2021 Recipients and Projects
Educational Leadership and Universal Design Grant will support a Focus on Universal Design Learning in Clinical Practice Education
The 2021 grant was awarded to an instructional team from the Trent/Fleming School of Nursing that includes Kelly Hudder, clinical learning facilitator; Dr. Melissa Pestill, assistant professor; Professor Victoria Reid De Jong, lecturer; Professor Jaime Sims, lecturer; and Meaghen Regts, Trent Simulation Hub coordinator. Their project, “Reconceptualizing Clinical Practice in a B.Sc.N, Program During and Following a Pandemic,” will focus on integrating principles of Universal Design for Learning to enhance students’ experience in clinical nursing courses. Using a multi-modal approach to learning, students in the redesigned courses will engage in experiential learning, including learning and action through virtual and digital experiences, clinical skills labs, practice-based simulations, and formal clinical practice led by clinical nursing instructors in hospitals and long-term care settings.
2020 Recipients and Projects
A Focus on Universal Design Learning in the Online Classroom!
The Centre for Teaching and Learning is delighted to announce the recipients of the 2020 Wickerson Foundation Fund for Educational Leadership and Universal Design who were selected from an impressive caliber of applicants. The Wickerson Foundation Fund for Educational Leadership and Universal Design is an internal grant designed to support innovative projects that strengthen Trent University’s inclusive teaching and to support professional development for faculty and their pedagogical research. The aim of the Wickerson Foundation Fund is to remove barriers to learning, which can be visible and invisible, and to promote authentic inclusion for all students.
This year, we are again supporting two projects that promise to positively impact student engagement and success as Trent continues teaching and learning now in the virtual classroom:
Robin Quantick & David Newhouse, Professors with the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies
Fostering Enwaayang in the ICR Classroom: Bringing Indigenous Knowledge and Universal Design together.
Utilizing UDL principles coupled with Indigenous pedagogical approaches, this project will study the interconnected design and delivery outcomes of INDG 1001H, Foundations of Reconciliation, which is one of Trent University’s largest Indigenous Credit Requirement (ICR) courses. As Professors Quantick and Newhouse note, “teaching in an environment where the vast majority of students have no desire to be there poses significant challenges to student engagement and learning. The challenge is how to help students learn in a pedagogy that is based more upon individual sensemaking and understanding of material through storytelling than content presentation and recall.” A thorough assessment of the connection between UDL and Indigenous pedagogy as well as their effectiveness as applied to this course redesign will be achieved through careful research, collaboration, and reporting.
Emily Bruusgaard, Professor with the Department of English Literature
Reimagining the online lecture: Transforming teaching practices for students with disabilities.
This project will reimagine online video lectures in English 2609H “Contagion,” for a spectrum of learners with different needs, including those with ADD/ADHD, central auditory processing disorders, on the autism spectrum. This research and experience will be used to design online learning modules on accessible online teaching for Trent faculty. As Professor Bruusgaard puts it, “The three principles of UDL are multiple means of engagement, multiple means of representation, and multiple means of action and expression. In other words, if we are to fully unlock students’ potential, and to truly implement multiple means of expression as one of the three principles of UDL, we must create multiple pathways to information in the digital learning environment. We must present main course concepts in more than one way. We must recognize and allow students to engage in the style of learning that suits them best.”
2019 Recipients and Projects
Barbara Wall - Lecturer, Indigenous Language and Culture
Amy Shawanda - PhD Student, Indigenous Studies
Creating and Implementing Inclusive, Relevant and Transformative Learning in Foundations for Indigenous Environmental Studies and Sciences IESS1001H (ICR)
- Redesigning IESS1001H using Universal Design for Learning and Active Learning concepts
- Implementing course redesign
- Assessment and Analysis of impacts on learning
Redesign activities have included infusing Indigenous Ways of Knowing in redesign of both the Fall and Winter terms. These ways of knowing include oral tradition, foundational Anishinaabe teachings, humour and experiential learning. Indigenous Ways of Knowing, specifically the Seven Grandfather Teachings have guided the creation of a safer, equitable and collaborative learning environment in both lecture and seminar. The culminating assignment was redesigned to allow students to choose a case study relevant to their interests and academic disciplines.
The Winter 2019 and Fall 2019 course evaluations and an on-line survey (Fall 2019) were analyzed. Information gathered was used to further revise assignment guidelines and seminar content in course redesign. Feedback from students indicate transformative learning—“encouraged me to think critically and in new ways”; “interesting and thought provoking assignments with reasonable deadlines and expectations” and “I loved the experiential learning”.
Ann Mary Celestini - Senior Lecturer, Trent/Fleming School of Nursing
Catherine Thibeault - Associate Professor, Trent/Fleming School of Nursing
Using Principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to restructure NURS1000 Individual as Nurse
- Key changes included use of multiple means of information sharing, creation of flexible due dates for assignments, and providing students with a variety of strategies for demonstrating achievement of course objectives.
- The student assessment format allowed for multiple means of engagement, representation, action and expression of learning. Four different assessment strategies were used: participation (in-class activities, seminar group work, online adaptive quizzes), written paper, midterm formative review, and final group project with peer evaluation. Assignment weighting was evenly distributed.
A full analysis of the project has yet to be completed, but it can be reported that most students reported a positive experience. Some students disliked being asked to read the textbook (a traditional pedagogical practice), and others did not like online adaptive quizzes. During the formative review, technical challenges were encountered. For the most part, however, students appreciated flexible due dates and multiple modes of demonstrating learning.
Implementation of UDL can be challenging. While many UDL strategies are familiar to teachers, many are not. Some teachers may be reluctant to record their classes or provide material in advance. Some teachers may believe that by providing flexible due dates or removing a final written exam, academic standards are lowered. It is true that in NURS1000, in the fall of 2019, the average final grade achievement was 10% higher than in the previous year’s offering. Instead of automatically attributing this change to lower standards and grade inflation, however, perhaps one could consider the possibility that students were more successful in achieving course objectives! Final project analysis will yield a more firm conclusion, but in the meantime, the application of UDL in NURS1000 will be considered a success.