Five profs take their seats as Chancellor’s Chairs

Five Brock professors have had their work recognized with Chancellor’s Chairs Awards for Excellence in Teaching.

The winners and their teaching projects were announced Monday. Each project will receive $5,000 a year for three years and recipients will present the progress of their research at the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation’s annual Tribute to Teaching day in December.

The recipients are:

Michael Armstrong from the Faculty of Business, will do two research projects that examine student learning.

The first project will look at the performance of students who repeat courses and the factors influencing their success compared to students taking a course for the first time.  For example, do students who repeat courses do better, because they have seen the material before?  Or do they do worse, because of the factors that caused them to do poorly the first time around?  Are there any differences between students who previously had failed the course, and those who had withdrawn before receiving an official grade?

His second project will evaluate the impact of giving students extra feedback during a course.  Students sometimes are overly optimistic about how well they have learned the material, and on the marks they are likely to receive.  Armstrong will investigate whether non-traditional forms of feedback can help students overcome these misperceptions and be more successful in their studies.

Tim O'Connell and Anna Lathrop

Tim O'Connell and Anna Lathrop

Anna Lathrop and Tim O’Connell from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences will look at the effects that participation in Brock BaseCamp and followup experiences has on the academic performance of first-year participants and the program’s student leaders. They will analyze reflective journals and use bi-monthly workshops to help with their findings.

Brock BaseCamp was launched in August 2010 and offers rock climbing, backpacking and canoeing for incoming first-year students, helping them with academic success, diversity, making healthy choices, interpersonal relationships and group dynamics, and living responsibly in the academic community.

Madelyn Law and Brent Faught

Madelyn Law and Brent Faught

Brent Faught and Madelyn Law from the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences will study whether accelerated learning jeopardizes knowledge transfer and retention for the sake of efficiency and practicality.

The duo will evaluate short- and long-term retention of year one and year four undergraduate course content delivered in an accelerated format versus more traditional courses with classroom and online instruction and evaluation. This research continues work started two years, investigating the longer-term outcomes around the retention and transfer of knowledge.

Murray Knuttila, Provost and Vice-President Academic, said the latest Chancellor’s Chairs continue the proud tradition of dedication to teaching and teaching excellence at Brock.

” The recipients exemplify the amazing variety of activities that are involved in teaching excellence, ranging from Michael Armstrong’s research addressing issues relating to student learning and Brent Faught and Madelyn Law’s investigation of student success to the effectiveness of non-traditional delivery modes,” Knuttila said. “Brock is also committed to offering learning experiences outside the classroom. Perhaps there is no better illustration of using multiple sides of the brain than Anna Lathrop and Tim O’Connell’s outstanding work with students in Brock’s BaseCamp Program.”

The latest recipients join the Chancellor’s Chair holders from 2010: Mary-Beth Raddon (Sociology), Maureen Connolly and Gail Frost (Kinesiology), and Don Cyr (Finance, Operations and Information Systems). Their tenure as chairs ends June 30, 2013.

The award recipients were chosen by a committee that included:
• Barry W. K. Joe, committee chair and director of the Centre for Pedagogical Innovation
• Prof. Roberto Nickel, chair of the Senate Committee on Teaching and Learning Policy
• Prof. Phil Mackintosh, Department of Geography
• Prof. Maureen Connolly, Teaching Council and past award recipient
• Prof. Don Cyr, Acting Dean, Faculty of Business
• Alison Ines, student representative from the Department of Classics
• Prof. Gail Frost, Teaching Council.

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