Centre for Teaching Support & Innovation

130 St. George Street, Robarts Library, 4th floor

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Symposium-Express: Research on Teaching and Learning I

February 10, 2017 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


February 10, 2017
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


Description: Symposium Express workshops feature facilitators from the 10th Annual Teaching & Learning Symposium. This series spotlights sessions run at the Symposium, allowing our community to attend and engage with sessions they may have missed on the day.


Facilitator: Ashley Waggoner Denton, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Psychology

During the Fall 2015 semester, students in a 200-level psychology course completed two unrelated assignments using the peerScholar instructional tool. For each assignment, students submitted an initial draft, received (and gave) anonymous feedback from three of their peers, and then submitted a final revised version of their assignment for marking by a TA. Students completed self-assessments after submitting their initial draft and then again after reviewing their peers’ work. They also provided ratings of how useful they found the peer feedback they received. In this session, I will share findings from the data collected during this process,  situating the results within the broader literature on self- and peer-assessment. For both assignments, the results of a multiple regression analysis predicting final assignment marks from peer ratings, usefulness of the peer feedback, and self-assessment ratings have shown that peer ratings and usefulness ratings are each significant predictors of final marks, whereas self-assessment ratings (at either the draft or assessment stage) are not. Thus, there is tentative evidence to suggest that the students are providing meaningful assessments of each others’ work, and that when students receive more useful feedback, marks are improved. Participants will learn about peerScholar and the different ways it can be used. It is hoped that by sharing my own experiences, others will be able to make better decisions about how to best incorporate this instructional tool into their own courses.


Facilitators: Nathan Taback, Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, Statistical Sciences, and Alison Gibbs, Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, Statistical Sciences

Technology has allowed instructors to experiment with different course delivery methods including blended, flipped, and fully online courses. For introductory statistics courses, a number of studies have investigated whether different delivery methods result in different learning outcomes (for example, Wilson, 2013; Winquist & Carlson, 2014; Gundlach et al, 2015; Touchton, 2015) and if different methods have an effect on student attitudes towards statistics (for example, Gundlach et al, 2015).  In the Fall of 2015 and 2016, our large (1,400+ students and 1700+ students) introductory statistics course, STA220, was taught in both flipped and fully online formats.  All sections used the same online materials.  To investigate the effect of delivery method on student attitudes towards statistics, students were asked to complete pre- and post-course surveys (SATS-36). Student performance was measured by results on assessments, including a common final exam. Additional student information collected included cGPA, program of study, and posting on the class discussion forum. In this presentation, we will discuss what we discovered when we compared students’ attitudes towards statistics and course performance by delivery method, and describe a randomized study to assess a new intervention, introduced in 2016, in response to our 2015 discoveries.   Faculty of Arts and Science Teaching Stream Pedagogical Grants funded this work.

Gundlach, E., Richards, K.A.R., Nelson, D. and Levesque-Bristol, C. (2015). A comparison of student attitudes, statistical reasoning, performance, and perceptions for web-augmented traditional, fully online, and flipped sections of a statistical literacy class. Journal of Statistics Education 23(1).

Touchton, M. (2015). Flipping the Classroom and Student Performance in Advanced Statistics: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment.  Journal of Political Science Education 11, 28-44.

Wilson, S.G.  (2013). The Flipped Class: A Method to Address the Challenges of an Undergraduate Statistics Course. Teaching of Psychology 40(3), 193-199.

Winquist, J.R.  and Carlson, K.A.  (2014). Flipped Statistics Class Results: Better Performance than Lecture Over One Year Later.  Journal of Statistics Education 22(3).


Blackburn Room
130 St. George Street, 4th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5S 1A5
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