Uncategorized

  • Experiential Learning,  Sustainability,  Uncategorized

    The Life-Giving Role of Field Work in Biology Courses

    Biology 228 at the University of Saskatchewan stands as a testament to the enduring value of field work in higher education. After a 10-year gap and a reduction in field components, this course which serves approximately 140 students  has re-embraced  experiential learning, recognizing its profound impact on student development. Led by seasoned lab educator Scott Halpin, whose expertise spans four decades, Biology 228 exemplifies the transformative power of hands-on experiences. By venturing outdoors, students transcend traditional classroom boundaries, cultivating a deeper connection with nature and their academic pursuits. Key Take-Aways Field work fosters transformative experiences for students. It cultivates systems thinking skills by nurturing observation, ecological literacy, and a deeper…

  • Experiential Learning,  Uncategorized

    Reflective Journaling: How Instructor Feedback Helps Students Improve

    Journaling is like capturing a series of snapshots of changing knowledge and skills. Reflective journaling is a lens through which students can examine their own progress, capturing moments of insight and understanding of their own learning. With continuous feedback from instructors, these journals bring clarity and refinement to the student experience. We’re reflecting with Dr. Kathy Walker from the department of Political Studies to see how students develop and process their understanding in Political Studies 222 and 422. Throughout the term, students compose their thoughts and experiences, each entry serving as a snapshot of their intellectual journey. This process is not about a simple record of who’s paying attention, but…

  • Experiential Learning,  Uncategorized

    Adding Experiential Learning to a 200-Level Course Project

    Adding Experiential Learning to a 200-Level Course Project   It can feel overwhelming to add experiential learning to large classes, particularly at the first and second year level of undergraduate learning. For Dr. Bob Patrick from the Department of Geography and Planning, the new USask experiential learning cycle helped him revamp a 200-level course project into an authentic learning experience with opportunities for reflection and feedback. Dr. Patrick’s course is about measuring sustainable development in cities. With a class size of 60 students, he decided to make this learning adventure more engaging by making experiential learning explicit and bringing the world into his classroom. Here’s how he did it: Empowering…

  • Uncategorized

    Wellness-Centric Course Design Toolkit

    Is it possible to design a course with WELLNESS in MIND? We have the unique opportunity to shape the holistic well-being of our students, fostering an environment that supports their personal growth and success. With the fall semester of 2023 on the horizon, it is essential to consider a fresh approach.  Introducing Wellness-Centric Course Design, a comprehensive guide that provides a wealth of suggestions encompassing all aspects of course development, with a particular emphasis on prioritizing the well-being of our students. Recognizing the wide variability in class size, course content, learning objectives, and individual teaching style, this tool is intended to present a range of options to create the conditions…

  • Inclusivity,  Internationalization,  Uncategorized

    Collaborative Online International Learning – and Teaching!

    by Monica del Valle, MSc (Marketing), USask.  Monica was a Teaching Assistant for multiple COIL projects from 2021 to 2023.     “Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.”   – Oscar Wilde   I started my MSc in Marketing in September 2021 and even before my program began, both my Associate Dean, Dr. Marjorie Delbaere, and Department Head, Dr. Maureen Bourassa thought of me due to my Latin American background and professional experience, to collaborate in an international educational initiative planned at the Edwards School of Business. Throughout my career, I have worked and connected with culturally diverse groups, as…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Curriculum Development,  Inclusivity,  Instructional / Course Design,  Uncategorized,  Wellness

    Maximizing Learning Potential with Student Wellness

    Your Brain on Teaching and Learning: Series 2 Are your students showing signs of anxiety? Are your students experiencing a sense of purpose and engagement in the classroom?  ______________________________________________________________________________________________ The impact of teaching and learning practices on student wellness cannot be overstated ______________________________________________________________________________________________ By integrating insights from brain science, we can create powerful learning environments that prioritize student wellness. Let’s explore three ways to associate your teaching practices with student wellbeing: Alignment for Clarity: Alignment refers to the process of strategically planning your learning outcomes to clearly define what your students will be able to do, know, or value. Then, intentionally plan how you will assess and teach based on…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Canvas,  Educational Technology,  Uncategorized

    New Quizzes – Adding Accommodations

    by Roberta Campbell-Chudoba If you need to provide students with quiz accommodations, it is important to know that adding accommodations in New Quizzes looks quite different than Classic Quizzes.   Options for accommodations in New Quizzes include:  Time adjustments for all quizzes in the course (Accommodations and Edit Pencil) Add extra time for a student Remove time limits Multiply time limits using a ‘Time limit multiplier’  Attempts and additional time for a single quiz and student (Moderate Button) Manually unlock quiz attempts  Add extra attempts for a quiz   Add additional time for timed quiz attempts  Remove time limits Where do I set accommodations?  Once a quiz has been published, return…

  • Curriculum Development,  Educational Theory,  Experiential Learning,  Instructional / Course Design,  Instructional Strategies,  Uncategorized,  Wellness

    From Stuck to Supercharged: The What and Why of Brain Plasticity

    Your Brain on Teaching and Learning: Series One  What is Brain Plasticity? Brain plasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize and restructure itself throughout a person’s lifetime. It is a result of the brain’s ability to form new neural connections and strengthen existing ones based on the activities we engage in and the information we process. Factors such as learning, exercise, diet, and environmental stimuli can all influence brain plasticity. Recent research has shown that educators who understand the basics of brain plasticity can design courses that promote and accelerate learning and retention. Why is Brain Plasticity Important? Brain plasticity offers several benefits in the field of education, including: Improving…

  • Assessment and Evaluation,  Curriculum Development,  Experiential Learning,  Instructional / Course Design,  Uncategorized

    Time for a Jump Start? Teaching and Learning Fund at the GMCTL

    Feeling stuck? Even though good ideas for change are exciting and energizing, sometimes they sit still or do not progress.  Common reasons include: Working at it sporadically or “off the side of your desk” Attending to more urgent or pressing issues Being at (or beyond) your limit in terms of projects and things to do Uncertainty about next steps, or seeing the next steps as daunting Questioning if this is really what you’re supposed to be doing, anyway If the time has come for an infusion of help and your project is about one or more of the following Program-level curriculum change (see the 4-step process for successful change) Assessment improvement across…

  • Curriculum Development,  Instructional Strategies,  Uncategorized

    Creating a Culture of Continuous Improvement within JSGS

    By Jamie Mayoh-Bauche, Instructional Designer, U of R, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy Keeping up with the latest scholarship on evidence-based practice can be a challenge for instructors who are busy with their own areas of research, amongst all the other things. In response to this challenge, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School (JSGS) embarked on creating a culture of continuous learning by making recent evidence-based teaching and learning practices easy and accessible for our instructors. Throughout the 2021/2022 school year, we organized a series of events and workshops aimed at building a shared understanding of program level competencies and instructional approaches that enhance student competency development. We gathered monthly…