Concurrent Session Six

Friday, April 28th - 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

Title: Increasing Student Success, Reinvigorating Pedagogy, and Improving the Affordability of Education through the Adoption of Open Educational Resources

Abstract: Throughout the last 50 years, textbooks have been a vital resource of instruction in Higher Education institutions around the globe. While research indicates positive correlations between student learning and completion of assigned readings, textbooks are not as widely used by students as professors might wish. One of the major reasons associated with students opting out of purchasing required course materials are increasing textbook prices. As it turns out, the costs for textbooks have risen by more than 1000 in the last 40 years (Popken, 2015).

With an overall trend towards rising purchase prices coupled with general rising costs of higher education, notable efforts have been made by dedicated individuals and institutions to promote the use and acceptance of OER as a viable alternative to traditional textbooks. High quality projects led by reputed educational organizations and universities have had a great impact on the OER adoption and creation by faculty, whose earlier concerns regarding quality and availability could be dispelled with technological advances allowing for interactive and modular learning, rigid peer-reviewing processes in place vouching for learning efficiency and efficacy, and conclusive OER research being done indicating financial benefits for students as well as improved student performance and satisfaction.

The two members of our team representing the faculty and students at Uleth would like to introduce their viewpoints on access and cost of alternative course materials, while the two other members of the team are going to outline the OER-related services the library and the Teaching Centre offer to assist in increasing student success, reinvigorating pedagogy, and improving the affordability of education through the adoption of open educational resources.

Presenters: Hailey Babb -5th year Psychology student - VP Academic at ULethSU, Emma Black - UofL Librarian, Library, Dr. Sean Fitzpatrick - Instructor, Mathematics and Computer Science, Joerdis Weilandt - Educational Consultant, Teaching Centre

Room: M1035

Title: Perspectives and Motivations on Team-Based Learning

Abstract: Team-Based Learning can be defined as a structured, small-group approach to teaching that is designed to provide students with an opportunity to work together to better understand key concepts within course material or how to apply key concepts further understanding. There can be many different motivations for utilizing this approach to teaching (as well as many side-effects). This session will be an opportunity to hear how (and why) Olu and Davina are utilizing this approach in two very different contexts (a Health Sciences Statistics and Sociology course).

Along with anecdotal information from both presenters, Olu has collected some survey data from his students that will be shared to help support his impressions of the efficacy of the approach and the impact it has on his students learning. While there will be some structured conversation, there will also be an opportunity for questions (or comments) and open discussion about the implications of this type of teaching method and the impact that it has on not only the student learning but also design of the course material. We would also discuss the supports/structure required and the limitations/disadvantages for students and Faculty.

Come and find out why this approach may work for you (and your students) and what it would take to implement this in your classroom.

Presenters: Jeff Meadows - Teaching Development Coordinator, Teaching Centre, Dr. Olu Awosoga - Assistant Professor, Health Sciences, Dr. Davina DesRoches - Instructor, Sociology

Room: M1060

Title: Let’s Talk Science – connecting children, youth, undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty in a new experience-rich community

Presenters: Dr. Ute Kothe - Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Helena Danyk - Instructor, Biological Sciences, Wayne Lippa, Instructor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Chad Povey - Instructor, Physics and Astronomy

Abstract: Individual science outreach activities by numerous faculty, instructors and students. In 2010, we established the Let’s Talk Science Program at the UofL to continue and expand this tradition at a new, larger, integrated and sustainable level. In this panel presentation, we will share our experience in engaging children and youth in meaningful, hands-on science activities that enhance their skills in critical thinking and their appreciation of the role of science in addressing societal issues. We will further explain how Let’s Talk Science provides our own undergraduate and graduate students with opportunities for professional skills development in a supportive team environment, in particular with respect to communication skills, organizational and time-management skills as well as teamwork ability. By highlighting the careers of some of our graduate student coordinators, we will provide evidence showing how this program directly assists students in gaining high-impact positions in the workforce. We will also discuss how the Let’s Talk Science program breaks down barriers and connects faculty, instructors and staff across multiple units on campus. With the new academic science building under constructions, we will highlight future opportunities in high-quality outreach at the University of Lethbridge based upon and extending on the Let’s Talk Science model which may shape the next 50 years of our institution.

Room: M1040

Quick Links

Concurrent Session Seven

Spark 2017 Schedule Overview