Arts Pedagogy Research and Innovation Laboratory

APRIL Gears Up for Fall

A warm welcome to the University of Alberta community from APRIL’s new team. Under the direction of Associate Dean Mikael (Mickey) Adolphson, APRIL began a new academic term with Dr. Jana Grekul (Department of Sociology) assuming the role of Director, and Laura Servage (M Ed, Doctoral Candidate, Educational Policy Studies) hired as APRIL’s research coordinator. We extend gratitude to former Director Dr. Tom Spalding, and Teaching and Learning Specialist Donna Feledichuk (Doctoral Candidate, Educational Psychology), whose efforts laid a solid foundation for APRIL’s future.

Over the 2014/2015 academic year, we’ll be working to document and share teaching innovations in the Faculty of Arts. APRIL also engages in academic research related to undergraduate teaching. Our goal is to help Arts faculty and instructors take a leadership role in developing, testing and refining pedagogical practices that best support learning in the humanities, social sciences, and fine arts.

Our fall has rolled out with instructors Timothy Mills (PhD, Linguistics) and Andrew Wong (PhD, Economics) rising to the challenge of flipping their classrooms. Both instructors are moving their lectures online, freeing up valuable class time for more active forms of student learning. APRIL is supporting their efforts, and investigating the impacts of the flipped model on students’ academic achievement, study habits, and engagement. Have a look at the outcomes from Dr. Wong’s flipped classroom experiment in 2013/2014 to learn more about the impacts of the flipped classroom model – particularly its positive results for international students.

Watch for our upcoming Faculty Survey in November. It’s  your chance to tell us how you are innovating in your classroom, and what kinds of supports you need to improve your teaching practice.