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"I was happy with this experience and feel it improved my teaching style and approach."

Course: Human Physiology

Department: Exercise and Sport Science


I was happy with this experience and feel it improved my teaching style and approach. It challenged me to reflect on my strengths and weakness and to attempt to address the latter. There are some inconsistencies in how I used different strategies with different physiological systems that still needs to be ironed out. One area that is still lacking is student participation in class. While a large class will always have these limitations, the classroom for this Fall was the ideal setting. However, most in class questions were typically answered by only a few individuals. I did create a course-specific evaluation that the majority of the students completed that will help me to identify new areas and strategies to use in future versions of this course.

Course Description

150-250 students, ranging from 1st year through seniors. Previously was a CORE class in the EXSS major, so all students within the major were required to take the course. During this process, we have changed our curriculum and it is no longer a requirement for every EXSS student. Large course makes engagement challenging, particularly as a new faculty member. I have a strong interest in trying to develop active learning techniques and strategies but have had limited success thus far, which is why I am interested in this program to try to move the course away from an exclusive lecture format.

Projected Design Elements

1) Improved engagement strategies, moving beyond Poll Everywhere.

2) Structuring the course to provide natural breaks and activities, such that the lecture portion is in smaller blocks that are mixed with application of the material.

3) Classroom management of group activities in large classrooms – making sure the students and the instructor use this time efficiently and effectively.

Incorporated Design Elements

Having taught human physiology 5 times now, each time has helped me move closer to completing all of the project redesign elements. I have developed a consistent course outline that has become more consistent and on schedule. I have increased the number of assessment opportunities, both low and high stakes, to provide more feedback and learning opportunities and many students have commented that they tend to prefer this style. The average course grade from Fall 2017 was the highest yet, but it is unclear if this is due to changes in the course structure or merely a coincidence. Time will tell.

Specific changes from the Redesign was more frequent assessments and in-class problems. While some lectures and units have better balance than others, in general the classroom delivery is more varied and caters to different learning styles. Moving forward, my plans are to continue to improve in this area, particularly in the units that are still too lecture based.

Engagement strategies was an area that I targeted with some success. Poll Everywhere is favoured by the students and does create a change of pace. However, it is unclear how well this translates into improved learning outcomes.

Program: Finish Line Project

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