Teaching Research Profiles

Abigail McMeekin

As part of my ongoing research in the area of scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL), a specialized kind of research that examines teaching processes and their effect on learning, I worked on a Teaching Development Fund project entitled: “Flipped Japanese classroom,” which was awarded in Spring 2016. Setting the stage to examine the effect of flipped classrooms on language learning in the Japanese as a foreign language classroom, I created approximately 22 interactive tutorial videos for the purpose of teaching JPNS 1000 level students writing (hiragana, katakana, kanji), grammar and listening outside of class. The video tutorials incorporated video, audio, animated text (for learning writing) and are accompanied by interactive exercises (in the video or on the website) that assess the student’s understanding of the material taught. The videos represent a structured progression of the material, include explicit explanations and are made with authentic, up-to-date materials, pictures, videos and audio material. These materials were made available online on my website or Youtube. When the project is finished, I intend to assess the effectiveness of flipped classrooms and how it affects student learning opportunities. 

Janay Nugent

My first presentation was in May 2013 when I presented at “Teaching Day” at the University of Lethbridge.

  • This paper, “An Experiment with Paper Feedback: graduate tutors, peer review, and the witch-hunts in early modern Europe.” Was co-presented by MA students William Doberstein and Anne Holden.

My next foray into SOTL was through the LEE (Learning Environment Evaluation) project which evaluated classroom space on campus. As an instructor, I was a research subject. Being involved in this SOTL project raised my awareness about the importance of collecting data on my teaching practices. The LEE groups successful collection of evidence moved pedagogical concerns and best practices from the realm of the anecdotal to the factual. This allowed for some experimental teaching spaces to be created on campus. The ability to use these classrooms has transformed teaching practice and allowed me to achieve more fully my pedagogical goals in the classroom. As a result, I became involved in a study around student engagement in traditional versus the SCALE-UP classroom. Victoria Holec of the ULeth Teaching Centre led this research project and I co-presented with her in May 2016 at the Conference on Postsecondary Learning and Teaching at the University of Calgary.

In May 2016 I also presented a conference paper at the Canadian Historical Association teaching conference at Mount Royal University on different techniques in history classes to teach students to become engaged citizens. My co-panelists included Anne Dymond and Sheila McManus.

In Summer 2016 I also co-authored an essay for the Light on Teaching Magazine on Bridging Cultures in the classroom. This essay explored the impact of having elders in the classroom address the course theme of representations of parenthood.

In July 2017 I began a two-year term as a Board of Governors Teaching Chair. My focus for this position will be on learning space on campus. Although I will continue to support the development of formal classroom learning space, I am also very interested in exploring informal learning space on campus and how we might bring the amazing teaching that is happening in classrooms across campus and extend the conversation to more of the campus community.

Michelle Hogue

Michelle did a great deal of work regarding starting the conversations about indigenization and decolonization in the classroom. Her work on Bridging Cultures is of great importance. Below is some of the work in which she has been involved.

This video is from a summer camp we offered with community to engage Aboriginal grade 8 and 9 students in science and mathematics. These were students labelled “less likely to succeed” yet they did amazing things when it “made sense to them”. This was another pilot from a three-year program I ran in community engage youth in science but importantly to complete high school so they had the opportunity to enter into post-secondary education. From that project 85% went to post-secondary.

  • Hogue, M. & BruisedHead, A. (2015). Bridging Cultures: Mapping Your Destination with Science, Mathematics & Technology (SMT).  https://vimeo.com/137716472

As well here are a couple of video clips from a program I ran in community – Teaching science through theatre. They are clips from a larger performance we did in the community where the students took a Napi story (cultural story) and wrote a script that bridge cultures – essentially a scientist is discovered on the land “doing science research” and-and elder happens upon him and asks what he is doing. He replies “science” and they have a conversation about their perspectives on science and learn from each other. It was a great project and interestingly these students did well in science after this project. 


  • Hogue, M. & Bartlett (2014). Two-eyed seeing: Creating a new liminal space in education. Education Canada, 54 (3), 25-27
  • Hogue, M. (2013). Building bridges: Teaching science through theatre. Education Canada,  53 (4), 1

Tom Perks

Dr. Tom Perks is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology. He received his B.A. and M.A. in Kinesiology in 1997 and 1999 from the University of Western Ontario. In 2005, he received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Waterloo. His research interests include volunteerism and community participation, sport and physical activity, social inequality, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. All of these interests are grounded in his ongoing interests in statistics, which form the foundation of his work.

SoTL Publications:

  • Perks, T. (2016-17). Investigating response rates and bias in online course evaluations. Light on Teaching, 13-16.
  • Perks, T., Orr, D., & Al-Omari, E. (2016). Classroom re-design to facilitate student learning: A case study of changes to a university classroom. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning16(1), 53-68.

Shelly Wismath

I have taught at the U of L for many years, including 20 years in the Mathematics and Computer Science Department, and for the last 8 years I’ve taught Liberal Education courses. In math I was always interested in how to teach process as much as, or more than, or in addition to, content. I now teach courses on Quantitative Reasoning (or Numeracy, Quantitative Literacy) and Problem Solving, and in general am interested in how to guide students in the development of thinking skills of all kinds. I put particular emphasis on metacognitive reflection, both for my students as they develop their skills, and for myself as a core teaching practice. I have been doing SoTL research for about ten years now, with several ongoing projects based on several courses. In addition to speaking at the SPARK teaching conference at the U of L every year, I was the invited keynote speaker at SPARK in 2017 and have made 6 talks at conferences elsewhere.


  • U of L Distinguished Teaching Award, 1989.
  • 3M National Teaching Fellowship, 2017

SoTL Publications:

  • B. Mackay and S.L. Wismath, “Quantitative Courses in a Liberal Education Program: A Case Study”, Journal of General Education, Vo. 61, no. 4, 2012, 314 - 322.
  • S.L. Wismath, “Shifting the Teacher-Learner Paradigm: Teaching for the 21st Century”, College Teaching, Vol. 61, no. 3, 2013, 88 - 89.
  • S. Wismath, D. Orr and B. Good, “Metacognition: Student Reflections on Problem Solving”, Journal on Excellence in College Teaching, 2014, Vol. 25 no. 2, p. 69 - 90.
  • Shelly Wismath and Maggie Zhong,“Gender Differences in University Students’ Perceptions of and Confidence in Problem-Solving Abilities”. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, Vol. 20 (1), 2014, pp. 1 - 10.
  • Shelly Wismath, Bruce Mackay and Doug Orr, “Transitions and Threshold Concepts in Problem Solving”, Teaching & Learning Inquiry: The ISSOTL Journal Vol. 3, No. 1 (2015), pp. 63-73.
  • Shelly Wismath, Doug Orr and Maggie Zhong. “Student Perception of Problem Solving Skills”. Transformative Dialogue, Volume 7, Issue 3 November 2014.
  • Shelly Wismath and Alyson Worrall, ”Improving University Students’ Perception of Mathematics and Mathematics Ability.” Numeracy, Volume 8, Issue 1, 2015
  • Shelly Wismath and Doug Orr, “Collaborative Learning in Problem Solving: A Case Study in Metacognitive Learning”, The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, Volume 6, Issue 3 Article 10, December 2015.