Glossary of Terms
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The defining characteristic of active learning is that students are dynamic participants in their learning and that they are reflecting on and monitoring both the processes and the results of their learning (Barkley, 2010 cited in Finkelstein, 2016). Students are engaged in constructing their own understandings.
AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act)
The AODA was established by the Government of Ontario to create accessibility standards that organizations from public, private, and non-profit sectors must follow and to make an accessible province for all Ontarians. The following link provides additional information on how to incorporate AODA guidelines into both online and in-class curricula at UTM: https://hrandequity.utoronto.ca/inclusion/accessibility/
In this approach, teachers design courses beginning with the learning goals they want students to reach, and then they design the course to help students get there. See Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design, 2nd edition.
Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Objectives
A classification produced by University of Chicago psychologist Benjamin Bloom (1956) of the different objectives and skills that educators set for their students (learning objectives). The terminology has been recently updated to include the following six hierarchical levels of learning: (1) Remembering; (2) Understanding; (3) Applying; (4) Analyzing; (5) Evaluating; and (6) Creating. Learning at the higher levels is dependent on having attained prerequisite knowledge and skills at lower levels. A more comprehensive description of each learning objective can be found here.
According to Dyjur and Kenny (2015), curriculum mapping is “the process of associating course outcomes with program‐level learning outcomes and aligning elements of courses (e.g., teaching and learning activities, assessment strategies) within a program, to ensure that it is structured in a strategic, thoughtful way that enhances student learning”. Curriculum maps are used to analyze how individual courses contribute to program outcomes.
A requirement that course content presented live in-class available also be available online. For dual delivery, the instructor may be present in-person in the classroom or may be projected into the classroom so that they engage with students in real time; thus, the content must be synchronous.
The practice of using the most credible up-to-date strategies and approaches from multiple credible studies. In teaching, evidence-based practices are often tailored to specific types of learning and subject matter but should be assiduously implemented and continuously updated in order to enhance the quality of education and evaluation.
A type of blended learning which focuses less on instructor delivery and more on student engagement and active learning. This type of classroom gives the instructor a better opportunity to engaged mixed levels, student needs, and differentiated learning styles during synchronous class-time.
Formative assessments are used to monitor student learning and provide opportunities for feedback. They can help students target areas they need to work on and can help instructors recognize where students need additional assistance. They tend to be process-oriented and no-stakes or low-stakes. In-class activities like clicker questions or short writing activities are examples of formative assessments.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)
A provincial act which legislates access to information held by public institutions (for example universities) to safeguard the personal information of Ontarians (with specific requirements). This act was established in 1991 in Ontario.
Higher Order Thinking
A concept based on Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Objectives (2002), which serves as a framework for classifying the different types of outcomes expected from students based on different complexities or levels of questions. “Higher Order Thinking” objectives include questions that provide students with the means to apply, analyze, evaluate, and create based on course content. This differ from “Lower Order Thinking” objectives, which include remembering and understanding key concepts. Higher Order Thinking questions are often more effective for take-home or final exams. A link further explaining these concepts can be found here.
A course which combines traditional classroom learning/activities/labs with online instruction. Also known as “blended learning”.
“Learning outcomes are statements that describe the knowledge or skills students should acquire by the end of a particular assignment, class, course, or program, and help students understand why that knowledge and those skills will be useful to them. They focus on the context and potential applications of knowledge and skills, help students connect learning in various contexts, and help guide assessment and evaluation” (Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation, University of Toronto).
According to Skene and Fedko (2014), scaffolding is a technique for designing learning experiences that involves breaking learning objectives down into smaller, manageable parts that gradually increase in complexity. Instructors provide support and feedback for students as they work through the learning sequence. For example, a scaffolded term paper might ask students to first submit an outline, then an annotated bibliography, and then a draft of the paper, with feedback recieved between each part, before submitting their final term paper.
An act of reconciliation that involves making a statement recognizing the traditional territory of the Indigenous people who called the land home before the arrival of settlers, and in many cases still do call it home. This acknowledgment also signifies that Indigenous peoples are keepers of the land, and their relationship with the land is ongoing.
A method of teaching implemented to facilitate or complete a course curriculum due to unforeseen interruptions which no longer allow for the utilization of the typical classroom setting. The goal of remote teaching is to best meet course outcomes, and content and activities are developed incrementally on a trial-and-error basis or contingency plan. Remote teaching differs from online teaching in that the content is not specifically designed to be taught online, but instead has been adapted for online learning.
A rubric is a tool used to articulate assessment expectations and to evaluate student work. Rubrics are based on a list of criteria that outline the expectations for student work (e.g., organization, writing mechanics, depth of analysis, citation) and contain levels of quality (e.g., meets expectations, exceeds expectations) meant to give students and graders a clear idea of what constitutes mastery. Rubrics can be used for both summative and formative assessment, including written work, oral presentations, and class participation. They can also help facilitate peer review and self-evaluation.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL)
“The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) involves post-secondary practitioners conducting inquiry into teaching and learning processes in higher education contexts… The overall intention of SoTL is thus to improve student learning and enhance educational quality” (Poole & Simmons, 2013 as cited by STLHE). Hutchings (2000) categorizes SoTL projects into four different types: what is (descriptive), what works (evaluating if a strategy is working), visions of the possible (envisioning new approaches), and theory building (making meaning of what teachers and learners do).
Summative assessments are used to evaluate student learning at the end of a learning experience. They tend to be product-oriented and high-stakes, meaning that they contribute substantially to students’ grades. Final exams and term papers are examples of summative assessments.
Synchronous/Asynchronous Teaching and Learning
Synchronous teaching occurs in “real-time”, either live or online, which allow for active student engagement with the course instructor and course content. The goal of online synchronous teaching is to replicate learning within the classroom environment and create a sense of community between staff and students. An ideal course will combine synchronous and asynchronous components in order to incorporate both active and self-taught learning.
Asynchronous teaching occurs independent from the “real-time” classroom setting. Students will be provided with interactive resources such as videos and slides prepared by the instructor in advance. Asynchronous delivery allows students and course instructors a level of flexibility not provided by synchronous delivery and promotes self-taught learning alongside active delivery. An ideal course will combine both synchronous and asynchronous components.
Think-pair-share is an active learning strategy. To initiate the activity, the instructor poses a question and asks students to first consider the question alone, and then discuss it in pairs or small groups. To conclude, the instructor facilitates a larger classroom discussion. The relatively simple structure allows for a great deal of flexibility. It can be used in both large lecture courses and small seminars.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
UDL is a concept guided by scientific and pedagogical research which allows instructors to develop structures to accommodate flexible learning environments for a diverse array of student needs. Goals include accommodating multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement for students to learn and present their learning.