examples of learning outcomes. As well, they look at barriers to university admission, cooperative programs between universities and community colleges, and future possibilities for shared or integrated courses. The presenters suggest that collaborative and complementary learning outcomes between university social work programs and community college child and youth studies programs can benefit students and higher education institutions.

Self-Efficacy and Empowerment as an Outcome in a Graduate Level Advanced Field Integrative Seminar Course
Wansoo Park, Connie Kvarfordt, Irene Carter, & Sung Hyun Yun, School of Social Work

Teaching practical evaluation skills in real-world settings has been addressed in the literature as an effective way to help students bridge the gap between knowledge of evaluation practices and their practical application (Gredler & Johnson, 2001). The importance of these practical skills is even greater in a professional discipline. Practicum experience has been found to be a popular method to enhance the learning of program evaluation in the field (Trevisan, 2004), but there is no empirical evidence of its effectiveness. Through a field practicum course, students are intended to build competence in valuable hands-on evaluation skills, and confidence in their ability to use them. However, research focused on whether students actually develop such competence and confidence is limited. This research project aims to investigate whether there are changes in student feelings of competency and empowerment in conducting evaluations, specified as learning outcomes for graduate students enrolled in the Advanced Field Integrative Seminar course during the Winter semester of 2008. One group pre-post retrospective design was used and findings will be reported by the end of June, 2008.

Social Justice Education
Karen Roland, Faculty of Education

Members of the Ontario teaching profession are held to an extremely high standard of professional and ethical behaviour. During the experiential learning aspect of the Pre-Service Program, specifically the practicum placement in school classrooms, Teacher Candidates must not only be aware of these standards, but as members of the educational community, they must demonstrate their understanding through their teaching practice. The creation of social justice education vignettes will provide an instructional tool to challenge teacher candidates through the discussion of social justice/equity topics in a nonthreatening manner, to engage in self-reflection, and to develop an understanding of the application of social justice education theory in practice, in accordance with the Ontario College of Teachers Ethical Standards and Standards of Practice for the Teaching Profession.

Student Motivation for Interteaching Methods in Undergraduate Health Psychology
Fuschia Sirois, Rebecca J. Purc-Stevenson, Alan Scoboria, & Antonio Pascual-Leone, Department of Psychology

Interteaching (Boyce & Hineline, 2002) is a modern teaching method with an emerging empirical base. The approach operates by shifting responsibility for engagement with material away from instructors and onto students. Research to date supports that this method produces better course outcomes than lecture alone. Furthermore, students typically report preferring interteaching to lecture-based instruction. Less is known about how motivation may be involved in the interteaching process. The purpose of this project is to examine students’ preferences and motivation for interteaching across two Health Psychology courses. Questions regarding expectations, motivations, and experience with interteaching were administered before and after each course. Quantitative and qualitative analyses will be conducted to assess students’ experience with interteaching, and its effects on motivation and performance. The results from this project will extend existing knowledge on the benefits of interteaching by improving understanding about the role of motivation and expectations for students’ engagement with interteaching.

Teaching Learning Skills
Ken Cramer, Department of Psychology

This project provides learning skill instruction in four crucial areas: note-taking, text reading, test-taking, and time management. Participants receive training in the learning skills during their regularly scheduled laboratory times. In this way, we are able to reach a large portion of the university population (half of the incoming students take psychology). Although taught in psychology labs, the learning modules were designed to reflect general learning skills as we recognize that a large proportion of the participants are not psychology majors. As a method of control, half of the participants receive skills training before the midterm, while the remainder receives the skills training afterwards.

The Transparency Machine Event
Louis Cabri, Department of English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing

The Transparency Machine Event is a poetry learning environment of interest to those engaged with teaching critical theory, contemporary culture and literature, and creative writing, and whose aim is to enable a critical understanding and participation in the mass consumption of cultural, especially language-based, social forms. A poet presents his or her work in the context of selected texts that often include images and excerpts drawn from many disciplines. These texts are available as a downloadable handout weeks prior to the event for use in the classroom. A recording of the dialogic event itself is then edited into teachable sound-bites and publicly archived online. The Department of English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing Homepage houses links to the handout (News & Events) and sound-text archive (Podcasts & Vidoes). This CLIF grant is specifically for a Transparency Machine Event with the Detroit poet and playwright Carla Harryman, 24 March, 4:00-5:30PM, Oak Room, Vanier Hall. For further info, please contact Louis Cabri (

Windsor Internship Program
Clayton Smith, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students and Registrar; & Karen Benzinger, Centre for Career Education

Experiential education has long been recognized as a learning-centred practice with strong benefits to students. These benefits include stronger academic performance, higher motivation and satisfaction as well as the development and transfer of knowledge and skills. In addition, students involved in work-based experiential learning enjoy greater clarity in career directions and develop an understanding of workplace realities. A wide variety of work-based experiential education opportunities exist at the University of Windsor, including co-operative education, field placement, and course-based practicum. However, these are limited to a relatively small number of academic programs. This project will propose an internship model that could apply to many more programs and students. It will include research on similar programs at other schools, a possible program structure, learning outcomes, and related educational strategies/assessment methods, a budget forecast, and recommended implementation steps.

Workbook for Internet Information and Ethics
Pierre Boulos & Randy Fortier, School of Computer Science

The goal of this workbook is to develop a re-usable set of case studies and problem sets in Computer Ethics. The workbook will be integrated into the CLEW course kit for 60-305, and made available to CS Co-op students in order to give students hands-on opportunities and practical learning experiences in computer ethics. The workbook is comprised of six modules, each providing some detailed theoretical and background ethical framework along with current case studies examples pulled from various Internet media sources. Topics such as free speech, spam, pornography, intellectual and digital property, privacy, and security will be explored. A concluding section on professionalism in information technology will be included.
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