Impact of Community Engaged Education & Use of the Learning Portfolio in a 2nd Year Large Enrollment Course in Clinical Neuroscience

There is growing literature supporting the benefits of community-engaged education in undergraduate students (e.g., review in Davis & Jordan, 2010). Less work has investigated the impact of this experience in science students. One Canadian survey noted that community-engaged curriculums are more common in faculties of Arts and Social Sciences (Hayes, 2006). This project will investigate the impact of a community-engaged assignment in a second year, large enrollment course in the faculty of science on two major domains of student experience: academic engagement and civic responsibility. It will also assess whether use of a Learning Portfolio leads to increased awareness about the value of reflective thinking. A final aim is to document the experience of third-year students who serve as peer mentors and assist second-year students in developing their assignments so that best practices can be developed for how to effectively incorporate the assistance of student mentors in a course setting.

Ayesha Khan

I completed my Ph.D. in behavioural neuroendocrinology in 2009 from McMaster University. After, I held several appointments at the University of Toronto and at Ryerson University until I returned to McMaster in 2013. I am now an Assistant Professor with a cross-appointment in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour and the Life Sciences Program where I teach a variety of courses covering topics such as animal behaviour, physiology of reproductive behaviour, and neuropsychology. My passion for teaching is largely driven by my interactions with the enthusiastic and inquisitive students I meet on a regular basis. My goal as an instructor is not simply to introduce students to course content but also to create a non-threatening, engaging, and an intellectually stimulating environment that allows for regular student-instructor interaction and discussions.  I am a strong believer in empowering students to demonstrate leadership by engaging in activities that produce transferable skills (e.g., goal setting, time management, project management, group collaboration) through non-traditional experiences in the classroom.

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