Teaching, learning projects recognized

Two projects, one that brings together students with those whose life experience is vastly different from their own and one that will see telerobotic technology bring faculty expertise to remote communities, have each been awarded a $10,000 Provost’s Project Grant for Innovative Practice in Collaborative Teaching and Learning.

Inside-Out on the Outside: An Interdisciplinary Community- based Teaching and Learning Project will match U of S students with nontraditional learners from a local gang prevention initiative called Str8 Up and with mature students from Oskayak High School. The objective is to allow participants to be co-learners and co-creators of knowledge as they "challenge ideas about knowledge, learning and societal assumptions about which ‘types' of people should come together in a common project of discovery," said Sarah Buhler from the College of Law.

Others involved in initiating the project were Priscilla Settee from the Department of Native Studies and Nancy Van Styvendale from the Department of English. Part of the proposal includes funds for filmmaker Marcel Petit to produce a documentary film about the experience.

The second grant went to Telerobotics: The use of Technology for Teacher Presence in the Delivery of an Undergraduate Nursing Course. The project goal is to connect students in remote communities with U of S faculty members in a way that allows faculty to see what the students are seeing. This will be accomplished with a robot called the RP-7, which incorporates a flat-screen monitor, cameras and on-board audio. The robot also has specialized equipment like a stethoscope and otoscope for physical assessments that both the student and faculty member can see.

According to the project proposal, prepared by Assistant Professor Carol Bullin in the College of Nursing, U of S student in northern Saskatchewan communities will be the first in the world to benefit from the technology. Bullin currently delivers two courses that incorporate the RP-7.

In addition to the two grants, a Provost's Prize of $5,000 for innovative practice in collaborative teaching and learning has been awarded to a project that has, since 2007, offered an inter-professional experience for students and professors in several health science disciplines at the U of S.

The Longitudinal Elderly Person Shadowing (LEPS) program involves students being matched with a senior, who they meet and interview in accordance with a set of guidelines. During three subsequent visits, students learn about the seniors' contemporary experiences to assess how much is known about services available. Since it began, 258 students have taken part in LEPS.

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