Physicists receive LITE seed grant for collaborative, inclusive group work

Friday, August 12, 2022

The Centre for Teaching Excellence (CTE) has announced the latest recipients of the Learning Innovation and Teaching Enhancement (LITE) Seed Grants. Waterloo physicists received funding for their project on collaborative group work in introductory science courses.

The University of Waterloo’s LITE Grants fund projects investigating innovative approaches to enhancing teaching and fostering deep student learning at Waterloo. 

A total of six projects received funding in this round, including one by three Waterloo physics instructors - Lecturer Karen CummingsProf. Robert Hill and Sessional Lecturer Steve Pfisterer.

Their grant "Connecting Collaborative Group Work and EDI Goals in Introductory Science Courses" will help Waterloo students make better use of existing collaborative group work opportunities for deep learning and practice building inclusive, equitable groups. To facilitate course improvement, and support a broader equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) effort within our department, we will develop materials that integrate key content from an EDI bystander-intervention workshop with instruction on best-practices in collaborative group work. 

The result will create materials that are general enough so that the learned skills and behaviours can be transferred into other environments including teaching labs, research experiences and co-op positions. Instructor materials will be developed to help others facilitate effective groups. We will use these materials in two courses this Fall with a reflective practice component. We will measure student attitudes toward group work and reflective practice, as well as self-efficacy and EDI knowledge and climate in the course, before and after instruction. 

The other five LITE Seed grants recipients receiving funding were:

Seed Grants support small-scale teaching and learning investigations or activities to develop your instructional skills with funding of up to $7,500. Funded by the Office of the Associate Vice President, Academic, and administered by CTE, LITE Grants are awarded annually through LITE Seed Grants.