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Learning

This category contains 49 posts

To add or subtract, that is the question

A common excuse in education for not using active learning strategies in a course is that there isn’t enough time because of the amount of content that needs to be covered. This never sits well with me. I fully admit that I can’t cover everything and l make tradeoffs if I want to include something … Continue reading

Building experience into sustainability learning

I’m working on creating the next level of sustainability course for the university where I teach sustainability. Part of my plan is to integrate some community engaged learning or work-integrated learning opportunities. There are several reasons that I want to do this but among my leading reasons is a firm belief that learning that never … Continue reading

Changing the message about mistakes

As an athlete I know that mistakes are part of how I improve. I fall when figure skating, I eat the wrong food at a dragon boat festival, I forget to put my goggles down for the first lap of a triathlon swim. These were all part of my learning process and the point was … Continue reading

Why I love grading

I have always found grading students uncomfortable, so I adjust or change the assessment in courses whenever I can. I inherited a course once that had a paper, but writing a paper wasn’t a relevant skill for the course so I took it out and replaced it with a video which related to the presentation … Continue reading

Is anyone else talking to their animals?

Okay, so the other day a friend called me out for having conversations on Instagram between myself, my cats, and the service dog in-training I am currently raising (@tai.m42, @arielandtempest, and @dww_chico respectively). I’m definitely missing my social interaction at the moment and that is definitely manifesting itself as some conversations with my animals only … Continue reading

Reparations and Community Health

It is well documented that Black and other marginalized communities have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Rates of infection, hospitalization, and death are all higher for individuals who are Black compared to white. A new study led by Harvard Medical School examined how monetary reparations to the descendants of Africans enslaved in the US could … Continue reading

Why I give a group assignment

The introduction to sustainability course I teach has one group assignment that students need to do if they want an A in the course. (I use a grading approach called specifications grading where letter grades are determined by the amount and type of work rather than the overall quality which all must meet a particular … Continue reading

Wandering Brains

When I was a camp leader we used to joke that the secret to being a good leader was having a shorter attention span than the kids in the camp. I use a variation of this same philosophy in my teaching. I try to use a variety of different approaches to teaching and learning, and … Continue reading

All about puppies

I have an 8 week old puppy in the house and he’s making writing my blog post this week a little more challenging, so I thought I may as well use him for inspiration. I’ve noticed that if he can see the training food pieces he doesn’t really care that I have one in my … Continue reading

Do animals give each other gifts?

My cats latest favourite toys are pipe cleaners. They stole them off my desk when I was using them to model cell biology concepts in a video for my bio class and they never gave them back. During my workday it is fairly common for one of them to meow their way through the house … Continue reading

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