Universities have existed in Canada since the 1700s but have changed drastically since! Professors are finding new, innovative ways to teach their students and revolutionize the university experience.
Integrating client voices
When Keith Adamson, assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, was asked to create a new course on how social workers can better support people with disabilities, he decided to integrate practical teachings from his work at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Throughout the course, six families or clients participate in the teaching process and share their personal experiences. This new approach to teaching honours the voices of people in the system and prepares future social workers to be sensitive to client and family needs, and to advocate on their behalf.
Dr. Kerry Hull has been a professor of physiology at Bishop’s University for nearly 20 years. As access to information increased with the internet, Dr. Hull decided to “flip” her class. Instead of teaching students from scratch, she assigns a learning task ahead of class—such as watching an educational animation—and then spends class time teaching students how to apply that knowledge. The class average for her ‘flipped’ class is 5% above that of her traditional one, and Dr. Hull explains that this method gives her a better opportunity to teach skills.
A ‘hands-on’ approach to anatomy
Michael Cinelli, professor of kinesiology and physical education at Wilfrid Laurier University, takes the challenge of teaching students about the complex human body ‘head-on.’ Instead of a traditional anatomy class taught with only a textbook, Cinelli uses synthetic cadavers, videos and even asks students to locate body parts on themselves. He also integrates case studies into his teaching, to illustrate how the body moves with specific injuries or conditions, for example.
At the Université de Sherbrooke, law students get an immersive experience by participating in mock trials in Sherbrooke’s real courthouse. Participants take on the roles of judges, witnesses and clerks to better grasp courtroom rules and how trials work. This year, in partnership with the Faculty of Medicine, medical students participated as ‘medical experts’ in the trials, giving them a chance to benefit from the practical experience, too.
Tagged: Research and innovation
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