Teaching and learning projects
The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning team uses a holistic lens to frame projects related to the practice and scholarship of teaching and learning in higher education. We investigate innovations in teaching and learning and generate evidence-based quality assurance standards for various programs and initiatives. We also work closely with collaborators from within, and outside, the University of Manitoba to undertake scholarly projects focused on excellence in teaching and learning and improving higher education experiences for faculty and students.
Teaching and learning projects
Evaluation of a teaching and learning certificate program for graduate students
Graduate student teaching programs that provide training in theory and principles of higher education pedagogy and provide opportunities to develop their teaching and presentations skills are delivered at universities across North America, Europe, and Australia. Research findings suggest that participating in these programs increases perceived self-efficacy in teaching behaviours (Boman, 2013; Bray & Howard, 1980; Hewson et al., 2001; Young & Bippus, 2008), but little is known about whether skills acquired in these programs are transferrable to the work world. This study seeks to identify the aspects of a 3-year graduate student teaching program that ran for nearly 15 years at the University of Manitoba that were the most and the least beneficial to students after graduation. Findings from this study will improve our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of the professional development programs that are offered at The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning. Increased understanding of the programming will ultimately inform the continued development of key program elements and higher education training programs more broadly for graduate students at the University of Manitoba.
Academic integrity: Faculty development needs for Canadian higher education
Researchers from four Canadian universities and an industry partner are collaborating to better understand faculty perceptions and needs related to academic integrity in Canadian higher education. The survey designed for this project was informed by previous academic integrity research (e.g. McCabe, 1993), and the findings are expected to lead to the development of specific supports for faculty in Canadian higher education institutions to promote academic integrity.
Crossman, K., Eaton, S. E., Garwood, K., Stoesz, B. M., McKenzie, A., Cepuran, B., & Kocher, R. (2019). . (Research Project Brief). Calgary: University of Calgary.
Online and Blended Teaching Readiness Assessment
Readiness for teaching online can be defined as having the competencies required to deliver a high-quality online course, where readiness can be equated with the qualities exemplified by the ideal online instructor. This project seeks to determine the characteristics that exemplify effective online instructors and create a first-of-its-kind online teaching readiness assessment with psychometric properties. The assessment will provide instructors with immediate feedback as to the areas they excel and can improve upon, assist in identifying faculty training/development opportunities, determine strengths and areas in need of enhancement in instructors’ online teaching skillsets, and further understand the barriers and attitudes towards online teaching.
Preparedness for Learning – Learner Shock
Unprecedented labour market shifts have resulted in mid-career workers suddenly requiring (re)training, often years after their last educational experience. Technology is increasingly used in teaching and learning contexts, and many mid-career workers may be unfamiliar and/or uncomfortable with these new methods. Participation in (re)training programs can thus induce “learning shock”, characterized by feelings of anxiety, frustration, and uncertainty upon exposure to new learning environments. This project will: 1) identify contextual factors, skills, and perceptions related to learning shock among mid-career workers engaged in (re)training programs; 2) identify strategies to mitigate learning shock; and 3) develop learner modules and best practices for employers designing (re)training programs for adult learners in order to foster resiliency and sustain the practice of lifelong learning.
Health-related Factors associated with Undergraduate Student Persistence: A Systematic Scoping Review
Several theoretical models have been developed to understand academic persistence among undergraduate students in higher education. Student retention models, however, have largely overlooked health as a contributing factor in undergraduate student persistence. Despite this knowledge gap, universities are increasingly considering student health on a broader scale, with several Canadian institutions embedding health within their policies and mandates. In order to map the academic student persistence literature, a systematic scoping review is being conducted to: 1) investigate the extent to which the empirical literature on undergraduate student persistence acknowledges health as a potential factor; and 2) describe theoretical frameworks that have been used to contextualize the contributions of health to academic persistence in this population to more fully inform academic institutional policies.
Global ADVOCATE (Awareness of Domestic Violence on Campus at Tertiary Education)
Domestic violence is a global, gendered issue, which continues to grow at an alarming rate; in a Canadian context, the World Health Organization estimates that 1 in 4 women experience violence in their lifetimes. Those who leave violent relationships may face many challenges however, many successfully pursue new ventures including studying at higher education institutions. Students who are experiencing domestic violence, or have experienced it in the past, may encounter obstacles along their journey, yet there is little attention given to such students within the literature. Challenging transitions to university have been identified in other cohorts such as LGBTTQ2, first generation, and Indigenous students, with research into such transitions resulting in improvement in university policies and services and students’ outcomes. This international study aims to investigate the current understandings of academic staff regarding the issue of students who are dealing with, or have dealt with, domestic violence in their lives and who are now studying at universities around the world.
Teaching and learning completed projects
Tensions and Partnerships: Understanding Research Ethics in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
Research ethics boards (REBs) are important partners in research, but the process of ethics review of research protocols can be perceived as difficult and fraught with obstacles (Master et al., 2011). This may be particularly true for those engaged in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and can result in tensions between SoTL researchers and REBs (McMurphy et al., 2013; Pool & Reitsma, 2017; Schnurr & Taylor, 2019; Stockley & Balkwill, 2013).
The topic of ethics has received a great deal of attention within the SoTL community, but few studies have examined both REB reviewer and SoTL researcher perspectives on partnerships when preparing or reviewing SoTL research. In this chapter, we describe the findings from our study that aimed to address this gap by gathering researchers’ and REB reviewers’ experiences with and perceptions of SoTL research and situating findings within the micro-individual, meso-department, mega-discipline, and macro-institution (4M) framework (Poole & Simmons, 2013; Williams et al., 2013; Wuetherick & Yu, 2016). Higher education faculty (N = 263) responded to some or all items of an anonymous online survey. Respondents generally agreed that REBs are helpful and necessary, and that SoTL is valued (to varying degrees) at each level of their higher education institution. These general perceptions, however, were dependent upon degree of experience as REB reviewers and/or familiarity with SoTL.
Our findings highlight possible avenues for re-examining tensions and building partnerships between SoTL researchers and REB reviewers. Initiatives designed to increase reviewer appreciation for SoTL research methods and resources that can be applied by SoTL researchers when preparing their ethics submissions will improve the ethics review process for all stakeholders.
De Jaeger, A. E., Stoesz, B. M., & Doan, L. A. (Forthcoming). Turning tensions into partnerships: Understanding research ethics in the Scholarships of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). In L. Fedoruk (Ed.), Ethics and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (pp. XX-XX). Springer.
Academic integrity and contract cheating policy analysis of colleges of Ontario, Canada
Researchers from the Universities of Manitoba and Calgary, and Humber and Durham Colleges collaborated to analyze the academic integrity and academic misconduct policies of publicly funded colleges in Ontario, casting a specific lens on contract cheating. The analysis revealed limitations of the policies, including the indirect use of language and lack of detail about underlying policy principles. Based on these findings, increased policy research in this area and revisions to academic integrity policy in Canadian higher education institutions to more explicitly address the issue of contract cheating are recommended.
Effectiveness of tutorials for promoting educational integrity: A synthesis paper
The purpose of this review was to examine the peer-reviewed research literature describing brief educational interventions (i.e., face-to-face workshops, e-learning tutorials, or blended approaches) for promoting academic integrity and discouraging academic misconduct, and the evidence for their effectiveness. Overall, participants (including instructors and students) across studies were satisfied with the intervention, and changes in students’ attitudes and knowledge of academic integrity were found. However, a limitation of this body of research is that few studies explored the impact of the educational interventions on student behaviour or outcomes outside the context of the intervention.
Evaluation of a tutorial designed to promote academic integrity
In two studies, students in middle school and high school were recruited to complete an e-learning tutorial that was developed at the University of Manitoba. In the first study, 88 students participated in an online version of the study, but only 15 of them completed the tutorial. Knowledge and perceived seriousness of academic integrity violations increased significantly in this small sample; these changes were not evident in the remaining participants. In the second study, 90 students participated in face-to-face classroom sessions that confirmed that e-learning tutorials can increase knowledge and change perceptions of the seriousness of engaging in academic misconduct. We also found that age, agreeableness, and the use of deep learning strategies were correlated with perception changes. Overall, the results suggest that academic integrity tutorials can work but are likely dependent on the specific characteristics of the individuals.
Stoesz, B. M., & Los, R. (2019). Evaluation of a tutorial designed to promote academic integrity. , (1), 3-26.
Academic integrity toolkit for Manitoba teachers and administrators
Approximately 50-70% of high school and undergraduate students admit to cheating in their academic work. Students at both levels may be familiar with what constitutes academic dishonesty, but they may be unaware of the seriousness of those behaviours or feel that their actions are justified. This project involved building partnerships with teachers for the purpose of developing resources to promote academic integrity. Three presentations were made to high school teachers at teacher professional development days and discussions about academic integrity and the challenges of academic misconduct led to partnerships being established with teachers at two different high schools. We worked together to develop an academic integrity student workbook that accompanied the University of Manitoba’s Academic Integrity Undergraduate Tutorial.
Mental Health – The Biggest Barrier to Learning
The goal of this study was to systematically identify barriers-to-learning among students with disabilities and/or mental health issues in one institution and explore effective pedagogical strategies to reduce those barriers. Results highlight the importance of teacher sensitivity/support and flexibility regarding student assessments as evidence-based strategies to increase student success, reduce stress, and care for student mental health. This study has important implications for teacher-directed education to recognize pedagogical approaches that promote success in post-secondary education.
De Jaeger, A., & Christie, C., (2016). Presentation, Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Indigenous Student Experiences – Exploring the Extant Literature
Post-secondary institutions across Canada have promoted academic and professional preparation programs to recruit and retain Indigenous peoples, yet the evaluation of many of these initiatives is limited (Kapsalis, 2006). Although there is some awareness of Indigenous peoples’ participation in post-secondary education (PSE), the primary focus has been success as measured by completion rates. Examining the outcomes is only part of the process; the unique learning experiences of Indigenous students and the best-suited delivery methods for successful completion of PSE are equally important. This study identified and synthesized the existing peer-reviewed and grey literature pertaining into the PSE learning experiences of Indigenous students across Canada. Levac, Colquhoun, and O’Brien’s (2010) advancement of Arksey and O’Malley’s (2005) methodological framework for scoping reviews was implemented through six iterative stages resulting in a framework to capture the social, cultural, familial, educational, and personal factors affecting Canadian Indigenous peoples’ successful participation in PSE.
DeJaeger, A. (2017). Presented at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Annual Meeting, Calgary Alberta.
DeJaeger, A., Deer, F., & Wilkinson, L (2016). Presentation, Hawaii International Conference on Education, Honolulu, Hawaii.
Creating a Culture for Learning – Using Team-Based Learning to Buffer Social Loneliness for Undergraduate Students
Feelings of isolation and social loneliness among undergraduate students have been reported at rates as high as 32% – globally (Bauer-Wolf, 2017; Paddick, 2017). SoTL research indicates that a sense of belonging and social connectedness (rates at which people come together and interact) in the classroom can create a memorable experience and enhance student learning (Biggs & Tang, 2011). The goal of this project was to determine if modifications to a traditional TBL framework could foster social connectedness between students in an undergraduate psychology course. Results from this pilot project included themes related to positive social connectivity, friendships sustained beyond the classroom, and empathy for weaker team members.
DeJaeger, A. (2018). Presented at the International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Annual Meeting, Bergen, Norway.
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University of Manitoba
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