Inquiry through Blended Learning

My Photo
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Monday, October 22, 2012

Week Six - Poster Displays

This week, the students had an opportunity to display their poster and receive feedback from their peers.  This exercise went very well with the exception of the cost of printing the posters (close to $30 a pop).  Maybe we'll got with "virtual" posters next time :).

Here is a link to their PowerPoint poster templates.

October 2012 - Montreal Trip

I had a wonderful opportunity to travel to Montreal in October for the eLearn 2012 conference and to visit Eric at McGill University and I made sure that I took lots of pictures:

 While at the eLearn 2012 conference I presented three papers:

I must admit that I did A LOT of walking from my hotel to Eric's dormitory room and I was pretty tired by the end of the week :)

Helicopter Tour of K-Country

I had a chance recently to take a helicopter tour of K-Country with Dr. Claude (our family orthodontist and friend).  We were fortunate to have AMAZING weather and I was able to take some great aerial photos of a travel route that we follow frequently in the winter for skiing and for the summer for hiking and camping :)

Week Five - MRU Instructional Library Services Workshop

Wow, another AMAZING EDUC1231 workshop this week.  A HUGE word of thanks to Pearl Herscovitch, the Chair of the MRU Instructional Library Services for providing an awesome references and resource session for our Poster/Literature Review Assignment. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Week Four - APA and Essay Writing Workshop

Aileen Smyth from MRU Writing and Learning Services joined us this week for a workshop on APA citations and referencing (amazing MRU handout on this topic).

In order to prepare for her visit the EDUC1231 students had identified their "burning questions" for inquiry and found at least one related reference through email conversations with a "topic mentor".  Aileen then provided student with tips and advice on how to convert these references into APA format.

After her workshop, the students got into their "burning question" poster groups and began entering their PowerPoint poster templates.  By the end of the class, each group had added a title, their names, their burning questions, and references to their posters.  The digital files were then uploaded into the Group Area of our Blackboard course site so that they could continue to work on the posters, outside of class time.

Monday, October 01, 2012

EDUC1231 - Week Three - Peer Mentoring

An evaluation of the first year of our B.Ed. program indicated that our students perceive that they are actively and collaboratively involved in their learning with the exception of peer tutoring.

To address this issue. a learning activity was designed for the EDUC1231 course in order to experientially introduce students to the concept of peer tutoring.  The supervisor and coordinator of the MRU's Peer Tutoring Program, Sarah Rude and Linda Strangward, were invited to facilitate an in-class workshop on peer tutoring for the students.  The students are now required to conduct a peer tutoring activity in their field-based experience through conversations with their K to 12 mentor teachers, which will result in a reflective journal entry about the process. It is also hoped that this activity will encourage the education students to become more activity involved in the university’s peer tutoring ( and student technician and resource tutor programs (, which provide paid employment opportunities.
In addition, a draft of the university’s new strategic plan recommends enhancing peer-to-peer programs and services such as peer tutoring (Mount Royal University, 2012a). In order to support this recommendation a new additional staff member has recently been hired for the peer tutoring program.

EDUC1231 - Week Two - ATA Code of Conduct

The focus of this week's discussion was on the Alberta Teacher Association's Code of Conduct.

In preparation for the class discussion, the students read the code of conduct and then generated a series of questions in the Blackboard Discussion Board that we  then transferred to a Google Doc.

We then had the ATA Representative for our MRU B.Ed. program, Kurt Moench, visit our class in order to provide a brief introduction to the ATA and then engage the students in a discussion about their questions related to the Code of Conduct.

After the class, the students were required to have a conversation with their K to 12 mentor teacher about the Alberta Teacher’sAssociation (ATA) for their journal assignments with regards to the following questions:
  • ·       How does the ATA support your mentor teachers’ professional practice?
  • ·       What role do you think the ATA will play in your future career?
  • ·       Is there an ATA Specialist Council that you would like to join?