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Senior Research Projects 2017

Each student in the Knowledge Integration Senior Research Project (two-term course, INTEG 420 A & B) works on a short research project under the dual direction of a member of the Department of Knowledge Integration and an advisor from a discipline related to the topic. The results of this project will be presented in thesis form, and will be critically examined by members of this and, where pertinent, other departments.

The students will present poster displays of their projects on Friday, March 31. Details at: Knowledge Integration Symposium 2017

Conference-style papers: KI Symposium Proceedings 2017 (PDF)

Also, check out: 2016 projects | 2015 projects | 2014 projects | 2013 projects | 2012 projects

Senior Research Projects 2017
Student Title/Area (with link to Abstract) Supervisor
Samantha Afonso The known effect of genetics on mental illness in Indigenous North American populations: A scoping review Martin Cooke, Sociology & Legal Studies and School of Public Health & Health Systems
Jillian Anderson cydr: An R Package for Cleaning Agricultural Yield Data

John McLevey, Knowledge Integration, Sociology & Legal Studies, and School of Environment & Resource Studies

Maria Bajorek

A Three-Tiered Analysis of Training and Non-Training Needs for Student Ambassador Effectiveness John Michela, Psychology
Denzil Barkley High Volume Production and Rheology of Ultra-Monodispersed Polystyrene    James Forrest, Physics and Astronomy
Jamie Bate Teaching Grade 8 Ontario Students about cancer using Interactivity Ashley Kelly, English Language and Literature
Joel Becker Do just actions beget just perceptions for supervisors with intersectional identities? Ramona Bobocel and Winny Shen, Psychology
M. Kate Beggs Does Depression Affect the Objective Perception of Colour? Linda Carson, Fine Arts and James Danckert, Psychology
Andrew Clubine Beyond Student Governance: A Case Study in Student Association Leadership Bruce Fournier, School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University (retired)
Danielle Cruz A Comparative Study on Instructor and Marker WatCV ePortfolio Experiences across Arts, Environment, and Engineering Courses at the University of Waterloo Jennifer Roberts-Smith and Jill Tomasson Goodwin, Drama and Speech Communication;  and Kathryn Plaisance, Knowledge Integration
Maxwell Esser Optimizing the Psychosocial Components of Rehabilitation Therapy for Patients with Acquired Physical Disabilities: A Synthetic Literature Review of Psychology and Disability Studies Theories Jay Dolmage, English Language and Literature
Elizabeth Fletcher Approaches and Perceptions of Parents and their Children towards Home Reading Practices during Summer Vacation Janice Aurini, Sociology and Legal Studies
Sylvia Hook

Fabulous Hymns and Where to Find Them: Cataloguing Queer Hymns

Kenneth Hull, Music, Conrad Grebel University College
Erin Jamieson Integrating Knowledge in Elementary Education: Exploring the Understanding of Teachers Dennis Gingrich, Peace & Conflict Studies, University of Waterloo and Waterloo Catholic District School Board
Yanish Jutton Interactional Expertise and the Tech Industry: An analysis, and critique of Interactional Expertise using the tech industry as a case study Kathryn Plaisance, Knowledge Integration; and Kory Jeffrey, Google Canada
Dana Lobo A Cultural Divide: Chinese Tech Start-ups Targeting North America Trien Nguyen, Economics
Mitchell Loewen Me, Myself, and Not I: An Investigation of Avatar Creation Styles and the Self Lennart Nacke, Drama & Speech Communication and Christopher Burris, Psychology
Emily Macgowan Improving the ease of use of Pharmacy 5in5 Kelly Grindrod, School of Pharmacy and Jill Tomasson Goodwin, Drama and Speech Communication
Steven McColl Dismal Diversity: a Qualitative Approach to Understanding the Gender Gap in Undergraduate Economics Allyson Stokes, Knowledge Integration
Daniel Moholia Exploiting the Future: Evolving Attitudes on Child Labour among Ontario's Factory Inspectors, 1889-1907 Catherine Briggs, History
Reba Nauth Writing Rights and Wrongs: Ameliorating the Rights-Education Gap with a Children's Anthology of parens patriae and Education Cases Jason Blokhuis, Social Development Studies and Kathryn Plaisance, Knowledge Integration
Abby Neufeld Dick Achieving More in Life with Self-Regulation: Information, Activities and Reflections for Young Adults Mark Morton, Centre for Teaching Excellence
Benjamin Persofsky Super Collaboration: Using the Power of Games to Teach Collaboration Rob Gorbet, Knowledge Integration
Khoa Tran That’s Not a Problem Here: Oppression Towards the Black Community in Southern Ontario Heather Smyth, English Language and Literature
Rachel Trites Navigating Shared Care Between Family Physicians and Oncologists: A Scoping Study on Barriers to Collaboration in Canada Samantha Meyer, School of Public Health and Health Systems

The known effect of genetics on mental illness in Indigenous North American populations: A scoping review

Samantha Afonso

Supervisor: Martin Cooke, Sociology & Legal Studies and School of Public Health & Health Systems

Abstract:

Mental health continues to be an immediate concern for many Indigenous communities in Canada. Recent literature indicates that Indigenous communities have an unequally high burden of mental illness; yet, the genetic understanding of mental illness has been absent from much of the available literature on Indigenous health. There is a need for a comprehensive review of the extant literature on the possible role of genetics in the mental health of Indigenous peoples, in order to identify avenues for further research. This scoping review will ask the question: What is known about the effect of genetics on mental health problems of indigenous populations in Canada? The objectives of this scoping review are: 1) to identify current research on the role of genetics in mental illness among Indigenous populations of Canada; 2) to highlight the gaps and identify important areas for future research, and 3) to consider these in light of the ethical and social implications of continued research in this field. Searches of relevant electronic databases, including grey literature, and hand searches of important genetic and Indigenous health journals will be conducted. The scoping review will consider all study designs, across any discipline with discussion of the topic. This project will be the first attempt to describe the scope of knowledge of psychiatric genetics in Indigenous populations of Canada. It is anticipated that the results will contribute to continued research in the identification of genetic causes of psychiatric distress among Indigenous peoples.

cydr: An R Package for Cleaning Agricultural Yield Data

Jillian Anderson

Supervisor: John McLevey, Knowledge Integration, Sociology and Legal Studies, and Environment and Resource Studies

Increasingly, agricultural producers collect and analyze data to improve decision making. It is important these data are accurate to ensure the recommendations they produce are valuable. Yield data is an example of useful data that is also especially error prone (Kleinjan et al. 2002; Wiebold et al. 2003; Kenneth A. Sudduth and Drummond 2007; Kenneth A Sudduth, Drummond, and Myers 2012). Through this project, I have developed an R package called cydr. This package assists in agricultural yield data cleaning by automating identification and removal of erroneous yield data. cydr implements previously developed algorithms in R, a language used by both agricultural researchers and data analysts. Additionally, cydr extends previous research by providing functionality to identify erroneous data associated with canola, a largely ignored category of datasets. Through predefined defaults and optional parameters, cydr ensures accessibility for new users, while providing powerful functionality for experienced users.

A Three-Tiered Analysis of Training and Non-Training Needs for Student Ambassador Effectiveness

Maria Bajorek

Supervisor: John Michela, Psychology

Abstract: Each year, thousands of students across Canada face the complex decision of what post-secondary institution they should attend. For many, campus visits and interactions with university representatives could be deciding factors in that process. Student Ambassadors (SAs) at the Visitors Centre are responsible for interacting with prospective students and their families before, during and after campus visits at the University of Waterloo. The quality of interactions with SAs is believed to have a significant impact on enrollment each year. Accordingly, this project aims to enhance the performance of SAs by providing information and suggestions for improvement to the supervising manager. Through a novel, three-tiered analysis of the SA position, this project will propose solutions to training shortcomings and to other impediments to SA performance (“non-training needs”). The data has been gathered through a two-step process: an interview with management and then surveys filled out by current SAs. The data will point out vital areas for improvement within the SA position. I will use this information as input to answer the question of how to redesign the current training to address training needs and how to address non-training needs through other solutions using business practices of The Walt Disney Company and industry best practices. Throughout the design process I will co-ordinate with the Visitors Centre to ensure that the recommendations for solutions are ready for immediate development and implementation so that results of the enhanced training are realized as soon as possible.

High Volume Production and Rheology of Ultra-Monodispersed Polystyrene  

Denzil Barkley    

Supervisor: James Forrest, Physics and Astronomy    

Abstract: A previous method of producing ultra-monodispersed, low moleculular weight polystyrenes consists of separating samples based on the different evaporation rate of the components. This method was scaled up 100 times so that rheological data could be collected on these larger samples. This data was compared to literature on monodispersed polystyrenes by Cross (1969) and Schweizer (2004).

Teaching Grade 8 Ontario Students about cancer using Interactivity

Jamie Bate

Supervisor: Ashley Kelly, English Language and Literature

Abstract: My project aims to create an interactive website that contains basic facts about the most common types of cancer. By teaching using interactivity, this website will be tailored for grade 8 Ontario students who have basic prior knowledge about cells. There are several games which are based around cancer that can be found online, although many are non-intuitive, incomplete, and do not have the primary goal of education. Furthermore, the level of scientific information is not tailored to a specific demographic. Through the application of HTML coding, Twine hypertext simulations, and Webflow interface design, this project will be customized to teach Grade 8 students about cancer in an interactive and engaging manner using the appropriate level of jargon.

Do just actions beget just perceptions for supervisors with intersectional identities?

Joel Becker

Supervisors:Ramona Bobocel and Winny Shen, Psychology

Abtract: A common responsibility of workplace supervisors is to treat their subordinates with dignity, respect, and openness. Although you might expect subordinates to think more highly of their supervisor when they are treated well, past research has shown that the race or gender of a supervisor can cause them to be judged more harshly when they treat workers poorly, or not to benefit from treating their workers well. In other words, reactions to fair or unfair treatment on the part of supervisors depends, in part, on who the supervisor is (e.g., a man or a woman, a minority or a majority group member). This study examined whether race and gender interact or combine (e.g., responses to a Black man vs. a Black women) to determine subordinate responses to a supervisor’s just or unjust treatment, as well as investigating the possible mechanisms that cause these differences.

Does Depression Affect the Objective Perception of Colour?

M. Kate Beggs

Supervisors: Linda Carson, Fine Arts and James Danckert, Psychology

Abstract: It is well known that depression has a profound effect on how individuals interact with the world. There is even some evidence that major depression changes individuals at the level of sensory perception (Bubl et al., 2009; Bubl et al., 2010; Bubl et al., 2013). In addition, several studies have looked at depression and colour vision and found correlations between an individual's level of depression and subjective changes in their experience of colour, with more depressed individuals reporting the world as more black, drab, or grey (Barrick, Taylor, & Correa, 2002; Barrick, Kent, Crusse, & Taylor, 2012; Flanagan, Carman, & Berk, 2004). In this study we will conduct an online survey looking at objective colour perception. Participant judgements of saturation will be measured by a colour selection task in which participants change the level of saturation until a square of colour reaches the boundary between coloured and uncoloured. We will then compare the accuracy of saturation judgments of people with no depression to moderate depression, as measured by the 21 item Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale (DASS-21). We expect to find no significant effect of depression on saturation judgments as early vision is typically considered to be cognitively impenetrable (Pylyshyn, 1999), meaning depression is unlikely to cause an objective change in visual perception.

Beyond Student Governance: A Case Study in Student Association Leadership

Andrew Clubine

Supervisor: Bruce Fournier, School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University (retired)

Abstract: Undergraduate student associations across Canada struggle to govern and manage themselves effectively. This is largely due to the limitations inherent to organizations with transient membership. It is compounded by student leadership that lacks professional experience. Student associations regularly undertake reviews to address these issues, often narrowly focusing on formal governance structure. The Federation of Students at the University of Waterloo (Feds) is no exception. While there is minimal existing literature about student association leadership, general business literature suggests that governance is only one aspect of what makes an organization grow and succeed. In this report, I review Feds' internal governance and vision documents alongside literature about management, strategy and organizational behaviour. I provide specific recommendations for next steps in developing the organization's leadership. These go beyond formal governance, addressing the culture and practices of Feds' student leaders. From these specific recommendations, I offer a set of general best-practices for student associations across Canada.

A Comparative Study on Instructor and Marker WatCV ePortfolio Experiences across Arts, Environment, and Engineering Courses at the University of Waterloo

Danielle Cruz

Supervisors: Jennifer Roberts-Smith and Jill Tomasson Goodwin, Drama and Speech Communication;  and Kathryn Plaisance, Knowledge Integration

Abstract: Many new university graduates are eager to head immediately into the workforce post-graduation. Subsequently, graduates are increasingly concerned about whether they have the skills that employers are looking for. Employers commonly report there is a notable gap in students’ essential skills, which are considered the transferable or professional skills required for any job, rather than in technical skills (Harden, Jackson and Lane, 2014). To address this “professional skills gap”, the University of Waterloo is piloting the WatCV: Career and Competency ePortfolios Project from Fall 2016-Winter 2017. The WatCV project aims to provide students across the University’s six faculties with a single framework and means to help them recognize and explicitly articulate their professional skills to employers (University of Waterloo, n.d.). Although the WatCV project strives to help all students, regardless of program, communicate their professional skills, different experiences may be encountered when trying to use a single instrument across different disciplinary courses. Each course has its own tacit knowledge, which underpins its activities and inherently influences the way that its participants perceive, understand, and communicate information (Collins, 2001). In the case of WatCV, each pilot course’s nature, knowledge base, and student skill-set may influence how WatCV is experienced by diverse course stakeholders. To understand various courses’ implicit WatCV experiences, this study investigates Arts, Environment, and Engineering instructors’ and markers’ Fall 2016 experiences integrating and assessing WatCV. This research is important in helping the project identify various similarities and differences across its participants’ experiences. This data will inform the WatCV research team with a variety of insights that both identify effective components of the initiative and areas of difficulty or opportunity to be addressed in future iterations of the project.

Optimizing the Psychosocial Components of Rehabilitation Therapy for Patients with Acquired Physical Disabilities: A Synthetic Literature Review of Psychology and Disability Studies Theories

Maxwell Esser

Supervisor: Jay Dolmage, English Language and Literature

Abstract: There is an unreasonable amount of stigma surrounding the disabled community and the status of being disabled. This stigma contributes to the debilitation of people who acquire disabilities by providing an overly negative preconception of what life with a disability is like. This preconception amplifies the psychological effects of loss on the newly-disabled individuals; simultaneously, the stigma itself changes the newly-disabled individuals’ social status and how society views and treats them. Upon acquiring a physical disability, people often undergo physical therapy to adjust to their new lifestyles. Because of this, physical rehabilitation therapy is an optimal time to begin addressing these problems and psychologically preparing patients for their new lives. This in-depth literature review synthesizes psychological theories involving acquiring physical disabilities, such as paralysis and limb loss, with theories from the field of disability studies. This review also compares these theories with the existing practice of rehabilitation therapy to analyze how large the gap between the theories and practice is. Lastly, this review will be concluded with a critical discussion about potential solutions or modifications to the existing therapeutic practice that better address the psychological and social impact of acquiring a physical disability, and thus facilitate the mental healing process.

Approaches and Perceptions of Parents and their Children towards Home Reading Practices during Summer Vacation

Elizabeth Fletcher

Supervisor: Janice Aurini, Sociology and Legal Studies

Abstract: This project examines how parents and their young children approach and perceive home reading during summer vacation. Social class can influence how parents contribute to their children's schooling in terms of resources and how parents perceive the importance of reading in the summer. To examine the approaches and perceptions of home reading, this paper will draw on interviews with parents and photo-interviews with their children conducted in 2014. Using this data, three potentially fruitful avenues will be explored: a) similarities and differences between parents and their children; and b) whether there are similarities and differences between parent-child pairs. The first comparative analysis will consider parents and their perceptions and approaches to home reading. The second will focus on the children of the parent's interview and will consider their thoughts on home reading. Finally, a comparative analysis will occur regarding both the parents and their children.

 

Fabulous Hymns and Where to Find Them: Cataloguing Queer Hymns

Sylvia Hook

Supervisor: Kenneth Hull, Music, Conrad Grebel University College

Abstract:

As society becomes more aware of and focused on LGBTQ+ issues, and as many churches are becoming more inclusive of LGBTQ+ persons, hymn-writers are reflecting this societal and theological shift in their texts. Some of these queer hymns have started to appear in mainline hymn books, but they are still scattered across a large number of sources, making it difficult for churches and hymn book editorial committees to find queer hymns and bring them into regular use. Since many excellent queer hymns exist, and since other authors have eloquently called for their use in worship and inclusion in hymn books, the primary remaining barrier to the use of queer hymns in the worship of inclusive churches is dissemination. I will provide criteria for determining whether a hymn is queer, discuss categories of queer hymns, provide an overview of the body of queer hymns, and critique strengths and weaknesses of the current body of queer hymns. I will introduce an extensive resource cataloging existing queer hymns and where to find them.

Integrating Knowledge in Elementary Education: Exploring the Understanding of Teachers

Erin Jamieson

Supervisor: Dennis Gingrich, Peace & Conflict Studies, University of Waterloo and Waterloo Catholic District School Board

Abstract:

Since its inception, public education in Ontario has tried to strike a balance between creating curriculum that is focused on accountability to the public, and curriculum that is engaging and adaptable to student needs in the classroom. Recently, there has been resurgence of support for integrated learning, which involves connecting multiple subject areas to a larger theme or issue in order to teach core concepts and skills. Research indicates that integrated learning is effective for creating engaging classroom environments that help children build necessary competencies. However, there is little exploration of how teachers operate in the changing system, and how their education and professional development prepare them to apply these practices in their classrooms. This project seeks to gain an understanding of the lived experiences of elementary teachers in the Ontario public school system through a phenomenological study, by investigating the ways in which teachers are trained to apply these new teaching methods, and the ways they apply the theory in their own classroom. Interviews were conducted with a sample of local elementary school teachers, diverse in their grade level experience and school environments. Three common themes emerged as central to the experience: the centrality of the curriculum, the necessity of teacher partner collaboration, and the perceived dichotomy of integration and skill development. Through understanding and exploring these common themes, this study will identify gaps in knowledge and training, in the hopes that these gaps can be presented and addressed by School Board officials in future iterations of professional development. These results will be important in helping build teachers’ capacity as leaders in 21st century learning.

Interactional Expertise and the Tech Industry: An analysis, and critique of Interactional Expertise using the tech industry as a case study

Yanish Jutton

Supervisors: Kathryn Plaisance, Knowledge Integration; and Kory Jeffrey, Google Canada

Abstract: The technology industry is an industry encompassing multiple disciplines, and as a result, there is a very diverse interaction of fields, and of professionals from those fields. This increasing complexity is calling for a greater need for individuals who have the ability to be the bridge between fields, however, there is currently no formal way within the tech industry to recognize, and empower these individuals. This project looks at the concept of Interactional Expertise (expertise in the language of a domain, without the corresponding technical ability to practice within that domain) with the goal of critiquing, and as a result augmenting it in the hopes of using this framework as a way of recognizing, and formalizing certain types of expertise within the tech Industry. In the process, we discuss the current conception of interactional expertise, consider case studies, provide arguments, and make recommendations to better the concept itself. Secondly we propose the benefits that this concept can make available to the tech Industry in terms of talent acquisition and training.

A Cultural Divide: Chinese Tech Start-ups Targeting North America

Dana Lobo

Supervisor: Trien Nguyen, Economics

Abstract: China is currently undergoing rapid economic growth relative to many other countries in the world; however, the officials of the country believe that their growth rate is not strong enough. This has led the country?s leaders to push for economic growth through means of domestic innovation and entrepreneurship. The government provides many incentives for organizations to start and grow companies in China. Some of these companies have found it attractive to target western markets; however, they lack the knowledge and resources to target these markets effectively. Through a case study and literature review I will collaborate with Internet start-ups in China to examine the challenges they face when targeting western markets, specifically looking at North America. I aim to provide a list of best practices or potential solutions companies could use to mitigate the challenges when trying to attract North American consumers. I expect through the case study to find that companies face similar challenges, largely due to cultural differences, and not taking into account North American taste when designing and marketing products.

Me, Myself, and Not I: An Investigation of Avatar Creation Styles and the Self    

Mitchell Loewen  

Supervisors: Lennart Nacke, Drama & Speech Communication and Christopher Burris, Psychology    

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to explore the relationship between video game players and their avatars as well as to provide a basis for future research on video game avatars. Specifically, this research applies Self-discrepancy Theory in order to better understand the different ways players create their avatars and the values that they ascribe to them. A sample of 126 undergraduate psychology students at the University of Waterloo was collected using an online survey which assessed the values of their actual, ideal, and ought selves and their avatars. Our findings indicate that the discrepancies between one’s actual, ought, and ideal selves is predictive of one’s avatar creation style. More specifically, we found three significant findings. First, people who have realistic avatars have a lower self-discrepancy than people who have idealized or distinctly different avatars. Second, people who have idealized avatars have a greater actual/ideal self-discrepancy than people who have realistic avatars. Finally, people who have distinctly different avatars have a greater actual/ought discrepancy than people who have realistic avatars. The possible implications and limitations of these results are then discussed, and several potential directions for further research are proposed.

Improving the ease of use of Pharmacy 5in5

Emily Macgowan

Supervisors: Kelly Grindrod, School of Pharmacy and Jill Tomasson Goodwin, Drama and Speech Communication

Abstract: Around the world, healthcare professionals are expected to keep up with ongoing training to remain licensed.  As one group in the healthcare industry, pharmacists are required to participate in continuing professional development and maintain an online learning portfolio as mandated by their regulatory college, the College of Pharmacists. Currently, many different online and in-person offerings assist pharmacists with continuing education; however, few help them understand the newest updates to pharmacy practice with a focus on implementing both skills and knowledge. An elearning platform for pharmacists called Pharmacy 5in5 was created to address this observed gap between learning and practice. It provides users with short quizzes and feedback to improve their knowledge and help them realize when they may not be implementing their learnings. While the platform is already up and running, user testing has uncovered a number of usability and user experience issues. Some of these issues include: difficulty in navigating the interface, timeliness of quiz feedback, and lack of engagement to continue learning through the platform. To design the second iteration of the interface, I have been working with two designers to reimagine the Pharmacy 5in5 experience and eliminate these usability and user experience issues. During March, I will conduct a second round of testing on the new interface to determine whether the design changes have succeeded in minimizing the identified issues. Overall the outcomes of this study could be instrumental in changing pharmacists’ behaviours to act on their learnings so that they can enhance the best standards of care to their patients.

 

Dismal Diversity: a Qualitative Approach to Understanding the Gender Gap in Undergraduate Economics

Steven McColl

Supervisor: Allyson Stokes, Knowledge Integration

Abstract: Gender and economics has received a lot of attention related to important issues such as the gender pay gap, occupational segregation  by gender, and anti gender discrimination policy. However, what is often left out of the discussion is the gender gap that exists in undergraduate economics. At a time when women’s enrolment in post-secondary education has been trending upwards, economics has seen a persistent gender gap. Since 1988, when the Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession started reporting student data, the gap in undergraduate economics has remained at close to one third. In 2016 at the University of Waterloo, women’s enrolment in undergraduate economics was ~35%.  Although there have been studies on this gender gap, they typically focus on survey data and quantitative analysis. This study aims to examine the experiences and perceptions of economics students, and will attempt to understand the differences in experience that may exists for men and women in economics. Potential issues are related to stereotypes, interest and skills gaps between genders, grade sensitivity, lack of information of the breadth of economics, and the lack of female role models in economics. Through considering the detailed experiences of individual students, I hope to present some answers about the gender gap in undergraduate economics, and provide recommendations for further research.

 

Exploiting the Future: Evolving Attitudes on Child Labour among Ontario's Factory Inspectors, 1889-1907

Daniel Moholia

Supervisor: Catherine Briggs, History

Abstract:

Canadian labour historians have explored many facets of Ontario’s labour history, shedding some light on the experiences of children in the industrial workplace in the late 19th and early 20th century. Yet their work has thus far omitted any extensive focus on the opinions of Ontario government officials on child labour. How did they view the child and the place of children in Ontario society? Did these attitudes change with time? In order to discern the attitudes of factory inspectors tasked with enforcing the law, the Annual Reports of the Inspectors of Factories were analyzed. These reports highlight the use of discretionary enforcement by inspectors to negotiate the compliance of employers. They also highlight how inspectors used flexible reporting style to bring issues they deemed most crucial to the attention of the public, employers, employees and legislators. Child labour, in their opinion, was disruptive of the natural order and stability of the laboring classes, making children the primary providers rather than men. Children were unfit for such a role, as they were too careless for hazardous work and too fragile in mind and body for work in general. The child belonged in schools where mental capacity could be built, and as time went on inspectors demanded with greater frequency that literacy, and not just age, be a requirement before children were permitted to work. A civilized, Christian and progressive Ontario required a laboring class that was educated, not ignorant. This research demonstrates how factory inspectors adopted increasingly progressive ideas about child labour and used their political platform to advocate for them. It also adds nuance to the argument that provincial politics was slow to reform child labour laws because of a lack of concern. It is clear that those responsible for inspection were quite the opposite.

Writing Rights and Wrongs: Ameliorating the Rights-Education Gap with a Children's Anthology of parens patriae and Education Cases

Reba Nauth

Supervisors: Jason Blokhuis, Social Development Studies and Kathryn Plaisance, Knowledge Integration

Abstract: Children in Canada are not being consistently taught their fundamental human rights. Human rights education (HRE) is broadly understood to be the most effective mechanism of protecting human rights (Struthers 2015, 55). Rights education has been shown through empirical studies to increase self-esteem and rights- respecting attitudes in adolescents, which in turn shapes their understanding of their own rights and self-worth (Covell & Howe 2001, 29). In Canada, preventable abuse and rights-violations could be ameliorated if children and guardians had a better understanding of rights and the systems in place protecting legal incompetents. This design project centers around creating an engaging source for children between ages five and nine to learn about their rights and the laws that protect them, independently from a school environment. An illustrated collection of simplified legal cases depicts the evolving function of the parens patriae, or ‘State as parent’, common law doctrine in the United States and Canada. The doctrine protects a child’s right to diverse formative influences, namely education. A written component accompanies the anthology, justifying the choice of case law, overviewing the efficacy of human rights education for children, and ensuring the content is appropriate for the target age by situating the anthology in literature on child education and development.

Achieving More in Life with Self-Regulation: Information, Activities and Reflections for Young Adults

Abby Neufeld Dick

Supervisor: Mark Morton, Centre for Teaching Excellence

Abstract: Self-regulation is the ability to direct thoughts and actions towards achieving personal goals with respect to environmental demands (Butler et. al, 2016). It can also be described as the ability to remain calm, focused and alert (Shanker, 2010). In recent years, there has been an increase in self-regulation research, and there are varying and continually changing beliefs about it. Unfortunately, academia has done a poor job of disseminating this information, resulting in groups of people not having access to this knowledge. Self-regulation is goal-oriented, and includes aspects such as cognition and metacognition, emotion and motivation, and strategic action (Butler et. al, 2016). Self-regulation can be effective in pursuing both long-term and short-term goals (Zumbrunn, 2011). However, young adults are not consciously aware of how to integrate self-regulation into their lives. Through this project, I am developing a workbook that aims to present relevant research on self-regulation in an interactive manner. The workbook will teach young adults (18-25) about self-regulation and will provide them with activities and exercises to practice self-regulation skills. Further, a section will be included to assist and encourage young adults to reflect on their progress. The desired outcome is that the individuals who use this workbook will be able to enhance their self-regulation skills integration in their lives.

 

Super Collaboration: Using the Power of Games to Teach Collaboration

Benjamin Persofsky

Supervisor: Rob Gorbet, Knowledge Integration

Abstract: In a world where solving problems requires us to work together, it is important for us to have the skills to collaborate effectively.  Collaboration is currently being emphasized in learning institutions, however, there is still a large need for these skills to be taught to business professionals, especially at the start of their careers. Collaboration is normally learned through first hand experiences, however, based on current practices in corporate training I believe that games are an effective avenue with a potential that has yet to be fully explored for this application. Due to their engaging nature, reward and feedback mechanisms, and incorporation of choice and narrative, games provide a new medium capable of effectively teaching collaboration. This is a design project that explores the question, “How might we use games to teach employees how to collaborate?”. I have developed the game Super Collaboration, which lets players navigate within a dysfunctional team of superheroes where they must learn how to work together in order to save the world. The game is designed to be educational yet engaging for players, and should develop players into better collaborators who are capable of tackling the problems of tomorrow.

 

That’s Not a Problem Here: Oppression Towards the Black Community in Southern Ontario

Khoa Tran

Supervisor: Heather Smyth, English Language and Literature

Abstract: Since Donald J. Trump’s shocking victory in the United States federal election, there has been massive outcry and tension in the country. While some Americans have rejoiced in this news, many others are now fearful for their future. There have been waves of news regarding highly discriminatory acts across the country and racist violence. Regarding the executive orders to build a wall along the U.S and Mexico border and the temporary ban on a select number of Muslim-dominant countries, many of those opposed to Trump have cited him as the creator of this racial discrimination movement and endorsing white supremacy in a country when there are already ongoing racial tensions. One of the communities that experiences major cases of racial tension is the Black community, and this constant source of strife is extremely problematic. It is with the news of the election and discriminatory behaviour that many Americans are considering Canada as a haven to escape from the growing hateful culture in the States, because there is a misconception that racism does not exist in Canada. This would lead individuals to believe that Black Canadians would not experience similar acts of discrimination, which is not the case. This thesis aims to answer the question: “How is racial discrimination and models of oppression demonstrated through the experiences of Black Canadians in urban regions of Southern Ontario? In addition, what is the response from this community and is this response justifiable?” Through a literary analysis, based primarily on news articles and community-based responses within recent years with regards to the Black Community, compared to theoretical works on the study of oppression, this thesis hopes to expose ongoing acts of racial injustice and challenge our perception of racial issues with regards to Southern Ontario to demonstrate that this is also a Canadian problem.

 

Navigating Shared Care Between Family Physicians and Oncologists: A Scoping Study on Barriers to Collaboration in Canada

Rachel Trites

Supervisor: Samantha Meyer, School of Public Health and Health Systems

Abstract: In recent years, collaboration among medical practitioners has been highlighted as both a valued competency, and a necessity in contemporary healthcare systems. More often than not, patient care involves a number of different specialists, all contributing their expertise and knowledge to treat an aspect of a patient’s disease or injury. Cancer care is no exception to this rule. This study will review the available literature concerning the dynamics of collaborative cancer care between family physicians and oncologists in Canada. A scoping review will be conducted following Hilary Arksey and Lisa O’Malley’s framework. An understanding of the barriers to effective collaboration between family physicians and oncologists will fill a gap in knowledge required to be able to create a relationship dynamic that produces optimal patient outcomes. Instigating change that overcomes barriers to collaboration between oncologists and family physicians is likely to increase satisfaction for both physicians and “reduce superfluous workload” (Ben-Ami, 2014). Thus far, the results of this scoping review have identified the following themes concerning the shared work of family physicians and oncologists in cancer care: (1) ambiguity of roles and responsibilities of family physicians in cancer care, (2) inaccessibility of oncologists sought by family physicians, (3) a lack of family physician knowledge, and (4) poor design of communication technology/tools. Despite these barriers, the literature also suggests that an increase of family physician integration in cancer care and an improvement in family-physician-oncologist communication would be beneficial to the quality of cancer patient care, and would increase efficiency with regards to wait-times and costs. Additional themes, as well as gaps in the literature, will continue to be identified and analyzed in the remainder of this project.