U of S teachers receive Alan Blizzard Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 31, 2011 2011-03-15-OTHER A University of Saskatchewan teaching team has received one of Canada's most prestigious team teaching honours, the Alan Blizzard Award, from the Society for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (STLHE).

The national award is presented once per year to recognize a collaborative teaching endeavour that enhances student learning. The U of S project, "Innovative Practice in Interprofessional Health Sciences Problem-Based Learning", fit the bill perfectly.
"This project has been 10 years in the making and early on we recognized that interprofessional collaboration was a necessary part of a health sciences education," said Peggy Proctor, one of the project's co-ordinators and a clinical assistant professor, School of Physical Therapy. "We developed teaching modules related to a number of health topics like Aboriginal health, palliative care and HIV/AIDS. The students then work together in small groups to consider the 'case' of a patient within each module, relying on each other's discipline-specific knowledge while also learning how each discipline approaches care of the patient."
The project has grown each year and now includes faculty from the University of Regina (U of R) and the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST).
"We describe the project as a shared leadership model since all 12 members have been involved for quite some time and each of us takes on a leadership role when needed," said Proctor. "Thousands of students have been a part of this project and our outcomes have resulted in it becoming mandatory. However, each college or school determines how to best embed it into curriculum.
"This award is a significant validation of the time we have all put into this project, much of which is in addition to our regular university appointments" she explained. "It shines the spotlight on a new way of teaching and learning, one which the university should be proud and supportive of."
The project, which also received the university's 2010 Provost's Prize for Innovation in Teaching and Learning, is the first U of S project to receive the Blizzard Award since its inception in 2000. Another U of S project—Integrative Teaching and Learning to Bridge Pre-Clinical Sciences in Veterinary Medicine, co-ordinated by Baljit Singh, professor of veterinary biomedical sciences—received the Blizzard Honourable Mention Award in 2010.
Project members—including Nora McKee, Marcel D'Eon and Krista Trinder (College of Medicine); Jane Cassidy and Doreen Walker (College of Pharmacy and Nutrition); Pat Wall and Peggy MacLeod (College of Nursing); Megan O'Connell (Arts and Sciences - clinical psychology); Peggy Proctor and Arlis McQuarrie (School of Physical Therapy); Erin Beckwell (U of R); and Darlene Scott (SIAST)—will be presented with the award at the STLHE conference hosted at the U of S June 15-18, 2011.
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For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:
Kris Foster, Communications Writer
University of Saskatchewan
Phone: (306) 966-1806
Email: kris.foster@usask.ca

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