Educational Research

As an Teaching Stream Professor within our department, my primary focus is teaching, curriculum development, and administration.  Since I joined the department in July 2007, I have focused my research efforts on three main areas:

  • Rethinking the Classroom Experience 
Over the past ten years the concept of "inverting" or "flipping" the classroom experience has gained traction within multiple levels of education.  In this teaching approach, what is normally done within the classroom (i.e., lecturing), is moved outside of the classroom, and what is normally done outside the classroom (i.e., active exercises, homework, solving problems, etc.) is now done within the classroom.  

As the available technology has progressed, the process of inverting the classroom has become much more accessible for the average educator.  For example, the Khan Academy has recently advocated such an approach for elementary school mathematics education, and this has gained in popularity in higher education as well.

In September of 2011, I started a research project related to the inverted classroom with financial support from the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, HEQCO.  This project will focus on assessing the effectiveness of this teaching approach and investigate how this approach is related to a student's learning style, their perception of instructor/student interaction, their academic ranking, and their self-efficacy (both related to the course material and engineering).

  • Technology in the Classroom 
As technology becomes more ubiquitous in higher education, it is important that we use technology in a way which is compatible with well-known educational principles.  Over the years I used a number of technologies within my courses, with the primary ones being the tablet PC, classroom responses systems (iclickers), lecture capture software (Camtasia Studio), online quizzes and surveys (Blackboard), question and answer forums (such as Piazza), and educational social networking sites (such as CoursePeer).

Over the years, I have assessed how students respond to the use of the tablet PC within the classroom and particularly how students of various learning styles differ in their perceptions.   

Related Papers

  • Engineering Outreach
In recent years, I have collaborated with fellow faculty and staff members to develop a series of engineering-based activites designed for teaching Grade 11 high-school physics, specifically electricity and magnetism. 

Related Papers                    Activity Resources               

Last modified June 2012