Summer 2017 awarded projects

The evaluation of team-based learning in a large environmental chemistry class

Anka Lekhi
Chemistry, Faculty of Science
In Fall 2016, we developed course materials to facilitate Team-based Learning (TBL) in Chemistry 301. Students in a TBL class engage with a case study in pre-assigned teams of 4-6. Teams are required to make a decision about the case using information from pre-reading assignments and course content. Comments from teaching evaluations indicate that students felt more interested in chemistry because of TBL. The aim of this project is to evaluate the extent at which student interest in chemistry changes and whether student skills in critical thinking, data interpretation and problem solving are enhanced as a result of TBL.

What do first-year students need? Assessing students’ transition to university studies to enhance the first-year experience in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems

Candice Rideout, Will Valley, Christine Scaman, and Rickey Yada
Faculty of Land and Food Systems
Preliminary data indicates students in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems (LFS) start first year with hope and excitement for their university studies. However, enthusiasm and satisfaction with learning appears to drop notably during first year (primarily large pre-requisite science courses). This project will provide a baseline assessment of first-year LFS students’ experiences, to better understand their transition to university and how we can enhance their learning and wellbeing. Results will inform a redesign of LFS 100 (a required 1-credit course; LFS students’ only disciplinary course in first year) to enhance students’ engagement, learning, and preparation for upper-year classes.

Identifying Interdisciplinary Connections Using an Ongoing Reflection Activity

Chris Addison and James Charbonneau
Science One Program, Faculty of Science
We will develop an online reflection activity that Science One students complete on a weekly basis while in the program. The activity will ask students to identify major concepts presented in class that week, and to self-identify any connections to topics already covered in the course to-date. As such, this will give us the ability to document, on a weekly basis, the interdisciplinary connection students make as a result of being in the program. The data from this project will be correlated with data from our other interdisciplinary SoTL projects in order to gain a fuller and more deeper understanding of student interdisciplinary thinking.

Students as Emerging Artists in Society: Experiential Learning in Visual Arts

Christine D’Onofrio
Art History, Faculty of Arts
The following research proposal aims to study experiential learning pedagogical models and their methods of execution in a Visual Arts Community Engaged Learning class, VISA 375 Artists in Society. Informed by personal teaching reflection and rigorously determined curriculum models undertaken in three iterations of the course, I wish to focus on three specific artifacts. They are; a creative reflection class project, pre and post reflection questions on the role of the artists, and 5 hour-long interviews I conducted with volunteer students this past month.

A fresh look at Visual Note Taking

Carol Ann Courneya and Susan Cox
Faculty of Medicine and School of Population and Public Health
This project will focus on the role of visual learning for undergraduate medical students at UBC. Medical students often feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information they are required to master. Some students learn more effectively when they utilize visual images rather than traditional written notes in their studies. Encouraging students to learn through visual note-taking holds great potential for enhancing their learning. This involves both viewing visual notes created and shared by others (e.g., through Instagram) and actually learning skills in visual note-taking. Our study will create a visual note-taking workshop and assess the impacts for student learning.

Building Bridges between Health and Politics: a New Course at UBC

Farah Shroff
Political Science, Faculty of Arts
The socio-political determinants of health are rooted in income and social equity. This course will encourage Political Science students to see themselves as potentially playing a role as social actors in ameliorating global public health. The research question is linked to students’ (shifting) perspectives about the possibilities of political science as a discipline that improves population health status. As a result of this course, will students consider political initiatives as determinants of health?

Pilot testing of an online nutrition discussion forum for the MD Undergraduate Program (MDUP) and development of a strategy to measure its impact on medical student outcomes.

Linda Casey
Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine
We are developing an on-line discussion forum to provide an opportunity for medical students to explore the relationships between nutrition and health, and consider nutrition-related problems and questions that may arise in patient care. At designated points throughout the first-year curriculum, a nutrition-focused question related to the week’s learning will be posted for discussion. With SoTL Seed Program assistance, we seek to develop plans for a) pilot testing the forum during development, and b) evaluating the educational impact of the tool. The plans will include evaluation methods of this tool, and methods for analyzing collected data.

Community-based experiential component in second year conversational Spanish courses: Evaluating impact on communicative performance and students’ affective response to experiential learning of a second language.

Maria Carbonetti and Carolina Navarrete
French, Hispanic, & Italian Studies, Faculty of Arts
This project will create assessment tools and surveys for evaluating the impact of the community-based experiential learning component in Conversational Spanish courses on communicative performance (oral, aural, and cultural) and their affective response towards second language use and learning. Data collected in the past term Winter 2017 from 26 students of one section of Spanish 207 (aural tests, journal entries and oral interviews) on the community-based pilot project in partnership with South Granville Senior Center will be the base for creating more effective tools for evaluation and assessment of students’ performance and affective response. The aim of creating these tools and resources is to apply and run them in the next academic year where we will continue the project, this time with 2 sections of the course, about 50 to 60 students. Overall, the project seeks to contribute to undergraduate teaching and learning at UBC. It seeks to enhance the engagement of students on conversational Spanish courses at UBC through the community-based experiential learning component.

Exploration of Dominance and Muting in Student-Led Software Development Meetings

Elisa Baniassad
Computer Science, Faculty of Science
In observing tens of software engineering teams, I have seen that while some students dominate discussions, others feel “muted”. Since meetings involve task assignments and technological choices, quieter students can be sidelined into “housekeeping” work. This has a stratifying effect, further reducing quiet students’ voices at subsequent meetings because of lack of core knowledge or perspective. Marginalisation hurts grades, performance in subsequent courses, and industry preparedness. We already track individual contributions and self-reflection. We wish to map these data, plus factors such as gender, age, and technical background, to verbal contributions, to elucidate and possibly reduce muting in future.

Beyond the Classroom: Assessing the Impact of Community Based Experiential Learning (CBEL) on First Year Arts Students’ Course Performance and Satisfaction

Kerry Greer, Katherine Lyon, Thomas Kemple, Susan Grossman
Sociology, Faculty of Arts
Anecdotal evidence from a pilot-year investigation suggests that community-based experiential learning opportunities enhances student engagement with the broader Vancouver community and the UBC community, and improves students’ overall assessment of their first year experience. A year-long Introduction to Sociology course offered students the opportunity to learn about key sociological concepts and have them reinforced and illustrated through experiences outside the classroom. This project will develop and deploy assessment tools to provide a more detailed picture of the differences in experiences and outcomes between two groups of students who experience two different pedagogical approaches during their Introduction to Sociology course.

Exploring the linguistic features of multiple choice questions: Evening the playing field for English as an additional language students

Mark Lam, Katherine Lyon, Brett Todd, Jennifer Lightfoot
Psychology, Faculty of Arts and Vantage College
Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are a commonly used assessment tool in post-secondary institutions and are often lexically dense and grammatically complex (containing highly packed nominal groups), reflecting common university discourse. The purpose of the proposed project is to examine whether such linguistic features found in MCQs (e.g. complexity, structure, vocabulary, etc.) limit comprehension of the question for students who have English as an additional language (EAL) and whether the clause structure of such questions can be revised and clarified, thus improving the understanding of test questions for EAL learners.

From Pillar to Posts: An evidence-based analysis of differences and complementarities between the traditional term paper and student blogs

Robert Crawford
Political Science, Faculty of Arts and Arts One
A sampling of undergraduate course outlines today reflects increased experimentation with new genres of writing across academic fields. Yet the large term essay remains a largely unquestioned pillar of rigorous academic writing. This project will undertake comparative analysis of student blogs and a major research essay in two political science lecture courses in an effort to demonstrate specific differences and complementarities in these genres. It will adapt past blog assignments into a series of posts designed to scaffold an eventual final paper submission, with an eye toward evaluating whether blogs can blend personal expression with well crafted, meticulous research.

Efficacy of a Voting App for Online Students

Roland Stull and Anthony Di Stefano
Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Faculty of Science
Clickers have proven to be an effective way to engage students in FACE-TO-FACE science courses. Our goal is to give ONLINE students a similar learning experience. In a flipped online class environment, our new voting app allows student groups to see how their group consensus shifts as they debate online. Since students’ grades depend partially on their group’s responses, they quickly discover the benefit and fun of peer interaction before they vote. With other funding, we are already creating the Voting App. The SoTL proposal will allow us to study the impact and effectiveness of that new app.

A novel use for high-fidelity Human Patient Simulation (HPS): Does integration of HPS into the Speech-Language Pathology curriculum facilitate clinical competencies?

Stacey Skoretz
School of Audiology and Speech Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
Health sciences curricula are moving toward competency-based assessments but how this is to be incorporated into speech-language pathology (SLP) education has yet to be determined. High-fidelity patient simulation (HPS) has been utilized for medical training as it affords safe yet complex learning environments with minimal risks to both students and patients. Our plan is to develop and incorporate the first ever HPS learning modules for the SLP curriculum in Canada. Using a crossover design, our aim is to explore SLP students’ perceptions and clinical competency acquisition following three experiences: 1) didactic lecture, 2) clinical simulation (role-playing) and 3) HPS modules.

The “Ideathon Challenge” as Pedagogic Method Towards Interdisciplinary Collaboration, Innovation, and Applied Learning: A Case Study

Su-Jan Yeo
School of Community and Regional Planning, Faculty of Applied Science
‘PLAN 211 City-Making: A Global Perspective’ is a new undergraduate service course and open to students with second year standing or above in any program at UBC. Embedded in this course is the time-sensitive and team-based “City-Making Ideathon Challenge”—a platform on which students generate outcome-driven solutions to a real-world problem scenario. This project aims to evaluate the effectiveness of the “Ideathon Challenge” as a pedagogic method in promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, innovation, and applied learning.

Teaching Historical Controversy: South Asian Case Studies

Tara Mayer
History, Faculty of Arts
This project examines student responses to historical controversy. The literature about engaging with controversial issues in the classroom is inconclusive. Some studies suggest that it can be divisive and make both students and instructors ill at ease, while others regard it as key to teaching critical thinking. The question of how to best address controversy is especially acute for History instructors, since much of the human past is conflictual and because students often feel personally invested in particular historical narratives about their nations, origins, religions, entitlements, or plights. This project seeks to explore these issues and to evaluate different approaches.

Best Case Scenarios that Provide a Case-Load of Fun: Educating with Enhanced Case Studies!

Zoe Soon
School of Health and Exercise Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Development
I would like to develop a set of student resources which assists students in developing a more thorough understanding of the intricate and complex details of various diseases and disorders. It is well known that case studies assist with learning pathophysiology, and illustrate the connections between various organ system functions. At the same time, case studies can generate interest and long-term memories as well as foster writing and communication skills. Most case studies are a text-only format. This project is aimed at providing more depth to this assignment type by adding more dimensions, specifically by incorporating visual and hands-on aspects.