Teaching and Learning Innovation Projects

The purpose of the Teaching and Learning Innovation funding is to:

  • transform a teaching and learning experience at the University of Manitoba
  • support the development of ideas and innovations to improve teaching, learning and assessment in the classroom or learning environment
  • encourage instructors to actively research their own teaching
  • promote knowledge translation of educational research practices
  • advance the scholarship of teaching and learning

We received a great number of excellent submissions and are enthusiastic about the commitment to teaching demonstrated by our U of M teachers. The successful projects are described here.

Supporting Student Learning through Facilitated Writing Groups
Kathy Block, Academic Learning Centre Kenneth; MacKendrick, Social Work; Jason Redden, Religion

Writing academic papers is daunting for many students in their first years of university. In addition, it can be challenging for instructors to engage closely with the written work of individual students in large classes. Through this project, collaborators from the Religion Department and Academic Learning Centre will investigate a strategy to support undergraduate students with their writing. Writing tutors will work with small groups of students in the classroom at key points before assignment deadlines as students plan and draft their papers. The project will afford a framework for implementing facilitated writing groups in future undergraduate courses.

CanU Explore: Innovative Teaching & Learning Spaces in Teacher Education
Michelle Honeyford, Education

CanU Explore is an interdisciplinary afterschool program for Grade 5-6 students hosted in the Faculty of Education. In CanU Explore, faculty and teacher candidates work collaboratively to design, implement, and study teaching and learning with middle school students in a dynamic, authentic learning space. The grant will extend the program in three new directions: first, by inviting faculty/teacher candidate teams to create innovative and engaging approaches to teaching concepts (e.g., those traditionally difficult to teach and/or relatively new to the curriculum); second, by integrating technology and inquiry; and third, by expanding communication with participating schools through a student blogging initiative.

Course restructuring for greater student success
Darja Kalajdzievska, Mathematics

This project address the issue of student success in mathematics and overall numeracy by re-structuring the format of the course MATH 1010, Applied Finite Mathematics. The new structure will include an early 'alert' mechanism to allow students to have a second chance to learn and be assessed on course content, while still covering the same course content as in previous terms. These struggling students would repeat the content in an environment with a smaller class size (allowing for more student-centered instruction).

Collaborative reflection in large mathematics courses
Derek Krepski, Mathematics

This project introduces a two-step self-reflective and collaborative learning activity for students to engage in during tutorial/lab sessions of a large first-year mathematics course. The two-step activity requires that (1) students write a quiz using carbon paper to produce a copy, submitting the original for assessment; and (2) that students discuss and defend their responses to the quiz in small groups, ultimately submitting the edited carbon copy for assessment as well.

The underlying motivation is to facilitate a student environment for improved metacognitive monitoring leading to deeper understanding of mathematics through peer learning.