VCC President’s Research Symposium – Oct. 4, 2017

Pres_Research_Symposium
On October 4th, 2017, Vancouver Community College was pleased to present our first President’s Research Symposium.

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The Event Space, Building B, VCC.

The Symposium was located in the open Event space in Bldg B of the VCC Broadway campus. (You can check out the Twitter activity for this event under the hashtag #vccresearch or look at the Twitter widget on the right side of this blog).

 

In this brief introductory video, Kathryn McNaughton (VP, Academic) and Elle Ting (Research Ethics Board Chair) explain the difference between different kinds of research, and the values and goals of this Symposium:

 

Here are descriptions and resources from the day:


Introduction: Dr. Peter Nunoda, VCC President

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Dr. Peter Nunoda, VCC President

VCC President, Dr. Peter Nunoda, opened the day with gratitude for the large turnout, and praise for VCC’s diverse array of programs.

He described some of VCC’s innovative applied research initiatives, the college’s unique role in vocational training and experiential learning, and he also announced a new Research Fund of $10,000, which will become effective as of April 1, 2018. (Calls for Proposals and details of criteria will be announced at a future date.)

About the Presenter:
Dr. Peter Nunoda was appointed President, Vancouver Community College in August, 2014.  Prior to joining VCC, he held the position of Vice President, Academic and Research at Northern Lights College since August 2011.  Dr. Nunoda has served as the Dean of the Faculty of Health at the University College of the North from 2007 to 2011, the Director of Access Programs at the University of Manitoba from 2002 to 2007 and as a Program Director for Aboriginal Focus Programs at the University of Manitoba from 2000 to 2002. His research projects include: reports on professional health education for Aboriginal People for Health Canada and HRSDC; an article on Japanese Canadian Perceptions of Canadian Citizenship; and a study of the retention of Aboriginal students at the University of Manitoba.


Keynote Speaker:Greg Anderson, Dean of Applied Research, JIBC.

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Dr. Greg Anderson, JIBC

Topic: Student Research Skills Development Framework

Does your institution have a planned approach to embedding research skill development in a student’s education? Do you have a clear understanding of how different student research activities are differentiated throughout their student life?

Dr. Anderson addressed these topics in a highly informative and entertaining presentation that used examples from a number of his past projects, involving the Justice Institute of BC and other higher education institutions.

Slideshow: Research Skills Framework – G. Anderson, JIBC

About the Presenter:
Dr. Greg Anderson is the Dean, Office of the Applied Research & Graduate Studies, at the Justice Institute of British Columbia (JIBC). He provides oversight as Investigator and/or Administrative Lead with the application and management of individual and collaborative applied research projects totaling over $8 million in the last five years. He has been an advocate for undergraduate research experience for many years, and was the driving force behind the creation of a student research framework at JIBC.


Experiential Learning: A Research in Practice for Adult Literacy Fundamental

Thirty-some years ago, while doing her practical teaching year, a professor brought a lobster trap into class. A group of prairie student teachers gathered around the lobster trap, asked questions, examined it, made guesses, sang a Stan Rogers tune about the influx of maritime workers to the Alberta oil patch. That was the moment Lynn became hooked on experiential teaching and learning. Lynn’s research in practice study tested her assumptions about experiential learning and literacy student persistence, success and retention.

Slideshow: Research in Practice – L. Horvat

About the Presenter:
Lynn Horvat is an instructor in VCC’s Basic Education Department.


Longitudinal assessment of Baccalaureate Nursing students’ disposition to think critically

The purpose of this research was to evaluate baccalaureate nursing students’ critical thinking dispositions in relation to a curricular shift from traditional lecture-based learning to problem-based learning.

Slideshow: Nursing students’ disposition to critical thinking – K.Fukuyama, B. Arthur

About the Presenters:
Barb Arthur and Kathy Fukuyama are faculty members in the Bachelor of Science Nursing (“BScN”) Program.


From Surviving to Thriving: Young people and inter-sectoral partner feedback on a critical health literacy pilot project

This presentation outlined findings from a research project between VCC and community partners on health promotion practice with young people, including recommendations for a related wellness outreach initiative.

Slideshow: Young people’s wellness collaborative project – S. Laliberte

About the Presenters:
Anastasia Gaisenok is the Executive Director of Check Your Head: The Youth Global Education Network. She is currently the co-chair of the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition and a member of the Steering Committee for the BC Health Coalition. Previously she served on the Women’s Advisory Committee for the City of Vancouver, and on the Board of Directors for Oxfam Canada.

Raagini is the Education Program Coordinator at Check Your Head. Raagini is deeply committed to educational transformation, social justice, and youth empowerment through a creative, anti-racist, anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, feminist framework.

Shari Laliberte R.N., Ph.D. is a faculty member and curriculum chair within the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program of the School of Health Sciences at Vancouver Community College.


Applied Research in Collaborative Partnership: A Look at Baking, Natural Health and Contribution to Students

Fionna Chong (VCC) and Rebeccah Robertson (BCIT)

VCC and BCIT embarked on a multi-year research project with an industry partner to examine the contribution of sourdough bread-making methodologies towards the improvement of gluten digestibility.

This presentation shared the researchers’ process for initial idea development; preliminary testing; NSERC grant application; and research, departmental, and student inclusion.

Slideshow: Baking, Natural Health & contribution to students – F. Chong

About the Presenters:
Rebecca Robertson, Research Associate and Instructor at BCIT, has worked extensively in the food industry in areas ranging from food product development, food safety, sensory and quality assurance.

Elizabeth Mudge, Research Associate at BCIT, has worked in the food and natural health industry in areas ranging from analytical method development to food research and development.

Fionna Chong is the department leader for the Baking & Pastry Arts program at VCC and a baker at heart…


Lightning Talk Presentations

Inspired by the rapid-fire format of Pecha Kucha, presenters were given 5 to 10 minutes to present their topic…

  • “Communication Activity for Generation 1.5 ESL students”
    (Jane Parker, College and Career Access)
    Jane described a classroom-based research project using WordPress and EdModo to empower her ESL Students as Student Journalists, and her observations of how it improved their communication skills.
    View the student resource shown in this Lightning Talk

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    Jane Parker, College and Career Access

  • “The World of Institutional Research”
    (Brian Beacham, Institutional Research)
    Brian described examples of the role of Institutional Research at VCC.
    Slideshow: IR Presentation – B. Beacham
  • “Library Support for Applied Research”
    (Virginia Adams, Coordinator, Copyright & Scholarly Communications, VCC Library)
    Virginia described the role of the VCC Library in supporting applied research, and described specific Librarians and how they have helped various projects at VCC.
    Slideshow: Library support for Research – V. Adams
    VAdams_Lightning_ResSymposiom_2017
  • “The Role of Research in Writing Children’s fiction”
    (Katarina Jovanovic, Early Childhood Education, VCC)
    Katarina gave an entertaining description of how and why she undertook different kinds of research to develop characters, story and scenarios for her awardwinning children’s books.
    Slideshow: The role of research in writing children’s fiction – K. Jovanovic
  • “VCC’s REB: Five questions in Five Minutes”
    (Elle Ting, Instructional Associate, Chair of VCC Research Ethics Board)
    Elle gave a fast-paced and animated presentation on the essentials of the VCC Research Ethics Board (REB).
    Prezi: The REB – “5 questions in 5 minutes”

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    Elle Ting, VCC REB Chair, and event host

  • Read more: Research at VCC


Comments from Attendees…

“I wished I had been able to stay longer this morning. Still, as I headed back to class with my students, I knew it was a very worthwhile interlude to our morning. They got to see what other activities teachers get up to. They got to see education at VCC from a different perspective.” – Lynn Horvat

“I’m looking forward to our next steps” – Brian Beacham

“I’m happy to hear it will be an annual event.” – Virginia Adams

“It was really inspiring and I can appreciate how much work went into coordinating it behind the scenes and facilitating it. Thanks so much for taking a lead on this and also for our website, which looks amazing” – Shari Laliberte

“I felt so energized afterwards and I was so excited to hear about research that instructors have done at VCC.” – Helga Mankhof

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To flip or not to flip? Here are some great resources!

Posted by Robin Popow

Those of you familiar with Tony Bates and his incredible body of work will know what I mean when I note how hard it can be to keep up with the continuous flow of thought provoking posts from his blog. In his February 14, 2014 post, Thinking about the design of the ‘flipped’ classroom Dr. Bates provides a very interesting introspective as well as links to some must-have resources for those interested in ‘flipping’ elements of their classroom instruction.

Noticing a resurgence of interest in this topic at VCC in the past few months I thought I’d do what I can to distribute this useful resource.

CID Activity Reports: 2012 to 2013

CID-Logo-Blue

Each year, the Centre for Instructional Development posts its annual CID Activity Report, which documents the consultation, development and support activities delivered to the VCC community.

The 2012-2013 Activity Report is now available on the CID website.
It covers a wide array of topics:

  • Program Renewal
  • Curriculum Development
  • Instructional Development
  • Distributed Learning
  • Study of Teaching and Learning
  • Policy Review Groups and Committee Work
  • IRA Support
  • Faculty Postings: Selection, Election and Area Hiring Recommendations

Learn more about the CID, its mission, and previous Activity Reports on our “About Us” page.

Mobile Devices at VCC: From Purchase to Practical Use

This blog post re-purposed from the Applied Learning in the Digital Age Learn@Lunch IMG_2067workshops for the VCC Day 2013 presentation.

The following information supports the VCC Day 2013 workshop ‘Mobile Devices at VCC: From Purchase to Practical Use’ as presented by Robin Popow on October 25, 2013.

Session Overview and Resources

1. Introduction

  • Session Overview
  • Socrative Setup
  • Early Years of Pen/Touch Technology
  • Devices changing lives
    • Developmental [Fattemeh, offline video]ipad
      • Apps used: Bitsboard, IXL Math Practice, 5 Little Monkeys
    • Accessibility for auditory and visual impairments
      • iOS
  • Trends/Tablet Petting Zoo

2. Teacher Tools

  • Socrative – Student Response Devicesocrative
    Price: Free
  • Swivl – Camera base that follows you as it recordsSwivl websitePrice: $219 US (plus shipping – with AC Adapter)
    Availability: Order online – manufacturer ships to Canada

    • Mike Tunnah [offline video]
  • Justand – Mobile Device Stand – Use your smartphone or tablet as a document camerajustand
    Price: $89. US (plus shipping)

    Availability: Currently n/a at local retailers.
  • Mobile Devices as Document Cameras
    • Smartphones and tablets, cross-platforms
  • Whiteboard Apps
    • Educreations App – Recordable cloud-based whiteboard application
      Price: Free
  • Note Taking Appevernote
  • Wireless Media Streaming
    • Apple TV – Project your device wirelessly  in your classroom
      Price: $110
      Availability: Apple StoreIMG_2068
      Notes:  Once purchased, this device must be programmed by IT to function within the VCC WiFi. Unit can be permanently installed by IT or, purchase an audio-enabled HDMI-VGA adapter ($20-$40) to connect to classroom Educational Technology Units.

      • Educreations demo
      • AST Demo [offline video]
    • Options for Androids

3. Moodle Integration and Classroom Managementipad-field-work

  • Attendance
  • Grades
  • Database
  • Passive media management
    • Educreations Lessons via Twitter
    • Embedded Youtube/Vimeo playlists
  • “Micro-Moodle” or Moodle 2.5 as an app

4. Student-created Contentepub-sample

  • Videos/Interviews
    • iPhones and Youtube – Mandy Davies
  • ePublishing with Creative Book Builder

5. Future trends

  • Active reading research and Pen+Touch [02:00 video]
  • Wifi – BYODGartner's Hype Cycle
  • Media server

6. Purchasing tablets at VCC

  • One size fits all approach obsolete
  • Predefine use a must
  • Funding sources
  • Educational Technology Advisory Committee (ETAC)

7. Petting Zoo

Additional Resources:

Conference Notes Continued: WIPTTE

By Robin Popow, Instructional Associate

Notes from Days 2 & 3

Click here to read Day 1 notes…

Pen + Touch Computing: From Research to Resource

Professor Andy Van Dam, Brown University.  "Inventor of hypertext and father of digital graphics"

Professor Andy Van Dam, Brown University. “Inventor of hypertext and father of digital graphics”

Andy Van Dam, Professor of Technology, Education, & Computer Science at Brown University kicked off day 2 with a look back at the origin of pen and touch technology. Considered by many as the inventor of hypertext and father of digital graphics, Van Dam has spent the last four decades working on systems for creating and reading electronic books with interactive illustrations for use in education and research. He has contributed a great deal of industry leading research and taught many of the current leading researchers.

Fujitsu tablet PCsVan Dam expressed general dissatisfaction and frustration towards Apple and Microsoft, suggesting they have been developing products without paying attention to leading research that suggests people benefit from using pen + touch technology (as opposed to the current pen OR touch). Current products such as Microsoft’s Surface Pro and Fujitsu’s Stylistic Hybrid tablets offer the ability to use a pen OR touch but none offer the ability to use pen AND touch at the same time. Van Dam suggests pen + touch is what is needed to attain a truly natural user interface (NUI). Van Dam referred to the original two-handed technology and the origins of this research in a 1963 project called Sketchpad where Ivan Sutherland at MIT’s Lincoln Labs developed, “A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System”, described as one of the most influential computer programs ever written.

Van Dam showcased Hands-on Math as another example of affordances offered by pen + touch technology (I loved the crumple gesture). It was interesting to see how much negativity there was towards Apple and Microsoft from University researchers in attendance. It was suggested that while the iPad brought a great deal of popularity to tablet devices, it’s touch-only technology is somewhat shortsighted in the context of leading research. And although Ken Hinckley of Microsoft seems to be paying attention to the research (as noted from his Day 1 keynote) Van Dam and others at the conference acknowledged the progress Microsoft has made but were critical in pointing out that Microsoft has not yet developed consumer versions of pen + touch products 50 years after their original conception.  It will be interesting to see what happens in coming years.

Large Artwork Display on the Surface (LADS)

Van Dam also showcased a cool program developed at Brown University called LADS (Large Artwork Display on the Surface), a platform built for museums for viewing large, digitized artworks in a novel fashion. It uses Microsoft’s DeepZoom technology to dynamically load portions of images at different resolutions. This allows a user, in the case of the Garibaldi project (see video below), to see an entire 370 foot long panorama at once or the brushstrokes on the ocean in one square inch of the piece. Additional information can be accessed via hot spots in the image. LADS is open source and available as a free download for institutions that wish to use it. I couldn’t help but think how a program like this could be used by students as a group project to build interactive timelines, etc.

InkSurvey

InkSurvey is a free, web-based software designed to facilitate real-time formative assessment by collecting graphical, white board style responses from students. During our session I used my iPhone to submit my hand-written responses to questions asked by Frank Kowalski (the person next to me used her Kindle tablet), featured in this comical video. A major affordance of this software is that instructor can provide direct feedback to graphical student responses. This software appeared simple to use and quite effective,  and works across most mobile platforms (Android 4+). Click here to begin using it now…

Courseload

Dale Pokorski showcased Virginia Tech’s use of Coarseload, a company that provides source-neutral aggregated digital textbooks at up to 70% savings by integrating open source as well as (or in place of) proprietary content. In the spirit of active reading, students are able to highlight, annotate, share notes with other students. For additional functionality Virginia Tech students export materials to Microsoft OneNote.

Screen capturing

iPad image

Eric Marco’s iPad featuring a Doceri pen to prevent palm-drag and an “indestructible” M-edge neoprene case. (Click image to enlarge).

On Day 2, middle school teachers Eric Marcos and Stacey Roshan provided more tips in support of video in a flipped classroom. Select takeaways for me included screencaptuing apps such as Doceri for iPad, with a pen that effectively eliminates palm drag, Educreations (one of my favourites) and ScreenChomp. (ScreenChomp is about the simplest screen capturing tool you’ll find). Also, Eric made his tablet seemingly indestructible with a M-edge neoprene case (see image at right).

More on Tablets

In my Day 1 post I noted the popularity of the tablet PC hardware with interaction/sharing software such as ClassroomPresenter, DYknow and Microsoft OneNote. On Day 2 I had chance to use more of these tablets and must admit that they do provide functionality beyond that of touch-based tablets, laptops and desktop computers. A major take away from this conference beyond the affordance-rich tablet PCs has been the potential of cost effective technologies that can be used to innovate based on affordances rather than just integrate technology as a flashy tool. While some delegates rattled off bold statements like “every student in America should be using OneNote on a 11.6″ Fujitsu tablet PC” some institutions have dropped their brand-specific tablet programs altogether in favour of a bring your own device (BYOD) option. Some have found that free software such as ClassroomPresenter provide enough usability to support their learner-centred initiatives.

(BTW, during the conference I also learned that $20 Android tablets with VGA camera are being produced in India – 4 million on order).  

In Closing

VCC offers such a wide variety of programming that it is impossible to apply a one-size-fits-all approach to educational technology while maintaining pedagogically sound teaching and learning strategies. While I sometimes find myself envious of the relative ease to which K-12 and Academic institutions chose and implement blanket technology solutions I quickly think of the depth and richness of learning we can offer our students as an applied learning institution and the potential to go even further!

Click here to read Day 1 notes…

Conference Notes: Workshop on the Impact of Pen & Touch Technology on Education (WIPTTE)

By Robin Popow (Instructional Associate, Centre for Instructional Development)

Notes from Day 1

Well it sounds about as obscure a subject for a conference you could imagine but the 2013 WIPTTE workshop kicked off today in Los Angeles and just couldn’t wait to share my experience.

peperdine

But first, a bit of background. As per their official website, the Workshop on the Impact of Pen and Touch Technology in Education (WIPTTE) exists to share research and effective practice on the use of these tools in education.

It quickly dawned on me that these aren’t bunch of app-mad ipad users as I had anticipated. On the contrary, I think they are truly aware that they have discovered the one educational technology tool most able to help us move towards modern teaching and learning pedagogies. Yes, that world where knowledge is socially constructed and teaching is learner-centred.

Back to earth…

The day began with a truly revealing and visionary look at the future of pen & touch technology

Ken Hinckley

Ken Hinckley, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research

from Ken Hinckley, a Principal Researcher at Microsoft Research. His research on sensors, mobile devices, pen computing, and pen + touch interaction has been widely covered in the press and tech blogs and left us pondering what is to come.

Ken suggested that we are currently shifting from indirect to direct input (from keyboards to touch screen) noting, “You can’t type the soul of an idea”. Research into reading shows that there is more to it than just reading and this is why the Kindle readers are not thriving. Ken suggested that we are active readers – we read with both hands, constantly moving the page or book while reading, writing notes and flipping pages back and forth using our fingers as active bookmarks. Ken shared several concept projects he has been or is currently working on that aim to serve active readers.

Some of the concept projects he shared with us can be found on Ken’s blog including:

Ken’s keynote left me with feelings of eager anticipation turning immediately by anxiety for determining how to fund and implement this exciting future technology.

After Ken’s keynote I learned about an interesting classroom presentation program while using a really cool Fujitsu tablet PC (very powerful with Windows 8). Classroom Presenter (developed at University of Washington) provides some core features of the popular DYknow software (enterprise) but as a free download.

tabletIn the words of the developer, Classroom Presenter is a Tablet PC-based interaction system that supports the sharing of digital ink on slides between instructors and students. When used as a presentation tool, Classroom Presenter allows the integration of digital ink and electronical slides, making it possible to combine the advantages of whiteboard style and slide based presentation. The ability to link the instructor and student devices, and to send information back and forth provides a mechanism for introducing active learning into the classroom and creates additional feedback channels.

Also of interest to me was a self-study done at Boston University with the following select findings:

  • While ipads were provided for student use students prefer to use their own devices. Tablet PC were favored but bring-your-own-device (BYOD) selected as best solution
  • Faculty preferred to use Dropbox to collect student work
  • Windows 8 allows for touch screen so Smart Boards no longer necessary
  • Wacom Bamboo tablets preferred for image annotating

Conference host, Pepperdine University actively promotes student created content and provided staceysome great resources and examples such as creationsforlearning.net and the ironically named, teacherscreate.org. Teachers and several students from Long Beach Unified School District presented a series of student-created math tutorial videos featured on this site using Camtasia with minimal technical instruction. Additionally,  Stacey Roshan of Maryland showed samples of videos her students made using Screenchomp on iPads.  Stacey, also shared with us one technique she is using to flip her classroom by providing them with Camtasia videos she created. While long in duration by today’s standards at 15-30 minutes she wowed us by showing new Camtasia features in her videos such as intermittent quizzes and popup glossaries.

A significant theme emerged on day 1: Tablet PC + Microsoft OneNote provides a powerful teaching tool and Andrew Asikainen of St. Lois showed us how in a hands on session. Teachers in Andrew’s schools use OneNote as a personal learning environment for their student and require them to produce a portfolio of their work for all classes. Students use MS Skydrive to access and store their files (currently available to VCC students).

On this same theme and also building on the inspiring morning keynote, John Cristy of Virginia Tech presented an innovative add-on for Microsoft OneNote called VText. VText provides a framework for the creation and display of eTextbooks adding features such as:

  • Linked Split Screen
  • Window focus change on hover (as opposed to click)
  • Gestures for navigation and bookmarking
  • Bookmarked pages for quick returning
  • Notes Page
  • Bluetooth Scanner
  • Simple quiz system

Download John’s presentation

Click here to read the Day 2-3 notes…

Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education

Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller gives her TED talk about the mission and success of the Coursera MOOC platform:

http://www.ted.com/talks/daphne_koller_what_we_re_learning_from_online_education.html

Coursera’s mission (and the premise of Massive Open Online Courses in general) has raised some debate. You can read the comments in this video’s page to get an idea…

Internationalization of Curriculum: Terry Fuller

On Nov. 5, 2012, the Centre for Instructional Development proudly presented the workshop “Internationalization of Curriculum”, presented by Terry Fuller.

Terry Fuller worked for BCIT for many years before retiring in 2010. She has lived in other countries and traveled to Europe, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America. In 2008, while at BCIT, she headed a research project on internationalization of the curriculum. BCIT has initiated several of the recommendations from her research.

In the video clips below, Terry Fuller highlights her recommendations and suggests strategies to internationalize curricula.

Terry Fuller, Internationalization – Clip 1 of 2

Terry Fuller, Internationalization – Clip 1 of 2

Online Ingredients Increase Critical Thinking and Skills Development for VCC Baking Students

By Robin Popow (Instructional Associate, Centre for Instructional Development)

In 2011 VCC’s Baking and Pastry Arts Department embarked on a curriculum redevelopment project for their Artisan Baking Certificate and Pastry Certificate programs.

It was decided early that the new curriculum would utilize affordances offered by the online environment to help increase retention, student engagement and reflective practice.

While the project was clearly a collaborative effort with department and college members, instructor and project lead, Fionna Chong sat down and shared the details of this exciting project. While the curriculum was redeveloped for these programs, the focus of our discussion was on the instructional strategies and use of educational technology. Two primary strategies were described including the use of videos and reflective journaling.

Instructional Videos

Videos illustrating critical concepts were created to offer students the ability to revisit lessons outside the classroom to better accommodate their own pace of learning. Referred to as ‘Concepts’ these videos have proven to be very useful to students and provide an excellent example of how a conservative approach can be taken to create videos that are targeted towards achieving outcomes while being practical and easy to produce.

Another series of demonstration videos target those laboratory demonstrations that either take too long to set up or are not necessarily easy for all students to see. The primary aim of these videos is to reduce the amount of time instructors spend on theory so they can increase the amount of time instructors can give supporting students in their hands-on work. This is found by many applied programs to be most beneficial for helping students hone their skills as well as constructing and connecting their knowledge.

Screen Capturing Presentations

Fionna has developed a system for creating her videos that allows her to use applications she already knows without having to become expert or spend loads of time video editing. Typically, she creates a slide show of pertinent points using Microsoft PowerPoint, then runs the slideshow and adds narration while filming using the screencast application Active Presenter.

This enables her to break out of her slideshow and run videos or draw on a blackboard application just as she would normally do in a face-to-face classroom. At the time of this interview, the Baking Departments YouTube channel boasted a series of concept and lab-demo videos with more than 5000 views. Fionna has received very positive feedback from students stating “…this is [particularly] wonderful for learners who are ESL”.

TED-Ed

TED Ed lesson

Click the image to see a sample of a lesson used by Baking students

The program is also beginning to use a new web application created by Ted.com which allows you to use engaging videos to create customized lessons. As stated on the TED-Ed beta site,You can use, tweak, or completely redo any lesson featured on TED-Ed, or create lessons from scratch based on any video from YouTube.

Reflective Journaling

Historically, the Baking Department has considered reflective practice as a core instructional strategy but found that students often provided shallow statements such as “I will need to try harder next time”, or “I burned the bread again”. Fionna suggested that students “…just weren’t thinking critically enough to reflect in a meaningful way” and needed to learn how to reflect. As a result, the new curriculum requires students to contribute on a regular basis to an online journal or what they call a “Folio Hub” using the WordPress blogging platform.

Click here to visit the sample page – use “dessertwine” as the password

In addition to samples of good posts of reflective practice the hub serves as a place for teaching students how to think critically to provide meaningful contributions.  RubricBefore starting, students are required to assess a sample student journal using a Reflective Journaling Rubric.

Instructors provide feedback on students journal contributions in effort to make crucial connections that students may miss.  Fionna noted that “…it’s all about connecting the theory to their practice in the lab” and added that even though a constant struggle may always exist to get those who wish not to write to contribute regularly, students are now talking and even helping each other with the project – reaching a whole new level of engagement. Instructors have found that, “they really enjoy reading the posts!”

When asked what the department plans next, Fionna suggested that potential exists for using interactive animations and other learning objects that may already be available. Additionally, the department would like to provide some of these new strategies to their apprentice classes but for now are concentrating on getting all instructors familiar with the new curriculum.

Anyone interested in finding out more about any of the information provided in this post is encouraged to contact the Centre for Instructional Development (CID) at dlsupport@vcc.ca.

Student Engagement Techniques Part 1: Bob Aiken

On Sept. 26, 2012, the Centre for Instructional Development proudly presented the workshop “Student Engagement Techniques Part 1”, facilitated by Bob Aiken of the School of Instructor Education at Vancouver Community College.

Student Engagement Techniques

Students learn more when they are actively engaged in learning, rather than passively listening. Presented by Bob Aiken of the School for Instructor Education at Vancouver Community College, the Student Engagement Techniques series is a three-part series of workshops that will explore different techniques that instructors can use to get students actively engaged in learning.

Part 1: Stations, Team Jeopardy, Artifacts and Quotes

In the video clips below, each technique was demonstrated and participant-instructors were given opportunities to discuss how they could use them in their own classes.

Bob Aiken, VCC – Clip 1 of 2

Bob Aiken, VCC – Clip 1 of 2