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Learning

This category contains 56 posts

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

Oh the drool!

I think about Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov surprisingly often. Every time my palm starts sweating before the physio comes to see me I think about Pavlov and his discovery of classical conditioning. But given that Pavlov’s original discovery involved salivating dogs, he has been even more present in my thoughts as I am often confronted … Continue reading

How a dog brings someone autonomy

I recently started volunteering as a dog raiser with a local service dog training organization Dogs With Wings. I have always been interested in how service dogs can support individuals. Part of my interest comes from the reality that our society is structured in such a way that it disables people who differ from what … Continue reading

Building on learning science I created an assessment menu for my students. Here’s how it went

As an athlete and coach I know how important it is to have a training plan that fits the individual. Not everyone will respond to the same cues or drills. This is part of our normal variability. The same is true with learning and in how we demonstrate what we’ve learned and yet most classes … Continue reading

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