Registration is now open for the annual Research on Teaching and Learning Conference: Stages and Places of Engagement in Teaching and Learning, hosted by the Paul R. MacPherson Institute for Leadership, Innovation & Excellence in Teaching. The conference this year will be held at McMaster Innovation Park (Hamilton, ON) on December 12th & 13th, 2018.
The program for the conference will consist of paper presentations, workshops, poster presentations, panel discussions, and keynote presentations.

The 2018 conference theme will focus on Stages and Places of Engagement in Teaching and Learning within and across four ‘levels’- micro (individuals and courses), meso (programs and departments), macro (institutional), and mega (extra-institutional).

To register for the 2018 Research on Teaching and Learning Conference: Exploring Teaching and Learning Partnerships in Higher Education, please visit:


Keynote Speaker

Gary Poole

Research in Teaching & Learning 2018

Gary Poole is a professor emeritus in the School of Population and Public Health in the Faculty of Medicine and Senior Scholar in the Centre for Health Education Scholarship at the University of British Columbia.  For 10 years, he was the director of UBC’s Centre for Teaching and Academic Growth and the founding Director of the Institute for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.  He is a past-president of the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and of the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. He has received career achievement awards from both societies. Over the course of his career, Gary has won 8 teaching-related awards, including a 3M National Teaching Fellowship. Gary co-edits ISSOTL’s journal, Teaching and Learning Inquiry. 



“The Big “So What?” Working to Maximize the Benefits of SoTL”

As momentum for SoTL builds, important questions arise regarding the potential impact of all this work.  How can SoTL become an integral part of an institution’s culture?  Where are the best places to look for signs of SoTL’s impact?  Is it possible that we will amass an impressive research literature only to have it go largely ignored by those who teach in higher education?  Such questions can be fascinating and complex, especially given the challenges inherent in translating research knowledge into practice.  In this session, we will look at some of those “knowledge translation” challenges, (from microscopic to macroscopic perspectives), and explore ways to “increase the contagion” of SoTL work—in healthy ways.



8:30AM – 9:00AM


Location: McMaster Innovation Park Lobby

9:00AM – 9:15AM


Location: McMaster Innovation Park Atrium


9:15AM – 10:35AM

Keynote Presentation

Location: McMaster Innovation Park Atrium

“The Big “So What?” Working to Maximize the Benefit of SoTL

– Gary Poole


As momentum for SoTL builds, important questions arise regarding the potential impact of all this work.  How can SoTL become an integral part of an institution’s culture?  Where are the best places to look for signs of SoTL’s impact?  Is it possible that we will amass an impressive research literature only to have it go largely ignored by those who teach in higher education?  Such questions can be fascinating and complex, especially given the challenges inherent in translating research knowledge into practice.  In this session, we will look at some of those “knowledge translation” challenges, (from microscopic to macroscopic perspectives), and explore ways to “increase the contagion” of SoTL work—in healthy ways.

10:35AM – 11:00AM


Location: McMaster Innovation Park

11:00AM – 11:30AM

CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS / Student Partnership / Growth as an Educator

Location: Meeting Room A

“What do first-year university students know about learning-to-learn skills: How can a foundation course support meta-learning practices for students?”

– R. Hanley-Dafoe, H. Cahill 

The research on student preparedness for studying at university suggests that not all students have the prerequisite skills sets needed for undergraduate-level courses (Hanley-Dafoe & Bruce, 2018; Yorke & Longden, 2008). Keup and Stolzenberg (2004) reported that when surveying first-year students more than half of the students did not understand faculty expectations or university-level work expectations. Keup and Stolzenberg (2004) also reported that after first-year, only one-third of their participants reported having developed effective study skills. McCardle, Webster, Haffey, and Hadwin (2017) wrote that students in the first-year university often receive little guidance from instructors pertaining to how to learn course material. In order for students to learn about their own learning processes, Entwistle and McCune (2013) introduced the importance of teaching students about metacognition or metalearning, which is the practice of thinking about the thinking processes used to learn and study new material.

Location: Meeting Room B

“Audio at McMaster: three sites and two platforms for artistic audio learning”

– D. Ogborn

Between 2009 and the present, the present author has developed approaches to artistic audio at three distinct yet interlinked sites at McMaster University: (1) in the regularly offered course Introduction to Digital Audio (MMEDIA 2G03), (2) in McMaster’s open, collaborative, live coding laptop orchestra, the Cybernetic Orchestra, and (3) in the newly launched Networked Imagination Laboratory. At all three sites, a dense and fluctuating mix of online/blended learning practices can be found.

Moreover, at each of these three sites, the practice of live coding (programming as performance) plays multiple roles. In this short paper, I will give a personal account of the evolution of these three sites for artistically-inflected learning about sound and audio, including discussion of two unique online platforms that have been developed in connection with them: (1) the Estuary platform for collaborative live coding (ie. progamming as a method of expressive performance and exploration), and (2) the Inner Ear platform for online electroacoustic ear training (developed in a collaborative project led by Eldad Tsabary at Concordia University).

Location: Meeting Room C

“Leading Strategic Change in the Academic Institution” 

– N. Birch

Major change initiatives are often the result of institution-wide strategic shifts. Departmental teams impacted by strategic change must adapt structures, services, and processes to flourish in this new context. Using the implementation of online library services to support teaching and learning in distance education programs as a case study, this session demonstrates the how macro level (institutional changes) impact specific departments (meso level). Emerging leaders are not often trained in change management, yet are expected to successfully implement complex change initiatives in administrative roles. Successful and lasting change can require effective adaptations of change management models so that change solutions and implementation processes respect the context in which they are being deployed.

Using Kotter’s 8-Step Model for Leading Change as the change management framework, this session will focus on change design, action planning, and implementation processes.

Learning goals of the session are:

1. Participants will become familiar with the design considerations in a change management process including the role of creativity and problem solving.

2. Participants will understand the potential need for adaptations to a change modelfor higher educational contexts.

3. Participants will recognize change management best practices.

Location: Meeting Room D

“Reflection on Operationalizing an Anti-Racist Pedagogy in Geography Education: Teaching as Storytelling” 

– R. Narro Perez, D. Alderman, P. Klein, L. Eaves

Anti-racist social justice in not nearly as widespread and explicitly embraced, intellectually and organizationally, among geographers as compared to educational professional in other fields of the social sciences and humanities. This piece aims to address this gap on anti-racist social justice education among geographers by using story telling as a tool to catalyze other geography educators to use and adapt similar tactics as those used by the authors. This piece focuses on ‘regionalization’ within geography and how we geographically and socially partition and value space, whether that is within the context of cities (i.e. neighbourhoods) or territorial divisions within a country (i.e. the southeastern U.S, Western Canada) or the way in which we label and groups of countries (i.e. Latin America, Middle-East). An antiracist pedagogical lens is needed to ensure that students are critically considering the power dynamics behind the partitioning and valuing of space and human life, the inequalities that are found throughout the region-defining process, and the repercussions that the end products (i.e., the regions) create for various racialized groups. Building upon critical race theory and its emphasis on using narratives to illuminate and explore experiences of racial oppression, we are interested in framing the anti-racist possibilities of geography education as a form of “regional story-telling.” Each contributor of this study has engaged in reflexive storytelling in which they discuss some classroom strategies for producing an anti-racist knowledge of region and regionalization process that counters traditionally dominant and exclusionary geography understanding. Finally, a summary of common strategies and teaching strategies brings together the common themes and lessons across all four stories from which other geography educators are encouraged to integrate and adapt for their respective geography courses.

11:30AM – 12:00PM


Location: Meeting Room A

“Against the ‘He Said-She Said’ Method: How to Teach When the Experts Disagree” 

– J. John

Philosophy courses cover complex issues on which there is rarely any expert consensus. Instructors seeking to inform their students of all sides in ongoing debates while remaining neutral in their presentation of the material typically resort to a “he said-she said” (HS) method. They present arguments for a view; then arguments against the view; and then they move on to the next view. Every position receives this for-against treatment. Nothing is ever resolved.

Use of this method, I contend, can instill problematic attitudes in students. Some become cynical, believing that philosophy is just a game. Others become facile relativists, believing that no view is better or worse than any other. Yet others fall into intellectual despair: if the experts can’t agree, they ask, what is one to believe?

This is problematic because philosophy courses should educate and inspire, not corrupt or demoralize, and because instructors risk driving students away. Indeed, since use of the HS method is not confined to philosophy but widespread in the liberal arts and sciences, perhaps it is partly to blame for recent enrollment declines in such areas, especially in the humanities.

I will argue, drawing on recent work in psychology, that the HS method’s commitment to strict instructor neutrality is its flaw and that, when teaching controversial topics, we should strive instead for what Thomas E. Kelly calls “committed impartiality.” I will explain how I implement committed impartiality in my philosophy teaching and how it fits into a more general learner-centered approach to pedagogy.

Location: Meeting Room B

“All The World’s a Stage”: The Pedagogical Imperitive; or, Teach About and Through Twitter 

– A. Penney, T. Mayberry

A conversation about Twitter use in academic spaces – within the classroom and beyond – is pressing, given the fraught political climate and discourses around anti-oppression work and free speech in post-secondary institutions. Further, digital and multimodal communication is entrenched in multiple discursive places – home, school, and work; this ubiquity requires that we see social media as a vital, integrated component in discursive meaning making across the stages and places of engagement in teaching and learning in higher ed. In this short paper, we discuss how Twitter engagement can be used as a site for high-impact practices in postsecondary, and we will do this by delineating between two kinds of academic Twitter use. The first is using Twitter to teach composition, information, and social media literacy, and other subjects; the second is teaching young and seasoned scholars to use Twitter in public scholarship.

As parallel-academics, Mandy and Tommy embody positionalities within the academy that highlight the valuable role academic support units play in the rich discussion of Twitter as a discursive site. We will start a dialogue that explores the scholarship of teaching and learning on Twitter, public pedagogy, and public scholarship to consider social media engagement within and across all four levels – courses, departments, institutions, and the Thunderdome of the Twitterverse outside the nominally safe walls of the academy. If academics and parallelacademics  want to effectively engage where classrooms and public discourse meet, we need to think about how we use Twitter both as a communicative tool and a crucial site of discourse. It is our intention that this presentation will encourage a lively discussion on teaching and learning about and through Twitter.

Location: Meeting Room C

“Moving Institutional Assessment of the SoTL from Instrumental to Transformative”

– N. Simmons

Scholars have identified the challenges of moving the SoTL forward institutionally from micro to meso, macro, and mega levels (Poole & Simmons, 2013; Roxå & Mårtensson, 2009; Simmons, 2016). Assessment is not culture change but does shine a light on the factors being assessed and thus contributes to culture shifts.

Institutional assessment of SoTL, however, faces the same challenges as other institutional assessments: focusing on what is easy to assess. Often these are questions such as “is a SoTL conference held on your campus?” or “is there a person whose role is to support the SoTL?” Affirmative responses may suggest positive SoTL culture – but these are not in and of themselves necessarily transformative.

Is there a need for transformation? I argue yes: We seek transformative learning, paradigm shifts, and reforming of constructs, in our students all the time. The energy of this kind of learning feeds our souls and keeps us doing SoTL. Mezirow’s (1991) transformative framework (instrumental, communicative, emancipatory) has a great deal of appeal for SoTL culture shifts, i.e., there are communicative challenges for institutional development of SoTL: We do good work, but don’t talk about it enough, especially at the meso or department level (Roxå & Mårtensson, 2009; Simmons, 2016).

In this session we explore transformative frameworks of assessment as a way to increase SoTL engagement and its impact. Examples given will be about institutional SoTL; I also invite you to discuss how they might also apply to your own teaching and learning.

Location: Meeting Room D

“Teaching at the Intersections: Identity, Social Location, and the Experiences of Teaching Assistants”

– T. Follwell, A. Santinele Martino, B. Marquis

Drawing on semi-structured interviews with current and recent TAs (n=37), we will share findings that speak to how social location affects TAs’ interactions with students, the networks and resources they draw on, and their emotional experiences as educators. In line with the tenets of critical race theory (Yosso et al., 2004), we foreground the experiences of TAs who identify as members of equityseeking groups; however, to avoid reproducing dominant social locations (e.g., whiteness, heterosexuality) as unquestioned norms, we also include the perspectives of participants who occupy more privileged social locations.

Interpreting the experiences of our participants through the theoretical lens of  intersectionality (Collins & Bilge, 2016), we will offer preliminary evidence underlining the need to consider diverse social locations when developing initiatives to support or study TA development, and will encourage attendees to consider the applicability of our findings in their own cases and contexts.

12:00PM – 1:00PM


Location: MIP Atrium


1:00PM – 1:30PM


Location: Meeting Room A

“Historians, Teachers, and Students: Impact of Students’ Perceptions on Classroom Instruction and Curriculum Development”

– R. Hughes

Exploring the relationship between students and courses and between teacher education programs and traditional academic departments, the presentation examines the disciplinary understandings of future secondary history teachers. How do students’ disciplinary understandings affect their emerging conceptualization of discipline-specific teaching? The study is part of a larger SoTL research project centered on higher education’s dual and often unexamined role in addressing disciplinary content and preparing future generations of students to teach specific disciplines. Informed by the Decoding the Disciplines project, one of the project’s assessments asked undergraduate students to answer three short yet revealing questions, “What do historians do?”, What do history teachers do?”, and “What do students of history do?” Participants ranged from first year students to senior teacher candidates and included history majors, teaching majors, and general education students from two universities. The qualitative evidence provided by the study’s core questions underscores the reality that most undergraduates conceptualize the work of historians, history teachers, and students in significantly different ways that inform the teaching and learning in both secondary and higher education. Such data has important implications for ongoing debates, both nationally and internationally, in the burgeoning scholarship in history education and the value of SoTL research in rethinking the role of teacher education programs within traditional academic departments. More broadly, the study highlights the challenges of bridging the persistent divide between disciplinary content and pedagogy and the promise of SoTL research that integrates secondary and higher education and illuminates challenges that are both unique and cross disciplinary boundaries.

Location: Meeting Room B

“Incorporating undergratuate perspectives in the development of online courses: The case of Geography 2OC3”

– C. McNeill-Jewer, J.Maclachlan

This paper will explore the opportunities and challenges of refashioning the popular traditional lecture based course, The Geography of Canada, into a wholly online offering through a discussion of the challenges and opportunities of effectively incorporating at all stages in development. The funding awarded through an Online Ontario Initiative Grant provided the opportunity to incorporate the viewpoints of an Education Developer, a Digital Media Specialist, two faculty members and a full time student partner to provide insight into the design and construction of all aspects of the course from assignments through lectures. Through the creation process it became apparent the continued input of the student partner would be beneficial during the first iteration of the course to allow for quick reply to student queries and, if necessary, be proactive in any foreseeable problems whether they be technical or pedagogical. Running in parallel to the development of the course a series of survey questions were created for the students to get their opinions on not only the content of the course but all aspects including online discussions and assignments. Survey results illustrate that students generally supported the move to online as does enrollment which has grown from 140 students the last year the course was offered in a traditional format to the over 1200 students this past academic year.

Location: Meeting Room C

“Using Knowledge Translation and Instructional Design to Support Pre-Professional Training of Speech-Language Pathologists: Developing Educational Resources on Universal Design for Learning”

– V. Tomas, J. Hamilton, P. Solomon, W.Campbell

Canadian K-12 schools are increasingly adopting inclusive education practices, prompting a need for health professionals, such as Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) who work in this setting, to be well-versed in frameworks such as Universal Design for Learning (UDL). To be responsive, professional programs need resources that teach SLP students about UDL. In this study, we created three types of educational resources about UDL for McMaster SLP students: a PowerPoint presentation, two SLP-tailored UDL guidelines handouts, and 2 hypothetical case studies. To guide selection of content to include in these resources, we drew on a knowledge translation theory called Diffusion of Innovations (DOI), which explains how and why new ideas are adopted. To guide the process of developing resources, we used the Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, Evaluation (ADDIE) instructional design model. We engaged three SLPs who had experience in a school setting and general familiarity with UDL to participate in a Working Group to assist with refining and tailoring resources. A focus group was held with these SLPs to evaluate their experience. Content analysis indicated that they valued the opportunity to be involved in curriculum development and felt that including a “real world” perspective enhanced the quality of resources. The innovative approach used in this study could help guide the design of future educational resources tailored to health professional students. Audience members will be walked through the novel development process, introduced to final resources, learn how UDL was considered throughout the development process and discuss challenges of resource development. Funding: PALAT grant.

1:30PM – 2:00PM


Location: Meeting Room A

“Enhancing undergraduate student self-efficacy and learning with a community service learning (CSL) nutrition workshop assignment.”

– G. Coletta, K. Dej, A. Khan, J. Pritchard

Purpose: We aimed to understand the impact of a community service learning (CSL)- assignment on students’ overall learning experience and self-efficacy related to conducting science-based workshops in the community.

Methods: Students enrolled in a Level-4 Nutrition course developed and delivered a 45-minute evidence-based nutrition workshop to older adults in the community. Pre- and postworkshop surveys were used to assess self-efficacy for tasks related to facilitating workshops. Focus groups were conducted with to examine the impact of the assignment on the students’ learning experience. The Student’s t-test was used to compare pre-and post-survey means for self- efficacy, and a thematic analysis was used to identify themes that emerged from focus groups.

Results: A total of 34/36 (94%) students agreed to participate and 7/36 (19%) students participated in two focus groups. There was an increase in self-efficacy for all tasks, including explaining nutrition information to a lay population (pre-survey mean 6.2 [1.9] vs. post-survey mean 7.7 [2.3], p=0.007) and for facilitating a workshop on nutrition for a lay population (pre- survey mean 6.2 [2.2] vs. postsurvey mean 8.1 [2.1], p<0.001). Three themes emerged from the focus groups including: self-efficacy for science communication, accountability towards community health, and development of career skills. Conclusion: This CSL-assignment enhanced self-efficacy around science communication, and may help prepare undergraduate students for future careers, particularly in healthcare.


Location: Meeting Room B

“Incorporating mobile learning technology into the classroom: a guide for successful use in Geography classrooms”

– R. Lee, D. France, S. McPhee, J. Maclachlan

Mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, have become an important source of information, news and a part of everyday social interaction. As the prevalence of these devices has increased among students, staff and faculty, their use within the classroom has emerged as a new tool to engage students. Mobile technology has the capacity to create new learning spaces virtually within the classroom and bridge learning beyond the classroom into the “real-world”. The inherent sense of place and space within Geography can be enhanced through the use of mobile technology to illustrate concepts, enhance experiential opportunities and further engagement with the community. Despite mobile technologies’ capability to be a powerful tool for learning, it can be seen as intimidating, timeconsuming or distracting.
To create a positive learning experience, the use of these technologies must be based on pedagogical principles where specific learning outcomes or skills are enhanced through its use, rather than use simply for the novelty factor. Without purposeful implementation, it may not improve student learning and engagement with the material as effectively. Previous mobile technology frameworks and case studies have been used to understand best practices, limitations and barriers to using mobile technologies within Geography classrooms and other disciplines. Based on these best practices, a set of guiding principles and questions focused on Geography education, though applicable to all disciplines, has been proposed to aid in deciding whether mobile technology may enhance learning within a specific course or assignment and if so, how to implement it into the classroom.


Location: Meeting Room C

“Interdisciplinary Development of Physical ACtivity Counselling in the Medical School Curriculum: A Workshop-Based Approach.”

– J. Williams, K. D’Urzo, S. Flood, T. van Lieshout

The benefits of physical activity (PA) are widely known; however, only 15% of Canadian adults accumulate the Canadian recommended 150 minutes/week of moderate to vigorous PA. While PA is recognized as an effective intervention for the primary and secondary prevention of chronic disease, physician knowledge and counselling remains low. Several barriers to PA counselling exist, including inadequate training and insufficient time during appointments. Recognizing the barriers that exist for PA counselling, student leaders involved in the Exercise is Medicine on campus (EIMC) student organization at Queen’s University have developed and implemented innovative, collaborative and mandatory curriculum development projects to educate future healthcare providers – namely medical school students and residents – on PA counselling and prescription. The programming utilizes interactive workshops to provide healthcare trainees with the tools to integrate PA counselling and prescription into their routine medical practice. This past fall, the EIMC at McMaster University successfully implemented similar pilot workshops at a medical school conference. Attendees at the annual Research on Teaching and Learning Conference at McMaster University will have the opportunity to learn of the successes and challenges of workshop-based delivery of this novel curriculum, and research on the cognitive and behavioural outcomes of students following workshop implementation. Additionally, future directions for this programming will be presented, which include a focus on implementing mandatory and sustainable medical school PA counselling curriculum. We will encourage attendees to consider applications of the presented curriculum development projects to their specific context through guided small group-based discussion.

2:00PM – 2:15PM


Location: MIP Atrium


2:15PM – 3:15PM


Location: Meeting Room A

“Networked, collaborative live coding with Estuary”

– D. Ogborn

Live coding, in which programming becomes a performance, is a practice with transformative pedagogical potential, particularly when it is conducted in its most collaborative forms, by collective programming (and perhaps, art or music making) groups rather than isolated individuals. Diverse live coding practices have been cultivated at McMaster over the past decade, at first within the regular meetings of the Cybernetic Orchestra (the university’s live coding laptop orchestra, founded 2010) and more recently in the environment provided by the Networked

Imagination Laboratory. The development of networked, collaborative platforms for live coding has been a distinctive emphasis of live coding research at McMaster.

The Estuary platform, currently in active development as part of the SSHRC-funded project “Platforms and practices for networked, language-neutral live coding”, facilitates the educational exploration of live coding by bringing together a growing number of heterogeneous programming interfaces and notations in a zeroinstallation setting. In this workshop, participants will explore the Estuary platform for collaborative live coding together, making music and visual art via programming.

On the basis of a series of hands-on collaborative activities with the Estuary interface, we will be able to reflect on the types of learning involved, the challenges that arise, and the potential for new and additional applications both of the broader practice and this specific platform.

Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a personal laptop if possible. No software installation is required as the Estuary platform is accessed through a standard web browser. Nor is any prior experience with programming required.


Location: Meeting Room B

“Building Critical Awareness in the Classroom Through Experiential and Immersive Learning: Micro level teaching practices that inform Mega level impact”

– J. Sangha, K. Bramesfeld

Experiential and immersive learning opportunities are powerful tools to increase learner engagement and build skills in self-awareness, critical thinking and community building that can inform learning about social justice issues at the macro and mega level. Although these methods are powerful pedagogical tools that can lead to transformative change for learners they can also lead to feelings of discomfort as worldviews and taken for granted assumptions are challenged.

In this interactive workshop, the facilitators will draw from critical theory, adult learning, and community-engaged learning principles to help participants consider the personal, interpersonal, institutional, and societal advantages and challenges that arise when engaging students in these experiences.

We will explore how instructor presence, modelling and self-awareness are key to designing experiential and immersive learning experiences that teach students how to learn from discomfort rather than resist or withdraw from it.

The two facilitators of this workshop have over 10 years of experience as educators using these tools in their classrooms and will share examples of using experiential and immersive learning to teach about social justice through partnering with community based organizations such as Jane’s Walk and Scadding Court Community Centre as well as through developing an interactive online game in collaboration with students and community partners.

As SoTL researchers we will discuss methods (and examples) for effectively assessing these experiences and will share a framework we are developing on the relationship between discomfort and learning that can inform pedagogical decision making for educators who engage in teaching on social justice.

Interactive Methods That Will Be Used:
• Experiential Learning
• Small group learning


Location: Meeting Room C

“Matchmaking K-16: Networking and partnering for the transition from K-12 to post-secondary institutions”

– S. Lidster, C. Dishke-Hondzel, J. Churchley

Success of students in higher education, especially in terms of retention, is dependent on a number of complex factors. One factor is the seamless support of students as they transition from K-12 institutions to post-secondary institutions (years 13-16). This workshop will present a model for the development of K-16 partnerships that connect students and educators from both sectors. In this model, educational developers act as “matchmakers” to connect K-12 teachers and postsecondary faculty with shared interests. While many types of K-16 partnerships already exist, this model provides visibility, consolidation, and support to these partnerships as well as increasing the quantum and scope of partnerships to improve student success at scale. The objectives of the workshop are to discuss the potential in K-16 partnerships, and to map potential K-16 networks in all curricular content areas. Participants will be engaged through discussion and collaborative activities, including a networking Liberating Structure. Topics of discussion and connection will include the value of leveraging existing and new partnerships with K-12 institutions while offering support in identifying future partnerships.


Location: Meeting Room D

“Designing IMPACTFUL Initiatives”

– L. Kajiura, R. Fleisig, B. Vrkljan, L. Hassan

The IMPACT Initiative involves large-scale collaborations, encompassing over 1500 participants: students, faculty, healthcare partners, and real community clients. The initiatives provide unique teaching and learning opportunities for cross-disciplinary exchange and mentorship, which is practical, applied, community engaged, and transformative. Our panel discussion will focus on the IMPACT Initiative’s four partnership levels (micro – students, meso – professors, teaching assistants, educational developers, macro – departments / faculties, mega – campus, community healthcare partners, and clients). Such collaborations encourage faculty, students, and health care partners to apply their knowledge to design customized devices for our clients. Collectively, these tenets scaffold the engagement for all participants on personal, intellectual, academic, social, and professional levels. The panel discussion will highlight how the components of our IMPACT initiatives advance the professional development of our students in terms of applied knowledge, analytical skills, teamwork, communication, and creativity skills, which are critically needed to address complex problems. The members of the panel with discuss the specific roles and contributions of professors, teaching assistants, students, mentors, educational developers, and community partners. Furthermore, we will share our IMPACT Initiative research insights and strategies for the use of our IMPACT model for implementation within other educational partnership platforms.


3:15PM – 4:15PM


Location: MIP Atrium

“Inquiry-based learning experiences for the promotion of higher order skills”

– D. Bhatt, D. Devcic, J. Atallah

Inquiry learning encompasses a variety of techniques, including structured and guided inquiry (Prince and Felder, 2006). Both strategies begin with presenting a problem. Structured inquiry is followed with a solution ‘model’, whereas in guided inquiry, the student must devise a solution independently. Much research has emphasized the positive relationship between inquiry learning and the promotion of higher- order skills. This association holds especially true when the learning experience is engaging, knowledge- centered, and student-centered (Freeman et al., 2014; Martin et al., 2007; Prince and Felder, 2006). While learning cycles have been designed to optimize such parameters (Martin et al., 2007), the role of structured inquiry in conjunction with or independent of guided inquiry has not been explored in genetics. Our work explores the differences between structured inquiry, guided inquiry, and combinations in promoting higher order skills. The learning experience was designed in the context of Alzheimer’s disease, a topic that is welcome within the population of biology students aiming for medical school. Through the accomplished progress, we hope to share our findings with the teaching and learning community in an effort to promote the development of evidence-based teaching practices that foster higher order skills.



“Teacher Conceptions and Teaching Methods for Creativity in Norwegian Classrooms”

– T. Boyd

Creativity is an important aspect of child development which has been shown to be positively associated with academic achievement. Importantly, teacher conceptions of creativity have a significant impact on how teach creativity and teach creatively which directly affects student development. In the present study, teachers from three elementary schools in the Telemark region of Norway expressed their conceptions of creativity in a verbal interview. Their teaching methods were assessed in their completion an online version of the Creativity-Fostering Teacher Behaviour Index (CFTIndex) and through classroom observation of their lessons. Analyses indicated years of education ( = -.31, t(4) = -7.61, p = .00) and years spent teaching ( = -.03, t(4) = -6.83, p = .00) were both significant predictors of scores on the judgment subscale of the CFTIndex. These results suggest that increased education and experience are more likely to judge students’ ideas prematurely, which may have a negative influence on students’ creative expression. The importance of teacher and student autonomy in creative development, as well as the influence of teacher assessment and feedback on student ownership, motivation and creativity which arose from teacher responses and intercorrelations among CFTIndex subscales were further discussed. These results emphasize the relevance of teachers’ role in creating an environment, which is conducive to student creativity and has important implications in Ontario classrooms.

“A model for promoting course and curricular integrative teaching and learning”

– C. Burzynski, Z. Syed, J. Atallah

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 engaging, 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. A small-scale pilot was designed to assess the success of such a model.

Through our achieved progress, we hope to share our findings with the teaching and learning community in an effort to promote the development of course and curricular integrative teaching and learning.



“Student Reactions to Team-Based Learning (TBL) in the Arts”

– M. Chaktsiris

Team Based Learning (TBL) is underutilized in humanities disciplines despite evidence that it promotes student learning and critical thinking skills (Espey, 2017; Michaelsen & Sweet, 2008). TBL includes four main pillars that scaffold learning: readiness reassurance (ensuring students have the knowledge to complete tasks), forming students into permanent groups, peer- evaluation, and application exercises (Sweet & Michaelsen, 2012). Despite the popularity of this approach in some disciplines, there are barriers to its implementation in the humanities. These include the lack of evidence-based best practices using content from the liberal arts, a continued focus on the importance of sole-authorship rather than teamwork, and limited practical educator resources around rubric and assessment design.

This paper will explore (1) the process of developing a team-based project for undergraduate learners in History with the goal of creating meaningful evidencebased narratives, and (2) student reactions and reflections on the experience. The objectives and purpose of this paper are to develop educator resources to guide instructors through the development of TBL assessments using primary sources, and to capture student reactions to the experience of creating and sharing their own evidence-based narratives through both written and digital formats.


“Dynamics of Mentorship in Psychology: Building a Learning Community and Fostering Leadership through Mentorship”

– I. Cheung, C. Tsang

A pilot project was implemented in which 4th year Honors students (Mentors) mentored 1st year students (Mentees) enrolled in a first year survey course. The Mentors participated in this program as part of a course examining theories of mentorship. Mentors met weekly over the course of the academic term for at least one hour per week with their assigned Mentees. During the mentoring sessions, each group (1 Mentor + 2-3 Mentees) was charged with developing a research project to be completed by the end of semester. Mentors met weekly as a class with the course instructor to discuss readings related to theoretical frameworks of mentorship and the practice of mentorship. The readings were not assigned in advance of the course—each week, one student in the course was asked to select up to two readings for the class to discuss. The topics were open and up to the individual student who would be leading the discussion. All Mentors were asked to complete learning reflections related to the weekly readings, as well as their own practice of mentorship. This program challenged students’ perceptions of expertise—in this course, the Mentors are the authority with their Mentees, and the Mentors become the authority in class discussions by having autonomy to select their own readings and lead their own seminar. This project operated within several different levels of engagement: micro (course level: peers mentoring peers and faculty mentoring students), meso (program level management of peer interactions) and macro (scaling the mentorship course for the department level program).


“Implementation of a Co-Curricular Record for McMaster University Students to Enhance their Community Outreach Using Reflection and Learning”

– A. El-Sayes, M. Babad,  J. Yachouh, A. Khan, Dr. K. Dej, A. Asaf, M. Chau, R. Kamran, B. Naeem, T. Sharma

A co-curricular record (CCR) is an asset used to portray students’ activities outside the classroom pertaining to community engagement, knowledge enhancement and skill acquisition. Many students take time from their academic responsibilities to undertake these activities as they deem them essential contributions for their community and themselves. The implementation of CCRs has been emerging across Canadian universities in the past decades. This asset allows students to list and reflect on their activities, hence enriching their involvement experiences by reflecting and learning on behalf of their commitments. McMaster University has  attempted to execute a CCR for its students in 2006 named MacSTAR, however was terminated quite early due to low student buy in and inconsistency with student accessibility. In this study, we implement a CCR that may be applicable for all students at McMaster University. We identified ORBIS to be a suitable software for the creation of the CCR with potential unification with OscarPLUS. By using a CCR, we aspire to enrich the learning of students via reflection of their activities and by extending their community reach to connect with employers, faculty members and fellow students. This essentially will raise a community where individuals are able to thrive, learn and teach one another via deliberation of their co-curricular commitments. We have launched a prototype of the CCR using PebblePad to incorporate feedback before the official launch of the CCR next year.

“BIOMINT: A Digital Interactive Tutorial to Facilitate Deeper Molecular Understanding of Michaelis-Menten Enzyme Kinetics”

– Z. Gu, D. Ng, S. Andreopoulos, J. Jenkinson

Michaelis-Menten enzyme kinetics is a major topic taught in undergraduate introductory biochemistry courses that serves as a foundation for other areas in the life sciences such as pharmacology and molecular biology. Key kinetic concepts and behaviours are typically modeled and explained using simplified reaction schematics, equations, and graphs. However, these abstract mathematical/symbolic representations often make it difficult for life science students to conceptually link pertinent concepts to the underlying molecular phenomena being described. BIOMINT (Biomolecular Interactive Tutorials) is a digital interactive learning module aimed at helping students integrate their mathematical and molecular understanding of enzyme kinetics. We designed this module to supplement existing learning resources by providing a novel inquiry-based platform that allows students to interactively explore and visualize the effects of variable changes (e.g., substrate concentration) on kinetic phenomena at the molecular, textual, and graphical/mathematical levels of representation. A combination of visual and auditory cues were also used to facilitate this bridging. In addition, this platform is accompanied by interactive leaflets and knowledge check/self-assessment questions to help students better contextualize and apply what they learned. We plan to deploy and evaluate BIOMINT in an undergraduate introductory biochemistry course (~1300 students) at the University of Toronto starting fall 2018 in order to determine whether this interactive learning module will facilitate a deeper molecular understanding of enzyme kinetic phenomena.

“Too many voices or not enough of them: can student engagement and leadership in a course go too far?”

– W. Ju

Post-secondary teaching and learning increasingly views partnerships with students as a vital part of their success in a course or a program of study. Over the past 4 semesters, several large 3rd year courses (CJH332, HMB300) have received help from SALT (Student Advisory and Leadership Team) members where students have provided feedback and suggestions in course design, evaluation policies and course content. Results from faculty, administrative staff and students show that while all 3 groups perceive this feedback as a positive endeavor, the resulting impact of having student input and feedback are not always as clear. Data about levels of student engagement from courses designed by student peers will be presented as well as recommendations and lessons learned. Participants will receive different perspectives and insight into whether student-designed courses lead to better engagement, the significant hurdles that result and how some processes might be avoided.

9:00AM – 9:15AM


Location: McMaster Innovation Park Atrium


9:15AM – 10:35AM


Location: McMaster Innovation Park Atrium

“Teaching and Learning Leadership in Action”

– N. Fenton & McMaster LTL Fellows, T. McAteer, C. Grise, M. Malik

Teaching and Learning Leadership in Action – it is now well known that educational leaders influence change and implement initiatives to strengthen teaching and learning practices, faculty communities and cultures. They play a significant role in sharing their expertise to inspire and mentor their peers within their local settings and more broadly across different contexts. In this session, three MacPherson Institute Teaching and Learning Fellows are putting their mark on McMaster’s teaching and learning legacy through collaborating, experimenting with innovative teaching practices, and generating evidence on an impressive array of topics from leadership development to experiential education in Humanities and Business. 


10:35AM – 11:00AM


Location: McMaster Innovation Park Atrium

11:00AM – 11:30AM


Location: Meeting Room A

“Implementing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) in a Professional Graduate Program: A Qualitative Study of Faculty Perspectives”

– W. Campbell, I. Eisen, L. Rivard

Background: The Ontario Human Rights Commission recently updated its policy on accessible education and recommends Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a framework for enhancing inclusion. Purpose: This participatory action research study explored the perceptions of faculty from a health professional graduate program involved in a program-wide effort to implement UDL. Methods: Twelve faculty members were interviewed with transcripts analyzed thematically and findings verified through two rounds of member checking. Results: All faculty reported being thoughtful in their consideration of UDL. Many perceived tensions in moving forward with the initiative. For example, the value of UDL in “equalizing the playing field” contrasted with perceptions that “UDL is idealistic”. While many felt positive about undertaking the UDL initiative, not all faculty “shared that energy”.

Faculty appreciated taking the time to think about UDL and share their implementation efforts, but many struggled to find the time to make changes “in the here and now.” Finally, while some faculty were “ready for change”, others wondered if change was needed. The authors’ interpretation was that faculty were “at a crossroads,” and that positive experiences with UDL were juxtaposed equally with challenges. Discussion: Updates on the project will be shared, including a new extension of the project to engage with health professional students and gain their perspectives about UDL. Attendees will be invited to share their own perspectives and experiences in implementing UDL and other accessible teaching practices. Suggestions for problem-solving and overcoming challenges are welcome. Funding: FHS Education Innovation Award.

Location: Meeting Room B

“Program-level learning outcomes for enhancement of biology programs”

– J. Atallah

Substantial international effort has been invested in promoting the development of program-level learning outcomes (PLLOs) at the postsecondary education (PSE) level (AAAS, 2011; Altbach et al., 2009; Barrie et al., 2011; Brownell et al., 2014; Cary and Branchaw, 2017; Deller et al., 2015; Goff et al., 2015; Harris, 2009; Tansey et al., 2013). Motives mainly revolve around quality assurance, accountability, accessibility, and strategic spending. Despite this, only a handful of groups have developed biology- specific frameworks, none of which are comprehensive enough to articulate what is precisely expected of PSE graduates. A UofT-based initiative has embarked on developing a validated framework of PLLOs for biology programs. A pilot was first launched to address the molecular biology specialization. Throughout the accomplished progress, several challenges and realizations transpired. We hope to share our lessons learned and insights, to promote the development of PLLOs across postsecondary biology departments in Canada.

Location: Meeting Room C

“Faculty Engagement and Professional Learning: Reflections on Stages of Transformation from a Creative Practitioner to Scholar”

– B. Murray

Reflections on advancement and professional learning provide a model for preservice or in-service faculty members. This session focuses on professional learning by examining: (1) a guide for pre-service faculty who need assistance building their teaching portfolios; (2) reflections and engagement of in-service faculty members regarding advancement and learning; and (3) the transformation from a practitioner into a scholar. Professional development needs vary between educational programs and research interests among scholars. This session highlights three forms of professional development and an example of planning for professional growth that assist or mentor future educators. What exclusive forms and learning opportunities in education relate to professional development? How can educators professionally advance and develop a growth mindset? The session objectives are to develop a growth mindset, examine forms of professional learning, as well as analyze formal, informal, and research as forms of professional development in the interactive component. Formal workshops and informal sessions may be used to mentor pre-service instructors or new faculty members.

Formal professional development includes assessment and creative workshops, critiques, industry-related events, or forecasting seminars. Informal professional development may include access to resources or an awareness of industry practice.

Research as professional development relate to the interests of faculty members or educational programs. Educational support is critical to the success and preparedness of current faculty and the development of the next generation of educators. In this interactive session, attendees will create professional and educational goals, discuss components of their teaching dossiers, and develop plans for advancement that improve their chances for professional success. Using the three forms of professional development in a handout: formal, informal, and research the attendees will plan their academic careers.

11:30AM – 12:00PM


Location: Meeting Room A

“Advancing Accessible Education at McMaster: Considering the Motivations and Metaphors that Promote Particular Scales of Change”

– A. de Bie, B. Marquis, M. Suttie, O. Watkin-McClurg, C. Woolmer

Earlier research at McMaster with disabled and non-disabled students, staff, and faculty has identified a range of factors affecting educational accessibility: those related to knowledge and attitude as well as institutional, disciplinary, and pedagogical practices.

This research took place before and during early implementation of a portion of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act(AODA) legislation (Marquis et al., 2012; Marquis et al., 2016ab). The new research we aim to present, based in focus groups and interviews with faculty and teaching assistants at McMaster, explores current perceptions and engagements with accessible education, and how these may have been impacted (or not) by recent policy/training developments.

The focus of this session will be to explore the underlying beliefs/values/motivations/metaphors about teaching, students, and disability that participants draw on when describing their investment in accessible education (e.g. the fixers, standard keepers, citizen-makers). By treating these motivations as significant, we can observe the levels they operate at (individual, course-based, departmental/programmatic, institutional, beyond), and how they position responsibility (on students, instructors, departments, the institution as a whole, society). These results offer varied explanations for ‘why’ someone would want to engage in advancing accessible education — many that operate in interesting ways beyond traditional equity/justice discourses — and ask us all to expand the rationales we may use to encourage any type of change.

Our presentation will encourage attendees to recognize motivations that resonate for them and how these might affect and limit particular scales of and approaches to change in teaching and learning.

Location: Meeting Room B

“Working at the Meso Level to Develop Writing Pedagogy at the Micro Level: The University of Toronto – Mississauga’s Writing Development Initiative as a SoTL lab”

– M. Kaler, T. Evans-Tokarvk

In this paper we first introduce the Writing Development Initiative (WDI), a unique and long-running Writing Across the Curriculum program at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) that funds innovative proposals for enhancing the use of writing in specific courses. We then discuss the ways in which the WDI’s support for teaching innovation has facilitated Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) work at UTM in two ways, showing the WDI’s utility not just as an institutional response to concerns about student writing, but also as a laboratory for ongoing SoTL research.

One of the conditions for WDI funding is that instructors of supported courses must submit a reflective Final Report on their project; this Final Report is informed by the targeted assessment of student writing in the course and student surveys. We will discuss ways in which this requirement to think about and write a

Final Report, even though it is not formally published, has promoted the instructor’s personal engagement with the project; this reflective engagement, along with the “carrot” of the WDI’s financial support, promotes faculty members’ pedagogical development and learning at the micro- level.

We demonstrate the impact of this program on SoTL by briefly profiling three research projects that are directly linked to the WDI’s support and which have very different areas of focus: the use of audio feedback in a first-year Biology course; the efficacy of scaffolded assignments in a second-year Sociology course; and the impact of different kinds of formative feedback on a revise and resubmit assignment in a first-year History course.

Our presentation concludes with a group activity in which participants identify and discuss one (formal or informal) structure at their own institution that could be adapted or mobilized to support SoTL.

12:00PM – 1:00PM


Location: MIP Atrium

1:00PM – 1:30PM


Location: Meeting Room A

“The Importance of partnerships with local Indigenous communities to foster the Indigenous Curriculum”

– V. King-Jamieson, S. Fuzukawa

Indigenous pedagogy must be valued by all educational stakeholders for Indigenous knowledges and methodologies to be accepted in the Academy (Battiste, 2013; Kovach, 2009). The engagement of a “cultural interface” means moving away from Westernized binary thinking (self versus others) towards an acceptance of pluralistic ontogenies (Nakata, 2007a). This complicated space requires the acceptance of diverse cosmologies, epistemologies, and ontological positions (Wilson, 2008). This involves more than simply adding Indigenous content into a Westernized course structure. It begins with an equal and mutually respectful partnership between educational institutions and local Indigenous communities.

A Macro-project at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) was initiated and implemented by the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) to bring together different educational stakeholders in a day-long symposium to discuss the importance of Indigenous education in Ontario classrooms. This presentation will discuss the symposium’s key themes and lessons learned, as well as steps forward toward an established partnership between the MCFN and the UTM. A Micro-project was born out of the larger symposium where the MCFN, as part of an Indigenous Action Group at UTM, will be developing and implementing a course entitled “Anthropology and the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island in Canada”.

Session Objectives:

1. To outline the importance of local Indigenous community partnerships in Indigenous education.

2. To discuss the challenges of implementing a course based on Indigenous pedagogy in a post-secondary institution.

3. To generate a discussion on paths forward toward an Indigenous curriculum in the Academy.


Location: Meeting Room B

“Examining the impact of a faculty leadership program on educational development using social network analysis”

– C. Woolmer, N. Fenton, J. Su Suh

The Leadership in Teaching and Learning (LTL) Fellowship Program coordinated by the MacPherson Institute, aims to promote faculty engagement in scholarship in teaching and learning by supporting innovation, evaluation of existing practices and implementation of change. The overarching objective is to cultivate connections and meaningful conversations about SoTL to optimize student learning, based on the premise that change occurs via a primarily social mechanism (Kezar, 2014), where private conversations among colleagues, bolstered by mutual trust and shared goals, can be more impactful on teaching innovation than formal training/interventions (Daly, 2010). We are using a mixed-methods approach comprising social network analysis (SNA) and semi-structured interviews to examine the impact of the LTL

Program on educational leadership at micro, meso, and macro levels within the institution. This paper presents the first round of data collected as part of a longitudinal, two-year, study which integrates visual, quantitative and qualitative data to track how Fellows’ networks change over time and how this mediates their educational and/or professional development. The data presented assesses the strength of ties and frequency of interaction in the following domains drawn from the literature (Van Waes et al., 2016; Thomson, 2015) :1) sharing of teaching resources, 2) emotional support/trust and 3) active innovation in teaching and learning. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the preliminary results from the first round of data collection, learn more about the affordances of SNA methodology in researching institutional change, and consider the possibilities for informing further research on SoTL at McMaster.


Location: Meeting Room C 

“Space as the Third Teacher: Educating for capability with design thinking” 

– S. Park, R. Fleisig, J. McKinnell, B. Vrjkljan

Space and the learning environment are considered to be the ‘third teacher’ (with teachers and peers, family, and community as the first two). This panel offers perspectives and provocations on how our teaching and learning spaces might support a culture of creativity and exploration in higher education .An arts educator (Sean), an engineer (Robert), an occupational therapist (Brenda) and a librarian (Jennifer) share a common interest in design thinking as a human-centred approach to helping students develop creative capabilities for addressing complex problems. Through the development of empathy for others, problem framing, radical brainstorming, prototyping and iterative idea development, design thinking is a framework for bringing innovative ideas into the world.

In practice, design thinking requires physical spaces that enable visual thinking, small group dialogue, movement, and lo-fidelity materials (e.g. cardboard) for turning ideas into tangible forms. Virtually, design requires learning spaces that work well for story telling and the visual communication of ideas.

Through four short stories, panelists will speak to how they are encouraging creative capabilities and the constraints and opportunities with space on campus.

Stories include the use of MURAL, a digital design tool for engaging students in design thinking projects and Coiner, a student driven design project that engaged local community members to discover insights and generate creative and meaningful solutions.

Panelist will close with a question for the audience to work with in brief, small group conversations. The session will close with an invitation for participants to shape their own space in one small way that encourages creativity and exploration.

1:30PM – 2:00PM


Location: Meeting Room B

“The status of scholarship of teaching and learning in the Accounting discipline- A multi-case study of academic’s perspectives”

– S. Anjum

There is paucity of scholarship in accounting education (Rebele & St. Pierre, 2015). The scholarship of teaching and learning in the accounting discipline refers to systematic dissemination of education related research pertaining to scholarly teaching in accounting discipline to enhance student learning. The following case study will explore the perception of accounting academic’s engagement in scholarship of teaching and learning. Furthermore, the purpose of this qualitative study is also to examine if there are any changes to instructional strategies used in classes, any incentives provided by organizing professional development programs and linking teaching awards, promotion, and tenure to scholarship of teaching and learning. Mezirow’s (1991) transformative learning theory is chosen to be the theoretical framework underpinning this doctoral research because of the linking of reflection to reinterpret the impact of scholarship of teaching and learning on accounting academic’s professional lives. Fourteen participants working across four different universities positively responded to participate in this case study. Semistructured interviews, the primary data collection method, was conducted to help study the phenomenon under investigation. In addition, documents or artefacts which document their engagement with scholarship of teaching and learning was also collected to answer the central research question of this doctoral study.
The presentation will report on the preliminary findings of this study. in the health sciences. 

2:00PM – 2:15PM


Location: McMaster Innovation Park Atrium

2:15PM – 2:45PM


Location: Meeting Room A

“Teachers’ Reflection and Questioning of Assessment Criteria to Increase Students’ Levels of Creativity and Engagement”

– B. Murray

Educators improve their practice by reflecting on and questioning teaching practice on a continuous basis. Questions that prompted this qualitative study included: How can educators assess creativity if we do not have a unified vision on the definition?

Questioning whether creativity assessment measures accurately any behaviours, skills, and abilities was an essential guide to lead this inquiry. How can educators measure skills or students’ work while engaging students in the learning process?

This qualitative study explored students’ perspectives related to creativity, professional goals, and assessment criteria. Goals of the study included improving teaching practice and developing reliable assessment measures of creative products such as installations, designs, and artwork. Personal interviews were conducted with 20 undergraduate students in a communication and design program that provided rich data. Findings of the study will be discussed during the session. The contribution that this study makes is an inclusive teaching environment providing students’ with a platform to voice concerns about creativity and fair assessment.

Additionally, incorporating reflection into teaching practice or in students’ assignments encourages new ways to enhance teaching and learning. Engaging students in the learning process or asking them about fair assessment increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practice higher-level creative or critical thinking skills and promotes deep meaningful learning experiences. Session objectives include: (1) reporting findings from a creativity study on students’ learning and assessment; and (2) using reflection and questioning as a means of advancement of teaching practice.

Location: Meeting Room B

“Examining the relationshop between the university and its host community through the lens of work-integrated learning: the experience of Ontario’s universities.”

– E. Asafo-Adjei, M. Buzzelli

Work-integrated, experiential and community-engaged learning are three of many overlapping pedagogic approaches that connect – – via students – – the university and its external community. Universities are considering such approaches to meet a number of needs and priorities both on campus and amongst stakeholders. In this context, this research asks: to what extent and in what ways do the university and its host community connect via these pedagogic models? One focus of this research question is the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) which face persistent questions about disciplinary relevance (such as curriculum-industry disconnects) and students’ career competencies. Based on a sample of alternative types of institutions as classified within the Mclean’s University Rankings

( 2018/), our preliminary research findings from document analysis and key informant interviews find rapid and widespread adoption of alternative CEL models.

But rapid adoption also comes with diverse approaches and new tensions, including issues of centralization versus decentralization (e.g. within institutions) and competition versus collaboration (e.g. within institutions as well as amongst institutions and stakeholders). Findings from the study will inform policy on the development and implementation of these pedagogic approaches within universities and across systems of institutions.

This presentation will appeal to educators and research users/policy decisionmakers interested in the teaching and learning-based connections between the university and the wider community, particularly at the local level. The presentation will include various forms of participant engagement including audience polling and interactive discuss-and-share elements.

Location: Meeting Room C

“Examining the impact of a faculty leadership program on educational development using social network analysis”

– C. Woolmer, N. Fenton, J. Su Suh

The Leadership in Teaching and Learning (LTL) Fellowship Program coordinated by the MacPherson Institute, aims to promote faculty engagement in scholarship in teaching and learning by supporting innovation, evaluation of existing practices and implementation of change. The overarching objective is to cultivate connections and meaningful conversations about SoTL to optimize student learning, based on the premise that change occurs via a primarily social mechanism (Kezar, 2014), where private conversations among colleagues, bolstered by mutual trust and shared goals, can be more impactful on teaching innovation than formal training/interventions (Daly, 2010). We are using a mixed-methods approach comprising social network analysis (SNA) and semi-structured interviews to examine the impact of the LTL

Program on educational leadership at micro, meso, and macro levels within the institution. This paper presents the first round of data collected as part of a longitudinal, two-year, study which integrates visual, quantitative and qualitative data to track how Fellows’ networks change over time and how this mediates their educational and/or professional development. The data presented assesses the strength of ties and frequency of interaction in the following domains drawn from the literature (Van Waes et al., 2016; Thomson, 2015) :1) sharing of teaching resources, 2) emotional support/trust and 3) active innovation in teaching and learning. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss the preliminary results from the first round of data collection, learn more about the affordances of SNA methodology in researching institutional change, and consider the possibilities for informing further research on SoTL at McMaster.


2:45PM – 3:45PM


Location: Meeting Room A

“Social experiments will increase your student engagement and knowledge retention” – Workshop

– R. Yap

At the end of the session, participants will be able to:

1. Practice a social experiment activity.
2. Determine viability of a social experiment in their own classes.
3. Identify content from their own lecture-based classes that can be
converted into social experiments.
4. Determine applicability of the social experiment approach to online classes.

This session showcases the results of a study that Dr. Robin Yap conducted with undergrad students taking an Organizational Behaviour class. The goal of the study was to determine the viability of social experiments as a pedagogical model replacing traditional lecture formats. The results were impressive and worth sharing.

In this session, the audience will actively participate in a social experiment and will discuss their experiences. It is anticipated that attendees be open to a new way of teaching, to physically stand, move around the room, complete tasks with small groups and then working together as a whole class, and even going out of the session room (if allowed) to complete the social experiment activity. It is an exciting opportunity to experience what Dr. Yap’s students experience every day in their OB classes.

This study has become one of the foundations for the current NSERC grant that Dr. Yap is conducting with Canadian newcomers.

Interspersed in this workshop are theoretical contexts used in the social experiment activity, logistical challenges encountered (e.g. ethical implications) and successes. It is suggested that participants come in with an offline lecture topic in mind that they may consider adding a social experiment component to increase student engagement.

Location: Meeting Room B

“Demonstrating and assessing excellence in university teaching portfolios” –  Workshop

T. Olsson, T. Roxa

Teaching excellence is complex and includes much more than the actual activities in the classroom. These are of course fundamental but excellence also includes aspects like theoretical pedagogical understanding, planning of teaching, insightful observations, scholarly reflections and feedback. Academic teachers must be able to use their disciplinary expertise within a pedagogical context focusing on the development of their student’ learning.

In this workshop, we will explore the nature of teaching portfolios as qualitative documents focusing on teachers’ reflections and analyses of teaching and student learning. Participants will work with questions of how to document and verify their teaching practices using actual teaching portfolios (from Swedish universities) as case studies, and analyse procedures in a scholarly assessment of teaching.

We build the workshop on empirical data including several hundreds of teaching portfolios written by teachers from different disciplines, faculties and universities as part of applications for appointment, promotion or teaching awards (Olsson and Roxå 2013).

After the workshop, participants should have

• reached an improved understanding of how teaching portfolios can beused to demonstrate teaching practices,
• shared a practical assessment experience of how teaching portfolios can be used in a scholarly assessment of teaching,
• used theoretical models and through them increased their awareness of the complexity of excellence in university teaching,
• increased their understanding of the critical importance of “pedagogical content knowledge” – teachers’ ability to incorporate their discipline in a pedagogical context,
• recognised that a teaching portfolio is about the actual teaching practice and students’ learning in the actual discipline, and that it is not a text about pedagogy in general,
• acquired new ideas and broadened their views on what constitutes excellence in university teaching and how it can be assessed.

Location: Meeting Room C

“Where Social Learning Happens: Using Flipgrid to Transcend Place and Promote Student Voice” – Workshop

– B. Sabourin

Online discussion forums have been widely used a means to facilitate class conversations online. This type of activity extends the place of interaction beyond the physical classroom space, yet still constrains it by being confined to the course LMS site. Siemens (2005) suggests that “learning is no longer an internal, individualistic activity” (p. 9); student learning activities need to consider the ways in which social learning theories have been changed by the advancement in technology.

During the 2017-18 academic year, I used Flipgrid to facilitate class discussions in my Digital Technology courses. Flipgrid ( is a web-based social videoblogging application that allows students to submit video responses to discussion questions or other topics of conversation. The 110 teacher candidates (BEd students) in my four courses engaged with discussion topics and questions related to both theoretical and practical implications of digital technology and social media on their teaching practice.

This workshop will engage participants with the Flipgrid platform while exploring how digital technology can facilitate deeper discussions that transcend the implicit barriers of a course to allow students to extend their learning to other rich spaces and communities. Questions of pedagogical space, teacher identity, and student voice will be explored. Preliminary results from a larger study of teacher candidates’ perceptions of technology through Flipgrid reflections will also be shared.

Attendees are advised to bring a digital device (e.g. smartphone, tablet, laptop) to the workshop to fully participate in the interactive components.

3:45PM – 4:00PM


Location: MIP Atrium


McMaster Innovation Park

McMaster Innovation Park
175 Longwood Road S., Suite 105
Hamilton, ON L8P 0A1
View map & directions


We have reserved room blocks at four different hotels close to McMaster Innovation Park (location of RTL 2017).

Research in Teaching & Learning 2018
Staybridge Suites:
10 rooms, offered at the McMaster Rate of $135 per night.
Click here to reserve rooms. Or call and refer to the RTL Conference.
Rooms will be held until December 1st.
Address: 20 Caroline St S, Hamilton, ON L8P 0B1
Phone: (905) 527-1001

Research in Teaching & Learning 2018
Visitor’s Inn:

Holding 20 rooms at the discounted rate for single occupancy is $119, double occupancy is $129 (plus tax)
Quote RTL Conference or the Group Confirmation Number #226341 to receive the discounted rate. Tel 905 529 6979
Please note attendees are able to reserve with this special rate until November 11, 2018.

Address: 649 Main St W, Hamilton, ON L8S 1A2
Phone:  (905) 529-6979

Research in Teaching & Learning 2018
The Sheraton Hotel:
 10 rooms, offered at the McMaster rate of $129 per night.
Reserve online or by quoting “McMaster Research on Teaching or ML11AA” group block when calling 1-888-627-8161.

Please note attendees are able to reserve with this special rate until November 23, 2018

Address 116 King St W, Hamilton, ON L8P 4V3
(905) 529-5515

Research in Teaching & Learning 2018
Admiral Inn:

Holding 10 rooms at the discounted rate for single occupancy is $109.
Quote RTL Conference or group confirmation number 216705

Address: 149 Dundurn St N, Hamilton, ON L8R 3M1
Phone: (905) 529-2311