Students in the School of Education and Technology undertake a variety of research, including a thesis, a major research project or paper, or a digital learning research consulting project (MALAT only).
MA in Educational Leadership and Management
The MA in Educational Leadership and Management (MAELM) program began offering the thesis as an exit pathway in 2021; future thesis titles will appear here as students complete their program.
MA in Higher Education Administration and Leadership
Recent titles from the Higher Education Administration and Leadership (MAHEAL) program include the following:
Christensen, Donna (2021-10-27)
Indigenous people in Canada have lower post-secondary attainment rates than their non-Indigenous counterparts, but these statistics do not explain why. This study examines the barriers to post-secondary completion for Indigenous students by gathering stories from learners who temporarily or permanently discontinued their educational journey. This research employs a Critical Race theoretical framework to examine personal, institutional, and societal factors that impacted participants’ educational experience. A narrative inquiry methodology using storywork through conversations gathered stories from eight Indigenous learners residing in west-central Alberta. Common themes emerged from the inductive analysis of the conversation transcripts. Many findings are consistent with previous research, such as leaving for employment or family obligations. However, their stories offer a richer, more profound understanding of factors that influence their decision to quit school. Findings included the desire to stay in their home community during and following post-secondary education, the unique financial challenges for non-status and part-time Indigenous students, and colonization's ongoing role in their educational journey. Creating cultural safety and ethical space for respectful and honest conversations with Indigenous students, their families, and community leaders is essential to hear and respond to their challenges and needs and work collaboratively to create meaningful and accessible education for Indigenous people.
Congram, Bradley (2019-07-22)
One of the defining features of social media is the capability for interaction, specifically for the audience to respond to previously posted content. Higher education research to date has focused on the content published by institutions, with minimal examination of the content sent back to institutions. Previous research has often operated as though higher education’s social media is homogenous, without acknowledging the variation in institutional mission. Furthermore, previous research has tended to treat institutions’ social media accounts as the same, without examination of differences between social media platforms. This research examines both gaps. Twitter posts mentioning primary and secondary accounts of 25 Albertan post-secondary institutions were gathered during a two-month interval alongside messages posted to the same institutions’ primary Facebook pages, to determine which topics led the audience to communicate back to institutions and to examine whether any difference existed between account types and platforms. Analysis of the data, using sentiment analysis and topic modeling, found that audiences tended to discuss institutions’ sports teams, as well as events or features unique to institutions. No difference in sentiment or emotion was found between account types, with most messages being moderately positive. Facebook messages tended to include more descriptive language while the higher volume of tweets suggested that Twitter audiences appear to be more prone to interaction than Facebook audiences. Institutions may be best served by pursuing different social media strategies for Twitter and Facebook.
MA in Learning and Technology
Recent titles from the MA in Learning and Technology (MALAT) program include the following:
Gedak, Lisa Ruth (2021-09-08)
In the spring of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in sudden school closures worldwide, including the critical learning years from early kindergarten to grade twelve (K-12). Teachers, students, parents, administrators, and staff were thrust into learning at a distance. This qualitative case study focussed on a specific islands district in British Columbia, Canada, where the school community's personal experiences during the pandemic were examined. An Appreciative Inquiry approach was used to investigate the voices of everyone in the school community in this unique District with the hope of positively impacting future district decisions. Data was collected through an online survey, interviews, and a mini focus group. Thematic analysis resulted in the identification of three central themes: (1) reciprocal learning, (2) the adoption of technology, and (3) re-imagining the curriculum. The results of this study include recommendations, strategies, and actions for decision-makers to consider for the future of education delivery in K-12 districts worldwide.
Carson, Brandon Thomas (2020-12-04)
While there are many benefits to the use of OER, such as cost savings for students, increased access to resources, and the ability for faculty to adapt the resources to meet their specific needs, new and experienced faculty members also face many barriers when attempting to incorporate Open Educational Resources (OER) into their courses. Research suggests that awareness, funding, time, and institutional supports are factors that impact faculty using or not using OER. The purpose of this research was to investigate the barriers that business faculty in Ontario colleges face when using OER within their teaching practices and determine if faculty have recommendations to overcome the barriers to using OER. Based on a review of the literature on OER and the barriers business faculty experience when using OER, a mixed-method approach was used in this research. The study focused on Ontario college faculty teaching business courses. Data was collected via a survey and follow-up interviews. Seventy-two respondents from 12 Ontario colleges responded to the survey. Nine participated in follow-up interviews. Respondents were asked about their experiences using OER, the barriers they faced, and solutions to overcome them. A thematic and cross tabulation analysis of the responses demonstrated that faculty are introduced to OER in different ways, and institutions have unique approaches to supporting faculty with OER. Faculty experience barriers to using OER, such as no suitable resources, awareness, knowledge, support, and institutional processes. Faculty outlined ways to overcome such barriers, including but not limited to professional development, creation of new high-quality content, time to create the resources, and enhanced collaboration and networking efforts.
Flinn, Chad (2020-11-17)
This research study explored the perception of trades students in the co-creation of OER. This study used a mixed-methods case study approach to examine the impact of the co-creation of OER on first-year electrical trades students. As open education continues to grow and expand, vocational education and its students could find value in adopting the tools that OER use affords, and trades could offer their distinct voice to the conversation. In this study, students participated in creating open textbooks on various topics. Data collection was based on a questionnaire with 18 participants and interviews conducted with nine participants. The qualitative analysis revealed five themes in the student’s perception in the creation of OER: accessibility, value of co-creation, digital literacy skills, value of peer and self-assessment, and student agency. Overall, participants found the process enjoyable and that it had a positive impact on their vocational education.
Boyce, Christy M (2020-09-23)
This research is a qualitative case study on the use of an online pre-briefing module in an established healthcare simulation Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP) in a Canadian health authority. In-person pre-briefing of learners before they begin simulation training has been shown to improve the learners’ engagement and increase learner psychological safety in healthcare simulation training. Although there is evolving research supporting simulation pre-briefing practices and frameworks, the benefits of online learning environments for pre-briefings are not understood. Using the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) as a theoretical framework, my research provided an online pre-briefing for NRP learners, seeking to understand their perception of the applied eLearning design and their sense of psychological safety in the subsequent in-person training day. Recognizing limited sample size, findings reveal numerous potential benefits of an online pre-briefing on learner engagement and preparation for simulation. Recommendations include the further examination of this online simulation teaching practice.
Doyle, Sean Wayne (2020-09-18)
Hackett, Sean (2020-06-03)
With increasing call volumes, increasing medical scope of practice, and more technologically advanced tools, paramedics are under increasing stress to perform, but the resources to support performance through education are limited. Mindfulness is a practice with the potential to reduce stress, increase attention, increase compassion, and be taught online to positively impact paramedic performance. This case study utilized mixed methods to examine the impact of teaching mindfulness online to front-line working paramedics. Actively working front-line paramedic participants who completed the study reported benefits to their personal lives and potential for benefits to patient care. The results also indicated that an online 8-week MBSR course can provide participant paramedics with tools they were able to use to increase self-awareness, reduce stress, and increase situation awareness, thereby potentially improving the performance of the paramedic as a clinician.
Minten, Steve (2019-07-12)
This thesis explores the influence of government funding on online course development, specifically the Shared Online Course fund offered to two Ontario colleges. It uses a qualitative case study research approach to examine the impact that it had on administrators, faculty, and staff members who were part of online course development under this fund. The findings of the study identify the degree to which the funding influenced the ability of the institutions to develop internal capacity to develop courses online, notes best practices, identifies what challenges were encountered, and makes recommendations that can be implemented for future programs similar to this one.
Smith, Jillian Elizabeth (2018-12-07)
The purpose of this case study was to explore the problems that teachers anticipate facing when facilitating a new online computer-based substance use intervention program to grade six and seven elementary school students. This case study aimed to identify the support resources that teachers predict would be valuable to them in order to facilitate such a program. Four teachers were interviewed. A semi-structured interview protocol was used and then thematic analysis was applied to code the data. The results identified the following themes: technological barriers, autonomy, role apprehension, facilitation resources, and a general anti-drug attitude. Findings of the study include valuing healthy living as a school subject, identification of variation between schools and school districts, a consistent desire to spread an anti-drug message, a request for digital manuals and a support point person, the challenge of relying on a computer-based application, and the preference for teachers to have a reliable source of anti-drug resources while maintaining their ability to tailor the lessons to their teaching style. Future studies may include a more heterogeneous population and investigate schools in urban area. Additionally, further areas for program development can include tailoring online programs to work within the confines of school district technology restrictions, and providing the option for teachers to modify lessons to meet their classroom needs.
Thomas, Adam (2018-11-09)
This research project investigated the effects of integrating play into postsecondary coding classes. The activities included a series of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) themed activities such as board games, LEGO® robotics, experimenting with Internet Of Things (IOT) devices, and short online competition. The changes in student engagement was measured using a post course survey adapted from the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) and engagement data such as attendance, Learning Management System (LMS) activity, and assignment completion. The results of this research provided valuable insight on: a) understanding how incorporating play affects student engagement; b) what teaching methodologies align with learning through play; and c) what aspects of play activities make them more effective.
Rouyer, Jeff Edouard (2018-08-13)
People of Spanish-speaking origin with limited English proficiency is an increasing demographic in many U.S. communities. This group faces language and cultural barriers that affect access to quality healthcare and patient safety. The best way to reduce these barriers is to promote direct bilingual interaction between healthcare professionals and their patients. My research supports this goal through the development and implementation of a Virtual Patient Based Learning Model (VPBLM) as a platform to promote second language learning in a complex Spanish for Healthcare Professionals program. The VPBLM features voice-recognition and virtual patient technical innovations along with student-centered learning strategies derived from the theoretical framework of engagement theory and the motivation-based design principles of Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction (ARCS) model. The results of my research after implementation of design-based research methodology show that the VPBLM offered value and motivation to students learning Spanish and cultural competency with implications for application across broader educational contexts.
Prince, Andrew (2018-06-27)
This research explores learners’ perceptions of how their computing devices affect their learning within online distance learning environments. To achieve this, the study includes an exploration of computing devices, traditional software applications—which require installing on devices—and cloud-based applications (hereafter collectively “apps”) that online distance learners rely on to assist them in their learning, and how online distance learners use their computing devices and apps throughout the learning process. Using case study methodology, this research surveyed master’s-level students at a small public and predominantly graduate university in Canada. The results and analyses describe learners’ preferences for particular computing devices and apps prior to and throughout the learning process, and their uses of computing devices and apps to interact with instructors, peers, and learning content. The purpose of this study is to assist educators and current and future graduate learners alike in better understanding the relationship between learners and their computing devices in the online distance-learning context.
Trimblett, Shelley (2016-08-24)
A Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) understanding of regulation and standards of practice as it informs their practice, is vital to assuring public safety. The College of Licensed Practical Nurses of British Columbia (CLPNBC), along with other nursing regulatory bodies were tasked by their relative governments to design a jurisprudence education program as part of a quality assurance initiative. The CLPNBC jurisprudence pilot program used gamified learning to teach LPNs about jurisprudence and potentially influence change in their attitude and behaviors. To explore previous research and guide this research, the theoretical frameworks of gamification in learning and engagement in gamification were used. Through Evaluation Research, the Jurisprudence Pilot Project (JPP) was analyzed to determine whether LPNs identified any influence to change their attitudes and behaviours regarding how jurisprudence informs their practice. The use of gamified education is a new concept for nursing regulators in Canada, and this research draws conclusions and provides a set of recommendations for moving forward regarding engagement in the gamified education and the ability to change attitudes and behaviours related to jurisprudence education.
Sack, Erich (2016-04-14)
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a very social problem and is one of the most common mental health conditions in children (Statistics Canada, 2012). With recent changes in camera resolution, I designed an app that tracked the students' eye-movements and adaptively delivered rewards and reminders to modify their behaviours. The goal of this research was to increase attentiveness and reduce distractibility in students aged between six and thirteen diagnosed with ADHD. Additionally, it tried to determine what feedback could be provided to help them in their study efforts. All of the participants that completed the intervention reported increased attention and decreased distractibility. Additionally, most of the participants reported transferability of these behaviours to an external environment, specifically, school. One participant indicated he had better self-esteem as a result of the intervention. These results show that a technological intervention can help students with ADHD increase their attentiveness and reduce their distractibility.
Melashenko, Joel (2015-11-20)
Technology use and adoption in innovative ways is a challenge facing users in today's work and learning environments. Having physical access to technology is not the simple solution to fully integrated use of that technology. This research asks the question: How will a proposed TechTeam technology support model impact new technology adoption by Calgary Girls' School in 2014-2015? This qualitative study used an exploratory case study approach with respondents that included students, staff, and administrators. Fifteen semi-structured interviews were conducted covering topics such as how respondents learned new technology, who they asked for help with technology problems, and what attitudes they had towards trying new technology. Students and staff were also given the opportunity to participate in an anonymous online survey, which asked respondents to share their experience with technology at Calgary Girls' School. A total of 17 respondents completed the single question online survey. Interview responses supported the TechTeam support model as having a positive impact on their technology use and adoption of new technology during the 2014-2015 school year. Respondents' views were mixed, however, on whether perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of a tech tool affected adoption of new technology. Time and digital literacy were themes that emerged through both the semi-structured interviews as well as survey feedback. This thesis concludes that easy to access collegial technology (tech) support based on the Community of Practice theoretical framework positively contributes to technology use at the Calgary Girls' School.
Villegas, Felipe (2015-09-30)
This research examines mind, brain and education theories applied to online instruction. Findings emphasize role of motivation and prior knowledge in multimedia learning. A sequential quantitative-qualitative mixed methods design was used to collect and analyze data through qualitative coding and statistical computations. Research participants (n= 26) randomly allocated to one of three groups completed three different versions of How Floods Work, a self-paced online course developed with multimedia design principles in mind. To measure subject matter knowledge prior to and after the course, participants completed pre- and post-assessments. Small-to-medium size effects were observed in comparisons of post-assessment performance between control and treatment groups (d= 0.58, d= 0.35). Semistructured interviews were conducted to interpret quantitative findings. Data analyzed for participants who completed the course (n= 17) showed statistically significant positive correlations between pre- and post-assessment scores (r= 0.64, p <0.01), and between motivation and post-assessment scores (r=0.53, p <0.05).
Floritto, Arlene (2015-08-06)
Unions exist to advocate for fair wages, equality, safe work environments, and professional practice supports on behalf of workers. This case study engaged union members in a collaborative participatory action research process that explored how one union’s capacity development could be supported by digital technology, and established an action plan to operationalize an increased use of technology within their specific environment. Using constructivism and complexity theory as frameworks to explore the participant interactions and research outcomes, this study also provided context and recommendations for further actions. Other unions may gain perspective and inspiration to use technology to improve service to their members, extend their political and public influence, and contribute to the general betterment of society through policy or procedural changes.
Hillier, Timothy Frank (2015-07-03)
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the perceptions of paramedics regarding online continuing medical education (CME). By identifying the characteristics of effective online CME, course developers can develop practices to engage paramedics and enhance learning. This will lead to better-prepared paramedics and ultimately to safer patient care in the field. A total of thirteen paramedics were surveyed and interviewed and the resulting data were analysed. The interview questions sought to find characteristics of quality in online CME as perceived by practising paramedics. The data collected revealed individual preferences in online CME as well as themes across participants. Findings demonstrate that: (a) online CME has a positive impact on paramedic practice, (b) the convenience of online CME fits with paramedic work schedules and personality traits, (c) practical skills training is important to paramedics, (d) paramedics are easily bored, (e) paramedics have strong preferences for certain online CME elements and characteristics.
Gallant, George (2014-10-31)
This document and accompanying hour-long documentary video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5cghA6zWQg looks at the efficacy of the video production process as a teaching and learning tool with pre-service teachers as an alternative to writing traditional papers. The research shows that integration of a TV news-story format and easy-to-use Cloud-based and tablet-based technologies present solutions to challenges reported in past research and encourage pre-service teachers to incorporate the technique in their future classroom. It is the journey students experience when creating the TV news-story that provides pedagogical benefits to learners as they research subject matter; interview those directly involved with the issue; visit locations; see the issue first hand; and synthesize the material into a short succinct two-minute TV news-story. This research demonstrates there is a significant increase in student engagement in the subject matter and willingness to integrate video as a learning tool in their future classrooms.
Bahir, Fatima (2014-10-24)
Canadian post-secondary institutions cumulatively deliver over 300 programs online or at distance as alternatives to on-campus teaching, and student enrollments in online programs are expected to increase (Canadian Virtual University (CVU), 2013). However, little is known about online degrees as credentials for employment. Focusing on bachelor's degrees awarded by Canadian universities for online and distance education, this mixed methods study investigated the views of a convenient sample of 87 employers using hypothetical hiring and job promotion scenarios. A total of 84 surveys and 4 interviews were conducted with management and human resources personnel at Canadian organizations in the public, private, and social sectors. The findings indicated that 75% of participants considered online degrees equivalent to campus-based face-to-face degrees in the hiring scenario, and over 90% had no preference between campus-based and online degrees in the employment promotion scenario. Four themes emerged related to credibility of online degrees, educational quality of online degrees, affordances and constraints of online education, and gaps in awareness. The findings are relevant to graduates and students of online education as well as educational institutions offering online degrees.
Lamorie-Langley, Kate (2014-07-28)
In post-secondary education, online learning has grown and is anticipated to continue. The majority of higher educational institutions are including online learning within their planning strategies. Currently, the majority of online courses are informational in nature, and not focused on hands-on skill based courses. The purpose of this study was to understand learner and professor perceptions of studio-based courses and their ability to be delivered online. Barriers towards online learning and other contributing factors that may influence a learner's decision to enroll in a studio-based course online are also explored. Through a mixed methods research approach, data was collected from learners and professors from two post-secondary institutions. The data collected provides a framework for future curriculum planning and insights into delivery models to ensure studio-based online courses are effective. Suggestions for online delivery of studio-based courses are also provided.
Tourand, Cheryl Veronica (2014-07-23)
Utilizing in-depth interviews, this research study examined the lived experience of ten School District 33 Chilliwack secondary teachers' technology acceptance, adoption, and levels of innovation. A questionnaire surveyed 34 teachers and provided a mixture of descriptive statistical quantitative data establishing the context for further investigation in the interview process. Interviews with the ten teachers provided a deeper understanding of behavioural intention, use behaviour, teachers' beliefs, values and attitudes about technology, and teachers' perceived supportive/inhibitive normative and subjective components within the contextual environment. Created for this study's data analysis and to illustrate study findings, the concentric rings of the Transformational Technology Innovation Process model explains the interplay of transformational technology as an agent of change, constructs of the contextual environment, and teacher acceptance and adoption of technology. Finally, this study provides recommendations to enhance teachers' adoption and levels of innovation through a planned process of organizational change resulting in educational reform.
Paradis, Danielle (2014-07-17)
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to attempt to understand through interpretation and reflection, the reasoning, and the lived experiences of educators who have implemented open textbooks. The research was also attempting to understand the conception of open education held by each participant. Despite many initiatives to provide open textbooks to colleges and universities, the implementation of these projects has not been widespread. While there is a growing body of work on open textbooks, there is a gap in the literature about educators describing their own experiences with open textbooks. In order to explore this gap, the study was conducted using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to approach the investigation holistically, with the belief that a person is both embedded and embodied within a wider world. The results of the study indicate there is diversity of opinion regarding open textbooks, that personal learning networks or communities play a large role in the adoption of open textbooks, and there remains confusion or variation in interpretation about what "openness" means.
Hasted, Peg (2014-07-11)
This research explores the use of digital photography by young children as a visual language for expressing their views regarding the outdoor environment. It was carried out in a licensed daycare setting with a group of twenty-one 2-4 year old children. A qualitative multi-method design was used, based on the Mosaic approach (Clark & Moss, 2011). The research focused on: (a) the children's perspectives, and (b) the ability of children's photographs to encourage dialogue and support a culture of listening. The theoretical framework was informed by a child's right to be heard, and drew from an image of children as competent learners and builders of knowledge. Findings showed the use of photography supported the sharing of ideas and the co-construction of meaning, revealing perspectives that might otherwise be overlooked. Further studies are needed in order to determine how educators in early learning settings might embed this process of listening into their daily practice.
Alexander, Margaret Marion (2014-03-12)
This study explores ways in which workers understand learning in relation to their work. The participants worked in Ontario women's shelters. The research method applied in this study was phenomenography. Eight women's anti-violence workers shared insights through semi-structured interviews. Four qualitatively different ways of understanding learning in anti-violence work emerged from the data. The study suggests that women's anti-violence workers understand their learning as deeply embedded in their work contexts and in the changes they are trying to effect. The scope and focus of these changes varied. The findings of this study could assist in the development of conceptual frameworks for training anti-violence workers. The researcher also suggests that communities of practice may be critical forums for learning, as they are designed for situated workplace learning, and can evolve with changing contexts.
Maitland, Jason (2013-11-19)
This inquiry explored the effect of policy on faculty practice and pedagogy in e-learning in higher education. This study was framed by descriptive policy analysis which would lead to a better understanding of the way policies work - or do not work. It sought to identify the effect of educational/administrative policy by triangulating policy directives and their effect on faculty practice. The descriptive case study method was used to tell the story of the faculty who teach using e-learning. Qualitative data were gathered through on-site interviews, document analysis and a survey questionnaire. There was a blend of forced-choice and open-ended questions which were later thematically analyzed. The findings indicated that policy is viewed by teaching faculty as being important to move e-learning/blended learning toward an institutional strategic plan or vision and those policies affect e-learning teaching practice. As well, the findings in this study suggested overall low diffusion of policy for e-learning/blended learning within this case study. The findings also suggested that policy, or lack thereof, had an affect on teaching practice in e-learning/blended learning. The study concludes with recommendations for future research.
Ferreira, Lucy Mary (2013-08-15)
The aim of this research was to create a reliable and valid measure of teacher self-efficacy in relation to the use of technology for student-centred learning. This study introduces two scales, the Student-Centred Use of Technology Teacher Efficacy Scale (SCUTTES) and the Student-Centred Use of Technology Teacher Outcome Expectancy Scale (SCUTTOES) for development. This study focused on the initial stages of development which involved the comparison of the two scales with an existing measure of efficacy, the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) as a preliminary test for validity. The surveys were distributed to teachers in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia, and the responses were analyzed for reliability, validity, and factor structure. The instruments were found to be valid measures, although further testing with larger sample sizes is recommended. Based on the results, a professional development program is suggested to raise teacher efficacy for the use of technology in student-centred learning.
Gould, Brian E. (2012-12-07)
Providing high-quality assessment feedback for learners is one of the most important activities faculty can do to positively affect learning. Recent advancements in information, communication, and multimedia technologies present opportunities for us to examine how, when, and where we provide assessment feedback. Yet, a scan of the academic research literature shows that technologies are used widely for teaching in higher education, but not necessarily for assessment. This exploratory study utilized an inductive, naturalistic inquiry approach to investigate student perceptions of receiving assessment feedback in digital multimedia format. Findings revealed that students reported positive effects on their cognitive, affective, and psychomotor learning through what they perceived as regularly occurring student-faculty interaction. Although this study had a relatively small and homogeneous sample, these findings indicate that providing digital multimedia assessment feedback asynchronously, online, has the potential to enhance faculty-student interactions, while contributing to student learning, satisfaction, and motivation.
Lemieux, Kimberly (2012-08-09)
This qualitative study used a narrative inquiry approach to conduct in-depth interviews of eight distributed learning educators who designed and offered online English courses in British Columbia during the 2011/12 school year. There were three research questions: (1) How do teachers describe their professional experiences of teaching in a full time online environment? (2) What are the enablers and inhibitors for online teacher development? (3) Do teachers feel their teaching practice has changed over their career as online educators? Findings were examined through the lens of Korthagen’s (2004) Onion Model. Six themes that comprised this model, provided a framework for data analysis and insight into the process by which teachers made sense of their lived experience. The findings revealed that online educators valued their online experience because it removed the constraints of a regular classroom. They expressed frustration with some aspects of the current model of online education in BC because it prevented them from engaging in synchronous, highly connective learning projects with their students. Recognition of the fact that online educators work in a different milieu with a different set of environmental pressures is necessary to ensure the success of distributed learning in BC.
Paradis, Janet Patricia (2011-09-27)
This study explored the extent to which using online communication tools helped NAIT (the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology) denturist students on third-year practica maintain laboratory and clinical standards of treatment. The inquiry was framed by the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, and was conducted from a collaborative constructivist approach with quantitative data used to enhance and support a mainly qualitative design. Results showed that all elements of a CoI were present in the online environment and that participants voluntarily used WebCT communications tools for academic and social interaction. Standards of treatment on practical projects completed by the study group were no different than those of cohorts that did not use communications tools. Modifications to instructional practices made comparison of standards achieved on patient cases unfeasible. Study results informed immediate changes made to the online practicum site, and suggestions for long-term pedagogical changes to denturist practica were made.
Lalonde, Clint (2011-09-01)
This qualitative phenomenological study involving in-depth interviews with seven educators in K-12 and higher education examines the role that the microblogging service Twitter plays in the formation and development of Personal Learning Networks (PLN) among educators. A double hermeneutic data analysis shows that Twitter plays a role in the formation and development of PLNs by allowing educators to; engage in consistent and sustained dialogue with their PLN, access the collective knowledge of their PLN, amplify and promote more complex thoughts and ideas to a large audience, and expand their PLN using features unique to Twitter. This research also examines the nature of a PLN and shows that participants believe their PLN extends beyond their Twitter network to encompass both face-to-face and other ICT mediated relationships. Secondary research questions examine how Twitter differs from other social networking tools in mediating relationships within a PLN, what motivates an educator to develop a PLN, how trust is established in a PLN, what the expectations of reciprocity are within a PLN, and what is the nature of informal learning within a PLN.
McKeown, Shari I. (2011-07-26)
This descriptive case study examines the use of medical simulation technology in the three-year Thompson Rivers University respiratory therapy training program. Qualitative analysis of data gathered from 78 participants through interviews, observations, and discussion groups reveal a wide variety of low- intermediate- and high-fidelity technologies used for education and evaluation. Deliberate practice is the predominant learning theory informing the use of simulation for safe and ethical training in competencies that would otherwise pose significant risk to patients. Recommendations include enhancements of the existing technology with psychological and environmental fidelity, and for optimal curriculum placement of high-fidelity simulators at hospital sites for student development of critical thinking and team training. Further research into learning with high-fidelity simulation specifically within the context of a student respiratory therapist as an embedded hospital team member is needed.
Digital Learning Research Consulting Projects
The impact of interactive online modules in the annual training and preparedness of staff in dental programs
Assessing the Impact of a Digitally Enhanced Rubric/Feedback Tool in a Practical Lab Setting
Heck, Tanya (2020)