Conference Abstracts

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Concurrent Sessions 1
2:00 – 2:45 PM
Transitioning in High School: Teaching through Storytelling
Vincent Bolt

Back in 2005 I came out to my teachers as transgender, and I started my transition. I was the first student in my Sudbury high school to come out at school and transition publicly. This forced the school to make immediate changes to policies, and figure out how to support my needs as a student. In 2006 I started doing public speaking in local high schools about my experience as someone who is transgender. I will share what the school did to make school a supportive environment, and how it was a teacher who saved my life. I will cover the steps that teachers, schools, support staff, and anyone working with youth can do to make their spaces safer and affirming for transgender youth. My position includes speaking to 1,000 to 1,500 high school and elementary school students every year about my experience. I train teachers, education students, and support staff how to ensure that the students they support have a school environment that is safe and affirming for transgender students. According to research by Egale Canada Human Rights Trust 14 % of Canadian high school students identify as LGBTQ. They also found that 90% of trans youth reported hearing transphobic remarks daily or weekly at school, and 44% miss school because they feel unsafe (Taylor, et al., 2011, pp. 22-23). It is important to create safer school environments for Transgender youths who may not have supportive homes, or spaces outside of school. The work that TG Innerselves has done with schools has changed policies within schools and has created empathy for the experiences of students as they transition. This presentation will highlight the impact these presentations have had, and how they are changing the experiences of students and teachers.

Transition, especially for teenagers is representative of the Eastern direction. This represents a new beginning, and rebirth. It is a time of change, and new opportunities. It is also a time when people are incredibly vulnerable. This presentation will reveal the knowledge I obtained while going through this stage. This also relates to the Northern direction, as a storyteller I share my knowledge and experience, and humanize the experience of transgender youths. The impact of a human story is far greater than only seeing numbers on a graph. As someone who has travelled through this journey I reflect on ways that teachers and students can create safer schools for transgender students.

Taylor, C., Peter, T., McMinn, T.L., Elliott, T., Beldom, S., Ferry, A., Gross, Z., Paquin, S., & Schachter, K. (2011). Every class in every school: The first national climate survey on homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia in Canadian schools. Final report. Toronto, ON: Egale Canada Human Rights Trust.

Faculty and Instructional designers’ teamwork in higher education: From what we have known to what we would like to go
Yuan Chen, Saul Carliner

Background: The role of instructional designers in higher education has significantly evolved in the past decade or so. Instructional designers are professionals who apply a systematic process to analyze learning problems; plan, develop and implement learning programs, and evaluate those programs to improve learning experiences and outcomes (Reiser, 2001, p. 57).

As Fink (2003) notes: a carefully designed course has the potential to promote “significant learning” among learners. Traditionally, instructional designers in higher education have worked as consultants to faculty, providing one-to-one consultation and assisting with the preparation of course materials, as stated by Fink (2003), these activities have been called faculty development. With the rise of online teaching and learning initiatives in higher education institutions (Pan & Thompson, 2009), instructional designers work differently than those in faculty development. Realizing the potential of online courses places instructional designers in a different role: part of a collaboration with faculty members and technology specialists (Gagne, Wager, Golas & Keller, 2005; Stevens, 2013).

Faculty members are recommended to work with instructional designers when designing and developing online courses (Roytek, 2010), but many do not follow that advice and report tension in the faculty – instructional designer relationship abound. As a result, this relationship has become the subject of research.

Purpose: This paper presents a systematic review of this emerging literature on the relationship between faculty and instructional designers who work together to develop online and blended courses at higher educational institutions. It identifies the extent of the research available, key themes that have been studied, and gaps in the literature as per the guidance of Torraco (2005).

Methodology: Following Sample, Phenomenon of interest, Design, Evaluation, Research type (SPIDER) (Cooke et al., 2012) search strategy and pre-defined inclusion and exclusion criteria, we identified 57 peer-reviewed articles published from 2000 to 2017 that addressed the relationship between faculty and instructional designers in higher education. The analyzed results were categorized into five themes, and the themes were reported and analyzed for conclusions and gaps in the literature.

Results and Conclusions: Themes identified in the literature include 1. ways faculty and instructional designers work together; 2. faculty and instructional designers’ roles in the working relationship; 3. faculty and instructional designers’ expectations and perceptions towards each other; 4. the design and development process followed by faculty and instructional designers from different institutions; And 5. the benefits and issues or concerns mentioned by faculty and instructional designers.

This systematic review presents a picture of the current nature of the relationship and provides emerging guidance for the two parties to work together. It also identifies gaps in the literature, such as limited studies exploring the relationship from the faculty perspective.

Target audience are Instructional designers in online learning and faculty development units in higher education. Also, administrators and faculty members who work with instructional designers and researchers studying this relationship.

From Classroom to PLN
Angela van Barneveld

The purpose of this session is to share the experiences and reflections of learners’ efforts to establish a professional learning network (PLN) using social media as a partial requirement of an asynchronous online graduate education course. Often times, social media in education is used to engage in academic activities such as sharing course information, assignment updates, homework information, timeline and deadline reminders, test information, and posing course-based questions to mentors or peers (Bista, 2015; Tang & Hew, 2017). The focus is primarily communication about the course. Additionally, the use of social media is ideally suited to the task of developing PLNs and optimizing professional development opportunities (Noble, McQuillan, & Littenberg-Tobias, 2016). In this session, we will discuss the integration of social media to move learners beyond the confines of the classroom/LMS and support the development of their PLN. Talking points include design considerations, formal and informal support structures. Data sources include class surveys, learner blogs, and course evaluations. A model of adoption/engagement is also proposed. Learning outcomes include being able to (1) describe the value of social media for learning beyond the classroom context, and (2) define the process to establish a professional learning network (in this case, for teachers/educators). This session is appropriate for anyone who is interested in the design of learning experiences to establish PLNs through the use of social media, including college and university educators, online and distance education professionals, instructional designers and educational technologists.

Non-Linear Design Models for Learning
Melissa Jakubec

We will share our experiments with design approaches that challenge both the linearity of traditional course design and the limitations of the learning management system. Instead, the learning space yields to the individual needs and interests of the learner, making for a more intimate and uniquely personal learning experience.

In ENLG 3991 Voices of Protest and Rebellion in Contemporary American Literature, the course material is organized to not only allow but encourage learners to plot their own learning path: literary works and other course materials (e.g., assignments, commentaries, polemical arguments, archival footage, etc.) are presented in a gallery, image-based setting thereby providing learners with multiple points of access into the course. In HIST 1221, the use of interactive image based activities provide learners with connections to place and community, both in and outside the course spaces, outside the constraints of time and place. In both examples, the course creators hold that self-directed, online learning environments are uniquely suited to enable learners to discover ideas, map their own intuitive learning pathways and realize their own unique voices of protest and rebellion.

Concurrent Sessions 2
3:45pm – 4:30pm
Leveraging human capacities in digital learning environments
Steve Cairns, Laura Killam

Current and future innovation in digital health and artificial intelligence technologies pose significant disruption in the organization and delivery of health care systems. The rate of change and potential for exponential growth in machine learning requires us anticipate the need for cultural transformation in our approaches to health education, and to consider new insight into the organization of our uniquely human capacities and communities.

This session aims to explore ideas to humanize our digital experiences through a lens of relational practice as expressed in online nursing education. Being in relation refers to the five ontological capacities of compassion, curiosity, commitment, competence, and corresponding (Doane and Varcoe, 2015). Session participants will engage in a conversation into the cultural shift of reclaiming human presence in digital communications and engagement. The complexities and opportunities of nurturing a relational core as part of digital literacy among health care providers will be explored as; 1) A reaffirmation of our humanity in digital environments, and 2) A potential strength within human knowledge networks.

Doane, G. & Varcoe, C. (2015). How to nurse? Relational inquiry with individuals and families in changing health and healthcare contexts. Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins

Mapping, the Instructional Design Process, and the 21st Century Educator – An Approach to Course Design
Sarah Bouchard, Kelly Brennan

Ideal for instructional designers at the university or college level, this presentation will demonstrate how to examine course mapping at the macro and micro levels during the course design process for both distance and face to face course delivery.

Using mapping as the foundation, we will also illustrate how building a course with the integration and application of many of the characteristics, habits, and behaviours of the Ontario Extend Anatomy of the 21st Century Educator leads to a learner-centred empathic approach to the team-based course design process.

This presentation is largely based on experiences working with faculty and course authors in the post-secondary environment.

By the end of the workshop, attendees will have had the opportunity to:

  • Consider the benefits of course mapping at the macro and micro levels;
  • Reflect on their own current instructional design practices and how this approach might be complementary to or amalgamated with their process;
  • Identify and distinguish some of the different skills, habits, and behaviours of the Ontario Extend Anatomy of the 21st Century Educator.
Students’ thoughts and experiences of participating in environmental engagement opportunities
Nicole Yantzi

An important pedagogical question in environmental courses is how to help first year students realize that they are members of broader environmental communities both on and off campus? How do we encourage them to be involved in the numerous environmental engagement opportunities that are available to them? For the past two times that I have taught ENVI 1507: Introduction to Environmental Studies at Laurentian University students have completed personal environmental engagement write-ups. Students must participate in three different opportunities that I list in Desire2Learn. If they want to use an event or activity that is not on the list, including one in their hometown, they must receive prior approval. The list of diverse possible opportunities is constantly updated, with examples of this year’s events including an art show, an IMAX film, meetings of local environmental groups, and lectures on campus. Throughout the term students must submit a short write-up about three opportunities including what it is about, who is attending, their impressions and also links to ideas from their textbook. Reading these write-ups provides anecdotal evidence of the value of these different opportunities. The purpose of the assignment aligns with the need to humanize the learning experience and to help first year students expand their horizons beyond their single residence room and their computer screen. This presentation will feature questionnaire data from past students to determine whether this assignment meets the goals of helping students to: 1) realize that they are part of a broader environmental community; 2) understand the importance of community involvement and 3) contribute to their understanding of course material. Upon receiving Research Ethics Board approval I will disseminate a questionnaire to past ENVI 1507 students through the use of D2L. Students will be able to use REDCap, a secure- web based questionnaire management tool, to answer an on-line questionnaire anonymously. In a separate link I will ask students for their permission to share some excerpts of their write-ups as a way to provide an in-depth understanding of the value of the assignment.

The focus of this presentation will be the descriptive analysis of the questionnaire supplemented by quotations taken directly from students’ assignments. Students will respond on a scale from strongly agree to strongly disagree to a number of questions to determine their opinions and experiences concerning the assignment. While discovering innovative ways to use technology in the classroom is important, experiences and learnings outside the classroom are also important in fostering students’ senses of community belonging and involvement. This assignment takes a great deal of instructor time and energy and it is important to evaluate whether the goals of the assignment are being achieved. It is expected that this presentation will be of interest to post-secondary school teachers. Participants will: understand: 1) how students feel about this type of assignment; 2) students’ experiences with the different opportunities; 3) whether students feel that the assignment helped with the overall understanding of the course; and 4) whether students have continued being involved in the community.

The impact of the flipped classroom compared to the traditional lecture on student achievement in higher education: A meta-analysis
Carol Sparkes, Robert Bernard

Many studies have been conducted on the impact of the flipped classroom on student achievement in higher education as compared to the traditional lecture. The results of individual studies are difficult to generalize to the population due to the relatively small and limited samples. To overcome this limitation, we systematically reviewed all the studies conducted between 2000 and 2017 and analyzed them into one number to show the overall average effect. This big picture does not just count studies that find a higher effect in one direction or the other but takes into account the number of participants and the size of the effect.

This doctoral dissertation is the first true systematic review and meta-analysis that measures the impact of the flipped classroom model of blended learning on student achievement in higher education. Educators, instructional designers, educational technologists and researchers will be interested in the process as well as the results. Discover whether the flipped classroom’s impact is significantly different for STEM or nonSTEM courses. By the end of this session, you will be able to comment on the overall average effect of the flipped classroom on student achievement in higher education and discuss possible reasons for this difference as determined from this evidence-based research.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Concurrent Sessions 3
10:15am – 11:00am
Painting the Human Element
Dr. Artina Voz, Alix Voz

This presentation will showcase the results of our arts-based inquiry which links the use of technology in education and the human element in teaching and learning in Northern Ontario. Through this research-creation project, we explored the importance of the human element, communities of practice, and the use of technology in education in both distance and face-to-face teaching environments.

The paintings present the complexity of the relationship between innovative technology and the human element. Each painting in the collection explores a subject of discourse like learning and knowing through reflection, preserving the human element, technology in education, and strengthening identity and culture.

The viewer brings knowledge of teaching and learning practices to the exhibit and is encouraged to reflect on the evolving use technologies and the importance of the preservation of the human element in distance and face-to-face classrooms.

Inspired by reflections on our teaching and learning experiences in northern Ontario, the artwork created for the presentation Painting the Human Element reveals that we can preserve the human element while using technology in education. This research-creation project offers a hopeful interdisciplinary view of the relationship between the use of technology in education and the human element, and communities of practice in teaching and learning.

Straying from the Literary Canon in a Language Course
Michael Dabrowski

The majority of second language acquisition programs in Canada focus on a linguistic and literature track and as such the emphasis is on reading historically canonized or marginalized texts in the target language preparing students for careers in academia as literary scholars. However, most students that enrol in second language programs will not continue to the literary tacks and come from a very diverse spectrum of academic backgrounds and interests. As enrolment plummets in foreign languages, we explored a more socially relevant way to engage this diverse body of students and to compliment their interests while learning a foreign language. We took an Intermediate level cohort of students of Spanish through the creation of an Open Educational Resource that is entirely based on the 17 UNESCO Sustainable Development Goals. This presentation will discuss the project, the process, the outcomes, and reflections about the experience.

Nursing Student Reflections on a Cross-Cultural Clinical Experience
Christina Sckopke, Karla Ghartey, Emily Donato

A cross-cultural nursing elective was offered in spring session of 2017 focusing on community health in a developing country. The community nursing placement occurred in Ghana in three small communities- two of them were in rural areas. Eleven nursing students attended with two nursing professors as part of an immersion into the communities for three weeks. The main objectives of the placement experience were to learn about the country’s health care system and to participate in community nursing placements in clinics and schools. Guided reflections to evaluate learning were completed prior to the immersion experience and after the students returned home. These reflections allowed the students to determine their learning goals and expectations before the immersion experience and to describe and reflect on the learning experiences that took place while in Ghana after the experience. Thematic analysis of these reflections demonstrated the personal growth, clinical learning and cross-cultural learning that occurred among the students.

Building Foundations for an AR-supported reconciliation learning project: Curriculum design update
Diane Janes, Diana Steinhauer, Stewart Steinhauer, Rob McMahon, Amanda Almond

In 2017, a team of community partners from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, researchers and students from the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Extension, applied for 3-year funding from the University for a ‘proof of concept’ called ‘We are all related’. The project aimed to develop and apply an iterative ‘learning by design’ process whereby students and faculty would work with Indigenous knowledge keepers and partners to engage in reconciliation learning by co-creating a digital Augmented Reality (AR) design process and associated resources. Phase 1 – co-create an AR application with a curriculum/guidebook about Indigenous-settler relations associated with the Sweetgrass Bear sculpture housed in the Faculty (a former Hudson Bay site). Phase 2 – develop a set of questions/learning activities for classroom settings with Indigenous partners across disciplines, campus and community. Phase 3 – involve the evaluation, dissemination and replication of the learning process and AR resources across the University for use by students, faculty, Indigenous partners and the public at large.

The team was funded and launched an 18-month project to develop a ‘proof of concept’ as well as associated relational and institutional frameworks. We are working with partners both inside and outside the university community to explore key issues including: ownership and sustainability of the material after creation; revitalization of the Indigenous (Cree) language, as an outcome of the AR work; existing reconciliation learning resources; mutually-beneficial relationships among Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners; and appropriate and effective AR platforms that we can use to develop the proof of concept. Throughout this work we have tried to honour the ownership of the stories, and respect for the knowledge and stories that would form the basis of our AR project. This included participating in ceremony to launch the project and visiting Saddle Lake to meet with our Indigenous partners. This focus and foundation, we believe, will make our AR project more, sustainable, appropriate, accessible, and respectful – and in this way contribute to broader efforts to build respectful and enduring relationships among our community partners and our Institution.

Speaking from the perspective of settler partners working in the University of Alberta, this presentation will review the work done to date in building this foundation for our AR and Indigenous storytelling project. Our aim is to help instructional designers, administrators, and faculty inside post-secondary institutions work with community partners to incorporate reconciliation-focused curriculum into their disciplines in higher education, in appropriate and reciprocal ways. We will also present on our plans to ‘operationalize’ this work through a sample AR design process and associated content, a graduate course built around the project to take place in Fall 2018, and our efforts to pilot, and evaluate the work of this project in partnership with our Indigenous partners, who include Knowledge Keepers, digital storytellers, and the AR app designer. The presentation will inform instructional designers, faculty and Indigenous scholars, as well as educational technologists as we explore Instructional Design as, and for reconciliation.

Poster Session: Ontario Extend: Engage, Explore and Empower Educators
Joanne Kehoe

Ontario Extend is a capacity-building initiative, that was developed and piloted with the 10 publicly funded Northern Ontario colleges and universities. The project was designed and developed in the belief that the impact on learning should be the primary motivator for creating technology-enabled and online learning experiences. It is grounded in a framework presented in the Anatomy of 21st Century Educators as described by Simon Bates (2014), that focuses on 6 attributes: Teacher for Learning, Technologist, Curator, Collaborator, Scholar and Experimenter. The Domain of One’s Own, a key element of the project provides a way for educators to have a digital space that is entirely their own to experiment and to practice the key attributes that Bates identified.

The resources and activities focus on the skills, knowledge, and attributes required to extend and transform teaching and learning practices. They are a starting point, an activity-oriented set of challenges that are intended to stimulate further thought and collaboration. The Extend resources are openly licensed and available for all Ontario post-secondary institutions to adopt, adapt, reuse or remix as part of their own educator development initiatives.

This poster will focus on the Ontario Extend framework and how it can be adapted to various teaching and learning context to encourage exploration of resources, engagement in learning activities and extending of skills to empower the creation of better learning experiences.

Concurrent Sessions 4
11:15am – 12:00pm
Interculturality in a Blended Learning Program in Community Engagement
Lorraine Mercer, Lorraine Carter

In a dynamic back and forth discussion of theory and practice, this presentation will demonstrate critical reflection on the development and delivery of a blended learning adult education program called Leadership in Community Engagement. The presenters will identify various theoretical principles of intercultural curriculum as evident in the literature and used in the leadership program. Attendees will be introduced to descriptions of culture, relevant educational theories, and key concepts associated with intercultural learning including cultural awareness and reflection, cultural relativism, critical awareness, cultural safety/cultural security, and scaffolded learning.

This blended learning program is presently offered by McMaster University’s Centre for Continuing Education with the support of McMaster’s Office of Community Engagement, the Hamilton Community Foundation, and McMaster’s Faculty of Social Sciences. It is grounded in social justice theory, community-based development processes, and thoughtful insights into power, privilege, and intercultural dynamics that arise in community programs and leadership.

Launched in Fall 2016, the program serves professionals working in or aspiring to work in diverse community contexts. To date, participants have included persons working for the City of Hamilton; the Hamilton Public Library; Hamilton-Wentworth School Board; the not for profit sector including the YMCA; the Hamilton Legal Clinic; the Social Planning and Research Council; McMaster University; community leaders from the rural community of Dunnville, Ontario; and other organizations. Adult learning practices and the blended learning model are used in the courses, and have fostered unique understandings of culture, interculturality, and community that are then transferred to practice.

Through this presentation, participants will learn about intercultural curricular theory and practices in the context of McMaster University’s Leadership in Community Engagement Program. The presenters will welcome participants’ comments and questions about the conceptualization of the program, how the program is delivered through an intercultural lens, and how a blended learning model supports the learning of a community of adult learners committed to making a difference in this time when community values, diversity, and inclusion are critical to the fabric of a civil society.

Through participation in the program, participants will be able to:

  • Identify theory and principles of intercultural learning in practice
  • Discuss the merits of intercultural learning in an adult education context
  • Apply critical reflection to online and blended learning development and delivery
  • Explain how the Leadership in Community Engagement program is an example of an intercultural blended learning program for adult learners
Blended Open Education in the Humanities
James Skidmore

University academics in general, and humanities scholars in particular, can be reluctant to get involved in open educational practices. Issues identified in the literature (e.g. UNESCO’s Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources, 2015; Downes, 2007; Weller, 2014; Friesen, 2009; Allen and Seaman, 2014) include institutional or disciplinary cultures that relegate teaching to secondary status; the notion that tenure and promotion come only through one’s success at research; the amount of time instructors need to invest to make course materials more widely accessible; reticence to expose one’s teaching practices to an audience of peers; lack of necessary technical skills; lack of practice communicating to an audience of non-experts.

At the same time, however, many scholars are participating in various open educational efforts, perhaps without even realizing that this work is part of a larger educational movement. Open education is not a black-and-white proposition where resources either are or are not open, but rather a type of spectrum. On one end of the spectrum are traditional closed practices based on commercial materials, and at the other end fully open courses. But most humanities instructors will fall somewhere in between; they might provide some materials that are copyright-free, others through fair dealing, still others available to those with access to that university library’s online journals or reference materials. I call this form of materials curation Blended OER, because like Blended Learning it is often a mix of the traditional and the new.

As part of my recent appointment as an Open Education Resources Fellow at eCampusOntario, I am creating professional development activities that promote the awareness of Blended OER. By equipping instructors in the humanities disciplines with the skills needed to improve and expand their creation and adoption of open educational resources, I hope to address some of the barriers to open educational practices identified above. These activities will illustrate styles of OER that can be used in the humanities disciplines, address technical matters on the creation and curation of OER for the humanities, explain the use of the Creative Commons licensing system, and suggest strategies for using OER development in tenure and promotion applications.

My presentation will give an overview of the professional development activities and show how they will be implemented, both virtually and face-to-face, in Ontario.


A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER). (2015). UNESCO and Commonwealth of Learning.

Allen, I. Elaine and Jeff Seaman (2014). Opening the Curriculum: Open Educational Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2014. Babson Survey Research Group.

Downes, Stephen. (2007). “Models for Sustainable Open Educational Resources.” Interdisciplinary Journal of Knowledge and Learning Objects 3.

Friesen, N. (2009). “Open Educational Resources: New Possibilities for Change and Sustainability.” The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 10(5).

Weller, Martin. (2014). The Battle for Open. How Openness Won and Why It Doesn’t Feel Like a Victory. Ubiquity Press.

 Urban Indigenous Education Centre
Mervi Salo

In 2017 Indigenous Education Centre and First Nations School of Toronto have moved into the same building. It is the beginning of a vision for a new Urban Indigenous Education Centre of Excellence. The vision is for a community hub including not only space for learning, healing, and community engagement, but also the expansion to include a media centre. It will be a school, professional learning centre, research centre, and a student support centre providing wrap around supports. The school and Centre are being Indigenized including Community space for Solstice Feasts, Drum Socials, and Pow Wows. A satellite site at a former Outdoor Education Centre at the Boyne River that bring technology and traditional knowledge together. Exploration of how to create a modern Indigenous space to create media for MOOCs for the professional learning of the entire school board (37 000 employees), extending community engagement in multi-generational Ojibwe Language Nests through podcasts, “Ask an elder” webcasts, and student/community digital storytelling projects. Community involvement through the Aboriginal Community Advisory Council, Aboriginal Steering Council, and Elders’ Council will be critical to the development of the Urban, Rural and Virtual environments. Stories and experiences will be shared about the exploration of relationship between both Western and educational settings that centre Indigenous voice and creating a sustainable environment. This presentation may be of interest to K-12 Educators or those interested in Indigenous Education.

Creating Connections For Learning Through YouTube
Laura Killam, Jessica O’Reilly

While YouTube is not new to education, ongoing evaluation of new ways to use it and improve its effectiveness enables innovation. As a video creator, the possibilities are endless. Imagine being able to help your students anytime they needed you. Now imagine that you could just as easily help students around the world in the process. Videos can target the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains of Bloom’s taxonomy while remaining highly accessible on handheld devices (May, Wedgeworth, & Bigham, 2013). There is a clear need be cautious when selecting videos created by others for learning to ensure they are accurate and help students meet course objectives (Agazio & Buckley, 2009; Jaffar, 2012; May et al., 2013). It is often difficult to find a video that meets all the needs of learners in a particular course. For these reasons, Jaffar (2012) suggests that creation of videos by faculty is the optimal strategy for promoting effective student learning.

As Blankenship (2011) states “… the most inescapable truth about social media in education: No matter what one thinks of them, they aren’t going away … we need our choices to be well informed.” The presenters share their experiences in YouTube video use and creation and offers tips for others who are considering incorporating this strategy into their practice. The presenters’ experiences include creating videos targeted at postsecondary students and assisting in the development of student-led video creation at a highly innovative JK to 6 school. Having taught both in-person and online, the presenters have found that video has been particularly useful for improving perceived approachability. Sharing of these experiences will help other educators consider if and how they may use YouTube.

The presentation will be targeted to the needs and experience level of the audience. By the end of this presentation, learners will be able to: a) consider ways to integrate existing videos into teaching practices, b) identify areas where video creation may be useful in their practice, c) if desired, begin planning a strategy to be found on YouTube, and d) be aware of potential legal issues involved in video creation (ownership of material and copyright).

Concurrent Sessions 5
1:45pm – 2:30pm
Mentoring graduate students at a distance: A case study in progress
Kathleen (Kate) Lenert, Diane Janes

Over the past decades many graduate programs have moved online for a variety of reasons. Support for student learning flexibility; the negation of time and space with respect to travel and time in class for learners; the global, cross-border objective for learning, have all had an impact on how we engage with classmates and instructors in our online classrooms. Yet the darker side of this engagement has been a loss, to some extent, of the connections graduate students made, in the past, with faculty mentors in face-to-face settings, mentors who introduced the learner beyond the discipline specific content and thinking into the discipline itself. These mentors who were located (often with tenure) at the bricks and mortar institution, and who were ‘present’ during the learners’ studies, had opportunities to offer students (both full- and part-time): student stipends for research and in-depth coaching, conference attendance and presentations that were encouraged and guided, and the introduction of new academics to the Academy and the discipline. In addition, numerous full-time faculty positions, which included student mentoring as part of their duties, have disappeared leaving many students to the efforts of sessional, per course mentors who often lose access to the academic system of email, offices, libraries, and such, when their courses are over.

This is a case study of one sessional instructor (located in Alberta) and a graduate student (located in South Carolina) who met in an online graduate program (offered by the University of British Columbia). During two self-study courses, where the graduate student conducted a small research study, they formed a working bond that led to the instructor actively mentoring the graduate student through the study, the publication of a joint paper in an international journal, and the delivery of this paper to a national conference in 2017. It was at this conference that they met, in person, for the first time, after working together online since 2015.

This presentation, based on a paper being currently written by the presenters, will explore the journey of two individuals who chose to work together to create the mentoring that had been a staple in the face-to-face graduate program experienced by the mentor during her studies. Using telephone, Skype, Google Docs and other technology, they were able to recreate an equitable mentorship while living in two different countries.

Lessons here will be useful to current online graduate students, administrators, faculty (both sessional and full-time), in addition to instructional designers, on how to best connect students and teachers at a distance, to engage them in a mentoring process that will be beneficial to the graduate students, the sessional instructors and to the programs that brought them together.

After this session, participants will be able to: identify characteristics of mentor and mentees in distance education graduate programs; develop strategies for overcoming institutional and personal barriers, and nurture productive relationships remotely.

Le monde en ligne : une histoire d’équité pour les francophones
Lynn Landry

En 2009, les 12 Conseils de langue française de l’Ontario s’engageaient dans une aventure unique, en inventant de toute pièce, une entité qu’ils ont appelée : le Consortium d’apprentissage virtuel de langue française de l’Ontario (CAVLFO). Pourquoi? Pour permettre à tout élève fréquentant une école secondaire de langue française en Ontario, d’avoir accès, peu importe sa région, à un éventail de cours comparable aux élèves des régions urbaines. Et donc, un modèle de livraison de cours en ligne naît, transformant l’expérience d’apprentissage d’élèves francophones de tous les coins de la province.

Après quelques années de fonctionnement, quelles leçons avons-nous apprises?

  • Que nous révèlent les élèves suite à leur expérience d’apprentissage dans un cours en ligne?
  • Comment nos échanges avec les institutions post secondaires sont-elles une pratique gagnante?
  • Comment peut-on utiliser les ressources en ligne dans un contexte d’apprentissage hybride, pour développer les compétences mondiales chez les élèves?
  • Qu’avons-nous appris comme système de langue française?
  • Quels sont nos défis?

Laissez-nous vous raconter notre histoire…

Panel: Use of Open Educational Practices (OEP) and Resources (OER) in Ontario
Helen DeWaard (moderator) with Aaron Langille, Laura Killam, Jessica O’Reilly, and James Skidmore

The purpose of this panel is to introduce five of the eCampusOntario OER Fellows to CNIE participants, and for panel participants to share their experiences to date exploring use of OEP and OER in their Ontario post-secondary contexts. The Fellows are from diverse Ontario institutions that represent regional differences in approaches to post-secondary teaching and learning. In this 45-minute panel session, the Fellows will describe their work with eCampusOntario that includes in-person workshops at various campuses, a series of webinars related to use of OEP and OER in teaching practice, blogging and other forms of social media participation, and an action research project related to their individual interest in open practices for teaching and learning. The panel will engage in dialogue with conference attendees about the successes and challenges of using OEP and OER – where research and evidence of their value for Canadian post-secondary educators and learners is still in early stages.

The intended audience for the panel is post-secondary faculty members, administrators, staff member, and learners. By the end of the panel presentation, audience members should be able to do the following: define OEP and OER; articulate some of the benefits and challenges for educators and learners using OEP and OER in post-secondary teaching and learning; and, give examples of OEP and OER that might have value in their personal contexts.

OEP are defined as strategies that empower the (re)use of OER through pedagogic innovation including learner-centered curation and sharing (Ehlers, 2011). OER are defined as no-cost, openly licensed materials that may be adapted and used by anyone for learning (UNESCO, n.d.). Use of OEP and OER has the potential sustain the public good of public post-secondary education by reducing the overall cost of attending college or university for any learner, expanding the diversity of resources available for learning, helping to ensure that course resources are available to all learners in accessible digital or analog formats on day one of their course, and by expanding the potential of learners as co-creators of knowledge through the permissions for adaptation and sharing embedded in works licensed as OER (OLCOS, 2012).

eCampusOntario is a not-for-profit corporation funded by the Government of Ontario to be a centre of excellence in online and technology-enabled learning for all publicly-funded colleges and universities in Ontario. There are 24 colleges and 21 universities that are active members and partners in eCampusOntario’s work.


Ehlers, U.-D. (2011). Extending the territory: From open educational resources to open educational practices. Journal of Open, Flexible, and Distance Learning, 15(2), 1-10. Retrieved from

OLCOS (Open eLearning Content Observatory). (2012). Open educational practices and resources. G. Gester (Ed.). Retrieved from

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization). (n.d.). What are open educational resources (OERs)? Retrieved from

Digging into Badges, Virtual Labs and Experiential Learning through a Province-wide Sandbox
Joanne Kehoe

Support for the growth and expansion of technology-enabled learning and teaching is central to the mandate of eCampusOntario and its members. In June 2017, eCampusOntario announced an Expression of Interest (EOI) inviting its 45 member post-secondary institutions to participate in an EdTech Sandbox. The aim of the Sandbox is to provide institutions with an opportunity to explore a new set of tools to support technology-enabled learning in a risk-free environment.

The three areas of exploration and their partner vendors are:

  • Open Badging (CanCred)
  • Virtual Simulations (Labster)
  • Experiential Learning (Riipen)

Open Badging

The open badging exploration was initiated through provision of eight institutionally-branded CanCred Factory environments and the new eCampusOntario Passport. CanCred is a Canadian cloud-based open badge management platform for creating, issuing and managing meaningful digital credential systems. Earners can store, display and share their badges via the eCampusOntario Passport.

The Open Badging Sandbox gave our partner Institutions year-long access to explore how open badges can be created and employed as recognitions of learning in order to support and extend technology-enabled teaching and learning, particularly in the areas of:

  • Alternative recognition of learning
  • Recognition of prior learning

Virtual Simulations

The Virtual Simulations sandbox was enabled through the provision of 1,100 licenses for Labster’s suite of virtual laboratories and simulations modeled on real-world science lab experimentation and apparatus interactions.

The Virtual Simulations Sandbox allows institutions to explore how technology-enhanced teaching and learning can be supported and extended within the areas of:

  • Simulation-based teaching
  • Access and virtual versus physical learning spaces
  • Experiential and experimental learning
  • Occupational standards

Experiential Learning

The Experiential Learning Sandbox evaluation was made possible by providing three institutions access to the Riipen platform. The platform connects educators, learners and industry and enables work integrated learning options through student-industry engagement around transformation of course assignments into industry-recognized class projects.

The Experiential Learning Sandbox allows partner institutions to test-drive how technology-enhanced teaching and learning can be supported and extended within the areas of:

  • adaptable experiential learning opportunities
  • development of real-world experiences
  • building of employable skills
  • mentorship by experts working in the field
  • extension of classroom boundaries

The overall goal of these action-based pilot explorations is to generate a diverse collection of case studies based on hands-on experiences of educators and learners. These case studies will be used to inform future decision-making around potential shared services that will benefit Ontario’s Post-Secondary Environment.

An additional benefit of the sandbox is Ontario post-secondary institutions exploration of educational technologies across many spectrums. Our many institutional partners’ pilot projects include undergraduate and graduate courses/programs, professional and continuing education, co-curricular record, faculty development, learner entrepreneurial initiatives and mobile applications.

This session will provide attendees with an overview of those projects and how eCampusOntario works to engage their institutional partners in evaluation around technologies that support learning and teaching. The Expression of Interest, implementation and support and evaluation and reporting processes will be highlighted. Our partner institutions recently submitted a status report and will be submitting a mid-term report in March and this preliminary data and feedback will be shared.

Concurrent Sessions 6
2:45pm – 3:30pm
Biindigeshkaa Naanda-Gikendan – Entering Inside to Seek Knowledge and Learn
Arlene Johnson, Susan Manitowabi, Sheri Cecchetto (Laurentian University)

Reconciliation includes supporting academic learning and professional development towards cultural competency. Biindigeshkaa Naanda-gikendan represents students studying from afar entering a common learning space in real time. Up until recently, opportunities for distance education students to engage and participate in classroom discussion with on campus peers were limited to online written dialogue forums.

Recognizing the need to provide our distance education students equal learning opportunities to on campus students while supporting their ability to reside and study from their home communities, the School of Indigenous Relations has engaged blended learning strategies for Field Education Seminars.

Blended learning strategies positions technology as a helper. Zoom video conferencing has expanded our Field Seminar engagement capacity to receive distance education students and field instructors in live circle classroom discussion in keeping with Indigenous pedagogy. This has also increased our ability to build academic relationships, professional partnerships and support the continued development of cultural competency in social work beyond the text book.

We envision a time in the near future where this same technology enables our distance education students to attend on campus classrooms and at Indigenous gatherings facilitating access to key mentors such as Elders and Indigenous scholarly leaders, receive live cultural and traditional teachings, engage with on and off campus Indigenous communities as well as with field education agencies. Field Seminars are a starting place to grow from.

Innovative Exemplars & Curriculum Created From On-line Artists’ Videos
Kathy Browning (Laurentian University)

The purpose of this presentation is to share Preservice B. Ed. students amazing exemplars in a variety of media and Art Education lessons inspired by nationally award winning CNIE for Integration of Technology in the K-12 Classroom Award for on-line videos of Indigenous, Francophone, and Anglophone artists (Author, 2013 a-n). While the presentation of these innovative videos has been extremely well received this presentation will describe students’ multimodal Visual Arts assignments. They cut & pasted from Windows and Mac computers using a variety of paths to import video stills and clips from on-line streamed videos, Teacher’s Facilitation Guides, artists’ web sites, and DVDs. The resulting group assignments were presented with artists’ background information, images of their inspirations, photographs of their exemplars created, relationship to Art Education guidelines, lessons for schools, and assessment tools in PowerPoint along with their original exemplars. Each student in the group created in a different media than their group members while choosing a different inspiration from their chosen artist. Through her digital research on artists the Author has facilitated students to be able to interpret artists’ works and create art that informs their professional teaching practice. By providing these fourteen videos students can create, reflect, analyze, and critically discuss these artists’ works by using digital videos which support presenting, responding, exploring visual forms and valuing, and offering a sense of identity in cultural contexts while making connections beyond the classroom. When “students are exposed to a variety of stimulating artistic activities, reflect on – and give meaning to – their artistic learning, and celebrate their success, thus reinforcing their identity building and their positive relationship” with art (Canadian Teachers’ Federation 2015, p. 12) then learning can become “meaningful and relevant, and lead to exploration, investigation, use of various materials, creation and problem solving” (p. 12). Students will also “learn about some of the elements and principles of design and begin to describe how the elements are used by the artists” (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2009, p. 63). This rich student Art Education experience will encourage all present to use these ideas and resources, videos, and facilitation guides, in their classrooms while making connections with the community.

Panel: Why is Innovation in Education Unhurried?
Michael Dabrowski (Athabasca University)

When asked most administrators, educators, students, and parents will enthusiastically agree that innovation is extremely important to the educational landscape of the 21st Century.  However, when innovation is attempted the pushback can often be overwhelming and crippling. This panel will discuss the challenges and possible solutions to accelerating and promoting innovation in Education.

Open Learning Resources in first year Biology
Jane Costello, Anna Rissanen, Marshal Rodriguez, Margaret Caldwell, Piotr Trela, Sally Goddard, & Ruth Hickey (Memorial University)

A team consisting of four biologists, a graduate student, instructional designer and media developers collaborated on the design, development and evaluation of first year Biology open, online tutorials in 2016-2017. The tutorials sought to address knowledge gaps resulting in low success rates and attrition of first year students as was identified by the Biology department at Memorial University of Newfoundland (Memorial). The delivery mode of large introductory courses is based on lecturing which may create knowledge gaps contributing to the reported decrease of students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The decrease in the number of students in STEM has alarmed educators (National Research Council, 2003; 2013), prompting a call for efforts to increase STEM majors in universities.
Large class sizes, such as first year Biology with ~900 registrants annually, with detail-oriented, content-heavy loads can result in low success rates and attrition. Active learning methods which encourage student engagement in course material can be effective in large classes (Rissanen, 2018) and in introductory science classes (Freeman et al., 2007 & 2014; Wieman, 2007).

Tutorial topics were identified by analyzing previous years’ tests, student feedback, and pedagogical research in biology. The top five topics identified as common misconceptions or troublesome concepts within the course were selected. Standard ISD processes were used. Tutorials included learning materials, quizzes, reflective questions and badges to facilitate deep learning of the topics. Effectiveness was evaluated using a mixed-method, quasi-experimental design to compare the classroom research results. A conceptual understanding pre- and post-test approach was used to assess gains in student learning. Additionally, student engagement was measured using the Classroom Survey of Student Engagement (CLASSE).

Results of the study will be presented which aimed to determine if the tutorials were an effective means of providing supplementary assistance to students as well as gains in students’ levels of engagement. Preliminary analysis of the data indicate that there was a significant gain in learning over the previous year (p<0.05). This approach’s suitability for other STEM disciplines will be discussed, as well as next steps. The project was funded by and closely followed the guidelines of Memorial’s Teaching and Learning Framework.


Freeman, S., O’Connor, E., Parks, J.W., Cunningham, M., Hurley, D., Haak, D., Dirks, C., & Wenderoth, M.P. (2007). Prescribed active learning increases performance in introductory Biology. CBE Life Science Education, 6(2), 132-139.

Freeman, S., Eddy, S., McDonough, M., Smith, M.K., Okoroafor, N., Jordt, H., & Wenderoth, M.P. (2014). Active learning increases student performance in science, engineering, and mathematics. Proceedings in National Academic Science USA, 111(23), 8410– 8415.

National Research Council. (2003). Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. Washington DC, USA: National Academies Press.

National Research Council. (2012). Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering.

Rissanen, A. (2018, in press). The Effect of Classroom Engagement on Attendance and Grades in Undergraduate Biology Large Class. Canadian Journal of Science, Mathematics and Technology Education.

Wieman, C. (2007). Why not try a scientific approach to science education? Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 39(5), 9-15.

Concurrent Sessions 7
3:45pm – 4:30pm
Sometimes Credentials Aren’t Enough: Building Trust in F2F and Online University Courses
Mat Schatkowsky

This workshop will explore the importance and means of building trust with students whether instructors are teaching face to face or online. Micari and Pazos (2012) found that students in a F2F course received higher grades if felt they had a positive relationship with their instructor while Swan (2001) found that online students “who do not have adequate access to their instructors feel they learn less and are less satisfied with their courses” (p. 316). There appears to be a need for an “affective glue binding educational relationships together,” and this need is identified by Brookfield (1990) as the “trust between teachers and students” (p. 163).

The two essential components to building trust are: “teacher credibility” and “teacher authenticity” (Brookfield, 1990, p.163). A teacher “that students feel they can trust” (p. 164) is instrumental in positively influencing the work and lives of students. The focus of this session will be on authenticity and cultivating the feeling that students can trust their teachers. Participants will be asked to share their experiences with trusting relationships in classes and online.

The work of Lomanowska and Guitton (2016) will be presented which found the “definition of intimacy” is consistent even when “intimacy is actualized differently depending on the medium”. Following this, the work of Glazier (2016) will be presented which found that “rapport building by the instructor can improve student success as measured by course grades and retention rates,” (p. 13) where this “rapport building” was accomplished through emails, video messages and other means of communication.

Finally, participants will be asked to reflect on their teaching practice. Do they feel they have the trust of their students? What course structures do they have in place to encourage and foster a connection with their students? Do they provide students with timely feedback and ask students to integrate that feedback into their work? What adjustments could they make to their teaching approach to facilitate a stronger feeling of trust? The answers to these questions will provide participants with a path forward for developing solid, trusting relationship with their students.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  1. Explain why trust is essential to learning
  2. Critique their own teaching environments th
  3. rough the lens of building trust
  4. Reflect on and modify their approaches to create the ideal conditions for building trust with students


Brookfield, S.D. (1990). The skillful teacher. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Glazier, R. A. (2016) Building rapport to improve retention and success in online classes. Journal of Political Science Education, 00(00), 1-20. 2016.1155994

Lomanowska, A. M. & Guitton, M. J. (2016). Online intimacy and well-being in the digital age. Internet Interventions, 4, 138-144.

Micari, M., & Pazos, P. (2012). Connecting to the professor: Impact of the student-faculty relationship in a highly challenging course. College Teaching, 60, 41-47. DOI: 10.1080/87567555.2011.627576

Swan, K. (2001). Virtual interaction: Design factors affecting student satisfaction and perceived learning in asynchronous online courses. Distance Education, 22(2), 306-331.

Open it Up: Adding Relevance, Empowerment, and Metacognition to College-Level Writing Assignments
Jessica O’Reilly, Mel Young, Terry Greene

An exciting development in the Open Pedagogy movement is the rethinking of the “disposable assignment,” student work that is submitted, graded, returned, then discarded. These assessments do not empower students to become producers of knowledge, and can actually reduce student effort, since the disposable assignment does little to honour the thought and effort that students put into their work, and does not “live” beyond the scope of the course.

We’ve transformed one of the disposable writing assignments in our college-level Research and Writing course into an opportunity for students to become open scholars and to participate in the Open Learner Patchbook, an offshoot of Terry Greene’s Open Faculty Patchbook initiative. The Open Learner Patchbook is a digital collection of reflections, stories, and strategies written by students. With support and appropriate scaffolding, we help our students think critically about their strengths as learners, find their authorial voices, and contribute their knowledge in an open, collaborative manner that remains relevant beyond the duration of the formal learning experience.

Our presentation will provide an overview of the Open Faculty Patchbook and the Open Learner Patchbook initiatives. We will disseminate our assignment description and rubric, along with our strategies for supporting learners throughout the writing process. Most importantly, we will share student feedback and showcase their writing. Our hope is that educators, facilitators, and trainers use our case study as an opportunity to reflect upon the ways that they might add real-world relevance and openness to learning activities within their own context.

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Locate the Open Faculty Patchbook and Open Learner Patchbook
  • Reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of the Open Learner Patchbook assignment
  • Consider modifying a disposable assignment by leveraging open pedagogical practices
Relationships to the Land
Mervi Salo

The TDSB Indigenous Education Centre has been gifted the Boyne Outdoor Education Centre. This is an opportunity to develop an Indigenous programming Centre that blends land based learning and 21st Century learning. How can we bring technology and traditional knowledge together to look at Indigenous history and caretaking principles related to the watershed regions, Indigenous relationships to the land, contemporary health and well-being strategies for natural environments, Indigenous educational pedagogy and activities to learn how to learn With and From the Land. This is in addition to using the facility for activities such as sports (e.g., snowshoeing, Lacrosse, archery, hiking), using the kitchen (growing and preparing Indigenous Foods, Indigenous culinary program), medicine walks (plant walks), Ceremonies (e.g., Equinox gathering, fasting), conferences and Feasts, Ceremonial Spaces (e.g., Healing Lodge), teaching tipi, Sacred Fire, Arts (e.g., Writing, Music), Maple Syrup, Canoe building, Tool making, Traditional Games, Cultural Teachings, Professional Learning, Teambuilding activities / Wellness activities, Workshops and/or classes on the land, Community engagement, Partnership engagement. Stories and experiences will be shared about the exploration of relationship between both Western and educational settings that centre Indigenous voice and creating a sustainable environment. This presentation may be of interest to K-12 Educators or those interested in Indigenous Education.

Lost and Found – Course Designs that Map-it-out using UDL & Wayfinding
Helen DeWaard

Many memorable stories have a ‘getting lost’ or
‘getting found’ plot line. Alice fell down the rabbit hole to discover Wonderland and Dorothy 
traversed the yellow brick road through Oz. So to 
do students wander into our courses where they can quickly become lost or easily found within the learning spaces that we, as instructors and designers, have crafted for them. Showing we care depends on the mechanisms and failsafe strategies integrated into the course design that support student wayfinding. Where can we, as masters of the learning maze, embed guides, markers, and clues to ensure students can find their way? How can the universal design principles (UDL) support our work as instructors and designers as we create spaces for students within complex systems of learning? How can we openly show how we support our students’ self-directed learning in the way we design our courses?

Many students bring little or no experience, or navigational skills, with them into the digital learning spaces established in higher education. It’s incumbent on us, as the master planners, to integrate wayfinding strategies and apply universal design for learning principles (UDL) so students can easily navigate through the lessons, traverse the terrain of learning and realize that their destinations are achievable. We can’t necessarily build a yellow brick road to follow, but we can certainly plan for common navigational errors or insert adaptations to variables in the flow of a course. We can masterfully pull back the curtain so the learning journey becomes openly visible and transparent. This session will share clues along the learning journey so students on the adventure are fully engaged with each other, the course content and us, the course instructors.

This session will introduce some of the practical ideas and applications for UDL as explored in the book UDL in the Cloud: How to Design and Deliver Online Education Using Universal Design for Learning by Katie Novak and Tom Thibodeau. The Open Faculty Patchbook edited by Terry Greene will also be shared. The presenter’s own experience in course design and deliver of Critical Digital Literacy (EDUC3239) will be shared. Participants will leave with a map, direction and guide for their teaching and learning practice.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Concurrent Sessions 8
10:15am – 11:00am
It’s not about the grade: Feedback-focussed assessment
Susan Campo, Christine Hill

As part of the Teacher Learning and Leadership Program (TLLP) funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education, our team of four secondary teachers conducted a collaborative inquiry on the implementation of “Feedback-focused Assessment.” In our classrooms, which include a variety of subjects, student learning is not given grades. Instead, students reflect on their progress toward learning goals and are given oral, written, audio and/or video descriptive feedback. This student-driven process helps to inspire growth rather than compliance, risk-taking rather than worrying about their grade and collaboration, rather than competition. Students became more independent as they took ownership of their learning and are now better able to communicate what they excel at, what they are struggling with and what strategies they will use to improve.

The outcomes of our collaborative inquiry have been largely positive. Our assessment practices have become more equitable. Since feedback is individualized for each student, their unique learning needs are met. We have been able to differentiate our feedback by knowing the learner and what type of feedback they need. Through researching and implementing strategies to explicitly teach students to reflect on their learning using learning goals and success criteria, we have better engaged students in assessment. Students are increasingly being able to articulate what they have learned, what they still need to work towards and can make goals on how to meet the learning targets. In addition, peer feedback became a more significant part of the classroom experience, where students developed empathy for others and began to work as a team, rather than in competition with one another.

Reflection is also a key part of a Feedback-focussed classroom. We believe in empowering students to be owners of their learning. Students created a digital portfolio of learning artifacts and reflections on how they met the learning goals for the course. Students and teachers use this portfolio and other evidence of learning gathered by observations and conversations to determine the mid-term and final grades. This practice humanizes the assessment process and gives students agency.

Furthermore, we have created new opportunities for communication. We will share several strategies that make the feedback process both more effective for students and manageable for teachers. This includes using Google tools, screen-capturing software and mobile apps. Each of the teachers in the TLLP project is using a different method to communicate with students and parents and we will describe the positive aspects of these methods.

Intended Audience: Our focus includes K-12 teachers and post secondary instructors who are interested in changing the way they assess by shifting the focus from grades to learning.

Learning Outcomes: We will explore the benefits of feedback-focussed assessment, both in the literature and through the experiences of our students. We will discuss strategies that made the process easier for us. These include time management strategies, use of technology, and improvements in peer feedback. We will invite discussion regarding barriers to feedback-focussed assessment and ways to overcome them.

Transforming Teaching in Tkaronto (Toronto)
Mervi Salo

The Indigenous Education Centre has a four year plan to identify and provide professional learning for ALL employee groups of the Toronto District School Board over the next four years. This is a gargantuan task as there are over 37,000 employees in 600 sites and many employee groups. This will involve the development of a range of blended learning and online modules (e.g., MOOCs). Employee groups with direct contact to students and community will have a blend of customized online modules, face-to-face and experiential modules. The presentation will include discussion of the importance of community involvement through the Aboriginal Community Advisory Council, Aboriginal Steering Council, and Elders’ Council will be critical to the content development in addition to consultation with Indigenous scholars. Relationship is a critical component of the work of reconciliation which will need to be embedded into this project. Stories, research and experiences of working in the field of Indigenous education in a large urban context will be shared and how those will inform the design and delivery of Indigenous Education for Trustees, Senior Team, Superintendents, Principals, Teachers, Professional Support Workers, Clerical Staff, etc. This presentation may be of interest to K-12 Educators or those interested in Indigenous Education.

Beyond the classroom: An online learning community for program students
Christina Sckopke, Bettina Brockerhoff-Macdonald

Research has shown that online learners can experience feelings of being disconnected and isolated when taking online courses (Phirangee & Malec, 2017). This sense of disconnect can be further impacted if students live in rural or remote communities. According to Palloff & Pratt (2007), online learning communities can empower students to take control of their learning and successfully achieve the learning outcomes of a course. If this can happen within a course, could it also be achieved for a program? Could an environment be created that would effectively empower students to work collaboratively and support others on program based questions or problems such as selecting courses, planning their program progression, and engaging in meaningful discussions about their learning experiences while being physically apart?

This presentation will highlight the development of such a learning community and the impacts that it has had on students enrolled in the Baccalauréat en sciences infirmières pour infirmières et infirmiers autorisés (B.S.I.A.).

B.S.I.A. students are registered nurses that are studying part-time to complete 45 to 60 credits of courses at Laurentian University. They typically work full-time, live in remote areas in Ontario or Québec, and require the flexibility that online learning provides in order to balance their study, work and personal life.

With several years of experience supporting B.S.I.A. students with academic advising and planning, the program coordinator realized that student support services needed to extend beyond the one-on-one relationship fostered between herself and program students. The idea of creating an online learning community for B.S.I.A. program students came about while the program coordinator was teaching an online course and actively engaged with students in a collaborative environment.

The program coordinator created the B.S.I.A. online learning community in the Desire2Learn (D2L) learning management system. As a university sanctioned tool and main online learning environment for B.S.I.A. program students, it was selected as the ideal platform to host the online learning community.

This presentation is ideal for K-12, college, university and indigenous educators, instructional designers, program coordinators and administrators. It will showcase the various features of the D2L based learning community and include best practices that could be applied to other program based learning communities.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building online learning communities (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Phirangee, K., & Malec, A. (2017). Othering in online learning: An examination of social presence, identity, and sense of community. Distance Education, 38(2), 160-172.

Ontario Extend: Rethinking the Skills and Attributes Required by Educators in the 21st Century
David Porter, Valerie Lopes

Ontario Extend is a capacity building initiative that is grounded in the belief that the impact of learning should be the primary motivator for creating technology-enabled and online learning experiences. It aims to empower educators to explore a range of emerging technologies and pedagogical practices for effective online and technology-enabled teaching and learning.

The Extend program explores the skills, knowledge, and attributes required to extend and transform our teaching and learning practices and to enrich our professional development. The intent of the program is to provide the basis for more deliberate course design and digital pedagogical practice.

The framework for the Extend program is grounded in the model for the Anatomy of 21st Century Educators as described by Simon Bates (2014) and is supported by six modules: Teacher for Learning, Technologist, Curator, Collaborator, Experimenter and Scholar and a Domain of One’s Own project. A Domain of One’s Own, a key element of the Extend program provides a way for educators to have a digital space that is entirely their own to experiment and to practice the key attributes.

A Domain of One’s Own (DoOO) is a place on the Web that you can personally manage and design, a place where you choose what you share (post) and how you represent yourself online. The premise is different from many other online activities that operate within some infrastructure built by large companies or institutions (e.g., the LMS, social media sites, Google Tools). While simple to use, these apps often exchange convenience for your personal information. With A Domain of One’s Own, you are completely in control.

The Ontario Extend resources focus on the skills, knowledge, and attributes required to extend and transform our teaching and learning practices and to enrich our professional development and digital pedagogical practice. They are a starting point, an activity-oriented set of challenges that are intended to stimulate further thought and collaboration. The Extend resources are openly licensed and available for all post-secondary institutions to adopt, adapt, reuse or remix.

This session will focus on discussing the framework which focused on encouraging educators to Explore the resources as they Engage in the learning activities that call on them to Extend their skills so that they are Empowered to create and design courses. The lessons learned while creating the resources, and during the 2017 Summer Institute in Toronto where they were piloted, and more recently within Ontario post-secondary institutions, will be shared for discussion and feedback as we further refine the Extend program.


Bates, A. W., & Sangrà, A. (2011). Managing technology in higher education: Strategies for transforming teaching and learning. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Bates, Simon (2017) Faculty and students as collaborators, co-creators, and makers. Discussions on University Science Teaching: Proceedings of the Western Conference on Science Education: Vol. 1: Issue. 1, Article 4. Available at:

Veletsianos, G. (2016). The defining characteristics of emerging technologies and emerging practices in digital education. In G. Veletsianos (Ed.), Emergence and innovation in digital learning. Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press. Retrieved from Emergence_and_Innovation_in_Digital_Learning.pdf

National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. (2015). Teaching and Learning in Irish Education: A Roadmap for Enhancement in a Digital World 2015-2017. Dublin: National Forum. Retrieved from content/uploads/2015/03/Digital-Roadmap-web.pdf

Concurrent Sessions 9
11:15am – 12:00pm
We all dig IDIG: Developing, Fostering and Learning from the Instructional Design Interest Group of Ontario
Joanne Kehoe, Greg Van Gastel

With the growth of blended and online education within Ontario as a result of a variety of motivators, whether it be institutional strategic initiatives or through funding opportunities, there has been an increased demand for instructional designer involvement in the creation of new online courses and modules or the redesign of existing face-to-face learning experiences to an online format. This demand is coupled with a current gap of professional development activities and associations aimed at providing instructional designers with opportunities for cross-pollination of successful strategies and frameworks for their work in developing high-quality courses, regardless of the format (face-to-face, blended or online). Our goal in forming the Instructional Design Interest Group (IDIG) was to realize a sustainable, organized avenue for this across the province.

Our goal in forming IDIG was realized in large part due to a successful proposal to eCampusOntario’s Research and Innovation funding call. This past year was spent forming this network of instructional designers and providing opportunities to connect with one another to share ideas about how to integrate technology into teaching and learning environments, and trade achievements, challenges and examples around the development and implementation of online learning approaches, theories and pedagogies.

This session will discuss the building of the group, the group’s professional development activities and how one can get involved, as well as share the ideas, frameworks and steps that our members have reported as being successful in course design processes. In addition, common reported challenges around instructional design will be discussed, with the aim of stimulating conversations on the role of an instructional designer plays within a teaching and learning context as well as their needs around identity, collaboration and professional growth.

Incorporating Indigenous Ways of Learning and Knowing in the Writing Process
Cindy Derrenbacker

As a non-indigenous academic librarian teaching information literacy at Laurentian’s new McEwen School of Architecture–a School that has been intentional in working out its tri-cultural mandate–I had an epiphany moment when preparing remarks on the subject of “Essay Writing” for ARCH 3006 Indigenous Precedents this past fall. It occurred to me that my presentation was Western-oriented and should more intentionally incorporate indigenous ways of learning and knowing. I sought out one of our indigenous architecture faculty members to learn more from her and to find intersections between the material I planned to deliver and indigenous ways of teaching and learning that fit with the purposes of the course. In this CNIE conference session I will deliver my presentation on the writing process, providing sidebar commentary when referencing certain indigenous ways of learning and knowing, soliciting feedback on the effectiveness of this methodology and my initial attempts to integrate a new perspective.

Mapping the Training Requirements for Professionals to Sustain the Mining Industry
Nicole Tardif, Bruce Jago, Denyse LeRoy

The Mining Industry is facing a severe skills shortage. The Mining Industry Human Resources Council indicates that as many as 40% of workers in the mining and metals industry are expected to retire over the next few years. The availability of skilled workers who are ready to fill these retirement roles does not meet the demand. A concerning gap is being created. As a result, less experienced professionals will be promoted to fill higher level roles, in which they will not necessarily have had the experience, the learned-skills, and behaviours to perform well in these positions.

The shortage of professionals trained in geology, engineering and environmental science to work in the mining industry is just the beginning of this industry’s struggle to fill their professional needs. The fact of the matter is that the number of younger people pursuing mining-related careers is dropping. A career in mining is not one that is often presented to high school students by their guidance counsellors and even if it was, the mining industry’s negative reputation seems to haunt it and make it a less desirable career prospect.

In addition, there is a growing need in the mining industry for professionals to possess a greater breadth of knowledge, working skills and competencies that most students are currently not learning during their post-secondary education. Mining and exploration companies are left with teaching these skills on-the-job. Considering that professionals commonly, or are often required to, change companies during their career, and that the days of mentoring on the job are less prevalent, it is up to external educational providers to fill this role.

To ensure the sustainability and quality of the mining industry professionals, researchers from the Laurentian University in Canada and James Cook University in Australia have embarked on a study to identify the skill, competency and behavioural gaps felt by mining professionals currently working in geology, engineering and environmental sciences. The study’s goal is to develop career maps to guide professionals throughout their career by indicating the knowledge and training that they should acquire during each stage of their career. The Goodman School of Mines at Laurentian University plans on developing online and hybrid learning modules, collaboratively with other educational providers, which meet the training needs of the mining industry and ensures that professionals are provided with the tools to perform at their best.

Educational providers need to come together to help fulfill these important needs within the mining industry. All of the facts presented above do not present a good outlook for sustainability of the mining industry. Exploration and mining companies need expert geologists, engineers, and environmental scientists to operate and to continue supplying the world with the minerals and metals that help to build the products that we have so happily come to use, enjoy and need.

Prototyping an Alternate Online Approach to Faculty Development: an EPSS
Saul Carliner, Yuan Chen, Monica Lopez, David Price, Audrey Mariamo

INTRODUCTION: Universities face a major obstacle in providing professional development on teaching and learning to full-time faculty: getting them to participate in face-to-face sessions. Many faculty have difficulty carving out time in their schedules for workshops (Sorcinelli, 2002). Many also believe that the generalized advice provided in those workshops does not apply to the unique challenges of teaching in their disciplines or match their experience level.

In this project, we address these concerns by developing an online approach called an electronic performance support system (EPSS), which makes developmental material (not just courses) available to faculty the time of need, wherever faculty happen to be at the moment (Gery, 1991). The system consists of:

  1. informative modules, each addressing a particular teaching challenge identified by the faculty (rather than administration), such as managing group work and preventing cheating. Each module summarizes the research on the topic—generally and in six broad disciplinary areas. These modules also provide related case studies from faculty members at partner institutions.
  2. virtual meet-and-greets to further discuss the topics identified by the faculty
  3. regular email messages and polls about teaching-related topics to promote ongoing engagement with the system

Recognizing the similarities of teaching in all higher education institutions, this EPSS is a collaboration between faculty development professionals at a college (Cegep) and university.

This paper reports the first phase of our project: developing the prototype.

LITERATURE REVIEW: Electronic performance support systems (EPSSs) were first publicized in the early 1990s (Gery, 1991) as a means of providing guidance to workers at differing levels of knowledge and tailored to their particular needs. The idea was originally proposed for business and government workplaces, but has evolved to address a number of work and non-work contexts (Carliner, 2002; Marion, 2002; Mackenzie, 2002; Gobert 2002).

Teaching and Learning organizations in many universities and colleges (Cegeps) might be one such context. They already use the web to provide information to their faculties but these websites typically use a broadcast model rather than an interactive one and tend to focus on documents (such as syllabi and policies) or university-led initiatives (like digital learning) (website analysis conducted for this study).

METHODOLOGY: This paper explores the development of the prototype following a design-based research approach (Reeves et al, 2012). It reports on a series of focus groups and surveys of faculty at two institutions that informed the design and topics used; how this data informed development of the prototype; and usability testing of the prototype. The entire project is being conducted under an ethics certificate.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: This project is in process. We anticipate having results and conclusions in Winter 2018.

AUDIENCE: Faculty development professionals; researchers in educational technology and teaching and learning in higher education

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Apply insights from the experience with our prototype in future faculty development programs.