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Online Learning and Learning Technologies [clear filter]
Wednesday, December 9

1:00pm EST

Implementing a University-wide Learning Technologies Coaches Program
The University of Calgary is implementing a program that will provide coaching and mentoring for instructors who are integrating learning technologies in their courses. The coaches are supported in an integrated, multidisciplinary community of practice, with professional development and communication facilitated through personnel in the Educational Development Unit. The distributed and context-specific nature of the coaches embedded in each faculty allows for flexibility in supporting various platforms and pedagogies, while also providing central coordination and professional development of the coaches.

This program was designed after the "D2L Coaches" model that was implemented by several faculties during the campus migration to D2L, and the scope has been broadened to include exploration and integration of any relevant learning technologies in all faculties at the University of Calgary. I will share a high-level overview of the program, as well as examples of how the Coach model has transformed the integration of learning technologies across the University of Calgary.

avatar for D'Arcy Norman

D'Arcy Norman

Associate Director, University of Calgary

Wednesday December 9, 2015 1:00pm - 1:30pm EST
Meeting Room B

1:30pm EST

Using Technology to Create a Positive Feedback Approach to Procedural Learning
How much do students really retain by simply reading a laboratory protocol? This presentation will provide participants with an overview of a novel laboratory design whereby learning is blended and extended. Prior to lab, students will complete a “choose your own adventure” style online decision tree exercise. In the decision tree students are presented with a scenario, and must execute the experiment through selecting different options (such as quantities of reagent to add, order of steps, and analysis of data). Selections will lead students down different experimental “paths” where they can receive feedback on their choices. The decision tree is a formative assessment that allows students to safely “fail” before attending the wet laboratory session. Participants will learn about the pedagogy behind the course and decision tree design. They will also learn how the decision trees are built and explore the potential of using the “choose your own adventure” style of decision-making for a variety of disciplines. Participants will have the opportunity to try a decision tree exercise and are encouraged to bring their own device.


Michelle Belton

Western University

Nicole Campbell

Western University

Jay Loftus

Western University

Sarah McLean

Western University

Wednesday December 9, 2015 1:30pm - 2:00pm EST
Meeting Room B

2:00pm EST

The Question of Labs: Questions that the Possibility of Online Laboratories Raise for Accreditation and the Role of the Lab in STEM Education

In STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and other disciplines, laboratory experiences are typically valued as opportunities for students to gain experience by applying concepts they have learned in a hands-on environment. Beyond giving a framework for the concepts, labs are seen as critical to the development of scientific and engineering problem solving skills. However, the structure and implementation of typical laboratories focus on a straight-forward procedure implementation that questions some of those basic assumptions on the utility of labs. As various possibilities for a virtual or online delivery of very similar content arise, fundamental questions around what labs are for, how they are structured and how resources should be allocated begin to gain greater importance in science and engineering education.

In this session, we will discuss the implications of transitioning laboratory experiences from a traditional physical setting to a virtual one in an online course in the context of the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster. In particular, we will examine the questions that the possibilities of going virtual raises within the context of existing simulations and other resources on the Internet. Participants will be invited to engage in a facilitated discussion on the implications of using virtual tools to substitute physical experiments. The facilitators will welcome feedback on possible assessment tools on the pedagogy and engagement nexus.


Carly Van Egdom

McMaster University

Greg Van Gastel

McMaster University

Ayse Turak

McMaster University

Wednesday December 9, 2015 2:00pm - 2:30pm EST
Meeting Room B

2:30pm EST

Using a Classroom Response System in the Spanish Classroom: Instructor and Student Experiences

Classroom response systems (CRS, such as iClickers) are widely recognized as tools that increase attendance and participation and promote active learning in the classroom (Graham et al., 2007; Heaslip, Donovan& Cullen, 2014). CRS are largely associated with large lecture classes in the sciences and are currently underutilized in second language instruction (Cardoso, 2011; McCloskey, 2012; Serafini, 2013). To address an increased enrolment cap of 100 students in each of 7 lecture sections in 2015-2016, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese is piloting the use of a CRS (TopHat) in its first-year language course (SPA100Y). It is anticipated that this will:

  • increase student attendance and class preparation.
  • increase student participation in individual and group classroom learning activities. 
  • improve classroom management (attendance and participation monitoring)

The success of CRS use will be examined from both the learner’s and the instructor’s perspective. Their experiences are examined through (i) an anonymous survey administered to the students and (ii) open-ended oral interviews conducted with the 4 course instructors. Both groups will respond to questions regarding their perception of the effectiveness of CRS use on student learning, engagement, attendance and participation. The instructors will also evaluate whether the benefits of CRS use outweigh any additional training and increased preparation time required. The students will comment on the cost of purchasing CRS access.

This paper presents results from the initial surveys and interviews to be conducted in November, 2015 and includes an interactive presentation of TopHat where participants try out some of the available question types.


Cardoso, W. (2011). Learning a foreign language with a learner response system: The students' perspective. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 24(5), 393-417.

Graham, C.R., Tripp, T.R., Seawright, L., & Joeckel, G.L. (2007). Empowering or compelling reluctant participators using audience response systems. Active Learning in Higher Education8(3), 233-258.

Heaslip, G., Donovan, P., & Cullen, J. (2014). Student response systems and learner engagement in large classes. Active Learning in Higher Education, 15(1), 11-24.

McCloskey, K. (2012). Using clickers in the second-language classroom: Teaching the passé composé and imparfait in French. GSTF Journal of Law and Social Sciences (JLSS), 2(1), 235-239.

Serafini, E.J. (2013). Learner perceptions of clickers as a source of feedback in the classroom. In K. McDonough & A. Mackey (Eds.), Second language interaction in diverse educational settings (pp. 209-226). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Top Hat Monocle Inc. (2015). TopHat Interactive Teaching Platform.  Available at: https://tophat.com/


Anna Limanni

University of Toronto

Wednesday December 9, 2015 2:30pm - 3:00pm EST
Meeting Room B