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Submitted by srtariqu on Thu, 03/03/2016 - 11:05am

Conference Streams & Presentation Abstracts



Indigenous Education

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)

Higher Education Teaching & Learning

Mathematics & Numeracy

Literacies for Today’s Learners

Click on each stream to reveal the IDEAS 2017 concurrent session presentation titles; clicking on a title will reveal further information about the session.

Design Thinking

Submitted by srtariqu on Thu, 03/03/2016 - 10:42am

Affordances of Learners’ Game Design Practices

Presenters: Beaumie Kim, Reyhaneh Bastani, Farzan Baradaran Rahimi

Game design and game playing requires various critical thinking skills as well as deeper understanding of contents depicted within the game. We suggest that engaging learners in game design projects helps developing important skills that individuals need in all situations in life (e.g., creative designs, strategic thinking) as well as deeper understanding of school subjects. In this presentation, we discuss what game design practices can afford for learners’ experience and development based on the recent game design projects (board/card and digital) that took place in two junior high schools in western Canada.

Building the New, Not Fighting the Old - An Innovative Approach to Online Course Development and Design

Presenters: Kasey Fulton, Melanie Pereversoff

The secret of change, is to focus energy on building the new, not fighting the old. This is what inspired us to break free from the current status quo for building and designing online courses. Embracing Design Thinking, we piloted a novel online course development process that involves a team-based approach and Backwards by Design planning and online design resources that can be adapted for any online course, program, and Learning Management System.

Co-Teaching: Let’s Do It! Strategies, Suggestions and Advice for Making it Work

Presenters: Nicole Kotyk, Petra Hynes

Teaching can be overwhelming, but co-teaching can provide a support system so teachers can feel empowered, and have fun along the way. In this session, we will share our experiences in a co-teaching classroom, and help facilitate a conversation on how to create a co-teaching experience in your own classroom, grade or school. We will discuss planning, management, classroom setup and challenges faced in a co-teaching environment. As well, we will outline the many benefits for our students and ourselves, including some of the authentic and engaging learning tasks we have been able to complete as a result of this type of learning environment. Please bring a colleague if possible and get ready to co-teach!

Designing Shifts to Position the Teacher as Designer of Learning

Presenters: Erin Quinn, Tracy Dalton, Stephanie Bartlett, Steve Clark

Design the Shift is an iterative professional learning series for teachers and administrators, immersing teachers as learners that causes them to embrace the design thinking mindsets. The Teaching Effectiveness Framework positions teachers as designers of learning, and Design the Shift is a living, breathing example of how this can empower teachers to create meaningful learning experiences for students. It is through this immersive experience that caused teachers to develop the confidence, courage, and a methodology to shift the culture and thinking in their classrooms and their schools to lead change. Design the Shift gives teachers the tools to deeply understand how to design tasks thoughtfully.

Development of a Digital Game-Based Science Assessment Using Evidence-Centered Game Design

Presenters: Man-Wai Chu, Brent Bawel

Digital game-based assessments have been gaining popularity, however, there is often an imbalance between entertainment and educational game elements, yielding barriers for both students and teachers. This presentation examines the development processes of an interactive game-based assessment, Raging Skies, in which learning tasks are purposefully embedded and integrated in the game’s design and framework so that specific knowledge and skill-based outcomes may be measured. This case study discusses some of the challenges and criticisms facing digital game-based assessments as outlined in the literature.

Getting Comfortable with Discomfort: The Design of Makerspaces for Teacher Learning

Presenters: Sandra Becker, Michele Jacobsen

Makerspaces, collaborative spaces where students can tinker and play with both physical and digital ideas, can also be powerful places of learning for teachers (Justice, 2015). This session engages participants in makerspaces through a design-based approach to classroom research that follows a teacher who is negotiating multiple design iterations of school makerspace activities. The intent of the research is to develop a set of design principles on which to build future makerspace learning experiences for teachers and students.

Knowledge Net: Creating Shared Teacher Professional Knowledge

Presenter: Marcie Perdue

At a time when educators are frantically trying to personalize, differentiate and align their learning tasks to meet the needs and outcomes of a diverse group of learners, there needs to be authentic opportunities for educators to come together and collaborate across divisions and schools. Knowledge Net is a teacher knowledge building network that has been developed specifically for educators. It provides teachers with the opportunity to develop lessons, resources and ideas together within an asynchronous environment. It is also a high-powered resource bank that allows its users to search for lessons, strategies and resources by grade, subject, competency and curricular outcome.

Minimizing Academic Dishonesty in Online Courses

Presenters: Meadow Schroeder

Academic dishonesty is an often discussed topic of teaching. With an increase in distance education, instructors face new concerns related to academic integrity in online testing and assignment completion. Some might argue distance education provides more opportunities than traditional face-to-face instruction. This session will review the research on academic dishonesty in online courses and will identify when and how students cheat. It will follow with strategies for how to discourage academic dishonesty including how to be thoughtful about course design.

Personalizing Science for High School Students Using a Brainstorming for Innovation and Design Approach

Presenters: Lynn Moore

The development of a brainstorming for innovation and design graphic organizer helped high school students engage in the creative thinking used by scientists when doing lab experiments. This success led to using the organizer to initiate more complex inquiry projects, followed by using design thinking to complete the projects. The student projects that evolved were meaningful, complex, and extremely varied, reflecting the unique interests and talents of each student. I developed a more personal relationship with my students and they envisioned and got excited about a greater variety of potential career paths in science.

Restorative Justice Principles in the Pedagogical Realm: A Collaborative Autoethnographic Study

Presenters: Greg Ogilvie, David Fuller

Restorative justice principles have been successfully applied to the criminal justice system and disciplinary structures in schools. Nonetheless, the narrow application of restorative justice in schools has resulted in it being coopted as a managerial system rather than a means to promote a healthy, interconnected learning community. In this presentation, the historical underpinnings and central principles of restorative justice pedagogy will be outlined. Moreover, the presenters will share their journey in applying restorative justice principles in various educational contexts and encourage exploration with participants about how to embed the spirit of restorative justice within various educational contexts.

Stepping off the Conveyor Belt: A Journey into Human-Centered Curriculum Design

Presenters: Jackie Doherty, Julie Deimert

Answering the call for true innovation in learning, human-centered design moves the rhetoric of ‘student-centered’ curricula into tangible experiences and products. This session will present lessons learned through two Lethbridge College curriculum initiatives, framed as the following design challenges:

1. How might we gather and use student feedback to inform online course design?
2. How might we develop quality local leadership training for Lethbridge and Southern Alberta industries?

To reinforce the human-centered design processes included in these two projects, participants will be invited to solve a team design challenge through interviewing, ideation, prototyping, and testing.


Submitted by srtariqu on Thu, 03/03/2016 - 10:51am

A Reflective Journey of Formative Assessment: The Locked Box Experience

Presenters: Leanne Timko, Kim Welte

Have you ever thought that you were locked in the world of Formative Assessment? Need a different perspective to help you out? This experience will put you in the role of learner as you collaboratively work to solve a series of puzzles that include the Principles of Assessment, one section of the CCSD Guidelines of Assessment document, diverse learners and a few other brain twists. The puzzles are complex, out of the box and will force you to look beyond what you think you remember as a student. This activity is based upon the game “Escape Room.” You will have 1 hour to solve this task….if you choose to accept the challenge!

Be prepared to reflect and discuss how this experience will impact your leadership the next school day.

Better Together: Fostering Effective Relationships for Authentic Learning Partnerships

Presenters: Jennifer Meredith, Travis Robertson, Sanghamitra Dhar-McKenty, Ita Kistorma, Frank McClernon

Better Together: Fostering Effective Relationships for Authentic Learning Partnerships encourages participants to consider the necessity of effective collaboration in complex educational networks. This session is based on the Campus Calgary Open Minds model that allows students to directly benefit from complex relationships between educational districts within Calgary, community learning sites, funders, and educational supports. In pursuit of personalized, inquiry-driven learning, how can we foster approaches for meaningfully incorporating contemporary teaching and learning best practices together?

Empowering Teacher-Driven Professional Learning

Presenters: Kirk Linton, Trisa Soroski

In this interactive session, participants will explore the ways in which two school leaders in the Calgary Catholic School District have sought to reimagine professional learning by empowering teacher-driven and sustained professional learning that is evidence-informed, focused on teacher practice, coherent, collaborative, active and ongoing. The presenters will connect the research with their practice, share their lived experiences and lessons learned, and provide recommendations for empowering teacher-driven professional learning.

Innovative Pre-Service Teacher Field Experiences and Systemic Thinking: The Making of a Future Principal

Presenters: Amy Burns

This presentation will highlight the unique mid-point findings of a study designed to examine the pre-professional development of two student teachers during a non-traditional student teaching placement on a housing construction site. The findings in the second year of the study point to an opportunity for pre-service teachers to develop habits of systems thinking and innovation as foundational principles. Of particular significance is the finding that pre-service teachers can develop, through exposure to innovative, non-traditional field experiences, increased awareness of and commitment to the systemic changes required to lead the transformation of education in the 21st century.

Instructional Leadership: The Art of Asking Questions to Promote Teaching Effectiveness

Presenters: Kenzie Rushton, Lisa Blackstock

There is a growing body of literature that highlights the ways to support professional conversations on the part of leadership through processes and protocols. However, there are few opportunities for instructional leaders to engage in professional learning, which strengthens their skills in asking questions as part of those protocols and processes. Our goal in this session, will be to share a how a partnership between Buffalo Trial Public Schools Division and the Galileo Educational Network have developed professional learning to support instructional leaders in their understanding of teaching effectiveness and the art of asking questions around authentic task design.

Leading a Networked Learning System – Part 1

Presenters: Tim Monds, Eric Cameron, Carolyn Cameron

Guided by a powerful vision and mission uniting all schools in Parkland School Division, our school system is poised to meet the challenge of equipping our learners the essential knowledge, skills and personal qualities to thrive in a constantly changing world. Our district, with the support of our School Board, is currently developing a networked learning organization that is implementing our Quality Learning Framework, informed by feedback loops, at every level in our organization, through partnership with the University of Calgary and the Galileo Educational Network. This session will focus on the district level work that is underway to create a collaborative community of school leaders.

Professional Development Partners

Presenters: Christy Thomas

Professional development is integral for improving teaching and learning. The presenter will share her research from a mixed methods study on the potential impact of partnerships providing teacher Professional Development (PD) at a school in Southern Alberta. In this session, three main findings will be discussed: (a) scheduled time for professional development; (b) culture of pressure and support; and (c) changes in teaching practices. This session is valuable for leadership and those considering alternative ways to provide sustained, job-embedded PD through potential PD partnerships (PDP).

School Work, Adolescent Depression and the Classroom

Presenters: Nahum Arguera

The purpose of this session is to present findings from a research study conducted on the 2006 Canadian Health Behavior in School-Aged Children survey and to foster discussion about the link between school work pressures and adolescent depression. This research provides an analysis of the effects of school work pressures on depression among Canadian students. Based on the results of the study, I will provide recommendations to reduce stress among students. The session closes with a group discussion on what initiatives and strategies teachers, schools and, districts can use to alleviate the effects of stressors that students face.

The Implementation of Universal Design for Learning

Presenters: Megan Sénéchal

Inclusive education is a priority for schools in Alberta, and as a result some schools have implemented the Universal Design for Learning framework (UDL) to address learner diversity and to help students fulfill their potential. Findings from this case study showed that the factors that challenged the implementation of UDL and affected the current and sustained implementation of UDL aligned with local factors (leadership, time, professional development, resources), external factors (success for all students, systemic pressures, resources), and characteristics of change (practicality and difficulty of UDL). Implications for leadership and future directions are addressed.

Indigenous Education

Submitted by srtariqu on Thu, 03/03/2016 - 10:53am

Creating Ripples of Change Through Reconciliatory Pedagogy

Presenters: Patricia Danyluk, Yvonne Poitras Pratt

As teacher educators engaged in the work of reconciliation, we are aware of the moral need to take up reconciliatory work despite the enormity of the task and the discomfort that often surrounds difficult learning (Aveling, 2006; Boler & Zembylas, 2003). In adapting reconciliatory pedagogy (Nussey, 2014; Wyeld, 2016) to a Canadian context, we share our work as Teaching Scholars and remind participants that reconciliation between settlers and Indigenous citizens involves “small courageous experiments” (Regan, 2010, p. 237). We offer participants the opportunity to envision and create their small symbolic actions (Robinson & Martin, 2016) as possible ripples of reconciliation.

Engaging Foundational Indigenous Philosophies in Ethically Relational Ways

Presenters: Kerrie Moore, David Scott, Candace Saar

In the wake of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission on Indian Residential Schools (2015), teachers and systems of education across Canada are initiating reforms to ensure that the history of residential schools, Treaties, and the historical and contemporary contributions of Aboriginal peoples to Canada are a mandatory educational requirement for all K-12 students (Call to Action 62.i). As part of this work, educators in Canada –– the vast majority of whom are of non-Indigenous descent –– are being directed through various policy documents, including the recently updated Alberta Teacher Quality Standard, to help their students engage with Indigenous philosophies and traditions. This curricular shift has brought fourth questions around how this work can be undertaken in ways that respect the voice of Indigenous people, as well as the integrity of foundational Indigenous knowledge systems and traditions. Led by Metis/Cree cultural advisor and psychotherapist Kerrie Moore, this interactive presentation will offer guidance around these themes. Drawing on Dr. Dwayne Donald’s notion of ethical relationality, which draws inspiration from Cree and Blackfoot teachings, attendees will encounter five key philosophical shifts unique to Indigenous nations on the Plains. Through rich examples, engaged through dialogue and discussion, attendees will have the opportunity to learn how these philosophies can be mediated into classroom contexts in ethically relational ways.

Inspiring Artistic Visions in the Midst of Difficult Teaching and Learning

Presenters: Aubrey J. Hanson, Yvonne Poitras Pratt, Gabrielle Lindstrom

For the past three years, we have been exploring the realm of difficult learning experienced by pre-service teachers mandated to take an Indigenous education course (Aveling, 2002; Phillips & Whatman, 2007). This arts-inspired session invites participants to view a screening of students’ visual, oral, and written reflections on how this learning is experienced in our classrooms (Robinson & Martin, 2016). The collaborative creation of this video montage is in itself a rich learning experience. Emerging out of this inspiring piece, participants will collaborate on their own creative representation of their positioning in relation to the challenges of reconciliation work.

Responding to the Calls to Action: Indigenizing a Graduate Program

Presenters: Yvonne Poitras Pratt, Solange Lalonde

In this session, we share our Indigenizing pedagogy as responses to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (2015) calls to action. While Indigenous scholars provide access to the written voices of First Peoples (Battiste, 2013; Donald, 2009; Smith, 1999, 2012), our program intentionally invited in Elders and allies to teach and learn alongside students. Our research reveals that inclusion of knowledge keepers, a respectful learning environment, along with creative pedagogical approaches, delivered a strong impact on all learners; yet these innovations can only be accomplished if our visions are supported by leadership. We invite participants to imagine this world with us.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics)

Submitted by srtariqu on Thu, 03/03/2016 - 10:55am

It’s not just about IDEAS, it’s about Concepts: Designing Robotics Tasks for Elementary Classrooms

Presenters: Paola San Juan, Kaitlin Duong, Andrew MacLellan, Dominika Polakovic, Gabriela Alonso Yanez

This interactive session is designed for teachers who are interested in incorporating Robotics tasks into their practice. Following a brief description of how robotics can be used in the classroom and what students can learn with this tool, a group of pre-service teachers will share their experience in designing a Robotics challenge for elementary students. The session will provide opportunities for participants to discuss key elements of the design process in STEM including defining a worthwhile problem and identifying key concepts of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics that can be featured in a robotics activity.

Promoting Authenticity in STEM Task Design through Mathematizating and Modeling

Presenters: Kenzie Rushton

There is a large body of research from the learning sciences that highlights the role that authentic worthwhile work for students is supported when rooted in the ways of knowing within a discipline. STEM task designs are strengthened when teachers have a deep understanding of modeling and mathematizing as related to STEM disciplinary knowledge. Our goal will be to illustrate a pathway for integrating these into the science classroom. Using findings from an ongoing series of design-based professional learning we will argue that when teachers have a deep understanding of programming, modeling and mathematizing this can accelerate such integration.

Students’ Voices on Mathematics Teaching Practices

Presenters: Miwa Aoki Takeuchi, Jennifer Plosz, Jo Towers, Dong Hyun Seo

In this presentation, we discuss mathematics teaching practices that the participants in our study (K-12 students and post-secondary students) described as influential. From the stance that mathematics learning is both cognitive and emotional, we present teaching practices that changed student participants’ relationships with mathematics. We draw from mathematics autobiographies and drawings about mathematics learning experiences completed by the participants. The teaching practices that changed participants’ feelings in a positive way include a) a focus on sense-making, b) reviewing and making a connection between previously-learned content and new content, and c) identifying ways to overcome the challenges in learning mathematics.

Techniques for Improved Student Engagement and Perceptions Towards STEM Education

Presenters: Qiao Sun, Emily Marasco, Stephanie Hladik, Meera Singh, Caitlin Quarrington

While there is an increased demand for industry professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), studies show that students lose interest in these fields early in their education, regardless of their performance. This session will explore two initiatives supported by the Schulich School of Engineering to improve student engagement. The first approach uses cross-disciplinary techniques to combine STEM and arts concepts, while the second approach associates diverse learning styles with student attitudes. Both approaches and their results-to-date have been presented at engineering education conferences.

Junior high students’ attitudes towards science and expectations of science related careers

Presenters: Alfred Sakyi, Kurian Panjikaran

Alberta participates in a number of pan-Canadian and international studies that provide reliable data on our education system. This interactive session will explore Alberta’s results on student engagement with science and attitudes towards science as measured through students’ responses to the PISA background questionnaire. We will examine differences in students’ career expectations, science activities, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for learning science, and beliefs about their abilities in science. We will discuss the relationship between students’ attitudes towards science and their expectations of future study and work in science and technology-related fields, and how students’ beliefs about their abilities in science are related to performance in science.

Higher Education Teaching & Learning

Submitted by srtariqu on Thu, 03/03/2016 - 11:01am

A CBE Model for Police Cadet Training: Discovery and Design

Presenters: Erica Cormack, Jim Laing, Erin Howard

Front-line policing is a complex and challenging career requiring competencies that are not easily evoked through traditional pen & paper assessments. The competency-based cadet training curriculum has been co-created by agency and college stakeholders with the intent of providing multiple meaningful opportunities for cadets to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in assessments which endeavor to replicate the real-world experience of new police officers. The spiral curriculum model features thematic units of learning taking students from situations requiring rather simple problem solving to scenarios that are complex in terms of legislation requirements, environmental conditions, and the challenges of unpredictable human behaviour.

A Discussion of Student Engagement Indicators and Strategies in Higher Education

Presenters: Nahum Arguera, Patti Dyjur

The purpose of the session is to heighten awareness and foster discussion of student engagement in higher-education within the context of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE). This session will review the NSSE 2014 cycle at the University of Calgary. Specifically, we will introduce some of the ways in which student engagement is enhanced at the University of Calgary. We will also discuss how this has encouraged a culture of collaboration across faculties and disciplines. Following this discussion, participants will be given opportunities to discuss student engagement and share strategies within individual fields and practices.

Chopped: Design Edition

Presenters: Patti Dyjur, Haboun Bair, Patrick Kelly, Lin Yu, D’Arcy Norman, Nahum Arguera, Leslie Reid, Eugene Kowch

Four instructional designers will battle it out, generating innovative learning designs in real time before the audience and a panel of judges. A game show format will be used to introduce aspects of learning design, including graduate attributes, learning activities, pedagogical approaches, and student assessment. While the designers are working on their learning designs, the judges will provide information on salient elements of pedagogical approaches and comment on each designer’s success with incorporating them. Attendees will benefit from seeing design thinking in action and how various strategies can result in strong student learning experiences.

Collaborative Learning in Professional Education: Learning Communities in Support of Field Integration

Presenters: Patricia L. Samson, Leeann Hilsen

Field education has been described as a signature pedagogy in social work education, where students engage in practicum settings in human service organizations with an aim to link theory learned in the classroom to “real life” situations in the practice world. Creating a Learning Community in the classroom of an Integrative Seminar in Social Work is a promising way to support students in a collaborative, critical learning process that infuses a culture of learning within the classroom and supports achievement of a critical and reflexive approach to social work practice for emerging professionals.

Engaging in the Process of Curriculum Review: Reflections and Insights of a Graduate Student Research Assistant

Presenters: Laurent Wall

This session brings together the experiences of a graduate student who was involved in a university department’s undergraduate program curriculum review as a research assistant. More specifically, this session will first introduce the research background and data collection process of one department’s undergraduate program curriculum review. Following this introduction, participants will have opportunities to engage in conversations about three curriculum review themes: 1) The process of presenting curriculum review data to faculty, 2) Power differentials during the process of curriculum review, and 3) Recommendations for improving the process by using disciplinary data collection approaches.

Enhancing Student Assessment Through Veedback

Presenters: Soroush Sabbaghan

Providing audio-visual feedback through screencast technology has been shown to reinforce learning after submission. However, these video feedbacks are often limited by the annotation tools afforded by the word processing software making them difficult to follow. The combination of a tablet and stylus along with screencast technology offers more freedom and can enhance student experience. This presentation reports the results of an investigation into whether these new enriched feedbacks to assignments called veedbacks boost student experience. The qualitative and quantitative findings reveal that students are very positive about veedbacks. Current and future Implications and limitations will be discussed.

Evaluating Teaching Networks: The Case of the Teaching Academy at the University of Calgary

Presenters: Laurent Wall

The overall focus of this session is on the process of evaluating and exploring collaborative networks of teaching scholars in higher education. As such, this session will first introduce the research background and results of an educational development program evaluation at the University of Calgary. Following this introduction, participants will have opportunities to discuss how researchers can play an important role in creating program evaluations which move beyond satisfaction data, what program evaluations are like behind the scenes, and how ethnographic methods can greatly inform program evaluations in higher education.

How can Graduate Students Contribute? Reflections on Creating a Journal for and by Graduate Students

Presenters: Brit Paris, Gina Ko

In March 2016 the Emerging Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Graduate Research in Education and Psychology (EPIGREP) journal officially launched. EPIGREP was created to be a journal for and by graduate students, where they could gain support and experience with the peer-review process. While graduate students are often encouraged to publish, research shows that many struggle to get involved in the process. Nearly one year since launching, the founding editorial board members reflect on the challenges and welcome surprises they encountered, how the journal has advanced graduate students’ scholarly training, and what they see as the next steps for the journal.

Interpreting 21st Century Educational Reform in Alberta: A Pilot Study

Presenters: Amy Burns, Dianne Gereluk

This presentation will highlight the unique findings of a pilot study designed to understand the interpretations made by classroom teachers of 21st century educational reform, with particular attention on the effects of these findings for pre-service teacher education. The study was conducted with two teachers and two school-based leaders in one Alberta school division known for its commitment to 21st century educational ideals. It was found that both teachers and school-based leaders are interpreting 21st century education in very different ways. Most interestingly is the propensity for 21st century education to become hallmarked by one aspect that then becomes foundational.

Making Evidence Informed Decisions about Formative Written Feedback

Presenters: Sarah Elaine Eaton, Lorelei Anselmo

How learners reflect and act on written feedback has a direct correlation to improvement in their academic writing skills. Nicol, 2009; Price, Handley, Millar ∓ O’Donovan, 2010, Seker & Dincer, 2014). This discussion is based on preliminary findings from our current research which indicates that learner-directed formative written feedback strategies that cause the learner to reflect and act on the feedback may lead to improved academic writing skills. These findings are then discussed within a classroom context. Specifically, whether using learner-directed written feedback strategies better support the learner and increase instructor effectiveness in guiding learners to academic writing success.

Plagiarism: Moving from Punitive to Pro-Active Approaches

Presenter: Sarah Elaine Eaton, Melanie Guglielmin, Benedict “Kojo” Otoo

The goal of this session is to engage participants in interactive discussions about how to address plagiarism productively and foster academic integrity. We will engage in thought-provoking conversations about 21st century cheating, talking about online plagiarism detectors, “paper mills” and other forms of plagiarism. We will discuss productive approaches to academic integrity that focus on cultivating honour in academic work and preventing academic misconduct, as opposed to punishment after the cheating has already occurred. Strategies will include assignment design, formative feedback and academic integrity education. Participants will leave with concrete strategies about how have productive conversations around cultivating a culture of academic integrity.

Research Findings: Building up the Capability of WSE Online Graduate Learners to Self-Organize their Group Projects – Ideas for Students, Course Designers and Instructors

Presenters: Eugene G. Kowch, Venise D. Bryan

As we create innovative possibilities and scaffolds for effective distance learner self-regulation and develop high-capacity, well-organized student learning teams performing project based interactive work in a more participative learning paradigm, course designers must innovate. We must consider the contextual and relational complexity of learning to create principles and tactics for developing instructors and students – soon (Abrami et al., 2010; Kowch, 2013a). What factors shape highly organized groups of learners? How does learner self-organization impact group learning capabilities? This paper presents results from a WSE TANDL funded case study of online graduate classes to provide leadership course design parameters for highly capable individuals and groups in online graduate classes.

Signature Pedagogies in Online Classes

Presenters: Barb Brown, Sarah Elaine Eaton, Meadow Schroeder

Instructors design interactivity during online sessions in different ways. Presenters will share findings from a research study examining what signature pedagogies make for successful learning during online synchronous sessions. Students, instructors and course administrators shared their perceptions about how learning designs impact student learning. The findings have potential to inform future designs for online courses that incorporate synchronous sessions to foster a community of inquiry. Teachers using technologies for blended learning or those teaching fully online may be interested in the findings from this study.

Strategies for Successful Group Work

Presenters: Christy Thomas, Barb Brown

Working in collaboration with others is a necessary competency for students. Teachers often assign group projects as part of a learning task and commonly students struggle with negotiating ideas and effectively engaging in the work. It is also challenging for teachers to gather evidence of individual learning contributions in group projects and assess student learning accordingly. Teachers can use different assessment strategies and participatory technologies can be used to support learners in working collaboratively and documenting their learning. As leaders, teachers can set conditions to support collaborative work and promote positive social networks. Presenters will discuss the successes and challenges in designing an interdisciplinary group project for students and will share their experiences in handling diverse group dynamics and dysfunctions.

Teaching them to Fish: A Study Orienting Graduate Students for Online Learning

Presenters: Jennifer Lock, Carol Johnson, Flora Liu, Jane Hanson

As many educational institutions engage in online program development, question arise regarding how they develop the capacity of their potential students to be successful online learners? Learning online requires effective use of a number of soft/transferable skills in order for the experience to be engaging and meaningful. It also requires a shift in expectation in terms of engaging in learning. Using design-based research methods, an online graduate preparation program has been developed to support students’ confidence and competence as online learners. Preliminary findings will be shared and implications for education development will be examined.

Transforming Classrooms into Transcultural Learning Spaces

Presenters: Ayman Aljarrah, Janet Groen, Fanny Macé, Sylvie Roy

The following presentation will explore and explain the use of autoethnography as a collaborative tool in a transcultural teaching and learning higher education environment. The focus of the presentation will include the experiences of seven participants (five doctoral students and two faculty members) in an International Doctoral Seminar held in Werklund School of Education. Specifically, this will address the participants’ reflections on working with scholars from China and Australia on the theme of Transnational Perspectives in education.

Mathematics & Numeracy

Submitted by srtariqu on Fri, 01/27/2017 - 3:11pm

Attending and Responding to What Matters: A Protocol to Enhance Mathematics Pedagogy

Presenters: Martina Metz

For four years we have invested in improving mathematics teaching at the elementary level. By considering the impact of lessons in terms of student engagement and performance, we identified key elements impacting learning. This session describes the protocol currently used to structure feedback for teachers in the Math Minds Initiative. The key elements that comprise the protocol and that have become central to our work in this project are: (1) engagement, (2) continuous assessment, (3) responsive teaching, and (4) attention to variation.

Building a Mathematical Mindset through Math Teacher Circles (MTCs)

Presenters: Rakhee Vijairaghavan, Tracy Rand

This session will allow participants to engage in a Math Teachers Circle (MTC), a successful professional learning model from the USA based on partnerships between mathematicians and teachers. We have collected data from over 300 teachers that highlights the mathematical mindset of teachers as a key area for growth. It is our hope that growth mindsets can be cultivated and developed through the MTC model, resulting in positive impacts on student learning.

I SEE What You’re Saying: Cultivating the Growth of Mathematical Images

Presenters: Jennifer Plosz

In this presentation, we will explore our experiences with mental images and mathematics. When presented with a mathematics task, our first act is comprehension and then we work towards a solution. To accomplish this images rush to the forefront of our minds or they are noticeably absent. These images contain our perceived knowledge of the past, intertwined with the present, affecting our view of the future. How are these images used to explore, comprehend, and solve problems? What contributes to their growth? Could visualization play a role in fostering the growth of images in order to contribute to mathematical understanding?

Making Meanning of Periodic Functions Through Body Movements

Presenters: Minerva Martínez Ortega, Paulino Preciado Babb

Functions are key mathematical tools for modeling. In particular, the sinusoidal function serves to model cyclic phenomena. Yet, research on the learning of this function is scarce. In this presentation, we describe the implementation of a learning sequence designed to introduce the sinusoidal function through mathematical modeling. The sequence includes the use of a distance sensor to re-create the graph of the function through physical movements, as well as the exploration of the parameters related to this type of function. We discuss students' learning trajectories while engaged in the sequence, as well as implications for both teaching and research.

Recognizing Mathematical Creativity With(in) a Collaborative Problem Solving Environment

Presenters: Ayman Aljarrah, Jo Towers

Research about creativity in mathematics classroom settings is gaining significant traction across Canada. However, recognizing and promoting mathematical creativity in classroom contexts have been common challenges for teachers and mathematics educators. This presentation reports results from a larger research study of collective creativity in elementary mathematics classroom settings. We document and propose innovative practices in the design and implementation of tasks that promote collective mathematical creativity. In addition, we highlight students interacting, co-acting, and reacting, while working on such tasks in small groups, showing how such interactions trigger and sustain their collective creativity.

Using Variation to Critique and Adapt Mathematical Tasks

Presenters: Martina Metz

This session builds on the findings of the Math Minds Initiative in considering how combining Marton’s Variation Theory of Learning (2015) with a strong focus on continuous assessment may inform the way teachers adapt task sequences to better serve both struggling students and those who need extension. Here, we report teachers’ efforts to critically examine and adapt the patterns of variation offered in given lessons, both during planning and during teaching. More specifically, we ask them to consider: (a) Is the key idea that we wish to highlight systematically varied in the lesson? (b) Is that variation set against a background of constancy? and (c) Are key ideas juxtaposed in a manner that highlights the patterns of variation we want students to notice? and (d) Do assessment practices allow teachers to continually adapt their lessons based on student response?

Literacies for Today’s Learners

Submitted by srtariqu on Fri, 01/27/2017 - 3:11pm

Audio-Journals, from Research Methods to Classroom Assessments

Presenters: Galicia Blackman

The session will report on my inquiry into grade eleven students’ experiences of classroom talk in English Language Arts in Calgary. Research on dialogic learning supports the advantages of dialogic contexts, for students, but we have much to understand regarding students’ views on such contexts. To get to the heart of students’ experiences, I sought to hear their voices through audio-journals. I consulted the literature, recommendations and limitations of varying forms of diaries as data collection methods and I asked: how can audio-journals be used to understand students’ experiences? What could audio-journals mean for classroom assessments especially in dialogic learning contexts, in a way that facilitates students’ multi-literacies?

Designing a Gamified Approach for Teaching Pre-Service Teachers about Technology

Presenters: Lorraine Beaudin

This presentation will explore the role of gamification in the designing and delivery of a mandatory, pre-service teacher Communication Technology course at the University of Lethbridge. The presentation will begin with a discussion on gamification and its potential for education—including an overview of content and structural gamification. The general course philosophy, design and proposed delivery structure will be shared. A quest-based approach to course delivery designed to allow self-paced and self-directed content exploration will be outlined. In addition, a discussion on the potential role of digital badges and 3D Gamelab for teacher education will be investigated.

Picturebooks at the Heart of Innovative Educational Practice: Deepening Our Conceptual Lenses

Presenters: Zoey Graf, Sarrah Johnstone

Picturebooks establish context for conceptual lenses, model innovative methods of communication and make connections to the known and unknown. Much of the research uses quantifying approaches to explore how students draw meaning or make sense of this form of literature. Our pedagogy and research is informed by Murdoch’s argument that “whether you are using literature to inspire wonder, provoke curiosity or deepen conceptual understanding, the act of sharing literature is always an opportunity to adopt an inquiry stance as a teacher.” Working in middle school, we have seen the lenses through which students of all ages view their world stretch wider.

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