Active Learning Fund enhances innovative learning opportunities
February 26, 2020
The Active Learning Fund, established by the Academic Dean, encourages “the development of a broad range of non-traditional teaching methods to engage our students both in and out of the classroom. The active learning initiatives enhance innovative pedagogy and learning opportunities for our students,” says Dr. Laura Melnyk Gribble, Associate Academic Dean.
Three new Active Learning projects launched at King’s in January 2020:
- French-History Collaborative Film Project
- Using Podcasting as a Pedagogical Tool
- Student Participation in the Allied Media Conference in Detroit
The French-History Collaborative Film Project is a collaborative project by Dr. Nicolas Virtue’s History 2403E: Europe and England in the 16th and 17th Centuries and Dr. Susan Small’s French 3570G: Literature and Culture in France at the end of the Winter 2020 term.
After a successful French Salon event in March 2019, modelled after a 17th century French salon, saw overlapping topics and themes from both courses, Drs. Virtue and Small decided to collaborate on a similar event in the 2020 academic year. “The opportunity of enriching the student experience of both our classes through a joint project that combined the creative, linguistic, and research talents of French and History students was exciting,” says Dr. Virtue.
Last summer, the two classes brainstormed on a video project which will conclude with a “film première.” The première, open to the public, will be held on Friday, March 20, 2020 from 6-7 p.m. in the Joanne and Peter Kenny Theatre with a reception to follow in the Garron Learning Lounge from 7-9 p.m.
Using Podcasting as a Pedagogical Tool focuses on engaging teaching strategies of through new media technology including podcasting and social media. Dr. Derek Silva from Sociology and Dr. Jeff Preston from Disability Studies are working with students to develop a series of podcasts to fulfill course requirements in both programs. This will be a pilot project that could be extended throughout the college in the future.
Students are developing the media skills necessary for producing a high-quality podcast. The topics connect complex course material with everyday life while establishing relationships with community stakeholders to create community-based narratives. Dr. Preston says he and Dr. Silva “hope to challenge students to use podcasting as a way to illuminate social issues and problems that exist in their local communities. We are working closely with students to create a series of podcasts that will culminate in narrative work that will accompany course material.”
Student participation in the Allied Media Conference in Detroit is led by Dr. Tom Malleson of Social Justice & Peace Studies. The Allied Media Conference (AMC) has been held for the last 20 years and brings together social justice activists, intellectuals, artists, and change-makers from across North America to Wayne State University in Detroit.
“The AMC is not at all a typical academic conference; it is more like a giant activist gathering for people interested in racial justice, economic justice, gender justice, environmental justice, etc. to meet, network, and collaborate. In my personal 20-year experience of being a social justice activist, having attended dozens of gatherings and academic conferences, I can truly say that the AMC is a one-of-a-kind experience. I, and many others, have found it to be a life-changing experience,” says Dr. Malleson.
Dr. Malleson and a second faculty member will accompany a group of up to 13 students to attend the AMC for three days, attending workshops and networking events, as well as structured reflections with the supervisor, in order to learn and to actively participate in building cross-continental activist networks.