SoTL Scholars

Maria Carbonetti, PhD

Lecturer | Faculty of Arts | Department of French, Hispanic and Italian Studies

“While I have been developing and running community-based learning projects in Spanish language courses since 2011, and had informally collected some data about students perception on the experiential learning through interviews and journals, engaging in the SoTL process allowed me to look at my practice with precise lenses and from a healthier distance than before. The SoTL Seed Grant not only provided me with the necessary expertise and support needed to design and implement the study, it offered me the opportunity to reflect deeply about the process and application of community-based experiential pedagogy. The results of the study informed changes that I made to my approach to facilitation and eased my need for structure and control over community-based projects. In addition, this healthy distance to look at teaching and curriculum development through SoTL has confirmed, with clear and relevant data, a central fact I knew by intuition and experience – how relevant and effective this pedagogy is for language learning and how positively it impacts the affective response on students. I absolutely would encourage my fellow instructors to participate, to be supported as I have to be able to self-reflect, to learn and improve changing what needs adjustment and also to be surprised by those things that work amazingly well!”

Tim Huh, PhD

Professor | Sauder School of Business | Operations and Supply Chain Management

“Our earlier TLEF project developing supplementary resources (videos and problem sets) for COMM 290 (Introduction to Quantitative Decision Making) planted a seed for our SoTL Seed Grant project exploring the value of student contributors’ work in teaching and learning. A dozen student contributors (graduate and undergraduate students) developed 51 videos and 200 problem sets to provide COMM 290 learners who are new to the world of operations and logistics with an accessible and digestible way of learning about the core concepts. We learned that the contribution of the student contributors transformed the teaching experience for the faculty, while enhancing the learning experience for the class, as student contributors provided unique perspectives to educational development, which supports recent pedagogical approaches that students, when empowered, can elevate teaching and learning for all involved. The biggest lesson we learned in this project is to make necessary adjustments in utilizing the supplementary resources for future COMM290 students. Many studies have often shown partnerships between faculty and students are a good thing. Our study results also emphasize the beneficial impacts of student contributors’ work in teaching and learning. We hope our study findings can encourage more faculty members at UBC to engage with more students as producers of knowledge in educational development to enhance the teaching and learning experiences for all involved.”

Misuzu Kazama

Lecturer | Faculty of Arts | Department of Asian Studies

“Many studies have shown that the use of peer feedback in writing context scaffolds students’ understanding of the assignment and promotes autonomous learners in language classrooms, but studies of speaking context have been neglected because of the limitation of foreign language learners’ language proficiency. It is difficult for language instructors by themselves to verify the effectiveness of peer feedback using the video annotation system (Collaborative Learning Annotation System or CLAS), but it was made possible for me to use it effectively in my language class with a support of a research specialist from the SoTL Seed Grant. Engaging in the SoTL process has provided me with the opportunity to find out whether students, especially at an early intermediate level in a Japanese as foreign language classroom, are able to identify the area of improvement in a peer’s oral performance. Our finding suggest that students’ feedback on the use of language such as grammar, pronunciation, and intonation has a more than 90% degree of accuracy! We hope that more instructors will consider the potential benefits and positive implications of using this new teaching practice in their classroom and of engaging with SoTL.”

Marina Milner-Bolotin, PhD

Associate Professor | Faculty of Education | Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy

“As a teacher educator, I always try to keep myself abreast of with the new technologies and pedagogical innovations. However, I remind myself that teachers have to pause and reflect on the deliberate use of technology. The biggest lesson I have learned in this project is to allow myself time to try new pedagogies, to listen to students’ feedback, and to make relevant adjustments. I decided to use Collaborative Learning Annotation System (CLAS) to support student reflections on their mini-lessons. However, after using it for the first time, the students recommended me to use it with the different course. I also learned how to provide feedback effectively using CLAS and not to overwhelm the students.”

Farah Shroff, PhD

Adjunct Professor | Faculty of Medicine | Department of Family Practice and School of Population and Public Health

“I designed and taught the first course in the field of health within the Department of Political Science. Global Politics and Health is a small, fourth year seminar course. With the support of a SoTL Seed Grant and two other scholars, we dived in and explored student perceptions of this interdisciplinary intersection. Overwhelmingly, student responses indicated that indeed, one course can offer students enough material to whet their appetite and provide them with an ability to clearly articulate issues related to global social determinants of health, the role of governance in population health status, democracy and health issues, women’s health and reproduction, mental health, HIV, education as a determinant of health and more. In addition to the topics in the syllabus, the course shed light on key issues in their own lives. This SoTL study offered me an opportunity to reflect deeply on the course design and its impact. From this first dip into the ocean of SoTL, I’ve learned that it helps educators to improve our craft and share our learnings with colleagues.”

Su-Jan Yeo, PhD

Postdoctoral Fellow | Faculty of Applied Sciences| School of Community and Regional Planning

“When we take an inquisitive approach to researching, reviewing, and reflecting upon our classroom strategies and pedagogies, we develop a growth mindset which can enhance our teaching practice in new and novel ways. Shaping an academic course through a scholarly lens has benefited my teaching practice in three significant areas: imagination, experimentation, and discovery. First, by tackling a course as if it is a blank canvas for provocations of the imagination, I am pushed to think more radically and daringly about curriculum design. Second, by developing a systematic inquiry into the impact of curriculum design on student learning, I am emboldened to experiment deliberately with innovative pedagogies. Third, by disseminating the learning lessons from my foray with innovative pedagogies, I aim to illuminate how course experimentations can lead to new discoveries that advance the frontier of higher education. More fundamentally, by embracing a “beginner’s curiosity” toward understanding the metacognitive dimensions of my teaching practice, I am able to find a renewed enthusiasm for the classroom and a reinvigorated passion for my disciplinary field. And, ultimately, sharing this creative energy with my students engenders a two-way conversation to explore what teaching and learning means for us, individually and collectively.”