Concurrent Session One

Thursday, April 27th - 10:30 AM - 11:15 AM

Title: How Educational Technology Opens Opportunities for Learner Autonomy, Project Collaboration, Self-Evaluation and Student Voice

Abstract: In this panel presentation and BYOD session, the four presenters would like to highlight how the implementation of educational technology in their face-to-face, blended, and online learning environments has transformed student learning in ways that foster learner autonomy, practice collaborative problem-solving, build evaluation skills and provide room for an individual voice.

Dr. Abigail McMeekin is going to introduce a study on the reported and observed advantages and caveats of moving toward a blended learning model in a Japanese 1000 level language classroom by creating and incorporating online lecture videos using a whiteboard app.

Dr. Lorraine Beaudin will share her experience integrating structural gamification into her teaching, a process where students earned Experience Points (XP), badges and levels rather than a percentage for completing self-selected and self-directed quests.

(PhD Candidate) Luz Janeth Ospina has an interest in rethinking traditional approaches to language assessment. She will introduce the use of VoiceThread as a successful evaluation tool, especially in her beginner Spanish courses, where the main goal was to provide the collaborative environment needed for authentic communication.

Joerdis Weilandt plans to demonstrate three user-friendly web 2.0 tools that enriched the online learning experience for teachers of German in Northern America. The teachers were required to collaborate in conducting and evaluating teaching-reflection projects as part of the blended teacher training course they were taking.  

Presenters: Dr. Abigail McMeekin - Faculty, Modern Languages, Dr. Lorrain Beaudin - Faculty, Faculty of Education, Luz Janeth Ospina - Instructor, Modern Languages,  Joerdis Weilandt - Educational Consultant, Teaching Centre

Room: M1040

Title: Do classroom spaces matter? You bet they do!

Abstract: This session presents information from a research project investigating student engagement and classroom space. The focus of the presentation will be on the importance of matching teaching style with teaching spaces and the impact that teaching and learning spaces have on student engagement (Beichner et al., 2000; Holec & Marynowski, forthcoming). This topic is particularly relevant as we are moving forward as an institution with developing new teaching spaces and renovating current teaching spaces. Furthermore, it highlights how teaching space has (or has not) changed at the University of Lethbridge in the past 50 years. Following advancements in exploring how people learn (Bransford, Brown, & Cocking, 2000), it stands to reason that a one-size-fits-all learning environment is still a viable option in the 21st century.

Our study compared student engagement in two classes taught by the same instructor (RM), the same teaching style, and the same students, but across two different learning environments: an active learning classroom (ALC) and a traditional classroom. We developed a novel instrument to measure student engagement while taking into account the learning environment in addition to popular measures of behavioural, psychosocial, and cognitive factors of engagement. Results indicates that student engagement reached optimal levels when classroom and teaching style were matched.

Presenters: Dr. Richelle Marynowski - Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education and Victoria Holec - Graduate Student, Institute for Child and Youth Studies

Room: M1090

Title: Wicked Gameplay: An experiment in Design Thinking, Lego Building and Meaning Making for “Solving” a Wicked Problem

Abstract: What happens when you combine a wicked problem with an “obvious” solution, imperfect information, and a large pile of Lego bricks? In this workshop, participants will be introduced to a teaching innovation designed to give students firsthand experience with wicked problems. Wicked problems are multidimensional, impacting their stakeholders differently, therefore skillsets and tools that facilitate shared understanding and meaning making are foundational to addressing wicked problems. In response to the World Economic Forum’s prediction that complex problem solving will be the number one skill in demand by 2020, Dr. MacDonald and Dr. Dann combined Lego Serious Play and design thinking to develop a learning opportunity for students to engage with wicked problem dilemmas. The presenters will explain how they combined these concepts to develop their teaching innovation and discuss key learnings from the exercise. Workshop participants will learn about and experience visual metaphor and prototyping as teaching tools for establishing shared understanding and promoting synergistic problem solving . As the future becomes increasingly complex, novel teaching approaches that encourage cognitive and emotive exploration of difficult processes will become increasing important in U of L pedagogies. This workshop overviews the explanatory power of building physical models from reusable parts and gives attendees the chance to participate in a small model making exercise using Lego to experience the process of meaning making, storytelling and metaphor.

Presenters: Dr. Adriane MacDonald - Assistant Professor, Dhillon School of Business and Dr. Stephen Dann - Visiting Fellow - Dhillon School of Business

Room: M1035

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