Stream 1

8:30 AM - 9:30AM

Investigating Academic Integrity during Covid19 at a Medium sized University in Southern Alberta

Presenters: Olu Awosoga, Alyssa White,Jeff Meadows, Randall Barley

Type: Group Presetation

Room: M1035

Literature before the COVID-19 pandemic suggested that contract cheating and self-plagiarism were rising at Canadian postsecondary institutions. Previous research on academic integrity at the University of Lethbridge determined that rates of academic dishonesty were much lower than their counterparts. However, after the rapid transition to remote learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns around a potential rise in academic dishonesty increased as educators, students, and administrators navigated an unexpected and unfamiliar learning environment. With these concerns in mind, the research team conducted a second survey with educators and students at the University of Lethbridge to determine if academic dishonesty had become a problem due to online learning. The research team determined that academic dishonesty was significantly lower than anticipated and that our educators were vital in maintaining a culture of academic honesty at the University of Lethbridge. This presentation will explore the possible risk factors for academic dishonesty that arose during the transition to remote learning, and how educators at the University of Lethbridge modified their pedagogical approach to helped mitigate them.

Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary: Challenging Cisnormativity at the U of L

Presenters: Suzanne Lenon, Kathryn DeLucia-Burk, Stefanie Desrochers

Type: Group Presentation

Room: M1030

Universities are a critical site for the reproduction of cisnormativity, including the spaces and institutional processes of everyday life on campus such as technical systems, ease of access to facilities, record keeping, and the classroom. In this talk, we will discuss the creation of “Teaching Beyond the Gender Binary”, a resource manual whose aim is to offer faculty and instructors at the U of L strategies for the cultivation of classroom cultures and learning environments where trans, non-binary, and genderqueer students can excel in the absence of exclusion, discrimination, and violence. Our presentation will provide an overview of the cisnormative institutional architecture of the university that produces transantagonistic learning environments; a synopsis of findings from interviews conducted with trans, nonbinary, and gender queer students that have guided the manual’s creation; a sketch of the manual itself; and reflections on our collaborative working process.

Weaving together teaching, research and professional skills: Using peer mentorship to enhance the graduate student experience

Presenters: Dr. Jacqueline Rice, Megan Hebert

Type: Group Presentation

Room: M1040

*(session begins at 8:45 AM)

We like to think that our programs prepare our graduate students for the next steps in their careers. But are we really offering them everything they need? The need for a deeper and holistic approach to student support and development has become evident as we navigate a post-pandemic society where students actively seek connection and community, and graduate students navigating our complex systems can struggle with where to turn at critical moments. The SGS is proposing to pilot a peer mentorship program, employing and training PhD students to act as mentors for other graduate students. Both mentors and mentees will benefit from the relationship: mentors will be given the opportunity to develop practical leadership and communication skills desired by the labour market and future employers, while mentees will be offered access to community, information, and general guidance that will ideally help smooth their journey through academia. The pilot will be run by the Professional Development Coordinator in the SGS, in collaboration with the GSA, to support the holistic development of graduate students while further enriching their graduate education experience through exposure to SoTL principles and deeper understanding of the need for reflection across life, academics and career.

This presentation will delve into more of the details of this pilot, as well as soliciting feedback and input on our approach.

Enhancing University Teachers’ Understanding of Student Evaluations of Teaching (SETs) Through Review Circles

Presenters: Carina Zhu,Dr. Toupey Luft, Dr. Brenda Leung

Type: Group Presentation

Room: M1090

Background: Evidence suggests that receiving critical student evaluations of teaching (SETs) may be a demoralizing experience for teachers and they may hesitate to seek professional guidance due to feeling embarrassed. This study, funded by the Teaching Development Fund at the University of Lethbridge, explored the use of a review circle to attenuate these tensions.

Methods: Participants chose one SET as the focus of the review circle. Following the ideas of interpretive inquiry, each participant and a researcher progressed through various readings and interpretive dialogue to understand the SET. Participants were later interviewed by a different researcher to elicit feedback on the review circle. These interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using descriptive thematic analysis.

Findings: We spoke with twelve participants from diverse disciplines and amounts of teaching experience. Emerging themes include – we do this together, for each other (review circle allowed dialogue in community; not their usual process with SETs); talking in context, about context (discussing the context of the course, students, and strategies helped participants process SETs); curiosity, safety, and trust (trust with the researchers encouraged curiosity about understanding contradictory SETs); seeing through someone else’s eyes (dialogue with a peer helped to see teaching practice/SETs differently, often less critically).

Significance: Findings confirmed literature that teachers care about how students experience their teaching, despite debate about the utility of SETs. Participants saw the circle as a way to reflect on teaching more effectively, and they encouraged future review circles with those who share the lived experience of engaging with SETs.