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Friday, May 25 • 11:40am - 12:30pm
Cutting EDge: Just In Time Innovation and Research.

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Higher education increasingly sees technology as a cost effective and innovative solution to many challenges (Hooper & Rieber, 1998; Kirkwood & Price, 2014). Yet, there are many barriers to the integration of technology in the classroom, including technology-related anxiety (Kotrlik, & Redmann, 2009; Redmann, & Kotrlik, 2004), insufficient institutional resources and supports (Buchanan, Sainter, & Saunders, 2013) and a lack of faculty confidence and expertise (Nkonge, & Geuldenzolph, 2006). Technology takes time to master (Ely, 1990) and, while faculty are encouraged to fully engage students and integrate innovative practices in increasingly large classes, it can be a challenge. Faculty need to learn both how and why technology can be used to engage students (Johnson, Wisniewski, Kuhlemeyer, Issacs & Krzykowski, 2012). Additionally, technology must be able to contribute meaningfully to the classroom and the content, yet the effectiveness of many classroom technologies has received relatively little empirical attention (Kirkwood & Price, 2014).

In light of this, the Centre for Teaching and Learning at Humber College piloted a new collaborative approach to educational development, entitled "Cutting EDge". In this model, the professional learning, digital learning, and SoTL teams united to provide a support-rich opportunity for faculty to experiment with and integrate a new technology-enhanced approach (Student Responses Systems, or SRS's) in their classrooms. Faculty were trained not only how to use several different SRS polling tools, but also about best-practices from the literature. Over the course of the semester, each faculty member tried three SRS tools, each time with in-class support and training. To document the impact, the SoTL team recruited each faculty member's students, and survey data were collected on perceived quality of classroom interactions, engagement, and the SRS tools. Focus groups were also conducted with faculty, to gather responses about their perceived quality of classroom interactions, their students' engagement, and the impact on their teaching practices.

In this INVENT session, we will share not only the data we collected, but also the lessons we learned from the first iteration of Cutting EDge. The model represented a new and creative approach not only to educational development at Humber, but also to SoTL research: by embedding the educational development within a broader research project, we were able to gather data from hundreds of students, across several faculty and disciplines, on the impact of a technology-enhanced teaching approach, all within a single semester. At the same time, faculty were each supported at a very personal level, which allowed for meaningful experimentation within their practice. As an added benefit, Cutting EDge exposed faculty to the SoTL research process, which they might not otherwise have encountered.

Although the intent of this initiative focused on technology-enhanced learning, the lessons learned about the educational development process were equally valuable. The model provided a safe and supportive arena for faculty to take risks, increasing the likelihood of micro-successes and future engagement in development and experimentation. While this required a great deal of time and support, the benefits were immediate, explicit, and ongoing: teaching practices were transformed.

After learning about the model, participants will have the opportunity to try out some of the SRS tools that were used in Cutting EDge (Plickers, Mentimeter, and Kahoot!). Participant responses will then serve as a launching point for a broader discussion on new and innovative approaches to educational development.
By the end of this session participants will be able to:
1) Recognize the value of adopting an integrated and collaborative support-rich approach to educational development.
2) Identify SRS tools that could be quickly integrated into the classroom.
3) Apply lessons learned from the Cutting EDge model to their own institutional context

*Participants are asked to bring a mobile device or tablet in order to participate in the session.

avatar for Mark Ihnat

Mark Ihnat

Director, Humber College
Mark Ihnat is currently the Director of eLearning at Humber College ITAL.  A former full-time professor and Program Coordinator in the School of Liberal Arts and Science at Humber, and with 15 years of experience in higher education, Mark now oversees faculty e-learning/digital training... Read More →

Friday May 25, 2018 11:40am - 12:30pm EDT